We all said we were excited and thrilled and titillated by the return of the Hot Stove League, after last year’s lockout.
But as I chew my fingernails to the nub waiting on any word from Aaron Judge, I’m reminded: Be careful what you wish for.
As we approach what every MLB insider tells us is Aaron Judge D-Day — this week? Today? tomorrow? Day after tomorrow? Next Tuesday, 2 o’clock? — the mind turns to the catastrophic question.
What if Aaron Judge does *not* sign with the Giants?
Don’t cuss at me! What did I do? I’m just out here like every other Giants fan, thinking how FREAKING AWESOME it would be to have a bona fide superstar back in town, a reason to pay $24.50 for a beer or whatever they charge these days and to land an icon the next generation of kids can rally around. Gen Z’s Jack Clark, if you will. (That’s for my 1978 Giants fan homeboys.)
But as The Hotel Lobby Video Heard ‘Round the World turns a week-and-a-half old, and there is still no word from any leaked Giants source as to how it went — burrito in the Mission? Creamed spinach at the House of Prime Rib? Cocktails in the Dogpatch? — one begins to fret.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported the Yankees offered Judge something in the neighborhood of 8 years, $300 million-ish. As discussed in a previous Jock Blog, the Giants have more payroll flexibility than Gumby doing Bikram yoga. Eight years, $300 million? Pshaw. The Giants could make it 9 years, $360 million and still have *plenty* of money to sign the Japanese pitcher Senga, and toss in damn Dansby Swanson, too. I’m serious. They have that much space. And if they don’t think they do, I’ll have Joe Lacob hop on a scooter from down Terry Francois Blvd to come explain how it all works.
So then it comes down to what Aaron Judge wants.
It’s highly flattering to us Giants fans that it appears the only team Judge is considering outside the Yankees is our very own Gigantes. I’d blush, but I’m too amped about signing him. Think of the teams he’s not even visiting. Take that, Dodgers! (It’s all we have right now while we wait for their fans to exit our ballpark.)
That it’s only the Giants and the Yankees gives us hope.
But, back to the point of this whole little Jock Blog, and to quote the ‘Ted Lasso’ episode about fatalistic European soccer fans:
It’s the hope that kills you.
Faced with that phrase, our hero Lasso counters that he believes it’s the hope that keeps you alive. That’s why Jason Sudeikis is so gosh-darn likable.
But he’s never had to sweat out an Aaron Judge sweepstakes. Let’s see what ol’ Ted Lasso would say about the idea of Judge jilting us, leaving us rowing a kayak in McCovey Cove, alone, in the rain.
To my point, what if he doesn’t sign?
Will you accept Senga and Swanson as a consolation prize and go back to hawking Marco Luciano YouTube clips, while pre-ordering your Kyle Harrison gamer? Will you believe in the power of Logan Webb, the underrated starts of Alex Cobb, the lights-out stuff from Camilo Doval?
Will you keep a stiff upper lip and carry on, like some British aristocrat?
Or will you curl into a ball and spend the holiday season playing “Silent Night” on repeat while flicking your Xmas lights on and off, Glenn Close-style?
These are the times that try our souls, Giants fans.