15 July 2009

Selig says... nothing

The Chronicle's John Shea has some "news" from the commish courtesy of the All Star Break BBWA meeting.

"Territorial rights are always sacred," Selig said at a Baseball Writers Association of America meeting.

Selig refused to comment on whether baseball would approve an A's move to San Jose, a city that's in the Giants' territory but is luring A's owner Lew Wolff. The A's, whose attendance has fallen five straight years, claim a move from the Coliseum to a new venue would ensure higher revenue and a greater chance to be competitive.

Selig warned, "We're living in an economy where it's tough to talk about new stadiums."

Yes, I did say that the panel's report should have been out by now. What's the hold up? Who knows? It could be that, knowing the state of the economy, there's simply no rush. No one's breaking ground anytime soon. It could be that additional possibilities are being explored by the panel to ensure that every avenue has been exhausted. That's probably not what Lew Wolff wants, but at this point there's no harm in being thorough.

Update: Jesse, a regular participant in the comments section, had a question for Selig during yesterday's online town hall at Here's the Q&A:

Vince Micucci: The next question from Jessie in Oakland: The A's are my lifelong passion, but I am afraid they are going to move. When will the stadium committee that MLB sent to Oakland be ready to deliver a review?

Commissioner Selig: They are close. Mr. Dupuy will meet with them shortly. It's a difficult situation and I understand his concerns. But the Oakland A's need a new ballpark -- there's no question about that -- to be competitive.

The Giants have built themselves a wonderful, wonderful ballpark, and the A's need to do the same thing. So this committee has been very thorough, has examined all of the different possibilities, which they should do, all of the different places that they may be able to go and everything else.

So I'm confident in the end that we will make a very meaningful and rational decision.

Great work, Jesse. Before you readers start parsing the response, I'll advise you - don't. You'll be taking gigantic leaps if you do.


Tony D. said...

Nice attempt at spin by John Shea. Selig had no comment on the A's possibly moving to San Jose (which in my book is a good thing) and simply said T-Rights were "sacred."

Yet Shea suggests with his opening line that Selig said the Giants T-Rights were still enforceable even in this economy. HUHH?!

I guess anything will be said by the local media in order to sell papers.


daveinsm said...

Sports Journalism has taken one...I'm sorry two steps backwards.

Anonymous said...

Tony D--love your optimism but mine is definetely waning--bottom line--BS can't make a decision for the life of him--maybe having to deal with the flak of allowing an All-Star game to end in a tie has done him in---2 months ago I would have placed money on SJ happening--lack of progress and BS's silencing of the Blue Ribbon Commission only mean that BS can't pull the string---if I place my money anywhere now--LW and group will put the A's up for sale and let someone else deal with the ridiculous constraints that MLB is placing on them. Contrary to what ML stated other stadiums are being built---Twins is being finished, Marlins started--construction projects are getting bids of 20-30%lower than projected--now is the time to build--but unfortunately BS can't make a decision.

Marine Layer said...

Both of those ballparks also had massive public subsidies rammed through without public votes. That's not feasible here.

Tony D. said...

Lack of progress? Bud Selig can't pull the string?

Look, I've wanted this San Jose thing to happen since 05, so waiting another month or two for MLB committee's decision won't be that bad in comparison. Patience! I, more than anyone, would like a decision tomorrow and for San Jose to be freed immediately. But it will probably take a little longer. Lack of progress? I just don't see it.

Bud can't pull the string? Do some still think that one-year Giants owner Bill Neukom is so powerful as to wield his supreme will on Major League Baseball? Don't think so! He was voted in, most likely by Lew Wolff to, knowing full well he had to play by the rules set by "The Lodge." MLB is already on record as supporting opening up SJ ONLY if a ballpark is built as a result (M. Purdy, 2009). To date, we have no ballpark plan from San Jose. In due time my friends, in due time.

Again, Patience!

Jesse said...

Selig answered my email question during the town hall meeting on Tuesday. He said that the Panel is close to delivering the review. Here is the full QnA from

Anonymous said...

Tony--territorial rights are "sacred" following on the heels of Neukom saying that they will not give up the rights to SJ--even the most optimistic have to be shaking their heads and trying to read between the lines--even Reed has changed his tune to "hoping" something can still be worked out---sorry---BS has shown time and time again that he can't make the big decision---what was the Giants penalty for knowing allowing Bonds to use steroids....oh thats right--nothing--and that was after all the grandstanding that he would penalize them.

I as much as you want to see the A's have the option of downtown SJ--but with the recent inactivty and less than supportive statement from BS I have my doubts--

Anonymous said...

The city of Santa Clara has voted on the financing/plan for the Niners Stadium and we are now seeing architectural renderings/drawings for the stadium.
I believe we'll need to see the same from San Jose in regards to Cisco Field for MLB to allow the A's San Jose.
Like Tony D said, in due time.

Anonymous said...

Jesse that's cool that he answered your question out of all the ones that where emailed. Except your name is spelled different on the site than on here, kinda wierd.

jesse said...

they kinda mispelled my name and changed the words in my question a little bit. I said move out of NorCal not just move.

But, Jessie is how my name is spelled on my birth certificate and DL but I always spell it Jesse personally. I wonder if they looked me up, lol.

FC said...

Pretty cool Selig responed to your question. Thanks for submitting it.

"So this committee has been very thorough, has examined all of the different possibilities, which they should do, all of the different places that they may be able to go and everything else."

I thought the committee's purpose was to see whether the A's have exhausted all of their options in their territory. Selig's response seems to indicate that they may have recommendations on sites outside of Alameda and CC.

Jesse said...

yeah, that "all the different possibilities" quote was interesting. I cant wait to find out what "rational" is to Bud.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps he did mean just inside their current territory and that's the reason they took NorCal out of the question. Who knows with Bud. Nothing is ever just straightforward and clear.

Paul said...

...What I think has to happen is the committee looking at the A's needs to come to the conclusion that there are no suitable places where a stadium could be built in Alameda or Contra Costa counties. Then baseball will do something about the "territorial rights" thing. The Giants likely are just posturing for a big payoff in return for sharing Santa Clara County.

Nice move, Fremont. Could have had a state-of-the-art high-tech stadium bringing in revenues and putting Fremont on the map as a place to be. Now the city is on the verge of losing NUMMI, its major employer. Bye bye city services, etc. At least they won't suffer from "light pollution" coming from the stadium 80 nights a year.

Those Fremont retailers who didnt want A's fans using their parking lots may not have to worry about shoppers employed by NUMMI using them either.

And no, the city of Santa Clara has not voted on the 49ers. Just the city council has. Look for voters to vote no on the $113 mill subsidy next year.

Anonymous said...

ML, if you happen to know, when do you think we'll get news on Oakland and if it's viable? Thanks.

Tony D. said...

Anon 7:44,
You obviously have the right to interpret the news how ever you see fit. However, I dont' agree with your interpretation.

Again, Neukom is not God! It will not be up to the Giants whether the A's can relocate to San Jose. Whether its a yes or no (and I firmly believe it will be yes) will all be up to MLB. That's the truth.

Second, Reed, along with Lew Wolff, has always expressed optimism that MLB will allow the A's San Jose. Don't know where you're getting this Reed changing his tune to "hoping" idea. It's always been hope and optimism.

Selig's less than supportive statment? Come again? As R.M.'s title implies, Selig said nothing. And again, his no comments on the A's and San Jose speaks volumes.

Recent inactivity? The park isn't supposed to open until 2014, nearly 5 years away. Again, as much as I'd like everything to happen today or tomorrow, what's the rush?

Anon, we are obviously on the same page of wanting to see the A's in SJ, but I respectfully disagree with your interpretation of recent news (or lack thereof). That is all.

baycommuter said...

If Toyota pulls out of NUMMI in a week or two, as they seem to be hinting, there's a potential site near a BART line inside A's territory.

Paul said...

...closing of NUMMI eliminates a vocal opponent of previous proposals and might - might - make Fremonters think twice about their Groucho Marx-like stance on the ballpark (as in "Whatever it is, no matter who commenced it, I'm against it.") With fabulous 880, 680 and BART access, the NUMMI site could be a dream come true.

Good luck getting Lew Wolff to revisit that quagmire, though.

Dan said...

Anyone see this drivel from Zennie Abraham on the Chron website today. Apparently according to Zennie SJ doesn't "deserve" the A's because they don't have the sports history of Oakland. He conveniently overlooks the fact that Oakland didn't have much of a sports history until it stole the Warriors from San Francisco and the A's from Kansas City. (And of course he overlooks the Sharks, Earthquakes, SJSU, and the SJ Giants because they don't fit his Oakland bias view). And of course he chooses to ignore the A's dismal attendance over most of the last 40 years (even in years when they've been in the postseason), the Raiders dismal attendance (for an NFL team).

Georob said...

Like a giddy fiancee writing down her new married name over and over, I see Tony and his buddies writing "San Jose A's" everywhere, sketching "San Jose" jerseys, and using their word processors to insert "San Jose" in the AL West Standings (Have fun, they're in last place:))

I still say that MLB is going to meticulously consider EVERY alternative before moving the A's to SJ. And the fact that Peter Neukom is new to the table doesn't change a dang thing.

Georob said...

BILL Neukom, not Peter. But he may as well be Peter Magowan

Anonymous said...

Haha, at least we know that Zennie is one of the lunatics posting here about San Jose coveting teams and bullying cities to overcome its jealousy of Oakland...

Tony D. said...

Rob, Rob, Rob,

Always, I MEAN ALWAYS, good to hear from yah! Seriously!

And with that, Here's to your "smaller than small market, million$ upon million$ in MLB revenue sharing checks" Sacramento, Portland, San Antonio, Charlotte or Omaha Athletics!

(in your world at least ;o)

Anonymous said...

According to the way Selig answered the question, we can expect anything in a report.

Georob said...

I stand by my prediction.

MLB has to prove once and for all that there are no options left in the A's current territory. That's step one.

Next step is to prove that there are no alternatives outside of Northern California. And yes, that's going to mean the requisite dog and pony show from Charlotte and Portland, etc.

Once that's out of the way THEN MLB will go to the Giants and tell them to give up Santa Clara County.
(Provided contraction doesn't enter the picture)

To me, it makes perfect sense given the way MLB does things. And this "blue ribbon committee" is so far validating it.

Tony, I said three years ago that San Jose would get the A's only after a very long struggle. And the current economic situation is giving everyone an excuse not to fast track anything.

Jeffrey said...

Maury Brown had a real good list of cities that were considered for the Marlins stadium struggle/previous expansions.

He didn't include San Jose because the only two teams that could move there are the A's and Giants. He did include a 3rd New York/Northern New Jersey team... which is much more of an affront on Territorial Rights (bringing a third team from outside of the region into the region)

Anonymous said...

The Marlins name sounds good with Florida for obvious reasons.

Anonymous said...

Why would MLB even consider inferior outside markets for the A's when San Jose is there for the taking?
And why do some think that the Giants are more entitled to the Bay Area market than the A's? Guess what, they aren't! The A's have been here over 40 fricken years and shouldn't go anywhere; outside the Bay Area at least.
Look, MLB would be monumentally stupid to consider moving the A's to an outside market instead of San Jose just because the Giants organization is spoiled and thinks they own the Bay Area.
Common sense will put the A's in money-making San Jose with compensation for the spoiled Giants loosing "their" territory.

Anonymous said...

Rob I predicted years ago that Fremont would never happen. I predicted many many years ago that Giants would never end up in San Jose. And now I'm predicting (based on the info that I know), the A's aren't going anywhere. San Jose has and will always be a pipe dream for a MLB team. Sorry to burst your bubble, but from what I've heard from inside Oakland officials, they have a very good VIABLE site and MLB's committee already seems VERY impressed with their plan.

You all better get ready to continue to drive to Oakland if you want to watch the A's for many more years to come.

Jeffrey said...

Oh boy... more anonymous "I know someone inside and he said MLB is impressed with Oakland." Complete with capital letters and everything.

The site Larry Jackson pontificated on a few weeks ago seems interesting (though not on the the waterfront nor in the downtown).

I'd prefer a downtown stadium with things to do (in SJ or Oaktown)nearby. Either way, as long as the A's stay in the Bay Area, I am all for it.

Anonymous said...

From what you've heard from inside Oakland officials?
Credibility GONE in a split second anon 1256.
And please, no BUI please. (blogging under the influence)

Anonymous said...

Whatever people....that's why I know someone who was personally at the All Star game and was invited by Lew and flew on the A's corporate jet to St. Louis.

Anonymous said...

If Oakland is the choice than someone needs to inform LW--he was interview after the all-star game in St. Louis and talked about how impressed he was with the ballpark and downtown St. Louis in general--he also said he is working to build a ballpark in downtown San Jose with no public subsidies.

Either Lew is so out of the loop with the Blue Ribbon Commission and with MLB/territorial rights or the Oakland insiders are not all that inside. BTW--was interesting that a blog post at the end of the brief article was from advocating joining the effort to keep the A's in Oakland--

Anonymous said...

You need to read the article more carefully. He was never quoted on saying that he's trying to build a ballpark in Downtown San Jose. Only media rumors from writers like Tim Bryant that causes messes and confusion to readers like yourself to begin with. He may have been quoted on, "downtown looked great," but not on building in San Jose. Get your facts straight.

I'll listen to my source who flew to the game with Lew on their corporate jet rather than to some writer from St. Louis who knows very little.

Anonymous said...

Were playing with semantics here---here is what a portion of the article says including what Wolff "said" about San Jose--note the "comment" that I am refering to is the last paragraph of my blog--soooo I feel pretty comfortable with "getting my facts straight"

From St. Louis Dispatch

Wolff said he wasn’t up to speed on Ballpark Village but noted he had considered a similar but smaller development as part of a plan to move the A’s to Fremont, Calif. (That plan fell through but Wolff is concentrating now on moving the team to San Jose; fans in Oakland aren’t happy.)

The days of using profits from condo sales to pay for the rest of a mixed-use development are over for the next two to five years, Wolff said. Projects like Ballpark Village “are very difficult to implement these days,” he added.

Wolff said he plans to build an A’s stadium in downtown San Jose without a public subsidy.

Anonymous said...

So the writer from St. Louis who knows very little just decided to make up the part that LW "said" he plans to build a ballpark in downtown San Jose with no public subsidies. What an imagination that writer has!!! If only he could be half as creative as the Oakland "insiders" who get their information from a friend, who has a friend, who has another friend who knows someone that thinks the MLB Blue Ribbon commission must realize that Oakland is the best spot in the world for a new A's ballpark---of course no one has an "quotes" just inside info.

Anonymous said...

Like I said people. Before we get into all the stupid back and forth he said she says, lets just wait and see where they end up. I know what the committee has already been telling my source. It's looking good in my opinion for Oakland.

As far as what Tim Bryant wrote...who doesn't know that Lew Wolff has said in the PAST that he would like to build in San Jose. I'll bet that Lew Wolff never was quoted saying that he plans on building in San Jose while at the all-star game. Mr. Bryant wants to write about it cuz it's part of the rumor mill. If you knew anything, the A's aren't even in a position right now to negotiate with San Jose until the territorial rights are resolved, so there's no way he would have come out publicly at the all-star game saying he PLANS on building in San Jose. Which I've also been saying for some time now will most likely not even get looked at before the committee makes their decision that the A's have a viable site in Oakland.

Anonymous said...

Plus, I never said anything about a friend of a friend of a friend. That's you San Jose dreamers who can't except the fact that I know a lot more inside info than any of you do. I know a very dear friend who was on the plane with Lew and has been part of the meetings with the Blue Ribbon Committee.

Jeffrey said...

I wonder what Scott Ostler thinks about an A's move South?

It's strange that the 49ers and A's, arguably the two most successful franchises in the Bay Area based on trophy rooms, both want to move south at the same time. I wonder if Scott Ostler inserted the "A's" into those sentences where in place of "49ers" if he would answer the same way...

FC said...

I must have missed something. When did Wolff start to openly talk about building a ballpark in San Jose? Immediately after Fremont fell through, the company line was, "we'll have to wait to see what MLB" wants us to do".

Tony D. said...

Anon 3:17 is right! I just read the St. Louis article myself (do a google news search).

Let me guess: Lew Wolff doesn't know what the hell is going on either. The man stayed/rubbed elbows with MLB Big Wigs at the Four Seasons in St. Louis.

Enough on that.

Marine Layer said...

Whether you're an Oakland or San Jose booster, I'd suggest that you keep your expectations low. Bravado at this point means zilch.

Anonymous said...

Anon Oakland fly on the wall who knows a guy who knows a guy,
The St. Louis article concerning Lew Wolff is what it is. Stop with your nonsense and get back to reality.
FC, perhaps Wolff, surrounded by his MLB colleagues, feels more comfortable being open and honest with the St. Louis (and US) press than the Bay Area press.
Quite frankly, with the exception of Mark Purdy, the Bay Area press sucks to high heaven; damn Giants homers!

Anonymous said...

I think Tim Bryant of the St. Louis Dispatch also lied about Wolff inspecting his Ritz Hotel in Clayton, staying at the Four Seasons, saying downtown St. Louis was great, praising of the Cardinals DeWitt Family, and (of course) building an A's ballpark in downtown San Jose.

Come on Byant! You should know better than relying on Lew Wolff for insight on the A's future. You'd be much better off interviewing blog anon's who have connections to the inside of Oakland politics. Stop relying on the "rumor mill" of baseball's brass and get your ass to Oakland city hall damnit!


Marine Layer said...

A couple things about the Post-Dispatch article.

1. There are some things that can be directly quoted, and some that can't. Talk of SJ is essentially off-the-record unless it's about SJ in the abstract (is SJ economically worthy, etc.). Unless you think a StL reporter has some crazy agenda to destroy Oakland.

2. None of the stuff that's happening, whether it's the panel's report or Wolff's plans or Oakland's or SJ's plans, is being done in a vacuum. Much information is being shared indirectly or directly among various parties all the time.

Anonymous said...

I doubt the A's will go to SJ. They'll be in Oakland for the next 5-10 years.