Jerry Reinsdorf's mixed message

Jerry Reinsdorf's mixed message
July 26, 2012, 4:44 pm
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Bud Selig is listed on Lew Wolffs Facebook page as my BFF for Stadium Construction.Jerry Reinsdorf is the man whom Bud Selig relies on when owners need to be guided one way or another on issues importance to the billionaire class.Reinsdorf told people at a luncheon in Chicago for Israeli baseball on Thursday that he would rather see two major league teams contracted than any further expansion.Now lets take two, add two, get seven, and panic like banshees on diet pills.But lets also whistle at the fascinating new twist in our ongoing local saga, Whither The Elephants?First, though, Reinsdorfs money quote, when asked about expansion:"I don't see any baseball expansion right now. If it were up to me, I would contract two teams. But I certainly don't think expansion is on the horizon."This doesnt mean he is working secretly to contract the Athletics. In fact, Reinsdorf never works that publicly on anything, preferring the privacy of large mahogany desks and furtive conversations in hallways.RELATED: Ratto -- Selig, owners show Bay Area teams no respect
Plus, he has apparently told Wolff any number of times that he prefers that the As see their great migration plan fulfilled.But that, too, is something that should be taken with a grain of salt, because owners say a lot of things they end up not doing.In other words, Reinsdorf gave a lunch crowd an oblique hint about contraction. The As regard themselves as doomed in Oakland, forced to win games by two touchdowns merely to get peoples attention. Now, everyone, run shrieking into the street.Reinsdorf has spoken on the subject of contraction before, referencing the Minnesota Twins only months after their second World Series victory in four years. That one went over like a lead scone.That was twenty years and change ago, so its not like he has a long track record of demanding that Major League Baseball shrink. Hes said two things, referenced one team, and thats about it.RELATED: Ratto -- New ballparks don't produce wins
But now this is a talking point among people who talk ceaselessly for a living, and since the As have been most dissatisfied with their current situation, the assumption would naturally follow that contraction would have their name stamped on it first.Of course, there are other teams in equally dire straits, and Reinsdorf did say a couple. Maybe he meant the Cubs.Or maybe he was just being wacky. When fans called out to him to name the teams he merely said, I have a habit of getting myself into trouble. I just did yesterday. So I'm not going to.Or maybe, and this is most likely, he wasnt thinking out loud at all, but sending a signal out to some party or parties that contraction is always an option in his mind, and not to be dismissed as the massive outlay of money it actually is. He never speaks accidentally, and he never speaks without purpose, so when he speaks on any issue, even baseball in Israel, attention must be paid.How much attention is the question, so lets put it this way: The As could move. Or they could stay. Or Reinsdorf might encourage that they be atomized, though it seems unlikeliest of all. I hope thats cleared it up for you.Heh heh heh.Ray Ratto is a columnist for

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