If I win the $1.6 billion lottery on Tuesday, I pledge to buy out majority owner Charles Johnson to help remove the stain of supporting a racist ad from the team I love so much.
(Look, I won’t lie, I’m happy Johnson was a part of the ownership who saved the team for SF. And people do have the right to say what they want to say, no matter how much I disagree with it. But the idea of a rich white guy contributing with only other white guys to a PAC proclaiming it’s from Black Americans “For” Black Americans. That goes beyond free speech to close to fake news…too close for me.)
Like most Americans, I’ve bought a few lottery tickets. I picked numbers inspired by the Giants. Not the ones you’re thinking of…well, maybe some. Sure, 25 is the Mega number a time or two, and so is 24. But I also picked other numbers. My own lucky numbers. And I may have asked Siri for a set of them. But not Alexa. I don’t need Amazon trying to sell me t-shirts or coffee cups or car floor mats that have my lottery numbers on them. This isn’t an episode of Lost.
So, yes. Despite being a baseball team owner being a pretty thankless job (except for the 18 months after winning a World Series, if it happens). Despite other people wanting you to spend your money for them. Seriously, I don’t envy them. But I’d do it.
Now, generally, I know I’m not a smart man. No, really. You don’t need to keep reminding me in the comments. Especially you. I’d let the baseball men (or women) do the job they need to do to bring the Giants back to Even-Year-Bullpoop. Maybe even Odd-Year-Bullpoop.
Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut, if I’m spending that much money, I do have a couple of small things that I’d want to be sure of.
So, if I win, I have some pledges that I would give you, the fans, to know my “agenda”. Just to dispell any myths. So, here are my pledges:
- Build a gate for the archways in right field that don’t block out of town scoreboard. I mean, come on guys, this shouldn’t take me to fix.
- Encourage the Giants to build the team around AT&T Park - an athletic outfield to cover the depth, and a team focused on the line drives and consistent contact that is lacking (and yes, eschewing power if that’s what it means). The Giants play in a division with four huge outfields, this strategy will matter on the road, too.
- Support and ensure that the Giants have a strong player development system, from the scouts around the draft to those around the world, building relationships in Latin America, Asia and Europe to find the best.
- Also, to pay minor leaguers more than a living wage. I’m not saying million dollar salaries, but paying them enough to support a full year’s needs, but also to have them follow a year-round development schedule, in terms of workouts and nutrition. I don’t care if no other team does it. This team built a stadium with no public money, we can do that, too, no matter what MLB says.
- Put baseball-themed gargoyles around AT&T Park. Why? I just like them. Sue me.
- Get the bullpens out of the field of play…by fencing them in where they are. No taking away seats, no making changes to fair territory. Put wall around the bullpens as they are. Less foul territory will help the hitters too, for those who want it.
- To that end, I’ll reaffirm that we are not going to change AT&T Park to make home runs easier. It’s a beautiful, unique ballpark, and I don’t ever want to see it change like that.
- Support the arts at Mission Rock by putting a Tim Flannery/Barry Zito honorary stage for local musical and stand-up comedy artists to enjoy. You can choose which former Giant stands for Music, and which for Comedy.
- Work with San Francisco and Rideshare companies to create designated Rideshare dropoff and pickup areas next to and near the park, so that those drivers won’t block traffic.
- Have AT&T Park host more special baseball events. World Baseball Classic, USA Baseball, Youth events, but get baseball played.
- Install decent enough Wi-fi so that you don’t have to wait through three at-bats to upload your ballpark selfie.
- Create a Kayaking equivalent of The Giant Race along the bay, ending in McCovey Cove.
- Work with the A’s to create the Future Bay Stars Series; In Even Years, the Giants will host a Triple-A series between the Sacramento River Cats and Las Vegas 51s, while the A’s will host a series between the Stockton Ports and San Jose Giants; in odd years, they switch the hosting duties.
- Do whatever it takes to get the A’s their new stadium. The Giants have to play there every year, after all.
- Build a Marlins-eque home run sculpture along McCovey Cove………just kidding. Wanted to see if you were still reading.
- Ensure the schools and parks in the Bay Area have the best quality fields for kids to learn to play baseball on.
- Finally, a commitment to win for the fans, and to appreciate the fans, and to not forsake the fans. Because I’m a fan. For all the writing, it’s because I’m a fan.
- (Except for the haters in the comments. I mean, really? You know who you are.)
- Oh, and no financial support directed to racially charged and divisive political campaigns.
So, that’s my commitment as a potential lottery winner. Would you be okay with this?
What are you going to do if you win? I mean, it doesn’t matter, because I’m going to win, but you can have fun imagining until the numbers get picked.