Larry Baer and Bill Neukom have a lot on their plate. But while the fans see winning a World Series as the meat, potatoes, vegetable medley, desert and after-dinner mint on that plate, our beloved and well-coiffed Giants Brass actually see winning as more of an appetizer. Bring the fans to the table, get them hungry, then charge them $9.50 for 16 ounces of flat, watered down Anchor Steam.
Of all the courses Baer and Neukom are looking forward to the most on this season’s Baseball Menu, the one where the Giants stick their fork in the A’s chances of moving to San Jose will get extra special attention. The Giants proved that once and for all this week, buying a 25% stake in the Single-A San Jose Giants that will increase to 30% in 2010. This makes sense in a way, as Minor League baseball should be fairly big business this season in the South Bay, with Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner and cheaper prices sure to send many a Giants fan 45 minutes south of Mays Field to spend what little disposable income they have in their pockets credit card accounts.
San Jose’s upset, because they are under the impression Bud Selig is going to go ahead and let the A’s move to San Jose, build them a baseball-only stadium and supply every A’s fan with a quality used car. Well, that may have happened in Washington D.C. (where the Baltimore Orioles had the same type of “territorial rights” that the Giants currently have in Santa Clara County), but Major League Baseball needed a place to toss the Montreal Expos and D.C. lawmakers wanted a team. Bad. Like, “we’re totally gonna take your antitrust exemption away” bad. I don’t get the feeling MLB is going to buy the A’s anytime soon, and there’s nobody powerful enough in San Jose to demand a baseball team, all apologies to Mark Purdy.
Purdy’s probably annoyed by the Giants’ latest example of territory-hogging, but that’s nothing compared to San Jose politicians, according to the San Jose Mercury News:
(SJ) Councilman Sam Liccardo, a big-league-ballpark booster who has been meeting with community leaders to draft a pitch for the A’s, was blunt about the Giants’ move, calling the timing “notable.”
“The only time I see pitchers from the (San Francisco) Giants in San Jose is when they’re on a rehab assignment,” he said. “And this pitch looks like an attempt to rehabilitate a San Francisco ballclub’s image in San Jose.
“Everyone’s assumption is that this is a plea to the commissioner, and I don’t think it changes anyone’s mind in the end.”
Looks like buying stake in the San Jose Giants is a shrewd business decision by Baer and Neukom, one that has nothing to do with the product on the field but everything to do with forcing the A’s out of the Bay Area. As much as a downtown Oakland baseball stadium would be nice, it’s never going to happen. As much as Sacramento says they support their Triple-A franchise and the Kings, the Kings are about two or three years away from bailing and everyone knows one million people doesn’t equal a Major League market.
If only the Giants paid as much attention to winning as they did to lifting their leg all over San Jose. They might even have as many World Series crowns as they Oakland A’s have won, who knows?
–At least the SJ Giants will have Madison Bumgarner, the best pitching prospect ever with the same first name as half of the Under-10 Mustang Girls Soccer League in Danville. Maddy-Bum struck out Manny-Ram today on three pitches, two fouls and a swing-through. He’s also a lefty who hasn’t burned his finger while cooking like Jonathan Sanchez just did (here’s a little hint, Jonathan: if the water’s bubbling or steaming, don’t test it with your finger…just drop the spaghetti/macaroni/ramen in the pot…this has to be the worst excuse for missing regular season games since Chris Brown “slept on his eye funny” or when Kevin Mitchell pulled a ribcage muscle while vomiting). Of course, since Bumgarner’s only 19 he probably hasn’t past the “Hot Pockets” stage of cooking yet. Mmmm, I could really use a Philly Cheese Steak Croissant Pocket or two right now, couldn’t you?