14 January 2009

Look South

And so it begins. Two stories, one from the AP and another by reporter Barry M. Bloom, start off in familiar territory. Commissioner Selig wants resolution of the Fremont situation, as stated in his December letter, and if Fremont falls through the A's "may begin to discuss a ballpark with other communities."

If this were your standard procedural cop show, Selig would be filling the role of bad cop while Wolff is the good cop. Wolff remains committed to making Fremont work, though opposition on different fronts remains daunting.

Bloom's article goes further, as in further south in Santa Clara County. He broaches the prickly subject that is territorial rights and sheds a bit of light on the process:
Thus, if the A's want to move into Santa Clara County, it would be a decision made by the Commissioner and not by the Giants, who were ceded the rights to Santa Clara County during a ballpark vote there about 20 years ago. The vote failed, but the Giants have maintained those territorial rights ever since.

"What we've done, I think, is open up a door for the A's that's been closed," said Wolff on Wednesday, the first day of this week's two days of owners' meetings here. "My priority really is Fremont. Other communities are all over us now because of this letter, but I'm not listening to them yet. I don't want to start this process all over again."

It would appear rather convenient, then, that San Jose (presumably one of those "other communities") has a completed and certified EIR which makes the process there much less painful than what's transpired so far in Fremont. Wolff is careful not to point blame at Fremont's city council.

Curiously, Bloom's article is headlined "Door opens for A's in Santa Clara." Is that an inference to a ballpark deal being possible in the city of Santa Clara? We don't know yet. Bloom only refers to Santa Clara County, not the city. There are some in Santa Clara who believe that it's possible for both a 49ers stadium and an A's ballpark to fit side-by-side near Great America. Santa Clara has to worry about the Niners' situation first before imposing any new concepts on its citizens. FWIW, I don't think there's enough room for the Niners, A's, and the theme park to operate in the same sandbox. Two of them, yes.

What is Lew going to say at the Chamber breakfast event on February 11? Sometimes I think Lew's playing this like Andy Dufresne at Shawshank, everyday carving out bits of stone wall unbeknownst to the guards and the warden, then distributing them in the prison yard.