But what does the city’s leadership do? It commits a possibly game-changing error, giving the tenant a one-year lease extension … for absolutely nothing.That’s the gift the city just gave the Anaheim Angels — a business that’s been relatively rude to the city, even dropping “Anaheim” from the franchise’s identity.Let me employ way too many baseball analogies to help you understand this governmental “wild pitch.”Let’s just say, economically speaking, the ballclub was down to its last strike and far behind on the scoreboard, too. The Angels had absolutely no options for home games after the 2019 season ended. None. Zippo.All the city had to do was play a little hardball — you know, toss some head-high pitches, in financial terms — and the negotiating ballgame was easily won. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error PreviousAnaheim Ducks mascot Wild Wing give high-fives to Angels fans before a game against the Indians at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Tuesday, September 19, 2017.(Photo by Kyusung Gong, Orange County Register/SCNG)Angel’s Albert Pujols, left, gets a handshake from owner Arte Moreno in the dugout prior to the Freeway Series game against the Dodgers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Sunday, March 25, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 25: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim watches the ball leave the stadium after a solo homerun hit by Joey Gallo #13 of the Texas Rangers during the third inning of a game at Angel Stadium on September 25, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsThe Big A at Angel Stadium of Anaheim sits on the east side of the parking lot next to the 57 Freeway. The giant A, complete with light-up halo, was the Angel’s scoreboard when the stadium opened in 1966. The $1 million, 230 feet tall scoreboard was the largest built at the time. The Big A was moved to it’s present location in 1980. (File photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)Angels owner Arte Moreno hired a new team manager and exercised the stadium opt-out clause with Anaheim. (File Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)Arte Moreno, 71, from Phoenix, is worth $2.5 billion primarily because he turned wealth created by a billboard company into his ownership of the Anaheim Angels. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)Former Angels pitcher and first draft pick Eli Grba,left, with owner Arte Moreno during opening day ceremonies before a major league baseball game between the BluJays and the Angels at Angel Stadium on Friday, April 8, 2011, in Anaheim. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Birmingham/SPORTS)Angels’ owner Arte Moreno talks with Jose Mota, at left, during Spring Training workouts at the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex in Tempe on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Former Angels pitcher and first draft pick Eli Grba during opening day ceremonies before a major league baseball game between the BluJays and the Angels at Angel Stadium on Friday, April 8, 2011, in Anaheim. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Birmingham/SPORTS)A rider takes a jump during a practice session for the opening event of the Monster Energy Supercross season at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Friday, January 4, 2019. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)A selection of Saint Archer beers, a Blackberry Gose, a Saint Angels lager, an Imperial Red and the Saint Archer Pale Ale, from left, during a media event previewing the new eats at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Friday, March 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Opening Day merchandise is previewed at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Friday, March 30, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Orange County Register/SCNG)Fans cheer for the Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani during their game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)Angel Stadium fans cheer as Albert Pujols takes off on his 600th home run trot.The Angels were playing the Minnesota Twinsin Anaheim, CA on Saturday, June 3, 2017. (Photo by Bill Alkofer,Orange County Register/SCNG)Anaheim Ducks mascot Wild Wing give high-fives to Angels fans before a game against the Indians at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Tuesday, September 19, 2017.(Photo by Kyusung Gong, Orange County Register/SCNG)Angel’s Albert Pujols, left, gets a handshake from owner Arte Moreno in the dugout prior to the Freeway Series game against the Dodgers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Sunday, March 25, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)NextShow Caption1 of 14Angel’s Albert Pujols, left, gets a handshake from owner Arte Moreno in the dugout prior to the Freeway Series game against the Dodgers at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Sunday, March 25, 2018. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)ExpandThe city of Anaheim had in its sights what old-time baseball folks would call a “can of corn” — an easy-to-catch fly ball.But the city dropped the game clincher.Anaheim owns a quarter-square-mile or so of prime, transit-close real estate. The current tenant — a high-profile enterprise owned by a billionaire — is paying, relatively speaking, not much to use the property.This tenant actually opted out of its sweet lease, giving the city an easy “out” — a “walk-off,” to boot, letting the often-cantankerous renter walk away so Anaheim could reap the rewards as a landowner in a county where developable dirt sells at a steep premium. The city could have forced the Angels to make massive economic concessions to stay … or at least pay something to get this near-deadline bargaining into “extra innings.”If not, the city could declare “victory” and regain control of the valuable asset.Instead, the city chose to toss a soft pitch to the financially sound ball team. An oddly timed “intentional walk” — in baseball terms, a strategic gift or free pass — came in the form of giving the team more time it didn’t have to negotiate a new stadium lease.The city played this bargaining session like a team needing some come-from-behind Rally Monkey magic when it was clearly winning the game. The newly reconstituted city council — now leaning pro-business after recent elections — once again proved that business-friendly politics often lacks economic logic.How else can you explain the free surrender of huge bargaining leverage to owner Arte Moreno and his baseball franchise, last valued by Forbes magazine at $1.8 billion?I’ve covered supposedly “win-win” public-private partnerships for way too long to know that for taxpayers these deals are commonly seen as “heads, the business wins; tails, the city loses.”And a key reason is that far too often municipalities just can’t say “No” and walk away when the opportunity arises. Politicians take too much comfort in status quo, no matter the cost — or the squandered opportunity.One could argue that having the Angels leave Anaheim isn’t an economic “grooved pitch” — an easy one to hit — because the real estate business often throws a curve or two. Yes, there are no guarantees in trying to replace the people magnetism of the team and the stadium, which draw millions to the city.On the other hand, Anaheim already has a fairly deep lineup of people-grabbing stars. You know, like Disneyland. And pro hockey’s ANAHEIM Ducks.And please tell me what’s the taxpayer’s true cost of the city being in the baseball business, albeit playing at the most-risky/little-upside part of the field?It’s said that after paying for various slices of upkeep and current operations, Angel Stadium is proportionally not much more than a break-even proposition for taxpayers. And supposedly the stadium needs $150 million or so in upgrades to stay “competitive” with other ballparks.If it was up to me, I’d tell the Angels thanks for the memories and list the stadium property for sale as a “tear down” investment. Yeah, it’s not as sexy as “swinging for the fences” by dreaming of another real estate “grand slam” — the city-overseen creation of some super urban entertainment center surrounding the ballpark. (How’d nearby GardenWalk pan out?)But I’d rather play “small ball” and accept a mere “single” — cashing in on a strong real estate market, especially with a land-starved institution (ahem, Walt Disney Co.) operating two theme parks just down Katella Avenue.Sign up for The Home Stretch newsletter. Get weekly housing news on affordability, renting, buying, selling and more. Subscribe here.Why not set an example for the entire state — trade the lure of chasing retail tax dollars for the societal opportunity of getting more housing built?And just because the city opted for extra innings, Anaheim isn’t a lost cause. Perhaps city leaders can use its home-field advantage to negotiate somewhere near a true winning deal with Moreno and his Los Angeles-themed Angels.But I’m still rooting for a “walk-off” result!I’ll bet sale proceeds of the stadium property could easily halve the city’s significant pension-liability burdens, for example. A 2016 appraisal valued the stadium land as high as $325 million. And Orange County real estate hasn’t gotten any cheaper since!That’s a bounty that could allow Anaheim do what cities do best — you know, the municipal and civic basics like constituency services, public safety, transportation along with its extensive convention and tourism promotional roles.Leave the pitching and catching of economic development to the private sector.