“I miss the comfort in being sad.”
The Giants have started their difficult road trip 1-3, and have fallen to second place in the Wild Card standings and third place in the National League West. Their bullpen looked worse last night against the Braves than it has all year. The front office is busy shuffling their younger players on and off the big league roster, mostly because they can’t trade their good prospects or any of their Major League pitchers because Randy Johnson’s career may or may not be over.
Are things really this bad, or is everyone around here just used to jumping to the conclusion that doom is always around the corner when it comes to sports? Just a week ago, the Giants were a magical team. Words like “special” and “destiny” were even used in some circles. Granted, a lot of that came from KNBR hosts hoping they’d actually have something to talk about in August and September besides NFL training camp, but even the fans were starting to come around.
Now it’s all over. They suck. They can’t hit, and they only have two good pitchers. The Dodgers and the Rockies will never lose again, and when they play each other every game will somehow end in a tie. The manager has no idea how to write a lineup or how to treat Kevin Frandsen in a gentlemanly manner. The general manager is a moron who’s probably going to blow his prospect wad on a rent-a-player, and “Life of Brian” is on Comcast again.
It’s easier this way. After the sporting Gods have smacked us down with over a decade’s worth of lightning bolts, who wants to get back up and believe again? If we expect the Giants, A’s, 49ers, Raiders, Sharks and Warriors to suck, it doesn’t hurt as much. It’s like dating; after getting dumped enough times it’s easier just to sit at home and watch The Food Network. After all, Bobby Flay never needs any space, and “Top Chef” won’t make out with your friend behind your back.
So when Sergio Romo becomes Tyler Walker, Aaron Rowand gets tired and Barry Zito throws another strike when the count’s 0-2, we’re all conditioned to wipe our hands of the team immediately. Kind of sad, isn’t it? The Giants don’t hurt for fans who care, but they also don’t lack fans who race each other to wash their hands of the team…ASAP!!!
Everyone needs to relax a little. Sure, the Giants are a flawed team, but so is every other team in the NL. The Dodgers are counting on Jason Schmidt to help their achy pitching staff. The Rockies are riding the emotional wave of promoting Jim Tracy to interim manager (and who can blame them?), but that won’t last forever.
The Giants aren’t quite a 90-win team, and not-quite-90-win teams don’t often start long road trips after 4-day layoffs with inspirational winning streaks. The Giants are still better than most of the teams in the League they’re lucky enough to be in, and should finish over .500 this season, which is about as much as one could ask for around these parts. This season has had some low points, and will surely include several more. Of course, since we’ve all been turned into a bunch of self-pitying Cobain clones, maybe that’s good news to some people.
Links regarding Giant transactions, real and otherwise
— Mike Rutsey writes that the Giants are “kicking the tires” on Roy Halladay, only I don’t think it’s tongue-in-cheek. (Toronto Sun)
— Rich Aurilia is forced to the DL with an infected big toe, which didn’t seem to bother him yesterday when he came in off the bench and hit a single. Frandsen, who Bruce Bochy labeled as a “stopgap guy” (ouch) was sent down to Fresno again, in favor of Matt Downs. (Extra Baggs)
— The Aurilia-to-the-DL move is good news, especially if you believe in Bowkermania. (Bay City Ball)
— Should the Giants go after Ryan Braun? What would it take? (Raising Matt Cain)
— In a post where he says the Phillies have to go after Halladay, Peter Gammons says the Giants will get a bat. He doesn’t say who, and Gammons hasn’t really been trustworthy in this millenium, so do with that information what you will. (ESPN)