The Athletics and the city of Oakland have been negotiating an extension of their lease agreement, but, as is always the case with the A's, things were beginning to fall apart before a deal could be reached. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig stepped in and notified A's owner Lew Wolff that the Athletics would "immediately be allowed to seek a temporary or permanent location outside the city of Oakland."
In an unsurprising twist, Oakland caved, and immediately began negotiating a last-minute deal with the A's that they continued working on through Thursday morning, according to the San Francisco Gate. Oakland city councilman Noel Gallo -- who originally opposed the deal until Wolff's late-night email came in --believes the deal will be "fair" and "good for Oakland and the region in the long run."
While it might sound like Major League Baseball was extorting the city of Oakland here, it was in response to what can be called extortion from Oakland: a deal was already in place that would keep the A's in Oakland, until a few members of the city council decided they needed more from it. While no one knows where the A's would have moved to, either temporarily or permanently, Oakland's city council did not want to find out.
Wolff's full email can be found at the San Francisco Gate.