They wanted to markedly improve their defense.
There’s little evidence they did.
They wanted to be a force in the big-name free agent market.
They whiffed on two of the biggest names in the game.
They wanted to get younger and more athletic.
Instead, they signed two outfielders with significant injury histories.
Take me out to the ballgame, sports fans — Giants pitchers and catchers started workouts today in Scottsdale!
(taps mic) Is thing still on? (taps mic)
Here’s an outrageous take: I am forcing myself to be upbeat and optimistic about the 2023 San Francisco Giants.
Nothing like forcing a positive attitude on one’s self. It’s like when the ‘Little Rascals’ used to have castor oil shoved down their throats. With the face, and all.
The reasons for my heavily-forced good attitude are not profound. I’m just tired of being upset. We all spent the whole winter upset. Carlos Correa’s failed physical made us upset. The silence from the organization for two weeks after the failed physical made us upset. Carlos Rodon’s departure made us upset. Aaron Judge made us upset. Heck, even Arson Judge made us upset.
The Padres made the NLCS by eliminating the Dodgers in the playoffs, creating an ecstatically joyous vibe that didn’t make me upset as much as jealous. The Padres packed their FanFest, which heightened this envy.
On paper, there’s a lot to kvetch about.
And many of you are ready to kvetch. I see it on the text line every day. I see it in your reaction even when I tried to post on social media a neutral baseball greeting from FanFest.
You’re mad as hell, and you don’t want to take it anymore!
(Fun to feel that way sometimes, I confess.)
Crazy enough, it was at FanFest when my revelation hit.
Life is way, way, way too short to be mad at the Giants for an entire ball season, or even longer.
I looked around at Oracle Park. Saw the players in the home creams. Took a long look at the same building where Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent and Rich Aurilia and JT Snow and Dusty Baker handed the legacy to Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain and Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner and Pablo Sandoval and Bruce Bochy. Looked up at the booth where Kruk and Kuip and Jon and Dave spin their audio magic. I even squinted my eyes and saw Posey’s home run off Walker Buehler in Game 1 of the NLDS . . . just 16 months ago?!?!?!
How can I stay mad at all that?
Yes, yes. If you want the truth serum, the platoon-heavy, starting pitcher-deemphasized, one-year contract-laden, home run-or-bust-style of Farhan Zaidi’s ball club and roster construction is not my father or mother’s ol’ ballgame.
But I can’t stay mad at baseball, or the Giants. It’s not in our ball fan DNA, is it? The only way out of last year’s foreboding mediocrity is to ride with a combination of belief and patience. Belief that the likable Mitch Haniger and Michael Conforto can be comforting every day presences; that the fairly deep starting staff, with Sean Manaea and Ross Stripling aboard, can force Gabe Kapler and Andrew Bailey to allow the wonder of a six- or seven-inning start. And patience that the farm system — the farm system, for the love of Lincecum! — can produce some homegrown buzz, from De La Salle’s Kyle Harrison to PCL MVP David Villar; from the Ed Halicki clone Sean Hjelle to the ever-tempting Marco Luciano; from the mysterious Joey Bart to the intriguing Grant McCray.
The homegrown kids will bring most all of you back. They always do. An entire generation fell in love with the gosh darn phrase back in 1986, even. “You gotta like these kids” — yeah, pretty much the most rock-solid Giants marketing campaign of my lifetime. Perhaps the Giants could come up with a catchy 2023 campaign to angry fans — may I suggest the 1980s Tina Turner pop offering: “I don’t care who’s wrong or right/I don’t really want to fight no more?”
You hang around long enough, something good might happen. Take me out to the ballgame. I don’t want to stay mad at the Giants.