When Farhan Zaidi joined the Giants as the new president of baseball operations in the winter of 2018, it was met with many questions.
One of them had to do with Zaidi, formerly a general manager with the Los Angeles Dodgers, joining the rival Giants. A Dodger (in any capacity) jumping ship and joining the Giants is met with a little bit of caution from the fan base, and that's exactly what happened when Zaidi joined the Giants.
When Zaidi started with the Giants, MLB Twitter had a running joke that he was a "Dodgers Spy" in San Francisco to sabotage the Giants from the inside-out. Obviously, that was not the case, but the joke took on a life of its own and apparently Zaidi caught wind of it.
At Buster Posey's retirement press conference Thursday at Oracle Park, Zaidi recalled being hired by the Giants and credited Posey with making him feel welcomed right away.
"I think back to when I started with the Giants in 2018, and there were some raised eyebrows when I was brought over," Zaidi said Thursday. "There was talk of me maybe being a Dodger mole (laughing), maybe being a numbers guy that wasn't in tune with the Giants ethos. And in all honesty, I was a little rattled by that. It was a real adjustment for me personally and professionally.
"But one of the first people that reached out to me after I got this job was Buster. And he made a point of reaching out, and not just shooting a congratulatory text, but said he wanted to meet and talk. And he met me down [in] the clubhouse a few days after I started as a Giant and spent two or three hours with me in the coaches room. Just talking baseball, and you know, he's probably sizing me up too (laughing) in those moments. But you know I have to say, there's nothing anybody else could have done that made me feel more comfortable and more like a Giant than you taking that time, you know, in my first few days. I mean, those were the moments when I felt like I truly became a Giant."
One of the initial hesitations with the Zaidi hire was his new school, analytically-driven approach to baseball and how that would mix with an old-school manager like Bruce Bochy and a roster full of veterans.
Posey, being the leader that he is, made Zaidi feel welcomed and embraced the changes that were in store for the organization. As Posey officially retires from the game of baseball, he leaves behind a Giants organization that just completed a franchise-best 107-win season, with a president of baseball operations who has very quickly won over the team and the fanbase.
... and is definitely not a Dodgers Mole.