Make no mistake, I’m happy that San Jose sued Major League Baseball.

It doesn’t mean I want the A’s to move to San Jose.

I kind of thought that Tuesday’s move was a little classless, considering the timing with the San Jose Giants’ hosting of the California-Carolina Leagues All-Star Game.  It was a move to overshadow the team that has been immensely successful in San Jose for years, with six championships, and ten straight years making the playoffs (including this one, when the team clinched the league’s First Half Division Title for the eighth time in nine years.

You don’t think so?  You think that San Jose was responding to the ****hole fiasco?

That lawsuit, which has been praised in some corners for its research and preparation, took more than a couple of days to put together and file.  Hell, this has been planned for weeks, since Mayor Chuck Reed asked Bud Selig to meet and threatened legal action if Selig didn’t.  Selig didn’t, of course.

So, on a day where many cities would celebrate the successful team they have, San Jose got clingly with the team they pine for.

That was pretty damn classless to a team that, for decades, has been a proud part of San Jose and its community.

I guess there’s this notion that San Jose feels it gets the short shrift in being a “Major League” city.  They are the biggest city in the Bay Area, bigger than the cities that have baseball and basketball and non-Arena football.  I don’t know if it’s this civic-Napolean complex that’s causing all this animosity.

But San Jose’s not exactly a perfect location for the A’s.

• San Jose acts like it’s an insult they don’t have a baseball team, as the 10th largest city in the country by population.  However, San Jose’s not even the largest city in the country that doesn’t have a baseball team.  That would be #7, San Antonio (who has the Double-A Missions).  And it’s not like those are isolated cases; The 11th largest city in the country, Austin, doesn’t have any teams from the five major sports leagues, and doesn’t even have its own minor league baseball team!  (Round Rock, a suburb of Austin, does have a team.)  In fact, from #11-20 in terms of population size, 7 of the 10 cities do not have their own team.  (I’m not including Fort Worth, since that’s really part of the Dallas area and the home of the Rangers).

• The stadium plan for the A’s is weak.  The estimated 32,000 seats would make it, by far, the smallest park in the majors. has approximately 35,000 seats for baseball, making it the current 2nd-smallest park in the majors behind Tropicana Field in St. Petersberg at 34,078.  Perhaps more notably, the plan has only two decks, which is rare for any non-ancient stadiums.  (I’m not counting the weird tiny deck of seats at the top of the second level.)  And it appears to have absolutely no luxury suites, unless that clear set of boxes in that weird curvy wall in right field are suites.  Which would be silly, because who buys luxury suites in the outfield and that high?

For that matter, some seats might have to be lost because the stadium is too small for the rules.  According to Wikipedia’s article, the right field line is only 310 feet, and the left field line is a ridiculous 302 feet.  I could see the A’s getting a San Francisco-style exemption in right, considering lot size and compensation with a mini-Monster…but I’d have to think ball will demand left field go out, because I see no architectural reason for it to be so shallow.

• The transit plan is based on dreams.  Sure, the park will be near Didiron Station, making Caltrain a simple plan for the peninsula (if one I personally hate, but I’m in the minority).  But what about the East Bay fans?  Much of the plan seems to be based on the downtown BART line, which is currently estimated to be finished in 2025.  However, construction is still miles away from even beginning on that part of the BART line, and they are missing $2 billion of the estimated $4 billion cost.

In the meantime, it will be a freeway mess for an East Bay fan to get to the stadium.  Remember, 87 (the closest freeway to the park) doesn’t even intersect with I-880.  So fans driving will either have to take 880 to The Alameda, and trek through about a mile and a half of residential/light commercial neighborhood to get to the park, or go down to 280, go east to 101 and then back west and north to the 880 interchange, or fight through downtown streets to 1st, and take that through residential neighborhoods to 880 (or other shortcuts or smaller roads).  And that’s before anything close to a parking solution has been found.

That is my biggest problem with the San Jose plan.  It’s not good enough.  In my opinion, it’s not even close.  It’s getting forced into a transit-minded downtown of an oddly sprawling freeway city.  The light rail that San Jose does have ignores wide swaths of the city, from the west part that borders Cupertino to essentially any of the southern sprawl that makes up half of the city.  Hell, most of the transit that San Jose backers have mention are for the people that don’t live in San Jose!

San Jose’s a weird city.  Want to know how weird?  How many times does the border of San Jose intersect Highway 85?  One end of 85 is within the city limits of San Jose, yet Google Maps’ dashed line intersects 85 a total of nine times!  What the heck is with the city’s borders?

But the real reason why San Jose hasn’t been considered a major league city is because it’s new.  It’s not about population, and it’s not about sprawl.  It’s about history.  Sure, when it comes to baseball, you can find it all the way down at #65 (Cincinnati) on that list of biggest cities, but the cities that have baseball have been longtime crossroads and important places.  That’s why baseball is so eastern-weighted.

Even when it comes to importance, San Jose isn’t home to the big companies.  Apple and Google and Facebook and HP all call other cities home.  They’re close to San Jose, but they aren’t really San Jose.  San Jose’s just the hub.

I’m not saying San Jose isn’t a good city.  It just hasn’t yet really identified itself.  From an unfortunately required low-slung “Downtown,” to the sprawl that’s difficult to put borders on…it’s part of Silicon Valley and yet it’s not quite the center of the Valley.  It doesn’t have well-known landmarks or predictably unique status symbols.  What is ESPN or Fox going to use as cutaways to know that you’re seeing a broadcast from San Jose?  The HP Garage?

San Jose still has to earn its major league status.  Otherwise, it could end up like Tampa, or Montreal, or Jacksonville of the NFL.  Out of place, pretenders to the role.

I am somewhat resigned to the fact that San Jose will get the A’s, it’s mostly a matter of when, and for how much.  And I am glad that they sued MLB and the commissioner, because what they have done stalling this is disgraceful.

But San Jose shouldn’t become a Major League city until it is one.  And this plan, right now, won’t do it for them.