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Giants After the 2013 All-Star Game Break

It is now the half-way point of the 2013 Baseball season. It can either be a very long season or a very short season, depending on how your team is playing, who they’re playing, and where your team sits in the standings.

 

The last five weeks of the Giants’ season have been filled with torture, and not in a good way. Unfortunately, injuries have mounted on the Giants; they lost starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, centerfielder Angel Pagan, reliever Santiago Casilla, and infielders Pablo Sandoval and Marco Scutaro, for differing periods of time.

 

Differing aspects of the Giants—pitching, hitting and defense— have all failed at various points in the last six weeks. The good fortune and luck that the Giants have had in the past three years seem to have vanished as mysteriously it arrived. I sincerely hope that the Giants can re-capture it again this year.

 

Two Giants players are having great years again…they are Madison Bumgardner and Buster Posey. They were named to the National League All-Star team. The problem is that they need other players around them to play much better if they are going to start winning. Baseball, first and foremost, is a team sport. No individual wins or loses by himself—they may fail or succeed, but it is the whole team that either wins or loses the game.

 

While the poor play of the Giants may be sincerely frustrating for us, the fans, it is important not to get too unhappy. To quote a former Giants manager, Roger Craig, “Don’t get your dauber down.” Basically, don’t give up. I will never give up on my Giants, even if they don’t have a good year—the orange and black has been in my blood for far too long for me to consider ever giving up. However, when I feel too frustrated, I pop in a Giants Highlight DVD and I do start to feel better.

 

Unfortunately, some fellow fans do not share my stamina, which I cling to; however, some do. At times, looking at Facebook with regards to the Giants it remains a balancing act between those who want to race like lemmings towards the cliff of despair, and those, like myself, who will cling to hope like a survivor holding onto a life preserver in the midst of choppy seas.

 

There are, of course, several reasons to be hopeful for the Giants. It is not too early to turn this baseball season around. While the Giants are seven games below the .500 mark they are only six games out of first place; these are the joys of playing in a weak division decimated by injuries.

 

The starting pitching of the Giants needs to continue to get better as does their defense and their clutch hitting. Their hitting has been problematic this year—streaky and inconsistent. The Giants need to do much better at hitting with runners on base in clutch situations.

 

Do I think that the Giants are buyers or sellers? Will they make trades to get rid of players or try to pick up good players? And what do they need? These are difficult questions to answer. When the injured players come back the Giants will be a much better team. Should other players be added to this team? Of course, but what will it cost them of their future and who are they able to pick up? Will it be a “rent-a-player” type or someone who might fit into their long-term plans? I have faith in Brian Sabean; he is smart and clever, and generally, has a good sense of what the Giants need. Sabean picked up the needed and necessary players in 2010 and 2012, and tried to do so in 2011. It is a matter of several factors—needs, availability, cost and chemistry.

 

Teams with huge budgets and unlimited resources generally never worry about adding players or it’s impact on their team budget. However, this is also no guarantee that these teams will even win, let alone make the play-offs, or even win the World Series. It makes the result of this trade speculation all the more fun. Last season, the Dodgers made a huge trade with the Red Sox acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto, and Josh Beckett while the Giants picked up Marco Scutaro from the Colorado Rockies. The Giants swept the World Series from Detroit while the Dodgers missed the play-offs altogether, and had to watch it on their collective couch.

 

Despite some problems with the Giants in the first half of this season, the Giants have had some great highlights, too. There was an May three game sweep of the Dodgers at AT & T Park with the first two games ending on walk-off Homeruns, one by Buster Posey, and the other one by Guillermo Quiroz. I love unexpected feats by unsung players. THIS is what excites me about baseball!! Another highlight would definitely be the walk-off, or rather a run-off, inside the park Homerun by Angel Pagan in extra innings versus the Colorado Rockies. And, one of the best first half highlights happened a couple days before the All-Star Break, a no-hitter by Tim Lincecum versus the San Diego Padres. While his control was slightly off— with four walks among his 148 pitches, Timmy had his 1st career no-hitter. He also had thirteen strikeouts in the game. Lincecum’s no-hitter was saved by two great plays—one at third base by Pablo Sandoval who ranged down the third base line, speared the ball and threw the runner out at first base, and the other, a great sprawling diving catch in right field by Hunter Pence in the bottom of the eighth inning. I loved watching Lincecum on the mound for the last batter, a fly ball hit to left field, and catcher Buster Posey comes out there to watch it, and then, Posey gives Lincecum a big bear hug.

 

I am excited for the second half of the 2013 Baseball season. It should be great!! It should be full of excitement and new achievements. My hope is that the Giants will get HOT!! And make the playoffs, but we can only wait and see. It still should be a great second half of the season.

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