Kids from my generation were taught to 'save for the future,' but that philosophy no longer seems apt today whether it be government budgeting or a baseball team like the Giants stocking their minor leagues for the future.
The San Francisco Giants' 'live for today' philosophy has come back to bite them.
With the return of former Giants 1st round draft pick now playing for Mets-the result of the Giants trade for Carlos Beltran in 2011 - virtually giving away Zack Wheeler and similar deals have not only depleated the Giants' minor league talent but the major league team has worn out its welcome, now having lost 16 of its last 20 games and vying with San Diego for last place. Only one of two big names GM Sabean has recently signed, Carlos Beltran, was of little help to the Giants drive towards a pennant in 2011 and he's gone now while the Giants lost that top prospect in Wheeler, who could be a much needed starter today for the Giants. The Giants have nothing to show for the loss of Wheeler, now.
In fact, Beltran was one of only two bonifide stars the Giants acquired in recent years and the other, Melky Cabrera , was bounced for drug use after leading the Giants to the playoffs despite being out the second half of season. His replacement, in effect, Marcos Scutaro, a friend and fellow countryman from Venezuela, continued Cabreras ' unlikely .350 average
after only hitting .260 first half of season at Colorado -this for a 37 year old who had never hit over .299 ; he also cut his strikeouts in half after coming to the Giants. Yes, we ARE inferring that Scutaro was getting 'help', in our opinion, ala Cabrera - and likely others on the Giants- as chronicled in these pages ant others that were inexplicably removed from the Internet.
Looking back at the World Series years it is very unusual to see a team go all the way with journeymen players in their twilight years brought in who suddenly hit 30-50 points above their career averages -and some with power. Remember Huff. Burl, Ross ,Renteria, Uribe, Guillen and Mota- the latter two also let go for drug use with the Giants - AND BEFORE!
The Giants had three players busted during their World Series years which makes one wonder how many more have gotten away with PED use in this permissive era with lax drug testing.
Only four players were busted last year in the majors- two of them on the Giants - for being what Balco and PED expert, Victor Conte, calleld 'dumb and dumber' to get caught (the new designer testosterone can be gone from one's system in hours). The Giants had no problem bringing back Mota twice and were leaning to bring back Cabrera but for negative reaction to his 'Internet' excuse for his PEDs and running out on fellow players without saying goodbye. All above mentioned players either retired or had major drop offs with other teams after leaving the Giants . Start connecting the dots, er, PEDs...
The 2012 Giants basically pulled off the same stunt with an almost completely different cast of characters. Again, journeymen cast-offs were brought in and had unlikely career years - Scutaro, Pagan, Blanco, Mijares- all new 'culprits' since 2010 . Pure coincidence? Don't think so. Only Sandoval was a holdover, among the hitters playing over their career numbers.
Other items rankle us.. .. We listen to all the major league announcers and must say Giants announcers , accross the board, are the most self serving 'homers' of all. They are constantly questioning umpire calls - of course ,usually those that go against the Giants. They are hired by the Giants, and obviously are part of the 'Giants defense team' that don't dare talk against the home boys. And we wonder how much longer we will continue to be told of more consecutive 'sellouts ' even as we notice large blocks of empty seats , more and more, along with stepped up advertising, half price and promo tickets. Then there've been the Giants ballot stuffing All Star campaigns that put undeserving players in the All Star game last year and including effort to put a .270 hitting Pence into the All Star game this year.
We were really beginning to think that the Kansas City Royals were the Giants AAA minor league team where Sabean and co. would bring up former marginal players turned 'sluggers' from this 'Melky school' - and wouldn't have been surprised to see another World Series this year with such machinations (but now it looks like the pool of K. C. and Venezuelan 'talent' may have dried up. But wait . Flash. True to form, the Giants just picked up Jeff Franquer , a .260 hitter from KC. Watch him suddenly hit .290 or better with the Giants..
We hate to think where the Giants would be this year without the PEDs, in our blunt, researched opinion . (Yes, we have the numbers, even if they were taken down along with our website.) Giants got away with two World Series , already, without nary a superstar (one questionable one for half a season before being busted) - and two almost completely different lineups. With their 'farm teams' in KC and Venezuela drying up , things appear to have finally caught up with Sabean and the Giants. (Sabean has had a reputation in baseball of not responding to other teams and only dealing with a few favorites, like Kansas City; he rarely makes moves during periods such as now. Of course, the team doesn't have much to offer anymore. Let's see what happens and, if he trades who it's with, eg Kansas City, Venezuela?.)
As for the latest Giants news , re. pitcher #Chad Goudin and his hospital brush with fame, it just goes with the territory (besides his sudden , elevated pitching velocity and success). Besides Cabrera, there's a string of players we quickly forget, like Jose 'package in the mail' Guillen, who had enough game winning hits, alone, to let the Giants beat out San Diego by one game to make the playoffs in 2010. The Giants continue to bring in players with questionable backgrounds - not all - but many like Cabrera, Mota, Guillen and now Goudin - and those are only the ones who've been caught doing things of late... And, this stuff isn't new. Remember , during the Bonds era going back to 2000 when Sabean was hired - it wasn't only Bonds but Santiago, Aurelia, Williams, Bernard, etc - over 20 indicted or associated #PED users (10 in Mitchell report, alone) , by far more than on any other team. A simple screening of players' characters would seem a routine procedure but that might upset the whole Giants' scheme and leave them with few players to draw from - and a losing team. It's happening now, anyway.
Many are complicit today for rampant #PED use in the game, but team ownership and GMs who do the hiring and firing are most culpable , in our opinion. Many teams won't take on players with questionable pasts - but that's 'low hanging fruit' for Sabean and the Giants.
Even if local sportswriters turn a blind eye, it looks as though justice may finally win out after the Giants' decade - long run of deceit , in our opinion. Maybe traditional, HONEST, baseball may have a chance again in the Bay Area for us old school fans (though Billy Beane and the A's are no angels,either, hiring guys like Colon and Ramirez). Sure, there are other players in the game using PEDs, but it's never been as widespread as with the Giants, a team that has consistently gone out of its way to 'look the other way ' from Bonds to Cabrera, for over a decade.
We have some other damaging info, readily available to anyone on the internet or in the news, where we acquire all of our information. We will hold back on this for now hoping things will improve now but it's VERY discomforting to us old time fans brought up on Mays, McCovey and baseball cards. We write these words in hopes that things are finally changing back to more like they used to be, pre PEDs . Perhaps there will be a silver lining to the Giants recent misfortunes - and everyone will benefit from some 'housecleaning' , including the Giants.