For all the talk yesterday (and the days and weeks before) about tearing down the roster and rebuilding, my mind got stuck on the simple fact that it’s not going to happen unless and until the team goes on a 10-game losing streak and looks so far out of it that to continue along at the present course would be foolhardy.
Which means that talking about how to “save the franchise” with a long, not-guaranteed-to-even-work full rebuild of the entire operation (I think of the Reds now but also the Tigers before) not only becomes repetitive and runs out of gas, it’s simply not on topic if the Giants are competing. And they’re competing right now. They might not be competitive next week, but it’s both early enough in the season and late enough in April to say, “Hey, what if the offseason plan can work and the Giants might actually have a shot at a Wild Card this season?”
If you accept the premise that a change is not gonna come this season, then how would you reconfigure your mindset to support what happens this season? I might be dreaming of the haul of players Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto could bring back, but that’s wasted energy over the next 5+ months because I’ve got to, you know, write 25-49 articles about the Giants every week. Who might the Giants be able to swap out to both stay under the cap and improve the roster in order to really make that playoff push? Are there any players in the minors beyond Shaw, Slater, and Duggar who are poised to help the team? Wait -- does not the emergence of Shaw, Slater, and Duggar suddenly give them both major league roster flexibility and trade chips to help that same roster?
Okay, sure, trading young players to fill positions with veterans is almost exactly how the Giants got into their present situation, but the other point is that everything you and I can imagine about a rebuild can happen just as easily in the offseason as it can during this season. So why not just imagine how this season can work out?
Make no mistake: they’ve been the worst team in baseball since July 2016, but they’re not the worst team right now. Today. As I type this. There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about this season. Yes, next season and beyond will be a mess. Maybe even a tragedy. But the Giants are not using today to worry about tomorrow, and I’m wondering if maybe we should take a page from them... since, you know, we have absolutely no control over what they’re going to do.