Flukes

I received an e-mail yesterday that pointed out that I was being a negative twit. The negativity is something I noticed on my own right before hitting the "post" button yesterday. The official mood of the site is "sullen teenager." It'll get old if it hasn't already. So if the Giants have a chance to lose 100 games, then it would make sense to mix in a positive post for every two negative posts. That'd be the blogging equivalent to a .333 winning percentage, and even the Giants can promise better than that.

But it'll be easy to get burned out on flowery sonnets to Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum. Best to save those for after their dominant games. By my count, there should be 64 such games between them this year, and I'll run out of adjectives.

One of the worst things about the 2007 season was the total and complete lack of fluke offensive performances. Offensive Fluke of the Year winners, since 1997:

1997 - J.T. Snow
1998 - Joe Carter, post-trade
1999 - Marvin Benard, pre-contract
2000 - Ellis Burks, post-cartilage
2001 - Rich Aurilia
2002 - Benito Santiago, post-butt syringes
2003 - Marquis Grissom
2004 - J.T. Snow
2005 - Randy Winn, post-trade
2006 - Ray Durham
2007 - ?

The above performances ranged from historically great (Aurilia) to pleasantly satisfying (Benard), but they all kind of came out of nowhere. No matter what happened in their respective seasons, when those players are brought up in the context of those seasons, the memories are good ones. You could look back after the season and say, "Wow. Didn't expect that."

Every player hit to expectations or below for the 2007 Giants. It was amazing. Rajai Davis might be the best choice, but he had limited at-bats and was buried at the end of the bench by September.

So here's to your "Wow. Didn't expect that."-season from a hitter. Last year I guessed it would be Todd Linden. I also lost $40 on a Twins-Devil Rays game in Lake Tahoe last year. I'm not sure why I was betting on it in the first place. I didn't have a good prognosticating year. Possibilities for this year, though:

  • Aaron Rowand repeating his great year
  • Any of the wretched players from '07 (Aurilia/Durham/Vizquel) bouncing back
  • One - just one, please - youngish player establishing himself (Lewis/Schierholtz/Davis/Ortmeier/Frandsen)

There are a bunch of options, probably because we don't really expect a lot from anyone. Expecting nothing has its advantages. I'm going with a fantastic year from Rajai Davis, even if his minor league stats don't support a continuation of his 2007 numbers. He's in a good spot, as his right-handedness will assure him a good chunk of playing time in a platoon role. He's my pick to hit better than expected, which would make him a pretty sweet trade chip to dangle after the 2008 season. He'd be a trade chip because we'll have Rowand in center until 2013. Must...continue...with...optimistic...thoughts....

Comment starter: Your pick for breakout/fluke offensive season.

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