A's owner says long quest for a new park 'is coming to an end'
A's owner Lew Wolff expressed optimism Friday that his team could soon have an answer in the long quest for a new ballpark. Wolff said he thinks the answer could come within a year, but that he's still not sure what the answer would be. In any case, he said, he doesn't want to sell the team and does not want to take legal action.
NEW YORK -- A's owner Lew Wolff said Friday that he believes his team's quest for a new ballpark will be settled within the next year.
Does that mean a new ballpark is about to rise in San Jose, Oakland or somewhere far away?
"I do think this long trek will be coming to an end," Wolff said, in an interview with CBSSports.com. "I can't predict the end."
Wolff did suggest that he has no interest in either taking legal action or doing something that would lead to legal action from the Giants (who claim the San Jose territory). He also said he's not interested in either selling the team or moving it out of the Bay Area.
"We're going to persist in the Bay Area as long as we can," he said. "It's not a journey we're going to cut short."
The A's and Rays are the only two remaining teams who are unhappy with their current stadium situations. While baseball hasn't found an obvious answer to either problem, the A's issue has been more of a mess. A committee appointed three years ago by commissioner Bud Selig has yet to issue a report.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported last month that the committee had visited the Bay Area to meet with Oakland officials who are still hoping for a solution that keeps the team in the East Bay. The Los Angeles Times suggested last week that Selig could issue a ruling that challenges both the A's and the Giants.
Wolff wouldn't discuss specifics on Friday, but he is on record as saying there are no suitable sites in Oakland.
The A's have plans drawn up for a 36,000-seat stadium in San Jose, plans that Wolff spoke of Friday with great enthusiasm. But those plans remain on hold until baseball settles the issue of the Giants' rights to the San Jose territory.
Wolff admitted that he looks across the Bay with some jealousy as the Giants consistently fill AT&T Park.
"You see 41,000 people having a great time," he said.
But he insisted he has faith in Selig, his one-time fraternity brother, even as the commissioner tells him to be patient.
"He doesn't wear a watch," Wolff said.
Wolff still won't say what will happen if the A's are permanently blocked from going through with the San Jose plans.
"People ask what happens, is there a Plan B?" he said. "There is none."
He'll enjoy his team's surprisingly good season, and he'll wait for a solution that would settle the A's future.
He thinks the solution may be coming, even if he's not completely sure what it will be.
"I think it's coming to an end," he said.
Until then, he keeps his trust in Selig, who he has known for 58 years.
"Without Bud, I'd be watching Seinfeld reruns -- which I do anyway," he said.