San Francisco Giants: Sabean is right, and that means big changes
By Daniel Sperry
San Francisco Giants VP of Baseball Ops, and legendary General Manager, Brian Sabean was quite candid earlier in the week. He’s exactly right in his evaluation of this year. And if he truly does believe that, then some significant changes need to be heavily considered.
The San Francisco Giants are headed towards their worst season in franchise history, with an aging and decrepit roster in tow. For some reason, some of the Giants brass are under the illusion that this roster could be competitive in 2018. Thankfully it seems that Brian Sabean is not.
Sabean elaborated on his thoughts about this season in a lengthy interview with the San Francisco Chronicle.
"“We still believe in our core players. But we have to put a fresh look on things. Whatever culture we created, whatever atmosphere, that window is closed.”"
Granted, nobody really saw this coming. That might be the scariest part. Nobody looked at that roster and the downward trending performances throughout last year from their older core? Nobody looked at the farm system and said, “Oh wow. We don’t have any legit replacements.”
So here we are. The Giants need three wins in their final nine games to avoid 100 losses, and just now someone in the front office thinks this may not be salvageable. Granted, it took me a while to get there myself, but I was there in June. At that time, the front office was still feeding us the “we expect to compete in 2018” kool-aid.
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Did they just assume that the return of Madison Bumgarner would gloss over the putrid offense this team has carried for frankly three years now? If they did, that’s borderline a fire-able offense. You think I’m kidding? Wait and see how many people renew season tickets next year. Wait and see how long that waiting list is. If it’s cut in half or more, what happened to this team becomes a fire-able offense.
The front office kept fans believing in this team just long enough to keep their “sellout streak” going into July. Now, they’re going back on their “belief”. Which frankly is right and reasonable.
I jumped in the baseballreference.com time machine (play index), and punched in how many teams have lost 100 games in MLB history. I moved the year up to 1960 to shorten my results. Frankly that’s about the time the league had really been expanded, leading to more divisions, more teams, and more playoff teams.
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Since 1960, no team has lost 100 games and come back to make the postseason the next year. This year’s Minnesota Twins might be the first team to do it since then if they can keep up their hold on the second wild-card spot. But they would only have done it by a virtue of playoff expansion a few years back. Put them in 2004, they don’t make playoffs this year. But in the same light, you put the 1986 San Francisco Giants in this current playoff set up, and their the fifth wild-card team.
I’ve mentioned it before, but they might be worse off if they don’t lose 100 games. Losing 100 games sticks in fans’ memories.
I live in Kansas City, and their worst team in recent history went for 106 losses. They had four 100 loss seasons between 2002-2006. They just won a World Series two years ago and the city STILL talks about those awful teams in 2002-2006. It spurred on the Royals to make some changes, some long term changes to help turn them into a decent team.
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The Giants are going to have to make some significant changes to rebound from this like they want too. Not only do they need a roster overhaul, something needs to change within the front-office. They can’t be complacent. Bobby Evans is guilty for some of what happened this year, so is Sabean, so is Bochy, and most definitely the players.
What’s going to make it even worse is if the locker room issues that are now being reported don’t get resolved. I know losing is frustrating, but something else stinks, and the Giants need to fix it. If they think they can just gloss it all over and move on to next year and try and have “winning heal all,” then Giants fans will end up with a 100 loss season next year, something even the A’s haven’t endured since 1979.