This is bigger than any single trade, manager hiring or other move that the A's have ever announced since 1968. Therefore, I was thinking this would call for something different and since many of you might be unable to watch the press conference live, I figured I would live blog it to try and capture the key announcements as they happen.
Updates coming soon...
11:09 a.m. - The big question (since we pretty much all know what's coming in the announcement) is will the A's announce anything about the name during this press conference. Will it even come up?
11:18 a.m. - Watching Jack LaLane selling his Power Juicer on FSN Bay Area waiting for the press conference to start. Do you know that you don't even have to peel a cucumber when you put it in the Power Juicer? Does this mean I'll be able to tow a boat with my teeth if I buy this juicer for four low payments of $49.95?
11:26 a.m. - FSN Bay Area has a teaser on their site for the press conference quoting Field of Dreams. "Is this heaven? No, it's Fremont."
11:30 a.m. - Special Report: Fox style, Ray Fosse introduces Cisco executive. "It's a chance where business comes together to benefit the greater Bay Area. Bay Area A's perhaps?
11:33 a.m. - Lew Wolff takes the stage and Lew exclaims he wants to emulate the Cisco culture.
11:34 a.m. - Three and a half years ago, Scott Haggerty of Fremont planted the seed with Wolff because he told Wolff that they were going to have to move outside of California if they couldn't get something done with Oakland. Thanks, Mr. Haggerty.
11:35 a.m. - Lew jokes, "I know we've kept this under wraps quite well..." Gets laughs. Cisco has 30-year-naming rights for the rights to use the land in Fremont.
11:36 a.m. - Wolff - "We're just at the beginning of the approval process. 29 owners have 95 opinions about topics that come up. The Most Valuable Person of MLB is Bud Selig." Excuse me while I vomit.
11:37 a.m. - Bud Selig takes the stage. "Baseball is in the midst of a renaissance. Breaking all-time attendance record...yada, yada, yada." Could Selig be more milquetoast?
11:39 a.m. - Selig - "Starting with Camden Yards and coming up to this date today, the two new ballparks in New York and Minnesota and Washington, the new ballpark in Fremont will be the 22nd new one." Wow, has it really been that many already? Selig: "This ballpark will be one of our treasures and set the pace for the ballparks that come after it." Selig teases Wolff saying his Mom said Wolff would never amount to a "pile of pins." Ah, hilarious senior citizens.
11:41 a.m. - Wolff back. "A's don't sign enough free agents is an accusation he hears. He claims his best signing was Beane and Crowley."
11:42 a.m. - Billy Beane takes the stage. "My shorts and flip flops won't work with Cisco culture." Billy claims that this is a dream come true. "This will help us continue to put a first class process on the field. This will give us the opportunity to no longer have to root for laundry. This will give us that opportunity to watch a player all the way through their career." Amen. Billy says, "I can't wait to start cashing some of these checks to start signing some of our players." Much laughter ensues.
11:45 a.m. - Wolff back. "Our focus is on creating Cisco Field. Sometimes you'll have questions for me that I might not be able to answer because my first priority is the constituents from Fremont." Wolff claims that in the weeks ahead he will present all the plans, including stadium, environmental layout. This is NOT a finished product, Wolff says. We believe that Cisco Field will be an economic benefit to the entire area (goes out of his way to mention Santa Clara County).
11:48 a.m. - Wolff shows the new ballpark layout and says that it doesn't have approval yet. Scoreboard will be double-sided with a screen on the outside so people can sit in a park outside and watch the game. Look pretty friggin nice, I must say. Claims every seat in the park will have great seating. Wolff hands off A's jersey with Cisco 1 on the back.
11:51 a.m. - Cisco takes the stage. "How do we make this a win-win? Silicon Valley takes precedence he claims. We've got some exciting things to talk about, but we want to show some video highlighting technology."
11:53 a.m. - Video highlights people all over the world, including guys at the great wall of China watching Swisher hit a home run. Wow, didn't know Athletics Nation stretched THAT far.
11:54 a.m. - Cisco exec shows off a Treo/Blackberry that has live in-game video. Now highlighting how the mobile device will be detected immediately by smart ticket kiosks. Apparently your mobile device will now become a readable ticket. That's pretty cool. You can also keep a scorecard on a mobile device. Does this mean I'll finally be able to live blog will attending a game?
11:59 a.m. - Wolff unveils new Cisco Field logo. Oakland is, not surprisingly, absent.
12:00 p.m. - BIG NEWS: OF FREMONT WILL BE IN THE NAME. That's all that's known right now. Jesus, not another Angels name. God help us all.
12:01 p.m. - Sacramento rejection had no impact Wolff says in answer to a question. They knew no public funding would be an option.
12:02 p.m. - Closed door on Oakland? Our goal is to implement the current plan with Cisco. We don't ever completely close any doors, Wolff says.
12:03 p.m. - Wolff: I don't see a lot of challenges. We just have to make sure we serve the community.
12:04 p.m. - When are you going to play in Fremont? Wolff: Shortest - 36 months and the longest will be 60 months.
12:05 p.m. - Wolff: I am respecting the other team's territory. We're doing it within our radius.
12:06 p.m. - Public transportation? Wolff: We're examining the public transportation issue. We're spending our time on the transportation aspect and sharing it with the citizens and elected officials of Alameda County.
12:07 p.m. - How will this benefit Cisco? John Chambers from Cisco: If there is a killer app in the Internet, it is video and it will be able to help us bring video of sporting events.
12:08 p.m. - Selig: "If you want a team to be competitive, right Billy? If you have a stadium that can't produce the revenues you need you are rendering it not competitive. This is a classic situation of a team that needs to take control of its own destiny. And it's done that. This is going to make the Oakland Athletics a better franchise. They had no alternative. This park has the potential to do so many unique things."
12:10 p.m. - Wolff: As soon as we can bring the plans to Fremont, we will.
12:11 p.m. - Selig: The naming rights has to adequately portray the area it represents.
12:12 p.m. - Cisco was going to exercise the option to buy the land whether the A's were coming there or not, according to Wolff.
12:13 p.m. - Retaining players does it start now? Billy Beane: Once you start laying bricks or mortars, it will start. Possibly a little earlier. Translation: This doesn't mean we're going to get to keep Zito and if things start moving quickly we're looking at starting to keep players next year at the earliest.
12:16 p.m. - Wolff: We tried with Oakland. We're not moving to Timbuktu. We're moving down the road.
12:18 p.m. - Foul territory lead to pitcher rebellion? We'll need more precise pitching, Wolff jokes. 12:19 p.m. - Wolff: I felt that Oakland had lots of priorities, but in terms of the discipline in terms of giving a site, I didn't sense it. I need a ballpark for my organization will work for everyone. The only option after Fremont is to move out of the state of California. If someone feels we didn't do enough, there isn't much I can do about it.
12:21 p.m. - Wolff: Public transportation will be addressed with the city of Fremont. We realize there are traffic issues. There will be traffic issues whether or not we'll be going there. We're going to make this work. It's a right and positive thing to do. Baseball is wonderful and is a piece of the fabric of the community that we're in.
12:22 p.m. - Exchanging videos on YouTube at the field will they be doing so under the express written consent? John from Cisco: We'll have to let our kids decide that.
12:24 p.m. - Wolff: Cisco is our exclusive technology partner. It's an evolving agreement.
12:25 p.m. - John from Cisco: This isn't a marriage. He (Wolff) adopted me.
12:26 p.m. - Wolff: This is a new generation of parks and the new sight lines are going to be amazing.
12:28 p.m. - Fosse...a lot of questions answered. Yeah, but a hell of lot more raised. Press conference ends. Wolff is determined to make this work and basically said that it's Fremont or nothing now. Course that also apparently means either the Oakland Athletics of Fremont or the San Jose Athletics of Fremont. I'm guessing we're going to see the latter.