Here at the sports desk located somewhere below decks of the Good Pirate Ship RedState, we freely admit we read mainstream media sports columnists mainly for the sheer entertainment value. The overwhelming majority are cartoon character liberals so outlandishly leftist they’d have trouble getting air time on MSNBC. Also, the overwhelming majority haven’t a clue, which given their political bent isn’t much of a surprise.
Anyway, as mentioned in a previous post here, the San Francisco Giants are presently left smarting after being rejected by both high-profile free agents they pursued this off-season. First, Aaron Judge was reportedly this close to signing with the Giants before pivoting back to his previous team, the New York Yankees, for the same amount of money and length of contract.
Next, the Giants had a deal in place with Carlos Correa. They had matters sufficiently secured to schedule a press conference for December 20, only to wake up on December 21 and discover that after a dispute regarding Correa’s physical, he had signed with the New York Mets. This presumably settles the grudge New York City has been nursing for the past 65 years since the Giants and then-Brooklyn Dodgers left town after the 1957 season for the West Coast.
An appropriate musical interlude before continuing.
Among the wailing and gnashing of teeth out here on the left coast, Dennis Young, the SF Gate’s sports editor not to be confused with Dennis DeYoung, Styx’s original lead singer/songwriter/keyboardist, has chimed in with his thoughts on the Giants’ stunning inability to attract top-flight free agent talent despite an open willingness to open the checkbook. Saying he chimed in is not entirely accurate. Chimes are usually gentle. Young has broken out an anvil chorus that would make Wagner proud.
“We tried.” They’re the two most pathetic words in baseball. They used to belong to shambolic poverty franchises, but they’ve somehow found a place to live in San Francisco. As in, “We tried to sign Bryce Harper.” “We tried to sign Shohei Ohtani.” “We really tried to sign Aaron Judge.” And now, “We really, really, really tried to sign Carlos Correa, but something just wasn’t right with his physical, and you know that rapscallion Scott Boras.”
It gets better, starting with this quote referenced from a San Francisco Chronicle interview with Giants President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi after Judge spurned the team.
“I don’t know if we would say San Francisco is an idiosyncratic market, but I do think maybe it is more that way than it was 20 years ago,” president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said at the GM meetings last month. “I think it’s a little bit of a polarizing place among players in terms of the desire to play there. This is sort of totally independent of the competitive situation, but geography, politics, whatever.
“When we’re doing our research on free agents and we find that players aren’t really that happy even coming into town for a three-game series, they’re probably not going to be that excited to play there for a long time. So I think that’s part of what fueled our strategy of targeting guys with Bay Area ties. … Free agency is really, really competitive, especially at the top of the market. Even when you think you can sign a player, you’re probably not, that’s just how it works. So when you don’t think you’re going to sign a player, you’re definitely not going to sign him.”
Young goes into full-flecked phlegm-flinging mode.
We tried, but meathead baseball players just hate Nancy Pelosi and those looney liberals. There’s a kernel of truth in there, with occasional visiting players and free agents rumored to be turning their noses up at the state of downtown, but the idea that San Francisco’s purportedly left-wing politics make it impossible to attract millionaire athletes absolutely does not stand up to any scrutiny. It is on its face one of the most embarrassing excuses in sports history.
”Purportedly left-wing?” Dude. In case you haven’t heard, day drinking is bad for you.
Maybe players don’t want to play on a team whose reporters get accosted in the stadium parking lot. Maybe they don’t want to play on a team whose manager is far better at cheap leftist grandstanding than winning ballgames. Maybe they don’t want to play on a team stuck in perpetual chase mode after the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres, each of whom, unlike the Giants, far more often than not sign their desired free agents and have the wherewithal to draft and develop sufficient minor league talent to trade for impact players without mortgaging their future. Yes, Los Angeles and New York are unsafe in the extreme.
But the teams there win. The Giants? It’s been a while since 2014. Given who they have in their own division, it promises to be an ever-growing while.