Giants

Giants formally announce retirement of Neukom

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Giants formally announce retirement of Neukom

Sept. 15, 2011
URBAN ARCHIVEGIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEO

Mychael Urban
CSNBayArea.com staff

SAN FRANCISCO -- In a press conference that felt far more like a celebratory passing of the torch than a rehashing of the reportedly contentious events that led to it, outgoing Giants managing general partner Bill Neukom and incoming CEO Larry Baer insisted that it would be "business as usual" for the 2010 World Series champions.

The announcement of Neukom's pending departure followed Wednesday's San Jose Mercury News report that there was unrest in the ownership group over his leadership. Neukom admitted in his opening remarks that the release of the story advanced the club's internal year-end timetable for him stepping down. He described Thursday's gathering as "impromptu."

Neukom neither admitted nor denied reports of communication issues with the other owners, describing their dialogue over his three-year tenure as "robust."

Asked if he was forced out, Neukom said, "I don't think that's the right characterization at all."

Baer said he will assume Neukoms duties as CEO -- but not as managing general partner -- effective Jan. 1, 2012. Neukom will serve as chairman emeritus through 2012.

"We had hoped to make this announcement after our baseball season ended in order to minimize any distractions for the baseball team or for the fans or for the front office," Neukom said in his opening remarks. "... The good news is I will be succeeded by Larry Baer, who has been the cornerstone of this franchise for 20 years."

Asked about his dealing with the other investors, the 69-year-old former Microsoft lawyer said, "my relationship with the other investors, from my standpoint, is positive," adding that "there was no precipitating event that I'm aware of."

Neukom, who took over the primary ownership position from Peter Magowan in October 2008, said he will be divesting his ownership shares back to the ownership group, but will remain a season ticket-holder and be available for consultation "in every sense."
Neukom spoke of growing up in San Mateo and playing baseball in the street as a young fan of the Giants. He highlighted his father's purchase for him of 10 shares of Giants stock in 1958, adding that he wished he still had the stock certificate.

Baer indicated his gratitude and respect for Neukom's contributions, highlighted by last season's World Series victory over the Texas Rangers.

"First and foremost we achieved a world championship last year under Bill's leadership and we will never forget that," Baer said.

During the press conference Neukom laid out the goals he established after taking the owership lead in 2008. This included providing winning baseball for the fan base, increasing attendance, increasing the value of the Giants enterprise as a whole, and to "win it all."

"We managed to achieve this," Neukom said. "And I'm obviously very proud of that."

Neukom told the assembled media he plans to focus his attention on the World Justice Project, an initiative he founded in 2006 to strengthen the rule of law worldwide. He also plans to teach at Stanford Law School, his alma mater.

As for Baer, the focus remains unchanged.

"Going forward, this is business as usual. To put it simply, this is not a turnaround in any stretch of the imagination," Baer said, noting that in the soon-to-be 20 years under the current ownership group, the Giants are unique in having just three field managers, two general managers and now three CEOs.

"The perspective of winning is foremost, tantamount, always will be. We've had continuity around that concept since this group has owned the team."

Baer said that payroll would not be reduced and insisted the team would maintain its stance that it has territorial rights to San Jose.

Familiar faces trying to find success, health with Giants' Triple-A affiliate

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AP

Familiar faces trying to find success, health with Giants' Triple-A affiliate

SACRAMENTO -- A young man named Clayton Blackburn walked into the home clubhouse at Raley Field on Tuesday decked out in Round Rock gear. 

"You're here for my start?" he said, smiling.

Sorry, Clayton, I was on Panda Watch for two days. But it was fun watching Blackburn, DFA’d in a weird move earlier this year, face former teammates. Blackburn hasn't had a great season with Texas, but he is still just 24 and he has gotten into terrific shape. Given what happened during his call-up last year, you should root for him to get a second chance. 

Blackburn gave up three runs over six innings against his former team. The River Cats won on Jarrett Parker’s walk-off homer to dead center with two outs in the ninth. Parker was one of many familiar faces in the lineup Tuesday. Here are some thoughts on guys you know, and guys you will: 

--- Trevor Brown is the backup catcher in Sacramento, which is certainly a fall from his run as Buster Posey's backup. Brown is batting .168 in what has been a very frustrating season for him. The groin injury that slowed him early lingered, he had a concussion, and he hasn't been able to find any BABIP luck. This year seems a lost one for a guy who was a big part of 2016. I’m still intrigued by his versatility.

--- Chris Shaw is the latest podcast guest. You can stream it here. We talked about his power, his move to left, thinking he was a Ray, and more. I didn't see many at-bats, but I saw enough in left field to be confident he'll be fine out there. 

--- Parker started in center field and made a nice running catch at the wall. He wouldn't hold up as a big league center fielder, but perhaps the Giants should throw him out there a few times down the stretch to see if he can be a backup option next season. Parker said he finally found his swing over the past few games. His rehab assignment ends in about a week, and he’s expected back in San Francisco. 

--- Reyes Moronta, who spent a day in the majors in May, was promoted to Triple-A. In his first inning, Drew Stubbs took him deep. I found that quirky. It's been a long season with far too many transactions. 

--- If Steven Duggar would stay healthy, he would probably make it up to SF in September. Unfortunately, his hamstring was tight again this week, keeping him out of San Jose’s lineup for a few days. Speaking of health: Tyler Beede’s groin injury will keep him out longer than just the standard DL time … Melvin Upton Jr. is still in Sacramento rehabbing a shoulder injury, but he’s not throwing yet so it’s hard to picture him making any noise before September call-up time …Christian Arroyo is in Arizona rehabbing from hand surgery. 

--- Derek Law was smiling because Derek Law is always smiling. He has a 4.32 ERA but said he feels much better than those results. “My slider is back,” Law said. He should be, too, when the Giants expand their roster. There are some other interesting relievers in Sacramento. A first baseman told me opposing hitters grumble about facing D.J. Snelten (1.84 ERA) and Tyler Rogers has a 1.94 ERA as a dirt-scraping right-hander. 

--- A teammate predicted Carlos Moncrief would hit .270 in the big leagues if called up, and he ended up getting that call Wednesday morning. Moncrief is a fun clubhouse addition. He gave Sandoval some good-natured heckling for talking to reporters after going 1 for 4. 

--- The Giants have had a lot of veterans visit San Jose this season. They all bought the postgame spread, but word around the block is that Madison Bumgarner provided the best meal. He had steak and lobster delivered to San Jose Muni. 

Eduardo Nunez 'forever grateful' for his time spent with the Giants

Eduardo Nunez 'forever grateful' for his time spent with the Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Eduardo Nuñez left San Francisco in a strange way. The third baseman was traded in the middle of Tuesday night’s game and mostly said his goodbyes in a stairwell behind the home dugout at AT&T Park. Before joining the Red Sox, Nuñez took to his social media pages to send a message to the Giants and their fans. 

On Twitter, Nuñez thanked the organization for “the great opportunity and experiences learned” and wished the team the best of luck. His Instagram message was a bit longer. 

“I will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this amazing team,” Nuñez wrote. “I value the experiences learned during my time here and I will miss my teammates, the fans, and the beautiful city of San Francisco very much. Best wishes to the Giants organization during the rest of this season. God Bless.”

Nuñez is expected to join the Red Sox on Friday. Boston’s manager, John Farrell, told reporters that his new infielder will get “a high number of at-bats” despite the presence of top prospect Rafael Devers. 

"This is someone who's swinging the bat very well right now,” Farrell said, according to MassLive.com. "A high energy player that can run the bases well. He’s got really good line drive power so his .300-plus batting average to mix into this lineup is a good addition."