Time To Let It Go, Giants Fans

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized


haven’t written about baseball or The SF Giants for awhile, and was thinking about holding off on it for another week or so, especially in light of Michelle Bachmann making TWO, count ’em, 2 irresponsible statements depicting the East Coast’s earthquake and subsequent hurricane as messages from God. How did God know who to target? Or the planned Tea Party rallies in California that will feature that milk-slogging, bible-thumping, fake rock star, father of a daughter who sang the worst song in the history of mankind (“You Light Up My Life,” for those who have strategically forgotten the 70’s), has-been, older-than-water Pat Boone, along with a Conservative rapper named Polatik. Conservative rapper??? Suddenly Military Intelligence seems less an oxymoron!

                But no, we’ll focus on baseball for the time being, because the rest of England currently is getting back into football/soccer, and London team fans are still in shock over the thrashings received at the feet of Manchester teams this past weekend. Their fans can console themselves in that there’s plenty of time to turn it around. The Giants fans don’t have that luxury. The downslide of San Francisco has been steady and precipitous over the last month, and now looks pretty irredeemable. As of today, August 30, they are 71-64 and five games behind division leaders Arizona with 27 to play. Last year at this time, they were five games behind the San Diego Padres, who held first place most of the year, but were sinking fast, eventually losing it on the last day. This year’s Giants are last year’s Padres, suffering through almost daily losses of key players, unable to score runs, thus unable to beat ANYBODY. This year’s Padres are deeply mired in last place, but mostly because they couldn’t afford to re-sign key players. The Giants have different money issues, i.e. big fat contracts to players who even last year were liabilities. Unfortunately, most of THEM have stayed healthy. Those same players will likely still be around next year unless some charitable teams are willing to take a HUGE gamble. While I don’t think last place is where the Giants will be this year or next, they’re certainly playing like a last-place team.

                They do have a legitimate excuse for sorry play: Injuries. It was a major blow when catcher Buster Posey went down for the season in May, meaning that .200 hitter Eli Whiteside became the starting catcher, and hasn’t done much better than that in a starting role. Second baseman Freddy Sanchez went down in July, prompting the team to trade some of its future for Houston’s Jeff Keppinger, a decent hitter, but nowhere near the fielder Sanchez is. Pat Burrell, who so inspired the team last year with his home run power, has been out since June. It was hoped that getting Carlos Beltran from New York would help, but he promptly got injured, and as a Giant has hit all of ONE home run. Outfielder Nate Schierholtz, one of the best clutch hitters the team has, is the latest to join the ailing.  Of their opening day starters, only Aubrey Huff has not been on the disabled list at some point; it’s his bats that have been disabled for most of the year. The pitching is still among the best, but if the pitchers believe they’re going to have to throw a shutout to stand a chance of winning, that’ll mess up your psyche for damn sure.

                 So look, gang, let’s write it off now and quit singing the Journey song. Last year’s championship was one of the great stories in all of the sporting world, a blessing to the long-suffering Giants fans who never stopped believing. The aftermath has been quite amazing in itself, even if the expectations have been rather high. It was probably assumed that when the team signed on to do a reality show this year for Showtime (“The Franchise”), they were expected to waltz through the season directly to the playoffs and beyond. It didn’t happen, but certainly the woes that the team has suffered through while the camera is on have made for some interesting television. The Arizona Diamondbacks came from deep in last place to become this year’s upstart, this year’s Giants, if you will. If going the reality TV route puts some kind of jinx on a team, then by all means do a series next year in Arizona.

                    Yes, there’s still 27 games to go, most of them against teams with losing records. But so far, they’ve played the absolute worst of those teams and lost embarrassingly to them, both at home and on the road, so is there much reason to believe they’d suddenly find their mojo against the Dodgers or Padres? The Giants may well BE one of those teams with losing records before too long. Too bad they can’t play themselves! Consistency from year to year has always been a problem with the Giants franchise. When they went to the World Series in 2002, then won their division the next year, it was the first time since 1937-38 that the team had been in post-season in consecutive years. It took 56 years of heartbreak to get that one evasive championship, now you greedy folk want another right away?? As clichéd as the phrase may be, it’s not that wrong to say wait till next year!   

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