SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — I feel like by the time you read this Jock Blog, another rumor or seven will have broken out about Bryce Harper’s future.
By the time you scroll down on your phone, Phillies owner John Middleton may have charted a Concorde to Las Vegas; Dodgers manager Dave Roberts may be hitch-hiking from Arizona to Las Vegas; and Larry Baer may be telling Farhan (I Like One-Year Deals for Versatile Dudes You May Or May Not Have Heard Of) Zaidi to just smile and say nothing as they settle into Scott Boras’ luxury suite in Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, by the time you finish this Jock Blog, I still won’t have any idea the identity of the 2019 Giants.
We’re down here in Scottsdale, and I’m still not sure. If I had a clue, I’d tell you.
Are they the “Look At Us When We’re Healthy!” Giants — hellbent on proving that Buster Posey’s surgically-repaired hip, Brandon Crawford’s healed-up knee, Steven Duggar’s mended shoulder, Jeff Samardzija’s much-better pec and Brandon Belt’s general being are all back in 2019, ready to go?
Are they the “Max Muncy/Chris Taylor North!” Giants — a collection of Farhan’s favorite Swiss Army knives like Yangervis Solarte and Steven Vogt, players who will endear themselves to Giants fans with surprising power?
Are they the “Man, We Have A Ton of Pitching!” Giants — overflowing with Pat Vendittes and Drew Pomeranzes and Travis Bergens and Trevor Gotts and Jose Lopezes, joining forces with lefties like Will Smith and Tony Watson and, oh yeah, Madison Bumgarner, to form an underrated staff of out-makers?
Or, are they they “We Don’t Know Anything Until Bryce Signs!” Giants — a team ready to welcome Harper with a 10-year deal that has Baer’s (not Zaidi’s) fingerprints all over it, and a team ready to pivot in another direction with a grade if Harper signs with, gulp, the Dodgers??
Wait. It’s been a few minutes. Let me check Twitter to see if there are any fresh Harper rumors. OK, I’m back. SmashMouth hasn’t tweeted in the last 15 minutes.
I thought when Zaidi was hired, the Giants had themselves one sharp cookie. And then when Thanksgiving turned into Christmas turned into MLK Day turned into Valentine’s Day and the only acquisitions — with apologies to hustlin’ Gerardo Parra —seemed not like game-changers at all, I wondered if Zaidi was telling us that 2019 was just one of those years set up to suffer, in order to get closer to the Joey Bart future we all crave.
But with each Harper rumor, the mind reels. And with each study of this roster, you don’t know what to make of it. We’re down here in Unformed Amoeba Land, otherwise known as the Giants’ 2019 Cactus League. Solarte looks good. Parra looks good. Joey Bart hit a bomb today.
And I’m off to check Twitter one more time.