TWGers, it’s time for a Come-to-Buster moment.
I get it. We’re bored, anxious, frustrated, and missing baseball. Many of us are in high-risk groups for the COVID-19 virus, and/or our loved ones are, and we’re scared about that. I know I am. We or loved ones have lost jobs/income or retirement savings. It seems like the whole world is falling apart. I feel your pain and I’m right there with you.
But we need to stop with the Trump-bashing, and here’s why, in two parts. First, it’s beating a dead horse. Since 2016, it’s been glaringly apparent that the vast majority of us despise Trump. I’m not judging anyone’s opinions or trying to silence people. But–it’s all been said already. There’s no need to keep sharing every quote or video or Tweet. We’ve already had two people specifically tell us they were out because of this until baseball’s back, if then, and a third emailed me and Greek Giant yesterday demanding to know what we were going to do about it.
Second, Trump is not responsible for the coronavirus. Are there things to criticize about how he and his administration have handled preparation, communication, and messaging? Absolutely. I’m sure there are world leaders in many other countries around the world who are facing similar questions. Would the progress of the virus have been different in the U.S. if someone other than Trump were President right now? Maybe, but it’s hard to say. The virus would still have gotten here and it still would have been bad. The history hasn’t been written yet.
Again, because many of us here are particularly at risk, I know you’re frightened and angry about these real and perceived failures. I don’t judge you. I love you. But it’s not helping anyone’s mood to keep on with the incessant criticism. We’re all on edge and we need each other right now. Please, please find ways to be more constructive in this space.
Along the same lines: I’m trying to manage my own exposure to news about COVID-19. I don’t read articles on social media all day long. We check in with CNN for a few minutes each day after dinner just to be responsibly informed. But we’re already doing everything we can, from sheltering-in-place to hand-washing to donating money to people in need to keeping in regular touch with our loved ones. Obsessing over the latest details isn’t going to change a thing we do, and we still need to get through the day.
So I’m not sure what to tell you, except that we all need to cooperate in keeping this a space that is mentally and emotionally healthy for a broad range of people. I don’t have the time or the mental bandwidth to police it all day long, and Greek Giant is locked down in Venice, nine time zones away from Willie Mays Field. But I’d appreciate it if we could desist with the constant Trump/Corona posting. Thanks for listening.
Oh, yeah, the Giants
There are a few tidbits of news. In order of significance:
- Tyler Beede got second and third opinions about his elbow injury and ended up having Tommy John surgery yesterday. There’s actually been a bit of controversy about whether a rich, privileged athlete should have access to non-urgent surgery at a time when all medical resources should be preserved for pandemic patients. (See this thoughtful Twitter thread by Henry Schulman about it.) In Beede’s defense, the surgery was performed in a private clinic in Texas by a specialist in a county where elective surgeries haven’t (yet) been prohibited. He wasn’t taking up an ICU bed in a public hospital. I suppose one could quibble that gowns, masks, and gloves were used, and every one of those may be needed for more life-threatening cases down the line. And yes, it’s not fair that he and Chris Sale get to have career-preserving surgery while my octogenarian aunt and mother have to wait for their cataract surgeries and my co-worker has to wait for a medically-necessary-but-not-urgent surgery. (It’s also not fair that entire NBA teams, most of whom are healthy, get to have access to COVID-19 testing while regular sick people can’t get it, but that’s a topic for Together We’re Jazz/Nets.)
- Timing controversy aside, this is a sad setback for Beede, whose career is teetering in the balance. This was supposed to be a make-or-break year for him, and now he and we will have to wait and see. When he comes back (best-case scenario: All-Star break of 2021), he’ll be 28 years old. But it’s worth remembering that Zack Wheeler, also a former first-round pick for the Giants, just got a huge multi-year contract at age 29 (30 in May) after spending most of his 20s injured. Beede will have to be a late-bloomer if he blooms at all, but it does happen.
- The Giants closed their facilities in Scottsdale on Thursday. After MLB and MiLB camps officially closed, they had kept the Scottsdale Stadium and Indian School facilities open for a few hours a day so that players could work out and get treatment. But the team finally decided, as Andrew Baggarly put it in his latest article, to “prioritize social distancing over physical readiness.”
…as much as players have expressed an urgency to stay as ready as possible for an uncertain Opening Day, Zaidi said the Giants are counseling them to be responsible citizens first and foremost.
“We’re encouraging players right now to stay at home,” Zaidi said. “Even going out to public cages and workout facilities is not something we would recommend to our players right now. Our coaches are going to stay in touch and help them develop programs and workouts to stay in baseball condition as much as they can, but it’s really going to be a challenge for everybody right now.”
The implication of this is that there will need to be some kind of “second spring training” before the 2020 season can open. The Giants are also covering rents or leases for minor leaguers left stranded in Arizona and are continuing to house international minor leaguers who can’t return to their home countries safely in the team hotel. No one in the organization had yet been tested for the virus, apparently along the same reasoning as the Golden State Warriors, who are not testing healthy players just because they can get tests if they want them.
- Steven Duggar and Shaun Anderson were optioned to AAA on Thursday. I have to admit that I read that former Giant Josh Osich was optioned by the Red Sox the same day, and I snickered at the somewhat absurd notion of needing to “option” anyone to the minor leagues in the middle of a nationwide shutdown. Then I saw that the Giants had done the exact same thing. According to Kerry Crowley, Duggar and Anderson were not likely to make the Opening Day roster, and–this may be the real reason–a couple of non-roster invitees such as Billy Hamilton and Trevor Cahill have opt-out dates this weekend. This has to be a disappointing development for both young players, especially Anderson, who came into camp hoping to be a bullpen anchor, maybe the closer, if not in the starting rotation. But they had both performed so poorly in Cactus League games that it didn’t surprise me. In fact, neither made my My26ManGuy™ roster that I sent to HaakAway last weekend.
Speaking of My26ManGuy™
Just for fun, I’ll share my list. What’s yours, if you entered one? And if you didn’t, what do you think of mine?
I find it easier to envision the whole roster together, so I took HaakAway’s list and added mine (my guesses are in blue font).
Hang in there, folks. Let’s keep posting links to awesome baseball games and notifying each other of when NBCS-BA is replaying good ones (for those of us in the region). Most of all, let’s be good to each other–because what better way is there to spend our time right now?
RIP to Kenny Rogers, who was the inspiration for one of my posts in August, 2018.
Love to all. Stay safe and healthy. Lefty out.