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San Jose doesn't deserve the Oakland A's



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You know, in this whole matter of retaining the A's in Oakland, as much as I've been upset with the City of Oakland and this newly developed Oakland subculture that wants to keep the city small, and as impressed as I am with the determination of San Jose to try and yank the team from Oakland, there's one perception I can't escape at all: San Jose just plain doesn't deserve the Oakland A's.

The A's are an embeded element of Oakland's cultural history, as much as The Port of Oakland, the Hell's Angels, or The Black Panthers, The Oakland Athletics have been here during the decades that saw the rise of the Oakland Raiders as an NFL power. They were witness to, and considering the political friendships at the time during the 70s, a part of the growth of Oakland's black political base. The A's played a key role in the 1989 Loma Piereta Earthquake, and were impacted by the 1991 Oakland Hills fire. The A's are Oakland and regardless of what the San Jose boosters claim, there's nothing at all they can do about that.

What does San Jose have of its own from a historic sports perspective? Other than the San Jose State teams, nothing, really. In fact, that's why San Jose's trying to steal the Athletics: to overcome the massive insecurity of living literally next door to a city that has everything from a sports perspective. Oakland has not one but three major league teams and if the Oakland / Alameda County Coliseum Authority ever got its internal act together, Oakland could have a WNBA team as well. Oakland's demographics have long favored such a team.

If Oakland got its collective political act together and established a sports commission - as I tried to do in 1999 - and really countered the agressive actions of the San Jose Sports Authority, the foundations of Oakland's sports history, its teams, would not only remain intact, but grow.

Even in a recession this can be done, but Oakland must not just believe it can be done, it must work to make it so. San Jose's nothing but a schoolyard bully that Oakland can take with ease if it wants to. To hell with San Jose. There's already a plan for the redevelopment of the Coliseum for a new baseball stadium, one presented months ago by Bob Lesty (and which I will show again here below) before the Mayor's Sports and Entertainment Task Force. The plans are there, the potential for future revenue growth is there.

All Oakland needs is the want to. I may have given up on our Mayor's will to solve this problem, but I've not given up on Oakland.

Here's the plan:

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