We all have connotations with it. Perhaps you associate it with school getting out - the beginning of freedom. Perhaps you associate it with school getting out for others and suddenly dealing with endless numbers of kids everywhere the eye can see.
There’s Father’s Day, warm weather, the NBA Finals, good movie releases, and so much more.
And for the San Francisco Giants, there’s winning baseball.
Here are the Giants months since the start of last year, prior to Sunday’s game.
March/April 2018: 15-14
May 2018: 11-16
June 2018: 18-10
July 2018: 11-14
August 2018: 13-14
September 2018: 5-21
March/April 2019: 12-18
May 2019: 10-16
June 2019: 8-4
That’s 26-14 in June and 77-113 the rest of the time.
My oh my. If only June could come around a little more.
In the interest of honesty, the Giants were horrendous in the June of 2017, but they were horrendous in every month that year. The last good month the team had - like really good, not superficially good - was June of 2016, when they went 17-10 to push their record to 50-31 - only to go 37-44 the rest of the way.
So why are the Giants a capable team in June, when they’re so futile the rest of the time?
Let’s look at a few theories.
This is almost surely the correct answer, which means it’s the boring answer, which means let’s not talk about it. .400 teams won’t win .400 games each month. June has been lucky. Go to Vegas, June. Except, don’t, because riding the belief that you’re controlling something variance related kills bank accounts in Vegas.
Variance may be the overriding factor for the June successes, but it’s not the only factor. The Giants have entered the last few years with a lot of question marks on the roster. It takes a while to find suitable answers for hard questions.
Mike Yastrzemski is not the answer, per se, but he’s closer to the answer than Connor Joe, Michael Reed, or Mac Williamson was.
Shaun Anderson is not the answer (yet), but he’s better than Dereck Rodriguez.
From day one, the Giants have thrown things at the wall to see if they’ll stick. Things aren’t exactly sticking, but they’re hanging on for a few seconds before slowly descending down the wall. Progress!
Bumping trade value
This is also the part of the season where the front office starts nudging Bruce Bochy, pointing out the record, and reminding him to ride the players that might have trade value. Coincidentally enough, those players are usually good.
The threat of trades
There’s a flip side to that. Will Smith, Madison Bumgarner, Tony Watson, Kevin Pillar, and many others know that they’re on the trading block if the Giants aren’t competitive. If they want to continue to clad their bodies in orange and black, it would behoove them to start winning games.
There’s a 0.1% chance that this actually has any impact, but I do like to think of Bumgarner and Smith high-fiving in the dugout, talking about how if they can just run the win streak to 15 games they’ll be safe.
Hey, that’s a good idea!
The San Francisco weather
Baseball is a summer sport. It’s a sport meant to be played on bright green grass, under the hot sun. Every baseball player should have a good streak of burn and/or tan above their shirt line and beneath their hat line.
San Francisco is not a city that celebrates summer early. Summer starts in June. Suddenly it’s baseball weather for the Giants, and they can come out of their hibernation. They can remind each other that “oh, yeah, the sun’s out, it’s time for baseball, maybe we should play baseball?”
So far they’re playing baseball, which is an improvement over whatever transpired in May. Keep it up, fellas.