Wolff and Fisher holding the A’s hostage

Well, another owners meeting will be held in February and there’s no reason to believe anything worthwhile will come out of it regarding the A’s stadium situation. It’ll be the same as all the others, just as nothing happened at the November meeting. (Unless you count Lew Wolff’s daughter’s ex-boyfriend writing in support of his hometown and Wolff as “progress.”)

Actually, one thing did happen: Bud Selig dropped an ‘F bomb‘ when sportswriters asked him about the three-person committee studying the A’s stadium situation. What did Selig’s uncharacteristic public anger signify, if anything?

Ray Ratto wrote that “the A’s-to-San Jose topic … remains a question Selig cannot answer, because Selig hasn’t the power to fix it.” In other words, if you’re Lew Wolff and you’re saying it’s San Jose or bust, then it’s clearly already a bust.

Even more telling, check out these Nov. 13 Tweets from Howard Bryant, ESPN’s national baseball writer, and a former A’s beat reporter for the San Jose Mercury News:

“MLB is not convinced the public money and infrastructure (public trains, etc.) is there in SJ + SJ redevelopment $ is in ?”

Bryant also swatted down any claims that Wolff will just sell or move the team out of state:

“MLB has stated repeatedly it doesn’t like Vegas and the others (San Jose, Portland, San Antonio, Charlotte, Montreal) are all problematic…”

In MLB’s eyes, the San Jose plan has some fatal flaws and Wolff will never allowed to move there — according to Bryant. But he’s not the only sportswriter reporting this. In August, during yet another ownership meeting, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark wrote this:

…if it wasn’t clear before now, it’s more obvious than ever that, in the words of one baseball official, that moving the A’s to San Jose is, most likely, “never going to happen.”

One sports attorney who has looked into this told Rumblings that the Giants have “a hell of a case” — centered around a document signed by the commissioner defining their territorial rights to include San Jose. And that’s critical, because any move by the A’s, or by the sport, to ignore or override those territorial rights could open a messy can of larvae for baseball.
How? Well, if the Giants’ territorial rights were suddenly deemed to no longer apply, it could set a precedent that might inspire some other team to attempt to move to New York or Southern California, by arguing the territorial rights of the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers and Angels were no longer valid, either.
So if the A’s aren’t bound for San Jose, what is likely to happen to them? Behind the scenes, baseball people are predicting they’ll eventually have to give up on this battle and settle for a new, Pittsburgh-size park in Oakland — and then do their best to beat up on the Giants in interleague play.
So, there you have it. For the umpteenth time. In just a few months, it will be the 4-year anniversary of the formation of the three-person committee to study the A’s stadium situation. That must be the second-worst job in the world. Four years. No progress. And there is the answer to Lew Wolff’s stadium question.
“You know you really don’t need a forensics team to get to the bottom of this. If you were going to move to San Jose, you would have moved to San Jose.”

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