We begin Odds & Ends this week with the news that Bobby Evans will no longer be the general manager of the San Francisco Giants.
The move came earlier this week as the Giants are about to wind down yet another disappointing season where they were expected to at least vie for a Wild Card spot had everything gone right for them and more, but at press time the team is 73-87 and a team in limbo as to what to do next.
“I made the decision, really,” Giants CEO Larry Baer said, “At this point, we needed to take a fresh approach to baseball operations.”
Evans became the general manager in April 2015, when Brian Sabean became executive vice president of baseball operations. Since then the team has made questionable moves both on and off the field which include,but are not limited to keeping Santiago Casilla as the closer in 2016, signing Mark Melancon,and trading away prospects leaving the farm system depleted.
The team did back their way into the postseason in 2016 after posting the best record in baseball at the All-Star break at 57-33. They have gone 167-227 since.
Baer spoke about what kind of candidate they’re looking for as their next general manager.
“We’re looking for someone that sort of is the ‘next-gen’ general manager, if you will,” Baer said, “People will say ‘new school versus old school,’ people will say ‘analytics versus scouting,’ and I think that the new, next-generation general manager is able to do both and will bring both to the mix.”
While I wasn’t a big fan of Evans in the role he was in,this current mess the Giants are in
is far from being solely his fault. Injuries happen,roster moves don’t always work out,and other teams just get better over time. However, when you get the gig in a time when the team is having major success,it’s a pretty high bar to get over and Evans wasn’t able to do it. I also don’t think he was able to do enough to keep this team competitive and successful for years to come and as a result,there are calls for the team to blow it up,trade everybody,and start anew.
To me,it’s time for a new voice in the front office who can bring something new to the table and isn’t afraid to make big splashes,both on the major and minor league level.
There are a few names floating around as possible replacements for Evans,most notably David Forst of the A’s,but whoever it is has a tough job ahead of them and a fan base who will watch that person’s every roster move. Stay tuned!
Bad news for the San Francisco 49ers as they lost quarterback Jimmy Garappolo for the season with an ACL injury. Garappolo,26, was acquired last season from the Patriots in exchange for a second-round pick. He went 5-0 as a starter late last season as the team experienced a late surge in a downtrodden year. He was rewarded with a 5-year contract worth a maximum of $137.5 million,the largest at the time in league history.
With the success of the team under him,the team was expected to make a splash this season. Instead San Francisco will rally around second-year quarterback C.J. Beathard who started five games last season,throwing seven touchdowns and five interceptions.
I feel bad for the 49ers and their fans. I,like them,was expecting big things for the team despite the rough start to the season,not just with the injury to Garappolo,but to Marquise Goodwin and Jerick McKinnon,as well as having a tough schedule to start out. It does remain to be seen how well they’ll do with Beathard as the starter going forward.
He isn’t as seasoned as Garappolo,nor did he have the luxury of playing behind one of the best quarterbacks of all time,but he did play in a pro-style offense in college and has a few starts under his belt from last year.
Beathard’s first test is in Los Angeles against the Chargers tomorrow.
The New England Patriots looked very shitty in their prime-time game against the Lions on Sunday. Not just shitty,absolutely horrible.
The Lions beat the Patriots 26-10 at home,giving their head coach Matt Patricia his first NFL win against the team he spent 14 years as an assistant. They were in control from the start giving rookie tailback Kerryon Johnson room to run and Matthew Stafford all the time in the world to throw. In other words,they showed up,did everything right,and deserved to win that night in front of their home crowd and on national television.
The Patriots,meanwhile,weren’t very good. Tom Brady threw for only 133 yards,a touchdown and an interception. Rookie tailback Sony Michel was only able to get 50 yards on 14 carries and looked like he was getting stuffed on every carry he had.
Receivers were not catching the ball at all and the defense had more holes than Swiss cheese and were softer than a slice of brie. They were also without a lot of help on both sides of the ball with Patrick Chung and Trey Flowers out for the game defensively as well as not having new wide receiver Josh Gordon active due to hamstring issues and Julian Edelman still serving a four-game suspension that ends Monday.
At 1-2 and set to face an undefeated Dolphins team at home tomorrow,some are wondering if this is the usual slow start to what’s expected to be a better year for New England or if this team is on a true decline. It’s starting to look like the latter right now if you’ve seen the last two games and even during the game against Houston they haven’t been very sharp and it seems like their opponents are picking up on the team’s glaring weaknesses. I have a strange feeling that Miami is going to do no different tomorrow,especially if these guys don’t make any adjustments and if Gordon is yet again not suiting up or Michel is continue to get stuffed behind the line of scrimmage on every carry.
Now,I could be overreacting a little bit because there are seasons where it feels like the team uses September as their preseason,but when you see this team right now and disregard the past,do they look like contenders to you? My guess is no.
Finally this week,the team that looks like they’re probably the best in the NFL is the Los Angeles Rams.
Led by Jared Goff’s five touchdowns and 465 passing yards,the Rams bested the Minnesota Vikings 38-31 at home on Thursday night,improving to 4-0 and looking more and more like a contender.
What impressed me about the team’s win was not that it happened,but it happened without guys like Aqib Talib on defense. Marcus Peters did play,but was a gametime decision before kickoff. They also found guys wide open like Cooper Kupp who had nine catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns, Brandon Cooks who had seven catches for 116 yards and a touchdown,and Robert Woods who had five catches and 101 yards and a touchdown of his own. Even Todd Gurley caught a touchdown pass. It seemed like the team was giving away touchdown passes like Oprah WInfrey was giving out cars.
The Rams have their next test to stay undefeated comes in Seattle on Sunday,Oct. 7 against the Seahawks.
This team looks like the Super Bowl contender some are expecting them to be right now. Goff looks absolutely great,Gurley is a great weapon as well and Goff’s receivers seem to be on the same page as their signal caller. Defensively they look alright,but could use some improvement and I think they will gel better once Talib comes back from the injured list and as the season goes along. All in all if this team continues their excellent play,there’s no stopping them.
Sean McVay is some kind of genius,that’s for sure.
That’s all for Odds & Ends this week,we’ll see you next time!