The curious little dance that the Oakland Athletics hope will eventually get their team approved to move to San Jose continues. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal has a suggestion of how to do this while appeasing the Giants, who still claim San Jose as theirs, which could involve helping the Giants financially, as MLB did for the Orioles when the Nationals “invaded” their territory:
The Giants’ concerns about losing their share of the lucrative South Bay market are legitimate — and never mind that the Giants only acquired the territorial rights to the area when former A’s owner Walter Haas granted them to former Giants owner Bob Lurie at a time when the Giants were considering moving to St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Giants worked hard to develop the South Bay market, just as the Orioles once worked hard to develop the D.C. market. And, when John Fisher and Lewis Wolff bought the Athletics in 2005, Selig explicitly told them they should not plan on relocating the franchise, sources say.
It is in the interest of both teams and MLB to have two strong franchises in the Bay Area, where the combined population of over six million is definitely big enough to support two teams, especially with the corporate dollars in Silicon Valley. Rosenthal reports that a San Jose city councilman is “willing to explore” an antitrust suit against baseball, but:
I also spoke with an expert in the field, Tulane law professor Gabe Feldman, who said that such a suit would be a “real longshot.” Even if the Supreme Court allowed San Jose to challenge baseball’s antitrust exemption, Feldman said, the city would face a second hurdle — other legal precedent that allows sports leagues to place reasonable restrictions on relocation.
There’s no reason for that. Bud Selig simply has to push all the parties to do the right thing, which is let the A’s relocate to San Jose.