The Giants are now in the real estate business

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We mentioned this Wednesday morning in our little election day roundup, but the San Francisco Giants may have been the biggest winners of anyone when folks went to the polls on November 3.

They won because San Francisco voters approved something called Proposition D, which waived building height restrictions in the area around AT&T Park. An area where the Giants themselves own lease the land, allowing them to go ahead with a real estate development proposal called “Mission Rock,” which will allow for 20+ story high-rises, offices and shopping on land that is now a parking lot. This will make the Giants an awful lot of money, as Giants chairman Larry Baer explains in this article in the Merc.

This shouldn’t be looked at solely as some sort of piggy bank for a baseball team, however. I mean, it is that, but it has a place in the larger context of San Francisco as well. There is an extreme housing crunch going on in the city, caused by dramatically increased population, skyrocketing real estate costs and building and zoning laws that, for years, have made it very difficult to increase the number of housing units in the city. High rise development — which is what you need when you literally run out of land like San Francisco mostly has — is essential, but it’s basically been blocked. This, then, is something of a rare win for folks who want more housing in the city, even if it’s a modest and only a partial win (many other real estate initiatives failed). There is also at least something in here for people who aren’t the Giants: 40 percent of their planned 1,500 housing units in Mission Rock will be below-market-rate housing.

Which, in a place like San Francisco, is desperately needed.

Padres fire Andy Green

Andy Green
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The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.

Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:

I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.

In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.

“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”

Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.

For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.