"I watched 32 years ago the Kansas City A's move to Oakland. They hurt the Giants badly. They never really did that well themselves. It was a horrible mistake."
(more after the jump)
The above quote is excerpted from a brief interview Selig gave to a local (DC or Maryland) broadcaster when he (Selig) was throwing out the first pitch at the 40th annual congressional baseball game in Bowie, MD in June of 2001.
I tried to quickly transcribe the preamble to the above quote for better context:
Broadcaster lead in: "Bud Selig was asked if we in the nation's capital should give up hope after being without major league baseball for 30 years? Bud Selig says, don't give up hope."
And Selig responded by saying:
"No, you shouldn't give up hope. Absolutely not. I've said in the past and I'll say it again here, that I am very protective of existing franchises. I watched 32 years ago the Kansas City A's move to Oakland. They hurt the Giants badly. They never really did that well themselves. It was a horrible mistake. As an old history major, I'm not likely to repeat the mistakes of the past. However, every area stands on it's own two feet. Every area has it's own indigenous characteristics, and um, I want to say that I'm respect both the Northern Virginia and Washington DC groups for being as aggressive as they are, and they should continue to be."
I apologize if this comment has been hashed and rehashed here, but after reading Dave Newhouse's opinion piece in the Tribune over the weekend, I wanted to see if I could find any reference to when Selig actually called the A's move to Oakland a "horrible mistake". Yup. Selig said as much, and more. And after watching & listening to what Selig said back in 2001, I couldn't help but wonder if Selig is hoping to finally right what he considers to be the "horrible mistake" of the A's moving from KC to Oakland?
I've paid close attention to the A's ballpark situation, but until I heard those comments made by Selig I thought the A's had a chance in Oakland. And now I can't help but think that "the fix" has been in for many, many years.