By Matt Snyder
The quasi-public fight between the A's and Giants has been advanced, this time from the Giants. Wednesday, we passed along a press release from the A's, where they seemed to be pleading for a shot in San Jose without outwardly saying as much.
The Giants have issued a statement in response, and they didn't pull any punches (especially when seeming to mock that the A's were bought for "just" $172 million). Here is the statement in full:
“The Commissioner has asked us to refrain from discussing the territorial rights issue publicly. Out of respect for his request, we will limit our response to setting the record straight on the history of territorial rights.This isn't going away any time soon. The A's need their stadium situation resolved and seem to desperately want San Jose. But the Giants hold territorial rights and aren't relenting. MLB has reportedly sided with the Giants thus far, but also seems to want to keep things under wraps. So the dance will continue.
The Giants territorial rights were not granted “subject to” moving to Santa Clara County. Indeed, the A’s fail to mention that MLB’s 1990 territorial rights designation has been explicitly re-affirmed by Major League Baseball on four separate occasions. Most significantly in 1994, Major League Baseball conducted a comprehensive review and re-definition of each club’s territories. These designations explicitly provide that the Giants territory include Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Monterey, Santa Cruz and Marin Counties and the A’s territory included Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
The MLB owners unanimously approved those designated territories and memorialized them in the MLB Constitution. Since then, the MLB Constitution has been re-affirmed by the MLB owners – including by the A’s – on three different occasions (2000, 2005 and 2008), long after the Giants won approval to build AT&T Park. Mr. Wolff and Mr. Fisher agreed to these territorial designations and were fully aware of our territorial rights when they purchased the A’s for just $172 million in 2005.
The population of Santa Clara County alone represents 43% of our territory. Upon purchasing the team 20 years ago, our plan to revive the franchise relied heavily on targeting and solidifying our fan base in the largest and fastest growing county within our territory. Based on these Constitutionally-recognized territorial rights, the Giants invested hundreds of millions of dollars to save and stabilize the team for the Bay Area, built AT&T Park privately and has operated the franchise so that it can compete at the highest levels.”
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