Yes, I am still technically the Deputy Editor, even if you haven’t really heard from me much since late last year, when it was announced that the majority of the staff of McCovey Chronicles were going to be fired.
It was, of course, devastating. Emotionally, financially, and to the core of my love of baseball. It’s hard to go back to being a fan once you’ve been in the thick of it. Or maybe that’s just me. Either way, I wasn’t sure that I would.
In other ways, though, it felt like a good time to be getting off the ride. Bruce Bochy was leaving and being replaced by a manager with a lot of “baggage,” for lack of a better term. The team failed to re-sign Madison Bumgarner, leaving a smoking crater in the rotation in his place. And it kind of felt like we were all leaving together, like the changing of the guard. One era was over and a new one beginning.
I decided that I needed a break from baseball this season, but changed my mind shortly after the team re-signed Hunter Pence. Despite the hurt feelings, hurt pride, and all the petty things that had been going through my head for several weeks after the announcement, I actually started to have some interest in the 2020 season, if only to spend a little more time with these people I’d come to love over the years.
As we all know, baseball (or more accurately a global pandemic) had other ideas. Sports are effectively cancelled for the foreseeable future. And with that announcement, it meant my days of covering this team in any way were officially over. Our contracts are all up at the end of March, which means I have officially recapped my last game. And this will be my last post as a sports writer.
It’s funny how something can seem like such a large strain on your time, but then when it’s gone, you miss it so. Giants baseball became even more of an integral part of my life over the last two years. It was the news I woke up to; Jon and Dave’s banter was the sound that I often fell asleep to.
Recaps were probably my favorite thing to write for this site. The format was so loose, you could really have fun with it in a way most platforms wouldn’t allow. I never nailed anything quite like one of Grant’s infamous 500 word headlines, but I like to think I got close now and then. I wish I’d done more of that fun stuff as time went on and my own time became harder to come by. But hindsight is 20/20. I always thought there’d be another game. Another season to get it right, to do better.
That wasn’t the case. For us (the staff who will leaving soon) or for baseball in general as it turns out.
I know many of you had complaints during the time Bryan and I were at the helm. Some mistakes were made, some decisions weren’t in our control, some decisions were never going to be popular but were the right call, and we were never going to be Grant. And that alone was a bridge too far for a lot of people. But we did our best. Fulfilling our obligations to SBNation and our own sense of duty to the community was a hard line to walk at times; and I suppose you guys are the ones who get to decide if we did alright or not.
I would ask that you bestow upon Brady as much kindness and understanding as you can as he navigates an even more challenging situation than trying to replace Grant Brisbee. So far Brady has shown that he’s up to the challenge of covering a season of sports (without sports), and I’m really proud of him.
I would ask that you bestow upon each other, and everyone you encounter, as much kindness, patience and care as you can. The future ahead of us right now is scary and uncertain. No one really knows what will happen day to day, let alone what it will look like when we come out the other side. This is going to be hard on all of us, and I’m not just talking about the lack of sports.
I know that a lot of you are sheltering in place, and even more of you are preparing to do the same. Some of you might be working from home, while others may be out of a job entirely. We don’t know how hard this is hitting the people we encounter, so kindness and empathy will be necessary currencies for us to help each other get through it.
Listen to medical experts and your local and state authorities. Follow their advice. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, practice social distancing, and for Mays’ sake, don’t hoard toilet paper.
If you are young and healthy and at less risk of dying from the virus, all of this caution still applies because it’s not necessarily about you. It’s about you protecting others. The people you love. The people you could infect who are loved by others.
This only works if we all do our part.
If we are to achieve the best case outcome, everything we’re being asked to do (or not do) may start to seem like an overreaction at times. The goal is to flatten the curve and give our healthcare system its best chance to succeed and not be overwhelmed. That sounds reasonable, of course. But it means that if we’re successful, we’ll see the numbers start to go down and it may seem like things are fine.
They’re not. This is going to be a long term, fluctuating problem. And I assure you that what we are being asked to do right now, and what may still be asked of us, is exactly what is needed to give our hospitals the best chance they have to save lives.
Trust the process, as they say.
This is going to require a lot from us to rise to the moment and do what we need to do help each other survive, both physically and financially. To keep each other safe by doing the right thing, regardless of the hardships it costs us.
We’ve seen great national and international recovery efforts in history. We’ve heard stories of everyone coming together to do what needs to be done, to take care of each other, to rebuild. I know that for some, it’s hard to imagine that kind of effort in the pre-pandemic world we’ve recently left behind. That world could sometimes seem like a selfish and even spiteful place.
But all I have to do to have hope is to remember the McCovey Chronicles community, and I am reminded of the good in people. What a common purpose can bring out in us. How we can take care of each other and rise to the challenge.
We’ll get through this.
Sports will be back.
And I wish I could be here writing about them when they are, but that’s not in the cards. So I just want to close by thanking you all for all of the support over the years. It’s been an honor. Take care of yourselves, and each other.