“It’s April, enjoy the games”
I saw this quote retweeted by someone somewhere over the twitter tubes, and really, it’s hard to argue with. Do these games matter? Absolutely. These games will go towards the record in the standings we will talk about later in the year, just as the games in September will. It brings up an interesting, and sobering thought, though. We have all season to stress over everything, and to go crazy over the games in April, now really shouldn’t be that time.
Apr 6, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro (19) gets a base hit during the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at AT
Spring Training was for roster speculation, for the cliches of baseball being back, and to freak out over Spring stats as if they meant something huge. We’ve waited so long for baseball that counts to come back that it’s easy to get in over our heads about everything for the team we support. To go nuts over Brandon Belt‘s lack of hits, Sergio Romo being overexposed, Pablo Sandoval being a weight you can’t accept, whatever it is, most of these topics we’re looking at through an extremely small sample size spectrum (except Panda, because there’s nothing small about him, amirite?). Even at the end of April it’s still pretty small sample size-ish, because how many times have we seen someone have a slow start in April then go on to level things out in May to June? I’d rather freak out later than freak out now about small sample size performances.
What should we freak out over? I think roster depth is something to keep in the back of your head (see: Giants starting pitching, corner outfield), but maybe not freakout-worthy. Injuries I think are good freak out material. Consider watching a pitcher see his arm go like John Lackey did this morning, that’d both make me pretty concerned for the team’s depth, as well as make me sad I saw such a thing. A manager that makes ill-advised decisions on roster construction or bullpen moves? Well… maybe something good will happen… or maybe it’ll go just like you think it will. I can’t decide how freakout-worthy that one is. Win-loss record? Nah. Important? Yes. Freak out? Nah. Thinking about how many games the Giants have this month (27), the worst the Giants can do is go 3-24 this month. I’m fairly confident that they won’t do that. Now I guess if they did, it would likely save us a lot of stress in September through October considering it would take quite a run to recover, but let’s be realistic. At the end of this month, I’m going to say around 25-28 teams are still going to be in it.
April 5, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Justin Upton (8) at bat in the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
So enjoy the awards ceremonies (especially Sunday’s ring ceremony! eeeeee!!!!), the hot starts by the likes of Chris Davis and the clearly un-gritty Justin Upton. Take the chance this month to be a fan of baseball, as well as a fan of the Giants. Make this month your biggest month of baseball learning and appreciation, because when it comes time to the summer months, we’re going to be too wrapped up in everything else to simply sit back and enjoy the shows being put on. I can wait to hang on each and every Giants game with more intense emotion, but now’s not the time. Even in their wins, I think a Tim Lincecum 2010 NLDS Game 1 fist pump will do the job. Then just let the post-game wrap with Kruk, Kuip, Jon, and Dave do the rest as your day or night soars over the horizon on to the next day of baseball.