SAN FRANCISCO -- As the San Francisco Giants play in the World Series for the second time in three years, their owners continue to object to the Oakland Athletics’ plan to move to San Jose. Commissioner Bud Selig is in town, so he will face the question of why he has not approved or rejected the A’s plan in the 43 months since he took the matter under advisement.
In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Selig discussed a variety of issues, from instant replay and the new playoff format to off-field matters involving the Dodgers and Angels. We got quite a few emails and tweets asking what Selig had said about the battle for San Jose.
“It’s a very complicated situation,” Selig said. “While everyone knows I take my time, it has stood me in good stead on a myriad of other issues. This is a very complicated issue. ...
“Of course I would like to move faster. But I’m not going to move until I’m really satisfied on all issues and both clubs are satisfied on all issues.”
That is never going to happen. The Giants will not be satisfied if the A’s are permitted to move. The A’s will not be satisfied if they are denied permission.
Amid indications Selig might consider a compromise ruling by the end of the year, he clarified that “satisfied on all issues” does not mean satisfaction with a ruling.
“It means that we can tell the clubs what we have done and why we have done it and answered all their questions -- that there isn’t any issue that we did not attack that they know,” Selig said. “They continue in both cases to raise a lot more issues. Do I think we have made great progress? Yes, I do.”
The A’s say a move to San Jose would help their business -- and, by extension, the business of Major League Baseball -- without irreparably damaging the Giants.
The Giants say that many of their ticket holders and sponsors are based in San Jose, and that their territorial rights to San Jose should be upheld. If the A’s had to pay for the rights, the Giants say, the amount could be so high as to risk destabilizing both franchises.
Amid all the noncommittal generalities, three specific questions for Selig:
Q: There are reports that you are canvassing clubs to see how they might vote on the issue, in advance of next month’s owners meetings. Are you indeed canvassing clubs?
A: No. I don’t have anything to canvass.
Q: Do you believe a new ballpark in Oakland is feasible?
A: I don’t know. That is one of the things we are checking.
Q: Can you promise A’s fans that you will settle this dispute by the first of the year?
A: I’m not going to set a time.