Answering fans’ questions at an online town hall for the 2011 All-Star game in Phoenix, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig made a rare comment regarding the Oakland A’s potential relocation to San Jose.
He was asked what is the latest news on San Jose becoming the new home for the A’s, which have been trying to move south for several years. At face value, Selig used 90 words to say absolutely nothing. But a closer inspection of his answer tells the whole story.
Here was Selig’s response:
“Well, the latest is, I have a small committee who has really assessed that whole situation, Oakland, San Francisco, and it is complex. You talk about complex situations; they have done a terrific job. I know there are some people who think it’s taken too long and I understand that. I’m willing to accept that. But you make decisions like this; I’ve always said, you’d better be careful. Better to get it done right than to get it done fast. But we’ll make a decision that’s based on logic and reason at the proper time.”
By saying his blue-ribbon committee “has really assessed the whole situation,” Selig admits the process is done, no matter how complex it is. Now all the commissioner needs to do is act. It’s been more than two years since he formed his committe and everyone—aside from the San Francisco Giants, who own territorial rights to San Jose and are blocking the A’s path south—is antsy for a decision.
A’s owner Lew Wolff, a fraternity brother of Selig’s in college, has admitted he is weary with the process and isn’t getting any younger. Mayor Chuck Reed has written a letter to the commissioner, who Reed admits he has never never had a conversation with, and is considering taking a photo-op in Milwaukee by dressing a Selig statue in a San Jose A’s jersey.
If there is anything to take away from Selig’s comments, the most telling is that he thinks it’s “(b)etter to get it done right than to do it fast.” This has been standard-operating procedure for baseball, from the time it was excluding minorities on up to turning a blind eye to steroids as the game’s cherished numbers became irrelevant. The problems were alleviated “based on logic.” Slow, plodding logic.