We know it’s not Monday, but with Tuesday night’s American League Wild-Card Game victory by the cheating Boston Red Sox, it’s important to put the final touches on the multiple lies that constructed the implausible 2021 San Francisco Giants. The team that plays in The House That Steroids Built finished with the best regular-season record in team history, which is amazing for a squad picked to finish fourth.
Here is the final analysis on the top hitters in the S.F. clubhouse this season. Judge for yourself, but we remind you of our extensive experience with MLB over the last decade-plus: Ignore our expertise at your own will, and we will take on the pitchers later today.
Editor’s Note: We will remind you as well that Giants Manager Gabe Kapler was fired from Philadelphia in 2019 after going 161-163 (.497) in two seasons with All-Star players like Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, and Andrew McCutchen—while replacing a guy in S.F. that everyone local swore was the best ever.
Catcher: Buster Posey—At age 34, he posted his best season since 2012, and a quick glance at his 2019 season in comparison shows us just how much more suspect this guy is. At age 32, he was in decline, hitting just .257 with a .688 OPS. But this season, two years older, he hit .304 with an .889 OPS in pretty much the exact same number of games and plate appearances.
First Base: Brandon Belt—At age 32, he posted his best season since … ever. In fact, after 2019, when he was in decline at age 30, he since has seen his OPS jump over 230 points at an age when, historically, players continue a steep slide into oblivion. How did Belt suddenly turn it around in his early 30s when his career decline was already in motion? Good question.
Second Base: Donovan Solano—At age 33, this guy was out of the majors in 2017 and 2018, after he posted a .634 OPS with the Miami Marlins and a .711 OPS with the New York Yankees. But now, he’s been a productive infielder with the Giants, to the tune of a .789 OPS over three seasons in his early 30s after he wasn’t wanted by any major-league team for multiple seasons.
Shortstop: Brandon Crawford—At age 34, Crawford had his best MLB season ever by a country mile. Two years ago at age 32, he was washed up, posting a .654 OPS. But this year, that numbers jumped to .895 at an age when many players have historically been ready to hang it up after slipping so much like Crawford did in his early 30s. Just like Belt and Posey above, this is highly irregular and improbable.
Third Base: Evan Longoria—At age 35, he started to show signs of age as he suffered injuries that kept him out half the season. But in the other half he did play, Longoria posted his best season since 2016 when he was just 30 years old. In fact, in the four seasons in between 2016 and 2021, he never put up more than a .762 OPS, but this year, at advancing age, he stroked the ball to an .833 OPS tune.
Editor’s Note: We will pause here to note that the team’s entire starting infield exceeded established and historical statistical trends this year to unrealistic and extremely improbable levels. What are the odds of this happening naturally? Zero and nil. Now on to the outfielders …
Left Field: Alex Dickerson—At age 31, he actually declined a little in 2021, after having a strange career resurgence in 2019 and 2020. To wit, he posted a .749 OPS with the San Diego Padres over 107 games from 2015 to 2019, and he was out of the majors entirely in 2017 and 2018. But since the Giants picked him up in the middle of the 2019 season, he has posted an .823 OPS with the S.F. organization.
Center Fielder: Steven Duggar—At age 27, Duggar has posted his best MLB numbers in 2021, which is natural and normal for the vast majority of hitters throughout baseball history. His .767 OPS this year is still pedestrian, but it’s amazingly better than his career mark entering this season after efforts of .693, .619, and .458 in the three seasons prior to this one. The leap to .767, therefore, looks a quite suspicious.
Right Field: Mike Yastrzemski—At age 30, this late bloomer may be declining early (.768 OPS), which is normal for guys who don’t arrive in the majors until their late 20s. His rookie season in 2019 (and its .852 OPS) was an anomaly for a guy who posted just a .782 OPS in 7 seasons of minor-league play. Nothing but his last name indicated he was ever going to be a functional or serviceable major leaguer.
Utility: LaMonte Wade, Jr.—At age 27, he also posted his best MLB season ever, after hitting just .211 with the Minnesota Twins in 2019 and 2020, combined. His minor-league OPS (.800) also indicated a minimal level of MLB potential, but the Giants helped him post an .808 OPS this year. That 124-point leap in his OPS from Minnesota to San Francisco, happening overnight, is stunningly unrealistic, in truth.
Utility: Darin Ruf—At age 34, he delivered his best MLB season ever (.904 OPS) after being out of the majors for three seasons (2017-2019). In his age-27, age-28, and age-29 seasons, Ruf posted OPS marks of .712, .714, and .573 during a period the vast majority of players in MLB history are at their best. But he came to the Giants in 2020 and has posted a .900 OPS in 157 games since doing so, strangely.
Utility: Wilmer Flores—At age 29, he’s probably the most honest player on the roster, and thus the most likable one in this bunch. His .798 OPS in San Francisco over the last two seasons fits the normal profile of a player in his prime having his best seasons. He posted just a .727 OPS in six seasons with the New York Mets prior to his age-27 season, and Flores has been improved since then on a natural curve.
Utility: Austin Slater—At age 28, he declined this year to just a .744 OPS after posting a crazy .914 OPS in the 2020 season. His career mark? A .738 overall OPS. He showed an incremental and natural improvement up to his age-27 season last year, so this decline in 2021 is probably due to the short-season anomaly of last season’s stats when he had only 104 plate appearances. This is a normal player.
Utility: Kris Bryant—At age 29, Bryant was acquired midseason via trade, and he’s pretty much the only guy on this list who has seen his performance decline overall while with the Giants. He posted an .861 OPS in 93 games with the Chicago Cubs this season, and his .788 OPS with San Francisco in 51 games shows his moral turpitude in not drinking whatever is in the water at The House That Steroids Built.
Conclusion: There is no way any team could experience this much hitting improvement with a mediocre manager who couldn’t do anything with the likes of Harper—an All-World talent—and Realmuto, et al, in Philly. Combined with the history of this S.F. franchise, it’s a pretty obvious that The House That Steroids Built is also a cheap house of cards built upon deceit, fraud, and lies.
Why does MLB turn the other cheek? Mostly because the Giants fans—like Houston Astros fans or Boston Red Sox fans—have shown they have no moral code, either. They will spend money to see wins, even if their team is cheating to do so. And therein lies the rub: If there’s money to be made off these dupes, American history has shown us the reality that ethics and legality are not important.
America’s Game, indeed, personified by the 2021 San Francisco Giants.