With the San Francisco Giants struggling and looking for answers heading into a second consecutive offseason, does this mean that the Nostalgia Era is coming to a close?
Yes and no. But first some perspective. In my estimation, the Nostalgia Era started in 2011 and continues to present day. The reason I dub it the Nostalgia Era is because the San Francisco Giants regularly rewarded the integral players in their championship runs with large contracts or re-signings.
This isn’t necessarily nostalgia, per se. You could make the argument that it was fair and compassionate, two things that many huge sports franchises are not.
Rewarding someone like Matt Cain, who was one of the best pitchers in the National League at a bargain price, with a huge contract was absolutely fair.
Now, with the Giants four years removed from their last championship and two years removed from contending, will they stick with this formula of, for lack of a better word, nostalgia?
Madison Bumgarner has been one of the best pitchers in the game for a bargain price. Will the Giants reward him for all that he’s done for the franchise?
It remains to be seen, but it’s clear that the Giants are no longer going to hold onto players just because of past accomplishments, championship, or otherwise.
Brian Sabean’s recent comments affirm as much, essentially saying that no one is safe as they try to improve for next year.
The Giants can have it both ways, though. They don’t have to desperately hold on to guys who it may be wise to move on from to honor them. Sure, feelings may be hurt now, but we know that all the great Giants of this decade will be welcome guests back at AT&T Park for the rest of time.
As they should be.
But until then, I think it’s clear that the Giants are starting to care less who they win with, as much as winning itself. This, I believe, marks the end of the Nostalgia Era.