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It’s been a long while since I’ve posted here. Almost two months. But if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know I’ve been busy writing about baseball. Very busy. In early September, I started writing weekend features for Bas ...

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Bill Neukom Means Business

by Wendy Thurm on September 1, 2011

 ”Ownership was apprised throughout the process,” Giants General Manager Brian Sabean said. “That was not a problem.”

Story by Andrew Baggarly on MercuryNews.com

The process referred to is the one that led the Giants to designate Miguel Tejada and Aaron Rowand for assignment on Wednesday. Ownership is Giants Managing General Partner and Chief Executive Office Bill Neukom. Neukom was “apprised” because cutting ties with Rowand without trading him means the Giants remain on the hook for the remainder of his 5-year/$60 million contract–estimated at more than $14 million.  According to Baggarly, Neukom signed off on the decision “without delay.”

It remains to be seen over the next 28 days whether ridding themselves of Rowand and Tejada will turn the Giants season around. I’m not particularly hopeful, simply because there isn’t a lot of time left and, after play on Wednesday, the Giants remain 6 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks with 25 games to go. The Giants could have–should have–made these moves a month ago, or more. My guess is that the Giants believed they’d plugged an important hole with Beltran trade, that the offense would be heading in the right direction, and that the Diamondbacks would fold. That turned out to be very wrong, and the delay may very well cost the Giants a return trip to the post-season.

But on Wednesday, there was a way to make the team better, for whatever remains of the 2011 season and beyond. Yes, $14 million is a lot of money, even for a World Series Champion with nearly a season of sold out games at AT&T Park. But the Giants owed Rowand that money whether he played or sat on the bench, whether he hit a pinch-hit home run or swung at every slider on the outside corner.

In business it’s called “a sunk cost.”  When the product that led to the sunk cost can no longer perform, you cut your losses and move on.  Good companies do it every day. Baseball teams usually don’t.

Bill Neukom made the right business decision for the long-term success of the Giants.  He did so “without delay.”  For Giants fans, that’s the best and most important news of the day.

 

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ray September 1, 2011 at 9:20 am

Still not happy about the Beltran trade, and it probably did give the Giants a month to sit around telling themselves “we’re doing everything we can.” Glad they made the moves, glad to see the Giants bang 12 hits in the first game after, we’ll see how it plays out. Firecrackers only bang once; hopefully this was more than that.

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Creeia1 September 2, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Where was this move last year? I m no Rowand fan, but he wasn’t a train wreck off the bench. The Giants need a right handed hitter off the bench. It’s great that the Giants management want to give the Aubrey “rally thong” Huff a 2 year deal at 10 mill a pop- he’s hitting .220 and he plays everyday! I know Neokum and Co. aren’t sweating the $ because everyone in SF has a home and away T shirt or Jersey(myself included)- but imagine what we would look like if we cut ties last year with Rowand when we could get something for him and signed Huff to the $2 mill contract that he deserved.

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Creeia11 September 3, 2011 at 7:47 am

Left off a 1 on the email address–
GO GIANTS!!!!- nice to see them actually score some runs!

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