But Wolff and the City of San Jose are now balking at a November ballot measure for approval from San Jose voters, pushing the vote back to next year.
The San Jose Mercury News reports today that San Jose mayor Chuck Reed will delay the vote until at least March 2010. The delay supposedly comes at the behest of Lew Wolff himself, who wants an MLB task force to weigh in with it's recommedations on the Giants' territorial rights before proceeding.
Mayor Reed also cites the prohibitively short timeline in which San Jose officials and the A's would have in which to hammer out a funding plan if the vote were to take place in November, barely more than four months from now.
"A ballot issue in November is premature. We're not prepared," Wolff told the Mercury News.
Wolff knows he needs the public blessing of MLB commissioner Bud Selig to go forward, and Mayor Reed knows he has a hornet's nest of issues with the current proposed stadium site next to Diridon Station. A PG&E substation currently sits on that site. There are just too many palms to be greased in too little time.
"Right now we are looking at November 2010," Mayor Reed told the San Jose Business Journal.
But as the Mercury News shrewdly points out, November 2010 happens to be when Reed and several other council members happen to be running for reeection. The distraction of the stadium measure could limit these officials' own campaigning efforts. And conversely, any number of unanticipated scandals, chicanery, or election-season mistress revelations could affect the stadium ballot in ways currently impossible to predict.
Lew Wolff appears to be in scoring position, and San Jose officials would really like to walk him home. But with the game now delayed, the Giants, the City of Oakland, and the MLB task force have more opportunites to throw some curve balls at them.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who hopes to win the Pulitzer Prize for Corny Baseball Analogies with that last paragraph.