The A's, Giants, and Territorial Rights

I would like to present my qualifications to discuss the territorial-rights dispute between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A's:

First: I am horribly, horribly biased. While I consider myself an A's fan, I'm a much, much bigger Giants fan. If the A's moved out of the Bay Area, I'd feel like I did when I found out that Deadwood was cancelled. It would stink. It'd make me sad for a bit. Maybe a while. Then I'd resume my life. This is in stark contrast to how I feel about the Giants, who can throw me into a week-long funk when they use Eli Whiteside to pinch-run for Buster Posey.

Second: I am economically illiterate. I majored in English at San Jose State, which says "economically illiterate" in several different ways. My net worth is substantially less than my three-year-old's if you believe in the fancy "negative numbers" that theoretical mathematicians use. My economic acumen is best described in one quote, which is from me, last night:

There is something to the idea of saving as much money as you can and collecting interest on it, and I'll start doing that after wait is that a bootleg Charlie and Humphrey shirt? Well, I can't live without that, and look at this! They sell water in bottles now! So awesome.

As you can see, there is every reason why I should force my opinion on territorial rights on you. And that opinion boils down to this: I dunno, man, if the Giants don't have as many millions as they could have, maybe they don't keep my favorite players around.

And I'm not talking about Cain and Lincecum, or even Posey and Sandoval. I'm talking about players we've never heard of. Players who haven't even been born yet. Phineas Q. Bumgarner, ace shortstop and devourer of worlds, could have a 13-year/€559 million contract on the table from Edinburgh, and in order for the Giants to match it, they'll have to feel confident in their revenue stream for the next decade. Maybe if the A's are in San Jose, selling Adobe Luxury Suites at Cisco Field, the Giants aren't going to feel confident enough to match Bumgarner's offer.

Now all of a sudden, I care. I don't care about equity, fairness, or right and wrong. But I care about the 25-man roster.

That puts me in the strange position of rooting for one group of millionaires to get their way over another group of millionaires. Which is sort of like the game of baseball when you put it that way. But I'll read the dueling press releases between the Giants and A's, and sit back and attempt critical thoughts. I'll read well-reasoned articles like this and this, and pretend like I'm analyzing them. Then I'll shake my head in an exaggerated, vaudevillian sense and shout "WHICH WAY MEANS THE GIANTS HAVE MUCH MORE MILLIONS TO SPEND ON BASEBALLING PLAYERS?"

The way for the Giants to get (or) keep their much more millions is for the A's to stay the hell away from San Jose. I don't care that Walter Haas gave the territorial rights to Bob Lurie as a way to cheer him up after his dog got hit by a car, or whatever the story has turned into. That's not the issue. The issue is that I foolishly believe that what's in the Giants' best economic interests is in the best interests for whatever roster they put out there.

I write "foolishly" because the Giants will just spend the money on the next Aaron Rowand or Barry Zito. Getting all Jed Clampett has never done the Giants well. Except for that Bonds thing that one time. But I'd sure hate to see them making foolish roster decisions and broke at the same time.

So there's my position: I want whatever will keep the owners of my favorite team loaded, hoping that some of it will trickle down to the roster. It isn't the ethically pure stance, but it's all a biased and economically illiterate person can manage. It's also the stance that I'd wager 95% of A's and Giants fans have, even if they choose to invent shades of right and wrong, just and unjust, believing that they are truly on the side of truth, justice, and the American Way, as if they'd be on the same side if they were fans of the other team.

This is about rich people having rich-people squabbles. The only difference between this and some sort of surveying dust-up between neighbors at the Hillsborough City Council is that the people who win out in this case will have more money to spend on baseball players. I want my millionaires to pay for the best millionaires they can find to make my hobby more enjoyable. Their millionaires can figure something else out.

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