My New Year's resolution is to avoid the people who loudly proclaim they don't believe in New Year's resolutions, often before you have the second syllable of "resolution" out of your mouth. My other New Year's resolution is to punch those people in the nose if they're especially strident about it.
You special, thoughtful iconoclast. Please, tell us more.
I resolve to double my resolutions next year, just to annoy these people. For this year, I just have one resolution, other than the resolution to resolve more. But first, let's check in with last year's resolutions. How did I do?
... eating more fruit and vegetables, eating fewer donuts and cookies and muffins and muffin donuts and donuffins …
Well, at least I probably didn't eat more crap.
I resolve to be rational and calm about Tim Lincecum, whether it's in regard to his ups and downs during the season or his expiring contract after the season.
Unless your reaction to Lincecum's contract was, "Good gravy, no, no, no, what are they doing?", you were not rational about Tim Lincecum. I'm guilty. In retrospect, considering the wealthy of options out there, the Giants could have made a better baseball move, a gamble that was as likely or likelier to pay off, but for less money.
On the other hand, Tim Lincecum is swell. So I talked myself into the move after it came out, and I'm still not disturbed by it. I'm glad he's not wearing an Orioles jersey, mostly. That's irrational. The Giants are sure counting an awful lot now on someone who hasn't been very good for two years. Don't care. Until, oh, mid-May. Then I get the feeling we're all gonna get a rational-cream pie in the kisser.
Which leads nicely into my 2014 resolution. Over the past year or so, the Giants have …
- re-signed Jeremy Affeldt
- signed Santiago Casilla to an extension
- given island countries to Buster Posey
- re-signed Javier Lopez
- committed five years to Hunter Pence
- stood pat at the trading deadline
- re-signed Ryan Vogelsong
- signed Tim Hudson
- re-signed Tim Lincecum
- let Eric Surkamp go for no particular reason
- signed Mike Morse
The strongest reaction to any of those from me was a strong, heartfelt "whatever." Even when my brain was telling me to hate the move, like Surkamp, I couldn't get too angry. Three years for Jeremy Affeldt? Seems like a lot, especially when the rest of the bullpen is on a long-term deal, and bullpens generally aren't filled with long-term candidates. But I couldn't rail against the deal. I wasn't even tempted.
The reason is simple: I've gone soft. Two championships made me an appeal-to-authority weenie. As in, the Giants know better. I'm just a guy on a computer, and I've spent more time thinking of purple prose to describe Hunter Pence than I have scouting the guy. The Giants' front office is generally good. I see that. They're smart, I'm not. They do things well, I have crazy ideas that wouldn't work. They're smart, I'm not.
Except, I left a move off from that list.
- acquired Jeff Francoeur on purpose
There we go. I knew there was one move I absolutely hated. It was a move so bad, that I didn't entertain the appeal-to-authority angle for a second. The Giants lost a 16-inning game to fall eight games under .500, and in the morning they announced a Jeff Francoeur signing. It was a drunk baseball god pee-writing "THIS ISN'T YOUR YEAR, SUCKER!" on your snow-covered front lawn.
In retrospect, that's the only move I probably got right. The other stuff was too wishy-washy or unflinchingly positive. The Giants made a baffling, clearly awful move that turned out even worse than they could have imagined. They aren't perfect. They aren't even close.
So I resolve to hate more Giants moves and transactions.
Only if they deserve it, of course. But the expiration date for "two championships in three years!" was the 16-inning game. It's okay to be critical again. It probably was the whole time, but I got soft. Look at me, my griping abs are all mushy. My complaining jowls are jiggly. My unfettered rage is saggy and gross-looking.
Back to the gym. I don't think it will be particularly difficult to get there if the Vogelsong/Lincecum deals backfire. Because those are deals I was okay with, and they cost the Giants opportunities to get different, possibly preferable players. If those don't pan out, it's not going to be hard to get grumbly again.
I'm still relatively optimistic about this coming season, too, so it's a weird resolution. I don't mind the we-weren't-wrong-baseball-was-wrong plan for the offseason that much. But maybe that's the problem. If the plan doesn't work, it's time to be a little more critical of a front office that earned the benefit of the doubt a while ago.
And if that plan does work, it's probably still time to be a little more critical. The benefit-of-the-doubt cereal gets soggy if you leave it in milk too long. I don't even know what that means, but I'm sticking with it.
Headline: Blogger resolves to be even more annoying.
More or less. Feels good.
Now you. Give a Giants-related resolution. Resolving to complain less about Brett Pill in the starting lineup doesn't count.