Monday, June 18, 2007

An Open Letter to Peter Magowan

Dear Mr. Magowan,

I have been a lifelong Giants fan. When I say "lifelong," I mean "since my first Will Clark rookie card" You see, Will Clark's Topps rookie card is my first memory of 20+ years of rooting for my favorite professional sports team. I grew up in Northern California and endured many frigid games at Candlestick Park. It somehow made perfect sense that the last ever night game at The 'Stick was one of the warmest and calmest evening in the ol' girl's history. I know, because BH and I were there.

What you did in 1993 to keep the Giants in San Francisco was legendary. What you did in the late 90's to build PacBell/SBC/AT&T/Phone Company Name Here/ Park was admirable and a fantastic gift to Giants fans. The first night game at the Phone Park was quite an experience. Again, I know, because I was there.

My point is that I have been a huge Giants fan and I will continue to be a huge Giants fan. But Mr. Magowan, when I read your remarks recently in Ken Rosenthal's column titled, "How Can the Giants Rebuild?" on, it became painfully obvious to me that you underestimate the passion that Giants fans have for their team. And that, Mr. Magowan, begs the question, Are you a fucking idiot? Seriously, are you dumb? You were posed a simple question: How would Giants fans react if the team attempts to rebuild? Your answer was telling:
"We have to compete with the A's. We also have to compete for sports and entertainment dollars with everyone else out there (in the Bay Area) — the 49ers, the Raiders, the Warriors, the Sharks. We're the smallest two-team market in baseball, one-third the size of New York, one-third the size of L.A., half the size of Chicago.

"If we were to announce like the Cleveland Indians did a few years ago that we were going to get younger, play a lot of young players and in three or four years be really good, that kind of announcement would not go down very well with our fans. It may not have gone down that well with the Cleveland fans."

Magowan then cites the decline in Indians' home attendance, from 3.46 million in 2000 to 2 million in '06.

Not to sound like Charles Barkley here, but first of all, don't ever compare us to Cleveland Indians fans. Okay? Are we straight? The only thing in me that resembles a Cleveland Indians fan is when, like in the movie Major League, I look at your roster and say, "This guy is dead."

More importantly, however, is your belief that Giants fans won't stick with the team if you are going to get younger, but promise to be really good in three or four years. You see, we would at least have hope if that were the case. By all accounts, the Indians did a pretty damn good job of rebuilding... twice. As of now, aside from Cain, Lincecum, Lowry, Sanchez, Frandsen, Schierholtz and Lewis, we have no hope. We're like a 95-year-old who has been given three weeks to live. In other words, we're just like your current roster.

But I digress. Mr. Magowan, what else do you have to say about your situation and Cleveland?:

"About a million-and-a-half people seem to have disappeared," he says. "I'm not entirely sure that attendance declined as a result of them saying, 'We're not going to be good.' It could be just economic factors. I know Cleveland is in an area where the economy is really poor and a lot of jobs have been lost. "But there is a risk in announcing, 'Expect us to lose 90 games the next three years, then we're going to be really good.' . . . I don't think we have to do that. As long as we have the starting pitching that we have, the Giants can compete."

Wow. I'm almost speechless. I mean, the Google campus in Mountain View and the Cisco campus in Milpitas have more jobs combined than the entire city of Cleveland, so, um, yeah, there could be economic factors behind those numbers.

But if I understand you correctly, rather than announce you're going to lose 90 games for the next three years, you would rather not announce it, but still lose 90 games for three straight years? 'Cause, that's kind of what has happened. We, the fans, are sick of coming to the same party year after year.

I do agree with you on one aspect. When you say, "As long as we have the starting pitching that we have, the Giants can compete," you could not be more correct. But that is PRECISELY WHY THE TIME TO REBUILD THE ROSTER IS NOW! (Sorry for the caps and exclamation point, but it was a must.) Your offense and defense can't exactly get much worse. Between the starting rotation and the bullpen, you have some young talent to build around, much like the guys in San Diego (who, oh by the way, are doing pretty well with a young roster). The pitching will keep you in most games, so cut off the dead wood and inject some life in this moribound Titanic.

Look, I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but I think I speak for most Giants fans when I say that your General Manager has to go. Like, now. Sure, he made some great trades in the late 90's, but the rest of the league caught up to him (2003), has since passed him, and he refuses to make the necessary adjustments to keep pace with the herd. In other words, it's kind of like the Lance Niekro experience at first base. And I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want my franchise hinging on what Lance Niekro is going to do at the plate against, well, anybody.

The time has come to rebuild. I encourage you to read the comments on articles by the aforementioned Rosenthal, Buster Olney, Peter Gammons, et. al. Giants fans are unanimous in this sentiment. You, Larry Baer and Sabes seem to be the only people in the free world that think this is a bad idea. (You also were the only people in the world who thought it was a good idea to give Jamie Moyer... er, I mean, Barry Zito a 7-year deal worth a kagillion dollars, but we can get into that later.) It's to the point that the Rockies are making us look really bad. The friggin' Rockies!

I reccomend you start the rebuilding by trading all of the old farts (see: Durham, Winn, Vizquel, Morris, Kline, Feliz, Klesko, Aurilia, Sweeney, Raiden, Johnny Cage, Scorpion, Liu Kang, Kano, Sonya Blade, Sub-Zero). Finish them. Finish them all!! Oh sure, a couple of them are having decent seasons, but that is precisely why you sell high (by "high," I mean "B- prospects") now rather than waiting for their careers to die like you did with Grissom, Woody, Brower, Tucker, Christiansen, Cruz, Fassero, Dunston, Aurilia...oh, you mean he's still playing?...

And, by the way, when you call up prospects, 33-year-olds with 12 major league at bats don't count (ahem, Luis R Figueroa, ahem.) To say his arrival is "uninspiring" is to do a major injustice to the word "uninspiring."

In short, we will stand by you, Mr. Magowan. But you need to do the right thing. You need to rebuild. And you need to start now. And if Sabean trades Lincecum for Michael Tucker before the trade deadline, I'll punch you and him both in the nose. I swear to God.


OZ said...

How can the offense get worse than no runs and last in the league in producing them? Maybe if we start comparing it to AAA? Might not look to good there either.

stapes said...

I'm back now after a business trip. Looks like the season has went even further inthe shitter while I've been gone.