COMMENTARY | The Oakland A's need a new ballpark. The San Francisco Giants play in one of the best ballparks in baseball. Why don't they just share it?
Well that's what Major League Baseball seems to be asking, anyway. According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, if the A's can't reach a short-term lease agreement to stay in the Coliseum then MLB would push the A's into sharing AT&T Park with the Giants for at least two seasons, until a suitable relocation plan for the A's is reached.
The report has sparked a firestorm of fan reaction on Twitter, with an almost universal dislike of the proposed plan. Giants fans don't want to share their ballpark with the A's, and A's fans don't want to suffer the indignity of paying rent to their cross-bay rivals. But would sharing a ballpark for a few seasons really be that bad of an idea?
For Giants fans, after the knee-jerk reaction of not wanting to do anything that might help the A's wears off, there are some positives to consider. For one, a new rent-paying tenant at AT&T would mean more money in the Giants' pockets that they could put toward signing a real free agent rather than looking for bargains every winter. It would also give Giants fans more chances to go to their beloved ballpark to watch American League teams they wouldn't normally see at a cheaper ticket price than Giants games.
And for Giants fans who loathe the A's, what would be better than seeing them forced to play at the Giants' ballpark for a few years before they left town?
For A's fans, well ... hey, at least the seats in AT&T Park are green. Aside from that, there aren't many positives in this situation. Their team would be uprooted across the bay, they'd be watching games in a ballpark that has reminders of Giants' history everywhere, and they'd know that their team would likely be leaving the Bay Area entirely in a few years since the Giants aren't going to give up the rights to San Jose. On the plus side, their team would be playing in a much better ballpark, and did I mention the seats are green?
Chances are this ballpark-sharing plan is much ado about nothing. The logistics of two teams sharing a park would be a nightmare, and it's likely just a negotiating ploy to get the A's a shorter lease in Oakland while they sort out their stadium issues. But for a few moments anyway, it provided Giants and A's fans something to complain about in the first few boring days of the off season. And if it really does end up happening, the reaction from Giants and A's fans should be something to see.
Just as long as it doesn't bring back the horrendous split Giants-A's cap. That would be the biggest travesty of all.
Dave Tobener is a San Francisco Bay Area-based writer whose work covering the Giants has appeared on sites such as Yahoo Sports and Yahoo Sports' Big League Stew. You can follow him on Twitter @gggiants.
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