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DID DOLICH/PICCININI GROUP NOT HAVE ENOUGH CAPITAL FOR A'S?
Published September 17, 1999
A day after MLB "essentially killed a sale that would have kept the A's in Oakland, team officials tried to relieve fears they will relocate the team," according to Holbrook & Brewer of the CONTRA COSTA TIMES. A's President Mike Crowley: "We don't have any intention of going anywhere right now. First of all, there's nowhere to go" (CONTRA COSTA TIMES, 9/17). Meanwhile, A's co-Owner Steve Schott said the team is unlikely to extend its September 20 sale deadline to the group led by Andy Dolich and Save Mart Chair Robert Piccinini. Schott: "If [MLB] didn't want to make a decision, this thing could go on until next year. I don't know what the incentive is to continue this." In San Jose, Howard Bryant writes that it "isn't clear" why MLB "refused to vote" on Piccinini's $122.4M bid. AL sources "had long suggested that the Piccinini group had lacked the financial necessities and management structure required for approval." While some felt that MLB wants only the Giants in the Bay Area, both Schott and Dolich did not feel the Giants "were a factor in killing the deal." Schott: "I'm not sure I buy that." Crowley: "There was clearly, something within their presentation that the owners didn't like, or something that made them uncomfortable." Dolich: "Our group is having a difficult time understanding the rationale and logic of this decision" (MERCURY NEWS, 9/17). Oakland City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente said that local officials "are looking at whether they have legal grounds" against Schott and co-Owner Ken Hofmann for not making "a good faith effort" to close the sale (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/17). In S.F., C.W. Nevius reports sources who said that Piccinini's group had the A's payroll "going down, not up," and MLB owners "apparently felt that they were being played for suckers" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/17). Matier & Ross report that in the "eyes" of MLB, the investment group "were financial lightweights." A source said Commissioner Bud Selig "basically told the other owners" that the group "didn't have the money to do this" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/17).