Friday, September 09, 2016
San Francisco Giants 2016 Baseball Torture?
Yes Giants Fans, it's a different type of 'torture' this season. The Giants coasted to a regular season best MLB record before the all-star break. Ever since the break they've been the worse team in the majors. They can't hit when needed, pitch when needed nor defend when needed. The miracle working manager seems out of options and ideas. Losing teams are finding ways to beat them and winning teams seem to almost toy with them before sweeping or taking a series, two games to one. Road wins have become a rarity and home field advantage has turned into hopes of not getting embarrassed.
In short, the San Francisco Giants, though today still in the playoff race, are not your champion Giants of past even years of this decade. For all who think they'll turn it around and make a run for a fourth world series win in seven years I got news for you; that dog done got old and gimpy and just won't hunt.
What I find interesting is that many aren't talking about the competition level for the Giants in the first half of the season versus the second. It seemed like they were feasting on the dregs of the league before the all star break. Then after the break, when it came to facing the pitching and hitting of the big boys with winning records the Giants looked completely exposed.
Sure there were injuries that hurt them. The Hunter Pence hamstring injury in June and the Joe Panik recurring back injury in July were huge blows to the heart of the offense and defense. All of a sudden double plays weren't a given, nor were moving guys around the bases with clutch hitting. It seemed the injuries took away more than just clutch players, it took chunks out of the teams' winning heart and soul.
It's September and the Giants have survived the dog days of summer thanks to their early season winning record against lesser opponents. But now they're in the home stretch of the season and looking up at the Dodgers in the NL West division. You'd think they'd have turned up the juice and started lighting up the wins column as did those other Giants teams of recent even numbered years.
Well folks, I've got a sad pill that we must all swallow in the coming weeks. The Giants of today are not making it to the playoffs. They're a heartless, soulless team, without a prayer of turning this once promising season around. Losing games you should win, or close games over and over take a huge toll on a teams' belief in themselves. Hearts do get broken. I believe that the last Santiago Casilla blown save earlier this week was a gut punch that simply sucked away any air remaining in the drowning teams' lungs. Oh they'll continue to gasp and claw away like a man stuck in quicksand, but with no signs of help on the way the end is inevitable. Ever heard what it's like to actually go to your death in quicksand?
I think the classic French poet/novelist Victor Hugo describes it best in his short story "Caught in the Quicksand":
"The sand rises; the sand reaches his shoulders; the sand reaches his neck; the face alone is visible now. The mouth cries, the sand fills it - silence. The eyes still gaze - the sand shuts them; night. Now the forehead decreases, a little hair flutters above the sand, a hand comes to the surface of the beach, moves and, shakes, disappears. It is the earth-drowning man."
So now we brutally watch as the toll of losing playoff ground with each lost battle brings reality to the doorstep of our beloved Giants. Maybe, just this once, when the Giants are eliminated from the 2016 playoff race, the AT&T Park public announcer system will play Tony Bennett's "I Left My Heart in San Francisco.". We Giants fans love the song so because only Tony could sing about what it means to come home to San Francisco (win or lose).
My love waits there, in San Francisco
Above the blue and windy sea
When I come home to you, San Francisco
Your golden sun will shine for me