GM Brian Sabean shouldn’t bear brunt of Giants’ quagmire 

click to enlarge Brian Sabean
  • Marcio Jose Sanchez/2013 ap FILE PHOTO
  • Giants’ general manager Brian Sabean may not have made any big moves as the trade deadline passed, but perhaps he didn’t want to give up more talent than the team needs.

Good vibes are fleeting at best in the Giants' awkward little world these days, and as has been the case since he arrived, general manager Brian Sabean unfairly bears the brunt of fan abuse when the vibe inevitably turns sour.

Wednesday's victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates was as needed as one's been at China Basin since Game 6 of the 2012 NL Championship Series. That sounds dramatic, but consider the dramatic implications had the Giants lost that day.

The losing streak would have hit a season-high seven, and it would have wrapped up the first winless homestand of at least six games since the Jewel of China Basin opened its doors. In turn, that likely would have been enough to bring to an end the sellout streak that's now in the 300s. And that would have been a crystal clear indication that the fans had lost hope of the Giants continuing their recent pattern of winning it all every other year (2010, 2012).

But the Giants won the game, and in a dramatic departure from a more recent pattern, they won it by banging out a ton of hits -- 12. That represented a good week of hits at various stretches during the team's June-July nightmare. Granted, all 12 hits were singles, but beggars can't be choosers.

Dan Uggla, by the way, didn't have any hits that day. The previous sentence was brought to you by the good folks at Goes Without Saying Inc.

That the victory came at the end of the homestand was a bonus. Even the hometown fans have accepted that the Giants, for reasons every bit as inexplicable as Kesha's hotness, are a far better team on the road this year.

A day off was next, and that was nice, too, for a day off meant the guarantee of a day without losing and adding to the mind-blowing numbers that point to Angel Pagan as the proverbial stir-straw for San Francisco.

Alas, all that positivity died less than 24 hours later, when the non-waiver trade deadline passed without Sabean bringing in help. And Sabean instantly came under attack for it, which, again, is flat unfair.

Sabean didn't injure Pagan. He didn't injure Brandon Belt. He didn't put bone chips in Matt Cain's elbow. He didn't lose Sergio Romo's job. And those are the four main reasons the Giants are where they were at the deadline, a desperate team that rival GMs wanted to get over on.

Sabean identified two second basemen he wanted, but the teams holding the talent he sought knew he was screwed and tried to screw him more.

Rather than give up more talent than he sought just to be able to say he made a move, he did the right thing. He didn't bite. He didn't overpay. He recognized, as should we all, that adding one second baseman at any price wasn't likely to trump the Los Angeles Dodgers' incredible talent this year, anyway.

Is it a bummer? Sure. But it's not his fault. It's baseball. Every year you see teams lose a key player or two. Sometimes they can weather the storm, sometimes they can't.

But when a team effectively loses four key players for half the year? Even the best GMs can't compensate for that. And yes, Sabean is one of the game's best GMs.

Or have you forgotten 2010 and 2012?

About The Author

Mychael Urban

Mychael Urban

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