Giants fans Believe

Is fan loyalty to a poorly-performing team a bad thing?

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I’m not quite sure where Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle is going here.  He starts off strong with an amusing compare and contrast between a softball home-run-hitting exhibition which took place before last night’s Cubs-Giants game and the feckless Giants’ bats.

But then he got into some commentary about Giants fans and their seeming obliviousness to the bad baseball with which they have recently been presented and which is sinking the Giants’ playoff chances like a stone:

On any given night, your favorite Giant goes 0-for-4 against a team long dismissed from relevance. And every night, without fail, the park is filled with enthusiastic patrons, still wrapped in the comfort of last year’s world championship and getting only mildly upset with the proceedings.

I think Jenkins is OK with the show of loyalty — he favorably compares Giants fans to “Boston or Philadelphia, where the folks would be hurling insults, obscenities and Double-A batteries,” but there seems to be a bit of  an exasperated “wake up you idiots!” tone to this.

I guess it just goes back to the never-resolvable argument about whether “good fans” continue to come out and cheer for a team going sideways or, rather, if they make the team pay for its incompetence at the turnstile.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.