March 13, 2009
The situation in the Bay Area regarding a possible new stadium for the Athletics is getting stranger and even more confusing, if that's possible. A few days ago, the mayor of Oakland, Ron Dellums,* wrote a letter to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig expressing hope that the A's would stay in Oakland, vaguely alluding to President Obama's economic stimulus plans, but without making any commitment to helping build a new stadium. The owner of the franchise, Lew Wolff, criticized this communication as insincere grandstanding. That may well be, but it's as though Wolff is burning his bridges to the city of Oakland, which is a foolish negotiating stance, especially since negotiations with Fremont recently stalled. Then it was learned that San Jose, which is the A's third Bay Area option, will hold a preliminary vote on a new stadium at the city council meeting on April 7. In response, however, Wolff discouraged San Jose mayor Chuck Reed from lobbying Major League Baseball to transfer the territorial rights to his city from the Giants to the A's. Why? What's he afraid of? See MLB.com.
As talks with Fremont fizzled last month, the co-owner of the franchise, Keith Wolff, glumly lamented that "The process is just endless." Indeed it is!
* Until a few years ago, Dellums was a member of the House of Representatives, known for being on the left wing of the Democratic Party.
The Seattle Mariners just signed right-hand pitcher Chad Cordero, who is still undergoing rehabilitation on his pitching arm, to a Minor League contract. As MLB.com reports, "If Cordero can return to his peak form, the Mariners will have pulled off a steal of a signing." The recent departure of Jim Bowden from the Washington Nationals front office (see Mar. 2) raised hopes that Cordero might return to Washington because he had offended Cordero last year, but such was not the case.