The World Series was as expected – weird, short and long, all at once.
But now that it's done, the Bay Area can get back to business filling the void left by its two football heaps.
The first shoe dropped Monday morning when the A's announced that Billy Beane, David Forst and Bob Melvin received new "long-term" contracts, which probably means three years, because "long" is a relative term when you've served 19 years (Beane), 15 years (Forst) and nine years (Melvin).
And now, the Giants can announce that they hired the future of their organization.
The first could have been filed under "fait accompli," since only a madman would have looked at Oakland's season just passed and think that the baseball operations department needs a makeover. True, one year of grand results after three of poor ones may constitute a small sample size in galactic time, and it wasn't like owner John Fisher rushed to do the deal since he waited until the off-season to do what obviously was required. After all, there is no indication that the A's and presently built are a true threat to the Boston Red Sox – given, of course, that nobody was this year.
But people who are casting about for something fun to do while the football teams are playing dead are finding a way to be excited about the franchise for the first time in a while, and as long as the fellows don't decide that this is a grand time to turn over the roster, these signings will be hailed as the logical next step in making the A's a relevant part of the Bay Area sporting landscape again.
As for the Giants, they have a more momentous decision to make, and while Larry Baer has said they might not do the grand reveal until after the general managers meetings, they have already had a month to ferret out candidates, weigh their merits and shortcomings and deliver the goods to a fan base curious about the first dramatic change in their baseball direction in 22 years.
A few names have had their tires kicked, most notably Kim Ng from the MLB office; she would be the first woman to run a baseball operations department in major league history, and she is eminently qualified to do so. That said, there are others as well, so if it isn't her Baer will have to convince the customers that whoever they hired is absolutely the best option. The World Series years are over, people are talking about the Red Sox as the team of the decade even though they are still one ring short, and the longer the Giants are out of the loop competitively, the greater that chat will permeate.
And we know how Baer loves chat.
So that's this week in baseball. Boston will have its parade. Los Angeles will agonize over Dave Roberts as manager because the man who manages the losing team in the World Series is immediately and automatically declared a tactical idiot, even though managing is more and more a front office construct.
And the Bay Area has two podium days scheduled. The obvious one just happened; the more wave-making is anyone's guess. But if I were Larry Baer (and we both agree that is a horrible idea), I wouldn't let my announcement twist too much longer in the wind. Haste may make waste, but even the appearance of dawdling is its own punishment.