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Brian Sabean said the offers for his potential free agents were "embarrassing."

His notable free agents after this season will be Tim Lincecum, Javier Lopez and Hunter Pence, but the floundering, bumbling, stumbling Giants are dealing from a position of weaknesses, and teams know that.

And Sabean is not weak. In a movie, he would play the tough guy who finishes off a beer, wipes his hand across his mouth and crushes the can in his meaty fist. So, he let Wednesday's trading deadline come and go, and he did nothing.

How do we feel about that? Or to put things in lay terms, is Sabean a closet knucklehead?

If you judge by won-lost record, the Giants are among the worst teams in the big leagues, the pits, a world-class disappointment. They currently need — crave — one, probably two, starting pitchers. One of their current starters, Barry Zito, they should designate for assignment or release outright. He is an embarrassment to the honorable profession of pitching.

They need another short reliever and a long reliever and a first baseman who can hit and a better than run-of-the-mill left fielder and center fielder, and they need their third baseman to shed his blubber and become a serious athlete. Are we missing something?

Well, that's a ton of needs, and Sabean wasn't going to fill them with one or two trades. No way.

He is a man who does not panic. He is a man who takes the long view. Someone who does not panic and takes the long view is the opposite of a knucklehead, closet or otherwise.

Aside from getting crummy, insulting offers for his players, Sabean has three reasons to take the long view.

Reason No. 1: Lincecum, Pence and Lopez say they want to remain Giants. And Sabean says he wants to sign them to new contracts.

Reason No. 2: Two months remain in the season. Unexpected things happen. Teams fold. Teams spring to life. The Dodgers are sprinting away from the National League West right now, and they are a good team, but you never know. Not long ago, they were the biggest disappointment in baseball. The rest of the division, including the Giants, is a joke.

So, the Giants have hope although hope, in their case, lies comatose in a bed in the critical care unit, hooked up to monitors and tubes.

Reason No. 3: This is the most persuasive reason. Although you may be shrieking epithets at Sabean because he stood pat, the Giants did win the World Series less than a year ago and they won the Series two years before that. In a baseball era of quick turnover when it's impossible to be a dynasty, the Giants are as close as you get.

They are close because they have a core of good players. The Giants' core includes: Buster Posey (the core of the core), Marco Scutaro, Brandon Crawford, the shameless super-heavyweight at third base, Angel Pagan, who will return next year from injury, and Pence. It's not a bad core as cores go.

In the starting pitching department, they have two elites — Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain. Lincecum no longer is elite. He pitches a no-hitter and then gets his head bashed in. And then he comes back and pitches pretty well. He is a mystery pasted on top of a conundrum.

Isn't it strange how little we know about him after all this time? He may be someone the Giants can depend on, or he may be someone they kiss goodbye in the offseason. That is to be determined. Throw into the mix of starting pitchers Ryan Vogelsong and Chad Gaudin, and that rotation won't make you gag.

And the elite relievers include Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla and Lopez and maybe Jeremy Affeldt, signed through 2015. Not bad. Pretty good, actually.

Sabean must be thinking he won everything with this group of players a year ago, and that is something to build on for next season even if this season remains in the gutter. It would be foolish — reckless — to start selling off good players or trading good players in a panic just to please the fans, or simply to show he's doing something. Sometimes, doing nothing is the bravest act even if it seems like a non-act, even if people will tweet you lost your nerve or your touch or your mind.

And there's something else. And this is pure Sabean. By keeping his failing team intact, he's silently telling his players, "Show some pride. You are world champions, for heaven's sake. Have the heart of a champion. If you're going down, go down fighting."

This Giants outfit, this team that started the season with enormous expectations, needs to prove it can fight. Still knows how. Still cares.

For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular, go to the Cohn Zohn at cohn.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn at lowell.cohn@pressdemocrat.com.