Thursday, March 28, 2019

Here We Go

The 2019 Giants season brings with it few expectations. After a disastrous 2017 (64-98, last place) and an improved but not-so-pretty 2018 (73-89, next-to-last place), the fans are hoping for something better. The pundits and the projections are pessimistic and expect more of the same: a sub-.500 club battling to stay out of the cellar.

Farhan Zaidi was brought in to rebuild the team. He hasn't done anything flashy, other than a futile pursuit of superstar Bryce Harper, but he has stockpiled talent in the upper minors and overhauled the parts of the Active Roster that he could move. We all know the problem: the Giants are loaded with aging, expensive veterans whose performances have declined from their former All-Star levels and are thus impractical trade chips. In essence FZ's hands are tied by what he's inherited. It is going to take time to improve and fans aren't noted for their patience.

What's the best-case scenario? The veteran core stays healthy and produces value. The pitchers hold the line and keep the games close. The young talent plays at a major-league level all season long. The new depth in the organization comes through at key times. The team won nine more games last year than the year before, if they do that again they'll have a winning (82-80) record. That would be something! Of course the whole thing could implode (they went 5-21 last September) and the Giants could be out of the race by June. Changes that we know are coming will happen a lot faster if that's the case.

It's Bruce Bochy's final season. It might even be Madison Bumgarner's last go-round in a Giants uniform. Team CEO Larry Baer dug a hole for himself, he might not crawl back out. An organizational shake-up is already happening! That's good, the time has come. The glory days are past and now we have to face forward. So let's watch and see how the franchise gets back on its feet again. If they are committed to the improvements needed and do the work that has to be done then all is OK in the world. Bad times often follow the good ones and that's when the real tests come. As a fan I want to believe the organization is up to the task and will put out the necessary effort to get better. I'm actually looking forward to the process. We've been here before, right? We're pros at this.

It's the San Diego Padres Home Opener at Petco Park this afternoon, 1:10 Pacific. MadBum squares off against Eric Lauer.



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