Tuesday, March 23, 2010
A year later, A's still in limbo
Did you hear the news about the possible relocation of the Athletics? If not, don't worry; the news isn't new:
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig met with Oakland Athletics officials on Sunday in regard to a new stadium but said there is no timetable on when a committee he formed to study the issue will put forth a recommendation on how to proceed.
"There is no question that the A's cannot compete [financially] in the venue they're in," Selig said, referring to the team's longtime home, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Selig met with San Francisco Giants officials a week ago to discuss territorial rights. The Athletics have considered a move to San Jose, among other Bay area locations. The Giants currently have a Class A team in San Jose.
"There still is information we are looking for. It is a complicated process with a lot of complex issues and is time-consuming," Selig said. "But we would still like to move as expeditiously as possible."
Perhaps. But "expeditiously as possible" can mean whatever you like.
As Craig writes, it's now been a year since Selig formed his committee ...
One year. The Allied powers figured out how the post-war partition of Europe was going to go down in less time. The Bretton Woods conference established the system that kept financial order for 60 years in less time. It didn't take too much more than a year to get a man in space after the formation of NASA. You'd think that a handful of people could figure out how to properly dispose of a baseball team in that time frame.
They could, and I suspect that they have. A handful of people could also fix Social Security and Medicare, too. I mean that quite seriously. A dozen reasonably informed people could come up with changes that would keep both programs in clover for decades to come, with no meaningful impact on anyone's actual health or general happiness.
I'm very serious about this. It really is that simple.
Ah, but the politics. Change is scary, and politicians love to scare the bejeebers out of gullible, ignorant citizens (of whom there are many millions).
Well, it's sort of the same thing in baseball. It should be 29-to-1; you can hardly blame the Giants for wanting to keep the A's out of San Jose. But it's not 29-to-1, because some of the other clubs are afraid of setting a precedent, and also because the Giants (presumably) have some favors they can call in. And despite the impression you might sometimes get, Bud Selig can't just do whatever he likes.
It's been a year (and counting) not because Selig's committee can't come up with a reasonable recommendation regarding the future of the Athletics. It's because Selig knows what that recommendation is (or will be), but hasn't yet been able to garner the support from enough owners to implement the recommendation.
This situation will be resolved, eventually. But there's still a great deal of horse-trading and arm-twisting to be done, and the Commissioner's no longer a young man.