Well, it's been a few games now, and we've gotten to know our 2013 Giants a little better. Sure, they're almost the same team as last year, but every year is different. Guys get better, guys regress, and you just never know how things will shake out. Here's what I've seen so far:
-- Starting pitching has been a little up and down. Cain had one great start against LA, then gave up a historic 9 ER against St. Louis. Timmy won a game while walking 7. Bumgarner was a monster against the Dodgers and was a little shaky against Colorado. Vogelsong got lit up pretty badly.
The only guy with an unblemished statline thus far is Barry Zito, who apparently now owns the Cardinals. Let's hope this dominant Zito sticks around all year.
...Speaking of the Cardinals and our home opening series...
-- They got a little revenge for last season's NLCS. Believe me, these fans and that team are still bitter at their collapse, and they immediately got subjected to a three game, pre-game lovefest the likes unseen by Major League Baseball.
There's been some talk about the three ceremonies and how they were a little much. I agree.
Three days of flag raising, Buster, and an extended ring ceremony is deserved, but a little much when they last 20-30 minutes apiece and delay the beginning of the game. Again, I'm not saying I didn't enjoy every second of it and that I didn't tear up when they raised that championship flag, but I wouldn't want the Giants to get stuck with another team's home opening series and 3 extravagant ceremonies in a row.
I feel like the flag-raising and the ring ceremony could've all been on the same day (Friday) and that Buster's MVP ceremony could've been pushed back to the Rockies series or on Sunday. Just my opinion.
-- Interesting factoid: The Cardinals also were at AT&T Park in 2011 for the Giants home opening series in which they watched the Giants ring ceremony. And then won the WS themselves in '11.
-- The Dodgers still suck. They've got all kinds of fancy toys that will cost them an arm and a leg for years, and the only one worth a damn is Clayton Kershaw, who they haven't even paid yet. Pathetic.
-- I like Chad Gaudin. He's looked good thus far. Andres Torres on the other hand...
-- There's still a "thing" between Timmy and Buster, whether anyone in the Giants' clubhouse wants to admit it or not. Sanchez caught Lincecum in his 1st two starts, and this brilliant Baseball Prospectus article (which you need to read) basically breaks down how and why Hector Sanchez is an unacceptable catcher thus far in his young career, especially for Lincecum. A lot of it has to do with framing, but the thing that gets me is that Buster has to sit or displace Belty in order for this to happen.
All this why there's a 3rd catcher named Quiznos sitting on the bench, useless.to the world and to himself. He should be getting reps in the minors.
Whether Bochy just wants to avoid Buster getting beaten up by crazy breaking pitches in the dirt, or whether Lincecum just can't handle being told what to do, this thing is detrimental to both the Giants' offense and defense.
I think a lot of us have this feeling that Hector Sanchez can hit, and he's still just a baby, but the fact remains that he hit .280 last year, but had a .685 OPS to go along with it. That's like backup middle infielder territory...
-- Brian Wilson didn't respond to the Giants' invitation to be included in the ring ceremony. That was the final nail in the coffin to his career in with the Orange & Black. It was immature and unacceptable. We loved that weirdo and he'll never be as happy with anyone else as he was here. If he wasn't so obsessed with himself, he'd have signed a minor league deal with the Giants and pitched his way back into a setup role. Instead, he made it about him, and still thinks that despite the fact he isn't capable of pitching, that he should be offered guaranteed millions. Good luck Wilson. I won't even call you Weez anymore.
It was nice while it lasted... all two years of it.
-- Speaking of which, where was Barry Bonds on Buster's MVP Day? For as much controversy as his name conjures up, he should've still been there. Jeff Kent, might have been a great Giant,but he also played for the effing Dodgers willingly-- Bonds never did that. Who better to give a keynote MVP speech to Buster than a guy who won 7 of them and lost an 8th to Jeff Kent.
I know he's a salty bastard and he has outstanding legal issues, but the Giants give rings to Kruk and Kuip and bring back Gaylord Perry all the time. Bonds deserves to be there. He built that ballpark and paved the way for these two Championships.
-- The Giants need to start their own division of eBay for highly sought-after giveaways like the Buster bobblehead. Nevermind the fact that they were giving away 40k of them, there will still morons lined up for LITERALLY a mile down the Embarcadero before the gates were opened. All for a bobblehead.
Crazier still was that there were sleaze merchants with garbage bags waiting inside the gates offering everyone $15-$20 for their bobbleheads. Last time I checked, they were going for $40-$50 on eBay. Just crazy.
Buster is protecting my flavored booze section now.
-- Stay hot Hunter Pence, catch fire Marco Scutaro... pretty self-explanatory, Pence has been a monst, and Scoots doesn't look comfortable at all. Also, Pagan is off to a hot start, giving me plenty of opportunities to use my #PaganWorship hashtag on Twitter.
Remember to read this Baseball Prospectus article about Timmy and Hector.