Sunday, March 28, 2010

Return of Four Foes

What are two reasons for optimism for the upcoming season?

Arizona Diamondbacks

1) 2009 is over.

2) An entire spring training and regular season with every player knowing the coaching staff is fully in charge and completely on the same page with management.

--Doug Franz, Sports 620 KTAR radio

Colorado Rockies

They are deeper and more talented than they have ever been, and Jim Tracy's leadership style mixes perfectly with this group.

--Troy Renck, Denver Post

Los Angeles Dodgers

1) Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp are developing into superstars. The duo could be serious Cy Young and MVP contenders this season.

2) The Torre Factor. While many ‘experts’ have slotted the Dodgers to finish 2nd or 3rd in the division, they seem to forget that Joe Torre has led his teams to the playoffs in 14 consecutive seasons. He is, quite simply, the best manager in the NL West (sorry, Jimbo). Toss in that no team in the NL West made a humongous splash in the off season and it’s hard to believe that Joe Torre won’t take the Dodgers deep into October again, even if the race goes down to the wire.

--Robert Timm, Dodger Dugout

San Diego Padres

1. This team finally has started to develop some arms! Petco is a favorable pitching park, but you still need guys that can throw. The team now has young developing arms that are within a year of pitching for the team.

2. This is the first team that will be able to play to the Park. Expect to see this Padres team run, run, and run some more. With the exception of Adrian Gonzalez this team will be able to cover ground in the field and on the bases.

--Steve Adler, The Friarhood

Rob Neyer discusses John Bowker.
Mychael Urban says Fred Lewis will be "cut loose."
(h/t to MLB Trade Rumors for both links)


JC Parsons said...

Here's my ranking for " two reasons for optimism"

1. SF - Tim and Matt. "nuf said.

2. LA - Not sure I buy the Torre factor, tho...I think I could have won with those teams and payrolls.

3. CO - Again, it sounds like a manager is getting WAY TOO MUCH credit.

4. SD - I can appreciate building a team to a park, but it is not enough.

5. AZ - Weak reasons. The third time a coaching staff is cited as a reason for optimism...jeez, that reason would not make the top twenty for a Giants fan.

Basically every expert - except you - mentioned the front office as a source of optimism. Interesting...

M.C. O'Connor said...

Hey, you just called me an "expert." I'm holding you to that.

Cain gets an extension.

No beef with hanging on to Matt Cain from RMC, that's for sure. It is weird, though. The Giants extended guys they already had control over. In Cain's case, buying out a FA year keeps him from being trade bait next year.

Zo said...

Signing these players to longer term contracts indicates that the front office is thinking in terms of longer than, "Let's see how we are doing at mid-season and then figure it out." That is a good thing, regardless of quibbles about the players signed. They are putting a face on the team for the foreseeable future (albeit a goofy one in Wilson's case). Did the Giants really have anything to build around 2 years ago other than a vague hope? The answer today is, "Yes." On the yet-unproven assumption that the Giants have some additional money to spend in the future on hitting, and spend it intelligently, they are setting themselves up to field a competitive team.

Zo said...

ps. Good point, Jon. Trust the front office for the team's future seems like just the kind of hype the front office would want fans to believe as they cash out and sneak out of town. Does that mean Giants fans are jaded? Is that too weak a term?

Anonymous said...

I agree with you about Torre. He was nothing special when he managed pre-Yankees. A lot of people seem to overlook that. If anything, now he's a teaser. He'll get you to the playoffs, but hasn't taken a team all the way since 2000. Those World Series teams were very balanced, high payroll as you said, and were the Yankees. Let Torre manage the Pirates and see how much better they do. In my opinion John McGraw is the best example of a manager. He did everything for the Giants back in the day. He really only had one solid player, Christy Mathewson, but even when he left, he pursued and did everything to make their chances for victory greater.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Pitching rules. I like that. It is a new thing for the Giants--we've always been a hitting team. Despite my deep suspicion of the F.O., they seem to have a clear direction about securing the pitching. I can't really fault that.

Matt is now a Giant through 2012, so I won't have to change the name of the blog.

RMC: your on-line home for expert Giants commentary