The tone of the offseason (and every season, really)

If you haven’t figured out, the tone of this site can careen out of control, bust past the guardrails, and flip upside down into a ravine of negativity. It’s not a new thing, but it isn’t what everyone would prefer. It’s understandable to wonder why a lot of Giants fans are so negative following a winning season. Heck, they did better than a lot of us expected them to do. Isn’t that worth something?

Yes. Wait, no. I’m not sure. All I know is that Giants are so damned close to having a fantastic team. Not in terms of personnel – they aren’t one or two players away from that fantastic team – but in terms of philosophy. Last year, they had the best pitching staff of any Giants team in my lifetime. They also had one of the worst lineups I’ve ever seen. The Giants’ front office can draft and develop pitching like few other organizations. Brian Sabean is adept at finding relief bargains in discount bins, as well as in his own minor league system.

The team just has no concept of what makes a good offense. This offseason, they were entrusted with one job: try to make an awful offense better. Every move they’ve made since then is a lateral move, at best. Most of us didn’t expect it to be different, but that infected piece of hope that’s lodged in the dark recesses of our brain made some a little irrational.

I’m terrified that the Giants are going to let this window of brilliant pitching close. I’m terrified that by the time the offense approaches the league average, key members of the staff will be gone, hurt, or ineffective. So when the Giants acquire a player or five who are on the wrong side of 30, and whose on-base percentage is either not much of a help (Aubrey Huff) or is a complete catastrophe (Bengie Molina), that terror manifests itself in criticism. The criticism usually is done with a sneering tone. The sneering tone becomes oppressive. I get that, and it isn’t for everyone.

There’s no reason for me to put this as a disclaimer to every post:

The Giants’ front office can draft and develop pitching like few other organizations. Brian Sabean is adept at finding relief bargains in discount bins, as well as in his own minor league system.

…but it’s there in spirit. That’s why it’s so frustrating. I didn’t want to cheapen the frustration with anything the Analogotron 3500 spit out, but, who am I kidding? I love that little thing.

The Giants are like a fantastic WWII movie script with Martin Scorsese set to direct, financing in place, and locations all scouted out. The offense is like the casting director coming back and saying, "Have you thought about Pauly Shore for the role of Sarge?" When you say, no, that’s not going to work, they shuffle off and return in six months to ask, "Okay, what about Corey Feldman?" When that suggestion is politely rebuffed, they come back in six months to ask, "Say, have you thought about Alex Guinness?" You point out that Sir Alec is in a better place now, and this continues on for another couple of years.

Meanwhile, Scorsese isn’t sure if he wants to commit anymore , the producers are pulling out, and everything is crumbling around you. The next time the casting director shows up to suggest Soliel Moon Frye, you’re a little frazzled. You’re terrified that the opportunity is passing you by. And you lash out.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope Aubrey Huff is the Huff of 2008. I hope Mark DeRosa rebounds to be the DeRosa of 2008. I hope Edgar Renteria repeats his season of 2007. I hope Aaron Rowand relives his last year as a Phillie. I hope Bengie Molina keeps the pitching staff happy, I hope he maintains his power, and I hope he’s able to turn the spot over to Buster Posey in a bloodless coup.

I hope I look like a pessimistic goofball at this time next year. I hope my thousands and thousands of words of wrong are mocked, belittled, and laughed at. I hope they carry an effigy of me down Market Street during the championship just so people can throw tomatoes at it.

Until that day, I’m a gonna complain. I appreciate the things the organization does well; I’ll focus on the things that are preventing the team from winning their first championship since they moved from New York.

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