15 March 2009

Dellums: I'm going to Congress

Update: Matier and Ross speculate further.

I do believe Ron Dellums just said, "
IT'S ON." We'll see if he's going to bring it.

Oakland's mayor indicated that he will seek congressional help in an effort to keep the A's in town. Immediately, that means Barbara Lee, Dellums' protege and successor in the House of Representatives. What strategies could Dellums/Lee have at their disposal? Let's take a look:
  • A challenge to the antitrust exemption. Not sure how that would actually help Oakland, as MLB's use of the exemption is actually keeping Lew Wolff from moving to San Jose. Long term, it could help bring a third team to the Bay Area whether it's in San Jose or Oakland, but MLB would still have to be a willing partner in such an endeavor. A move like this would also be incredibly expensive and it's unclear where the money for a legal challenge would come from.
  • Suing the A's. I'm not a legal expert and I don't know the details of the lease, but I could see where Oakland could consider taking legal action against the team for misrepresenting their intentions when the last extension was signed. Problem is, I think this was already covered by the lease terms containing a penalty if the A's were to leave the Coliseum early for a new home outside Alameda County.
  • Dellums/Lee create a coalition to broker a regional deal. A city-led effort of the kind mentioned in Thursday's letter sounds good, but in the end Oakland still needs to leverage greater regional resources and business interests to put together something that Wolff might be interested in. We'll see if that's what happens, and more importantly, if Wolff has interest.
So much for a quiet period. Readers, do you have any ideas?