Urban: Neukom was face of Giants, not owner

September 14, 2011, 11:54 pm
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Sept. 14, 2011


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Mychael Urban

It feels and sounds like a huge deal: DEFENDING CHAMPS CAN OWN BOSS!And hey, it is a big deal. Bill Neukom, aka "Bow-tie Billy," reportedly is out less than a year after the team he represents reached the top of baseball's mountain.On the sexy scale, this is Brooklyn Decker to the hopeless wild-card chase's Roseanne Barr.But is it really that big of a deal?From here, it feels like a big, fat, "no."RELATED: Giants release statement on Neukom's 'retirement'
What it feels like, truth be told, is the final verdict of a spirited game of laser tag between members of the ownership group.
Look, Neukom was the face of Giants ownership. NOT the owner. The owners, if you want to get all technical, are the Burns family, which holds a controlling interest. But there are many other fingers in the pie. Now Neukom is not the face of Giants ownership. Just like Peter Magowan before him. And just as Magowan, despite public appearances, didn't make every call regarding whom to sign or not, Neukom didn't either. The group made those decisions together.And the group, it appears, didn't like that the managing general partner seemed to revel in the appearances. Perhaps it was his increasing visibility in the wake of the title. The frequent references to "The Giants Way," which he loved to espouse. The hanging out behind the cage during batting practice.Can't you just hear the other partners?Who does this guy think he is? Why is he getting all the credit? Why is he front and center?Makes you wonder if this would have happened were the Giants merrily rolling to another playoff appearance. Losing tends to make folks edgy, Petty, even.That's not to suggest the Giants' ownership group was being petty here. But if they felt as though Neukom was getting too big for his britches, the bow tie bows out.Now there's a new face. Larry Baer. Wait, hasn't he kind of been the face of this thing all along?

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