There’s no crying in baseball. No permanence either. Wonder if those Dodger fans will get the hang of saying “Ooo-reebay”? Wonder if there’s any sort of chant that can be created out of “Tay-ha-dah”?
We blinked, and it’s all changed.
It would have been nice to keep things as they were, at least until December. We understand it’s a business, but does it have to be a heartbreaking one? Can’t we hold onto the magic more than a few hours?
One day Juan Uribe’s riding down Montgomery Street in a parade. Seemingly the next, he’s riding off into the sunset. Or more accurately, to Los Angeles. Yikes.
Bergman and Bogart will always have Paris. We’ll always have the sound of “Ooo-reebay,” rhythmically resounding across AT&T Park, a joyful, unscripted song of a season for the ages.
But that’s sports. They traded Babe Ruth, didn’t they? And Willie Mays. And Willie McCovey. For $21 million, the Giants understood they had to change their tune. And the infield. Adios.
Baseball’s always been a variation of musical chairs. Miguel Tejada started with the A’s, who, for one reason or another, chose to keep Eric Chavez and let Tejada, the 2002 MVP, go as a free agent, upon which he signed with Baltimore.
Bobby Crosby replaced Tejada and became AL Rookie of the Year but was injured so often he was let go and picked up by Pittsburgh, who sent him to Arizona.
Tejada? He went to Houston, then back to Baltimore, then in July to the Padres, while observers and critics wanted to know why he wasn’t acquired by the Giants, who picked up Mike Fontenot and, glory be, Cody Ross. And now, at age 36, here comes Miggy as there goes Ooo-reebay. Sentiment? Please.
Giants fans have to be philosophical, as difficult as that may be. After what was accomplished, after ending the silence, after at last getting the Series that had been a casualty of Bobby Richardson, Scott Spiezio — Scott Spiezio! — and a Richter scale reading, San Francisco finally had its title.
Uribe was a significant contributor, driving in nine runs in the postseason and hitting a home run in Game 1 of the Series. But he also only batted .149. That he hit 24 homers in 2010, nine more than his career average, could be interpreted as aberration, and one hardly worth $21 million for the next three years.
Ned Colletti, the Dodgers general manager not too long ago was the Giants’ assistant GM. He probably was rubbing his palms together, chortling, “Win a World Series and make us look bad. We’ll show you, just like with Jason Schmidt. Well, never mind that one.”
The guy the Giants need from these machinations is Pablo Sandoval, debloated. He was supposed to be the Kung Fu Panda, but he ended up the Michelin Man. If Sandoval loses weight and finds his swing, the departure of Uribe will not be as damaging.
Pitching made the Giants winners, and the pitching isn’t going anywhere. Neither is Aubrey Huff, whose name doesn’t lend itself to a chant but who could has been the most important position player on the squad.
No sour grapes about the man who is leaving. Just sweet memories. And, one last time, a bellow: “Ooo-reebay.”
Art Spander has been covering Bay Area sports since 1965 and also writes on www.artspander.com and www.realclearsports.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.