‘These are the major leagues,” insisted Vida Blue on Comcast SportsNet this week. “This has got to stop.” Not the way the Giants are fielding. Or fumbling.
Who knew the Bad News Bears would be resurrected in orange and black? It was one thing when the Giants couldn’t hit a moving ball. It’s another when they can’t catch one.
“They’re killing me,” said Bruce Bochy, the Giants manager said of what loosely may be called his team. In truth they’re killing themselves. A club built around pitching can’t give the opposition four outs an inning. Or five outs.
Well, it can, and you’ve seen the result: Disaster.
Three errors against the Dodgers on Monday night. Thirty-three for the season. In 29 games. Everyone was concerned what the Giants would do with their bats. The problem is what they’re doing with their gloves. What they’re not doing.
And then there’s Guillermo Mota. You’d think someone who’d already been suspended for using an illegal substance might be overly cautious about digesting anything other than orange juice or graham crackers.
Some Giants relievers are on the DL. This one was on PEDs. Too bad Mota won’t be eligible until August. The A’s Manny Ramirez will be free of his suspension the end of May. That would be a great matchup, real box office. But we’ll have to wait.
How long can the Giants’ wait? Isn’t there anyone in the system who can pick up a bunt and throw the ball to the right place? Yes, it’s early, but that’s the worry. The A’s, who were 15-14 after their first 29 games, look like a better team than the Giants, who were 14-15.
The belief was the Giants would struggle at the plate. Yet, they’ve had two men with 20-game hitting streaks, Pablo Sandoval and Angel Pagan, and still can’t win. It’s frightening to think San Francisco could be out of the race by Mother’s Day.
Fate hasn’t been kind, with Brian Wilson gone for the season, with Sandoval gone for a month or more, with Freddy Sanchez seemly doomed to exist on the disabled list, with Jeremy Affeldt unable to pitch.
In 2010, the year the Giants won the World Series — and doesn’t that seem like a decade ago? — they made only 73 errors total. They’re almost halfway to that figure, and it’s not even mid-May.
It was Casey Stengel, the immortal one, who when managing the expansion Mets said, “I don’t like those fellows who drive in two runs and let in three.”
Bochy has insisted as the errors multiplied the situation had to improve, that the Giants were a better fielding team than they had shown. Now even he’s not certain.
“It’s been ongoing,” he said after that 9-1 rout by the Dodgers. “I don’t think I’ve seen it like that.”
He’s seeing it. We’re seeing it.
“It looked,” the manager conceded, “like we skipped spring training.”
If only they could use that as an explanation.
Art Spander has been covering Bay Area sports since 1965 and also writes on www.artspander.com and www.realclearsports.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.