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oh-oh san jose!

no lack of blame

No one cares, but it's my blog, so ...

Ann Killion does a fine job of explaining why San Jose Earthquakes fans are upset in her Mercury News piece, "No lack of blame in Donovan debacle":

Jilted. Scorned. Rejected. Back-stabbed.

Just when you thought, Earthquakes fans, that you couldn't sink any lower, Thursday's news conference came along....

It's not an April Fools' joke, because it happened on the last day in March. It's just one more body blow to the Earthquakes. One more black mark against the league's integrity.

Earthquakes fans are feeling depressed. And they're also feeling very, very suspicious.

Donovan left the team that Anschutz Entertainment Group fervently wants to unload. A team the league belittles. And, voilà, he ends up with the Galaxy! The team AEG just happens to adore. The team MLS worships. Go figure....

This smells rotten. It stinks that the Galaxy had promised Donovan a spot -- as he said Thursday -- in December, before he left for Germany. It stinks that AEG President Tim Leiweke, who couldn't find his way to San Jose without a Sherpa, showed up to gush over Donovan's welcome. It stinks that the league just recently came out with clarification on allocations, weeks after the Earthquakes used the one they were given for Donovan, thus losing their rights to him. This all looks bad. It makes the Earthquakes look like fools. It makes MLS lose even more credibility. It smells of tampering and under-handedness. Conflict of interest? Welcome to MLS....

Indeed, if you want to lay this on anyone, you have to lay it on Donovan. He didn't want to come back to San Jose. He wanted to go to Los Angeles. He grew up there. His family is there. More important, the love of his life, Bianca Kajlich, is there. Donovan is a big enough star that he can dictate where he wants to go.

``You can bet that if Landon Donovan wanted to return to San Jose, Landon Donovan would be in San Jose,'' Lalas said. ``We have to come to terms with the fact that the player who has been put up on a pedestal wants no part of returning.''

But, as we all know, much of that can be blamed on AEG and the league. The San Jose franchise has long been batted around, treated like a second-class citizen. You always got the feeling the league wanted to see Donovan somewhere else. The Quakes have never had stability and are constantly under threat of moving or being sold.

Another part of that blame can be hung on the city of San Jose, which has never acted as though the Earthquakes have any particular value, while groveling for a make-believe baseball team.

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