I think we can all agree that 2017 was a really bad year for the San Francisco Giants. An unexpectedly bad year. An unfathomably bad year. One of the hardest years in my lifetime as a Giants fan.
We stuck it out, and the team made some moves to improve. This allowed us to have moments like Saturday night, where Andrew McCutchen went 6-for-7, including a walk-off home run in the 14th inning. It was amazing, and renewed a lot of people’s faith in baseball being fun to watch.
Saturday night wasn’t so good for the Miami Marlins.
It started out okay, with their leadoff hitter against the Phillies, Derek Dietrich, scoring on a wild pitch and a throwing error. Not the worst way to get on the board. After that, though, it was a bloodbath, with Philadelphia scoring 20 runs on 20 hits. There was a grand slam in the first inning, a grand slam in the third inning, a home run that was challenged (and upheld). Even the pitcher got two hits and a run. Sometimes I really do think there should be a mercy rule for MLB games.
I’m not going to say that this game was indicative of who the Marlins are this year, however it’s a good bit of perspective.
After one of the worst seasons in recent memory, the Giants ownership and management never gave up on this team. They didn’t have a fire sale, they did their best to make improvements and keep the team competitive. Which gives fans a reason to show up and invest in the team, whether they’re investing their time or eating their weight in garlic fries.
Meanwhile, the Marlins finished second in their division last year, eighth in the National League, and were basically decimated by their new owners in the offseason for their trouble. Rather than building on what they had, they opted to get rid of anyone they could to save money, without caring what the fans thought. You know, the fans - the ones who consume their product, pay for tickets to their games, buy merchandise and overpriced food from their concession stands. Who cares about them, right?
I guess all this is to say that I’m glad that the powers that be in the Giants organization didn’t give up on this team, or on us. Because it allows us to still have games that reinvigorate our love for baseball, rather than make us question whether any of this is worth the amount of time we put into it.
Maybe they won’t make the playoffs, most teams won’t. However, if we can have real fun sprinkled generously throughout the season, it makes it all worth it.
And this? This was definitely worth the five hours we invested on Saturday night.