Every Friday, Swingin’ A’s will make a prediction about the A’s 2012 season with the help of our “crystal ball.” The series, appropriately titled “Crystal Ball Fridays,” will continue through the week before Opening Night. Enjoy. This week, we ask our Crystal Ball whether or not the A’s will (eventually) get permission to build a new stadium in San Jose.
The A’s enter camp with a series of pressing questions, but perhaps none are more pressing than Oakland’s current stadium situation. All sorts of questions surround the A’s bid to relocate to San Jose, but for nearly three years now those questions have gone unanswered.
Ownership has waited around patiently but MLB and Bud Selig haven’t taken much action in helping the Athletics acquire a new and more viable ballpark. Lew Wolff and Billy Beane, though, continue to wait for an answer. In the meantime, though, they continue to tear apart their already down and out franchise as if they’re expecting a fresh new start in San Jose.
This optimism is nothing new, as Beane said last September that he expected a decision regarding the A’s move “soon.” Well, fast forward five months or so and the green-and-gold are still without an answer. “Soon” hasn’t come “soon” enough, I guess.
The A’s continue to operate, though, as if they’re rebuilding toward a fresh new start in San Jose. Oakland shipped off three crucial members of their team in various trades this offseason and they have reminded their ever-dwindling fan base that they have no intention of trying to win this year and possibly not even in the next few years.
They are stockpiling on young talent, though. In the Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez, and Andrew Bailey trades, the A’s came away with a few young players and managed to improve their once dried up farm-system.
Now the A’s have given off some very subtle tips that seem to suggest that they believe a new stadium is within their reach. Rumors have suggested that the A’s would receive some sort of answer by this month. USAToday.com’s Bob Nightengale suggested via twitter that MLB would grant the A’s permission to move to San Jose by February.
Well, Crystal Ball, where’s that stadium announcement?
The outlook on this whole situation is a bit cloudy. Those pesky San Francisco Giants are not loosening their tight grip on their “territorial” rights in San Jose. The largest city in the Bay Area is, according to the Giants’ camp, is off limits. The A’s, Lew Wolff, and Billy Beane have no business showing their mugs in San Jose say the Giants.
The A’s have also had opposition from a group called “Stand for San Jose,” and face many more obstacles everyday in the quest for a new stadium.
Still, the A’s somehow manage to remain calm, cool, and collected on the whole matter. They’ve been quietly remodeling their franchise in the hopes of unwrapping a new, shiny stadium in San Jose. The ownership has extended Billy Beane through the 2019 season and why would they do that?
More importantly, why would Beane agree to stay in the apparent wasteland that has become O.co Coliseum? Well, if you stop and think about it, Beane’s decision to stay with the A’s may shed some light on the whole San Jose debate. Beane is probably confident in his team’s chances at relocating to the south bay, which would help explain why he’s choosing to stay with the organization through 2019.
A new stadium would allow the A’s, or so they say, to open up their wallets a little more and in turn, give them greater opportunities to sign high-profiled free agents.
Bud Selig’s blue-ribbon committee, though, needs to pick up the pace before any increase in payroll flexibility takes place. The A’s have done everything right in terms of trying to get a new stadium, but will likely have to wait a little while longer before they get their approval for a new ballpark.
By 2015, the A’s should be debuting in their new home in San Jose, much to the Giants’ dismay. More importantly, things will look even more peachy if Beane stays on course with his newest rebuilding phase. 2015 could be “the” year that the San Jose Athletics compete for the American League West crown.
Now, will you announce your decision already, Bud?
What do you think? Will the A’s get permission to move to San Jose, or will they be doomed to stay in Oakland forever? Sound off below!