San Francisco Giants Fans Grieving Over Duffy Loss

Sep 9, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Matt Duffy against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 9, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Matt Duffy against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

I have to admit, I don’t quite relate to the emotional outcry stemming from the San Francisco Giants trading Matt Duffy to Tampa Bay in the Matt Moore deal. He is a decent player and a really likeable guy. I know the latter part because I’ve interviewed him before and found him to be one of the more approachable and open ball players I’ve ever interviewed.

That said, he really hasn’t hit well all season, a sign that the league might have figured him out. If he were 22 or 23 years old, then he’d get a pass as someone going through growing pains. But at 25, it’s expected that he would be quicker to make the necessary adjustments to regain the form that made him a Rookie of the Year contender last year. It’s quite possible that his 2015, which was a surprise considering that he wasn’t a highly touted prospect at any point in the minors, was a false promise of things to come.

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Now, I don’t want to project a Donald Trump-esque lack of empathy, but I think Giants fans who are grieving the Duffy loss so hard kinda need to get over it. His replacement in the lineup, Eduardo Nunez, is a better and more exciting player. Moore, for whom Duffy and a pair of prospects were traded, is an immediate improvement over Jake Peavy and offers great potential for the future. The Giant are better team now than before the trading began—which is the most important thing.

Of course, I’m looking at this purely from a performance and results standpoint. And maybe after following baseball for so many years and seeing the most seemingly untouchable superstars get traded, I’m a bit numb to this kind of thing.

I’ve heard fans say that in this day of mercenary free agents, it’s more meaningful when a player comes up through your team’s minor league system, makes an impact as a rookie and appears to be someone you can grow old with as he plays an integral role in your team/life for six-plus months out of the year. So when such a player is traded away in the flash of a moment, it rips away a piece of a fan’s heart.

Certainly, trading Duffy has done just this to many a Giants fan. I guess I’m surprised because the Giants have so many homegrown stars who, at least to me, are more significant: Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Joe Panik, Sergio Romo and (fading/faded star) Matt Cain. Plus, Giants fans have adopted Hunter Pence and Angel Pagan as their own, and though Johnny Cueto is only in his first season with the team, he’s as important as anyone to the Giants’ World Series aspirations.

But by the same token, it doesn’t matter how many friends you have—it hurts anytime you lose one.

So, while I don’t exactly understand the anguish, it’s obviously a very real thing. And it shows that Giants fans connected with Duffy on a deeper, more personal level, to the point that it didn’t take long for them to consider him one of their own—presumably for many years to come.

Next: Giants Bolster Pitching with Trades

Thus, Giants fans need some time to grieve the loss. But at the same time, allow yourselves to fall in love with Nunez and Moore and Smith (as much as you can fall in love with a middle reliever, unless he becomes the closer, then that’s a different story), and recognize these newest Giants as being key to your team’s pursuit of another World Series title.