Friday, March 14, 2008

30 Teams in 30 Days: San Francisco Giants




Apologies for the delay. Today was ACC Friday, which ranks right up there with St. Patrick's Day as far as unofficial holidays go. In fact, in my view, it's even bigger, but that's because I'm not Irish. So that's why today's post comes late. Plus, it's the Giants. Is anyone upset? Here goes:

A look back: Barry Bonds* finally passed Hank Aaron, and America yawned. Seriously, I watched the thing because ESPN cut live to it while SportsCenter was on, and I could not have cared less. When Bonds*' shot landed, my first reaction was, "Oh yeah, that one was to pass Hank Aaron." My second reaction was to wonder what was on ESPN2. Because of what I knew, I felt absolutely nothing when Bonds* passed Aaron. That was the biggest negative for the Giants in a year that was full of them.

Positives on the field: Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain both blossomed into solid pitchers last year, making the Giants at least watchable when the other team was hitting. If Barry Zito can earn his paycheck and Noah Lowry can complement them well, San Francisco can at least pitch fairly well.

In terms of everyday players...um,...still working....I'll come up with something...Omar Vizquel still plays good defense? Nope, he's injured. I give up, I'll go with Bengie Molina playing decent defense. And they rejected trading for Alexis Rios? How will the Giants score? McCovey Cove will likely go devoid of balls this year.

Oh wait, I got one! Barry Bonds is no longer a San Francisco Giant. Man, I made that harder than necessary.

Negatives on the field: Just about everything else. When I look at the Giants' roster, I am reminded of Major League. I've never heard of half of these guys, and the ones I do know are way past their prime. Hopefully the Giants remembered to cross off the dead guy. But seriously, the Giants have in their projected lineup two players who are either not already at least 34 or not turning 34 during the season. The Giants are an old, bad team.

The bullpen isn't experienced. The closer is the title of a Barenaked Ladies song (Brian Wilson), and I'm not familiar with the bridge to him. This will get ugly fast.

Outlook: It isn't a good thing when rival scouts tell The Sporting News that quite simply, the Giants are dead in the water. Nobody sees them as a threat, and with good reason. This is likely to be the worst team in baseball in 2008, unless the starters simply become unhittable. Even then, the Giants would lose several games 1-0.

Projected finish: 5th in NL West. Season opener is March 31 at Dodger Stadium against Los Angeles. Giants home opener is April 7 at AT&T Park against San Diego

Spring base: Scottsdale Stadium, Scottsdale, Ariz, AKA Pedro Gomez's spring home. The team plays its games in the Phoenix and Tucson areas.

Fan of the team?: You have my pity. But check out McCovey Chronicles, the Giants fan community.

Come back tomorrow: The road trip heads further down I-5 for a visit to the original team on the West Coast, the Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles.

My time is up. You've all been great. Enjoy the Barenaked Ladies.

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