The San Francisco Giants in Winter

Photo taken from Google Images c/o The Examiner



So, what did I do in the winter aftermath of the 2010 Giants winning the World Series? I enjoyed the victory parade down Market Street. I got to see the World Series Trophy at City Hall in San Francisco. I went to the Giants Fanfest, which was packed with an enormous turnout. And I just basked in the afterglow of ultimate victory.

I also spent part of my time watching the three highlight DVDs of the Giants’ 2010 season. One, was narrated by Giants announcer Duane Kuiper, another one was narrated by comedian Rob Schneider, and another one was the actual five games of the World Series, along with Games 4 and 6 of the NLCS vs the Phillies. I watched them with great pride. I also thought of those people, living and dead, who helped foster my love of the Giants from when I was a youngster until now. I am so thankful to them and the contributions that they made to my life, and to my enjoyment of the game of baseball. I also appreciate those people who are in my life now, who still foster my love of the game.
I did have the great pleasure recently of spending a recent afternoon with my neighbor and friend, Diane. We spent the afternoon watching the World Series parade on her DVR. It truly was a spectacular event!! There is just no way to comprehend the enormity of the number of people while you are standing there among them.

I am already looking forward to Opening Day on April 8th vs the St. Louis Cardinals, when the Giants will raise the World Series Championship banner. On April 9th, the Giants players will get their World Series rings. These two days should be as special as ever. I ask you “What could be more special?” This 2010 Giants were the first Giants team to ever win a World Series in San Francisco, and it is their first World Series Championship since 1954 as a franchise, when the Giants were in New York with the great Willie Mays in center field.
I am relieved that there was very little turn over in Giants personnel from 2010 to 2011. The Giants did lose Juan Uribe, Edgar Renteria, Chris Ray, and Eugenio Velez. The Giants kept the nucleus of the team together, along with their great pitching staff. Former AL MVP Miguel Tejada should ably replace Edgar Renteria and Juan Uribe.
Do I think that the Giants will repeat as World Series Champions? Yes, of course, I do for several reasons. The first reason is that the offense of the Giants will be together for the whole season; this means that Buster Posey, Cody Ross, and Pat Burrell will be together all season long. Those players who slumped last year– Aaron Rowand, Pablo Sandoval, and Barry Zito— have something to prove and I assume they’ll want to have bigger parts of the party in 2011. I think that those players will come back stronger and have much better years in 2011 than they did in 2010.  This can also be said for those players who are coming back from injury, most notably Mark De Rosa, who should be a bigger contributor in 2011. The other reason I think that the Giants will repeat is that the Giants will have Madison Bumgardner in the rotation for the whole season, too.
What do the Giants’ starting pitchers have left to prove? Lincecum has won two Cy Young Awards, three NL Strikeout titles and has been an All-Star. Matt Cain is an All-Star. Jonathan Sanchez has thrown a no-hitter. I do like that they have a healthy competition against each other and try to outdo each other. I think that the next set of goals for the pitchers should be to try to win 20 games AND win the Cy Young Award. Winning 20 games is a very difficult goal to achieve. It does require some luck, but also doing well and being consistent. I do believe that there are multiple starting pitchers on the Giants who should definitely aspire to this goal. One of my fond memories of my youth was when current Giants announcer Mike Krukow won 20 games in 1986, one of the signature events of his career and a goal that he does take pride in. I am sure that Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez, Zito and Bumgardner think that they are legitimate contenders for the Cy Young Award, as well, along with closer Brian Wilson, as well.
I do realize that there are many good pitchers in the National League, who may prevent the Giants pitchers from winning the coveted Cy Young Award. However, this should not prevent the Giants pitchers from wanting to, and attempting to achieve the goal of winning 20 games. Of course, I do also realize that winning 20 games does require some luck, as well– good run support, solid defense, and good bullpen work. In life as well as in sports, it’s always important to have goals and to strive to achieve those goals.

Aside from the Giants Highlight DVDs which have already come out, there are two pending books which should be coming out in time for the beginning of the new baseball season. One is by San Jose Mercury sports writer, Andy Baggerly and the other is a coffee table book by KNBR Radio personality, Brian Murphy. I think that both of these books should be great, and will definitely complement each other very well. They should also bring back the splendid memories for Giants fans of the wonderful 2010 season, too.
I do love this time of year as the Spring Training season grows shorter, and the start of the regular season comes into view on the calendar. Whatever happens during the course of the season, the Giants will, for the whole 2011 baseball season, be the defending World Series Champions. The 2010 season will be a season that every Giants fan will take great pride in, and no Giants fan will ever forget that magical season…myself included.


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