San Francisco's parks and recreation commission accepted the mayor's recommendation yesterday that the San Francisco Giants be allowed to play 40 of their 1978 games at Oakland Coliseum.
Mayor George Moscone said that acceptance could "leave the path open" for the Oakland A's to move to Denver in time for the start of the 1978 baseball season next month.
The development followed a two-hour meeting involving Moscone, Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, American League President Lee S. MacPhail, National League President Charles (Chub) Feeney and Bob Lurie, coowner of the Giants.
Absent at the meeting, however, were Oakland city, stadium and A's officials who would play a key role in allowing the AL Oakland club to break its remaining 10-year lease with the coliseum.
On learning of the development, Finley said, "This is tremendous news for me, for all of baseball. I don't know what the details are in regard to such a move. I don't know what the prerequisities are to be met before packing up the old moving van."
Barring other complications, Finley expects to complete a reported $12.5 million sale of the A's to Denver oilman Marvin Davis soon.
With opening day fast approaching, Davis said, "There are too many 'ifs' to react to the announcement. Show us a piece of paper and we'll see what we'll do.
"I want to see a signed lease. We're not reassessing the situation. We're not making any moves until there is something more definitive. We did this a few times and got egg on our faces.
"The fly in the ointment is Oakland. Right now things depend more on how they react to what happens in San Francisco."
With opening day fast approaching, Davis said there might be a few other snags, such as negotiating a stadium lease in Denver - where Mile High Stadium is booked for professional soccer this summer - hiring a general manager and arranging a printing contract for tickets.
"I want to see a signed lease. Then we'll give a statement," Davis told reporters. "Tell the people of Denver, and make it emphatic, not to get their hopes up."
In San Francisco, Kuhn told reporters that the mayor's recommendations to the city's parks commission "will help solve the baseball problems in the San Francisco Bay Area."
Moscone would not be specific about the recommendations he was making to the parks commission, but said that "if followed, (they) will lead to the path for the Oakland A's to move to Denver."
"However," he added, "matters concerning this issue may be in litigation and, on the advice of the city attorney, I am making no further statement on the recommendations."