Just before tonight’s game, San Francisco Giants GM Bobby Evans was officially eliminated from GM contention for 2019, according to Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.
The reported move certainly ends all speculation about Evans’ future, but Schulman’s report does hint at a couple of other things that similarly end speculation about how the Giants are going to handle this offseason:
The organization is expected to ask Evans to stay in the organization, but it’s not clear if he would stay or seek employment elsewhere. Evans, like executive vice president Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy, are signed through 2019.
Even though the team is looking for someone to come in from the outside, it’s clear that Larry Baer and the ownership want to maintain as much of the current structure and culture as possible. That’s not surprising, but it might make the hiring process a little trickier. The Giants might be inclined to find someone closer to their mode of thinking, which we are kinda-sorta seeing over the past couple of years as a mind set that’s out of step with the rest of the industry.
That last bit is my speculation, but shifting Evans’ role and keeping most of the key decision-makers in place really does cement the idea that the Giants are not rebuilding and they won’t ever rebuild as long as the current ownership group is intact. Can an Ivy League-educated stockbroker-turned-human-commodities trader work within such a confining and intensely humanist system, or will someone like Omar Minaya make his way back into a front office?
As for Evans... 24 years is a long time with any organization. He literally worked his way up from administrative assistant to the general manager. Think of everything he’s experienced over the years, everything he’s seen.
He was Brian Sabean’s assistant — he very likely taught Brian Sabean how to send a text message and/or use a flip phone. Bryan Srabian had to teach the front office about social media to successfully pitch The @ Cafe. Can you imagine how many flash cards and PowerPoint presentations he’s pulled all-nighters working on over the years just to explain batting average on balls in play and isolated slugging percentages?
Taking over the role of GM from a living legend (I can only assume that Sabean has ascended to the baseball equivalent at this point) had to feel like a tremendous personal accomplishment in addition to being intensely emotional. Every decision he made (although, maybe we’ll learn at some point that Melancon, Longoria, and McCutchen were edicts he had to follow instead of his own ideas) were ones he thought were for the good of the team. Practically none of it worked out for him and considering that as a part of his entire history with the team and his progress up the ladder can’t help but make you feel bad for the guy.
Well, maybe it only makes me feel a little bit bad because I can relate. Here I am taking over this hugely successful and popular thing built by a living legend (I’m boosting Grant’s stature here to make him sound taller) and naturally not living up to those expectations. If you see me trade Sami or Kenny for Matt Moore, then you know I’m in real trouble.
So, farewell Bobby Evans. You’re with Dave Righetti now, running free in a field somewhere upstate. But maybe you’ll be back. No — you have to come back. Somewhere. Anywhere. It would be a shame for a career epitaph to be “He traded Matt Duffy”.
AAAAGH! I was just about to hit publish on this when I saw the tweet. I saw. The. Tweet.
MORE TO COME.