Think about the 2016 Giants for a moment. What words are coming to mind? For me, the main one is ugghhhhhhhh, but you can also throw in terms like boring and why? and spiritless. They’re playing exceptionally dull baseball and have been for more than two months; they’re utterly incapable of taking the lead in the 9th inning and have been all year; they’re absurdly likely to blow a lead in the 9th inning and have been all year. All of this leads to a dispiriting team that it’s impossible to get too attached to.
This is all leading up to the fact that someone will win the Willie Mac Award tomorrow night, which is incredible because someone on the 2016 Giants will literally get an award for being inspirational. This is the most uninspired baseball team I can ever remember watching, and someone on it is actually going to get an award for being fun and engaging and oh Cueto’s gonna win, isn’t he? He should. He deserves it.
I’s love to see Cueto win it, but really, we have no idea. We, as fans, don’t see what goes on in the clubhouse. Maybe Trevor Brown is the greatest teammate that baseball has ever seen. Maybe the only reason that the team didn’t break both of Bochy’s arms to prevent him from signaling to the bullpen is that Ehire Adrianza gave the most stirring speech in the history of mankind. Or maybe Brandon Crawford’s pregame music selections will carry the day. You can’t overstate the value of a good DJ. The picture we have is just incomplete.
That’s why I find it so weird that we’re expected to vote on the Willie Mac Award. Not to say that it’s not important for players to inspire the fans – we pay their salaries, ticket prices are going up, $15 beers, ribble rabble, etc. – but we just don’t know that much about the players.
The Giants website says the Willie Mac Award “is an annual honor bestowed upon the most inspirational player on the team, as voted upon by Giants players, coaches, training staff, and Giants fans.” Every one of those other categories knows way more about the work that players go through and injuries they suffer than we do. Every one of those other categories knows more about their character and personality than we do. Every one of those other categories is much, much more qualified to vote on this than we are.
It’s an interesting balance, and again, I’m talking about the 2016 Giants, so I don’t use the word “interesting” lightly. But when you hear players talk about why it’s an honor to win the Willie Mac Award, they always say, every time, it’s an honor because it’s voted on by their teammates. Not to say they can’t adjust that statement in the future to pay lip service to us, the fans, who faithfully watch them on TV for some goddamn reason, but it seems like our participation dilutes some of the meaning of the award. The contradiction is this: fans probably should have a voice because we support the team and are presumably helpful in that respect, but that fan voice will never be based on anything even close complete information.
In conclusion, democracy just sucks, I guess.