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Windsor ballpark effort dies

California LeagueAn effort to being a High-A Cal League team to Windsor, Cal., apparently has died on the vine, but it’s not entirely clear whether the San Francisco Giants had anything to do with it: organizers say yes, but the team says no.

Chris Lee had received approval from the Windsor Town Council to explore the financial viability of building a new ballpark in the wine country north of San Francisco. He’s not the first to explore baseball there — the Western League had teams there, and former Portland Beavers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) owner Merritt Paulson had looking at putting a Cal League team in nearby Pentuma.

He’s given up the effort, however, after failing to receive permission from the San Francisco Giants to place a team there. Now, there are several stakeholders here, and certainly the Giants are a major one. But there’s no indication there were any talks with California League officials — and the president’s office is the place to begin franchise relocations in the league — and, besides, the Giants say they’re not necessarily against the idea of a Windsor team: they just didn’t respond to a letter from Lee sent right after the World Series. And never mind about the actual availability of a Cal League team that could be moved.

It takes a lot of work and effort to buy and move an affiliated team. True, any Windsor situation is complicated by the Giants and their partial ownership of the San Jose Giants; if MLB does approve a move of the Oakland A’s to San Jose, the Giants and the SJ Giants ownership would certainly need to find a new home. But we’re not sure the Giants are really planning so far ahead they’re reserving the Windsor market in case the Oakland A’s move.

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