Schott: The team is NOT for sale.......today.
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| By diamond_lil on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 09:23 am:|
Schott denies D.C. sales report
Wednesday, August 7, 2002
©2002 San Francisco Chronicle.
Boston -- The A's are not for sale, owner Steve Schott reiterated Tuesday at Fenway Park, and if they ever were to be sold, they would not go to a buyer who would move them. According to Schott, there was nothing to a recent report in the Washington Post that said that the A's owners had come to terms with a Washington D.C. businessman. The Post saw documents indicating that an agreement had been reached to sell the team to Jonathan Ledecky for $170 million, but the deal fell through because Ledecky failed to meet a July deadline for a payment.
"(Ledecky) has been around a long time looking to buy a baseball team," Schott said. "We've talked to him many times but it was never really serious. We never considered him a serious buyer -- he never put any money up and was never able to show he was serious and financially sound.
"He's been talked about like he's a tycoon, but if there are serious buyers with real money, we'll know about it. . . . You know that phrase 'Big hat, no cattle'? There's no substance to the story."
Schott said that because co-owner Ken Hofmann is 80, Schott might look for a new partner, or both might opt to sell in the future. "But it would never be on the basis that a buyer could move the team," he said. "I want to make that clear."
Schott also addressed recent rumblings that Cliff Floyd's trade to Boston was the result of a conspiracy to benefit Red Sox owner John Henry, who had owned the Marlins. When Henry got the Red Sox, Expos owner Jeffrey Loria took over the Marlins -- Floyd's old team -- and Floyd first went to Montreal, which is operated by Major League Baseball, and then to the Red Sox.
Schott confirmed that the A's had been in the running for Floyd the entire way and that the Red Sox offered to pay all of Floyd's salary, but the A's wanted the Expos to pick up a portion. "We couldn't justify it," Schott said of taking on all the remainder of the $6.5 million deal. "We're way over budget. I'm not always in front of the curve, but I'm convinced there's not any conspiracy."
Floyd, meanwhile, said that contrary to some reports, his no-trade clause was never an issue in any prospective trade to Oakland. He said he would have waived it to go to any winning team except for Minnesota, because the Twins play on artificial turf.
"I told my agent, 'Whatever comes along, as long as I get out of here,' because Montreal wasn't winning," Floyd said. "I would have considered them, they're a great team. I've been raving about Oakland the last few years."
©2002 San Francisco Chronicle. Page C - 5
| By gregorymark on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 09:32 am:|
What a disgusting puke! He negotiates in secret (which is in itself OK) to sell the team to a party who may, in the long-run, move the team to the east coast, and apparently this was OK by Schott. The deal fell through, not because Schott didn't like the terms, but because the guy in DC didn't come up with the money on time. So the wheeling-dealing becomes public, and Schott runs around denying the A's are for sale, and if they were, they wouldn't be sold to a party that wanted to move them.
STOP LYING TO US, STEVIE! We already know that if a few weeks ago this guy had come forward with the money, the A's would have been sold, and plans would be in the works to get them to northern Virginia.
BTW, there's a deadline for trades (July 31). Shouldn't there be a deadline for potential deals to sell baseball teams? I'd recommend no negotiations or deals after the All-Star break to the end of the season. What appears to be the situation is that while Billy Beane should have been making new deals to set the team up for a playoff run, Schott was dickering with the guy in DC, which put a halt to Billy's trade negotiations. The sale fell through, and now the A's are faced with some unfilled holes as they strive to make the playoffs this year. I say put a deadline on negotiations and deals -- none after the All-Star break. That way it will be status quo until the end of the season, and potential trades won't be mucked up by the manueverings with potential buyers.
| By jesse on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 10:10 am:|
I heard IDLF on KNBR this morning, and he says that talks between the A's and Ledecky are still happening.
Ya know, Schott/Man did save the A's for the East Bay, even tho there was a competing group that was rejected. I kinda believe him when he says that he wouldn't sell to a group that was immediately trying to move them out of town. I can't believe MLB would let the A's move to DC - the Orioles are an AL team, and they're in the same metro area. Since we know how greedy the owners are, wouldn't they want to get a franchise fee for D.C. from a new NL team? Then they could finally get around to shifting the D-backs and whoever else to the AL.
Schott kills me with the quote that they couldn't "justify" picking up Floyd's $6 mill for the rest of the season. Isn't a chance to win justification enough? Chances to go deep in the post-season don't come around that often!
| By sactodavey on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 10:33 am:|
What kills me is that this team just needed one good hitter to help it make it to the wild card or division, now really it is a long shot they were so close for only a few million. this is how this guy really runs this club you can bet all of the f.a. in the next 4 yrs are gone wave bye bye!!!!!
| By gregorymark on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 10:56 am:|
"I heard IDLF on KNBR this morning, and he says that talks between the A's and Ledecky are still happening."
That's probaby true, but then leave it to KNBR to be the first to report any news which conveys the impression of instability of the A's as a Bay Area sports team.
| By diamond_lil on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 12:00 pm:|
Well, let's not kill the messenger. The more we find out about it the better. I think its a good thing to let DLF talk. Contrary to what anybody says, he can't ruin any deals by talking about it to the media. This deal is going to go through if it gets the nod from Selig, whether IDLF talks or not.
>>"Ya know, Schott/Man did save the A's for the East Bay, even tho there was a competing group that was rejected. I kinda believe him when he says that he wouldn't sell to a group that was immediately trying to move them out of town."
C'mon, McClatchy was turned down by Walter Haas because he was afraid he would not keep the team in Oakland. He was willing to pay $85 million for the team.
Schott bought the team from Walter Haas for way below that price because he was willing to sign a 10 year lease. Of course he proceeded to sue the city thus breaking that lease before the ink was even dry.
>>"I kinda believe him when he says that he wouldn't sell to a group that was immediately trying to move them out of town"
You remind me of this guy who suspects his wife was being unfaithful. He hires a detective and a few days later he gets a full report and a tape. The tape shows the wife with her lover inside a hotel room kissing eachother. Then the couple pulls the curtain of the window and nothing more can be seen...
so the husband says, "see...always that final doubt...did she really go through with it?"
There's no where for the A's to move.
Cute story, Lil, but not relevant. Ledecky hadn't received approval to move from MLB. That market has already been assigned to someone, and Angelos will have to be paid off.
You remind me of someone, too. "The sky is falling, the sky is falling....."
Just funnin ya, Lil. Love your strongly held opinions, and your dissemination of factual information. You do great service for us diehards.
| By diamond_lil on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 01:33 pm:|
Au contraire. I never think the sky is falling...
the sky is always there after the clouds dissipate and the sun will shine again. I'm a fighter but never a pessimist.
I just want to stay informed and feel that wishful thinking and sticking your head in the sand doesn't solve any problem, ever.
As far as I know, only Schott, Ledecky and Selig really know the truth behind their negotiations.
I don't trust Schott nor Selig and have no clue on Ledecky so I'm just on the waiting to find out mode.
I will be there at the ballpark supporting the Oakland A's as I have been for the last 22 years. Schott and Selig will be long gone and the Oakland A's will still be there for my grand-kids to watch. But that's because of the many fans and diehards like us who will be in this fight to the bitter end to protect and nurture the legacy of this franchise.
| By tekgraf on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 03:27 pm:|
god bless you Li'l.
I don't know how many times the A's were moving. When I was a teenager, they were moving to Denver. When I became an adult, they were moving some place else. Selig and Schott will someday leave us, thank god, but the A's will always be here in Oakland and most likely in the Coliseum. Let's keep the flags of hope flapping in the wind.
| By sactodavey on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 03:56 pm:|
Yes they will be playing in the coliseum why because the teams that built their expensive sand boxes are now realizing that the debt burdon on the clubs is much more than the net$$ intake after the first 2-3 years and the A's paying 500k is way better than servicing a loan with yearly payments of 15-25 million, i just don;t see all that extra $$$ thats made by having a new park if the club attracts 2 plus mill, they are raking in the $$$$ right now,where the club needs more $$$ is in the local radio tv deals this is where they need to work a deal.
why can't the owners of the A's buy or work a deal with channel 4 to put the A's on like the braves did in the 70's 80's make channel 4 home of the A's 162 games or at least 125 gms fill their empty schedule this is where some guy who has a tv station or a satalite deal can buy the club to make it work for him, while building fan interest, if the A's were on all of the time so many more fans would be made and wanna come out and see them in person .
| By kevink on Friday, August 09, 2002 - 08:42 am:|
You guys are right, it looks like we'll be watching the A's in the Coliseum for a long time. I have no complaints about that at all, as long as the A's keep winning. It will be nice to see the A's in contention every year while all these teams with pristine stadiums that are laughing at our situation now end up struggling.
Instead of building a new stadium, why can't we just improve the Net? It's obviously not the prettiest stadium right now with Mt. Davis, but wasn't there a plan on the table a few years ago to make some minor upgrades for baseball? Bringing back the old bleachers would bring back a LOT of fans. Adding more nostalgia like Yankee Stadium has would remind people of the A's legacy.
I understand the current situation with Selig, but now that it's starting to be realized that new stadium does not equal a stable fan base, isn't it possible that a solution like this would work to keep the A's in Oakland?
The A's in the Coli...I've always thought the Coliseum was a decent venue, and still do. A downtown stadium would be nice. But if things work out that the A's stay were they are, that's fine with me. The only ones who have said the A's need a new stadium are the agenda-driven detractors at KNBR, and Bud Selig -- neither have the interest of the A's at heart. Better the A's pay $500k for rent than a debt load of $20 million like that Halloween-colored team across the Bay.
To be an A's fan requires a certain amount of faith. You've got to believe that the Oakland Athletics will out-last Schitt&Halfman, Jerry Brown, and Bud Selig.
Well, I think our main focus in all of this has always been to keep the Oakland A's in Oakland.
Most of us here are very happy at the Coli. We all know the prices for tickets would at least triple and most of us would probably have to sit in nosebleed areas to watch games in a new ballpark. At least for the first 5 or 8 years.
The MAIN reason we put our support behind a new ballpark was in direct response to threats of losing our team. And because of the constant whining coming from the present ownership that they cannot stay competitive without a new ballpark.
The fans don't stay away from the Coli because of the ballpark. They stay away because of the way the onwership and MLB conducts their business practices. This fact has been proven all over the country with the success and failures of the new ballparks.
But they (onwers) wasted their best chance to come forward to start the groundwork of a baseball only park in an urban setting where the City of Oakland would benefit as well, thus being willing to join in with the land and redevelopment moneys.
They had the chance to be part of a very inovative entertainment center where the ballpark could be the center of attraction and a money making structure ALL YEAR ROUND. There was a master plan well structured by consultants and others which was totally ignored and derailed by Mayor Jerry Brown (because of his agenda with Forent City) AND ignored by Schotmann, due to total lack of commitment to make it happen.
Now it's back to ground zero. If the owners still want a ballpark. They have to come to the table first, with the money, and then...maybe...just maybe you can find a city offcial who will listen.
Meanwhile, we the fans who have followed this entire process very closely, lobbying politicians and showing them this is something worth fighting for...will continue to keep a watchful eye and let them know we are paying attention and we still care...care very much...
| By jeffreyb on Friday, August 09, 2002 - 09:44 am:|
re improvements to the Coliseum...
that was another Schott trick. There was a drawing of bleacher seats going all the way to ground level on the cover of the season ticket holder magazine, and Schott pocketed the money, rather than make that improvement. (This was at the time of construction of Mt. Davis).
The original reconfiguration plan was to bring the entire field forward, extending the seats from right and left field ground level, all the way to the outfield forming a circle with the bleachers coming down right above that on both side. Of course they would have preserved the center protection for the batter's eye.
I still have an A's magazine which showed that plan.
This plan was nixed by the A's (Schott and Alderson) in favor of actually doing the opposite. They instead moved the field so as to make room for the Diamond Seats location behind home plate.
OK, I understand that they were trying to get more money by the construction of very expensive seats rather than expand and preserve the cheap seats. Of course the decision went to the practice of what they consider 'good business'.
I personally think it is 'very good business' to make the ballpark as fan friendly as possible and by destroying the bleachers, the absolute soul of the Coli, they destroyed what would be a fan favorite which would pack fans in...
that to me is not 'good business', not when you are talking of a service oriented kind of business.
| By jeffreyb on Friday, August 09, 2002 - 01:49 pm:|
i don't think home plate moved.
Perhaps not, but I know that the only way to put back the bleachers, they would have to move the field forward and possibly then move home plate also forward, but I'm really not sure...
I have a faint recollection that when we questioned Mike Crowley about why they had not carried out the original reconfiguration design, he immediately shifted the blame to the JPA and the City saying they would not agree to share the costs.
He didn't blame the Raiders?
This is interesting, because the Raiders' remodeling of the Coli is always blamed for "ruining" a good baseball stadium. Interesting that the A's could have done some things to improve on the scar the football construction left on the stadium.
| By kevink on Friday, August 09, 2002 - 05:32 pm:|
Gregory, people say the Raiders ruined a good baseball stadium, I still can't figure out why Mt. Davis helps even the football stadium. It's a eyesore for either sport, but everyone says it "ruined" it for the A's.
The whole reason Al built that is for more luxary boxes, plain and simple.
I'd build Diamond level seats over bleacher seats, too. Makes financial sense!
I wanna sit in Diamond Level - just once!