Once there was a pretty good team in San Francisco that could pitch their ass off and could win despite an anemic offense. They won two World Series in three years.
Then something improbable happened: the pitching self-destructed while the bats came alive. Even long-time fans scratched their heads. And as the team slipped pathetically in the standings, their nasty bluest filthy rich rivals danced and celebrated with three weeks of great play by a young phenom.
San Francisco fans began to feel what Kansas City and Pittsburgh fans had felt so long, a hopelessness. And there were cries for grabbing mediocre pitchers like Ricky Nolasco and Matt Garza and Scott Feldman and . . .
Well, it was scary, because obtaining those pitchers would cost something, and then next year, the team would be looking for pitching again. With less chance of pulling themselves out of the pit.
So . . . calmer heads prevailed. The San Francisco team, riddled with injuries, took their lumps but did not trade their few decent pitching prospects for mediocre rental players. It was not the year fans had hoped for, but it was not a year that began a decade-long slide to the bottom of the standings.
The worst thing you can do in quicksand is to thrash around.