Matier and Ross got a plant to grow
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Play ball: It was only a three-paragraph announcement -- but for baseball watchers it was like a grenade going off.
Oakland A's owners Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann said this past week that the team's multimillionaire vice president, Lewis Wolff, had been "granted a one-year option to purchase a controlling interest" in the club if he finds a site for a new stadium.
"It was one gigantic advertisement to potential investors and municipalities around the Bay Area -- or elsewhere, for that matter -- who might be willing to put up money or provide land for a deal,'' said one Major League Baseball insider.
The second message: Wolff is now the heir apparent to become majority owner of the A's, and when you negotiate with Wolff you're making a deal with the team.
Incidentally, those who know Wolff -- who made a fortune investing in hotel real estate deals and as a former minority owner of the Golden State Warriors -- describe him as a savvy and low-key investor who'd be more interested in turning a profit than running a pro baseball team day to day, a la the ego-driven George Steinbrenner.
I'm not so sure I agree with the comparison to King George. Sure he is ego-driven, but there's no other owner who wants to win more than Steinbrenner.
| By goldtymer on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 08:37 am:|
I had to read that last paragraph again to realize that the writer was not really making a comparison to Steinbrenner but actually pointed out Wolff is not like him.