The San Francisco Giants will go down as the Team of the Half Decade. With three World Series trophies in the first five years of the 2010s, we’ll take that over anything the Dodgers have managed since 1988, but that doesn’t mean the back half of this decade is without its own distinct stench.
The big run is done. Last season was a 98-loss waste. This year is doomed to another visit to the south side of the 50-50 mark.
They are the Giants of 10 years ago, which is to say they are the Giants in need of being made from scratch all over again.
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The Giants of the 2000s made the playoffs three times in the first five years, beating the Angels in the 2002 World Series when they WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY TOOK RUSS ORTIZ OUT OF THE GAME?!?
(Sorry, still and forever too soon.)
Those Giants then crashed and burned through four straight losing seasons. The first two were spent pretending they were still a contender. The next two happened because they stopped pretending.
They hired a new manager. They drafted a future. They said the Barry Bonds era was over, and in doing so, they started over.
These Giants have got to do the same thing, because this run through the 2010s is over, whether they admit it or otherwise.
They need to find the next Bruce Bochy, because this Bruce Bochy does not deserve to have his bricked-road journey to Cooperstown sullied by a rebuild. We heard Bochy say he wanted to come back in 2019 and get back to the playoffs, but he deserves better than what needs to be done to get there.
For the Giants to be champions again in the 2020s, it is going to take 20/20 vision today.
The 2010s Giants rode parade routes because they drafted Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey. Aged free agents like Barry Zito and Aubrey Huff filled out the home-cooked plate, and were by no means the main course.
Do it again, gents.
Let Posey ride out his knees at first base. Let Bumgarner live out his arm as a sage adviser to a new bunch of babyfaces. Take your losses, knowing the Dodgers will always lose in the end, so who cares how many regular-season games they win?
Don’t let your .500 record going into mid-August fool you into thinking you are oh so close. We always knew that was as good as it would get. The scent of inevitability hung over this team all the live-long day.
You aren’t one player away from a World Series title. You can’t sign enough free agents to save this outfit.
And, for the love of Size 12 baseball caps, you cannot make Bochy suffer through another 11-game losing streak like he just did.
Go into rebuild mode. Let general manager Bobby Evans work a few more drafts. Let whatever you call your stadium these days sell tickets with its view and garlic fries, because there are bills to still pay.
Give us Giants fans reason to believe we can see history again, knowing it will only happen when this current team is history.
1. We can’t put a finger on it, and offer no metric-based proof. But man, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has not looked the same since he fractured his back in October 2017. Let that sink in … he fractured his back. Is it any surprise Carr hasn’t been Carr ever since?
2. How dead is boxing? Valley native Jose Ramirez is a world champion. He just defended his WBC junior welterweight title, on a Friday night in Fresno, on ESPN national TV. Yet, he is hardly known in these parts. That says more about the sport of sweet science than it does Ramirez.
3. We have no idea how many of you drove down to Fresno State’s football game at UCLA on Saturday. We don’t even care. All we know is, until Fresno State figures out how to get dollar-based butts in its own Bulldog Stadium seats, they will always be what they already are: broke. That’s on them as much as it is on any of you, so see you against Toledo, unless we don’t.