Is the Oakland A’s endless wait for a resolution of its stadium decision almost over? That’s what A’s GM Billy Beane said yesterday, according to a Contra Costa Times headline (“Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane expects word from MLB on recommended stadium site soon”), but the accompanying story was less certain:
“I think we’re going to be playing in a new stadium at some point here soon,” said Beane, also a minority owner in the club. “I have no inside [information]. The only thing we’ve been told is that [the report will come] sooner than later. I know that’s pretty ambiguous, but we anticipate it being sooner than later, and hopefully very soon.”
Okay, that’s not “expects,” that’s “hopes for.” For once, MLB.com actually had the more honest headline: “Beane being cautious with A’s uncertain future.”
Given that MLB commissioner Bud Selig said way back in March that his three-man A’s relocation commission was “reasonably close” to done, it seems inconceivable that the delay is about anything other than waiting for the A’s and San Francisco Giants to hammer out an agreement about who would pay what to whom if the A’s were to move to San Jose.
Meanwhile, Beane had the rare distinction of actually coming up with a new reason for a team to claim it needs a new stadium. To wit:
The Coliseum has been a deterrent for several free agents in recent years, according to Beane, and he tried to convince one that at least the playing surface is among the best in baseball thanks to groundskeeper Clay Wood.
“He said, ‘You’re right … until August.’ I didn’t have an answer for him,” Beane said of the mess the field becomes after the Raiders begin play.
Everyone who thinks that the reason the A’s can’t sign free agents, other than pitchers with bum arms, is because of the condition of the outfield grass, raise your hand. Though it’s at least more plausible than the chef’s salad gambit.