The Oakland A's want to move to San Jose. The Giants, for reasons primarily relating to cash money and fanbase location, do not want them to. Some reports began simmering around the Internet earlier this week that caused the A's to fire off a press release indicating those reports are false.
And now the Giants have fired back. (Read the full thing here.) First, they point out that the Giants don't want to talk about territorial rights out of respect to the Commissioner, and they will limit their response to "setting the record straight."
The Giants did just that, noting a 1990 "territorial rights designation" that "explicitly provide[s] that the Giants territory include Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Monterey, Santa Cruz and Marin Counties and the A’s territory included Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
And then the Giants take a shot at the A's. Emphasis mine.
The MLB owners unanimously approved those designated territories and memorialized them in the MLB Constitution. Since then, the MLB Constitution has been re-affirmed by the MLB owners – including by the A’s – on three different occasions (2000, 2005 and 2008), long after the Giants won approval to build AT&T Park. Mr. Wolff and Mr. Fisher agreed to these territorial designations and were fully aware of our territorial rights when they purchased the A’s for just $172 million in 2005.
You see what they did there right? Because the Giants basically called the A's cheap. This is relatively humorous, unless you're a fan of the A's or someone with the A's.
Unfortunately for those people who are Athletics supporters, there doesn't appear to be much they can do. While Oakland desperately wants to get into San Jose, the Giants certainly appear unwilling to cough up the rights to San Jose.
That's understandable: the two teams basically split the distance between San Jose, and a move by Oakland would sap the Giants popularity there as well as reduce the number of people willing to travel from San Jose to San Francisco for baseball they can see in their own city.
Unless MLB decides to drastically flip its position on this and get behind the A's, or unless the A's are willing to do something crazy like give up a portion of revenue to the Giants (and neither of those is particularly likely), it doesn't seem likely that we'll see a short or peaceful resolution to this any time soon.