I usually stay away from politics on here for obvious reasons. They’re too divisive, and this is supposed to be a place about sports, a safe haven. But I think the one thing we can all agree on is that Donald Trump is a dangerously ignorant man-child, the wriggling embodiment of the seven deadly sins, each of them competing against the other for supremacy at all times. I don’t think it’s too controversial to suggest that he is a collection of humanity’s worst impulses, someone who is both an existential threat to the world and definitive proof that people don’t deserve to exist in the first place.
And he wanted to buy the Giants.
Deadspin took a long look at Trump’s attempt to create a new baseball league, which I knew absolutely nothing about, and they included the following tidbits:
On Feb. 11, 1985, UPI sports editor Milton Richman had a story headlined “With Flutie in Tow, Trump Looks to Get Into Baseball,” which said that Trump’s bid to buy the Twins had fallen through, “so the team that interests him now is the San Francisco Giants.”
In the San Diego Union-Tribune on March 21, 1985, Giants owner Bob Lurie confirmed that Trump told him he “was interested in owning the Giants in San Francisco, not taking them back to the New York area.”
Donald Trump wanted to buy the San Francisco Giants.
I ... I need a minute.
While I can’t figure out if he wanted to buy the Giants to get his foot in Major League Baseball, or if he wanted them to somehow dissolve its shell and use the skeleton as the basis of his pre-doomed USFL of baseball, this is terrifying. I know that people are fond of saying “this is the darkest timeline” (meaning that of all the parallel universes, we sure got stuck with a blem), but I believe that we are not in the darkest timeline, and this is proof.
While MLB owners are famously protective of who gets to join their little club — that’s why Mark Cuban doesn’t own the Cubs, for example — I could see Trump getting approved back then. He was famous, and baseball needed publicity coming out of the ‘70s, and Trump wasn’t yet known for ruining everything he touches for everyone involved except for himself.
Here’s the relevant snippet from the New York Times wire service article referenced in that Deadspin piece:
The Giants' owner acknowledges having chatted twice with Donald Trump ''a long time ago'' about a purchase.
''We talked on the phone once,'' Bob Lurie says of the New Jersey Generals' owner. ''Another time he just wanted to say hello when I was in New York, so I went to his office and shook his hand, I don't think I was there more than 10 minutes. But he was interested in owning the Giants in San Francisco, not taking them back to the New York area.''
Yes, you know he was interested in owning the Giants in San Francisco because that’s what he said. And if he says it, by gum, he’s going to stick to his word.
So we have different scenarios:
Scenario #1: Trump buys the Giants, moves them to New York, ruins the team, and sells it at a profit
This is the likeliest scenario, though it would have involved getting league approval for the move, which wouldn’t have been easy. I would think the other two New York teams would have raised an unbelievable stink, even if the city can most definitely support another team.
On the other hand, I’m not sure how much power George Steinbrenner wielded among the owners back in those days, or how well he was liked. I’m guessing there would have been a few owners who would have been happy to stick it to him, but that’s just a guess.
Scenario #2: Trump buys the Giants, tries to move them to New York, fails, ruins the team, and sells it at a profit
Unless this is the likeliest scenario. I’m not sure how he would convince the league that it was in their best interests to move to New York instead of Miami, St. Petersburg, or Denver at this point, so he might have been a huge pain for a couple of years before giving up and moving on, leaving an acidic slime-trail of broken promises behind him.
Scenario #3: Trump buys the Giants, keeps them in San Francisco, turns them into a winner, and is finally at peace with himself, receiving enough love and praise to fill the bottomless pit in his soul
I mean, sure, okay.
Scenario #4: I stop writing these scenarios because all of them make me twitch
Good call. Because I was almost about to poll everyone and ask if they would trade the Trump-Giants timeline for our current one, on the condition that he didn’t become president.
I’ve been thinking about this for 30 minutes.
I had a drink to calm my nerves.
I think I would trade it.
There would be no baseball in San Francisco.
I would be working as an elementary school teacher.
My nights would be free.
President Goldthwait would be achieving approval ratings that no one has ever seen.
But there would be no baseball in San Francisco.
Unless we had an expansion team.
Would they be called the Seals?
They would probably be called the Seals.
Logging off for a while. Don’t try to find me.