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Neukom out as Giants’ managing GP

September 14, 2011

According to a report from the San Jose Mercury News, the Giants’ Executive Committee has asked CEO and Managing General Partner Bill Neukom to not return to the position next season. Larry Baer is reportedly tapped as his successor.

While it is obviously early in the unfolding of this situation, this move is extremely unsettling to those of us who were counting on the maintaining or hopefully even increasing of the payroll and investment in the team in coming seasons, allowing the franchise to develop into a dynasty like some prominent East Coast franchises have become. Reportedly much of the rift between Neukom and the board came from his decision to invest the additional income from last season’s historic run in things like technology and payroll. Needless to say, with the franchise needing to offer significant money to a number of high profile players in the coming seasons, this is cause for concern that the necessary payroll to keep the existing rotation in tact, as well as young players like Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval, will not be available.  Neukom’s “Giants Way” stood to guide the franchise in the years to come, but the direction the team is taking seems to be one of more fiscal conservatism that, in all reality, may not allow the team to continue to contend on a national level.

One interesting wrinkle is that it has been said that Neukom was the largest block to the A’s attempt at moving to San Jose, so it is possible that his deposition could open the way for that to finally happen. Hard to say what that would mean for both the A’s and Giants, but that is the least of Giants fans’ concerns at this point.

Having lived through the Magowan years, it’s not reassuring to look at the future of a businessman taking over a position that, in all actuality, someone with a stronger interest in and attachment to baseball needs to be in for the success of the organization.  We can only hope at this point that the talent currently on the team manages to stay and we aren’t forced to watch the farm system gutted, good players walk, and the team fall into a state of disrepair.

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