The Giants have a San Francisco problem, and they know it

Whether it be San Francisco Giants legend Buster Posey or NorCal native Rowdy Tellez, the Giants now have to combat a San Francisco problem when it comes to recruiting marquee free agents.

Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Although the San Francisco Giants were somewhat of a finalist in the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes, the former Los Angeles Angels star still signed with the arch rival Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants won three World Series over the course of five years under Bruce Bochy from 2010 to 2014. Now a decade removed from their last world championship, we have to wonder what all has gone wrong.

San Francisco is the crown jewel of the Bay Area. It is an international city, one where tech and innovation are synonymous with it. Unfortunately, crime has become a major negative factor in the city when it comes to recruiting marquee players. He may originally hail from South Georgia, but Giants legend Buster Posey certainly had some thoughts on the matter when talking to The Athletic.

I don't think this is causation when it comes to the Giants coming up short in free agency, as crime is rampant in all major metropolises across the country, but the fact Posey said this speaks volumes.

"Something I think is noteworthy, something that unfortunately keeps popping up from players and even the players’ wives, is there’s a bit of an uneasiness with the city itself, as far as the state of the city, with crime, with drugs. Whether that’s all completely fair or not, perception is reality. It’s a frustrating cycle, I think, and not just with baseball. Baseball is secondary to life and the important things in life. But as far as a free-agent pursuit goes, I have seen that it does affect things."

While Posey's comments may have stung a bit, NorCal native Rowdy Tellez's comments about the state of San Francisco may fall on deaf ears to locals, but could feed into this narrative to outsiders.

Posey and Tellez may actually believe what they are saying, but the biggest thing preventing guys like Ohtani from signing with the Giants has everything to do with winning, something San Francisco has not consistently done since Bochy last led them. He just won a World Series with the Texas Rangers...

San Francisco Giants must overcome San Francisco issues in free agency

Look. If the Giants were winning as prolifically as they were a little over a decade ago, this would be a moot point. Like Tellez said on Foul Territory, it was easier for the Giants to recruit marquee players to come play for them when you had a hall-of-fame skipper in Bochy, a hall-of-fame backstop in Posey and a hall-of-fame-level starting pitcher in Madison Bumgarner. Who are those guys for them now?

From a free agent's perspective, I think standard of living and overall safety matter more in a sport like baseball than one like football. A baseball player spends the better part of a calendar year situated in one metropolis base. From late March until very early October, your home ballpark is your home away from home. You also have to travel into the ballpark for work six days a week when you play at home.

In sports like football, basketball and even hockey, you are not being tasked to drive into the city every single day. Most NFL teams' headquarters are located in a metropolis' outskirts. You are only playing eight or nine home games a year, and that home game only happens maybe once a week. Once the season ends, NFL players flock to cities and states with warm climates so they can train.

To me, I am kind of bothered that Posey went there. He is probably hundreds of thousands of kids in the Bay Area's hero. For him to say not-so-nice things about where they live and where he used to play certainly cuts deep. Tellez's comments are out of touch, as he has never played for the Giants, and grew up closer to Sacramento than he did San Francisco. Still, they only add to this narrative.

Ultimately, athletes with championship aspirations will choose to go to plays in their free agencies where they think they can win. If they aren't going to win there, at least they are going to get paid. For now, the best thing the Giants can do is focus on themselves and try to cultivate the best home-grown talent possible. Guys like Bumgarner and Posey were homegrown superstars from yesteryear.

San Francisco is being singled out here, but I don't think it is the only city with these perceived issues.

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