Giants' Matt Chapman pushes back on San Francisco criticism: 'I'm comfortable here'


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The San Francisco Giants signed infielder Matt Chapman to a one-year contract Sunday as the team looked to bolster its roster before the start of the 2024 regular season.

In the middle of the offseason, the Giants were described as not being a desirable team to play for because of the issues the city has had with crime and drugs over the last year. Former Giants star Buster Posey hinted as much after the team missed out on signing Shohei Ohtani.

“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 told The Athletic.

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Matt Chapman talks

New San Francisco Giants infielder Matt Chapman answers a question during an introductory news conference announcing his signing Monday, March 4, 2024, in Scottsdale, Arizona. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

“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.”

But Chapman pushed back on that narrative in his press conference on Monday.

“I chose to come here. I think everybody’s different, everybody has different things that matter to them, but I’m from California. I played in the Bay Area. I’m comfortable here,” Chapman said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “And people say what they say, but I think at the end of the day when you look at the franchise, they want to win. They’ve won before. They know how to do it.

“They have great players, great coaches. So, I don’t see why people wouldn’t want to come here, and I know that a lot of people have reached out and said they want to come play here and told me that. So I think if that’s a narrative, it’s going to change.”

Matt Chapman with Toronto

Blue Jays’ Matt Chapman celebrates after his walkoff double against the Boston Red Sox in Toronto, Sept. 17, 2023. (Andrew Lahodynskyj/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

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Posey hasn’t been the only person critical of San Francisco.

Charles Barkley made comments about the city during the NBA All-Star Game. He said “you can’t even walk around down there.”

When Draymond Green pushed back, Barkley then agreed that people can walk around San Francisco but “with a bulletproof vest.”

San Francisco officials tried to push back on the narrative in January, saying the city’s crime rate was “lower than any period in the last ten years” aside from 2020. The city said there was a 7% decrease in crime from 2022 and a 13% decrease in crime from 2019.

Matt Chapman and Bob Melvin

San Francisco Giants manager Bob Melvin, left, talks about Matt Chapman, right, at a news conference, Monday, March 4, 2024, in Scottsdale. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

SF Gate pointed out that motor vehicle theft was up from 2022 with 6,571 reported thefts in 2023 against 6,222 in 2022. Additionally, more robberies occurred in 2023 (2,693) than in 2022. SF Gate reported it was a 14.5% increase over the last year.

“Our work around public safety is making a difference, but we’ve got more work to do,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a release last month. “We are not letting up on our efforts to make San Francisco a safer and enjoyable city for everyone, and this includes continuing to ramp up police staffing and giving our local enforcement agencies the resources they need to do their job.

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“I want to thank our local, state, and federal public safety partners for their collaboration. Together we are sending a message that San Francisco won’t tolerate rampant crime and that there will be accountability.”

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