I'm a thirteen guy. It's my favorite number. I suppose having a favorite number is a little too far along on the nerd spectrum for most folks, but I'm a little too far along on the nerd spectrum to worry about what most folks think. I was born, you see, on a Friday the 13th. Family lore has it that my maternal grandmother (born in the West of Ireland in the early aughts of the previous century) was angry at my mother for not "holding on" for another day. My dear mother, to her credit, was sufficiently modern and American to accept that babies come out when babies come out and was more concerned about me having ten fingers and ten toes than what the nurses would write on the birth certificate. Alas, I was born at 1:54 p.m. (PST), thus falling within the 13th hour. So, like I said before, I'm a thirteen guy. You can imagine, then, my bubbling excitement about the 2013 season for the defending World Champion San Francisco Giants. I'll admit to a still-lingering 2012 party hangover--I've hardly touched the keyboard these last several weeks. After all, you can only write about the joy and giddiness associated with the Giants winning the World Series so many times. Certainly I can obsess over it and revel in it, but communicating my self-indulgent wallowing to my loyal readers here at RMC would be tiresome. And would reveal me to be a silly, shallow, and narcissistic nincompoop. That may indeed already be the case, after all, I'm a grown man and I devote hours of my life to a blog named after my favorite ballplayer.
Mox nox in rem, as Caesar and Cicero would say, or "get on with it, you twit." Yes, 2013 is here. Pitchers and catchers have set up spring shop in the southern desert and the rest of the crew is soon to show. I like this team. I said that this time last season. The Giants have pitching, fielding, hitting, and baserunning. And that other stuff, too. Chemistry. Intangibles. Veteran Savvy Clutchness. Leadership. And don't bet against self-actualized, cosmically aware, and spiritually receptive. Throw in some tabouli and lentil nut loaf on the post-game spread and they'd get a PETA stamp of approval and a rung up on the ladder to heaven. That doesn't get you anywhere in Vegas, however, because the under/over on wins for the club is a mere 86. The moneychangers in Las Temple like the LA Dodgers (90) better, proving once again that Satan has orifices in both cities.
Eighty-six wins? Are you fucking kidding me? The Giants won 86 games in 2011 with Buster Posey's ankle tendons playing hide-the-salami with a demon-possessed Cuisinart. But it's fine, really. It's all good. Let the rabble eat their cake. When Hanley Ramirez jukes like an arthritic water buffalo at balls hit up the middle and Andre Ethier flails like a narcoleptic samurai at pitches from lefties, they'll switch to beach volleyball and UFC throwdowns. OK, to be fair, they've got some talent in the LAtrine. Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher in the NL. That I'll grant them. And guys like Matt Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez are the real thing. But excuse me for thinking that the Giants are better. It's a team game, y'know. They had all those guys last year and played .500 ball in the last three months of the season. Donnie Baseball didn't exactly dazzle at the helm, and even his bosses have some doubts about him, choosing not to extend his contract. Earvin Moneybags and His High Dollar Homies have publicly declared it's "World Series or Bust" for the blue-clads, and there's nothing like a little pressure added to the mega-media mix that is the City of Angels. If Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett thought that playing in Boston was tough, they are in for a wake-up. Laid-back Californians are just as ruthless as insecure New Englanders when it comes to $200+ million payrolls and dreams of glory. Hollywood has no shortage of buried bodies when it comes to the bottom line.
Since we are on the subject of the bottom line, here's mine: the Giants will win the West. The defending champions are the best team and, if they stay healthy, the rest of baseball will have to go through them if they want the big prize. I'm fresh out of Spring Training stories, I'm afraid, you'll have to go to the Comical Sporting Green for good stuff about Brandon Belt and karaoke. Seriously. That's what the professionals are scribbling about these days. I'm just an amateur hack so I don't have that kind of insight. I'll stick with pitching, fielding, hitting, and baserunning. The Giants did those things in 2012, and will do them again in 2013. And I'll take them over any other club in The Show, thankyouverymuch.