10 Signs the San Francisco Giants Are Getting Complacent
The San Francisco Giants' payroll last year was $118 million dollars, putting them at eighth in the league.
That figure will rise to roughly $130 million in 2012, keeping them in the same ranking amongst the league's top spenders.
However, after an offseason of non-spending, Giants fans are beginning to wonder if the front office and team have become complacent following their World Series title in 2010.
Here are 10 reasons why that seems to be the case.
Out-of-Shape Aubrey Huff
After signing a two-year, $22-million-dollar contract after the Giants' 2010 World Series win, Aubrey Huff went and celebrated a little too much.
His season-long struggles in 2011 were well documented, and the year's post-mortem only confirmed every fan's suspicion: Huff was out of shape for a majority of the season.
Barry Zito hasn't been effective since 2006. The Giants signed him in 2007. The money is a sunk cost at this point, so it makes little to no sense to continue to send Zito out every fifth day...
...though he did come up with the Kung Fu Panda moniker for Pablo Sandoval. So, his legacy as a Giant won't be completely devoid of accomplishments.
Middle Infield Depth
The Giants eschewed the race for Jose Reyes, instead opting to roll the dice with young middle infielder Brandon Crawford.
The role of backup for Brandon Crawford and second baseman Freddy Sanchez now falls to Emmanuel Burriss. Burriss has never really shown the tools to be a major league hitter; now the Giants hand will be forced if and when Sanchez goes down to injury.
Here's a little analogy for you:
Every year you come home for Christmas. You visit your parents, its great, it's fun. But every year your Dad always wears his ratty old Christmas sweater. Because as he puts it, "It cost a lot of money."
And it did, two years ago when he bought it.
Even more frustrating, every year your Mom gets your Dad a brand new Christmas sweater. It's made of better fabric and actually in style for once.
But still every Christmas there is your Dad proudly wearing his threadbare sweater.
Your Mom is Bobby Evans...
Your Dad is Brian Sabean...
and the old sweater is Aubrey Huff.
Take a guess who the new sweater is.
Pat Burrell's retirement leaves the Giants with a significant lack of veteran presence that has been left largely unfilled (though it might mean the rest of us have a shot on Friday night; cheap shot I know).
The 2010 title team was a master work in team chemistry.
25 unique personalities that bended into some sort of zany long-hair beard monster that tore through the playoffs. The 2011 team began to lose that identity as the injuries piled up. The mercenaries the Giants brought in were not nearly as inspired.
Front Office Confusion
More confusion than complacency.
The Giants replaced managing general partner Bill Neukom. One year after overseeing the first Giants team to win a title since it moved to San Francisco from New York after the 1957 season, Neukom and his trademark bow tie were gone.
Where Is the Money Going?
All numbers from 2011 season
The Giants sold out 81 consecutive games...
The average ticket price was $26...
The gate receipts were $107 million...
The revenue generated was $230 million...
The total player expenses were $114 million.
The payroll will increase to $130 million next year, but one would assume the revenue will increase also. I mean baby Giraffe hats alone ought to generate more than my yearly salary. Which is six figures, ladies.
View the entire Forbes financial report here
The money is there to pursue someone of Carlos Beltran's caliber.
The need is there for a bat of Carlos Beltran's caliber.
But I am sure Nate Schierholtz will do just fine...
The Giants continue to be complacent or just plain gun-shy when it comes to pursuing high-end free agents.
The spotlight is even more glaring after the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (and, to a lesser degree, Disneyland) and the Miami Marlins unveiled their new plan to sign every free agent available this offseason.
When the Giants won the World Series in 2010 it ended a drought that was rivaled only by the Cleveland Indians ('48) and Chicago Cubs ('08...ahem...1908). It's not complacency that has beset the team, rather it's a case of "Oh god, oh god, what do we do now?!?"
A little latitude is warranted for a team that hadn't won a title since Dwight Eisenhower was president (other fun facts about 1954!)
What will make next year great is it will be the first year back to normal. No banners. No rings. Let's just hope we don't have another 56 years in a row just like it.