Commissioner Says A’s Must Get New Ballpark
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NEW YORK (CBS SF/AP) – Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says the Oakland Athletics must have a new ballpark to be able to compete.
Speaking on Thursday to the Associated Press Sports Editors, Selig provided no timetable for deciding the dispute between the Giants and A’s, who have been waiting for three years for Major League Baseball’s guidance about plans to build a ballpark in San Jose.
“I’m always hopeful when there are debates amongst clubs, I try to lead teams in a direction of solving their problems themselves,” Selig said. “However, this group has an interesting comment whenever they get in trouble: ‘That’s why you’re here, Commissioner.’ That’s what they tell me. I don’t know that that’s a particularly good answer. … We’ve had a lot of meetings, spent an enormous amount of time. I’ve just met with both clubs again and we’ll continue along this process.”
Asked whether there could be a solution that wouldn’t anger one of the Bay Area teams, Selig responded: “Time will tell. I’m always hopeful. I’m an optimist, and I really believe that every problem has a solution to it. The question is just finding the right one, and so far I’ve been lucky on that score. And so I hope my string of luck will continue.”
Oakland owner Lew Wolff responded in an e-mail to The Associated Press: “Bud is doing his best to be fair to us and the Giants.”
KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:
Selig was clear, however, that he wants the A’s to move from the Coliseum, their home since 1968 and the last stadium shared by baseball and the NFL.
“The one given everybody believes is that Oakland needs a new stadium,” Selig said. “The last time I was there, I probably shouldn’t say this, but I’ll say it anyway, it reminded me of County Stadium and Shea Stadium, and that’s not a compliment, in either case. … You can’t ask people to compete if they have a stadium that doesn’t produce any kind of revenue to give them a chance to compete. So that’s a given.”
Twenty-three teams have opened ballparks since 1989, all but Boston (which celebrates the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park on Friday), the Chicago Cubs, the Los Angeles Angels and Dodgers, Kansas City, Oakland and Tampa Bay. The ballparks of the Angels and Royals have undergone major renovations.
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