The headline: Giants' motto: Without HRs, it's run, run, run
The article: The Giants don't really have a bunch of speed demons, but they're probably going to try and steal a bunch of bases anyways.
What's in the mind of the optimists in Giants Town: The 1985 Cardinals, who only had one hitter with more than twenty homers, but who managed to win 100 games with the help of a great pitching staff and a fast, fast team.
What they're forgetting: That twenty-plus homers was enough to crack the top ten in the 1985 N.L. It's a good idea to start reminiscing about 1985, but not about the Cardinals.
What they're also forgetting: That the Cards had at least one great hitter in Jack Clark. His OPS+ would be the equivalent of a .332/.410/.570 hitter today; in other words, one of the best hitters in the league. Ryan Howard or Albert Pujols, for example.
What they're also, also forgetting: That Willie McGee went goofy on the league, hitting .353/.384/.503 in a season where the league average was .252/.319/.374, and winning the MVP. That's two great seasons in the same lineup.
What they're also, also, also forgetting: That Vince Coleman stole over 100 bases at a high percentage. Dave Roberts and Rajai Davis are fast, but...yeah.
It isn't crazy to think a powerless-yet-speedy team with a fantastic pitching staff can contend. But the Cardinals had good hitters. Yes, they ran around the bases like it was the end of a Benny Hill show, but five of their eight hitters had an on-base percentage above the league average, and they had at least two great hitters in 1985.
So here's my bit of optimism: If Aaron Rowand hits .335/.410/.550, Randy Winn hits .300/.370/.490, Kevin Frandsen hits .330/.380/.440, Ray Durham hits .280/.360/.470, Rajai Davis and Dave Roberts combine to steal 100 bases, Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum are among the league leaders in ERA, and the bullpen combines to be a late-innings force, then, yes, the Giants can also win 100 games.
Also, if Charles Manson is released from prison and starts dating my wife, there's a chance that I'll raise Charles Manson's kid without knowing it. That'd be weird. But it could happen.
I'm excited about the young pitching. I'm excited about the chance that a young hitter or two will exceed expectations. I'm excited that baseball is starting up. I'm not excited about a bad offensive team with mediocre speed trying to steal a bunch of bases and lay down bunts.