Byrnes, Giants a no-risk match

Byrnes, Giants a no-risk match

Jan. 20, 2010GIANTS PAGE

What on earth is taking the Giants and Eric Byrnes so long? Is inviting Byrnes to spring training -- and Byrnes accepting -- not the biggest no-brainer since you signed up for a Comcast DVR box? (OK, so that was blatant butt-kissing. Sue me. But good luck serving the papers. Ill be too busy watching every episode of "Phineas and Ferb" to answer the door.) The papers that matters here are those on which Byrnes should put his signature to a minor-league deal. Hey, it's what the fans seem to want, and it's not going to cost a dime. Worst-case scenario: Byrnes stinks. Giants cut him loose. All they lose is a little meal money. Best-case scenario: Byrnes returns to the 2007 form that prompted the Diamondbacks to give him a three-year, 30-million contract, and the Giants (the team he grew up rooting for) sign him to a big-league deal for the big-league minimum (for players with like service time). There seems to be some confusion among fans regarding Arizonas financial role in all of this, so heres the clear: The D-Backs will either pay Byrnes about 11 million this year to do nothing, or theyll have to pay him more than 10 million to play for another team. That other team would have to pay that minimum -- which in this case would be in the 800,000 range. Understand that Im not saying the Giants need another player in his mid-30s. In fact, my opinion is quite the opposite, but examine the offseason moves. The 2010 team is going to be older than the 2009 team, for better of worse. But this situation is different, mainly because theres absolutely no risk. The Bay Area native and former A's outfielder has said he wants to sign here, and at the very least hed be a nice little spring diversion story. Whats the holdup? --Mychael UrbanWhat's on your mind?EmailMychael and let himknow. He may use it in his weeklyMailbag.

NASL-champion San Francisco Deltas fold after one season


NASL-champion San Francisco Deltas fold after one season

The dream is no more. 

San Francisco Deltas' CEO Brian Andres Helmick ended speculation on Friday when he released a statement announcing the end of the team after one season in the North American Soccer League -- a DII professional league in the USSF pyramid. 

The Deltas are fresh off claming the NASL's championship in front of a sold-out crowd at Kezar Stadium, But even that wasn't enough to save a franchise who admittedly was struggling to stay afloat. 

"We are closing down the San Francisco Deltas," Helmick wrote. "As many of you have said, this journey that started in 2015 has the makings of a movie with character-defining struggles, heroic moments, painful defeats, and overcoming seemingly impossible hurdles all culminating in a dream come true on Sunday, November 12th when the SF Deltas were crowned the national champions after defeating the New York Cosmos — arguably the most storied brand in U.S. Soccer history. I’ll never forget the scene of thousands of fans storming the field. Now that the celebration has come to an end, players and coaches have been released from their contracts. We will not leave any loose ends and everybody will be paid what they’re owed for 2017 — including players, coaches, staff, partners and vendors."

In 32 league games, the Deltas amassed a 14-12-6 record and advanced to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup tournament where they lost to the San Jose Earthquakes. 

"In hindsight we have not been perfect," Helmick said. "Far from it. We have learned so much from this adventure and we will begin organizing our thoughts and learnings that led to us to make this decision. Our hope is to share them for the benefit of others who are interested in developing the sport here in San Francisco or in other cities. I firmly believe that via transparency and collaboration we can improve the sport we all love."

In response to the Deltas news, the NASL released the following statement: 'In San Francisco, it’s unfortunate that the Deltas’ business plans did not materialize in the way they had hoped. We remain a big believer in the market, as evidenced by the atmosphere and crowd at The Championship Final earlier this month, and we still believe that the city deserves a professional soccer team. We are in active discussions with potential ownership groups and we aim to keep professional soccer in San Francisco in the future."

The Deltas experiment is the latest to test the viability of professional soccer in San Francisco. Last Fall, another group fronted by Zappos.com founder NIck Swimurn -- San Francisco Football Club -- attempted to start a team using AT&T Park as its home stadium as part of the United Soccer League. The project and application was pulled.