With the inevitable coming to pass and the Atlanta Thrashers moving to Winnipeg to be the Jets/Moose/whatever, it’s got me thinking about another relocation scenario in the works. It’s not one on the scale of the Atlanta move, but it is one that has been an on again off again discussion for years. It is the Oakland A’s possible move down to San Jose. Why would I write on such a subject you ask? Well I’m was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, grew up a Giants fan but have always liked the A’s as well.

So here’s the deal. Although there has been some effort to keep the A’s in Oakland, deals and stadium proposals have fallen through. The A’s want to move to San Jose, but the only problem is their cross bay rival. The Giants have what are called ‘territorial rights’ to Santa Clara County, which includes San Jose, due to sort of handshake agreement between the clubs that happened about 20 years ago. The Giants maintain the A’s cannot move there as it would violate MLB rules. As a sort of added wrinkle, the Giants’ Class A Advanced minor league team is located in San Jose.

Why would Oakland pick San Jose? Why would the Giants be so protective of it. One reason perhaps is that San Jose is the heart of Silicon Valley, home to numerous big corporations. In this sense there’s alot of money at stake. San Jose certainly has the sponsors to back such a move if they were willing. There is actually a group called Baseball San Jose, made up of business leaders, locals and even a former mayor. They believe that such a move is feasible.

So what’s the problem? The ultimate decision of the San Jose issue lies in the hands of everyone’s favorite comissioner, Bud Selig. However, Selig has done nothing but really sit on the issue for the past few years, advising ‘patience’, among other things. This has created a maelstrom of distrust, jockeying and political maneuvering between all parties.

As a Bay Area resident, I have been to a number of A’s games. While they are entertaining, the big eyesore is always the stadium itself. It’s like a giant bowl, particularly since they added that tall bank of seats across centerfield which just ruins the view (see image to right). Also of note, they share it with the Oakland Raiders and that baseball plus football mix always makes a stadium look weird. The San Jose issue might need to be resolved just to get a new stadium. You’d have to attend a game in person to really understand why.

So with no end in sight to the possible Oakland A’s move, it appears as if the team can only wait and see what the powers that be end up doing. While I can understand the Giants reluctance to give up their territorial rights, I don’t believe they would lose as much as they think. There are plenty examples of sports teams sharing area, in the same city or in two that are close to each other. While the non Bay Area fan might not care, the resolution to this issue could set a precedent that might be utilized in future cases.