Attention SF Giants, DiFi - Matt Smith's New Year's Resolutions Others Ought to Follow

DiFi's husband and the Giants' owner should resolve to do better in the coming year

In August 2002, Giants trainer Stan Conte told team general manager Brian Sabean he believed Anderson might be dealing steroids to players, according to the report. But Sabean did nothing to restrict Anderson's access, the report says. Indeed, Giants management was well aware that Bonds considered it crucial that his assistants be given unrestricted access to Giants facilities. Contract negotiations between Bonds and Magowan in 2002 focused on ensuring "proper access" for personnel the player "typically and historically needed."

In interviews with Mitchell's investigators, Magowan said he inquired about the possibility of steroid dealing, but was unable to discover more. Magowan claimed he had asked Sabean whether the Giants had a problem with Anderson dealing drugs to players, and that Sabean said he was unaware of it. According to the Mitchell Report, Sabean denied ever having that conversation.

Fast forward to 2008, when the Giants should conduct a who-knew-what-when audit, as other companies sometimes do when they learn their officials may have been complicit in wrongdoing. Instead, the team management seems to be proceeding as though the Mitchell Report had never happened, while attempting to grab control of a valuable parcel of land called Seawall Lot 337, or Giants Lot A, depending on how you look at it. The Port of San Francisco, a quasi-independent city agency, would like to redevelop the bayside property as condominiums, offices, and open space, transforming what is now an ugly expanse of asphalt — while raising money to repair the crumbling port infrastructure.

Giants management has gone into lobbying mode, sending consultants to public meetings to advocate for the existence of a public need for more parking. The port, for its part, has poured money into consultants' reports, and has discussed at port commission meetings the supposedly pressing need to "preserve" Giants parking. The underlying — and bogus — assumption is that a parking lot is something we should all be concerned about. If these discussions get too far, city government could wind up failing to put this land to its best uses. We could end up throwing even more subsidies at the Giants, in other words. Back in 2000, then–SF Weekly columnist George Cothran detailed millions of dollars in city subsidies sucked up by the then-new Giants stadium, including city borrowing to buy and repurpose land, planning costs, legal costs, lost rent, and myriad unbudgeted "mitigating measures" to help put the stadium in place. And now we learn that the money ultimately went toward helping to build an apparent drug den.

The local business press recently reported that the Giants organization plans to submit its own plan for the lot when the port begins accepting proposals from developers wishing to build on the site early this year. The plan will come on the heels of extensive lobbying to convince public officials that the Giants' needs are our needs.

Here's a New Year's resolution for Peter Magowan and his business partners: Treat your hosts — San Francisco taxpayers and neighbors — with more respect. Instead of spending the new year begging for subsidies, make 2008 the year you attempt to figure out what went so wrong with your organization that it became a den for steroid abuse.

Oh, right. Happy New Year.

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