Giants’ Farhan Zaidi shares candid outlook on criticism, outside noise – NBC Sports Bay Area & California

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As Giants president of baseball operations, Farhan Zaidi understands criticsm comes with the territory.

He also acknowleged that most of the criticsm is valid, given the team has missed out on acquiring big-name superstars in recent years, something he took responsibility for while speaking to The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami on “The TK Show” podcast, which was released Wednesday. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect him.

Zaidi opened up to Kawakami and shared an honest and very personal response to how he handles all the outside noise, especially when tensions are high during a time like MLB free agency.

“I really try to keep some perspective on how lucky I am to be in this role and the responsibilities that go along with it,” Zaidi said. “I’m the son of immigrants who came to North America and my dad went to college in London with 10 bucks to his name in his pocket, by himself. My parents had an arranged marriage. My mom came over with my dad when she was just 20 years old.

“And I look at the arc of their lives and all the challenges they’ve had and the most difficult thing about some of what you described, which is very real and again, I try to keep perspective on it but it’s not easy, is seeing my parents upset or worried about me knowing everything they’ve gone through in their lives. It actually brings me a lot of shame that my parents are at their stage in life and they’re still reading this stuff and worried about stuff when they should be way past being worried about me.”

After the Giants missed the 2023 MLB playoffs following an unsteady season with a 79-83 record, the pressure intensified for Zaidi and Co. to make a big move in the offseason.

Their biggest targets were two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani and Japanese pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, whom the Giants reportedly were “devoting their whole heart” to before both players signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Not only did San Francisco miss out on the Ohtani and Yamamoto sweepstakes, but Zaidi, the rest of the Giants organization and Giants fans had to watch their biggest rivals welcome the Japanese players to Los Angeles.

And this isn’t the first time. From Bryce Harper to Aaron Judge to Carlos Correa, Giants fans have grown accustomed to offseason heartbreak.

“I love this job. I love this organization,” Zaidi said. “I’m really hard on myself. I’m a competitor. I want to be successful, not just for myself, but for everybody in this organization, everybody in San Francisco. The outside noise, I can’t feel any worse than I already feel when things aren’t going well and we’re not succeeding, so I would say a lot of that sentiment comes internally that I have to manage. It comes with territory. This is the world we’re living in.

“This is a high-stakes industry and when you don’t produce results, there are consequences. And it’s more public than it ever has been before. So I guess that’s a long way of saying it internally impacts you, but when you’re motivation is just succeeding for the people around you, it’s a little bit easier to drown out the noise and try to focus on what’s important.”

Of course, the offseason isn’t over yet. And with the Jung Hoo Lee addition, Zaidi and the Giants might be far from done as they hope to bounce back in 2024.

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