Issue: Early wavering
Analysis: So many were so encouraged when the Giants announced their Opening Day roster. It suggested a long-promised commitment to the youth they’ve developed over the past several years, with Brandon Belt tops among them, having been handed the starting job at first base.
Yet here we are, less than a week of games into the regular season, and already Belt has been “given a couple days” off because he started slow and admitted to manager Bruce Bochy that he’s been pressing.
On top of that, general manager Brian Sabean has been quoted as saying something along the lines of, “You still have to produce to stay in the lineup.”
Fair enough — to a degree. This early in the season, though, it’s too much. Either a commitment has been made or it hasn’t, and if anyone is getting yanked from the lineup for lack of production after a few games, the commitment to commitment seems to ring a tad hollow.
So Belt admitted he was pressing? Fine. Good that he’s comfortable enough with himself and his relationship with his manager that he’s that open and honest.
But if being open and honest gets you a spot on the bench, no matter how temporary, is reeks of early desperation, and the Giants should be projecting more confidence than that — in themselves and in Belt.
Or anyone else who might be struggling, including Angel Pagan.
A better response to Belt’s admission: “We gave you the gig because we believe in you, and you should believe in yourself. So keep going out there, trust your talent, and get your ass back on track. We need you, it’s still your gig, and it will be for a while.”
If he’s still struggling a few weeks from now, fine. Pull the trigger and make some changes? Now? Way too soon.