The news of Bill Neukom’s ouster, or whatever it was, shocked the hell out of me. For the first time since the Magowan-led group took over in 1992, I remembered that this is a team owned by a group. Over the years, we as fans have seen decisions that should upset the owners, and we’ve wondered why things weren’t done to fix them. Things like not spending money wisely, dropping draft picks even though they’ll save money in the long run, and seasons of losing. And yet, for most of those years, Magowan felt like, if not the owner of the team, at least the leader of it.
And when Magowan was out (the debate continues about if he was forced out…I believe he was), Neukom again stepped in, and was the leader.
The most telling thing about this whole fiasco is: there’s no more Managing General Partner. That role has been eliminated. It’s not like they couldn’t give that title to Larry Baer, whose name is listed among the Principal Partners owning the team. It’s just gone.
That says to me that the ownership group wasn’t looking for a leader of the organization. Just a face of it. That saddens me.
Baseball is a business in which things change overnight. When you’re negotiating with free agents, other teams have a habit of swooping at the last minute. The Giants have done a good job of swooping at time. But it takes a unilateral decision to swoop, and more importantly, unilateral decisions to make choices quickly so that others DON’T swoop you. I don’t have the confidence an ownership by committee will do that.
Well, the honeymoon from the championship is now obviously over, if not even Bill Neukom can get the goodwill to continue in his job. Boy, some players (Aubrey, we’re looking at you) need to look out.