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Don’t panic if Matt Cain’s not locked up by Giants' season opener

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Matt Cain is scheduled to be a free agent after the 2012 season unless he and the Giants can agree to a new deal. - US PRESSWIRE FILE PHOTO
  • US Presswire file photo
  • Matt Cain is scheduled to be a free agent after the 2012 season unless he and the Giants can agree to a new deal.

Issue: Matt Cain’s contract

Analysis: It’s not at all uncommon for players to say they want an unresolved contract issue to be wrapped up prior to the start of the regular season. For that stance, Cain can’t be blamed.

Let’s not overreact, though, if the Giants don’t get something done by the time camp breaks.

This is an artificial deadline, and it’s not like Cain and his reps, presented an offer to their liking a day or six after the regular season starts for the Giants in Phoenix on April 6, will throw up a stop sign and say, “Nope! Too late! Way too distracting to sign some papers and sit through a press conference that celebrates this $100 million
marriage. We’ve got to study up on the Nationals!”

Please.

The more legitimate concern, of course, is whether or not the Giants want to make that kind of commitment, no matter the timeline.

From this angle, they should. Without hesitation.

Look, Cain has been with the team longer than any other Giant. That doesn’t mean he’s open to a massive hometown discount; union pressure is a very real factor in this type of business, and loyalty in big-time sports has long gone the way of leg-warmers and Dickie Thon-Gary Carter perms.

But he does dig it here, and he wants to stay as long as everything around him makes as much sense as it has since he arrived. He went through the lean years, saw what was being built around him, stuck it out, did his part, and in 2010 reaped the ultimate on-field reward.

He deserves the ultimate off-field reward, too. Pay the man and be done with it. Timmy’s signed for two more years.