The San Francisco Giants are out of playoff contention, which means that for the third year in a row, the focus will be on nostalgia in September.
It’s been a roller-coaster season for the San Francisco Giants. A horrendous first few months of the year made it seem inevitable that they would be sellers at the trade deadline. Instead, a summer resurgence flipped the script and gave them a realistic chance at wild-card contention.
Now they find themselves in the dog days of September, and recent struggles have pretty squarely knocked them out of playoff contention.
So now, just like in 2017 with the heartfelt goodbyes to Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong and 2018 with farewells to Hunter Pence and Gregor Blanco, the Giants find themselves thanking yesterday’s heroes instead of playing meaningful baseball in the final month of the season.
The fans gave Pablo Sandoval a deserved standing ovation on Sept. 1 when he grounded out in what will likely to be his final at-bat as a Giant before he undergoes Tommy John surgery. The rest of the year will be dedicated to the man who has been at the helm for this incredible decade of Giants baseball, manager Bruce Bochy.
At the same time, Madison Bumgarner‘s days playing in San Francisco could also be numbered with his impending free agency.
All of these individuals deserve praise and recognition for their contributions to the team’s three titles in five years. With the Boston Red Sox looking like a long shot to make the postseason, the Giants will wrap up the decade with the most titles, a fact that can’t be overlooked when judging the best franchises of the decade.
It feels crazy even typing those words. At times, those championships feel so long ago, but the memories are still etched clearly in our minds.
With Bochy’s departure and a new decade set to begin, it’s clear that a page is being turned in the history of the franchise. Nostalgia no longer governs decision-making. That was made clear when Farhan Zaidi was hired, and even more clear by his decision to cut Joe Panik.
To a point, this is the end of an era. The era will not truly come to a close until Buster Posey either retires or is no longer a Giant. What’s left of this current era is unclear.
The Giants have shown flashes this season, and that gives hope for the future. And exciting young players like Mauricio Dubon, plus Heliot Ramos and Joey Bart waiting in the wings, should give us all something to look forward to.
Nostalgic Septembers are becoming the new norm for the San Francisco Giants. We are all rooting for the day when they will be replaced by meaningful Septembers that create new memories and new heroes.