War of words between A’s and Giants

Let’s get ready to rumble!

The gloves came off today in the battle between the A’s and Giants regarding the dispute over territorial rights.

After a weekend of rumors that MLB was going to uphold the Giants territorial rights to San Jose, the A’s ownership put out a statement this morning outlining their desire to work out a compromise with MLB and the Giants.

The most intriguing paragraph from the five paragraph statement was:

“We are not seeking a move that seeks to alter or in any manner disturb MLB territorial rights. We simply seek an approval to create a new venue that our organization and MLB fully recognizes is needed to eliminate our dependence on revenue sharing, to offer our fans and players a modern ballpark, to move over 35 miles further away from the Giants’ great venue and to establish an exciting competition between the Giants and A’s.”

The A’s reiterated their claim that a new stadium in San Jose will allow the team to compete again. Anyone with a working brain can see through this argument.

If the A’s wanted to compete in Oakland, they could. Rather than trading away three All-Stars in one offseason, they could have built around them. John Fisher is a billionaire. They aren’t hurting for money.

As you can imagine, this statement from the A’s didn’t sit too well with the Giants. It took most of the day, but they put out their own statement in response to the A’s, talking about how their territorial rights were assigned to them in 1990 by MLB and that:

“…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)…”

Then, just for fun, the Giants included a little jab at A’s owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher later in the statement:

“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.”

As badly as Wolff wants out of Oakland and into San Jose, it’s a losing battle. At some point, he and Fisher are going to have to accept that the A’s are stuck in Oakland.

One has to wonder if they were disappointed to learn that the Oakland officials approved the $3.5 million plan to create a design for a new stadium complex on the Coliseum site. The city is investing a lot of money. I bet city officials would like it if they showed some excitement, though that’s probably not likely if you’ve ever seen Wolff in the stands at an A’s game.