The playoffs start tonight, and the Giants aren’t in them, which I’m sure is some weird statistical fluke that MLB is doing its best to get to the bottom of. But in the meantime, there are several ex-Giants peppering the roster of the 10 teams in the postseason, and if you want to root for ex-Giants to get rings, then let’s see who is where, so your interests can be adjusted accordingly.
Why, they’ve got old friend Carlos Beltran, and the proper way to read that phrase is to emphasize the word “old.” Beltran is much maligned by a certain segment of Giants fans, and I will point this out and fight it every time I mention him, for being not that good in 2011 when he was hurt and then only hitting well — and he hit extremely well for the Giants overall — in September, when they were mostly out of the race. This is unfair, this is dumb, this is silly. Yes, he cost the team Zack Wheeler and then they didn’t win the World Series. On the other hand, they won two World Series after that. Carlos Beltran was a good player on the Giants. It’s true.
Nori Aoki was also on the Astros for a while this year, though he ended up getting traded to the Blue Jays (who then released him, after which he signed with the Mets) for ex-farmhand Francisco Liriano, who’s a reliever now. He walked 10 guys in his 14.1 innings for Houston, so that experiment’s not going especially well, but he’s still around, and good for him.
Dan Otero is a key part of Cleveland’s bullpen, and boy has he spent four out of the last five years making the Giants feel kinda dumb for giving up on his after 12 bad innings in 2012. Now, again, two World Series happened after that, so they don’t feel that bad, but Dan Otero in the Giants bullpen in 2016 and 2017 would have been a massive improvement. They could have not blown so many games in 2016, which would have been nice. Then they maybe could have traded Dan Otero for some decent prospects in 2017, which also would have been nice. Guess we Giants fans will just have to settle for the two rings. Shucks.
Boston Red Sox
Eduardo Nuñez is a member of the Red Sox, of course, and he always seemed like a good guy. He is also proof positive that the 2017 Giants don’t permanently ruin everything they touch, which is extremely good news for the 2018 Giants. Nuñez is currently a little banged up, though he says he should be able to play in the ALDS. Just like the Division Series last year! Then Conor Gillaspie spent a week as the greatest American hero. What fun that was.
Also on the Red Sox are Heath Hembree, who I totally remembered and thought about when I started this paragraph, and Rajai Davis, who I didn’t. I had no idea Rajai Davis was on the Red Sox at all, but he is, and that’s the point of the article.
Ehire Adrianza, of course! Adrianza had an OPS+ of 90 this year — better than Brandon Crawford — and seems to have been a nice pickup for the Twins, in that I googled his name and Twinkie Town to see if the SB Nation Twins site had anything negative to say about him, and they mostly didn’t care. For a backup shortstop, that’s the best case scenario here, really.
The twins also employ former Giants minor leaguers Nik Turley and Adalberto Mejia. Turley was a minor league free agent who has been pretty bad this year, and Mejia has been a serviceable arm in the rotation, though he did get optioned to AAA at one point this year. The Twins also briefly had Chris Heston on the roster, so if they win the World Series, he would get a second World Series ring, which to be honest, would delight me.
New York Yankees
CC Sabathia is from Vallejo. That probably doesn’t count.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers signed Sergio Romo to much fanfare this offseason, but he was ineffective in LA (because he is a True Giant) and ended up in Tampa, where he had a very nice conclusion to his season. The only ex-Giant left is Charlie Culberson, who will not be on the playoff roster. I mean, just taking a stab at it here, but I feel pretty good about that prediction.
And their manager, of course, is Dave Roberts, who by all accounts is a swell person other than the pure liquid evil he injected directly into his veins at the behest of Tommy Lasorda when he took the job.
None, which is good, because I emphatically do not want to root for the Cubs at all (unless they play the Dodgers, obvs).
Their manager is Dusty Baker, and this would be a fantastic year for Dusty to get his first ring. I would be tremendously happy for him, not just for what that accomplishment would mean, but for the fact that it would most likely mean a spot in the managers wing of the Hall of Fame, and also because it would mean that the Dodgers don’t get to win the World Series again. See how that works? That’s three good things. I believe I have made my case, Dusty. You should win the World Series this year.
Also on the Nationals is former 2015 Giants great Alejandro De Aza, though he didn’t hit especially well for Washington this year, and so with Bryce Harper back, it’s entirely possible he gets left off the playoff roster. And surprisingly, Adam Lind had a very nice season for Washington. He seemed like he was pretty much done as a player when the Giants released him this year, but I guess not, because ... I am being informed that Adam Lind and Aaron Hill are different people. I apologize for the mistake.
They’ve got Bud Black as a manager. He spent four years in the early ‘90s pitching for the Giants. But in terms of players on the team? Other than Jonah Arenado’s brother and Giants playoff victims Pat Neshek and Ryan Hanigan, they ...
Wait, did somebody say Ryan Hanigan? Yes! Somebody did. It was me. I said Ryan Hanigan. Time for a GIF.
Reliving the past to distract from the awful present rules.
Gregor Blanco! For a while this year it seemed like the Giants made a big mistake letting him go. Here’s a sample tweet from some idiot who thought that his midseason performance would be predictive, but was cagey enough to not say it out loud so that no one would call him an idiot later.
Gregor Blanco is currently hitting .274/.378/.381— Doug (@moonwalkmcfly) June 16, 2017
Blanco slumped hard at the end of the year, though, finishing with a .246/.337/.357 line, which is an especially poor line in Arizona, which is the third best hitting environment in the majors. But he is also Gregor Blanco, who preserved Matt Cain’s perfect game and earned two World Series rings and has a very nice smile, and so he should be appreciated forever. Hooray for Gregor Blanco! Hooray.