Magowan confirms meeting with Selig
Giants owner discussed Mitchell Report with Commissioner
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Giants owner Peter Magowan confirmed Friday that he has met with Commissioner Bud Selig about the Mitchell Report testimony involving the ballclub and Barry Bonds' suspected steroid use, but divulged no details about their talk."I don't want to say when, where, how long, who was there, what was discussed," Magowan said as he began a visit to the Giants' Spring Training base. Magowan also said that general manager Brian Sabean met with representatives from Selig's office. "We had a chance to opine on a number of matters of interest, and we did," Magowan said. "And that's about all that I can say." Mitchell's probe into baseball's performance-enhancing drug controversy included testimony from Magowan and Sabean about their suspicions regarding Bonds' possible steroid use. The Giants never took any steps to discipline Bonds, and Selig told Congress after the report's release that he wanted to question Magowan and Sabean, prompting speculation that the club executives or the organization would be punished. Asked Friday whether he's awaiting any action from Selig, Magowan revealed little. "I'm not going to say. I don't know what action, if any action, will be taken. That's up to the Commissioner," he said. When the Mitchell Report was released on Dec. 13, Magowan issued a statement saying, in part, that the Giants "accept our fair share of responsibility" for baseball's performance-enhancing drug controversy. But, with Roger Clemens now dominating the fuss surrounding alleged steroid use, Magowan resisted the temptation to say "I told you so" when asked about his prior defense of Bonds, the all-time home run king who manned left field for the Giants from 1993-2007. "I've said what I said in the past -- I think that there was an effort to single Barry out that was unfair," Magowan said. "But that's about as far as I want to go." Magowan stopped short of promising that Bonds, whom the Giants declined to re-sign after last season and remains without a team, will be honored during some sort of ceremony at AT&T Park. "This isn't the time to answer to those questions," Magowan said. "It's too close to too much stuff, both good and bad." However, Magowan pointedly paid his own tribute to Bonds' accomplishments as a Giant.
"I think that Barry meant an awful lot to this franchise for the last 15 years," he said. "He was one of a kind. Everybody's got their own opinions about Barry, but he enthused our fans, he helped make us win and at the end of the day, we have to respect those achievements. When I say these things, people say, 'You're just an apologist for Barry Bonds; you don't understand all the other stuff.' I think I'm close enough to our fans and the Giants and the game of baseball to know as much as anybody about all the other stuff, too. I think it all has to be weighed. The contributions he made to this organization were great contributions. And I, for one, am appreciative."Magowan also expressed optimism about the Giants' on-field chances, despite their 71-91 finish in 2007 and the scarcity of offseason personnel moves. "I thought that we were going to be able to get more done in the offseason than we were able to do," Magowan said. "I thought people wouldn't be so interested in signing free agents and be more interested in making trades. I felt we did have surplus in some areas where we could make trades to help us. But it may be for the best. Some of the best trades are the ones you don't make, and we've got a lot of confidence in these players."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.