NEW YORK (AP) - Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says it’s up to Lew Wolff to decide whether to consider additional sites for a new ballpark for the Athletics, and the Oakland owner maintains he’s focused on San Jose rather than a move outside the Bay Area.
Speaking Thursday after a quarterly owners’ meeting, Selig said there’s no timetable for resolving Oakland’s dispute with the San Francisco Giants. The Giants are preventing the A’s from building a ballpark about 40 miles south of Oakland in San Jose, which is part of the Giants‘ territory.
Baseball has been reluctant to approve relocations. When the Montreal Expos became the Washington Nationals after the 2004 season, it was the first shift since the expansion Washington Senators transformed into the Texas Rangers in 1972.
Asked whether the A’s would consider other relocation possibilities, Selig responded: “You’d have to ask Lew Wolff. That’s really his decision to make.”
Twenty-three teams have opened ballparks since 1989, and the A’s and Tampa Bay are the only two teams still seeking new stadiums. Wolff is allowed to consider other sites within the A’s territory _ such as downtown Oakland _ but approval from MLB would be needed for a move outside the territory.
“It depends where they’d be. They could be all over the world, for that matter,” Selig said. “They need approval. We have to go through an approval process. It just depends on where they’re moving to.”
Selig established a committee to examine the situation in March 2009 but appears reluctant to impose a decision on either team.
Wolff, a California real estate developer, has said he does not plan to sell the team and has no regrets in buying the franchise despite the rundown Oakland Coliseum.
“Lew continues to be committed to moving to San Jose, following the procedures and guidelines of the commissioner and the committee,” team spokesman Ken Pries said. “The focus has not changed in keeping the team in the Bay Area, and specifically San Jose. The focus is San Jose, No. 1, and keeping the team in the Bay Area.”
“Both clubs yesterday made a presentation to the executive council, but there’s nothing new other than that,” Selig said.
He added that he can’t provide a timetable and responded “no” when asked whether some kind of decision was approaching.
Baseball also announced its new one-game wild-card playoffs will be televised Oct. 5 by TBS and that two division series games will shift from TBS to the MLB Network under a deal running through 2013. TBS Sports President David Levy said a rights fee was involved.
The two division series games will be available in more than 30 million fewer homes on MLB Network than on TBS _ that includes some hometown fans of the teams involved.
Owners also approved having a 2-3 playoff format in this year’s division series, deviating from the 2-2-1 that had been used since 1998. The change was made because the wild-card round was added after schedules were set with the regular season ending Oct. 3 and the World Series starting Oct. 24. Teams with home-field advantage will host Games 3, 4, 5, eliminating one travel day, and the wild-card playoff winners will start at home.View Entire Story
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