The Giants Want to Share

A man who demands the spotlight.

Inexplicably, the San Francisco Giants have agreed to be the subject of a behind-the-scenes reality series that will air on Showtime next year. I feel bad for Giants fans. (Haven’t been able to say that for a few months!)

Life as a Major League Baseball team is pretty simple. The goal is to win the World Series. You face many challenges along the way, including keeping your clubhouse focused and productive. This is no small task — baseball players are famously delicate, like souffles or those flowers that start rotting if they’re two degrees warmer than they’re supposed to be.

Turning your season into a reality series seems like a distraction with no baseball benefit. Matt Cain seems to hope it’ll make him more famous:

“I think it will be great publicity for the team and the guys on the team… I think it could be a really good thing for San Francisco. Everybody knows the West Coast doesn’t get as much publicity as East Coast teams.”

West Coast teams obviously get less coverage nationally. For West Coast players, that likely means fewer endorsement offers and less leverage in free agency. So, with this show deal, the players get some fame, and the team and the players presumably get money. Giants fans get not much.

Showtime channel-receiving American households are about to learn a lot more about the Giants. We’ll see if they make San Francisco proud.

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7 Responses to “The Giants Want to Share”

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  1. DrBGiantsfan says:

    I like that Showtime thinks people will be interested in the Giants. I worry that it will be a distraction and produce a lot of bandwagon fans. Also, I worry about it possibly producing an excessive amount of exhibitionist behavior like the beards, red thongs, The Machine, etc. A little of that kind of stuff can break the tension, a lot of of can be a huge distraction and become a self-parody situation.

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  2. Stocktopus says:

    I think you’re being a little overly-pessimistic. During the playoffs last year, they may as well have been on a reality show. There was non-stop coverage documenting their “misfit”-ness, and I’m sure there were camera men everywhere. They seemed to handle that just fine. Brian Wilson even had his own reality show for a while, titled “Life of Brian.”

    Whether they’re part of a reality show or not, they are going to be surrounded by the press. They’re the defending world champs. And, being a Giants fan, I know that they can handle it. The more charismatic, goofy guys will get most of the attention, such as Brian Wilson, Aubrey Huff, Pablo Sandoval, Pat Burrell, etc… and they’re not the type that gets phased by a camera or an interview. The press coverage is inevitable, why not have a good time with it?

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    • Stocktopus says:

      My only displeasure with the situation, is that it just adds to the bandwagon. I’ve got that feeling like “Hey, I was here first!” haha

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      • Christian says:

        My feeling on bandwagon fans is simple: I don’t like them in person, but if you have enough of them, your payroll goes up, and it becomes easier to win, and then you get more fans, and so on. And while nobody likes the Yankees if they aren’t a Yankee fan, you know you’d love to always be able to win.

        So, bring on the fans!

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  3. Anybody who has followed Matt Cain would know that he has no interest in being better known. He is as selfless as they come.

    What he did in his statement, which this report failed to note, is that he was doing his job as Players Union Rep. It would be great publicity for the team and their players. And help to counter the East Coast bias. He was just representing his fellow teammates in noting what he did.

    Also missing is that Cain said that this announcement was premature because there was still issues that the players were still not comfortable with and that they have not signed off on this deal. I would bet that they are just as worried about the potential for disruption that this article astutely noted. So this is not a done deal yet, as far as the players are concerned.

    Right now, I see both sides. I see the points about the potential for disruption and negatives. However, the NFL seems to be part-reality series with the access they provide TV, hearing what coaches say and so forth. And as others have noted elsewhere, it is not like there will now be cameras where they weren’t before, there are a lot of cameras around already.

    I assume the hangup for the players right now is defining the line of where personal and professional lines blur. And gaining some control over what is OK to show and what isn’t. My assumption is that this is trying to show players in their everyday work mode and not be a gossipy look at the negatives in their personal life (though I will bet the Machine will show up at some point). But unless that language is in the contract, then the players are at risk for a slanted portrayal.

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    • But, yeah, the main gain looks very amorphous, which is that the team sells more tickets on the road and gain more t-shirt/caps revenues from more fans. With an upside so intangible, it does appear to be a big risk that the team is taking on.

      That is probably why it is management that signed off on this already while the players are still negotiating over certain key points of that contract.

      I also smell the hand of Comissar Selig in this too.

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