Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff is putting the ball in the court of Major League Baseball on his team's possible move to San Jose. In a lengthy sitdown interview with the blog Athletics Nation, he says he'll defer his decision on moving the team to MLB's committee studying the feasibility of keeping the A's in Oakland.
The interview is notable because Wolff repeatedly defers to the yet-unknown findings of an MLB committee researching the A's stadium options. "I feel Major League Baseball has to give us some direction," Wolff says in the interview. "We're always at the mercy of MLB. MLB has to tell us what our next move is and they'll tell us some time. Maybe this committee will find something that I didn't notice. I don't believe they will."
"Maybe this committee will find something that I didn't notice."
Are those the words that could come back to haunt Wolff, and to galvanize the forces of Oakland City Attorney John Russo with his long shot gambit to keep the A's? What if they do report something he didn't notice?
And you read it rather specifically there -- "MLB has to tell us what our next move is." If you're an advocate of bringing the A's to San Jose, you have to hope that Wolff is confident this committee is going to recommend putting the team in that lucrative and emerging South Bay market.
If you want to see the A's remain in Oakland, you're hoping some combination of influence over this MLB committee and push back from the Giants on territorial rights will leave Wolff with a ruling he doesn't want to hear.
Wolff made a point to say he would defer to Major League Baseball's decision-making process on this. He better hope that process doesn't hand him an elephant-sized surprise.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who owns the territorial rights to little more than a mattress, a box spring and a frame.