True, when Busch was a San Francisco Giants executive in the 1990s, he
helped push through the team's claim to the South Bay that is now the
major stumbling block to the Athletics relocating to the 408 area code. But
South Bay folks aren't concerned about that. Busch's M.O. back then was
moving a ballclub to the region, and many are hopeful he'll work
toward it again. Busch declined to be interviewed for this story, noting that committee members have been instructed not to speak to the press.
"Corey understands the issue. Nobody
understands the South Bay and the economic potential and the benefits
to Major League Baseball better than Corey Busch," says Larry Stone,
Santa Clara County's assessor and a major player in many, many failed
attempts to land the region professional teams. "Corey understands the
issues, perhaps even better than the commissioner [Bud Selig]."
Stone, incidentally, noted that the Oakland A's made much of their current mess themselves, when they gave their blessing to the Giants' claim of territorial rights in the South Bay without making such a move contingent upon the region approving a ballot measure which would have led to a South Bay stadium. Those ballot measures failed -- repeatedly -- and yet the Giants still retain the rights to the region.
yet, before anointing Busch the savior of South Bay baseball, it's
interesting to note that he may have just been tossed a political
curveball. After working with the Giants, Busch served as the campaign
co-chair of Barbara Boxer's initial run for the senate -- and he
remains a supporter and friend of Boxer's.
So it was interesting to note that the senator has, oddly enough, waded
into this Major League brouhaha with both barrels blazing. Boxer --
whose son, Doug, is a member of Oakland's Planning Commission -- wrote MLB a strongly worded letter stating her goal of keeping the A's in Oakland.
Why this is a pet issue for her and what affect this could have on
Busch's behavior we do not know. But as for Stone, he does not care.
"It doesn't matter. What the hell is she going to do?" he says. "If the
federal government is going to build them a new ballpark in downtown
Oakland, God bless 'em. That would be great. But what the hell is she
going to do?"