The Oakland Athletics or the San Jose A's—which one sounds better?
It's a question we might have to start asking after the latest from Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, who is reporting that Major League Baseball has provided the A's with an outline for a potential move.
According to Shaikin's report, nothing is imminent. However, he also notes that a move to San Jose is a real possibility if team management follows the guidelines set forth by MLB:
The existence of the guidelines does not necessarily mean the A's will move to San Jose soon, or at all. However, if the A's can satisfy the concerns of the league office, Commissioner Bud Selig could let club owners decide whether to approve the move.
Oakland has pledged $500 million in an effort to secure a new stadium in San Jose. Although the franchise would lose revenue sharing in the process, the financial gain from improved seating, location and ticket sales would help ease the pain.
While an outline is now in place for the A's, another potential roadblock stands in the way of their relocation: The San Francisco Giants hold the territorial rights to the zone that encompasses San Jose.
Although the A's are not expected to leave town until at least 2018, the Giants might not be so eager to have an American League counterpart siphoning off business from their own exploits.
Mike Axisa of CBS Sports writes:
The Athletics would need to receive 75% of the clubs to approve a move to San Jose and rescind the Giants' rights. San Francisco could sue however, arguing that they could suffer significant economic loss if they lose control of Santa Clara County.
Although interference from the Giants is a concern, it's been reported that any assistance to the franchise—financial or otherwise—was not outlined in the MLB report sent to the A's.
After an improbable 2012 season in which the A's shocked the baseball world and won the American League West on the final day of the regular season, this news has to dishearten the Oakland faithful.
The news isn't anything new to Oaklandites, though. Bud Selig has long been looking for a new stadium deal for the club, but the team's economic situation has made it tough for them to do so.
Recent drama involving city officials and owner Lew Wolff (via Matthew Artz of the Oakland Tribune) is sure to rage on as management continues to pursue an exodus from its current home.
Wolff nearly jumped ship to San Jose in 2009, and it appears MLB is now giving him an option to follow through should he so desire.