Fans: Time was right for Magowan to leave

Some Giants fans say Peter Magowan’s name has been tied too closely with baseball’s steroids scandal. Others say the longtime executive is an old man on a slumping team and it’s about time he moves on.

Whatever the longtime executive’s reason was the for leaving the Giants, fans hanging around AT&T Park before Friday’s game had about as much fun batting around the rumors as they did discussing the team’s dwindling winning percentage.

“Who knows? Maybe all this steroids-in-baseball stuff really did get to Magowan,” John Coleman, 23, of San Francisco said over a pregame beer at Momo’s. “And by the way: We do stink. Maybe that’s why he’s going.”

Analysts suspect Magowan — who in his 16 years with the team has been credited for bringing Barry Bonds and a new stadium to The City — has called it quits as a result of too much criticism over the team’s dwindling performance and from mentions in the Mitchell Report. Some say the once-celebrated executive is now embattled.

“I think every manager and owner of every team should go,” said Darren Wallace, 33, of Tiburon. “Anyone who knew anything about steroids should be gone.”

But not all fans were buying into the rumors. Many say Magowan has been around long enough to know he’s had enough of baseball.

“I mean, he’s 66,” said Dennis Costello, 47, of Redwood City. “He’s had a good run and it’s time for him to move on and enjoy life, you know, cash out while you can.”

Costello says if Magowan should feel the heat from steroids in baseball, than so should every executive and owner on every Major League Baseball organization.

“Maybe he got caught up in the [steroid scandal] a little bit, but a lot of GMs, coaches and players knew what was going on,” Costello said. “To single one guy out, I just don’t believe it.”

Joe Harden, 29, of San Jose agreed with Costello.

“I don’t think his leaving has anything to do with steroids. Every owner and manager of every team knew steroids were rampant in the league,” Harden said. “I think he’s done a good job with the rebuilding and he’s just ready to go.”

No matter the reason for his leaving, most fans say Magowan should be honored, not scorned, for his tenure with the Giants.

“He’s done so much for us,” Coleman said. “It’s too bad he had to go out this way.”

maldax@sfexaminer.com

Monumental owner

Peter Magowan has been a part of a bevy of significant moments since he took over as the Giants’ owner in 1992. He will step down as managing general partner of the Giants at the end of the season:

» 1992: Purchased the team from previous owner Bob Lurie, who had planned to sell the team to a group in St. Petersburg, Fla.

» 1992: Signed reigning NL MVP Barry Bonds to a six-year, $43.75 million contract. At the time, it was the richest deal in baseball.

» 1997: Announced plans to build a new ballpark at Third and King streets.

» April 2000: The Giants opened the season in their new waterfront ballpark, then-called Pacific Bell Park.

» 2002: The Giants went to the World Series for the first time since 1989.

» July 2007: The All-Star Game was held at AT&T Park.

» Dec. 2007: Was mentioned in the Mitchell Report.

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