No one who follows the San Francisco Giants is happy about how the 2023 season has gone. After starting the first half of the season strong and being firmly in the playoff hunt, the Giants collapsed in the second half and are now assured that they will not finish the season with a winning record.
The popular scapegoat right now is manager Gabe Kapler and frankly, that is understandable. Not only has the team not played well under his direction this season, but his managerial style rubs a lot of people the wrong way. Many think of him as the kid in class that raises his hand constantly type who overmanages and overthinks every game and every single decision to the point where it is painful. The front office had been steadfastly behind him, but that has changed in recent days and now his future with the team is very much up in the air.
However, while Kapler should shoulder some blame in for the team's lackluster at best performance this season, the bulk of the blame should fall squarely on the front office led by Farhan Zaidi.
When the SF Giants needed them the most, the front office fell short nearly every time this season
To be clear, Farhan Zaidi and co. are a group of very smart people that did try to make this team better before the season. They famously pursued Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa, but couldn't convince Judge to leave New York and rightfully dodged Correa after his physical went south.
However, you don't get credit for trying your best in the game of baseball especially when it comes to offseason improvements. Front offices are graded on results and the Giants failed to add a real impact player and didn't do nearly enough to give the team the depth it needed on both sides of the ball to compete for 162 games.
The most damning indictment, though, is the trade deadline this season. The Giants were showing some signs of fading a bit at the time and needed reinforcements. Sure, there weren't any bats that excited anyone, but there were some arms that could have helped and the Giants walked away from the deadline with just AJ Pollock who played five games for the team before getting hurt yet again. You can balk at the trade deadline prices and question the depth of the available players all you want, but coming up completely empty when a team is contending is inexcusable.
Is Gabe Kapler the right guy to manage the Giants going forward? Maybe, maybe not...but he isn't the reason the Giants felt apart this season. This one is on the front office and unless some things change drastically there either in strategy or personnel, the Giants could struggle to contend in a loaded NL West for a while.