I am a life-long fan of the San Francisco Giants. I waited 40 years for them to win the World Series, suffering through losing seasons and oh-so-close playoff and World Series games. I have been a fan since 1970, when I was able to truly comprehend what it was to be Willie Mays (the greatest ballplayer of all time). As a fan, and a student of the game, it pains me to say this. But it must be said.
The Giants have gotten complacent.
Yes, the dreaded "c" word. They believe that lightning will strike twice. Can you otherwise explain why they stubbornly continue to run Aubrey Huff out there, day after day, only to have him ground out weakly to second? Why did management sign players such as Miguel Tejada in the offseason and trade for players like Orlando Cabrera during the season? I think I know why.
The team feels they have the pieces in place to repeat, despite the losses of key players like Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez to injury, and believes a few tweaks here and there will do the trick.
Let me tell you, that may have worked if those left over from 2010 were having seasons like they did in 2010. Huff, Cody Ross, Andres Torres, Pat Burrell, among others are nowhere near 2010 numbers, much less career numbers.
Standing pat was never going to work. Tejada at shortstop was never going to work. The lack of a feared bat in the lineup, every day, was never going to work. And expecting players to have career years...again...was complacency at its worst. And the team, and its fans, will pay for it. I remain hopeful, seeing that we are in much better shape than we were in August of 2010. But can we pull off another 18-8 record in September to effectively seal the deal? Not with this offense.
Complacency in baseball is painful to watch. Complacency in government is deadly. And we are seeing that right now, from both parties, but most painfully from the president. He is supposed to be the leader. He is supposed to knuckle down and solve these problems afflicting this country. A weak and sinking economy. Rising unemployment. A country drowning in debt. But what is he doing instead?
A campaigning and fund raising bus tour of the midwest, followed by 10 days in Martha's Vineyard. Really feeling our pain, I see.
Show of hands, how many of you are going/have gone to the Vineyard this summer? Hmmm...not many.
I do not begrudge the president a vacation. We all deserve one. I do, however, begrudge the man being so damn complacent that he is now tone-deaf to what the citizens of this nation are going through. If its not unemployment, its the erosion of personal wealth as home values and the stock markets have collapsed. I think the president truly believes his re-election is a cinch; that the media will shield him from his many missteps and mishandling of the job. I think he truly believes he is right, no matter how wrong reality is showing his policies to be. I think his arrogance and superior attitude will hoist him on his own petard. And I don't think he understands how much damage, possibly permanent, he has done to this great nation.
Come November 2012, he will find out.