Liotta: Time for doubters to give Sabean, Bochy their due 

No doubt about it, we have a segment of Giants fans who are tired and grumpy.

Brian Sabean is their heartache, and Bruce Bochy their indigestion.

Those two are the root of every problem that has been the Giants since the team arrived from the Polo Grounds.

No news is good news. This group is never satisfied, not that there’s been enough to satisfy them. You have to remember the Giants are 0-for-San Francisco. Close has never been close enough.

Well — start writing the angry emails — it’s time to give the devils their due. Sabean and Bochy have made something out of this group of guys wearing black and orange baseball hats. 

With Tim Lincecum and Pablo Sandoval underachieving — Sandoval big-time — and Matt Cain driving everybody crazy, the Giants have played playoff-worthy baseball up to this point, and somebody deserves some credit.

Get out of the way Aaron Rowand. Goodbye Bengie Molina. The 2010 Giants have passed Plan B, maybe even Plan C. They’ve simply gotten it done.

There’s little to brag about when it comes to this version of the Giants, other than the team’s record. They are in the thick of both the NL West and wild-card races.

Aubrey Huff, the guy to who nobody gave a crumb to when he arrived, has been the team’s MVP. Buster Posey emerged from the minor league system to be a key component.

Andres Torres, Juan Uribe and a boatload of guys who drew not a single response from a single salivary gland have been the key for this team.

Pat Burrell is the face of baseball’s scrap heap. He arrived from oblivion.

And a winning team is not easy to bring together. Ask the Detroit Tigers. Ask the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ask the Chicago Cubs.
The complainers will grump about the cost of Barry Zito — and they have a point — and they’ll point out Rowand is a bust; that Edgar Renteria is bordering on ancient.   

Every team has its blemishes, and the Giants do, too.

Honestly, a 250-pound third baseman with limited range is tolerable when he’s challenging for a batting crown, hitting in excess of 20 home runs and driving in runs. When he’s a .265 singles hitter? Different story.

The lineup isn’t scary. The bullpen is, and it’s time to remember that the starting rotation is one-fifth of the roster.

There’s no way to tell how this story turns out, but right now its time to give Sabean and Bochy a tip of the cap for making something out of a team that could have been nothing. Fast.

As for that grumpy group mentioned earlier, there’s no way to tell how this story turns out. This team could still take a nose dive back. And the naysayers would have something to say.

But, for now, give Sabean and Bochy some credit for piecing together something out of next to nothing.
You don’t want to? Root for the Tigers, the Dodgers or the Cubs. That’ll change your tune.

Tim Liotta is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at

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