YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

No Monkey Would Be Bad News for Giants

October 18, 2002|Ross Newhan | Times Staff Writer

Underdogs and rally monkeys?

Peter Magowan, managing general partner of the San Francisco Giants, likes the idea of both in the World Series.

In other words, he's not at all intimidated by the Angels' scoreboard simian?

"One way of looking at it is that he's cute," Magowan said. "The other way of looking at it is that if we see him, we're ahead.

"I mean, if by any chance I should fall asleep during the World Series and wake up to see that monkey on the scoreboard, I'll know we've taken the lead, and that's where we need to be."

Monkey business aside, Magowan predicted the Series should "excite America."

"You had four underdogs win each of the playoffs and I think America roots for the underdog," Magowan said. "Now you have the two biggest underdogs in the World Series. It should be interesting. Both teams sail into it with the wind at their backs."

He meant that both eliminated two division winners to reach the World Series after blazing through the last six weeks of the regular season.

In the Giants' case, he said, out-competing the Dodgers for the wild card ("they didn't lose it, we won it") set the tone, and a near week of rest should benefit an older team.

Asked if he took pride in reaching the World Series with a tighter payroll than customarily seen in the Fall Classic, Magowan laughed and said, "I do, but only in Los Angeles would somebody refer to somebody else's $75-million payroll as tight," referring to the Dodgers' $105-million payroll. "We're spending more than we should be spending, and our level of spending will cause us to lose money, even leading the league in attendance and reaching the World Series.

"But we felt that the right thing for our franchise was to spend the money with this team because we felt we had our best chance in 10 years. If we didn't do it this year with a 37-year-old catcher, a 34-year-old second baseman and a 38-year-old left fielder, etc., we might lose out on the best opportunity we've had.

"Under no circumstances are we able to spend what the Dodgers spend, but hopefully over time the new labor agreement is going to narrow those differences. We're going to have to pay a lot more in revenue sharing now, but if it helps improve competitive balance on a national scale, there will be more interest in baseball and every team will benefit. The guys with the most revenue should share it with the guys who have the least, and the more we can get surprises in the World Series like this year, the better it is for the game."

Los Angeles Times Articles