Quip: Judge it or not, the Giants have to fill their superstar void originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO. You could make a strong argument that if you asked Bay Area sports fans to name the current face of the Giants franchise, the broadcasters would be at the top along with Brandon Crawford. It’s a sign of a special bond between Crook and Kuip and their fans, but Duane Kuiper is hopeful that things will change next season.
“Since I’ve been here, there’s always been at least one guy who has someone say, ‘I want to go see this guy and I want to see this team.’ Putting it all together, you put more people in their seats,” Kuiper said on the Giants Talk podcast on Thursday. “It’s nobody’s fault, but they really (didn’t) have this guy last year. Buster (Posey) in his senior year was still that guy.
“Yeah, I think it’s important that you have that guy.” If the team is the .500 team, people will (will) ask, “Do I want to see the .500 team?” Well, it pushes them a bit to want to leave if there is ‘that guy’ in that lineup, and frankly I think we’d all like to see two ‘those guys’ instead of one.”
After 15 years of Barry Bonds, the Giants moved on to a young group led by Posey and Tim Lincecum, two of the most experienced and popular players in franchise history. However, Lincecum was a special case. Few MLB pitchers in recent history have enjoyed the rock star status he has almost immediately, and Kuyper said the key to the Giants’ next draw would be a positional player like Bonds or Posey.
“You can come back after a trip and if your pitcher like Lincecum is ‘that guy’, he can only pitch once and you’ll have a seven-game home rack,” Kuiper said. “This guy really has to be a positional player and just a guy who has so much value that you don’t want to miss him at bat.”
Kuiper noted that a lost 2020 minor league season set the Giants back because it prevented some of their top prospects from developing faster and becoming household names, but now they have a chance to hit the free agent market and have vowed to try. and go big.
While shortstop class includes four All-Star talentsbiggest superstar this year Aaron Judge Market, a Linden native who was just named American League MVP. In terms of ticket sales, merchandise and fan interest, Judge is light-years ahead of the rest of the free agent class.
The Yankees are considered favorites to sign Judge, their longtime star, but the Giants are widely viewed as the biggest outside threat, and Judge has certainly caught the attention of a fan base hungry for the Giants’ next star. Kuiper said that eventually this chase will come down to the familiar factor.
“I think Giants fans feel that because Judge was a Giants fan and grew up in the valley, that gives them an advantage over everyone else. Yes, you can look at it, but the bottom line is that the money will be the edge wherever he signs,” Kuiper said. “If the money is close, then you start thinking, yeah, you know what, the Giants have a very good chance of getting this guy.
“But he must want to come here, and he was very quiet. Even his agent was quiet. Maybe that will change when the Winter Gatherings start, but you’ll end up just going around in circles with this thing.”