The National League playoff picture is sloppy, but too many baseball sages seem to look at that as a bug and not a feature.
Your team is bad sorry— Mike Sutton (@ThatsaBadTake) July 19, 2019
We must adhere to the solemn orthodoxy that bad teams are always bad and are never good. We must bow before the bad takes of weird stat stooges who seem to think 12 of 40 games since June 1st and 10 of their 26 wins over that same span counts as “a bunch”.
Or we could just ignore the people on Twitter who want nothing but the worst for the Giants and rely on just the fans. The fans are where we’ll get a different perspective, and reveal —
— ah, yes. Well then. No, Giants fans see this team as being what it is: on a hot streak.
That’s actually fine. The miserable cusses who are deriding people for being happy about their team and not wanting the good times to end are miserable cusses and killjoys — I oughta know, I’m one of ‘em. But Giants FanPulse voters who think the team should sell despite this 26-15 run since June 1st are simply maintaining the focus of the season.
The Giants are rebuilding. They’re just not doing it in the way most dumb teams do it. It’s not creative destruction, it’s reinvention on the fly. The traditional way of rebuilding a baseball team was the equivalent of witness protection — burning an old life and assuming a new identity. Another way to do it is to simply take the public lumps and grow from it.
We should hope this is the Giants’ approach, because what does it really mean to “sell”? The Giants don’t have an overwhelming number of movable pieces anyway, so the idea that it’s either hold onto everything or strip the whole organization for parts is so reductive as to be absurd. It’s what people think the Giants should do because it’s the only way it’s ever be done. But what’s the point of selling Brandon Belt for pennies on the dollar? Can he even be sold at all? I don’t think so.
Really, the Giants have about six or seven players other teams would want and would trade something decent for, and that group is mostly pitching. Will Smith is a top five reliever in baseball. Madison Bumgarner is a quality rotation piece. Sam Dyson and Tony Watson and even Reyes Moronta would provide tremendous value for another team. Even Kevin Pillar could help a contender as a third or fourth outfielder.
A sell-off doesn’t mean the Giants’ run at the Wild Card has to end, either. The bullpen reinforcements from Triple-A might be a pale comparison, but they might also be able to hold the line in concert with whatever the Giants get in return. A 75% “sell” response suggests that FanPulse voters know what’s going on here. They don’t want the Giants to do what they’ve always done and buy pieces to goose a slight chance of staying in a tough race. Why not see if the team — which will remain mostly intact even after a sell-off — can still hang around in the race after moving talent to refresh the organizational depth?