This is gonna be the last thing I write for about two weeks, as I’m going on vacation. Reader James Wang suggested we talk about the “letter,” so here it is:
From: Peter A. Magowan [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, January 29, 2007 8:21 PM
Subject: From the desk of Peter Magowan
This evening, we will announce that Barry Bonds, the 14-year Giants veteran and seven-time National League Most Valuable Player, signed a one-year contract with the Giants.
As you’ve probably heard, the process of negotiating this contract was complex, lengthy and highly unconventional. This decision was not taken lightly and we spent significant time evaluating all of the elements and circumstances surrounding the negotiations before we made a final determination to move forward.
Of particular concern were the allegations against Barry in the New York Daily News on January 12th. We consider any action by one player to unfairly damage the reputation of another player to be a serious matter. Based on the information that we have at hand in this matter and in discussions with both players, all of the facts have not been accurately portrayed. After evaluating the situation and its potential impact on clubhouse chemistry, we came to the conclusion that the Giants’ players will be able to function as a team committed to supporting each other and dedicated to doing everything they can to succeed on the playing field.
Additionally, we felt that with these assurances, signing Barry to a one-year contract helped us pursue a long-term strategy toward getting the club back on track. With his presence in our lineup and only a one-year contractual commitment, we were able to avoid the temptation to trade away some of our valuable young pitching talent and were able to free up long-range funds to acquire a front line pitcher. These decisions enabled us to sign Barry Zito, retain our promising and highly sought-after young pitchers and fill our need for a power hitter in the middle of our lineup. We believe that this combination of moves provides the Giants with a better chance of winning in 2007 and in the years ahead.
You may also be interested to know that even with the signing of the 42-year-old Bonds, the average age of the 2007 Giants will be 30.7 years versus 32.7 in 2006. So we have gotten younger and presumably healthier as we stated we would try to do when the 2006 season ended.
I understand that this has been a particularly controversial and difficult decision and that there are strong opinions on both sides of the issue. I received letters, emails, phone calls and had many conversations with many of our season ticket holders during our Fanfest. I truly appreciate your passion for the Giants as we work through these complex issues. At the end of the day, I believe we have put together an exciting team for the coming season.
Like you, I am pleased that we have been able to complete this process so that we can all turn our attention to the day when pitchers and catchers report to Arizona on February 14. Thank you again for your commitment to the Giants and I look forward to seeing you at Spring Training or when we open our All-Star Season at AT&T Park.
Peter A. Magowan
President and Managing General Partner
San Francisco Giants
James thinks this is a cheap stunt, talking about doing something instead of actually doing something. Well, yeah, of course it is. Why should the Giants care about their season ticket holders? They don’t do anything, either. They don’t cancel their tickets when they disagree with the direction of the team. They don’t stage walkouts or organize en masse to boycott a game, or a series or whatever. The local media doesn’t show any real concern for the sorry state of the franchise, they trumpet the signing of a complete washout like Finley, actually telling us that Brian Sabean said he expects Finley to get 500 at bats(!) when anyone with a computer could have told him THERE WAS NO WAY IN HELL THAT WAS GONNA HAPPEN!!!!!
I feel, (quite strongly, actually), that no one really wants to be critical of anything anymore. I mean, anything, not just baseball or sports. Here at OBM, it’s been suggested that that’s all I do. Well, somebody’s got to.
Talk amongst yourselves….