- Asked when a decision will be reached by MLB’s relocation commission, Wolff sounded frustrated, as always: “I wish I could give you a finite answer on that. There is actually no reason in the world that any of us can come up with that either the Giants or the baseball Commissioner should not approve us to move 50/60 miles away to San Jose so A’s can get a new ballpark. The Commissioner … is not the kind of person, for reasons that I don’t know even though we are very close, that gives you a firm date on anything until he is absolutely ready to do so. So I feel embarrassed that I can’t answer the question to say, ‘By the end of November…’ but I can’t.”
- Wolff hinted that he hasn’t been directly negotiating a territorial rights buyout with the Giants, saying, “I haven’t heard much from the Giants either, not that they need to,” and adding: “So this really boils down to the commissioner deciding, which he has the power to do, whether or not he will grant our request to share the Bay Area two-team market as the other three two-team markets in MLB all do.” He also reiterated several times that the former A’s owners handed over San Jose rights to the Giants for nothing “for the good of baseball,” and that handing them back to the A’s would likewise be for the good of baseball. Reading between the lines, this appears to be: “We’re not going to haggle over the price, so it’s up to Bud to force an agreement down the Giants’ throats”; given Selig’s proclivities for avoiding internecine conflict, good luck with that one.
- Wolff ruled out staying in a new stadium in Oakland, insisting: “We have exhausted every option in Oakland. And you’d think within the last two years that somebody from Oakland would pick up the phone and say ‘here’s a finite plan that you missed and that we wish to discuss with you.’ I haven’t heard one word.” As if in answer, yesterday the Bay Citizen profiled plans continuing for Oakland stadium proposals by Jack London Square and near Lake Merritt Channel — whether you consider them viable options or not, they are “finite plans.”
- He reiterated the “nobody wants to play on our grass” argument, asserting: “We have lost players in past years who would rather take a bit less money and play in a modern venue in a stronger market,” and citing Rafael Furcal and Adrian Beltre as specific examples. (Though in Beltre’s case, at least, indications are that he signed with Boston mostly to play in a pennant race and juice his batting numbers to earn a better subsequent contract in free agency.)
- “We are, I believe, the only team in baseball to share our ballpark with another professional sports team.” When the interviewer points out the Florida Marlins, Wolff replies, “No, I think they just play there by themselves. I think it is a football stadium, but they play there without a team there.” That stadium would be the facility until recently known as “Dolphins Stadium,” where the Miami Dolphins play — they may be going through a rough patch, but “unprofessional” is kind of harsh.
- On moving the team if San Jose falls through: “John Fisher and I don’t want to own a team outside of the Bay Area or outside of California. So if the Commissioner says to us, ‘Sorry I can’t do anything for you.’ Then I don’t know what we’ll do. We have not measured those options.” Wolff also reiterated the claim that he’s “never once threatened a move to another city,” though that hasn’t stopped his media proxies from doing so on his behalf.
In related news, Wolff told the San Jose Mercury News that he can have a San Jose Earthquakes stadium built by 2012, or maybe 2013, once he actually starts building one, if he does. “We’re taking every step toward a building permit that we can,” he said. “I don’t want to overdo it. These are very difficult times.” In other words, don’t hold you breath there, either.