Rumors abound that Peter Magowan wants to wave his frozen peas over the express lane check-out scanner and step down as the Giants president and managing partner. Former Giant beat writer Mark Gonzales, now covering baseball for the Chicago Trib, slipped the whispers into the public record at the back end of a tiny blog post Wednesday night. (Ain’t bloggin grand?) San Fran scribblers have dutifully followed suit and noted they’ve heard similar stuff for some time; Ray Ratto gives his take here.
(And for a refresher course on how Magowan came to be the face of Giants ownership, read this.)
Everyone retires sooner or later. If indeed he’s leaving, here’s what to watch for:
* Is it because of the Mitchell Report fallout? Is there pressure from MLB and/or legal entities?
* Who steps up to make the big decisions? Other owners? Sue Burns, the widow of Harmon Burns, is the largest shareholder. Chief operating officer Larry Baer? Does he even have an ownership stake? Or will the group look for someone outside to buy Magowan’s stake, which Ratto estimates at 15%?
* Is it time to sell the team? Without Magowan, it’s possible that other owners will want to cash out and move on. You can betcha we’ll soon see stories about who might want to buy the team. Eddie D! Willie Brown! Robin Williams! Joe Montana! George Lucas! I vote for Fritz Maytag. C’mon, Fritz, live the dream: Mays Field at Anchor Park.
* If Magowan goes, does Sabean go with him? We’ve debated many times in this space who really pulls the strings on the roster decisions, i.e., who’s to blame for the Zito contract. A lot of the facts are speculation, but we do know that Magowan has rarely wavered in his support for Sabean, save for a few comments at the beginning of 2007. Are they tied at the hip?
If P-Mags is really double-bagging his black-and-orange groceries for the last time, it’s quite a legacy he’s left behind. The dramatic revival of a storied sports franchise, a successful but ultimately disappointing run with the best and most controversial player in history, a dysfunctional, co-dependent decline, a reputation for tolerating pharmaceutical, um, leniency, and a better-late-than-never stab at the difficult task of rebuilding.
You’re not gone yet, P-Mags, but I have to hand it to you, pen pal: It’s been fun, and when it hasn’t been fun, it’s been weird.
But not weird enough? Give us your most outlandish suggestions for who should take over as the new managing partner/top dog of the Giants.