In past Giants seasons, there has always been a scapegoat for how the season didn't go as planned. Scapegoats have mostly been made my the fans, media and management. In prior years we have seen Dusty Baker, Barry Bonds, A.J. Pierzynski, Jose Cruz Jr., Felipe Alou, Dustin Hermanson, Carney Lansford, etc. Only Baker and Bonds ever really were brought back after a season in which they received serious heat. Bonds was scapegoated mostly due to injury though, not for lack of performance. And Baker survived in 2000, only to move on after 2002.
Never once has Brian Sabean received REAL criticism for failed seasons. Nor has ownership. Yeah us here may have dished it out, but the stupid media, casual fans (who there are a lot more of), etc all seem to think the team is sincere in it's approach. Obviously if that were true some of these players might not have been blamed for the failure of an entire organization.
So because it's painfully obvious that Sabean won't be blamed this year and will keep on truckin' as the teflon man, who will be the scapegoat for this season? Mind you, they likely would not be brought back as a Giant next year. As I see it, there are plenty of candidates this season:
Bruce Bochy is the most obvious scapegoat candidate. Managers are high profile enough that making a change passifies the masses for usually at least 2 seasons. This is Bochy's fourth, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him be fired for the team's performance this year, especially if it continues to sag and leads to a losing record.
Another is Bengie Molina. While the hatred for Molina's poor play has been found here among the McCoven for quite some time, only now are people really starting to notice. Of course, it will be convenient to scapegoat Molina for his poor hitting and defense this season, as he's going to be a Free Agent anyway at the end of the season. But I can hear it now, "If Bengie had just hit like he did in 2008, we would have made the playoffs."
One potential scapegoat that might be starting to form (I hope not) is Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval is having the first real slump of his career and he was expected to carry the offense this year, and carry a more acceptable amount of weight. He has done neither so far, but I'm not really sure that is fair to put on him. Hopefully all the double plays and baserunning blunders do not lead to his being given away for pennies on the dollar just to passify KNBR and the sad sack casual fan base the Giants have.
Last but not least, and the least likely IMO, is Buster Posey. God forbid the kid goes into a real slump, which could occur just in the fact that he is stuck behind shitty veterans everyday and not given ample playing time. I can hear all the stupid criticism already for the fact that he didn't make the impact of a Strasburg or that Santana guy. Luckily I don't think the Giants are even that dumb. Larry Baer knows they have real marketing impact with a kid like Posey.
My money for now is on Bochy or Bengie. Let's just hope Panda picks it up with his bat, and Posey is actually allowed to play so that he doesn't get Bowker'd.