30 June 2009

Chuck Reed on Chronicle Live

Chuck Reed was interviewed by Greg Papa on Monday night's edition of Chronicle Live. I haven't had a chance to watch the full hour, but I did catch several clips of the interview that were made available on the show's website.

It's no secret that Reed and Lew Wolff have been meeting on a fairly regular basis for some time. Nothing wrong with this, as there has been real business to discuss on the Quakes front. A few extra words on the A's situation sprinkled here and there have made it so that the two are effectively on the same page, with Reed working from one column, Wolff the other.

When Papa asked Reed if there were communications between local pols and the Giants and/or MLB, Reed insisted that any changes in territorial rights were "inside baseball" and had to be done within the realm of MLB. Ever the poker face, Reed has never said anything to indicate that he's either fearful or overconfident about the chances for such a change.

T-rights was also linked to rationale, as Reed noted that the biggest reasons for the A's to move south were financial, with the potential to move the team from a net drag to a net positive for MLB.

So many fans and readers have been wondering what the next steps were and why it has been taking so long to get moving. Stadium building isn't like watching a telenovela. Much of the work is done behind the scenes and most of the product isn't consumed by most people. Honestly, are you going to read the entire environmental impact report when it's released this Thursday? Or even the shorter economic impact report? The release of those two documents will start a small flurry of activity which will culminate with additional proclamations by pols and the MLB panel's report. While we still don't have the date for the report, we have a new key date in the process: August 4. That's when the SJ City Council is expected to act on staff recommendations, notes gathered during the Good Neighbor meetings, and the MLB panel report. It promises to be a pretty active month.


FC said...

Interesting discussion between Matier, Ratto and Purdy after the Reed interview. It seems pretty clear that Ratto and Purdy have a good understanding of how MLB operates, and how they go about making these types of decisions. They both seemed fairly confident that something would be done to grant the A's access to SJ.

As the discussion came to a close, they all agreed that the Giants' ultimate goal was not so much to keep the A's out of SJ, but to have the A's move out of the Bay Area. Such a move would give the Giants free reign over the region, and would allow them the ability to raise prices. Something to think about if you're a Giants fan currently against the A's moving to SJ.

Georob said...

So what's happening at the NUMNI plant? A couple of weeks ago Toyota says they may build the Prius there, but now we hear that the joint venture with GM is ending and that Toyota is looking at "alternatives".

Could one of those alternatives be closing the plant? Which would open up a stadium site?

Tony D. said...

So THERE ARE discussions ongoing between the A's, Giants and MLB regarding T-Rights...interesting.

Why do I get a feeling Matt Holliday will be included in the deal?

And you're right R.M.: Reed has one hell of a poker face!

Marine Layer said...

Rob - unlikely. The NUMMI/UAW labor contract ends come August 31. NToyota is in a great position to extract concessions from the UAW and tax incentives from the City of Fremont should they choose to retune the plant for the Prius. Even if NUMMI were to close, Fremont's not in the position to start looking at redevelopment. It would be looking to reopen the plant with its 5000+ jobs, perhaps at any cost.

Anonymous said...

That would be insane if the Giants did raise their prices...there already rediculous.

Jesse said...

Strong words from the mayor saying this is the A's "last chance" in Norcal. if the t-rights are over turned that would mean Diridon isnt the last chance, Milpitas and other areas in Santa Clara cty could the be explored along with CC County and Alameda. Its probably better to get the T-rights then start focusing on a specific community.

Jeffrey said...

I watched the whole thing.

Greg Pappa, ever the Giants homer, threw out the possibility of law suits. I am tired of the intellectual laziness... go and read the flippin constitution. High lights are available at the business of baseball website. The Giants can't sue MLB or any of the other teams.

Anon... if you think the Giants tickets are ridiculous, try going to a game in Boston where I paid $125 bucks for a field level seat. Or the New Yankee Stadium where is is $100 for a bleacher seat in the section closest to the fence.

I figured everybody realized what the Giants wanted out of the deal... No other team in Oakland/San Jose/Crockett/Sunol/etc. makes them the only team in a market the size of Boston. Duh.

Anonymous said...

Well I don't live in boston or New York, so thanks for the pointless comparison.

Anonymous said...

I know that this site is dedicated to getting the A's a new ballpark and the current wish is for SJ, and to say anything contrary, however factual or likely, is considered blasphemy, but let me be the devil's advocate for a bit ...

I do indeed buy into the notion that SJ would be a more lucrative market for the A's to be in ... but since it is a lucrative market, I'm puzzled why everyone perceives that it is a mere formality for MLB to simply undue the Giants territorial rights to this region for nothing more than a one-time (I'm getting the sense that folks think this should be a token amount) payment. I'm also hearing that the rights are not really that valid, so the A's should be granted those without much fuss.


Let's see ....

Never mind what you might think about how the rights were awarded to the Giants in the first place, let me remind all that the current ownership group of the Giants purchased the team with the intent of building a privately financed ballpark in SF with the support of South Bay Corporations and fans and with the knowledge that they were buying the team that had rights to the south bay, so it's revenue stream from the South Bay to support debt payments on its privately financed stadium would be protected.

The A's, on the other hand, were purchased by Wolff and Fischer who had full knowledge of these territorial rights which precluded them from setting up shop in the South Bay. They've done little to increase fan support and corporate sponsorship in their current defined territory (quite the contrary in fact) and now they "deserve" these rights?


Marine Layer said...

You can't "never mind" the circumstances. T-rights were granted with a specific goal in mind. That goal was not achieved. To change the rationale for having T-rights is akin to changing the rationale for the war. It's fallacious and diversionary.

Here's a fact: While SF civic and business leaders were scrambling to keep the Giants from leaving, a Tampa Bay group offered $15 million more than the local bid accepted by MLB. That was years before the final China Basin plan was worked out, during a Silicon Valley recession, and well before the dot-com and Web 2.0 booms. T-rights were not baked into Magowan's purchase price.

It's natural for the Giants to want to protect something they own, whether they "deserve" it or not. But with each passing year, the value of that asset drops considerably, perhaps enough to make it worthwhile for the owners to consider alternatives.

Jeffrey said...

anon- it's only pointless while there are two teams in the Bay Area.
And you are welcome.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:04- if Santa Clara County is the "heart" of the Giants fan base than why in the heck did they build a stadium further away from the heart of their fan base? Shame on them for having poor business instincts-

I also find it interesting how you chose to ignore how the rights were granted...with the A's consent, free of charge, so that the Giants would move futher away from the A's market...not closer as they did.

All the posturing that the Giants are doing has one sole objective--make the Bay Area a one team market--which should piss every baseball fan and free enterprise fan off out there--regardless if your a Giants or A's fan

Jesse said...

Anon 1204, you make some interesting points. But what type of compensation would you be willing to accept?

Jeffrey said...

Anon hmmm...

To play devil's advocate to your devil's advocate... did you watch the show and listen to the information presented?

Why do people think it can be handled with a lump sum payment? I don't think it can. But Maybe with a deal similar to the Nationals and Orioles have (league guarantees franchise value, league guarantees media revenue) it can be done.

80% of the "corporate base" in the Silicon Valley are not sponsors of the Giants or A's. This is a number quoted by the SVLG and last night by Ray Ratto.

Additionally, when the Contra Costa Times recently published an editorial playing Chicken Little on the Giants behalf, the sponsors they mentioned as "in danger" were in South San Francisco and San Mateo. What reason does anyone have to believe that a company in South San Francisco would choose to sponsor a team in San Jose over a team in San Francisco?

Lastly, the debt service for the Giants comes to an end in 2017. If the A's were allowed to build a stadium in San Jose, it would most conceivably be ready for prime time in 2014... increased media revenue via an MLB brokered deal would go a long way towards covering any gap (if there is any gap) for those three seasons.

One important fatcor will be this question: Does MLB increase the overall health of the league by A. Keeping the A's in Oakland, B. Moving the A's to San Jose, C. Moving the team to an inferior market and allowing the Giants to exploit the Bay Area as a single team market.

I don't think C. is the answer. Do you?

Anonymous said...

C is not the answer. Moving the team out of the bay area suits the Giants but allienates thousands of baseball fans. Moving the team to an area without an MLB fanbase is a gamble for MLB.

Tony D. said...


I can't bag on Pappa to much for being a "Giants Homer."

My blood is Silver and Black, so much respect to the Raiders radio play by play guy..."TOUCHDOWN RRRRRRRRRRAIDERS!"

But you're right; Mr. Pappa should do his homework before making such commentary.

Glad to see Ratto and Mark Purdy calling it like it is!

San Jose...FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST? Hopefully.

Jeffrey said...

For those who say no stadium project will start construction in the current economic morass... the soon to be Miami Marlins started construction today.

Anonymous said...

yeah I saw that

OldBlue said...

I agree that Greg Pappa is full of hot air, and that a lawsuit is not in the Giants' future. As an aside, how this guy keeps a job is beyond me.

Has anybody, especially all of those who demand a new park in Oakland, really thought this whole T-rights thing through? First, anyone who thinks the Giants' objective is NOT to drive the A's out of the Bay Area is smoking something pretty good.

Secondly, the A's and MLB know the Giants' true motives. Now, put yourself in Wolff's shoes. How does he play it? Here's how: he tells MLB it's Santa Clara County/San Jose or nothing. Sorry, Oakland folks, Wolff won't commit $500M or more to Oakland and MLB can't make him do it. It's called free enterprise.

If Wolff is smart, and I think he is, he will dare MLB to support the Giants and deny territorial rights, telling them that, given an adverse decision, a move out of California is the only logical move. Then he can wait for other cities to bend over for the dubious pleasure of getting an MLB team. No offers? Well, then, the A's stay in Oakland in a crappy facility, fielding a crappy team, and sucking off the MLB welfare teat. Oakland won't kick 'em out: they need whatever money they can get. The ownership group still makes money, too.

The A's will just hang on, being crappy until they either find a new home or MLB decides to contract them. Wolff and the ownership group won't care. They'll make money either way.

And then there is Congress, which granted the antitrust exemption. No other sport has it. Will/can it last forever? One suspects MLB owners often wonder about that. One also wonders just how far they want to go in pushing their favored status.

If they play it right, the A's can get approval to move to San Jose.

Transic said...

Yep. By the skin of their teeth they started construction of the stadium down in Miami. At this point, I'm going to state the obvious and say that we may not heard the last of the controversy there.

Back to topic, just to satisfy the curiosity of an outsider like me, if you were to have the power to change the territorial rights rule in the Bay Area, how would you go about it? What would you choose if you were given the following to pick from:

a) Territorial rights to remain as they are (at this point, the vast majority of you at this blog won't pick this)
b) The A's given the territorial rights to Santa Clara in exchange for the Giants getting the territorial rights to Alameda and Contra Costa counties
c) A co-share of rights to Santa Clara county but both clubs retaining exclusive rights to San Francisco and Alameda, respectfully.
d) Shared territory all around the Bay, similar to the set up in New York and Chicago
e) Declare Santa Clara open territory, in anticipation of a ballclub moving in (notice I didn't specify which)
f) The A's move into San Francisco, retain the rights to Alameda (with a probable co-share with the Giants); Santa Clara declared open territory
g) Same as f) except Santa Clara remains Giant territory

Anonymous said...

Transic, I choose d.

Open up the market and let the best team win. Honestly I don't see how these t-rights pertain to anything other than where your ballpark resides.

Jeffrey said...


Your side note on e is hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Since Santa Clara County is the heart of the Giants territory I say g---A's buy AT&T for $500M--move to San Francisco and the Giants now are free to move to the "heart of their fan base"--San Jose and build a new stadium---ridiculous? about as ridiculous as the territorial rights are today and the Giants assertion that SCC is the "heart" of their fan base--

Anonymous said...

Everyone can say what they want but until selig approves a san jose move it aint happening. So stop crying.

FC said...

I'd pick "d", but in reality I think MLB will make SC a shared territory.

Debbie Demographer said...

b) The A's given the territorial rights to Santa Clara in exchange for the Giants getting the territorial rights to Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Is this serious, or a straw man? Why would anyone expect the A's to give up two countes with a total population of 2.6 million (including the one where it's been doing business for two generations), in exchange for one county with a population of 1.9 million?

This would give the Giants rights to all Bay Area counties but one, with a total population of more than 5 million, compared to 1.9 million for the A's.

Territorial rights are now highly skewed in the Giants' favor -- this would only make things worse.

Debbie Demographer said...

Open up the market and let the best team win. Honestly I don't see how these t-rights pertain to anything other than where your ballpark resides.

Yes, but this isn't a technicality. It defines turf and strategic positioning.

Right now the Giants control most of the potential locations in the Bay Area market, and the A's control relatively few.

The Giants were given huge locational flexibility, but didn't use it, and wound up staying in San Francisco when they built their new park.

The A's should be granted similar flexibilty, now that the Giants have committed to a non-South Bay location.

Anonymous said...

Other than currently keeping the A's from legally moving into SJ, what do the territorial rights really mean?
The A's are allowed to broadcast (tv, radio) in all the counties under the Giants "control."
The A's can do business with company's located under Giants "control.". See Cisco Systems.
Residents residing in county's under Giants "control" can freely attend A's games in Oakland.
Residents residing in county's under Giants "contro" don't pay any yearly taxes/fees to said team.
Whether there are 1 or 5 million residents living in Giants territory doesn't really appear to have any bearing on their bottom line.
If this was really a case of how many counties/residents one team controls in terms of revenue/franchise value, then the teams of the other two-team markets would be fighting like crazy over who controls what counties.
As it stands now, the other two-team markets enjoy a shared situation.
The Mets and Yankees are doing just fine sharing the wealth and population of the NYC area...the A's and Giants can do the same with the Bay Area.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, but this isn't a technicality. It defines turf and strategic positioning."

It really doesn't. It doesn't restrict either team's marketing efforts in any way, nor do I think it has influenced either team's marketing. I've yet to see the Giants launch a big "You will come to our games because you are in our territory, dammit" campaign focused on the South Bay.

I don't think too many people in the Bay Area think about T-rights too much, other than those reading this blog. I definitely don't think it influences their decisions whether and where to attend games.

"The Giants were given huge locational flexibility, but didn't use it, and wound up staying in San Francisco when they built their new park.

The A's should be granted similar flexibilty, now that the Giants have committed to a non-South Bay location."


Jeffrey said...


The point isn't whether or not fans think about t-rights, it's do t-rights give a strategic advantage and obviously they do.

To phrase it differently, if territorial rights don't influence when and where people go to games, how does opening Santa Clara County up make any impact on the A's fortunes?

Anonymous said...

Simple answer to your question: Lew Wolff wants to be in San Jose, particularly downtown San Jose.
My theory: if it was just a matter of building the A's a newballpark or exploiting the riches of Silicon Valley, he would simply have built in the coliseum parking lot or fought hard for Fremont.
Notice the Giants were nearly silent about the prospects of Pacific Commons, even though the site would have appealed directly to the riches of Silicon Valley; including the 13% of businesses that support the Giants.
Yet when a handful of Fremont residents cried over the A's plans, Wolff bailed and put the focus on SJ.
Why bail over a few residents/big box stores complaining? I believe a deal has existed between the A's and Giants since the beginning of the Neukom era, with the onus on San Jose to get something done. I believe the news of the past 6 month proves SJ has finally got its act together.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Jeffrey never seems to know what he's talking about.

Jeffrey said...

The Giants could say nothing about Fremont. It wasn't in their territory :)

Anonymous said...


All of us realize how important site location is. The original comment stated exactly this point:

"I don't see how these t-rights pertain to anything other than where your ballpark resides."

Debbie D responded "Yes, but this isn't a technicality. It defines turf and strategic positioning." Earlier, she had commented it was unreasonable to expect the A's to give up "two countes with a total population of 2.6 million (including the one where it's been doing business for two generations), in exchange for one county with a population of 1.9 million"

In making these comments, she appeared to be arguing that T-rights confer some marketing advantage in territories assigned to you even if your ballpark is not located in those territories. I just don't see this as being the case.

If the A's get to San Jose, obviously it will make a huge difference in marketing to Santa Clara county. However, I don't see the point in quibbling about who is assigned T-rights in counties not likely to have ballparks sited in them. There is zero serious likelihood of a third team moving into the area, and no one is talking about building a stadium in, say, Sonoma County. So who cares whose territory it's in?

I don't see that having T-rights to Santa Clara county has benefited the Giants in any way other than preventing the A's from building there. And if the A's do manage to get T-rights to Santa Clara County and build a ballpark there, I don't see much reason for them to care even if the Giants were assigned all other eight counties, let alone just Contra Costa and Alameda.

Jeffrey said...

My favorite thing in the world is being called out by someone who doesn't have the guts to even use their own name in the post. It makes me laugh and laugh.

Anonymous said...

O man Jeffrey is a tough guy!

Anonymous said...

yeah there is no gut factor, its simple amusement

Lew Wolff said...

I appreciate those who are supporting me on this blog. I try to keep the stadium news as public as I can, but things are going slow right now. There are a lot of bumps in the road I am facing right now, but the payoff will be grand. Realistically we should have an opening day somewhere between 2015 - 2020. That is what we are aiming for. Our park is going to be one of a kind, you sit in the seats but you don't even watch the game. Simply revolutionary, all seats will be equipt with lcd hd monitors for your viewing pleasure. It's like your at home, but your not. Eyes off the field will be our motto. So thanks again to my supporters, and for those who do not support me...well I guess the money grubbing old guy just doesn't appeal to everyone. Take care everyone.

Debbie Demographer said...

Let me elaborate on T-rights, turf, and strategic positioning. There is potential marketing advantage in ballpark location, both for major sponsorships and even more so for attendance, whether it's season tickets or a la carte game-going.

Transportation is a big factor here, and that makes location critical. If you can't get to the game easily, you won't go as often. Sure, fans don't care about county boundaries, but right now county boundaries limit the A's locational choices, and fans do care about proximity and ease of access.

What I was trying to say was that it would be unfair to expect the A's to give up two major counties in order to gain a potential location in Santa Clara county. If the Diridon site falls through, they should have the flexibilty to pick another site in the east or south bay. It shouldn't be "give up the east if you want the south."

In retrospect, perhaps I should have just let the original reader comment slide by, since it was not something that any of the actual players in this game were proposing.

Anonymous said...

Lew Wolff- LarryJ talked about a Coliseum plan in one of the post debates. If you know about this, are you going to consider it, or no?

Anonymous said...


I really didn't think I was "calling you out." You asked what I assumed was a genuine question, and I tried my best to answer it.

In general I find you one of the more reasonable people on this board. In this case I felt you misinterpreted my comments, so I tried my best to clarify them.

As far as posting anonymously, I have my reasons. Would it really accomplish or prove anything if I made up a nom de plume today only to use a different one tomorrow?

As far as lacking "guts," I guess if I were trying to insult you I could understand the comment, but that really wasn't my intent. Reread my comment; did you really find it insulting?

Lew Wolff said...

Anon 8:44 ...I hate Oakland remember?

Jeffrey said...

Anon 846-
I didn't think it was you calling me out. I was referring to anon 3:35 "Jeffrey never seems to know what he is talking about."

And that is the value of using a name in a nutshell.

Anonymous said...

Im sorry you don't know what your talking about. You can still leave messages.

Jeffrey said...

When you write "I am sorry that you don't know what your talking about" the "your" should be you're. The apostrophe is there to represent two words being combined to form one. In this case, you are.

You're welcome.

Marine Layer said...

This thread is long past the point of becoming inane.