And suddenly, the formerly Oakland Athletics are in play as a concept again.
The A’s, whose covetous eyes had turned to Laney College as their preferred site for a new ballpark, were rebuffed by the Peralta college board officials, who don’t even want to discuss the matter. The A’s put out a statement expressing shock (as in “We are shocked”), and here we go again.
The team has expressed a disinterest in continuing at the Coliseum site and go room temperature-cold at any mention of Howard Terminal, so to be told to pound salt by the people who control their preferred site brings to mind some quiet whispers from a month ago that went nowhere at the time.
Namely, that principal owner John Fisher might offer the team up for sale, with relocation an option.
As in, “Yes, the A’s might still move.”
This is still at the specu-guessing stage, but the team went whole-hog on the Peralta site because it offered the most opportunities for off-site earnings, and to be told that they are no longer wanted reminds us of how the Warriors tried to bully their way onto the Pier 30-32 site five years ago. Their failure there led them to a parcel south of the original site that seems to please them just as much, since they are building their arena there.
But if the Fisher A’s remain adamant about not going to Howard Terminal, not staying at 66th and 880, and can’t see another site that will accommodate their needs and those of the neighborhood involved – well, that leaves the dreaded Elsewhere.
And Elsewhere probably is code for “anyplace where someone will give Fisher a billion dollars.” There are several notions afloat, including the traditionals (Montreal, Mexico City, Charlotte and Portland) and even some pointed whispers in darkened rooms about Nashville, an otherwise small market which hosts the A’s Triple-A farm team and just built a new ballpark in addition to the NFL Titans and NHL Predators and is building a soccer-only stadium in anticipation of an MLS team.
But this is more than anyone wants to eat right now. For the moment, the A’s are back to their usual position – Square One, with no idea where Square Two is supposed to be.