It's no secret that Joe Posnanski is one of my favorite baseball writers. Aside from his endearing man-crush on our own Kuiper, he's just very good at what he does.
This morning I was reading his blog post about a "sixth stage" of grief with respect to his team, the Kansas City Royals, and realized that his feelings about the Royals' GM and his construction of the team's roster easily mirror my own about the Giants. He describes the stages of Royals grief. Here are my stages of Giants grief.
There's the Anger. That's how I feel about the Molina signing. Not because Molina is necessarily worse than any other player available (although I'm not sold on his contributions to the team), but because I can't believe that his attitude will change this year, and because it shows how the front office just so easily reverts to the same rut it was in before, while touting it as a good move.
Bargaining. Like JoePo, some of us have hoped that certain signings from this off-season and last would somehow revert to form. Not going to happen, I'm sure, but a part of me does hope that it's possible. Will F Sanchez recover from his various surgeries, and somehow recapture his batting stroke from 2 years ago? Will Huff provide some fo the offense he exhibited a couple seasons back? With Renteria's off-season surgery return him to form? Doubtful, but wouldn't it be nice?
Depression. That's brought on by the ages of our starting lineup (Panda excepted). Gah.
Acceptance. Okay, I'll admit I'm not all the way there, yet. But what can you do - the roster is what it is (wait - did I just reach acceptance?).
Now here's where JoePo sees into my soul and expresses what I feel. He comes up with a "sixth stage" of grief - Bafflement. This probably describes more precisely my reaction to Sabean's moves this off-season. Read what Posnanski says about the surplus of mediocre, aging outfielders on the Royals. Sound familiar? Now pay close attention to the discussion of Bill James' analysis of how aging affects players' abilities, and his conclusion of how the Royals' FO ignores this kind of thing based on the signings of older players: "I suspect they're not investing enough study time in the aging process." Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so.
Other quotes that capture my feelings about the Giants:
But what makes the whole thing so baffling is that I have absolutely no idea what this is supposed to accomplish
In this one, sub "Giants" for "Royals", and this describes our team pretty well, too:
. . . they are going around the league and signing 30-somethings that nobody else wants. It is troubling that the Royals apparently plan in 2010 is to make fans hope that a bunch of older players will recapture their past glory — or at least their past moderate success.
And finally, this seems eerily familiar as well:
It is troubling that Dayton Moore’s entirely sensible plan for success — find young players, develop them, bring them to the big leagues — seems to be spinning in the mud. If you are going to be that kind of organization, you actually have to BE that kind of organization. I don’t know if Jason Kendall, Scott Podsednik, Jose Guillen, Rick Ankiel, Yuniesky Betancourt, Kyle Farnsworth, Juan Cruz and so on are are blocking any promising younger players from the big leagues.
But I guess that’s the point: If they ARE blocking younger talents, then the Royals are doing a lousy job of developing players.
And if they ARE NOT blocking younger talents, then the Royals are doing a lousy job of developing players.
In short, I think that maybe the alleged negativity on this site may have more to do with this "sixth stage" of grief of Bafflement, more than anything else. We love our team; we've been lapping up promises of going younger and looking for success, only to see a bunch of old guys. And we're not seeing our supposed prospects being cleared for a role with the team. We're not overwhelmingly negative. Maybe we're just baffled.