Lew Wolff (L) speaks at a press conference with Bud Selig announcing the building of a new ballpark in Fremont. This was taken in 2006. A lot has changed since then, but not Wolff's plan to get the heck out of Oakland.
The plan to bring the A's to San Jose is back in play here in the Bay Area.
Over the weekend a New York paper speculated the A's would not win the vote to bring the team to the South Bay. The Daily News had an MLB source that said the Giants would win the argument that they had the territorial rights to Santa Clara County.
After initial denials that the report was accurate, A's owner Lew Wolff then went on offense and released an official statement that said the A's have just as much right to Santa Clara County as the San Francisco Giants. Wolff cited a previously undisclosed document from a 1990 Major League Baseball owners' meeting that shows the Giants only had the right to Santa Clara because of a 1990 plan to move the team there.
The A's statement said MLB minutes, "clearly indicate that the Giants were granted Santa Clara, subject to relocating to the city of Santa Clara." That plan was declared dead when Santa Clara voters said no to the deal. Read Wolff release here (pdf).
The Giants released their own statement that claimed their rights to the area were not granted subject to moving to Santa Clara, according to the Mercury News.
"Indeed, the A’s fail to mention that MLB’s 1990 territorial rights designation has been explicitly re-affirmed by Major League Baseball on four separate occasions. Most significantly in 1994, Major League Baseball conducted a comprehensive review and re-definition of each club’s territories. These designations explicitly provide 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."
The question has been in front of a Bud Selig appointed "blue ribbon" panel for three full years, so it is understandable that both Wolff and the Giants are becoming impatient with the progress.
Selig said during winter meetings in January that the issue was on "the front burner."