August 30, 2011
Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News covers the Giants as well as anyone, but when he was directed by manager Bruce Bochy to try and "get a different answer" from the team's hitters, he pretty much came up empty — like the hitters themselves. The Giants mustered just two hits against Randy Wells(notes) in a 7-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Monday night. The clock is ticking on the reigning World Series champions, who have fallen five games behind Arizona in the NL West.
Baggarly writes that the Giants clubhouse has been "very empty" of spokesmen when the team happens to lose:
The guy I really hoped would emerge for some perspective was Aubrey Huff(notes), but he's been an absolute ghost after losses this season. (Bochy said Huff was fine after fouling a ball off his shin. Just a contusion.)
Admittedly, talking usually comes easier when you're wearing a frilly thong and only have good news to discuss. And taking a day off once in a while from answering the same old questions — many of which have no value — is not to be begrudged.
[Related: San Francisco's fantasy prospects]
But frequently being unavailable, that's not what Huff or others like him get paid for. Especially when his OPS drops from .891 to .677. Contribute something, even a mea culpa.
The other guy who answered every question? That would be Lincecum. As we approached, I thanked him for waiting as we finished talking to Bochy.
"It's OK," he said, with the slightest bit of a smile. "I know the drill."
Lincecum remained calm and composed. He didn't point the finger at the hitters, saying he can only focus on the things he can control.
Yet he also said this: "At this time last year we were in a similar spot but we were gaining ground, not going backward. It's hard to keep your head up when things aren't really going our way."
Lincecum has five more starts left. You almost pity him for that.
And for having to speak for Aubrey Huff the rest of the season.
Many fans say they don't care what players tell the media, or if they say anything at all. But sometimes what players say, or don't say, reveal something that an 0 for 4 does not. Especially when those who are quiet at the plate and with their public comments leave their more-willing teammates standing there to take the heat on their behalf.
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