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March 30, 2009

Selig appoints Gang of Three to seek A's stadium answers

If Lew Wolff wanted a response from MLB on the fate of the Oakland A's, he got one: Commissioner Bud Selig appointed a three-man committee today to study "why a stadium deal has not been reached" and where to go from here.

If you take Selig at his word, that will include all the options in the Bay Area: The commission said the committee will analyze "the prospects of obtaining a ballpark" in Oakland (which Wolff previously said he's done with) while league spokesperson Rich Levin said "territorial rights are part of the issue" (implying that San Jose could be in play if rights to that city can be pried loose from the San Francisco Giants). Unless, of course, Selig is just giving lip service to one or the other, or both, so he can say MLB looked at all the options before rejecting them.

As for the committee itself, it will consist of Bob Starkey, who used to be the Minnesota Twins' accountant (and before that worked for Arthur Andersen, best known for that Enron thing); Corey Busch, a longtime Giants exec; and Irwin Raij, who was one of MLB's lawyers on the relocation of the Montreal Expos to Washington.

As Rob Neyer observes: "Here's the question this committee will try to answer: 'Why won't poor people agree to give money to rich people?'"


Neyer's a bit off base. He's of course ignoring the fact that Cisco Field and the Coliseum North plan before it were both privately financed ventures. (Which by law the San Jose venture would be as well unless the voters of San Jose approve public funding)

Posted by Dan on March 31, 2009 12:34 AM

Unless you have a direct line to Lew Wolff's brain, there's no way to say they would have been "privately financed" — Wolff never revealed financing details for either, and in Fremont's case he hinted that he could be asking for up to $250 million in property-tax kickbacks:

Posted by Neil on March 31, 2009 08:14 AM

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