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Friday, March 27, 2009

Oakland A's Owner Announces Desire for Team to Play In San Jose -- But Can't Be Bothered to Go There

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 9:59 AM

click to enlarge It's home "crowds" like these, in a stadium with all the charm of botulism that spurred Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff to seek greener pastures
  • It's home "crowds" like these, in a stadium with all the charm of botulism that spurred Oakland A's owner Lew Wolff to seek greener pastures
Do you know the way to San Jose? It's a good bet that more Americans know that snippet of the old song (written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for Dionne Warwick, by the way) than actually do know the way to San Jose.

It's also a good bet that Lew Wolff knows the way to San Jose -- the Oakland A's owner also co-owns the San Jose Earthquakes soccer team. And, yesterday in a "casual meeting with a handful of reporters" or a "breakfast reception for reporters" depending upon which newspaper you read, Wolff announced that San Jose is his preferred future site for the A's. The funny thing is, Wolff made this grand announcement while holding court in San Francisco. I don't know, it just seems odd to make statements about how much San Jose "deserves" a Major League Baseball team, while sitting in a glamorous San Francisco hotel penthouse overlooking the glamorous San Francisco skyline. And it must have been a hell of a commute for the San Jose Merc's reporter -- did he have to wear road gray while reporting this home story? (Granted, Wolff owns the Fairmont Hotel here in the city -- but it's likely he could have held this "casual meeting" atop San Jose mayor Chuck Reed's desk if he'd given him 15 minutes prior notice).

For A's fans and Oakland partisans, Wolff's courtship of other Bay Area

cities must feel like a philandering husband loudly sizing up future

prospects while sitting in his current wife's kitchen and emptying the

fridge. But there's plenty of betrayal and ill-will to go around here.

The San Francisco Giants have long been loath to allow a competing

franchise to flounce into San Jose and woo away its well-heeled fans.

But did team spokeswoman Staci Slaughter really see fit to tell the Merc that Santa Clara County is "the heart of our fan base in many respects"? Oh, Staci, you done me wrong! I thought we was your steady! I thought San Francisco was your No. 1!

It

remains to be seen just how accommodating San Jose will be (and how

unaccommodating the Giants plan to be). The South Bay city has long had

a Cinderella-like inferiority complex regarding San Francisco, as San

Jose has grown larger and more industrious than the city -- yet is

still regarded by many as a parking lot. It has hoarded sports teams --

any sports teams it can get -- in compensation.

The old Bacharach ditty queries, "Do

you know the way to San Jose? They've got a lot of space. There'll be a

place where I can stay." It will be interesting to see how this applies

to Lew Wolff. I wonder if he'll find peace of mind in San Jose.

Photo   |   Orphan Jones

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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