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A’s Strike Back

March 7, 2012

I’m not one to comment much on the A’s potential relocation to San Jose. For the best information regarding that I always will suggest going to  newballpark.org which is a great site for anyone interested in the machinations and day-to-day ongoings of the A’s attempts to move into a new facility. But today I do want to comment on a press release issued by the “A’s Ownership”. I am printing it in it’s entirety:

For Immediate Release: March 7, 2012

Statement by Oakland A’s ownership regarding A’s and Giants sharing Bay Area Territory

“Recent articles claiming that Major League Baseball has decided that the A’s cannot share the two-team Bay Area market were denied by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig last weekend.

Currently the Giants and A’s share the two-team Bay Area market in terms of television, radio, sponsors and fans. Last year, the Giants opened a specialty store in the middle of the A’s market (Walnut Creek). At the time, Lew Wolff commented that he was ‘fine with the Giants store and wished there was an A’s store in San Francisco.’

Of the four two-team markets in MLB, only the Giants and A’s do not share the exact same geographic boundaries. MLB-recorded minutes clearly indicate that the Giants were granted Santa Clara, subject to relocating to the city of Santa Clara. The granting of Santa Clara to the Giants was by agreement with the A’s late owner Walter Haas, who approved the request without compensation. The Giants were unable to obtain a vote to move and the return of Santa Clara to its original status was not formally accomplished.

We are not seeking a move that seeks to alter or in any manner disturb MLB territorial rights. We simply seek an approval to create a new venue that our organization and MLB fully recognizes is needed to eliminate our dependence on revenue sharing, to offer our fans and players a modern ballpark, to move over 35 miles further away from the Giants’ great venue and to establish an exciting competition between the Giants and A’s.

We are hopeful that the Commissioner, the committee appointed by the Commissioner, and a vote of the MLB ownership, will enable us to join the fine array of modern and fun baseball parks that are now commonplace in Major League Baseball.”

This comes shortly after a report by Bill Madden in the New York Daily News that said that owners of the other 28 clubs would reject a request to move from Oakland to San Jose writing specifically,

“Unfortunately, the ‘Moneyball’ film came up empty with the Academy Award voters, and the same fate beckons for [Billy] Beane and Oakland A’s owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher in their determined effort to move to a new stadium in Hi-Tech haven. The latter prospect, in which, for a variety of reasons, MLB is going to uphold the San Francisco Giants’ territorial rights in San Jose, will be especially disheartening for Beane.”

The piece was written as if it was fact, in fact the title was “MLB likely to uphold San Francisco Giants’ territorial rights in San Jose, leaving the A’s stuck in Oakland” with the subitle being “Baseball to tell Oakland… no way, San Jose”. The thing is this was an opinion piece. An opinion piece that garnered far too much attention. That said, it was very nice to see the A’s organization lay out their beliefs that this is a shared market akin to New York, Chicago or Los Angeles (where a non-shared market would seemingly make even more sense with so much geographic distance between Chavez Ravine and Anaheim). It is nice to see the A’s point out that if there are territorial rights, the Giants do not seem to respect them with the store in Walnut Creek. This is a fight the A’s must win, and I am happy to see the club is not playing nice guy anymore and is being aggressive in defending their position – which is the right one.

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