As Joey McMurry pointed out yesterday, A’s vs. Giants isn’t exceedingly bitter and venomous, at least as far as classic rivalries go. On the other hand, the owners in Oakland and San Francisco possess more than enough vitriol to go around. John Fisher and Lew Wolff want to move to San Jose. The San Francisco Giants call San Jose their territory, because Walter Haas and the Oakland A’s ceded rights to San Jose to the Giants a couple decades ago.
(Yes, it’s a familiar yet tedious story, but keep reading and for a way to make this saga work for you with today’s “Rivals Week” contest, courtesy of DIE HARD CO...)
Now the Giants refuse to hand that territory back, and Bud Selig and the rest of Major League Baseball are in no hurry to step in and settle this squabble. Selig was/is more worried about the respective ownership situations for the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, and appears content to wait for the Giants and A’s to come to a resolution on their one, one which would only arise if the teams were forced into an agreement. Talk about a stalemate. And since no MLB owner wants their territorial rights taken away for “the good of the game,” the situation is such that the Athletics are the only party motivated to affect change. Well, San Jose might be interested in seeing the A’s move south, but no one cares what cities think until they’re voting on whether or not to provide money for stadium projects.
I’ve glossed over several important points (many of which can be found at the freakishly comprehensive new A’s ballpark, which focuses on the politics, logistics and drama surrounding this and every other stadium situation one can think of), but it’s pretty easy to pinpoint what’s really going on in a broader sense. The Giants feel strongly that a large percentage of their revenue stream and franchise value stems from their relationships with Silicon Valley businesses and executives, as well as San Jose residents. As such (and because everybody has a price), it would take a Mt. Tam-sized pile of money to get the Giants to change their minds and wish Wolff and Fisher good luck in a new South Bay home called Cisco Field (or whatever it would end up being known as, if/when the thing ever gets built).
The A’s are hoping either MLB will force the issue (good luck) or the Giants will suddenly become generous (no chance).
As a result, the gap between the A’s and Giants is widening, in part because the A’s seem set on proving just how screwed they are, and no A’s fans are happy. Some want the A’s to stay in Oakland, but the A’s don’t seem interested. Many want the A’s to move to a new city (further away from the Giants than their current one), and are furious with MLB and its so-called “blue ribbon committee” for letting the issue linger for years without so much as a report or recommendation. They’re also furious at the Giants for blocking what to many is an obvious and beneficial move for everyone … except the Giants.
Will we see the San JosA’s in our lifetime? It’s questionable. In the meantime, what do you think?
As you probably have noticed, we’re collaborating with DIE HARD CO. on daily contests from Monday through Friday of “Rivals Week.” Two more winners will get a shirt based off this post, just like the ones on Monday and Tuesday.
Here’s what you have to do:
Since everyone has an opinion, both on what SHOULD be done to settle the territorial rights issue and what they think WILL happen, to enter today’s contest you have to provide both answers in the comments.
“The A’s should trade Brandon Moss to the Giants for Barry Zito and territorial rights to San Jose.
“What’ll I think will actually happen: the Giants will hand AT&T Park to the A’s, move to Silicon Valley and become the Big League San Jose Giants.”
Clearly I’m joking on both of those answers. However, I’m sure that, as always, the commenters will be able to raise the level of discourse.
Two comments will be randomly selected to win a shirt from DIE HARD CO., so they can sport their colors no matter what Bay Area city their favorite team calls home (either now or in the future). I’m looking forward to the responses here, because I’m certain that the people who read this site will have some creative ideas on how to settle this territorial rights dispute.