There's an expectation for teams that win a World Series to continue to be good and at least make the playoffs the following season. When that doesn't happen, when a championship team ends up underneath the Porto-Potty, stuff begins to smell.
Very quickly, what was once cute, or funny, or smart now has the odor of 30 day old fish covered in sour milk. Or worse.
For the Giants, that means it's time to dump two annoying catch phrases often used by Manager Bruce Bochy, the Giants front office, Giant players, and the Bay Area sports media because they are no longer a "hip", "cute", or "relevant" way to describe the soon-to-be former champions.
These tired cliches have gone stale in ways that science is only now beginning to understand and contain:
Tired Catch Phrase #1: "Keep the line moving… ."
What this phrase really means: "We don't have any power so the only way we can score enough runs to win games is if everyone gets singles, or walks, and then we smack an occasional double."
It's the mantra of a team that can't produce runs, that has no power, that (in short) can't produce runs of any kind. It sounds great when you're accidently winning games. It sounds absurd when your squad is 59-74 on August 29th with the 6th worst run differential in baseball (-87).
Either way, I'm begging everyone to never say "Keep the line moving" ever again. The "line" has stopped. In fact it's moving backwards. How about we get some power hitters on this team and replace "the line" with players who can actually hit two run and three run home runs?
Hold it campers! Before you start huffing and sputtering about AT&T Park and how everyone knows that power hitters refuse to play there, please remember these two points:
Point 1): Jeff Kent, Barry Bonds, Buster Posey. Did the opposite of refusing to play in AT&T Park.
Point 2): 98% of all hitters (and all baseball players) sign with the team that pays them the most money.
Otherwise every great hitter would only sign with the Colorado Rockies (who have the #1 best hitters' park in baseball), the Chicago Cubs (#2), the Toronto Blue Jays (#3), or the Houston Astros (#7).
Turns out, MLB power hitters don't automatically sign with teams simply because their ballparks favor hitters. Strangely, those players sign with the teams that pay them the most money.
Like the St. Louis Cardinals (who have the #25 best hitters' ballpark), the Cleveland Indians (#20), the Los Angeles Angels (#18) and the Texas Rangers (#16).
Tired Catch Phrase #2: "We're hoping to catch some lightning in a bottle here… ."
When Bruce Bochy or Brian Sabean repeats this stale phrase they really mean the following: "As an organization we don't scout young players very well, our minor league system sucks a trailer hitch, and we haven't even considered exploring the international market for talented players. So we'll just sign some used up schlumps, cross our fingers, and hope they accidentally hit the ball."
In their eyes the formula works this way: cheap players+magic = "lightning in a bottle." Wow! Wasn't that also the way the Yankees did it?
So here's a humble suggestion.
Stuff the two overused catch phrases you've been peddling to the local Bay Area media and the fans for the last five years and start to build a classy, first-rate Major League Baseball organization. Sure, that takes more work than signing Andres Torres or Miguel Tejada, but in the long run the San Francisco Giants will be better off.
Hey, it's just a thought.