Last week I spoke with Chuck Reed, the mayor of San Jose. Mr. Reed is a supremely cool dude with all sorts of insightful things to say, but there was one thing in particular that Mr. Reed told me that really stood out.
I asked the mayor for a single word to describe MLB Commissioner Bud Selig. “Silence.”
That’s what Mr. Reed told me. Silence. He proceeded to explain that he’s never actually had a conversation with Mr. Selig. Seriously? I thought to myself. At first, I was insulted, both for Mr. Reed and for anyone who has followed the team and who knows about the seemingly endless new stadium saga.
Mr. Reed is the mayor of the tenth largest city in the country, and Mr. Selig can’t even return his call? I mean, it had only taken the mayor 33 minutes to return my call, after all. But as I got to thinking about it, I realized that Mr. Selig’s failure to pick up the phone might actually be a good thing.
Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff keeps insisting that he can’t win in Oakland. Which is a great little theory so long as you disregard what the team has been doing on the field. Statistically speaking, the Athletics are the best team in baseball in the past calendar year.
So perhaps, Mr. Selig, the man I’d labelled as a villain, has been the champion of Oakland all along. Maybe Mr. Selig hasn’t called the mayor of San Jose back because he doesn’t want the team to move to the South Bay.
Then this morning it was reported that Oakland’s Board of Port Commissioners is expected to approve a legal settlement next Tuesday that would open up waterfront property for a baseball stadium.
It’s the longest of shots. But with apologies to Mr. Reed, a waterfront stadium in Oakland would be ridiculously cool.