2011年6月23日 星期四

無處可去的男人們阿 (上)

事實上,從Melvin接任A's新教練前後,國外專家、球迷們曾出現過對於GM豆爺的質疑;另外,也有聲音希望能有個更愛這支球隊的老闆。新球場 (或者說新據點)的議題,一直都存在著。

透過 AN的介紹,看到了Howard Bryant的文章 Nowhere men 。以下試翻看看,希望讓人在臺灣的我們更了解A's在球場外所面臨到的困境...

Nowhere men
Clock is ticking: Oakland A's have an expiring lease and no deal for a new stadium
時間一分一秒流逝: Oakland A's擁有一份要到期的租約,新球場沒有下落

By Howard Bryant
After 43 years, the Athletics say Oakland represents the past and the future lies in San Jose. The San Francisco Giants believe San Jose belongs to them.For more than two years, Bud Selig has not made a decision, but the clock is ticking on a team that has nowhere to go. 

43年後,運動家隊表示奧克蘭 (Oakland)代表著過去,他們的未來在聖荷西(San Jose)。舊金山巨人隊深信聖荷西屬於他們。兩年多過去了,Bud Selig沒做出決定,但時間一分一秒流逝著,有支球隊將無處可去


SUMMER, Carl Guardino, the 49-year-old president of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, sent a letter to baseball commissioner Bud Selig. Guardino is from San Jose, born and raised, attended the now-defunct Blackford High School and then stayed home for college at San Jose State University. As a kid, he watched the old minor league San Jose Missions. As a man he remembers his blue-collar childhood: packing picnic baskets of tuna sandwiches in the family's wood-paneled station wagon in the late 1960s and early '70s to drive to Candlestick Park to watch the San Francisco Giants.

去年夏季接近尾聲時,49歲的矽谷領袖集團 (Silicon Valley Leadership Group)總裁Carl Guardino送了封信給大聯盟主席Bud Selig。Guardino來自聖荷西,在那出生、長大,就讀於現在已不存在的Blackford High School,然後留在家中唸聖荷西州大。小時候他觀看小聯盟球隊San Jose Missions。成年後,他記得那藍領童年 (譯註: San Jose Missions的球衣,詳見老同學Bobby Crosby父親Ed Crosby的球員卡): 60年代末期以及70年代初,將裝有鮪魚三明治的野餐籃放在家中的休旅車中,開往Candlestick Park觀看舊金山巨人比賽

Guardino approached Selig not as a fan but as an advocate of the third-largest city in California (behind Los Angeles and San Diego) and the 10th-largest city in the nation to make an argument: his San Jose, long ago a dusty San Francisco outpost, now had been grown up for 20 years -- the city of nearly a million people and the heart of the technology revolution ready to support a major league team bearing its name. His appeal contained personal passion but more importantly real financial
muscle: seventy-five of Silicon Valley's top CEOs, representing more than a trillion dollars of corporate and personal wealth, signed Guardino's letter as a show of force of commitment to use their combined power to lure the beleaguered Oakland A's to San Jose.

Guardino不以球迷的身分建議Selig,而是以一個加州第三大城 (排在洛杉磯與聖地牙哥之後),全國第十大城的擁護者來提出論點: 他的聖荷西在很久很久以前是充滿塵埃的舊金山前哨基地 (譯註: wiki上 寫聖荷西在18XX年是個農業社區,補給舊金山與Monterey的西班牙軍事設施),近20年來成長為一個有將近百萬人口的城市,這個科技革命的心臟地 帶已經準備好支持一支職業球隊冠上它的名字。他的呼籲包含個人情感,但有更重要地實際金融實力: 企業與個人財富累計超過一兆美金的75位矽谷頂尖CEO們在Guardino的信中署名,展示著一股承諾的力量將結合他們的動力,吸引陷入困難的Oakland A's搬到聖荷西

Signed by the heads of some of Silicon Valley's most powerful and recognizable technology companies -- Cisco, Adobe, Yahoo! and eBay, among others -- the letter was intended to stoke the tantalizing prospects of more baseball growth: luxury suites, a new 34,000-seat baseball stadium and an exciting and healthy new start for the A's. 

一些矽谷最具力量以及人們知道的科技公司--Cisco, Adobe, Yahoo!以及 eBay等--首腦們所署名的那封信打算帶向那個有更多棒球方面(硬體)成長,吸引人的前景: 豪華座椅,一座有3萬4千個座位的新球場 (譯註: 官網紀錄 Coliseum 08年容量為35067),並提供 A's一個令人興奮且健康的嶄新開始

The letter went out Sept. 8, 2010, but Guardino's return mailbox has been empty ever since.

信件於2010年九月八號送出,但 Guardino的收信匣至今還是空的

"It's been nearly a year with no response from the commissioner," Guardino said of his letter to Selig. "We followed up with email, and nothing, not even a courtesy response. We'll send it FedEx next time. 

"已經快一年了,主席沒有任何回應" Guardino說到他寄給Selig的信。"我們追蹤電子郵件,但什麼都沒有,連封禮貌的回應也無,我們下次將會透過快遞FedEx寄出"

"What did it tell me?" he added. "It told me it must be nice to run a monopoly." 

"這件事告訴我什麼?" 他補充説到 "這告訴我經營獨占事業一定相當棒" 

THAT MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL has prevented the Oakland A's from moving 35 miles to the south to a potentially more prosperous future provides a rare glimpse of the country-club politics of a monopoly more than a century old and to a certain extent of the unintended price for some of its beneficiaries. Outside of stating that the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is unfit for the long-term future of the club, Selig has never ruled definitively on whether he would allow the Athletics to pursue relocating to San Jose, nor has he ever expressed unequivocal support for their existence or a concrete plan for the future of a team that has been part of the American League since 1901. 

大聯盟避免Oakland A's 往南遷35哩到一個有潛力更興盛的未來,那將不太會看到一個世紀以來鄉村俱樂部式的壟斷,以及某種程度上對於它的獲利者來說非預期中的價值。這狀況之外,Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (譯註: A's現有球場,前陣子被Overstock.com取得球場命名權,改為Overstock.com Coliseum,簡稱O.co Coliseum)不適合當作球團長期未來,Selig一直以來並未明確地裁定他是否允許運動家隊搬到聖荷西,從未表達對於這支球隊生存的明確支持,也沒有對於這支自1901年便是美聯一份子的球隊未來有個實際計畫


For 13 years, the A's have wanted to move to Santa Clara County, home to Silicon Valley, the city of San Jose and some of the wealthiest corporations in the world. And for each of those years the Giants -- because of a loose, gentlemen's agreement between the two teams 20 years ago allowing the Giants rights to the territory for a ballpark that was never built -- have maintained that Major League rules prohibit any major league club from moving into their territory. 

13年來,A's一直想搬到聖塔克拉 (Santa Clara)郡聖荷西市,聖塔克拉郡那有矽谷的根據地,以及一些世界上最有錢的企業。而每一年巨人隊都依照大聯盟規則,禁止任何大聯盟球隊搬到他們的領土 --20年前,兩隊訂定寬鬆且紳士的協議,讓巨人隊有權在該領土 (聖塔克拉郡)建球場,但巨人隊至今未在該地建過球場
We based much of our
entire business strategy on Santa Clara County being a piece of our territory,
and I don't think it is overstating it to say that allowing another franchise
into our territory would set a dangerous precedent and have a traumatic effect
on this franchise.

-- Giants president Larry Baer 


-- 巨人隊總裁 Larry Baer 
The ultimate decision of whether the A's will be allowed to move to San Jose belongs to Bud Selig alone, but pressure has created a four-way, high-stakes game of chicken between Selig and the A's, the A's and the Giants, Selig and San Jose and Wolff and Oakland. The one absolute to the convolution is that the Oakland A's are cornered -- to the south by Selig and in Oakland by the combination of Wolff's conviction that no workable site exists in the city and an expiring lease in a stadium that is unlikely to be renewed while Wolff intimates that he wants to leave town.

A's 將來是不是可以搬到聖荷西的最終決定權在Bud Selig身上,但是有來自四方的壓力,Selig以及A's間有如鬥雞的高風險競賽、A's跟巨人隊間、Selig與聖荷西以及Wolff與奧克蘭之間。在這周旋當中,有件事是可以確定的,Oakland A's已經被逼到角落--往南受限於於Selig,在奧克蘭受限於Wolff以及合夥人的信念 (譯註: 球隊主要持有者是Gap創辦人的兒子John Fisher,另一位老闆是Lew Wolff),他們認為奧克蘭那裡沒有可動工的地點,而在Wolff暗示他想要離開這座城市後,對於即將到期的球場租約看起來不太可能會續

Being blocked from San Jose, baseball and government sources say, could produce more radical scenarios for the A's, from Wolff being forced to stay in Oakland and reconcile with city officials, to Wolff either moving or selling the team to a new ownership group who would then scour the country for the few remaining markets that might be large enough to support a major league franchise, to the most radical possibility: Wolff selling the team to Major League Baseball, which would in turn install new owners and attempt to secure a new stadium and a new start in Oakland.


There is another possibility, the contraction of the franchise. Selig has once threatened the A's as a team he would dissolve, but baseball sources have said folding the A's was "just talk, probably for leverage purposes," and that the Major League Baseball Players Association would "never" agree to allow 40 big league roster jobs to be lost.


Also perilous for the A's isn't what Selig says, but what he has done. In an interview with ESPN.com,
Selig said "no conclusions" have been made regarding the future of the franchise, but civic boosters in San Jose view his indecision as perilous. Selig has twice refused to give San Jose the go-ahead for a measure critical to stadium construction to be placed on an election ballot for voters to decide, and has not yet explained why the territorial rules -- equitable in each of the other three two-team markets -- favor the Giants in the Bay Area.

同樣對A's險惡的,並非Selig說了什麼,而是他做了什麼。在與ESPN.com的訪談中,Selig說"對於這支球隊的未來一直以來都"no conclusions" (沒有結論),但聖荷西當地的支持者將他的猶豫不決視為危險。Selig已兩次拒絕許可讓聖荷西成為議案,讓人民公投決定是否要蓋球場,到現在也沒有解釋 為什麼領土方面的規則--在其他三處有關兩隊市場方面是平等的--在灣區偏愛著巨人隊

"What is the alternative for this franchise if baseball does not allow us to move to San Jose?" A's
president Mike Crowley said. "I don't know. I don't know that we have any options. I don't think it can work here in Alameda County."

"如果球界不允許我們搬到聖荷西,那這支球隊的替代方案是什麼?" A's總裁Mike Crowley說 "我不知道。我不知道我們有任何選擇,我不認為可以在阿拉米達 (Alameda)郡可以解決 (譯註: 奧克蘭為阿拉米達郡第一大城)" 

Time, in other words, is running out on the team that has nowhere to go.


ALLOWING THE A'S to move the San Jose would require perhaps the boldest step Selig has taken as commissioner. Thus far, whether out of respect for the Giants or disbelief that city leadership truly has the political and voter will to put a shovel in the ground and begin the project, Selig has shown a curious reluctance either to cultivate San Jose or justify the portions of the Major League Constitution that are prohibitive to the A's.

允許A's搬到聖荷西或許需要Selig踏出擔任主席以來最大膽的一步。到目前為止,無論是出於對巨人隊的尊重,或者在政治上對於城市領導地位的懷疑,公民會put a shovel in the ground (將鏟子放在地下?)並開始這計畫,Selig總表達出一種異常的不情願,無論是在培育聖荷西上,或是合理化大聯盟規章對於禁止A's的部分

In interviews with ESPN.com, Selig would not commit to any position beyond acknowledging the A's have no future in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the site where the A's have won four World Series titles since arriving in 1968. He declined comment on if he believes advances by the city of San Jose to lure the A's are compelling enough for him to overrule the Giants' position that Santa Clara falls within their exclusive rights. He refused to commit to Oakland as a city that can still economically support a baseball team and, perhaps most chilling of all to A's fans, Selig refused to discuss whether he even believes the San Francisco Bay Area should remain a two-team market. "The Bay Area has had two teams for 44 years, and it's always been controversial," Selig said. "I know the issues, and there are many. I've spoken extensively with both clubs and that's all I'm willing to say about it."

與ESPN.com的訪談中,Selig除了知道A's在Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum沒有未來之外,並沒有任何承諾,A's自1968年來到Coliseum後曾贏得四座世界大賽冠軍。他拒絕發表看法,關於他是否相信聖荷西提出讓A's遷過去的建議可迫使他否決巨人隊的地位,減弱 (巨人隊)在聖塔克拉郡的獨占權。他拒絕承諾奧克蘭這座城市能夠持續提供一支棒球隊經濟上的支援,還有對於A's球迷來說可能最為寒冷的是,Selig拒絕討論是否他深信舊金山灣需要維持一個兩隊市場。"灣區有兩支球隊44年了,這件事一直以來總引起爭議,"Selig說"我知道這些問題,那有很多。我已經廣泛地向兩球團說過,那些也是我將要說的。"

Selig is relying on a three-member committee he appointed in March 2009 to advise him not only on settling the key issue of territorial rights, but on assessing the key and complex issues regarding professional baseball in the Bay Area. The committee is comprised of longtime baseball executive Bob Starkey, who is currently reviewing the troubled finances of the Los Angeles Dodgers, former Giants executive Corey Busch, who worked for the Giants during 1992 when the territorial rights question was first raised, ironically, to allow the Giants to move into what was then the shared territory of Santa Clara County, and Washington attorney Irwin Raij, who was key in brokering the Washington Nationals' move from Montreal, which was the league's last franchise relocation and ballpark construction.

Selig正憑藉著他於2009年三月指派的三人委員會來建議他不要只解決領土權方面的主要問題,也要評估關於灣區職業棒球那關鍵且複雜的問題。這個委員會的組成有: 長期擔任球界執行長的Bob Starkey,Starkey目前正檢閱洛杉磯道奇隊出問題的財政、前巨人隊的執行長Corey Busch,Busch在1992年為巨人隊工作,當時領土權的問題首次浮上檯面,要他允許巨人隊跟別人共享聖塔克拉郡顯得相當滑稽、以及律師Irwin Raij,Raij在居中調解華盛頓國民隊自蒙特婁搬過來一事 (譯註: 國民隊的前身為蒙特婁博覽會隊)上扮演關鍵角色,這是聯盟上一次有球隊改變根據地並且有新球場的建造

Some of the questions exist at a macro level, ranging from whether (to the great annoyance of city and some MLB officials) Oakland is a place where big league baseball can no longer survive, as A's ownership publicly asserts; whether the Giants' claim that the club would be "destabilized" by an A's move to San Jose is rooted more in fact or in rhetoric; and whether San Jose is the economic panacea A's ownership envisions.

有些問題存在於整體方面,不論 (對於城市的大煩惱以及MLB官方來說)奧克蘭是否是個大聯盟棒球再也無法生存的地方,如A's老闆公開宣稱;不論巨人隊的主張他們會因A's搬到聖荷西而變得"destabilized" (不穩定),與不穩定以及相關修辭用語比起來,應該是會生根在那裡;不論聖荷西會不會成為A's經營者設想中經濟方面的仙丹妙藥

Other questions the committee must face are intricate but equally important, such as: whether San Jose's proposed 34,000-seat ballpark proposal -- which would be the smallest in baseball, Fenway Park included -- is actually a workable one in practice; and whether sites within the city of Oakland still exist that provide a better alternative than San Jose.

委員會必須面對的其他問題錯綜複雜卻一樣重要,例如: 無論聖荷西所提出34000個座位的球場提案實際上真的可以完成,那會成為包括芬威球場在內,球界容量最小的一座球場 (譯註: List of Major League Baseball stadiums內有各球場整理,詳見Seating Capacity一欄)、是否在奧克蘭市內仍存在著一些地點,可提供優於聖荷西的替代方案

Under normal circumstances, the committee faces a daunting and complex web of circumstances, but the emotions are especially heightened in this case. The committee has demanded total confidentiality of the process, which sources acknowledge may ease dialogue but expose the committee to the charge of favoritism or impropriety, and trapped within the inertia is a powerful, important and often angry set of players and rivals, frustrated that more than two years have passed without resolution with much at stake: the A's, the Giants, the cities of San Jose and Oakland.

在正常情況下,委員會面對著一個令人害怕且複雜的情況,但情緒在這案子裡特別被提高。委員會已索取過程中所有的機密,承認消息來源或許可以讓對話輕鬆些,但是會讓委員會曝露在偏愛或不正當的指控下,被惰性困住是一種球員們以及對手具有力量,重要,常常憤怒的組合 (我不知道我在翻什麼,ㄟ害)。令委員會受挫的是兩年多過去了沒有任何決議,使得運動家隊、巨人隊,聖荷西市與奧克蘭市越來越危險

And though it is the committee that has taken the most public ridicule for having taken more than two years without yet coming to a finding, it is the committee that may be the best ally for the city of Oakland to save its team. While Wolff has not met with Oakland city officials in nearly three years to discuss a stadium, it is Major League Baseball, through the committee, that through clandestine discussions and dialogue with city officials may be laying the groundwork to keep the A's in Oakland.


The Bay Area, for example, is the smallest of the four two-team markets in baseball and yet is the only one of the four that divides territorial rights specifically by county. In the other three markets -- Los Angeles, Chicago and New York -- both teams share each county of the market, allowing for the Yankees or Mets to move to Manhattan, if either team chose to.

舉例來說,灣區是球界四個擁有兩支球隊的地區中市場中最小者,卻是四者當中唯一一個以郡劃分領土權的。另外三個市場中--洛杉磯、芝加哥與紐約--當地兩隊共享每個郡的市場,洋基或大都會都可以搬到曼哈頓 (Manhattan),只要兩者當中有隊伍想這麼做

"It's the history, plain and simple," Selig said. "It may not be a great answer, but that's the answer."

"淺顯易懂,那 (灣區的例子)是歷史" Selig說 "這或許不是個好答案,但那就是答案"

The committee, meanwhile, is attempting the delicate task of fact-finding within a torrent of moral grievance, each constituency convinced of the moral certainty of its position: The A's believe relocating to San Jose is best for baseball. A move, the team says, would energize a flagging franchise, improve team revenues and payroll and attract the high-quality free agents ownership says do not want to play in Oakland. Wolff said he has spent years studying the Oakland market to one conclusion:

在此同時,委員會正嘗試在源源不絕的抱怨中進行找出事實的棘手工作,每個支持者皆深信其立場: A's相信移到聖荷西對棒球圈最好。這支球隊說,一次搬家能將能量帶給一支萎靡不振的球隊,增加球隊收入和薪資預算,吸引那些不想在奧克蘭打球的優秀自由球員們。Wolff說他已花了好幾年時間研究奧克蘭的市場,結論如下:

"The answer is that there is just no viable package. I have not had one call in two years. I don't want to deal in hypotheticals. To play the conjecture game is just a stalling tactic," he said. "It's been three years. There is no possibility of getting it done in Oakland. Whether people believe that I've tried hard enough is a story for another day."

"答案是沒有可行的方案。這兩年我沒接到電話,我不想在假想中進行交易。玩猜測的遊戲只是個拖延策略"他說 "三年了,在奧克蘭不可能完成。無論人們是否相信我夠努力嘗試是改天的故事了。"
What is the alternative for this franchise if baseball does not allow us to move to San Jose? … I don't know that we have any options.

-- A's president Mike Crowley

如果棒球圈不允許這支球隊搬到聖荷西的話,有什麼替代方案? 我不知道,我們沒有任何選項。

--A"s總裁 Mike Crowley


無處可去的男人們阿 (下)