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There’s nothing wrong with nostalgia.

Unless you are trying to build a baseball team.

Consider the amount of time, effort and media keystrokes devoted to the Giants’ attempt to resurrect the bellyflop career of Pablo Sandoval. It’s clearly a long shot, but it only shows how far into the abyss this team has fallen. C’mon, just give us something to watch and care about.

Maybe Sandoval will be able to summon his inner Panda and turn back the clock to the chubby, happy-go-lucky guy who hit three bombs in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series.

Sure, and maybe I will lose the 10 pounds to fit into my suit for our daughter’s wedding next month.

As we know, Sandoval was booed out of Boston after he (among other things) gained weight, got hurt, didn’t hit and was caught using Instagram during a game. The Red Sox are so eager to be shut of him they will eat over $40 million of his salary.

We know the hard truth. He is unlikely to provide much of anything for the Giants, although they essentially get him for free.

Thus the Panda rallying cry: “Hey, nothing to lose.”

Not exactly Braveheart.

The troubling part is that this has the earmarks of something we’ve suspected about the front office all year. That they are sitting up in the offices, maybe swirling a merlot, and re-watching video of those three World Series-winning seasons.

Wasn’t that a great time? And a lot of those guys are still on the roster.

From there it isn’t hard to convince yourself that the status should remain quo. One of the kids will come up from the minors and take over left field. Matt Cain will bounce back. Brandon Belt will lay off the high hard ones and — what the hey — let’s bring back Michael Morse. He’s a helluva guy.

The problem is it hasn’t worked. Spectacularly.

We knew this long ago, but when a team that is supposed to be searching for a third baseman trades a very good third baseman (Eduardo Nunez), it is as clear a what-the-hell-let’s-just-run-out-the-string moment as you are likely to see.

Not that there shouldn’t be trades. I’d start with the entire outfield, although there’s unlikely to be much interest. Hunter Pence looks worn down. Denard Span flashed moments of brilliance, but was mostly just serviceable. And check your program to learn who is in left field.

Granted, the Giants have experienced a run of ill fortune that is positively Biblical. Now we know why the ambulance is parked just over the wall in left field — to save time. That place is a hospital zone.

Fifteen different Giants have been on the disabled list. And one of the real killers happened in March, when key reliever Will Smith blew out his elbow and was out for the year.

The upside should be that we get a look at the up-and-comers, but they’ve traveled a troubling trajectory.

Newbies like Christian Arroyo or Jae-gyun Hwang arrive with fanfare and immediately set the ballpark on fire. Hwang’s first major league hit was a home run and later he delivered a walkoff single. Arroyo hit, homered and played promising third base.

But they fell inexorably into hitting slumps, were benched by manager Bruce Bochy and eventually ended up back in the minors. Granted, pitchers quickly get books on rookie hitters and throw them what they struggle to hit. But other teams (cough, Dodgers) seem to mentor first-time players to success.

Hwang and Arroyo weren’t the only minor leaguers to arrive, flail and depart. Until there’s evidence to the contrary, I’m not counting on the farm system.

In the current climate, almost all clubhouse interviews include asking the player how it feels to be mentioned in trade talks. And for good reason. The brain trust would be nuts to pay the seventh-highest payroll in baseball for these results.

But these are nickel-and-dime deals.

The prospects the Giants got for Nunez are highly regarded, but one of them is still awaiting his 18th birthday. That doesn’t set the fan base ablaze.

There’s really only one way out of this. It’s risky, of course, which is why the mighty minds are leery, but it has to be done.

The Giants need to quit playing small ball. I agree that Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Madison Bumgarner are keepers, but everyone else needs a hard look.

And that includes Belt and Joe Panik if they can be packaged in a major deal.

Because whether by trade or free agency, the Giants need to get a tentpole player. They need a big man that makes you stop and watch his at-bats when you walk by the TV.

Who? Go ahead and propose someone. There are plenty of possibilities, now and in the offseason. But it has to be someone who makes a splash — preferably literally.

If you insist on nostalgia, cast your mind way back to 1992 when Peter McGowan landed Barry Bonds. Say what you will about Bonds, he tilted the Earth when he signed with the Giants. Now that was an impact player.

Oh geez. They’re not going to sign him, are they?

Contact C.W. Nevius at cw.nevius@pressdemocrat.com. Twitter: @cwnevius.

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