Optimism remains for Giants despite season rife with issues 

The headline wasn’t wrong. "Injuries Leave Big Holes for the Giants to Patch." That was in the New York Times. About the New York football Giants, not to be confused with the San Francisco baseball Giants, who have as many big holes because of injuries and virtually no time to patch them.

Different sports, same nickname, same problems. Too many missing pieces for the S.F. Giants. Too many missed chances. This is not a June Swoon, it’s an August Collapse.

No pitching when there’s hitting. No hitting when there’s pitching. Always a new name on the disabled list.

"One day in Florida on the trip," manager Bruce Bochy said, "there were three guys who couldn’t go I didn’t know were hurt: Nate’s foot [Schierholtz], Aaron’s oblique [Rowand], and of course [Brian] Wilson. But the one guy I was worried about that day was Pablo [Sandoval], and he played."

Bochy is not whining. "You can’t do the ‘Oh, poor pitiful me," he said.

So the fans and media are doing it. From the time Buster Posey had his ankle broken trying to block home plate in May, the future turned grim.

Bochy’s words remained positive, but the facts, the injuries, the sad offense, the stressed pitchers kept reminding a repeat of the World Series championship was unlikely, if not impossible.

"These guys," said Bochy of a team now attempting to overtake the Arizona Diamondbacks, "do a great job. They don’t [think negatively]."

Before worrying about its own football team, the New York Times, in fact, took note about our baseball team.

"With the World Series Champs in a Slump, a City Suffers," was the Times headline, in the news section, not sports.

"It’s a classic rags-to-riches cautionary tale," Jesse McKinley wrote in the Times. "A boy from the wrong side of the tracks moves to a new city to make big. After years of struggle, he gets his break, a string of hits, a hot streak and all the perks that follow, including fame, adoring fans and a television show. But of course, it comes with self-doubt, questionable decisions and the relentless, almost irrational fear of being a flash in the pan."

A bit overstated. Truthfully, considerably overstated. Nobody here is paranoid, just realistic.

You lose Posey, Freddy Sanchez, and for various bouts, Andres Torres, Barry Zito, Eli Whiteside, Brian Wilson, Sergio Romo, Miguel Tejada, Nate Schierholtz, Jonathan Sanchez and, almost immediately after acquiring him in a trade, Carlos Beltran, it’s not an irrational fear, but a run of sporting bad fortune.

The Yankees don’t win every year. The Red Sox don’t win every year. The Phillies don’t win every year, and that’s why baseball is so fascinating and so bewildering.

The Giants should have won the World Series in 2002 — that 5-0 lead in Game 6, remember? — and did not. Maybe the Giants shouldn’t have won the World Series in 2010, but did. Finally it was their year. Now, almost certainly, it is not their year. But it’s a joyful year.

Every game at AT&T Park is a sellout. Panda headdresses and orange T-shirts are worn and seen everywhere. The World Series "high," contrary to the report in the New York Times, has not been erased. The probability is it never will be.

Art Spander has been covering Bay Area sports since 1965 and also writes on www.artspander.com and www.realclearsports.com. Email him at typoes@aol.com.

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