I sure had a droll idea for an April Fool's Day post. I was going to write about how the Giants won the World Series in 2014, then did nothing in the offseason except sign Norichika Aoki and trade for Casey McGehee. Can you imagine? It would be an obvious piece of satire, but people fall for this stuff every ... wait. That's really what happened. None of it makes sense, starting with the part about the World Series.
Ah, but the Giants weren't being cheap. We've gone over this in the past, but here are the numbers. The Giants are fifth in baseball with a $172.7 million payroll. You might be underwhelmed. You might still be grumbling about Yoan Moncada and/or Max Scherzer. That's your right as a fan. If you can't grumble -- even after a magical season that 95 percent of sports fans would lose a pinkie for -- why, what's the point?
It's probably worth a moment to put this in historical context, though. The Giants have ranked higher among MLB teams in the past, but they've also had some serious dips and bumps along the way.
Those numbers are from the Associated Press, via Steve the Ump and Baseball Chronology, and you can click on all of the tables to enlarge. As you might expect, the salaries just keeping going up and up and up.
That's not due solely to inflation, either.
The Giants aren't just in a golden age of championships and trolling: They're also in a golden age of spending, relative to where they've been over the past 25 years.
You can complain that Tim Lincecum makes too much money or that the Matt Cain extension was a mistake. You can complain about the Giants having one of the most expensive bullpens in baseball, or how the Angel Pagan deal is suffocating the team slowly. I'm not wild about some of those ideas, but they're valid arguments, at least.
A reminder, though, that you can't call the Giants cheap. It was a criticism to make after 2009, when the team drew well but paired a brilliant pitching staff with an offense that made armpit-farting noises every half-inning, but they're one of the highest-priced teams in baseball, and they're spending more now than they ever have, even if most of it is going toward their own players.
At least I like those players. They seem like nice chaps who win a lot.