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Some things never change: Territorial Rights & The A's

Bill Madden reports opines that "MLB likely to uphold San Francisco's territorial rights in San Jose, leaving the A's stuck in Oakland."

Madden cites the territorial rights below:

1. The Giants’ territorial rights to San Jose are part of the MLB constitution as a result of former A’s owner, Levi-Strauss heir Wally Haas agreeing to cede them in 1989 to Giants owner Bob Lurie, who, frustrated in his efforts to get a new stadium in San Francisco, was looking to relocate the team.

2. Even if Selig did invoke his “best interests of baseball” powers and allowed the A’s to move to San Jose, he probably doesn’t have the votes.

Madden beats the same drum that he has been beating for two years:

Or, if everyone concludes the A’s financial survival anywhere in their own territory is untenable, there is the final solution: Contraction. In noting the similar plight of the Tampa Bay Rays, whose ironclad lease with Tropicana Field holds them hostage in St. Petersburg until 2027, one baseball official said darkly: “The A’s and Rays are both in hopeless situations, and there’s no place to move these teams. Hard as this might be to swallow for a lot of us, it would be in the best interests of baseball to contract both of them. You’d have a better game, and it would be two less teams we all have to subsidize.”

Keep in mind, this is the same Madden who as Jordan Kobriz at the Biz of Baseball wrote of nearly 1 year ago:

Recently, New York Daily News columnist Bill Madden, a notorious mouthpiece for MLB management, wrote an article describing the “growing sentiment…throughout baseball” to contract two teams. To support his statement, Madden cited “three anonymous baseball execs” who targeted the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A’s as likely candidates, given their stadium situations.

One year later, Bill Madden seems to be beating the same drum as 1-year ago...despite having all the facts laid out in front of him in articles like Contraction is a Pipe Dream by CBSSports Ray Ratto or Maury Brown at the Biz of Baseball.

And so, the real issue with all this contraction talk is, no owner in MLB is willing to allow relocation out of a club’s given territory. The owners of clubs that don’t have financial issues (and, ironically, that now includes the Twins), would rather try and contract teams rather than have them land in their “backyard”. After all, with less mouths to feed, those left standing reap the monetary benefits.

Have to give him credit for re-hashing the same old story year after year.

Finally, I was finishing Bill Veeck's autobiography Veeck as in Wreck and he goes back in time to 1974 right before he purchased the Chicago White Sox. White Sox owner Art Allyn Jr. was going to be unable to meet payroll and was going to have to relinquish control of the franchise over to MLB. The league's grand plan was to move the White Sox to Seattle and in turn Charlie Finley was going to move the A's to his home base of Chicago.

At the time, the city of Seattle had a 32.5 million dollar lawsuit for granting the city a franchise in 1969 only to pull it after 1 year. The city held the suit in abeyance and proceeded with the construction of the Kingdome since MLB had promised Seattle a new franchise by 1976.

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