The Trib‘s Bruce Newman has a nice roundup of the history of Oakland’s occasional efforts to keep its best sports franchise from jumping to San Jose, including what is, retrospectively, a clever long game strategy. Well, maybe it’s a strategy — on the other hand, it could simply be the baseball gods rewarding Oakland despite the lassitude of its leaders. There’s not much of a news hook here; Oakland is quietly lobbying the A’s and Major League Baseball to keep the team in town, and has promised that its redevelopment agency has the cash to buy downtown or waterfront property and reserve it for a new stadium. In addition, Oakland’s biggest corporate players, led by Clorox, have assembled $500,000 in Athletics advertising as a gesture of good faith. But Newman does a nice job of summing up how we got to this point. Will we really see a new Athletics park around Jack London Square? Will Lew Wolff get over his Oakland antipathy and resign himself to dancing with the ugliest girl at the prom? Will Major League Baseball shitcan his drive to carve San Jose from the San Francisco Giants’ sphere of influence? (Short answer: they’d better, if they don’t want to see a certain blogger lurking behind the grassy knoll.) For the first time in many years, we are beginning to think Oakland has a solid chance of keeping the A’s in town, pumping 81 home games’ worth of cash into the local economy and sparing us the spectacle of a bat-wielding elephant prancing around the words “San Jose.” Hope — is this what it feels like?