Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Someone liked the Giants in March
When the Giants won the National League West, my mind flashed back to something that Craig Wright wrote, right around Opening Day. When the Giants won the World Series, I asked Craig if I could reprint a portion of that essay. He said yes. Remember, this is from last April ...
But what I don't understand is why everyone seems to discount the chances of the San Francisco Giants. Sports Illustrated has them third; ESPN Magazine has them 4th and gives them only a 3% chance to win the division. None of the 12 experts at Baseball Prospectus picked the Giants, and overall they also have them in 4th place behind Arizona. I personally think that's nuts.
My feeling is that this is really a three-team race, and that with just a small break here and there the Giants could top the Dodgers, who are my favorite. Look at all the opportunities that point toward improvement for San Francisco ...
The Giants won 88 games in 2009 with a pretty crummy lineup, and I count five likely upgrades and no significant downgrades on offense. And it could be six offensive upgrades when top catching prospect Buster Posey comes up later in the year.
Fine, Craig. I would be really impressed if you'd predicted that the Padres would win 90 games.
No, I kid Craig because I love him. He was absolutely right about the Giants having a huge opportunity to improve their lineup, and they did that at nearly every spot where the opportunities existed (while coping with a massive decline at third base, courtesy of the Panda).
Even without knowing that Aubrey Huff would erupt as he did, Craig reasoned that while the Giants hadn't made any high-profile moves to bolster their offense, they had made (or would make) enough low-profile moves to make a difference. And he was right. The Giants added roughly six offensive wins, which was (in the event) exactly how many they needed. And then in October the pitchers took over.
Craig would be the first to admit that he doesn't have all the answers. What he does have is a sharp and original mind, and there are few people who think about baseball like he does. The latest edition of his newsletter is all about the Giants, and I can't recommend a subscription highly enough. A number of Giants fans have claimed that they'll never read me again, which makes me sad. But if they're migrating to Craig Wright, I'll be a lot less sad.