Sometimes you just run out of things to say.
What can you say that hasn't already been written or said about the Giants and these last 5 years? It's simply mind-boggling what they've accomplished, and I'm still pinching myself from 2010, let alone the other two.
As this team heads into another odd year with yet another unexpected ring in tow, they have the unique distinction of having more questions than answers, and having two teams in their division significantly favored over them, fair or not.
I say "unique" only because, you know, it's the Giants.
What other team could win 3 in 5 and be considered a 3rd place team before the season starts with so few changes?
The lost Pablo. Okay. Sort of a big deal.
Sometimes Pablo was great, but let's be honest, he was good for about 3-5 streaks a year and a great postseason performance (after he got his life together post-2010). They'll miss 3 HRs against the Tigers and all those singles from 2014.
The honest to God truth of the matter is though, that he was just a little bit better than average. Larger than life, and a marketing department's dream, yes. A regular season superstar however, he never was.
Look at 2014's regular season. .279 with 16 HRs and above average defense. That's a solid player, that's a a good player, but that's not a great player.
I am not downplaying his contributions to this team, especially in the postseason. I am not downplaying his impact on the fanbase or on the bottom line. He was a great Giant overall, but a great player, he was not. He was the 11th most valuable 3B last year according to WAR, and he had a lower batting average, on base percentage, and only scored 8 more runs than his cheap and scrappy replacement, Casey McGehee.
Again. Not saying we're not going to miss him at all, I'm just saying that he wasn't truly great, and all that shit he said on the way out left a sour taste in everyone's mouth. Adios Pablo, and good luck with Boston being sympathetic to your cold streaks and new lobstah roll addiction.
-- Tell him goodbye. Rest in peace Lon Simmons. Although your heyday was well before my time, there's no question you were an absolute legend. What I wouldn't give to sit down with our Giants broadcasting team with a couple other legends and hear the stories they'd tell. Hell, invite Vin Scully while we're at it. Maybe this can be arranged once we're all dead because of ISIS or Al-Shabab and we'll all meet up in heaven. It's a plan.
-- Get well Hunter Pence. This team's OF will probably account for 35 HRs combined WITH Pence. Without him, as I read somewhere, "this OF has so little power, it's comical". Where have we heard that one before? Oh yeah, like almost every year.
-- OH YEAH! Duffman returns. Get your Duff and Duff Light ready, because Matt Duffy made the roster with a .361 Spring over the perpetually lame Ehire Adrianza. I will be glad to see Adrianza finally off the roster, as he is out of options and will probably be grabbed by some desperate team of jerks. Adrianza was a poor man's Manny Burriss. I'm glad to see Duffy rewarded for his play, and I'm also looking forward to him playing all over the diamond to get into the lineup. Then he will take advantage of a random injury, gain 5 position fantasy eligibility and will become the new Ben Zobrist.
I guy can dream, right?
-- If Gary Brown gets cut and claimed by the Cardinals and assigned to AAA Memphis and no one cares, does he make a sound? The answer is no, because that happened, and no one talked about it once. I wish him well, but it's safe to say, he was a complete waste of a 1st round pick.
-- The rotation possibilities are endless, because we don't know who's good and who sucks. Who will join Bum, Peavy, Cain, and Hudson in the rotation for the long haul? Or will it be a constant revolving door of maybes, has beens, and spot starts between Lincecum, Petit, and Vogelsong? Spring training numbers told us they all looked pretty bad, with Peavy having a near 10.00 ERA. If I had to wager a guess, they'll trot out Lincecum until we've all had it with him, then Vogelsong will end up in there with Petit mopping up innings and spot starting due to injury.
Then there's the what ifs related to injury. Will Matt Cain regain his form or will he be a gopherballer with diminished velocity? Is Hudson done? Is Peavy done? Is Lincecum done? Is Vogelsong done?
Hahaha. Patterns and speculation are fun!
-- The Padres have a lot of good players
-- The Dodgers have a lot of good players
-- I think we're still good, but I'm not sure
-- Tell me the last time a paper champion won a World Series. 2009 Yankees? 2007 Red Sox? The point is, it doesn't happen very often. Good luck trying to buck that trend, Doyers and Madres.
-- I predict that Belt, Posey, Pence, Panik, Crawford, McGehee, Aoki, and Pagan will hit a combined 100 HR. We'll get another 20 from randoms, and that puts us at 120. That is 12 down from last year's total of 132, which would have put us at 25th in the league. No Morse, no Panda, makes a little too much sense, right?
Don't feel too bad about our return to the bottom of the power rankings though. Kansas City hit 95 HR last year-- which was worst in baseball. So, we can still make it to the World Series and lose, right? Pretty good for an odd year.
-- Bochy and Sabean are locked up until they're really old. Good for them, they've earned it. I have no issue with that. Also good to see Bobby Evans named General Manager. He's been the guy behind the contracts and scouting for a very long time. Sabean made the decisions, but Evans was the one talking to the agents, drawing up the contracts, and doing the research. He was the man behind the man, and now he is the man. Truly proving that in the right situation, hard work pays off. Plus, he's a very candid interview to listen to. Wonder who he got that from...
Once Pagan and Belt go down with their annual injuries, can we find a way to trade for Allen Craig please? Boston is literally not using him this year. Maybe being close to his old stomping grounds at Cal will help him find his mojo. Just a thought.
Speaking of Belt, how many more years of snakebitten disappointment are we going to sign up for before it's time to cut bait? It's the same thing every year. Freak injuries or lack of confidence do him in one way or another. I don't know about you, but I'm ready for a goddamn 150 game, 30 HR breakout season. He's well overdue and I'm tired of waiting.
LET'S PLAY SOME BASEBALL!