It has definitely been established on knbr 680 local radio progamming, espn television programming, along with numerous sports illustrated pre-season articles as a general consensus that this 2008 San Francisco Giants season, sadly, is all about re-tooling, evaluating, and determining which players, young or not, are fit for a near future competitive team as well as a long term CONSISTENT playoff team. The days of free agent quick fixes are long gone, and the new age of dealing stars towards the termination of their contracts for young studs in opposing minor league systems is here. Just take a peek at the turnaround in Cleveland, and the methods the Marlin front office has developed.
With that in mind, I'm extremely surprised with the offensive emergence of John Bowker, Manny Burriss (although his mother would get angry for not calling him Emmanuel, but Manny sounds cooler), Fred Lewis, and thus far re-surgent seasons of Richie Aurilia and Ray Durham (phew!). Not to mention the not so schizophrenic Jonathan Sanchez. I know and have come to accept the fact that this team isn't going anywhere, especially October, however, each day I want the Giants to win, I allow the game to affect my daily demeanor, and yes, I scoreboard watch in June.
On the other end of the spectrum, I must say, even with his recent solid performances, Matt Cain has absolutely dissapointed me this season. I ventured into this '08 campaign viewing Cain as the Ace of this Giants pitching staff. Just the traditional, rock and fire flame-throwing right hander who can shut down any team every night. Cain, in contrast, has been elevating his fastball, missing in when Molina sets up away and vice versa, hanging breaking balls to hitters and in situations in which he can't do so. That said, let's hope Zito isn't the only Giants starting pitcher to regain form we are used to seeing.