Shortly after the fifth inning of the Giants’ 7-2 loss to the Mets, Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles sent this tweet to his employer:
@sbnation There is nothing in my contract that says I have to watch this. Just write about it. Is that accurate?
— Grant Brisbee (@mccoveychron) July 10, 2013
I’ve pondered the same thing for many games lately, and if BASG wasn’t totally incommunicado — probably sipping some kind of colorfully intoxicating beverage on a white-sanded beach somewhere, far far away from the Giants — I would have handed him my letter of resignation by now.
Okay, so maybe not. I love writing about sports. I love it so much, I’ve spent the last five years in school (and in front of my computer) chasing the dream. But it’s not all victorious posts about World Series celebrations and Ryan Theriot praise. Writing about sports isn’t fun at a time like this.
Are you ready for some irony? The Giants deal Zach Wheeler to the Mets in exchange for Carlos Beltran while making a Posey-less push for a second-straight NL West crown in 2011. Then they fall out of contention, Beltran departs and yet life goes on, right? The Giants got pitching. They’ve got arms for daaaays, baby!
Stephen King must have written this horrible chapter in Giants lore. You know, the chapter when the news breaks that Chad Gaudin groped a woman in a hospital right before Matt Cain gets crushed for three runs in the first inning and doesn’t even escape it* on the same day the Giants finally face Wheeler? Horrible chapter, Stephen.
So they sent out Mike Kickham in relief, who was pretty solid, but still paled in comparison to Wheeler, the rotational staple they could have had and now desperately need. The one that got away allowed only three hits, one earned run and struck out five in seven innings while piling on by hitting a double. Then he ripped off his mask, revealing his true identity to be Scott Cousins before riding off into the sunset, cackling evilly.
Alright, so I made the last part up, but the rest of it is mercilessly nonfictional. While what the Giants will actually do at the trade deadline is still to be determined, what they should do is becoming more and more clear everyday, isn’t it? I’ll spare you the statistics when I say the Giants will have to play spectacular baseball (starting yesterday) if they want any hope of winning the NL West or the Wild Card. Since this train doesn’t look like it’s going to head in the right direction anytime soon, the “sellers” label will fit the Giants quite well come July 31st.
Somehow, this team continues to see the 2011 San Francisco Giants when it looks at itself in the mirror. The only real difference is a damning reality for the rest of 2013, however: the 2011 Giants offense was painfully anemic when they traded for Beltran, but the pitching staff was markedly better. What’s worse — their shot at a postseason berth was far more attainable than this team’s is.
With the number of holes this team needs to fill, Brian Sabean would have to give a whole lot more than Kyle Crick at this deadline to have a shot at contending. Today, we saw what the Giants lost trying to do it in 2011. It may be wise to keep history from repeating itself.
*According to Alex Pavlovic, there have been “in house discussions about Cain’s health” recently. More bad news for an already beaten up team.