There are a few key things to be done if baseball is to become a reality in our City.
First, find the very best site that maximizes the opportunities and minimizes the opposition. It will not be easy and the search must be transparent and involve the neighbors and citizens of Central San Jose. Trust them. Some will think it has to be done in secret. However, my strongest advice is that nothing can be kept secret in big time sports – there is always a feeding frenzy by the media surrounding these stories. Besides, we need the support of all the people of San Jose, not just the Baseball San Jose and Chamber of Commerce advocates – they are important, but much more momentum and trust is needed.
Even with only two homes and a short list of businesses in the Arena zone, a fire storm of opposition arose from the Shasta Hanchett and Willow Glen areas. They were concerned that traffic would be impacted on Lincoln Ave. and quality of life ruined in the entire Willow Glen neighborhood. In some contentious meetings, I often felt like I was siting a nuclear reactOR not a family sports/entertainment complex in the center of the City.
Second, begin a two-fold approach in the media and legally to get San Jose released from the territorial rights granted in 1992, done only to help the Giants and MLB. The media war must be won. Since when does MLB get to assign us, a major American city like some chattel? I hope there can be some elementary justice even in big time sports.
Third, don’t let your reach exceed your grasp. This will not be accomplished while Ron Gonzales is Mayor: face it because he already knows it. Yet Mayor Gonzales can do an important thing for our community by not overreaching and teeing up the ball – and the stadium – for the next Mayor.
Last, for all those critical of my cautionary note on Baseball – don’t kill the messenger. Listen to those who have been there, made mistakes, and learned lessons. There is much that can be accomplished if the wooly-headed planners, political spinners and mercenaries are removed and common sense comes into play.