Athletics Nation has a long interview with Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff in which he answers questions about his stadium plans, though as we’ve seen, “answers questions” has a somewhat different meaning when it comes to Wolff. In a nutshell:
- About a possible return to Oakland: “We spent a great deal of time and energy, more than anybody on any other side, investigating every site that we thought was available in Oakland. It takes me almost an hour and 45 minutes to go through what we did. We haven’t had that opportunity with certain officials so they can understand what we think we’ve done to stay in Oakland. And the door is open there for them to tell me about something that I missed which is not impossible. … Oakland is a built-up area. There aren’t a lot of pieces of land that don’t have a big expensive component to them to make them work.”
- About a possible move to San Jose: “The answer is that we want to stay in Northern California. When we went to Fremont, there was hardly a word said. The Oakland people realized we were trying to stay. The territorial issues are really determined by Major League Baseball, not by me.”
- About where else in Northern California the A’s might move: “That’s the problem. In the district we’re assigned, it’s either Oakland or Fremont.”
- About whether Sacramento is an option: “I heard they have a pretty nice new ballpark in Omaha but I don’t want to have to fly to Omaha to see our games. The one thing we haven’t done no matter what anyone will tell you is that I have never threatened to go to another city outside the state.”
Add that up and it’s clear as mud, but one possible interpretation would be: “I’m trying to convince Bud Selig that San Jose is the only viable option in Northern California, but I can’t say that out loud yet, because he has to believe that it’s his idea.” It’s somewhat of a longshot — the San Francisco Giants could put up a fight over territorial rights, San Jose could decide it doesn’t have the money or the land, or Selig could just decide it’s not worth the hassle — but given the size of the payoff if he wins, you can’t blame Wolff for trying. And besides, in the meantime it doesn’t stop people from throwing out other stadium ideas.