Monday, July 9, 2012
Those Awful San Francisco Giants
I was born in 1983, so there have only been a handful of teams I've despised: The Yankees, Braves, Phillies (from 2005 on), and Marlins (in 2007, 2008, and starting anew this year). I was too young to despise the Cardinals in the mid to late 80's, still too young to despise the Pirates around 1990. Well, mark today down as the day I officially began to despise the San Francisco Giants and their fans.
The seed was planted in late 2009, when Matt Cain drilled David Wright in the head with a pitch. I was in attendance at that game, and was disgusted and infuriated when Cain tipped his cap as he left the field. It was a classless and horrible thing to do, and may have simply been the reaction of a confused kid who didn't know how to react to the vitriol he was receiving. Still, it left a bitter taste in the mouth of every Mets fan.
Fast forward to July of 2012. David Wright, having one of the most dominant years of any player in baseball, is a surefire bet to start the All-Star Game at third base. R.A. Dickey, having one of the most dominant years a pitcher has had in the last few decades, is a near lock to be the starting pitcher in the All-Star game. However, the San Francisco Giants fans had other ideas. They decided that over the last 48 hours of voting, they'd stuff the ballot box for every single Giants player. As a result, Brandon Belt nearly beat out Joey Votto, and Freddy Sanchez (who has yet to appear in a game this year), finished fourth among all the second base candidates.
The Giants fans did succeed, however, in costing Carlos Ruiz his rightful starting nod in order to get Buster Posey in as the starting Catcher. And in a much more egregious display, voted so often that Pablo Sandoval (who was trailing David Wright by 450,000 votes two days prior) edged out David Wright for the starting nod at third base by over 1.5 million votes. David Wright, who entered the break hitting .351 with 11 homers and 59 RBI's. David Wright, who is one of three legitimate MVP candidates in the National League (along with Andrew McCutchen and Joey Votto) is a reserve on the All-Star team. He's a reserve because the Giants fans decided to stuff the ballot box.
It's pretty clear that the voting system for the All-Star game needs to be fixed. Fans have the right to vote for whomever they want, but that doesn't make their actions any less pathetic. This year, the only Met I voted for was David Wright. He was the only Met I voted for because I felt he was the only one who deserved it. I hate the Yankees, but I still voted for Robinson Cano. Because he's an All-Star. A deserving All-Star. It's a shame the fans of the Giants didn't respect the game and the players enough to vote accordingly.
As I woke up this morning, the David Wright/Pablo Sandoval fiasco was in the past. It was a real shame, but there was nothing we could do about it. I was certain that R.A. Dickey would be named the starter for the National League, especially after Yadier Molina had pulled out of the game due to personal reasons. Tony LaRussa's prior excuse had been that he might hold R.A. back so he could pitch to Yadier, who he felt was best equipped to handle the knuckler. Without Yadier Molina in the game, the only catchers were Buster Posey and Carlos Ruiz.
Josh Thole had offered to call Buster Posey to give advice on how to catch R.A. Dickey. Earlier in the week, Posey seemed to be on board. Today, after the announcement from Tony LaRussa that Matt Cain, not R.A. Dickey would be the starter for the National League, the real reason why began to slowly seep out from the writers on Twitter. There was a report that Buster Posey went to Tony LaRussa and told him he'd be uncomfortable catching R.A. Dickey. Whether or not that's accurate, according to Peter Gammons, the Giants stepped in in order to make sure Dickey didn't start the game. Later, on the MLB Network, Gammons was again adamant that Giants officials had contacted LaRussa and/or made their feelings known in order to make sure that Posey wouldn't have to catch R.A. Dickey.
Let's recap, shall we?
The Giants fans stuffed the ballot box and in turn cost two players (Carlos Ruiz and David Wright) what should've been their starting slots in the All-Star game tomorrow in Kansas City.
The player who beat out Ruiz (Buster Posey) because of those ridiculous Giants fans, first said that he'd be fine catching R.A. Dickey, but is now "thankful" he doesn't have to. Meanwhile, Ruiz, has been given an enormous Catcher's mitt, is practicing with R.A., and is taking it all in stride.
The Giants officials themselves stepped in, knowing full well that two of their All-Star game starters (Posey and Sandoval) were voted in over two more deserving players (Ruiz and Wright) in order to ensure that R.A. Dickey, the current best pitcher in the game and the story of the first half of the 2012 season, would not be able to start the game almost everyone believed he should start. And because they stepped in and made sure R.A. Dickey would not be the starter (which would've subjected poor Buster Posey to having to catch a knuckle ball), they were rewarded by having another one of their players named as a starter - this time Matt Cain, who will take the mound in the bottom of the 1st inning. The Giants officials should've kept their mouth's shut. And if they had, R.A. Dickey would've likely been given the honor he so deserved.
Fortunately, most of us recognize the value of R.A. Dickey the man, and the brilliance of what R.A. Dickey the pitcher has become. It's a shame Major League Baseball allowed Tony LaRussa to come back after retirement, and stood by and allowed the Giants to step in and make sure they deprived R.A. Dickey of what will most likely be his only chance to start the All-Star game. Because of all that, I will now add the Giants to the list that includes the Yankees, Braves, Phillies, and Marlins. You're now despised. And with the Mets and Giants both set to enter the second half of the year with 46-40 records, both 0.5 game out of a Playoff spot, it would be great revenge to settle this on the field in early October in a one game Wild Card Playoff. If that came to be, no one would be able to keep R.A. Dickey off the mound.