The SF Giants bought a 25% share of the SJ Giants just as the 2009 regular season started. Now they are upping the ante by buying another 30% of the junior club, thus giving them a controlling stake in the High-A team. From Andrew Baggarly:
Baer said the Giants completed the transaction in June, adding a 30 percent stake to the 25 percent they agreed to buy in April 2009. He said little would change in the day-to-day management of the club, but the Giants would seize the opportunity to use the affiliate as a “testing ground for pilot projects” related to marketing as well as player development.
Baer denied that the investment is a reaction to efforts by the A’s to challenge their territorial rights to Santa Clara County. But if Major League Baseball’s ownership overturns those rights and allows the A’s to relocate there, the Giants’ interest in the San Jose club would provide an additional legal barrier. Minor league clubs must be compensated when they are forced to move.
Sure, Larry, it has absolutely nothing to do with the A’s. Looks like the folks at Progress Sports Management have decided to cash out, while the big club is readying itself for an even feistier defense of T-rights, or an even bigger payoff of its own.
A “testing ground for pilot projects” related to marketing? What would those pilot projects be? Expanded merchant nights? Radio and TV ads? Players going door-to-door? Keep in mind that the planned March election, if it occurs, would happen just prior to the start of the 2011 season – but also in the midst of spring training. That could give the Giants plenty of time to assert their “San Jose-ness,” whatever that means. Regionality strikes again.
As for further capital improvements to Muni, the question has to be asked, What were the SF Giants doing the last decade while Muni was going to hell? Do they honestly think they can broker some kind of deal? Or is it perhaps a consolation if T-rights are upheld? No matter what, San Jose is beyond settling for a consolation prize. I’ll paraphrase what they’re saying:
Baer/Neukom: We’re so sorry that you’re not allowed to have a major league team in your city. Really, it’s not our fault, we just have a “contract” and we need to uphold it. But while we’re talking, let me give you this watch, see it’s a real Rolex set of improvements to your tiny little Single-A ballpark. It’s a token of our appreciation. There now. Happy? Okay, gotta go.
I’m getting a beer.
Update 9:57 PM – In the comments, Sam S. points out that his household was pushpolled tonight. Lovely.
Question 1: Do you support an initiative for a new A’s stadium?
Question 2: Would you still support it if you knew that public money was being used for it at a time where there isn’t enough money for schools and public utilities.
I love this game?