CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- George Shinn said yesterday he's confident he'll soon be managing general partner of the San Francisco Giants baseball team.
Shinn plans to visit San Francisco next week and, barring unexpected developments, expects to make an offer to keep the team in California -- an offer he thinks major-league owners will prefer over another deal designed to move the team to St. Petersburg.
"I'm very excited about it, and excited is probably not a strong enough word," said Shinn, owner of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets. "Right now, I'm just chewing at the bit. I've got a gut feeling this is going to happen."
Shinn is the principal player in San Francisco Mayor Frank Jordan's "Save The Giants" campaign, which began after an Aug. 7 announcement that Giants owner Bob Lurie had agreed to sell the National League club to a group of investors who planned to move the team to St. Petersburg.
That sale is subject to the approval of 10 of 14 National League owners and eight of 14 American League owners. Commissioner Fay Vincent, who reportedly prefers that the Giants stay in San Francisco, has said a vote is not likely at baseball's quarterly
meeting in St. Louis Sept. 9-10.
Jordan and other San Francisco officials are trying to put together an alternative bid, led by Shinn and including a commitment to build a new stadium to replace Candlestick Park. Their hope is that the plan would be the impetus for baseball's owners to reject the other sale.
The possibility that the Shinn-Jordan plan could succeed prompted a threat of legal action Wednesday by St. Petersburg assistant city manager Rick Dodge, according to The Associated Press.
"The ownership group and St. Petersburg would be greatly damaged if somehow our contract did not come to full fruition," Dodge said. "If someone interferes, they run some risk of some very huge damages."
Shinn's response: "I'm not about to call anybody any names, but that doesn't frighten me. I'm still going to pursue my dream. I've had obstacles all my life. I won't be intimidated or threatened. ... What it does is make me more determined."
The deal wouldn't affect his ownership of the Hornets. "I've told my bank I will not mortgage or leverage the Hornets to do this deal."
He would move to San Francisco. "I've got children here in school and I would obviously not want to uproot them, but I would move there and stay at least during the baseball season."