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Murph: Let the audit begin for the Giants



© Isaiah J. Downing | 2022 Aug 19

I’ve tried to resist Jock Blogging about the Giants, ever since my trade deadline screed about starting to lose faith in the grand plan.

You know, let it play out a little, see how it goes, get all geeked up about Nick Bosa and Trent Williams — and yet, here we are, closing out August and I’m back on the Giants.

Apparently, so is our guy Farhan Zaidi.

I heard the Giants’ head of baseball operations on KNBR with the afternoon boys Wednesday, and, based on his takes about the 2022 Giants you’d have thought he was the late, great riled-up Giants-lover Salty from Clovis. 

(RIP, Salty. Man, can you imagine Salty’s calls about platoons and pulling starting pitchers? Somewhere in sports talk radio heaven, he’s lighting up the call screener.)

At any rate, Farhan was on with Tolbert and Copes admitting that a) the Giants don’t have a middle of the order; b) the Giants need more everyday players; and c) it’d be an ideal world if the Giants starters could go deeper and lessen the burden on the bullpen.

He only was missing a “Farhan from San Francisco OUT” tag line before hanging up.

To which most Giants fans said: Welcome to the club, Farhan.

The thing that muddies any discussion about these .500 Giants is the magic number ‘107’. Last year’s franchise record win total bought so much street cred for Farhan and Scott Harris and Gabe Kapler. And yet, it’s like they didn’t know what to do with the embarrassment of riches. So, it turns out, they sat on ‘em, and tried to recreate 2021 — without Buster Posey, Kevin Gausman and without career years from Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt. 

They also sat on the payroll, which is startlingly low for what it could be.

But this isn’t just some giant rag session of a Jock Blog. (Although, it’s tempting. Again, shout out Salty.)

What was also interesting was Farhan saying that the front office would “audit our own decisions” in the upcoming offseason. This is intriguing, This means that, while we would never expect Farhan to change his “no move too small” ways, and that he will still get the biggest thrills in town scooping up minor-league cast-offs from the Orioles, he also may take a more aggressive tack when it comes to spending dough and bringing in some dudes.

We have Will Clark every Wednesday morning, and among the many pearls he drops on us, the Thrill was saying there comes a time in every big leaguer’s arc where he has to look himself in the mirror and be honest with himself. That if something ain’t working, the mirror needs to tell you: You better change it up, Jack. (I add “Jack”, because that’s a Thrill-ism for y’all.)

And perhaps 2022 has brought Farhan to that crossroads.

The upcoming self-audit is the Will Clark mirror moment.

Now, of course a major component would be the arrival and development of the farm stars we’ve been hearing about for so long — Marco Luciano and Heliot Ramos have been the names for years, but you can add Casey Schmitt and Vaun Brown and Luis Matos to that list of hopefuls. Those are the bats. Kyle Harrison is the arm we can’t wait to see, either. Teams like the Braves and Mets and Cardinals are calling up dudes and getting bang for their buck. The Giants are not. Whether it’s just a matter of time, or a matter of development or a matter of talent selection remains to be seen — but it sure would be nice to get the Giants’ version of Michael Harris or Vaughn Grissom or Brendan Donovan or Spencer Strider.

In the meantime, it sounds like Farhan is coming around to the idea that the major market Giants should start operating with the swagger of the major market Giants.

Imagine that.

Listen, the dude built a team that won 107 games last year. It meant a lot. But consistency is the name of the game here, Jack. (I see you, Thrill.) And Giants fans want something more consistently great than a platoon-heavy .500 team.

Let the self-audit begin.