Baseball’s winter Hot Stove is supposed to be about players changing addresses. If this report from the Bay Area is to be believed, we could potentially see an entire team switch zip codes. The San Franciso Chronicle reported late Sunday night there are talks — spearheaded by Major League Baseball — to have the Athletics play at the Giants’ AT&T Park for two years starting in 2014, should Oakland fail to reach a new short-term lease agreement with the O.Co Coliseum.
The key here is continued smoke about the Athletics moving out of Oakland. The team has long coveted a move to San Jose, which the Giants have consistently blocked under their territorial rights.
As we saw in the playoffs, the O.co Coliseum makes for a unique, raucous atmosphere but it’s also outdated and prone to embarrassing mishaps, like when the dugouts flooded with sewage September.
This talk of Oakland playing home games in San Francisco is probably nothing more than posturing. The Chronicle lists nine dates where both teams are scheduled to play at home on the same day. Still, Bud Selig is retiring shortly and one of his pet issues is improving the situation with the A’s. Floating stories like this is a kick in the teeth to Athletics fans, who’ve been great the last two seasons with the team winning the American League West.
Monday afternoon Athletic’s owner Lew Wolff responded to the Chronicle report saying the team isn’t going anywhere.
Sooner, rather than later, something is going to happen to resolve the Oakland situation. If baseball is pushing for a one or two year lease with the Coliseum, the writing is on the wall about finding another market for the club — or even new owners who’d plunk down money for a new stadium.
If you’re the Giants you’ve love for this to happen. You’d pick up rent money from the A’s and potentially set them on their way out of the Bay Area. A win-win situation.