Angel Pagan’s back issues could be thorn in Giants’ side 

click to enlarge Angel Pagan
  • Jae C. Hong/AP file photo
  • Angel Pagan is a key cog for the Giants, igniting the offense from his leadoff spot and anchoring the defense in center field.
Given the inevitable ups and downs of the grind that is 162 games, it was relatively easy to shrug off the Giants’ recent struggles as one of those funks that even the best teams find themselves fighting from time to time.

Then Angel Pagan left the team for a second opinion on his back. Uh-oh. That news no doubt flashed everybody back to the misery that followed Pagan’s season-ending injury last season.

Prior to that, did you ever in your wildest dreams think you’d even consider the notion that Pagan was irreplaceable in the grand scheme of San Francisco’s success? Now you have to believe it, for the Giants truly crumbled in his absence.

It’s not just what Pagan brings to the lineup, which we all have to admit turned out to be a hell of a lot more than we thought back when he was acquired from the New York Mets in what, at the time, felt like an Andres Torres-for-Andres Torres trade.

Pagan’s impact in the dugout and clubhouse is similarly significant. He’s the type of personality of which every team needs a few: positive, grateful, energetic and loose, with an instinctive genius regarding the right time to dial up the intensity and get, competitively, downright grim.

And don’t think for a second that the power of personality isn’t muted by the disabled list. You’d like to think that such a person would still be able to infuse his magic into a team while hurt. After all, he’s injured, not dead. He’s still in the room, right?

Yes and no. Rehab takes time, it takes you away from the team on occasion and it takes a lot out of the soul. No matter what anyone says, nobody is the same guy when he’s out of the lineup.

And that it’s his back? Uh-oh. And he needs a second opinion? Uh-oh. Nobody asks for a second opinion when the first opinion is, “You’ll be fine.”

Back issues rarely go away for good midseason. Uh-oh.

About The Author

Mychael Urban

Mychael Urban

Bio:
Mychael Urban has been covering Bay Area sports for 25 years and has worked for MLB.com, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and KNBR (680 AM).
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