Peter Magowan, Giants owner who kept team in San Francisco, dies at 76


Peter Magowan, Giants owner who kept team in San Francisco, dies at 76

Former Giants executive Peter Magowan died Sunday afternoon in hospice care, his wife Debby Magowan told the San Francisco Chronicle. He was 76 years old. 

Magowan, along with Larry Baer, led a group of local investors who purchsed the team from Bob Lurie in 1992. He was San Francisco's managing general partner until stepping down from the position in 2008. The Giants signed free-agent outfielder Barry Bonds to a record-setting contract in the first offseason under his group, and later built what is now known as Oracle Park using private funding.

“Peter was a rare combination in life of a close friend and mentor,” Baer, the Giants' President and CEO, told the Chronicle in a statement. “We carried on that relationship for three decades. When you really got to know Peter you saw that he had a heart of gold.”

Lurie first reached an agreement to sell the Giants to a group which wanted to move the team to Florida. Magowan and Baer's group stepped forward with a $100 million bid when the National League rejected Lurie's initial sale, and told him to find a group who would keep the team in the city by the Bay. 

Two years later, Magowan and the Giants announced plans to build a waterfront ballpark in downtown San Francisco. The Giants broke ground on the $350 million privately financed stadium in 1997, and it opened three years after that. 

During Magowan's tenure, Bonds became broke Mark McGwire's single-season home-run record, and Hank Aaron's all-time mark. Those accomplishments came at the height of baseball's "steroid era," and Bonds himself was linked to performance-enhancing drugs. The Mitchell Report, an investigation led by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, determined that the Giants willfully ignored Bonds and other players using steroids. He later told the Chronicle he regretted not doing more. 

Magowan had recently gone into hospice care, according to the Chronicle, and had previously had surgeries to treat prostate and liver cancer. The Giants were already set to honor Magowan with a place on their Wall of Fame on Feb. 9. 

Giants' Larry Baer believes Arizona might be best spot for MLB season


Giants' Larry Baer believes Arizona might be best spot for MLB season

It remains to be seen when, or even if, the 2020 MLB season will happen.

Coronavirus continues to leave the season suspended indefinitely, as MLB stadiums remain devoid of all typical spring activities.

One idea that has been thrown out is the league holding a shortened version of the season in a neutral location, like team spring training hubs in Florida and Arizona.

“I think we’ve got to look at the path that presents the best public health option,” Giants CEO Larry Baer said Friday on KNBR. “Arizona might be a better possibility because you could get 30 teams there in more approximate distancing, meaning that everybody would not be a four or five-hour drive from one ballpark to another.”

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All of Arizona’s Cactus League spring training stadiums are within the same county (Maricopa), while Florida’s Grapefruit League stadiums stretch all across the expansive state, with some being hundreds of miles apart.

[RELATED: Takeaways from Giants' sim opener on MLB The Show]

Baer emphasized that many scenarios have been thrown out around the league, but that the safety of all those involved with the game should take precedent.

“That’s one idea, there are other ideas out there,” Baer said. “I just think we’ve got to chase down every possible idea to return baseball, but only when it’s safe and only when [there is] public health clearance.”

Joey Bart-Buster Posey comparisons legit, ex-Giants GM Bobby Evans says

Joey Bart-Buster Posey comparisons legit, ex-Giants GM Bobby Evans says

Back in 2008, the Giants selected a franchise-altering player in the first-round of the MLB draft.

Ten years later, the Giants drafted Joey Bart at No. 2 overall, hoping he would have the same impact that Buster Posey had on the franchise over the last decade.

Before he was fired as general manager in Sept. 2018, Bobby Evans was responsible for drafting Bart. What did Evans and the Giants see in the Georgia Tech star? The former long-time Giants executive was asked that during an interview on KNBR 680 on Friday.

"He's just so far advanced, for us, looking at him at Georgia Tech and we had a chance to track him throughout his time there," Evans said. "Our scout covering Georgia Tech at the time played at Georgia Tech and had a good inside track as to who Joey was. But he was able to see, this was a guy in college that is calling his own game, he takes as much pride in what he's doing behind the plate as he does with the bat. He's a smart, smart hitter. He's at Georgia Tech for a reason because he's a smart guy to begin with, but he's a smart hitter.

"The challenge he'll have as he advances is, he's got right-center field power which he'll have to continue to work on at [Oracle Park] and other places. But the power is real and it's raw and you've got a lot to look forward to in Joey."

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Ever since he was drafted, Bart has been seen as the heir apparent to Posey, and Evans gave credence to the comparisons.

"The flashes of Buster Posey are not lost on us, because there's so much common ground there, really starting with the character of the player," Evans said.

Bart finished the 2019 season at Double-A and was expected to begin the 2020 season at Triple-A before the global coronavirus pandemic stopped everything.

[RELATED: Why Bart was reassigned in camp]

Once baseball does begin, Giants fans everywhere will be keeping an on Bart's every move, hoping they soon will see him at Oracle Park in San Francisco.