Ballpark holding up Willingham deal?

Ballpark holding up Willingham deal?
September 26, 2011, 9:31 pm
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The As are clearly playing the extort-a-ballpark game yet again, and now theyve moved on to direct shoe-squeezing with the players if The Chronicles Susan Slusser is to be believed.And the thing is, we believe her unreservedly up to a point.For instance, we believe this, as reported by her Saturday.
(Josh) Willingham's agent, Matt Sosnick, told The Chronicle that he approached the team last week with various possibilities for a multiyear deal for their top offensive player, and general manager Billy Beane told Sosnick that spending decisions are on hold until a decision comes down about the A's stadium situation.We believe that is exactly what Sosbniuck told Slusser.We gave the A's an idea of where we were, and we were told they have interest in bringing Josh back, but before they did anything, they want to see what happens with the stadium, Sosnick said. Josh and I both made it clear he'd like to stay, but at this point, I'm pretty sure he'll test the free-agent market. We talked about a time frame, given that Billy would like Josh back, but it seems like Billy is sort of hamstrung right now.We believe he said that, too, and that Beane told him that very thing.We just dont believe thats the hangup. Weve never believed that, and we never will.The As are deliciously profitable every year because of the revenue sharing pixie. They could pay Willingham out of that.They are also not hamstrung by the ballpark, because they are the ones who control that department. All they have to do is what they have always done get their money together by whatever means, tell Bud Selig they have their money together and wait for Bud to whip the owner votes to eliminate the territorial rights issue and watch the Giants fulminate helplessly because they cannot sue baseball to defend rights that MLB can take away so easily.This is clear, and has been clear to anyone who wants to pay attention to the rules and procedures of the game as played by the owners. They want to see the money. Theyve always wanted to see the money. Hell, they let Frank McCourt buy the Dodgers with only the illusion of money.In short, the As reason for not engaging Willingham really isnt the park, but they want it to seem that way. Nice try, but the smart folks arent buying.