Giants Owner on the A’s, San Jose and territorial rights, take two

Our wonderful server failed Saturday losing several comments and one post in the process.

The post was just a link to a Ray Ratto Column. He interviewed the SF Giants new managing partner, Billy Neukom.

To read the entire column, click here.

Here’s the part about the A’s:

Another interesting development in the last month involved the release of a December letter from Bud Selig to Oakland front man Lew Wolff saying that if the Fremont stadium scheme died, he could look elsewhere. Elsewhere, as you know from your third-grade geography, includes Santa Clara County.

You know, the Santa Clara County that the Giants claim as their own version of colonial India.

“I don’t see the letter as meaning that on its face,” Neukom said when asked if the team’s territorial rights were now in written jeopardy. “We know that it would take a vote of three quarters of the owners (23 of 30) to change that, so we sort of see that as something Lew could use to spur the people in Fremont on.”

But is it also permission for the A’s to work Santa Clara without Giant approval or reparations? “We’ve always said that Santa Clara County is critically important to our operation.” Yes, but is it also permission for the A’s, etc.? “This is a cultural thing, the Giants and Santa Clara County. It’s all part of what we regard as the Giants culture in the West Bay.” Yes, but is it, etc.? “We would have some very unhappy investors.”

So yes, it certainly seems to be permission, since Neukom never said the words, “We will sue if we need to.” All Wolff would have to do is get 22 other owners to back his play, and then hustle new Silicon Valley money in a difficult climate, and then undo his relationships in Fremont. Other than the votes, Wolff doesn’t look likely to make this happen in the next decade or so, so Neukom doesn’t have to throw that particular bomb yet.

Matt Artz

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