A Giants' Fanatic's Plea to Mr. Ellison

Why look southward? There's a franchise here in your backyard that would offer you infinitely more bang for the buck for your money (and ego, if you care about that too).

Dear Mr. Larry Ellison,

As the owner, founder and CEO of Oracle, you have been an aggressive and successful industry pioneer. You seek great challenges of inordinate courage and fortitude, as evidenced by your yachting adventures. You are fascinated by the culture and principles of the samurai of Japan. What better way of utilizing these admirable facets of your personality by buying the Giants and leading them to a World Series championship?

These are all characteristics that a Giants owner could use right now. A Giants owner needs to be aggressive in pursuing a World Series Championship before Barry Bonds becomes the Giants hitting coach emeritus. Success, well, that goes without saying, we ain't got none for over 50 years now. Courage and fortitude? We're talking Giants fans who have waited 50 years for another World Series championship, San Francisco Giants fans who have never experienced such a feeling, having to watch other much younger teams in less populated markets, like the Twins and Marlins, which have both experienced multiple championships in the past 15-20 years or even Arizona, which got one after only four years of existence.

Samurai Pride and the Giants' Japan Connection

How does the samurai fit in here? Think about how the baseball obsessed Japanese fans will rever you if you brought a World Series Championship to the San Francisco Giants. There's a reason why the Giants name is 1 of 2 Japanese teams out of 12 teams to have a team name the same as an MLB team.

Think about the acclaim you will garner in Japan among the samurai devotees in Japan by leading the San Francisco Giants to a World Series championship. Think of it further: which sport is most like a samurai, poised with a long stick in hand, ready to strike at your opponents? It ain't football.

Why Not Stay Local?

Besides, what's the allure of the NFL El-Lay franchise anyway? It would just be more money thrown your way and you don't really need more of that anyway, it would just be pocket change to you. Plus where is the upside? You would have to be a real idiot to not make it in the LA market with all the help of the NFL at your disposal and the best football minds (i.e. your neighbor Bill Walsh) available to help the franchise with its re-birth. If you fail with that, you would have a tremendous moon-sized egg on your face, like the previous LA owners, but if you succeed, it will be, ho-hum, so what, what's the next thing.

However, as successful as the Giants ownership have been since they bought the team in 1993 and developing the stadium, they still claim to be using every dime that they have, plus more since they claim losses, and the Giants don't look like it will be able to make the final steps it needs to look like they can win the World Series championship. Any fan can see that. You could be the final ingredient, the samurai who comes and saves the village, the wind giving the Giants an extra push across the finish line first.

Countdown to Barry's Career

Barry Bonds isn't getting younger, contrary to his stats of the past few years. The end of the tunnel is clearly in view and rapidly approaching. He is the Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Wayne Gretzky of baseball, a once-in-the-lifetime player, and he deserves to enjoy the moment most once-in-a-lifetime player gets to do, say that he was the champ at least once in his career. Ted Williams, Juan Marichial, and Willie McCovey were denied that privilege but Bonds can still be "saved", like John Elway was, in his final years.

He needs an owner who can give him a big RBI guy hitting behind him. Not to protect him. Everyone can see that he cannot be protected by anyone. Heck, Jeff Kent hit behind him for all those years, driving in a record number for a secondbaseman, and that still didn't deter pitchers and managers from walking him, even in his 73 homer year. That's not the point, however.

If someone like a Vlad or a Carlos Beltran was hitting behind him, that batter will probably set the record for RBI in a season (Hack Wilson set the record with 191 RBI in 1930). Who cares if the other team keep on walking him as long as the batter behind him has great success in driving in Bonds, even if Barry is walked. That's the point, that whoever hits behind him have a reasonably good chance to drive him in. You need a power hitter who also gets on base a lot to do that.

In addition, the Giants offense right now revolves around Bonds getting on base over 50 percent of the time. However, as we all saw in early May, when Bonds is out sick, the Giants offense is out sick as well. With another good batter in the lineup, instead of a city-wide blackout on the Giants offense, hopefully it is just the light bulb flickering on and off like in a brownout when Bonds is out. Plus he said that he's not playing 147 games again, so that's around 20-30 games that he will be out of the lineup. It could have cost us this year as the Giants ended up 1 game short of making the playoffs or at least forcing tie-breaker games for the playoffs.

Giants Fans Want YOU, Larry Ellison!

Getting such a player takes money, more money than the current Giants ownership has. I am as appreciative of the current ownership as anyone. As a fan starting out in the 1970's, I loved my Giants then despite their mediocre play and I greatly appreciate the competitive teams the current ownership provides that have a chance to win the division every year, especially after Brian Sabean took over as GM.

Plus they saved the team when it was headed out to Florida and Tampa Bay. It is a debt all Giants fans can never repay nor forget. However, I'm not just thinking about it for myself, though I would love it if the Giants win it all.

I'm thinking of all the San Francisco Giants fans who have been following the team since its inception in 1958, people like my Uncle Mike, who is nearing 80 years of age, who would love to see a championship during their lifetime. These are people who are nearing the end of a different tunnel. And this group of people get smaller every year. My father-in-law, with whom I greatly enjoyed listening to Giants games together, unfortunately didn't make it.

Radical Change is Not Needed

And it doesn't mean that anything really needs to change with the Giants. Peter Magowan could stay as managing owner along with Larry Baer as CEO. Brian Sabean could stay as GM. Felipe Alou could stay as manager. Almost everything could stay the same except one thing: Senior General Partner.

You can be that Senior General Partner, Mr. Ellison. And, instead of being a silent partner like current Senior General Partner (not many know his name, Harmon Burns), you can be much more accessible to the public and have a public face as THE owner of the San Francisco Giants. I'm sure Peter Magowan would mind that if it brought a World Series championship to the Giants, he has been waiting as long as any of us have, as a Giants fan.

And many organizations, in particular governmental ones, split their top job. There's the one who acts as the public face of the organization (like the Mayor), that you can do, like Head of State stuff, and then there's the one doing the real work (like the City Manager), like Magowan would do. And with the extra money that you can bring to the team, that money can fund a pennant drive that would put Jerry Colangelo to shame.

Imagine the Possibilities

Just think, with your pocket change money, the Giants could sign Pedro Martinez, Carl Pavano, Carlos Beltran, Magglio Ordonez, Orlando Cabrera, and Troy Percival, and still have money left over to get us a top setup man or two for the bullpen. That would cover up most of our weaknesses and then some. But even if you could only get us half those guys, that should be more than enough to push the Giants to the top.

And the Giants only need the money to tide them over the 2005 and 2006 seasons, they won't need the $1 billion that an NFL expansion team in El Lay would need. A $250 million investment now should be enough to make you Senior General Partner (maybe a smidge more) and fill the Giants coffers for years of overspending (plus make MLB management happy - i.e. get Selig off their back - because the debt-equity ratio would go waaay down). Because after 2006, Bonds salary - as will all of the high priced position players currently on the team - will be off the books and Sabean's nice crop of draftees should be ready to cheaply give the Giants a pitching rotation to envy with Schmidt, Cain, Williams, Lowry, and Foppert, perhaps, with Merkin Valdez as super-setup man to our new closer, David Aardsma. Heck, we might even still have Pedro so Foppert could also pull super-setup man duty as well.

With a team like that, the Giants would look like a team that have a great chance to go all the way in 2005 and 2006 plus continue to compete after Barry retires. Think of the fame you would get as the owner who put the Giants over the top! You would get a collective yawn from the jaded El Lay crowd if you did the same with an NFL franchise in LA (once the rioting stopped, of course). Plus they might view you like a carpetbagger the way they viewed Al Davis after he brought the Raiders down there, since you are more associated with Northern California than Southern California.

Furthermore, how long would it take you to get to the point in the NFL of winning the Super Bowl with an expansion team? 3 years? 5 years? 10 years? With the Giants, all the ingredients are in place and ready to cook, all it takes is your investment to put the fire to the pan and get things boiling. We could have championships coming out of our ears to 2010 if you invested $250 million in the Giants right now with Brian Sabean running the show.

So please consider this as an option in your plans for investing in sporting franchises. With your wealth, you probably could easily do both of them and not miss the money. However, the clock is ticking on the Giants chances to win it all with Barry Bonds as their offensive leader and for all the San Francisco Giants fans who have been waiting for all their lifes and afterlifes - 47 seasons and counting - now for a World Series championship. Do it for the Bay Area, where you have lived for all these years and, I assume, enjoyed living here. Thanks and take care.

Sincerely,
Martin Lee, Biased Giants Fanatic



Martin Lee writes 'A Biased Giant's Fanatic's View' for SFDugout.com when the mood and muse strikes him. He wants to teach and share his love of baseball and, in particular, his love for the San Francisco Giants. He will believe to his dying days that Bobby Bonds was robbed of being the first 40-40 player and should be in Cooperstown. Please feel free to e-mail him at BiasedGiantsFanatic@nospam.yahoo.com (remove the "nospam." if you wish to e-mail me) if you have a question or comment.

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