So there I was, trying to cheer myself after another A’s loss with a side trip to SF’s new high-tech grilled cheese joint The Melt, and I hear that Bill Neukom, he of the monopoly-defending ways (for both the Giants and Microsoft), has been ousted as CEO. “What the what?!?!” I thought.
Mark Purdy appears to have the best read on things. Whether Neukom was too profligate a spender or if his style rubbed the rest of the Giants executive committee the wrong way, it’s a shocking end to a tenure.
At this point it’s much too early to know how this is going to shake out for the A’s. Neukom may stay on in some capacity, and if it’s as some sort of legal counsel, there’s no reason to think the Giants will be even the slightest amount more flexible regarding territorial rights to Santa Clara County. Team President Larry Baer will take the reins, and he hasn’t exactly been friendly to the concept. In a similar manner, Texas Rangers managing partner Chuck Greenberg was deposed before the beginning of the season and subsequently replaced by Nolan Ryan.
Still, you have to think that with the brain-trust of the Giants so worried about spiraling payrolls despite consecutive sellout crowds and locked-in TV dominance, something has to give. Given Bud Selig’s generally laissez faire approach to managing owners and ownership groups, this has to be an internal struggle. Who knows, maybe T-rights is part of the discussion? I can’t see it being at the top of the priority list. Selig is probably watching closely to make sure that the Giants don’t turn into the Dodgers, and not much else.