You probably don’t come to McCovey Cove Chronicles Dot Com for op-eds.
Forgive me. It’s Sunday. The San Francisco Giants kinda sorta stink. I’m currently in a house that has seven cats. I’m feeling a tad bit sentimental.
So what lies ahead is a piece only slightly rooted in logic, and I’ll be the first to admit that said logic is a talented enough gymnast that Simone Biles wouldn’t laugh while watching it perform a routine. Otherwise, it’s rooted in emotion. Proceed at your own risk.
But a quick tangent: I like emotion, as it pertains to baseball. It’s kind of necessary. The only reason baseball exists is because some nincompoop invented it and we were like, “hey, this is fun to play!”
The only reason Major League Baseball exists is because those of us with our butts on La-Z-Boys and hard plastic stadium seats think, “hey, this is fun to watch!” and then we spend money and the players get paid well, and we’re all having a grand old time.
I repeat, fun. Emotion.
A baseball team should always be trying to get better. They should always spend each day trying to figure out what they can be doing to get themselves 1% closer to a championship.
And they should not completely abandon the pretense of being an enjoyable product in the process. Apologies for sounding like your mother, but the journey is pretty important. It’s not just the destination.
So let’s get this part of the article over with, before the semblance of logic kicks in: I don’t want the Giants to trade Pablo Sandoval.
I don’t want them to trade him because I’ve already made the mental commitment to watch at least 60 of the Giants remaining 80 games, and Sandoval is fun to watch. I don’t want them to trade him because Evan Longoria is not particularly fun to watch. I don’t want them to trade him because he brings energy and excitement to a team that appears to be misinformed as to what those particular words mean.
I don’t want them to trade him because I think they’ll get, at best, 0.001% closer to a championship by doing so, and the joy I’ll get from watching him play for the next three months is more important to me.
Ahhh. Now we’re getting somewhere. Now we’re at least dancing around the periphery of logic.
The Giants’ front office already has received calls on Sandoval, per a source, and he comes with few strings attached. The Red Sox are paying all of Sandoval’s salary after they released him in July 2017, but the MLB minimum and his five-year deal is up at the end of the season. The Giants are quietly optimistic that the production and appealing contractual situation could bring back a solid prospect.
Quiet optimism is good, and the Giants obviously are more privy to these things then I am, but I don’t buy it.
Sandoval’s sample size of being good again is still small, and more importantly, it’s continued a trend that the Panda has essentially admitted: He plays better as a member of this organization.
He’s comfortable with his teammates, his manager, the fans, and the media. That never seemed the case in Boston, and he publicly said as much.
Sorry for the resonance, but few people play baseball with emotion the way Sandoval does. You get the sense that as his happiness waxes and wanes, so too does his bat.
Will GMs give away a quality prospect for a player with a long history of being bad for other teams, contrasted with a 180 plate appearance history of being good?
Color me, the eternal optimist, pessimistic.
So they’ll get something. I’m just dubious that they’ll get something good. As Pavlovic notes, if they get Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos - as they did when they dangled Eduardo Nuñez - then the Giants have no choice.
That just doesn’t seem realistic.
I love the concept that an assortment of negligible moves eventually create movement. You might not notice the absence of any one ingredient in a 20-ingredient sauce, but remove enough of them, and suddenly it’s becomes noticeable.
That’s the case with building a baseball team. An arguably negligible trade doesn’t move the needle. But, over time, with enough of them, progress is made.
That won’t stop me from isolating one of those arguably negligible moves, and pulling it off the conveyor belt.
If the Giants don’t trade Sandoval, they’ll win the World Series _____ times in my life.
If they do trade Sandoval, there’s a 99.99% chance that the above invisible number stays exactly the same.
The only difference is, I’ll enjoy the next three months of baseball a whole lot less.
I’ll live with those odds.