SBD/February 17, 2011/Franchises

A's Face Pivotal Year With Decision On San Jose Plans Due Soon

Beane, rest of A's staff waiting on decision from Selig's committee
This is "going to be a pivotal season" for the A's, according to Bob Klapisch of FOXSPORTS.com. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig "will soon hear, and presumably act on, the findings of a committee investigating the pros and cons of moving the A's to San Jose." Also, the A's and GM Billy Beane "will learn what Hollywood can do for (or to) their legacies," as Brad Pitt will portray Beane in the September release of the movie "Moneyball." But Beane "would much rather talk about the A's chances in 2011, or how important it is to relocate to a more favorable market with a brand new stadium." Beane said, "It's a complicated decision, so I understand the reason for the deliberation." But he added, "We need a new venue." Construction of a 32,000-seat ballpark in San Jose "could be ready in as little as three years, if and when [Bud] Selig and MLB's owners green-light the move to San Jose." In the meantime, the A's are "stuck" in Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, "which fans avoid as if it were diseased." The A's ranked 29th in MLB in attendance last year, and the team "has failed to draw 2 million fans since 2005." Klapisch noted "not one of the A's executives disagreed" when MLB player agent Scott Boras recently said, "When teams recruit against the Oakland A's, they say, 'Why do you want to play in an empty park?'" Still, Beane said that he is "optimistic over his team's trend line." But what he "doesn't say ... is that whatever renaissance the A's enjoy is likely to be short-lived." That has been the "business plan since 2007." It has "gotten so that Beane is forced to start disassembling his teams every two years." Those close to Beane said that this is "his last go-round -- if the A's aren't allowed to move to San Jose, he'll officially pass the baton to assistant David Forst and look for a Plan B for the rest of his professional life" (FOXSPORTS.com, 2/15).
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