San Francisco Giants: The Second Half is Win or Bust
The San Francisco Giants find themselves at 50-48 and four games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West at the All-Star Break.
If you told San Francisco Giants fans this at the start of the year, they probably would have taken it after last year’s disaster.
However, this team was built to win in 2018. Additions like Evan Longoria, Andrew McCutchen, and Tony Watson were all made in the name of success in 2018. Should the team fail to make the playoffs this year, it’s likely that they will really rethink things this off-season.
The St. Louis Cardinals just showed us what can happen when a team accustomed to winning has a several year playoff drought. Of course, Bruce Bochy and his relationship to the San Francisco Giants is not the same as Matheny and the Cardinals.
Bochy has helped bring three championships to San Francisco while Matheny only got to one and lost. Yet it’s possible that Bochy feels a little less secure after seeing the Matheny news.
It’s sort of like how Kim Jong-un is reluctant to surrender his nuclear weapons because when Muammar Gaddafi did that in Libya, he was brutally killed.
I’m not suggesting that Bochy will try to acquire a small nuclear stockpile to keep his job, but he might feel he’s on the hot-seat (really, more like the mildly warm seat) should the Giants fail to make the postseason for the second straight year.
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Make no mistake, I think firing Bochy would be wrong and ill-advised. In my estimation, he’s earned the right to go out on his own terms at least for this decade in which the Giants have the most championships of any team in the league.
It will be more interesting to see what the Giants do with their roster should they miss the playoffs. With young talent in the form of Steven Duggar and Dereck Rodriguez showing promise, it’s not as if the future is completely desolate.
Yet, it’s clear that they have players who are talented and fan-favorites but are getting old/expensive/bad/injured or some combination of the four.
You shouldn’t be watching this second half under the impression that it will be the last time you’ll see Buster Posey or Madison Bumgarner in a Giants uniform. But guys like Joe Panik who’s been on the D.L a lot or Hunter Pence who’s had a rough year and is in the final year of his contract may not be in orange and black too much longer.
Of course, all these scenarios assume the Giants don’t make the playoffs. Why not play devil’s advocate and say the Giants are just saving their best baseball for one of their classic October playoff runs? It may not be likely, but we all know it’s possible.