LOS GATOS, CA - Its time that you, Brian Sabean, get mad. Get mad, Brian! The fans are clamoring to see you get mad. Stalk through the corridors of SBC Park like its Rio Rancho Premiere Properties and exploit the fans. Theyre just waiting to give you their money, if not hope. Are you going to take it? Are you man enough to take it?
Yes, jettison bloated players and their salaries. Kirk Rueter was a team favorite, no question. Michael Tucker made the cross country flights a little shorter. Jason Christiansens comeback from having Frankensteins arm attached to his shoulder made for one big group hug. But at the end of day, the team was dry heaving and falling well behind the San Diego Padres.
The Padres, Brian. THIS is the competition!? They have as much heritage as Supercross: The Movie. Get mad.
Nostalgia, history and sentimentality have made morons like the Chicago Cubs into the losers that they are. With an approach like theirs, the weepy marriage between the team and their manager, Dusty Manager, should come as no surprise. Keep those who enter Wrigley Field interested enough to watch another loss at the worst moment. Keep them the lovable losers that they are and let their fans continue to be known as people who throw back opponents homerun balls instead of celebrating championships. Keep blaming Steve Bartman and not Baker for leaving in Mark Prior five batters too long. Let them corner the market in pity parties, Brian. In the meantime, get mad.
Take what you can while you can, this much I have learned. You would think a team that has not won a World Series in a half century would adopt this mode of thought, but this is a hard learned lesson for you. Until the last week, you have taken what you can while you can without having a goddamned parade down Market Street. Your team was fortunate to catch lightning in a bottle in 02 but, for the most part, the team was never constructed for a winning a division AND successive series in October.
But you know what? The Giants were my team before they were yours. Need I remind you that the worst day of my life was Game 6? I dont need to give you the opponent, nor the year. You know what Im talking about.
While I would prefer that you promoted your prospects by your own design rather out of desperation Ill concede that fans must be content with taking what they can get. After all, youre the same guy who unapologetically told KNBRs Ralph Barbieri and Tom Tolbert in 2000 that acquiring Johnny Damon would mean giving up Shawn Estes. Shawn Estes, Brian. One guy has the prison riot otherwise known as the fans in Fenway Park asking, WWJDD? and the other is getting his buttocks scorched by the heat of AZ and every batter with a pulse in the National League.
With all these moves, Bri (NOTE: We tight like dat.), I dont know if this team is going to win, but they are better. At least theyre better in the sense that youre using your imagination instead of trolling for overused and overpaid free agents. For the last two years, you courted free agents like I used to bottom-feed bars at 1:30 AM. (Of course I met my wife in a dive bar, but not everyone finds a hitter who can bring in a runner in scoring position with less than two out like I did).
Since youre worried about being able to pay your bosss property tax, youve begrudgingly fielded a team full of youth for the purpose of saving money and looking to 2006. But youve fielded a team with hope, and look what that did for Andy Dufresne. I just want to order you a beer and say that doing the right thing is more times than not the hardest thing to do. Take a bite out of the crap sandwich and let the kids do what you scouted them to do.
Take this to heart: Youre following a blueprint put forth by John Schuerholz and the Atlanta Braves in the early 90s, not to mention that guy across the Bay who punches his sinister fingers onto the keys of his laptop and figures out which kid is going to wear green and gold each year.
Its okay to heave the chafe. Thats what Billy Beane does on a seeming quarterly basis. As a result he takes his team to the Candyshop every damned year while your team gives us Shawon Dunston kissing his baby boy and Brett Tomkos pencil drawings.
Dont worry about the fans decrying your recent moves as the Giants throwing in the towel. It makes perfect sense in the big picture. Pitchers Noah Lowry, Brad Hennesey, Matt Cain and Kevin Correia are now a part of the rotation while Jason Ellison, Todd Linden and Lance Niekro are shoring up the infield and outfield. Theyre putting up quality innings and production. Never mind that these are the same fans who slapped on I Miss Joe bumper stickers after Montana became a Chief. They might as well live in Los Angeles.
Youre no longer running your organization as if it was recovering from repeated upper-cuts to the Octagon, James Westphal and Dr. Kenneth Noisewater. Youre making progress.
This is summer that Ive had to go to Winnipeg(!) to visit the in-laws and had to miss a three game set with the As and Yanks for a wedding in Grass Valley. Now that youre grabbing this team by the short and curlies, I feel like Ive been handed a golden ticket to tickle and pizzle every member of Cathouse.
Youre making a jaded Giants fan believe, Brian. Dont make me root for the Yankees to lose and have Peter Magowan hire Brian Cashman to get credit for your work.
Get it done. And get mad.
Keith Larson writes for SFDugout.com because he's lived and died with the Giants since 1972. He welcomes all words of praise and insult at firstname.lastname@example.org, but mentioning anything having to do with Game 6 is to be done with extreme caution.
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