A couple of things to remember about me as a baseball fan:
I’m super-superstitious. I hate it when people post pictures of brooms, or bring brooms to the ballpark and shout SWEEP! when we make it to the final game of a series with two or three wins backing us. I go crazy when people starting talking “perfecto” or “no-no” before the last out is recorded. I refuse to predict any actual play before it happens–not a hit, home run or strike out. It’s bad luck and it angers the baseball gods. Go ahead, it won’t be the first time I’ve been called crazy.
I’m also super-sentimental. I know all you pro fans out there are shaking your heads. “Rookie” you’re thinking. I can’t help it–I was made this way.
Here I am, still drinking my morning cup of joe when I hear we’ve traded Susac for a lefty reliever. I got a little misty. Sure, Susac was in Sacramento and sure, there is no spot for him in San Francisco, but I held out hope that maybe one day…I know it’s selfish. Susac has something to contribute and playing second fiddle to Posey’s second fiddle wasn’t doing him any good. He’ll have a chance to play and contribute in the big leagues–it’s a great opportunity for him. Still, I felt a tug on my heartstrings.
And then they dropped a bomb on me. They traded Matt Duffy. For a starting pitcher from Tampa Bay. I heard the collective GASP of the Giants faithful all the way over the hill. Not Duffy. I thought Duffy was sacrosanct. How will the infield look without him? I know he’s been on the DL for awhile, I know he his performance this year wasn’t what it was last year, but Matt Duffy stepped up to the plate when we needed him most and he was a home-grown player.
Duffy is a big fan favorite in San Francisco. I know he ran into a hamstring problem this year, but remember last year when he hurt his ankle? He taped in up, said “put me in coach” and still played like his hair was on fire. Typical of a Giant, Duffy exhibits a mix of humility with a Giant team spirit. He plays with a lot of heart.
I don’t know what’s going to happen in Tampa Bay, but here’s what I do know: Evan Longoria, the face of the Tampa Bay franchise is their third baseman. On their 25-man roster they list six infielders and three outfielders. Is Duffy going to play out there? The Tampa Bay Rays are in last place in the AL East, 16.5 games in back of the first place Orioles and 15 games out of the Wild Card race. I don’t get it. Matt Duffy was one of three finalists for 2015 NL Rookie of the Year. He’s a treasure.
When I was much younger I was a big fan of players. Willie Mays is my all time favorite–and we all know I love the Giants. There were players from other teams too–Mickey Mantle was one of my heroes, but I was not a Yankees fan. I loved to watch George Brett hit but I wasn’t crazy about the Royals. To this day I love Johnny Bench, but I didn’t–and still don’t–like the Reds. When you’re attached to the player and not the team, it is much easier on the soul.
Duffy’s trade didn’t tug at my heartstrings. It broke my heart.