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Goldschmidt or Puig? FanPulse voters name the Giants’ greatest villain

Also, fan confidence has surged.

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Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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Okay, so, all the Giants have needed to do to raise the confidence of its fan base is score the fifth-most runs in the NL (ninth-most in MLB) over the past 30 days.

FanPulse voter confidence is at 59%, the team’s highest confidence point since the very first week of results (74%). That’s almost entirely driven by the offense, which now has the air of “league average”.

Meanwhile, the pitching isn’t getting a lot of attention, and that’s just fine, I think. It wasn’t very good in May, and since then it has sort of scurried away and hid in the shadows to make us forget about it. The staff’s 4.49 ERA is a modest 13th-best in MLB (8th in the NL), so, it’s... fine. It’s okay. It’s enough to stay out of the way of the clicking offense and give Giants FanPulse voters some confidence in the team’s direction.

Meanwhile, confidence in Bruce Bochy stayed flat last week, but a swinging Dickerson raises all confidence, it seems, as the retiring manager’s approval rating rose from 81% to 87%. That ties him for ninth place with Brian Snitker of the Braves and ahead of the likes of Aaron Boone (79%), Joe Maddon (76%), Dave Roberts (76%), and Alex Cora (71%).

But you’re not here for results about a 42-48 team. You’re here for the headline stuff. This past week, I asked FanPulse voters just who they felt was currently the greatest villain of the San Francisco Giants and I have to admit I’m stunned by the heavy lean of these results:

Yasiel Puig won easily, gathering 61.54% of the vote. Paul Goldschmidt came in second with 20%, and Nolan Arenado came in a respectable third with 16.92%.

So, there you have it. Yasiel Puig is, currently, the most-loathed non-Giant out there. It doesn’t matter that he’s nowhere close to being one of the greatest Giants killers of all-time (Kenny wrote about the top ten right here), FanPulse voters simply do not like the cut of Puig’s jib.

Okay. Maybe that’s fair. It doesn’t matter that he’s done the most damage against the Giants out of any active player — it matters that when he does do damage, it makes Giants fans want to light themselves on fire. That’s a remarkable bit of theatricality on both parts — Puig’s antics are just as much a cover for lackluster performance as our reaction to his meager numbers (he’s currently valued as about a 1-win player).

Meanwhile, per Kenny:

Nolan Arenado is the seventh-best Giants killer of all time. Paul Goldschmidt just barely missed the top-10 with his .911 OPS.

So maybe it is we who must turn the mirrors upon ourselves and gaze into our rage. Puig is not the problem, he’s just very upsetting. Nolan Arenado — whom the Giants will face four times in the span of 72 hours this week — presents a much greater threat.

Matt Kemp, a recent Mets castoff, has played in 194 games against the Giants and has accumulated a career line of .283/.338/.481 against them. Just about his career average against just one team. Still, recency bias seems to have hobbled his results a bit, as the former Dodger, former Padre, and former Brave got just 1.54% of FanPulse voters upset just by his name being seen to garner a vote.

And I threw in Trevor Story because in 57 games against the Giants, he’s hit 14 home runs and amassed a line of .284/.327/.533, his second best for his career. He’s absolutely tormented the Diamondbacks (.995 OPS in 60 games), but he’s been a real pain in a short time and, well, I just thought savvy FanPulse voters would’ve taken this into consideration. But no! Zero votes!

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