Over the past three years, the San Francisco Giants appear to have settled comfortably into their well-earned identity as an aging, .500 team.
Starting with the second half of the 2014 season through June 10 2017, San Francisco’s 231-223 record reads out at a .508 winning percentage.
In single season-speak that’s an average of 82 wins and 80 losses.
So much for the public relations fluff put out by the Giants front office at the start of every season announcing their commitment to building a perennially winning, championship organization.
You would think someone in the San Francisco Giants administrative chain of command might be held accountable for this ugly turn of events. But unlike other franchises, there will be no heads rolling over the rudderless mess the Giants big league roster and farm system have become.
Neither the manager or any of the front office executives are in danger of being held responsible for, or even too closely associated with, the deteriorating baseball side of this historic baseball franchise.
This remarkable job security is the result of the Giants making their players, manager, and even General Manager Bobby Evans into branded, lovable characters revered by Giant fans everywhere.
Baseball fans in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, and St. Louis don’t equate criticism of their manager, general manager, ownership, or even individual players with being disloyal to their teams.
On the contrary. New York Yankee and Mets fans, to name two dynamic fanbases, wouldn’t hesitate to call out anyone associated with their teams if those organizations were consistently losing or on the downslide.
Those fans actually consider it disloyal if they don’t speak up, don’t demand excellence. Their support and loyalty is all about the franchise, not about individuals currently working for the franchise.
So other than losing a lot of baseball games, the most revealing aspect of just who, and just where, the Giants organization is right now can be found in interviews and quotes from the aforementioned GM Bobby Evans.
Evans became General Manager and Senior Vice President of the Giants in 2015, having spent the previous 24 years at a variety of other positions. He moved up the organization under previous Giants GM Brian Sabean (who is now an executive with the team).
The average interview with Bobby Evans consists of an endless stream of vague clichés as if he’s trying to avoid giving up valuable high security information that’s hidden in the Giants secret vault.
It’s like going back in time to the 1970s, when Russia and the United States were in the middle of the cold war and everyone in authority spoke like spies– in vague, contradictory sentences and unintelligible abstract-speak.
Where are we and are we who we are?
June 3, 2017 interviews
Q: Does June 1 hold any significance in that guys should be what they are at this point of the season?
A: “Guys who have track records are still not what they are supposed to be or what they have been historically, so it is concerning and frustrating; it is going to have to turn to give us a fighting chance. At this point I don’t know if I can say where we are is who we are, but we clearly have deficits and weaknesses that have to be addressed.”
It’s all about the core.
Q: Still about a month or so away from being buyers or sellers, we will see where you guys land. Would it be fair to say that even if you were sellers it would be a different type of seller, because you still feel that you have a core that you feel can compete?
A: “Yes, we have to evaluate our core, we have to look at our core honestly in the mirror and assess whether they are in a position that they can continue to be part of that core. I think the initial assessment that, yes, our core is built to win and built to win again soon, we need to be mindful of that.
“It is going to make a trade deadline any year challenging. It will be interesting, but from our standpoint we believe we have a core to work around. We are going to want to make sure to maintain that, and any deals we make ultimately we hope will improve our club both short term and of course long term.”
The norm of our core.
May 19, 2017
On whether management is expecting players to bounce back or looking for outside help:
“Again, the confidence that we have in the club is built around the core part of our lineup and the core part of our rotation. That’s currently not at its best. And so, when the norm of our core guys who helped us win two or three championships starts to level out, it’ll certainly lessen some of the difficulties we’ve had and give us a chance to right the ship.”
Trying to ignore the current record is hard… …but Bobby Evans is trying.
“It’s hard to overlook the record right now. You can’t overlook it. It stares at us every day. The mentality that the guys have to have is focus on today’s game and do what they can to win today and worry about tomorrow tomorrow. For myself and my staff and front office, we want to look ahead as much as we can, but we’ve also got to set some goals as we watch this next month or two to understand how we can right the ship.
“You’re only as good as the sum of your parts, and all the parts are not necessarily functioning at the highest level right now. It makes it hard to ignore the record and the standings. You can’t ignore that. That’s reality. Again, our hope is the performance will elevate and put us back in the position that gives us a more realistic look at what we’re capable of. Right now, it’s very concerning.”
“We weren’t expecting to be a lineup that would be very reliant on left field. We hoped the lineup would be strong enough in other places. At some levels, the injuries put us on our heels a little bit. We certainly didn’t calculate into our plans a low runs-per-game as we have now or a low on-base percentage or low home run totals.”
Forward, back, ahead, then back.
“Our focus right now is to look toward improving this club and try to get us back to position where we’re competing in our division, which we’re not right now.”
“We are going to be strategic. Our mind-set is not to get too far ahead of ourselves. We’re in May. We’re not looking at the trade deadline right now. We’re evaluating trade opportunities that will improve our club. That’s our focus. Our focus right now is to look toward improving this club and try to get us back to position where we’re competing in our division, which we’re not right now.”
Everyone’s upset, no one’s responsible.
“Fans have a right to be upset. They’re not alone. The front office is upset. The players are upset.”
And that’s not all.
The mascot’s also extremely angry, and many of the peanut vendors are fed up and come to the park each day visibly upset. The guy who plays the organ between innings is so upset at how poorly the Giants are playing he’s been placed in an anger management class.
And the visiting clubhouse guy recently had to be escorted out of the park weeping uncontrollably after he saw highlights of Eduardo Nunez playing left field. Oh, and did I mention he was also upset?