Marco Scutaro signed a contract with the Giants last week, just so he could officially retire as a Giant. The Giants were concerned about the sentimental void that came with an injured player getting released, and they're allowing him to retire on his own terms.
Marco Scutaro played fewer than 200 games for the Giants.
The second paragraph should make the first paragraph seem weird. It does not seem weird. Marco Scutaro was a postseason hero, a danged legend, and the Giants didn't want to see it end with a sad transaction. Good for them. Which brings us to the question of the day: Has there ever been a player who inspired this sort of universal love from the Giants organization in such a short time?
We'll make the cut off 300 games for hitters, 50 starts for starting pitchers, and 100 appearances for a reliever, just to make it fair, and see if anyone comes close:
Burks played just 284 games as a Giant, a total seems 400 games too light. I answered some questions about Giants jerseys to help with this post, and Burks was one of the ones I brought up. He turned a great lineup into the best we'll ever watch, more or less.
I don't mention Burks enough. I need to make a New Year's resolution about that.
Part of me wanted to turn this story into HOT OPINIONS about why the Giants should have done the same for Sanchez, but that would have seemed disrespectful to Scutaro. Still, why didn't the Giants do the same for Sanchez? I get that Scutaro was clearly the reason the Giants were able to get past the Cardinals in 2012, whereas Sanchez was just one of many contributors. Except, Sanchez was a part of the first championship team, the one we all thought was never going to happen. He means just as much to the fuzzy-memory lobe of my brain.
Where's Sanchez's contract?
Maybe the Giants kinda feel bad with how Sanchez just sort of disappeared, and he's directly behind the inspiration to get Scutaro back on a symbolic contract. Also, Sanchez is still very, very Pirates, even if the Giants were lucky enough to borrow him at just the right time, so maybe the symbolic contract for him would seem rude.
He hit dingers and is texting your mom right now. He was a local kid who's still with the Giants organization, and he was a lot of fun for a while. He played just 188 games for the Giants, five fewer than Scutaro, and when he retired, he signed a one-day contract to retire as a member of the Phillies. If Scutaro were a long-time member of another team who helped them win their first championship in decades, we might not be writing about this. He would probably have signed that symbolic contract with them.
Oh, right, postseason heroes. Technically, Ross isn't retired, but the A's recently released him, and it's not looking good for his career prospects. I can absolutely see the Giants giving him the same kind of Scutaro contract if he wants, just to let him retire as a Giant. It's not like the Marlins would know what to do with him.
At some point in the next couple weeks, Joe Panik will pass Ross on the all-time list of games played for the Giants. That seems completely surreal to me.
We asked a similar question in the offseason about one-year wonders with the Giants, and Morse is currently the one-year king. Can he compete with Scutaro for the entire short-term crown, though?
Breaking: Michael Morse's plans to be the next host of Let's Make A Deal pic.twitter.com/oOm4hCEtzR
— Wendy Thurm (@hangingsliders) June 4, 2015
I don't know, man, that smile is pretty endearing. Maybe there should be a Scutaro/Morse smile-off on pay-per-view. Still, while Morse had the key pinch-hit homer in the NLCS and game-winning RBI of the World Series, he didn't really impose himself on a single series like Scutaro did. To phrase it differently: Morse's homer was one of my favorite moments of the postseason, but Scutaro's performance was one of the greatest series I've ever seen, Giants or otherwise.
Really, why are we arguing? They're both outstanding. There is no wrong decision.
Bingo. If you're looking for a player who evokes even more emotions among Giants fans than Scutaro does, and in even fewer games played, this is the winner. Dravecky played in 199 games for the Padres and just 27 for the Giants, yet he still gets standing ovations every time he's introduced in San Francisco.
Whereas most of the players up there are on the list because of postseason heroics and such, Dravecky is here because his battle with cancer, remarkable comeback, the eventual recurrence and loss of his arm, and his status as a Giants ambassador over the last couple decades. Oh, and he's also a postseason hero, too, just in one of the sad years.
You would think that when we remember a 33-year-old pitcher who lost his pitching arm to cancer, it would be depressing. Except when I remember Dravecky, I think things like, "Heck yeah, Dave Dravecky!" and "Hooray for Dave Dravecky, good Giant!" His positive outlook and general good spirits are a huge part of that, and it's why his comeback game is still one of the most fondly remembered games in franchise history.
In conclusion, these players are all tied and they're all the best. But I wanted to see if it was unusual for someone like Scutaro to be so beloved in such little time, it turns out it's not that unusual. It just takes unusual circumstances for everything to fall into place.
Now one more time, for old time's sake.