Was it Farhan Zaidi, or Klay Thompson, or George Washington at Yorktown who famously said:
“Hold that, haters!”
The news Tuesday night that Farhan, maligned Farhan, the Farhan who was slowly morphing into Public Enemy No. 1 for all of us proud Lunatic Fringers, the Farhan some were wondering was acting as a double agent for his former employers, the Dodgers and A’s, finally had enough.
He dropped the hammer.
Three hundred and fifty million.
In one fell swoop, Farhan went from Mr. “Work the Margins” to Mr. “How Do Ya Like Me Now?”, and truth told — I’m here for it. All of it.
I’m damn near as happy for the statement made as I am for the player.
I was among the many of you who was beginning to get frustrated with the lack of progress on so many fronts — prospects not arriving on time, 66 players used on the road to .500, a generation of kids growing up in the Bay Area not knowing who was coming or going at Third and King, and all of it depending on whether a lefty or a righty was starting.
If my desire for a giant name on the squad seems primal and simplistic to the analytics crowd, so be it. As we began to discuss with some of our favorite radio guests like Howard Bryant and Tony Massarotti, many of us baseball fans began to resent the value of “efficiency” over lasting values like entertainment, staying power and, yes, the revolutionary idea of an everyday player.
So while Aaron Judge was the lowest-hanging fruit, and the obvious Paul Bunyan/Bambino figure who could wallop his way into our hearts, it didn’t happen.
There were two roads after the Judge whiff: believe that Farhan is incapable of closing a deal and begin to lose all hope, or hang tight, grind our teeth, and wait and see if he could still deliver that big move so solemnly promised since the close of the regular season.
While Mitch Haniger (nice) and Sean Manaea (fine) and Ross Stripling (underrated) all were positive moves, there still remained the nagging thought that we season ticket holders were going to have a hard time rallying the troops for a 2023 renewal.
Then, Tuesday night.
If Carlos Correa isn’t an MVP winner, or even a 30 HR guy, he is a Dude. If you’re a ball fan, you know he’s a Dude. Moreover, he’s an October Dude. (Postseason numbers: 334 career ABs, 18 HRs, .849 OPS. My goodness.)
And if you talk to all the MLB voices we talked to Wednesday — Kevin Frandsen, Duane Kuiper, Buster Olney, Hunter Pence, Dan Gladden, Astros writer Chandler Rome — you hear a unanimous theme emerging: Correa is a winner. Correa is a leader. Correa is a face of a franchise.
He’s not as famous as Judge. But if you like ball, he’s as good or better, considering the position he plays.
Speaking of which: I can’t get too caught up in the Brandon Crawford fallout. Listen, I’m as huge a Crawford fan as all of y’all. If you listen to our show, you know we like Crawford so much, we use his every success to launch fusillades of insults at our pal Creative Tony.
But I can’t worry about his shortstop usage rate for one season in the larger picture of the next decade of Correa-led ball. The Giants will sort that out. Crawford can play some third. Or second. Cal Ripken moved to third base. So can Crawford. It’s about the team, the team, the team, sports fans.
Similarly, I can’t get caught up in the 2017 Astros cheating scandal, or Correa’s role in defending Houston. That’s not my problem when it comes to the 2023 Giants. It’s been legislated, adjudicated, voted on vocally by the public at Dodger Stadium, and my only concern is Opening Day, 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026 and so on.
Some wonder about Correa’s health, but similar worries dogged Judge. In the last three seasons, Correa has played in 89% of his games with the Astros and Twins. I don’t need much more than that.
Any arguments about overpaying don’t hold up. Correa’s annual average value of $26.9 million is actually downright affordable, and does not constrict future payrolls.
As for the 13 years? Might as well laugh and enjoy any contract that is long enough to have its own bar mitzvah. This is the price of doing business, sports fans.
We all wanted something — something! — to excite us. If you can’t get excited about the youngest and arguably the best all-around free agent coming to the Giants, with a resume of winning and pissing off the Dodgers, then I can’t help you. Cozy up next to the Grinch and Mr. Potter and Scrooge.
I’ll be down at George Bailey’s house saluting the guy who got it done. For he’s a jolly good fellow, that Farhan.
Have a Merry Carlos-mas and a Happy New Correa, Giants fans.