It is hardly a secret that the San Francisco Giants have had trouble luring top level talent in recent years. Part of the problem has been the departure of the team's top stars that accounted for those World Series wins, like Madison Bumgarner moving on and the retirement of Buster Posey. However, one would think that more players would want to come to San Francisco, given how willing they are to pay top dollar.
Unfortunately, the perception of the city of San Francisco seems to be part of the problem. Giants great Buster Posey hinted as much just the other day that San Francisco the city has gained a bad reputation, fair or not, among free agents, which has them reconsidering relocating to the Bay Area.
While the merits of that claim are debatable, it isn't just idle speculation that San Francisco has a perception problem. On Thursday, recent free agent and (suburban) Bay Area native Rowdy Tellez went on the record when asked about the Giants, and his assessment of the city was not particularly glowing.
Rowdy Tellez's comments are proof that the SF Giants need to change the narrative about the city
It is never a good look when a major league player who is from the general area of San Francisco puts the city on blast. Tellez said that the city wasn't clean and that it wasn't safe to walk to the ballpark anymore -- basically a lot of the same talking points you hear from most people that don't actually live near Oracle Park. In fairness to Tellez, he also pointed out that recent Giants teams just haven't been very good and they have lost that World Series allure that helped bring players there before. That might be a larger factor.
Like with any urban setting, San Francisco is far from perfect, and whether you live downtown or in Elk Grove (where Tellez is from) might shape your perception. It's rare you hear anyone highlighting the positives of the area or describe what they are doing to help revitalize the community. The Bay Area is open to cheap shots right now with little rebuttal from the community's supporters and residents.
When Ken Rosenthal goes on Foul Territory and says that the Giants have a city problem, where were the Giants defending their community and their commitment to providing a fun and safe environment for everyone including fans and players? Nope. Nothing. Just throw money at guys and hope they take it is the plan.
Some of the criticisms of the Bay Area are fair, and work needs to be done to make the community better and safer. Unfortunately, the Giants aren't doing enough or at least not being public enough with their efforts to change the narrative in their favor. Add that to the list of failures that the organization has had to endure the last few years.