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Here is the opening to my Friday column about the dispute between the Giants and A’s for the rights to Santa Clara County:

The Los Angeles Times is reporting a possible breakthrough in the bitter stalemate between the A’s and Giants about which team owns the rights to Santa Clara County and whether the A’s can build a ballpark in San Jose.

Then again, the Los Angeles Times may not be reporting a breakthrough.

Let’s try to make sense of this.

To read the full column, please click here.

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Comments

20 Comments

  1. mendozaline

    Lowell, you wrote “The Giants are in the business of doing business. That means they want to maximize profits, and it is not their business to aid and abet a competitor that wants to cut into their fan base.”

    The Giants and the A’s are competitors like the Press Democrat Sports Section and News Section are competitors.

    Readers of your blog might want to check out

    http://newballpark.org/2013/02/20/shaikin-stirs-it-up-again/

    Newballpark.org has been covering this saga for many years.

    You have long maintained that the A’s would not move to San Jose in your lifetime. Assuming that you live a long long time (I wish you long life) today’s column represents a seismic shift in your opinion. I once offered/challenged you to eat some chopped liver together at opening day in San Jose. It may yet come to pass.

    February 21st, 2013 8:31 pm

  2. Jim Bancroft

    Why should the Giants cede their territory (South Bay) to the A’s, without a big payment from that cheapskate Lew Wolff? My understanding from Glenn Dickey’s writing is that the Giants have a strong claim to the area, based on the 1992 agreement keeping them in SF.

    A big part of the Giants’ fan base comes from there. They would be crazy to let the A’s move to San Jose. It would require a huge payment to the Giants to allow it, and see my point above on why that won’t happen.

    Meanwhile, the east bay, no slouch in terms of population (3 million annually drawn to the Coliseum during the A’s’ 1988-1992 heyday) gets no attention from Wolff and co. And 23 owners are going to side with him on this? Ha ha.

    February 21st, 2013 8:35 pm

  3. MJ

    If the Giants feel that losing SJ will impact their fan-base, they really don’t have a great deal of respect for their fans. The A’s possible relocation 30 miles south will not somehow cause a mass exodus of fans from the Giants. The 49ers moving to Santa Clara is not going to cause hordes of Raiders fans to jump ship.

    And you would have to think that the A’s being in SJ would actually garner MLB ownership support since that would be one less team taking from the pot, and now giving.

    It’s all about corporate sponsorship/involvement and the Giants feel that losing the south bay would greatly impact their cut.

    February 21st, 2013 10:21 pm

  4. CohnZohn

    mendozaline, if i’m still alive and covering sports, i’ll gladly eat chopped liver with you on opening day in san jose. should we bring rye bread or matzoh?

    February 22nd, 2013 8:18 am

  5. Tiburon Dave

    This nonsense all goes back to the ridiculous notion that MLB is exempt from the Sherman Antitrust Act. Maybe it made sense in 1912 but certainly not in 2013.

    If Lew and the Fisher Kid had any guts they’d challenge the exemption in Federal Court and their fellow owners would recoil in horror, approve the deal and tell Larry Baer to go build his urban village and keep his mouth shut…

    Outside of that happening…Lowell and I will be eating chopped liver with Abraham before the A’s move to San Jose…

    February 22nd, 2013 10:46 am

  6. Stan

    Look,I heard Marc Kreidler crying that he feels for Lou Wolf,as baseball wouldn’t give him an answer Kreidler claims. Mark Purdy too says he “admires Wolff”. Ok,Lou has the Mark/Marc crowd under his wing. BUT,old Stan here heard with this own ears a Wolff- Townsend interview last year where Townsend cams out and asked bluntly “Why wont Selig,your Harvard friend of 50 years give you an answer?” Too that Lou Wolff got angry threatened to walk out and his answer was “Bud has many things before him,why would I ask him that?”..HUH?
    And from that point on I knew “The move” was just an excuse to work on the cheap,take the MLB welfare..and let the commodity of the A’s increase in value just sitting on the franchise.
    Winning? every five years is over acheiving. It wasn’t the goal to win the west..even Beane will admit that. The Giants? they play to win..the WS wasn’t a fluke.
    That’s the way it is

    February 22nd, 2013 11:30 am

  7. Stan

    Yes,I type lousy..but that reloader makes me nervous to type fast and send..making me even worse!

    February 22nd, 2013 11:33 am

  8. chris

    great column Lowell……….the Giants got the rights to Santa Clara when the current roles were reversed………the A’s were 3 time AL pennant winners and were the givers, while the Giants weren’t bad but still couldn’t draw enough fan support and were the takers……so basically its a wash and the teams will stay where they are until Fish and Wolf “just go away” and sell the team to someone who has ties to Oakland (like Rickey Henderson and Reggie Jackson who want to buy the team) that will build a stadium and help the city.

    February 22nd, 2013 1:46 pm

  9. Stan

    I’m wondering Lowell,like the tree that falls in the woods? If Trent Balkee got laryngitis,would anybody know the difference?

    February 22nd, 2013 2:05 pm

  10. Frank in Minnesota

    I do believe everyone wants to be ‘fair’ to the A’s….but i think and i get the feeling that the current ownership is not well liked by anyone….so, no favors for this group.

    February 22nd, 2013 3:13 pm

  11. Jason

    Like Frank in Minnesota said, A’s in SJ makes sense and should happen but really hate to see Wolfe/Fisher benefit from the move after all they’ve done to alienate the east bay fans.

    February 22nd, 2013 4:25 pm

  12. Tom

    Lowell –
    It’s important to note that the SF Giants have a minor team in San Jose, the San Jose Giants, which is really popular here and priced for family attendance. What effect does having a minor team in the SJ area have on a potential move to SJ by the A’s?

    February 22nd, 2013 5:20 pm

  13. mendozaline

    Lowell, Passover 2018 (5778) will be the first week of April.
    If MLB allows the A’s to open at home, let’s plan on matzo.
    If no new ballpark by then, backup plan might be opening day in Tokyo with sushi.

    February 22nd, 2013 5:47 pm

  14. Neal

    A little off the subject LC,when the Niner’s move, are they going.to knock down Candle Stick?

    February 23rd, 2013 7:06 am

  15. CohnZohn

    Neal, I think they are going to knock down Candlestick.

    February 23rd, 2013 8:23 am

  16. lameduck

    It’s all about the TV money. A full stadium looks better on TV.

    Does it really matter where the yard is?

    February 23rd, 2013 9:05 am

  17. O'Malley

    What idiots these sports moguls are. In NY the Giants and Yankees played within walking distance of each other. The Dodgers 8 miles away. In Philadelphia two teams shared a park. Competition should be embraced not avoided. Giants ownership is both short sighted and petty. Afraid to compete for fans, being totally anti free markets, seeking an unnatural monopoly. Giving credence to the observations of Karl Marx that capitalism would devour itself. To Giant ownership I say grow a set. Give the fans a reason( as you have since 2010) to follow your team and not the Athletics

    February 23rd, 2013 11:19 am

  18. MJ

    The Giants claim to the South Bay didn’t do anything for their attendance numbers in the 90s…until they opened PacBell. They had territorial rights to the San Jose area for close onto 8 years (92-00?) and the attendance at Candlestick/3Com/Monster/Candlestick Park always left something to be desired. Having the rights, from a fan base stance, to the South Bay did not impact their attendance one iota…but when they built that new park the sell outs came and came they did.

    If they think that losing the South Bay will impact that, they are greatly mistaken, unless of course they plan of returning to Candlestick Park.

    What no Giants rep can ever explain is how they were ok with the A’s building in Fremont, not but 10 miles from where the San Jose stadium will be built, yet building further south of SF is a problem. Much like Candlestick is on the most southern point of SF, the park in Fremont would have been bordering the county lines between Santa Clara and Alameda counties. I understand the whole claim to territorial rights but again, if its a fan base argument, a sponsorship argument, wouldn’t the A’s stadium being 10 miles from the heart of San Jose be as impactful as the stadium being in San Jose itself?

    February 23rd, 2013 4:03 pm

  19. Jean Quan

    Not only will the A’s not move to San Jose or Fremont, not only will the Warriors
    not move to San Francisco, not only will the Raiders not move to L.A. or Santa
    Clara because we will build a Dallas type arena for them which will also serve as
    a convention center and concert venue, but we are researching other sports to
    bring a 4th professional team into the Coliseum City complex which will make
    Oakland the sports capital of the universe.

    We have 1,000 acres right in the middle of the Bay Area which will also include
    major hotels, retail centers, office buildings, a science park and who knows
    what else, providing 32,000 new jobs. All revolving around our 4 sports teams!
    And you know that I’m not the sort of person to boast or be unrealistically
    optimistic.

    February 23rd, 2013 6:30 pm

  20. Joshua

    The A’s should move to Sacramento. River Cats are well supported. Just found your columns, Mr. Zohn, enjoy reading them. Next year maybe you could dabble into preps sport. Write about Folsom Bulldogs!
    Thank you
    Joshua

    February 24th, 2013 9:24 am

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