In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post (of varying amounts of seriousness) about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2016 season. Last year’s installments can be found here. Today, we get the easy part out of the way, with the sure-to-be-2016 champion San Francisco Giants.
The San Francisco Giants have won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
They did not win the World Series in 2009, 2011, 2013 or 2015. In fact, they didn’t even make the playoffs.
So, clearly, history tells us that there is no way that the Giants don’t win the World Series this year. It is inevitable, like the sun rising in the east or a spring training report that somebody is in the best shape of their lives.
Why have the Giants done so well in even years? Maybe it’s just random circumstance. Maybe it’s some strange effect related to President Obama being in office, and it will end once his second term is up. Maybe the Giants like Olympic years.
But for whatever reason, every even years has ended with Buster Posey giving a big hug to somebody. That will, clearly, happen again this year. The only question is who he will be hugging and what team they will be beating.
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I don’t think the Giants can win it all this year. The infield has a lot of questions coming into this season. Can Buster Posey catch forever? The obvious answer is no, but when do you move him to first base? Once he is moved what happens to Belt? Can Panik, Duffy, and Crawford stay healthy and an even bigger question is can Crawford reproduce his last season numbers, where he had 84 RBI, 21 HR, and scored 65 runs, which are all career highs.
Pitching-wise you know what you are getting with Bumgardner, but what about Cueto and Samardzija? Is Cueto going to return to his 2012-2014 days or is the second half of 2015 a glimpse into the future? As far as Samardzija goes, I think that 2014 was a fluke year for him and the 2015 version is what is here to stay. Of course it is easy to speculate now and only time will tell what will happen, but I think there is going to be some stiff competition for the NL pennant from the Cubs, Dodgers, and Mets. Although as you point out it is an even year, and April 3rd can’t get here soon enough!