A general view of the Oakland Athletics game against the Texas Rangers at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
The Oakland Athletics got upset enough about reports that they wouldn't be allowed to move to San Jose, that they issued an official team statement on the matter.
This report was denied by the commissioner's office, but it apparently made the A's so upset they issued a statement on the matter Wednesday. It includes the following:
Of the four two-team markets in MLB, only the Giants and A's do not share the exact same geographic boundaries. MLB-recorded minutes clearly indicate that the Giants were granted Santa Clara, subject to relocating to the city of Santa Clara. The granting of Santa Clara to the Giants was by agreement with the A’s late owner Walter Haas, who approved the request without compensation. The Giants were unable to obtain a vote to move and the return of Santa Clara to its original status was not formally accomplished.
The Giants, clearly, did not relocate to Santa Clara, and the A's statement further mentions that the team wants to move farther away from the Giants' current location:
We are not seeking a move that seeks to alter or in any manner disturb MLB territorial rights. We simply seek an approval to create a new venue that our organization and MLB fully recognizes is needed to eliminate our dependence on revenue sharing, to offer our fans and players a modern ballpark, to move over 35 miles further away from the Giants’ great venue and to establish an exciting competition between the Giants and A's.
This is more about corporate dollars than territory. The Giants have many corporate sponsors and suite-holders who are located in or near San Jose, and also have a Class A team in the California League in that city -- a team the A's owners say is welcome to stay even if the A's are granted this move.
Twenty years ago, when the Giants were struggling in Candlestick Park, these rights might have made sense, if the Giants actually moved into the territory. They didn't. It's time for Bud Selig to wake up and do the right thing. It's time for the Giants to stop being obstructionist, and let the A's move to San Jose.