It looks like A’s owner Lew Wolff will continue to keep us in suspense regarding the relocation of the team. Last week Athletic Nations’ Tyler Bleszinski sat down with the not so popular owner and managing partner for a three-part interview. By the time the interview was over, Wolff still could not give a guesstimate as to where the A’s would be located, that is, if they make the move out of Oakland at all. Wolff says that he is waiting on a definitive answer from MLB Commissioner Bud Selig as to whether he will approve the building of a new stadium down in San Jose, a proposition that many A’s fan will not be overly excited about.
Apparently, they have worn down all avenues to keep the team in Oakland this according to Wolff, who told Bleszinski “We have exhausted every option in Oakland. And you’d think within the last two years that somebody from Oakland would pick up the phone and say “here’s a finite plan that you missed and that we wish to discuss with you.” I haven’t heard one word. [Whether fans believe me or not].”
I have a hard time believing that there have been no discussions with the City of Oakland up to this point. Just last year the city had publicly unveiled some proposed sites where the stadium could be built, no word on what happened to those plans. Then there was the proposed Fremont location, off of the 880 freeway, in which Wolff and his A’s had a really great chance of putting their diamond down there, and even then, those plans would eventually fall apart as well
Then there is San Jose, a city that also wants in for a piece of the action. The City of San Jose’s proposal would not be such a great idea and I will tell you why. It’s called budget cuts! I just don’t think that San Jose should be adding more fuel to a fire that is already out of control. If you have not heard, this city is in a world of financial hurt, they have massive budget problems, city employee issues and squabbles with their local union members. I guess San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed thinks that locating the A’s to his city will make all of that mess go away. Well, Mayor Reed you may have to get the permission of The San Francisco Giants who hold the territorial rights to your beloved city and don’t forget The San Jose Giants who have plans for a major stadium renovation. If Selig decides to give his blessings to San Jose then Oakland will have to scramble to keep their team and it seems that they are not ready to give up that fight just yet.
There are still some locations that are being explored to keep the team where they belong. Oakland Tribune Columnist Dave Newhouse says that he recently spoke with Council member Ignacio De La Fuente about a prime location to put the team. “Oakland Council member Ignacio De La Fuente assured me that the most aesthetically pleasing spot — the Oak to 9th Project by the Estuary — remains available. It’s closer to the freeway than BART, but that site is every bit as attractive as the AT&T Park locale” The City of Oakland’s Planning commission will be holding a public meeting on December 1st to discuss further plans to move the A’s to a new 39,000 seat ballpark. You can find more information about the meeting here. Hey, maybe the newly elected Oakland Mayor Jean Quan will get behind the team and it’s fans to keep them grounded…Well, one can hope right?
One more thing to point out, the players, lets not forget them in all of this. Yes, there is some truth to the matter that players don’t want to play in a ballpark that, let’s face it, looks more like a concrete monstrosity than a lavish ballpark. This has played a big factor in Billy Beane’s plans to acquisition players to play for the team at rock-bottom prices. Also, I believe that having limited funds for such top-notch players is not fair for the organization, the fans or the community at large. Whatever the decision will be, one thing is true, Oakland A’s fans will always be faithful to their team, whether they end up in Oakland, Fremont, San Jose or somewhere else. Stay tuned.