The Dodgers are a demon-monster of a 25 man roster. They are coming for your soul and your children and they will show no mercy.
The Giants didn’t do a whole lot at the deadline, which is basically what everyone had come to accept about a week ago, and in its own way is a terrible indictment on the state of this franchise.
They are too good to be this bad. Not good enough to offload anyone. Stuck in neutral. Which, compared to the Dodgers, means moving backwards.
When the Giants blew game 4 to the Cubs last year I was not crushed. It was not 2002 or 1993 or 2003 or 1997 or 2000 or 1998 or 1987 or 2004.
Part of the reason I was not crushed was because of the entirely predictable nature of the choke. This was not the Warriors going scoreless during the final 4+ minutes of a Game 7. This was a good team with a bad bullpen letting its season slip away thanks to a bad bullpen.
At the time I wrote: Mark Melancon and we’re good. Or something like that.
And then that’s exactly what the Giants did.
Which is to say, part of the reason I wasn’t crushed is I expected the Giants to be right back there again, but with a weakness addressed and solidified.
But the further the wheels fall of this wagon, the more I wish for the chance to see a game 5.
Partly because I do wonder about a hangover from that type of defeat. It feels like all the wind that got sucked out of the sails has just continued to be sucked. (I really enjoy that sentence).
But also partly because it may be a long while before we see the postseason again.
There is a magnificent gap between the Giants and the Dodgers right now. It’s evident on the 25 man roster, the 40 man roster,in the minor league systems, and in the ways these teams are going about constructing rosters.
You don’t erase that kind of gap with a few tweaks here and there. And that is a major concern.
That having been said, I get the impression from some parts of the internet that this season is validation for why the 2010, 2012, 2014 were “lucky”. Or some version of that. In essence: those teams weren’t very good, they got by with a great manager and a couple awesome performances.
This really bothers me. Without doing a deep dive, it is important to remember that the 2010 team had one of the best pitching staffs top to bottom of any team in the last 20+ years.
The 2012 team was balanced and took the “put the ball in play” philosophy to maximum heights (by the way, the 2014-2015 Royals did the same thing).
The 2014 team is the one championship that fits the general argument being made, but folks forget that that team was the best team in baseball through the first 80 or so games (not unlike the 2016 Giants).
Dynasties fade. The Phillies were incredible from 2008-2012 and now they are deep in a rebuild. The 2017 Cardinals are a slightly better version of the Giants, but are still struggling through a transition period. The Patriots and Warriors will one day go through this as well.
The crash doesn’t make what came before illegitimate, it just means an era is over.
The question for the Giants is how closed is this era, and who will be around for the next one?