SF Giants dynasty is over

The Giants had a good run, but it’s over.

They seemed to think the end would never come, seemed to think they were one elite closer away from winning the World Series. They got their closer — signed Mark Melancon this offseason — and now they’re in last place in the NL West. Their record is 5-9.

Their record is not a fluke. The Giants are not a good team. They will not make the postseason this year.

This is the end of their dynasty.

Click here to read the rest of my Tuesday column.

This article has 60 Comments

  1. Hard to win with only 6 hitters, and none of them are real impact hitters. Also the bullpen still sucks, the same garbage as last year except in the closer spot. Nothing really coming from the minors, so no help or trade bait available. A rotation of two great pitchers and close your eyes for the other three. I am thinking this bad start may just be who they are. Hope not, there is time to turn it around, but they have real problems.

    1. Good points, but I still believe. Last year, they shot out of the gates and were the best team in baseball until the dismal All Star game. Then, they tanked supremely and just barely managed to get the one-game wild card spot and win it. After that, it looked like they might have a good come-back chance to defeat the Cubs. That’s when both Bochy and the pitchers failed miserably. I said this last year: the Giants cannot win another championship with Jeff Samardzija in the rotation. JS is to Bay Area baseball what Colin Kaepernick (CK) was to the 49ers: All upside and highlight reels, but below 500 in wins to loss. Like CK, JS always falls apart at crunch time. He simply doesn’t have the muster to battle for wins. This year, the only times Samardzija has pitched well is after giving up an early lead. Whenever the Giants rally to tie the game or take a 1 run lead, Jeff immediately gives those runs back–and then some. Samardzija in the rotation is a cancer that effects all the other pitchers and the hitters too. As with Kaepernick, I am now praying for the day Samardzija is gone. Once he’s gone, the Giants will win again.

      1. Our Heavenly Father please give “Folkwolf” the strength and courage to pray each day for Mr. Samardzija’s release. Amen.

  2. •Samardzija is their #4 starter you make it sound like he is their #2 or #3

    •They will spend on an outfielder once Cain is off the books

    •Management is smart to invest in pitching in a pitchers ballpark and the Rockies are smart for investing in hitters because they play in a hitters ballpark

    But I get it your just doing your job by gaining popularity by writing articles about the 49ers having a chance of making the playoffs this year and the Giants dynasty being over.

    1. The Giants signed Samardzija to a ridiculously expensive contract. Why we would do that for a man who never won 10 games in all the many seasons he pitched boggles my mind. Last season with a great Giants team, he finally won over 10 games and they were more than the losses. But, then he failed miserably near the end of the season and in the playoffs against his old team the Cubs. Last playoff game, did he even make it out of the first inning? He sucks big-time!

      1. You don’t understand baseball if you count wins on a pitcher. I mean, it’s like a giant red flag saying “I really know nothing, but I’m gonna pontificate on the subject.’ Bumgarner is one of the 5 best pitchers in all of baseball and has never won more than 18 games.

        Last year he won 15 games with a 2.74 ERA (4th in MLB). Meanwhile in Seattle Iwakuma won 16 games with a 4.32 ERA.(45th ERA). And we’re only counting those who qualified.

        Samardzija, FWIW, not only ate up over 200 innings, but he had the 35th best ERA of those who qualified. 35th. Yet you’re ranting and raving about his contract. That’s what you pay for the 35th best pitcher in MLB. And you can cry all day long. But he was still the 35th best pitcher in MLB last year.

        Also, FWIW, his ERA was 2.76 in August and 2.96 in September. Not only did he not fall apart at the end of last year. He was actually strong when others were falling apart. His problems were in June & July. The middle of the season.

        So, honestly, it makes me think you don’t know s**t about the Giants and you’re just a filthy casual who has a hard-on about one certain player and wants to use him as a scapegoat.

        Last year’s problems weren’t Samardzija. It was a bullpen that lost 45% of this holds & saves.

        1. Having the 35th best ERA says a lot, since there are 30 teams and every team would like to have a #1 guy….and he’s the Giants 4th. Basically, the Giants 4th man had a better ERA last year than every other teams #2, #3, and #4 guy except for 4 teams. Thats kind of crazy when you think of it.

  3. Your right Grant and it’s been coming for a couple of years. Pitching and defense have carried them to three world titles and neither is near the same caliber. The bullpen is a joke. 32 blown saves after the 7th inning last year and this years group is much the same if not worse. They have two great starters, one good, and the rest stink. They have no left fielderworth mentioning, their center fielder (Span) couldn’t throw my 98 year old mother out is she tried to stretch a single into a double, and Pense, the heart and soul of the team, is injury prone and will very likely get hurt at some point. They have no power, especially at the corners. Crawford will lead the team with about 22 homers. Belt is an enigma wrapped around a riddle. Panic is also injury prone. Cross your fingers. Posey is losing power and is also injury prone. Getting beaned on the noggin didn’t help. Bochy is overmanaging. This week he had Belt (.146) batting second and Panic (.344) batting eighth? He doesn’t trust a lefty out of the bullpen to get a right handed batter out and vice versa. The musical chair pitching changes have become infuriating. For Gods sake, his lefty induces a double play and then he pulls him for a righty who then gives up a game winning hit. Bochy used 5, count them, 5 pitchers in that 9th inning debacle against the Cubs last year! I say 75-87 this year if they’re lucky. Your right on Grant.

    1. I’ll bet Span could throw your grandmother out trying to stretch a single into a double, and probably even throw her out at first.

      On the other hand, I think it’s amazing your GM can hit major league pitching. All credit to her.

        1. Making definitive statements about a MLB 15 games into a season is idiotic at best.

          It’s a marathon season.Grant. When you have Madbum, Customer, Posey, pence.and Crawford, the post season is always within reach.

  4. Still might be early to say but there are fair points in this article. Giants strategy seems to be win with pitching and play error free baseball but in order to support that, a team must have at least a few decent hitters and the Giants do not even have that. Sadly as Grant mentioned they have not been able to replace guys at 3b and LF and couple that with bullpen that also saw some departures…you are basically asking your starting rotation to carry your team over the course of a season and that is a disaster. SF Giants can still be competitive at best but I do not see postseason for them in 2017.

  5. Sorry, I could vent all night on the Giants. Baseball is my passion, much more than football and to see the way the Giants ownership has dropped the ball on this team is sickening. They are the 4th richest team in the league. 7 straight years now of sellouts yet the won’t spend the money to bring in some top talent. Sound familiar? I don’t think they care. We’ll see what they do before the trade deadline to improve. When was the last time they had a 30-40 homer guy? Bonds? What a joke.

    1. Juan, one thing the Giants, Warriors and even the Sharks have are competent GMs.

      Bobby Evans, Bob Meyers and Doug Wilson all are extremely competent and effective. Hope Lynch can talk with them and get some insights on organizing and planning.

      With Baalke, the Niners had a millstone around their neck. He went cheap, with cheap results.

      Bobby Evans has the 4th highest payroll, so he is not cheap. He just decided to pour money into fixing the Bullpen. He allocated properly, in my opinion.

      I do think they care, because they will not intentionally tank for a high draft choice, like Baalke did.

      My humble solution? Evans should go to Japan and tryout some players who played in the World Baseball Classic. If he can tap into some overseas talent, it may surprise some folks.

      While concerned, I think the Giants will at least get a wild card spot.

    2. Power hitters don’t want to play at AT&T stadium because it is a pitcher’s park, so the Giants will probably have to develop any future power hitters. Since the players aren’t juiced on steroids now, even a slugger probably couldn’t hit more than 30 at AT&T.

  6. Oh ye of little faith, hearken to my word.

    The Giants will be fine. They have a solid pitching staff, and if Cain can get some quality starts, that will be a bonus.

    Granted, the LF situation is dicey, but the rest of the positions are more than adequate. True, they should have looked harder for a solid left fielder, but they do have the 4th biggest payroll in the league. Trying out those aging players may not have been the best strategy to let the younger players get experience. I am rooting for Parker.

    Buster is coming back from getting beaned. Giants lost when Buster went down, but if you take his bat out of the line up, it is expected that the hitting will suffer. Losing 3-4 is not the end of the world. If they were losing 2-8, that would raise red flags, but this is a marathon, not a sprint.

    Crawford was clutch for America. Nunez is a pleasant surprise, and I am jumping for joy that the Giants have a base stealing threat. Melancon has upgraded the bullpen. Believe it or not, the Rockies are for real, and they will compete for the division.

    One thing this Buster beaning has done is accelerated the discussion where Buster may want to catch less. The obvious solution would be to play Belt in left, solving that position’s hitting problems, and play Buster at first. So far, Hundley looks good behind the plate, so some minor tweaking of the roster may get the team to sync up and play better together.

    So chill, the sky is not falling.

    1. Hey Seb, since Kaep is still unemployed, maybe the Giants can sign him as a pitcher? Sorry, bud, I just couldn’t resist!

    1. HT – It’s that syndrome you were talking about yesterday or so. Grant thinks he’s better at baseball writing than he really is.

  7. I must admit that I got peed off when I first saw the headline, Grant! After reading your story, I thought, “He’s right!” You make some good points. Then I started comparing their World Series rosters. On paper, they should have never won any of the 3 WS and I don’t think that they were ever favored in ANY of their playoff series. They were always overmatched yet they defied the odds to win. They did most of it with cohesion, chemistry, and grit. They also have the best manager and best pitching coach in baseball, and that counts for a lot. They have tremendous pride as an organization and their mindset is that they will continue to compete and be good enough to win it all, even if they have to will their way to do it. You use logic in your assessment. The Giants have defied logic.

    Bottom line: They may not be as strong as they have been, but they are NOT a bad team. They have one of the best fielding teams in baseball. It remains to be seen if the new relievers can jell into an effective enough staff to take them deep into the playoffs. The core of the team is on the good side of 30. Pitching, fielding and timely hitting are the things that win in the playoffs. That’s how the Giants did it before and they would always find a way to win. It is way early and they are only 4 games out of first place. I counted them out before but I’m not doing it again.

    The perception is that the Giants have won their titles mainly because of their pitching, especially the starters, and that’s partially true. It was definitely true in 2010, with a rotation of Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner and Sanchez. It was not quite as true in 2012, with Bumgarner, Cain, Vogelsong and Zito. In 2014, Besides Bumgarner, it was pretty mediocre, with Vogelsong, Hudson, and Peavy, all old and at the end of their careers. Their relief pitching was excellent and very stable through all three World Series wins. They really didn’t have too many impact hitters (Aubrey Huff 25 HRs in 2010) until the Series in 2012 and 2014, when Sandoval played his best baseball ever. Names like Cody Ross, Freddy Sanchez, Edgar Renteria and Marco Scutaro got hot at the right time and carried them.

    Now to address the magic of the Giants: They got slaughtered by the Reds in the first 2 games in 2012 but facing elimination, BARRY ZITO of all people saved their season in game 3 and propelled them to go on and win that series! As improbable as that was, they came back from a 3-1 game deficit against the Cardinals in the NLCS. By the time they got to the World Series, they could do no wrong. It seemed like they got every call and every break as they swept a great Tigers team. In 2014, they found magic throughout the NL playoffs and Bumgarner put them on his back and carried them.

    Their starting pitching this year, led by Bumgarner, Cueto, and Moore, is better than their 2012 and 2014 World Series teams. If Cain was to return to anything near what he was, that arguably would make them the best staff in baseball. Samardjia could be a serviceable 5th starter. Yes, Posey seems to be less of an impact player than he was but he is a much better defensive catcher and is still a very solid player. Crawford and Belt are much better hitters now.

    It could be argued that they have been in decline since winning the WS in 2012. Winning the WS in 2014 was just a bonus and only Bumgarner’s historic performance made the difference. They could be in a state of decline, but to me, they still have enough talent that deadline deals could still keep them competitive. This has been a team that is built for the playoffs. You are right that they need an impact hitter and hopefully, they’ll develop or acquire one soon.

    My response to your article is almost as long as your article!

  8. What a lol column. It’s, literally, written by someone who doesn’t know what the Giants are doing (3B), doesn’t understand AT&T park and park factors and why the Giants (and nobody else) hits home runs at AT&T and why, consequently, the Giants need a team with high BABIP/BA players not HR sluggers.

    EVen worse, his examples are laughable. He’s taking one-year wonders and players on teams where 20% of fly balls hit are HRs. Park factors work two ways — the suppress HRs at AT&T, they give you HRs in Arizona, Colorado, Cincinnati, etc.

    But Grant, knowing none of this, writes the dumbest, most thoughtless and premature ejaculation column ever about What They Did Wrong.

  9. Baseball sucks. Every team ends up winning nearly 50% of their games +/-10%. This is the biggest scam perpetrated on the American public.

  10. Grant,
    As a long time SFGiants fan, I hate to admit it, but must agree with your column. The pitching has been erratic and the hitting has been non existent – especially from Brandon Belt who was supposed to be our big bat.
    At the moment, Crawford has emerged as our best player both on offense and of course on defense. But he can’t carry a team through the season when other teammates are not performing.
    Sandoval was undisciplined at the table and eventually incurred the wrath of the FO and Boche. His numbers were beginning to decline and his asking price could not compensate for and justify has weight issues and decline at the plate.
    Let’s just say that Sandoval showed more interest at the dinner plate over the baseball plate.

    Is the dynasty over? To early to tell after two weeks of baseball, but the proverbial writing is on the wall.
    Poor pitching, hitting, and defense (G.Hernandez is a liability in LF and can’t hit) has all the markings of a long and frustrating season. Not sure if trades can help the team at this point either.

    But all dynasty’s eventually come to an end. The Yankees, Cardinals, A’s, Reds, Celtics, Lakers, Steelers, 49ers, Cowboys – and the soon the Patriots will look back at the glory years as well.
    No team stays in power forever.

    1. G Hernandez is a plus defender, who has happened to have had a rough start to the season. Come on, we’re not even 10% of the way through the season. Writing the Giants off now, is like writing off s football team that is 0-1 or 1-2, despite being a good team.

      Give them 40 games, then panic, if you must.

      1. hit ‘me,
        I said that it was to early to tell after two weeks of baseball. But the writing is on the wall. Especially given the teams early showing.
        I should have wrote that unless the team can somehow pull themselves out of this current funk that there is no way they make the playoffs.
        It is a long season and they can definitely turn it around – but I don’t believe it can happen with this roster.
        Why? Because our pitching is giving up more runs then our hitting can compensate for and that will put you on the losing side of the ledger.

        1. AES,

          Yes, the pitching is giving up more runs than the offense can generate, right now. The thing is, the Giants have played less than 10% of the season. It’s just too early to be worried.

          Think about it, if the Giants had a stretch like this in the middle of a season, nobody would think much about it.

          The only reason it stands out, is because it’s at the beginning of the season.

  11. Ownership has not done a good job at finding hitters or depth. Other than Posey & Crawford, no other position player can hit. I think they got complacent with their WS runs. Funny, but I never thought of the Giants run as a Dynasty. Dynasty’s win consistently and dominate in the regular & post season. Of their 3 titles one was as a last seed a wild Card. Don’t get me wrong-I love the runs and the rings, but on a night in night out basis the current Warriors run feels more like a dynasty -even with only one ring. I think the 80’s Niners & 70’s A’s were the only true Dynasty’s to this date in the Bay.

  12. Every now and then Grant pulls a baseball or basketball article out of his backside and they are almost always wrong. Thank god he never writes about hockey or he would be wrong about that too.
    The Giants were one bad inning from being in the NLCS last year where is the big difference between this year and last? Closer?
    I know its a cliche but its true, baseball is a marathon not a sprint.
    Whens the last time the Giants had a 30 homer guy……If my memory serves me correctly it goes back to before steroid testing.
    There is not a power hitter in baseball who will sign a contract to play half their games at A.T.&T.
    Grant stick to the sport that you have worked very hard at becoming adept at, your studying will never totally overcome your lack of on field experience but you have done one hell of a job becoming a knowledgeable football guy, now stick to it.

  13. Your right Kit! CK should have stuck with baseball! He was drafted! Had a 95+ fastball and only had to throw to one target, similar to his football career! ;). Sorry Seb, couldn’t resist!

    1. Juan, its OK. Actually, I have previously advocated for Kaep to become a dual sport athlete. I remember he threw out a first pitch, and it clocked at 89 MPH, without him warming up.

  14. It is early but 2017 does seem like an extension of the 2016 season. The year is young and the Giants should improve. Making the playoffs last year was surprising. This year they should have a better opportunity at making up ground with the other playoff teams. Hopefully.

  15. Anybody catch Carr’s remarks at his Presser?
    Millionaire, employed by Billionaire, scolds Hunredaires for not staying loyal fans as the team prepares to leave. Topsy turvey world. The players, at least this one, are as disconnected from the fans (customers) as the owners are.
    This is the equivilent of filing for divorce but not moving out for a couple of years. Only in this case the team had previously divorced, separated, reconciled, demanded alimony to return, then divorced again but move out later, 2 or 3 years maybe.
    We all get the economics and the politics driving this outcome, but Carr could consider not poking the wounded bear. Geez young man, button your lip.

    1. BT,

      Exactly.

      “Hey, fans, you’ve been kicked in the balls by the team twice now, this last time after the team threatened to kick you in the balls for several years; is that all it takes for some of you to not love us unconditionally?”

      TONE. DEAF.

  16. Everyone loves Carr, I do to. But whenever he speaks,he seems likehe is just saying a bunch of words that don’t amount to anything. He talks, but doesn’t say anything. Just drums up sunshiney “feeling positive, everything great, all team we all love everyone and everything, my $hit smells great tastes even better” .

    He also has no feel for the room, since he says nothing he has no feel when to end his comments.

    But I know he is a genuinely nice guy, generous guy. You will not find him in Dom. Violence situations, he will not be walking out of county jail at 8AM. I just don’t think his pressers add value.

    1. Grant,

      Justin Turner is a journeyman player who had a career year last year, Corey Seager is the Dodgers “impact hitter”. Come on, do a little research into the subject.

      Also, have you looked at the Dodgers pitching staff? How about Adrian Gonzalez, who is now doing a pretty good James Loney impression at the plate, clogging up 1B? He’s paid a boatload of money and is way into decline.

      Almost all teams have holes, the Giants have proven they have the ability to work with and through theirs. The Giants have earned the right to be given a little patience. Let’s see how this season plays out before pronouncing the Giants dead.

  17. Bottom line, in my opinion, and there can be a case made for Joe Maddon, is Bruce Bochy is still the best manager in the Major Leagues. And for that, the Giants will always have a chance.

  18. Agree that Bochy is the best manager, a sure Hall of Famer and possibly the best of all time but even he can only perform so many magic tricks. I’ll stick with 75-87. I’m usually within 5 games of predicting their final record so even if I’m off by ten, that probably leaves them out of the playoffs. We’ll see.

  19. It’s April and it’s been 14 games.

    This is got to be the dumbest column ever put to paper, digital or physical. Yeah, the Giants aren’t likely winning the WS this year, heck, they probably are struggling to get the wild card…but to say its over, for this year or the “dynasty”…beyond dumb.

  20. Yea Seb, unfortunately with the intertwining seasons the prospect of a dual sport (football and baseball) is not realistically going to ever happen but I’m sure there’s more than a few examples of players over the years that could have done it. CK couldn’t possibly be any worse than Yea Seb, unfortunately with the intertwining seasons the prospect of a dual sport (football and baseball) is not realistically going to ever happen but sure there’s more than a few examples of players over the years that could have done it. CK couldn’t possibly be any worse than Samardija ;)

    1. Well, my solution was to designate Kaep to pitch only during home stands and not 2 days before the football games. Did not think he would become a starter, but more of a reliever, so he could be used with flexibility.

      Kaep, by throwing the baseball, could say he was working on his accuracy, and pitching out of the stretch will shorten his throwing motion.

  21. Grant is right about Samardijja. When he was with my Cubs in 2014 he was 2-7 but had a 2.83 ERA. He got little run support. All of the talk was about how good he would be if he had a run producing offense.

    But there is a thing called pitching to the scoreboard. Nolan Ryan knew this and racked up wins. When he didn’t get much run support, he keyed in. When he did get a nice lead, he would go easier and didn’t wear out his arm early like Clemens before he started juicing.

    Winning pitchers step up when you need a good game from them. Samardija is not a winner. He has a 59-75 career record. His career high in wins is 12. Samardija doesn’t get it done.

  22. Agreed #80. He doesn’t change speeds at all, and major league hitters feast on pitchers like him. He throws hard, and it comes back harder. He should be the number 5 starter at best. I think they should put Ty Blach in the rotation, get rid of Cain and move Samardzija back to 5. He can at least eat up some innings. I realize Boch needs Blach in the pen until Hill returns but maybe we have another lefty in the system to bring up. Dont know.

  23. That would give us 3 lefties in the starting rotation. The Dodgers have a problem with lefties for some mysterious reason.

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