Buster Posey Suggests SF Crime Influenced Shohei Ohtani Decision Against Giants

Giants Struggle with Player Recruitment Amid Urban Safety Issues.

by Nouman Rasool
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Buster Posey Suggests SF Crime Influenced Shohei Ohtani Decision Against Giants
© Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In a candid revelation, former San Francisco Giants catcher and current member of the team's ownership group, Buster Posey, has brought to light a significant issue impacting the team's ability to attract top-tier free agents.

Posey's comments came in the wake of the Giants losing out on Shohei Ohtani, a sought-after player who recently signed with the division rival Los Angeles Dodgers.

Posey Highlights City Concerns

Posey, known for his straightforward approach, pinpointed the city's crime rate as a substantial deterrent for blue-chip free agents like Ohtani.

He highlighted the general unease about San Francisco's safety, emphasizing how even the mere perception of crime and drug issues in the city could derail player negotiations. "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," Posey stated in an interview with The Athletic.

He further added, "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 acknowledged that Ohtani did not directly cite San Francisco's crime issues, there were indications of reservations about the city's state among his representatives.

This sentiment isn't new within the Giants' organization. Last year, Farhan Zaidi, the Giants' head of baseball operations, spoke to the San Francisco Chronicle about the challenges in how players perceive the city. "I think it's a little bit of a polarizing place among players in terms of the desire to play there.

This is sort of totally independent of the competitive situation, but geography, politics, whatever," Zaidi explained. He also noted that if players are reluctant to come to the city even for a short series, they are likely to be less enthusiastic about a long-term commitment.

The Giants now face the challenge of reshaping their image as a desirable and safe destination for players. As the team looks to rebuild its star-studded roster, it will be crucial to address these perceptions and real concerns about the city's safety and livability.

The task ahead is not just about enhancing the team's competitiveness but also about fostering an environment where players and their families feel secure and welcome.

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