The 2011 Giants remind me of a hypothetical guy whose father was a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and so the guy keeps trying to be a big-shot, keeping trying to make a big splash and entrepreneurially start a world-famous company ... and keeps going down in flames. The guy would be less of a burn-out and macabre spectacle if he just lowered his expectations, and was simply content to be more of a normal person, a family-practice lawyer, an architect, whatever.
Similarly, I think that I would enjoy this season more if it seemed like the Giants management had accepted that simply finishing over .500 is a fine thing - if they seemed to understand that finishing second, or lucking into the playoffs and getting bounced in the first round, are fine outcomes. It's better than having a losing record - which, it bears noting, is something about half of teams have.
Sabean said as recently as half-way though this season that the Giants are ”absolutely" aiming to repeat. And, so it seems, the pressure is on. I've seen quotes from the hitters all season, saying that they sometimes have been putting pressure on themselves, trying to hit nine-run homers with each swing of the bat. And, with the exception of Keppinger-for-Sosa-n-Stoffel, the Giants' mid-season trades seemed to me desperate, forced, and heavy-handed - not clever, elegant, and economical, as I would have liked.
Yeah, we have a limited window of opportunity with the peak seasons of Timmy, Cain, and the rest of the great pitchers. And yes I know that the Giants gained a lot of new fans (as well as national stature and revenue) since winning it all, and so there is an according pressure to put an entertaining product on the field this season.
But once Buster, Freddie, and so many others got injured, and once Huff and others started showing signs of dramatically underperforming, maybe it would have been best if Sabean and his lieutenants had just accepted that lightening rarely strikes the same place twice, and that the odds are that it's just not gonna be the Giants' year this year too. Perhaps it would have been best to have kept our Wheeler and Neal, let the Brandon brothers play though some slumps, and just enjoy the ups and downs of the boys of summer doing their thing - without the heavy pressure and expectations.