Back in the day, MAD magazine had a running joke about movie reviews. "This sorry excuse for a film is so awful," a review would read, "if I had to watch it again and again I'd consider moving or even being so bold as to change my name, or some other creative way that the studio couldn't find me." That scathing review would be transformed into the following blurb on the movie poster:
"This film...watch it again and again....moving...bold...creative".
Twitter, and the general speeding-up of news transmission, can have much the same effect. Case in point: today's flurry over Bill Shaikin's story in the LA Times about the latest development in the Oakland A's relocation saga. In brief, Shaikin said that Major League Baseball has given the A's a list of guidelines for a future move to San Jose.
Shaikin is clear that this doesn't necessarily mean the A's can or will move -- even the headline contains the words "tentative" and "potential," and there's a big old disclaimer in the subhead. But some people are reacting as if the moving trucks have already pulled up in front of 7000 Coliseum Way.
It's possible that the guidelines do represent some forward progress in the A's ownership's quest to move to the South Bay. Shaikin's unnamed sources didn't disclose their complete contents or exactly when MLB might have delivered them (Chronicle beat writer Susan Slusser thinks the team has had them for quite some time), so it's hard to tell. They also might represent some new obstacles in the road south, since they apparently include "concerns about the viability of the proposed San Jose ballpark site." Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig formed a committee to look into the A's request to relocate four years ago. They're tasked with producing a recommendation to MLB owners, at least 75% of whom would need to vote in favor of the relocation in order to override the objections of the San Francisco Giants, who currently have exclusive territorial rights to Santa Clara County.