5 names that should send a shiver down every Giant fans spine.
All the names that I have in the title are frontline starters in Major League Baseball who have been available, and on the Giants radar over the last 2 offseasons. The Giants have failed to sign a single name among that list 2 years running.
Admittedly, I did not want Greinke this year. Everything about that guy screams issue to me. He can pitch, without a doubt, but I feel that there may be some character things that aren’t widely known. This is more of an issue in the NFL, but when highly talented guys find themselves constantly on the move, more likely than not, there are red flags. The fact that Greinke was on record saying he did not care for Yasiel Puig, yet claimed the Dodgers were a finalist in his signing also points us in a certain direction. He created a bidding war for his talents between the Giants and Dodgers. I don’t believe he had any intention of signing with either team. He wanted them to pace the market for his value so he could still get payed by a third party.
Onto the main topic of this blog; the Giants and high profile guys. Keep in mind here, this is conjecture. I’ve come to this opinion based on my time playing collegiate baseball, and friendship with guys in the minor leagues. Baseball, in general, is a conservative sport. I say this as an athlete from California. Even within the most Liberal state in our country, the majority of athletes I have encountered have been extremely conservative in some form. There are exceptions of course. Walk into any locker room in the state as an unobserved observer and my assertion will ring true though.
Here is what I know. Collegiate baseball in California is largely conservative in some form or another (I even played in the Bay Area). A vast population of minor league and big league talent come from the south. The south is notoriously conservative.
It would make sense, that if the most liberal state in America has a baseball population who, in some way, hold conservative ideals politically or socially that many other states would be similar. So can we speculate that baseball in large part, has conservative ideals in some shape or form?
That being said, here is what I know about San Fransisco. Players love being here. Once they are in the Giants organization, only positive things have been said. Pence resigns, Hudson and Peavy come (both what seems pretty conservative guys). If that is a truth, however, how is it that the last “major” free agent signing the Giants had was Barry Zito?
This is not a money issue. We are not being outbid. How could we be? We had 120 Million before arbitration to spend this year.
That is a MASSIVE amount of offseason money to throw around at players. How is it possible we did not land 1 of 3 ace caliber arms this offseason when that was our biggest need?
For me, it seems like the answer is pretty simple. Big name guys are going to get big time money offered to them by multiple teams. These guys are the elite, and can be expected to be paid as such by an number of teams in any given year. In a league who (conjecture) holds largely conservative ideals in SOME shape or form, it is possible a guy, faced with options, will pick a location he will be comfortable in.
I am not calling any of these guys bigots. The simple truth is that you want to live and work in a place where you are financially appreciated and are happy being. These big name guys are going to get paid regardless of place. So when it comes down to Arizona, Texas, San Diego, Boston, Detroit, or Chicago against San Fransisco where do you think the Ace is going to choose…keeping in mind the conservative skew. I listed the final resting places for all those big aces we could have had.
(SIDE NOTE) I do think, we had a chance at Lester, largely because he had played in the bay area before.
Notice that some of the final resting places for these guys are in other, largely liberal places; Boston, Chicago. Why does the conservative skew not play in these locations? San Fransisco has metamorphosed from a liberal city with awesome quirks…into something completely different. I have been a Giants fan my entire life, always will be. While I don’t like the city (Because I universally dislike crowded places) I do not mind its political skew at all. Lets not pretend however, that the skew is not palpable in the air of the very city itself. Unlike any other place in America, San Fransisco screams its political affiliation at you.
This can be an awesome thing for the inhabitants of the city, or people coming to visit. It is no secret that people seek group affiliations in which they hold common ground with other group participants. In a city where on the large scale, everybody is pulling in the same direction, you get a highly polarized place. The types of things you see at a San Fransisco Pride parade will rarely be seen anywhere else in the world. AGAIN, I am not calling that a bad thing. It just isn’t a thing that you see in cities across America (In such a large scale).
I am simply saying that guys with conservative skews, when faced with multiple options, will choose to go away from a city that has a political affiliation that weighs so heavy. They might not even consider themselves fully conservative. It may just be the fact that SF is so highly Liberal, and loud about being so, that they have apprehension about committing their families and careers to such a place.
Like I said, this is strictly conjecture. We know that the failed signings are not money issues. We know that we have 3 very recent world series. We know that AT&T was built for Aces. We know we don’t have one single major free agent sign in a very long time.
I mentioned this earlier. There are bound to be a good deal of exceptions. Guys who were raised in the area, guys who’s politics align with San Fransisco a bit more closely, guys who buy into what Hunter Pence, Hudson, and Peavy are selling. I am talking strictly from what I have seen of the average skew of any given locker room.
Remember, this point only holds valid for guys who are offered top tier money by multiple teams. Those guys have options and can pick their IDEAL location. I am not saying San Fransisco has a free agent baseball plague.
The latest signing of Shark is a perfect example. Here is a guy who has played in the Bay before. Here is a guy who has under performed for most his career. Here is a guy with phenomenal stuff and only glimpses of results. We vastly overpaid to get him. I am sure we went above any other offer he had. Look at his stats…they do not warrant 90 mil. And I WANTED Shark.
This is what San Fransisco has become (free agent wise). We are a large market team, who will have to adopt a seek and develop strategy. I mean LOOK at our team, management has already done that. We are a large market team playing small market baseball, and using our excessive amounts of money to buy average free agents.
I don’t know if this is true or not, but didn’t SF ban chewing tobacco in public places? Disregard everything I’ve said. Bring back the chew, bring back the talent.
PS…If Cueto signs it is no surprise. SF has been a popular destination for a lot of Latin talent for awhile. Do not know why, but it has been. I hate a Cueto signing though so lets pray it doesn’t happen.