I'm 51, which I expect is older then most that post on this board. I've been a diehard Giants fan all of my life. Which means, "wait until next year" is indelibly etched into my psyche.
This has been one of the more surprising, interesting and frustrating years of my Giant fanaticism. I expected this team to win 79-82 games. I never dreamed in April that they would be contending through early Sept.
Watching Timmy is always a joy. He won't get the Cy this year - but he's a better pitcher than he was in '08. The best in baseball. I just hope the back thing really is just a spasm. Cain has, I think, turned the corner and is beginning to fulfill his considerable promise. Having two horses at the top of the rotation is a huge plus. Add the fact that Sanchez is beginning to look like he may be getting it together (course I felt that way in August 08) and it gets more exciting. Zito is Zito. But he's not a bad no. 4. Forget the money - it isn't his fault they are grossly overpaying him. And I see Bumgarner as the 5 next year. Not a bad rotation to say the least. i wouldn't trade any of them. Except of course Zito and no one will take his salary on.
The frustration for me lies in an organization that has no coherent hitting approach; and, in my opinion, has no imagination. As for the latter, Bochy is the perfect manager for this organizaton. Safe. Likeable. Dull. Despite the fact that he has a team that has to scratch for runs, he has very much a laizze faire approach to managing. They hardly ever hit and run. Bunting is out of the question - hell none of them seem to be able to bunt anyway. Its tough to score when you don't walk, don't steal bases, and don't hit home runs.
As to the hitting approach, I've spent a lot of time looking at minor league numbers this year. And they scare me. Villalona, before he got hurt, almost never walked. Brandon Crawford also doesn't walk much. The younger Giants - Schierholtz being the best example, also eshew walks. Sandoval has actually gotten a little better - at least he appears willing to listen.
The Giant free agent pick ups seem to carry on the tradition. Rowand, Uribe no plate discipline. Its pathetic actually. I mean for chrissakes how many sliders in the dirt a foot off the outside has Rowand swung at this year.
So where does that leave the Giants next year. First - if Posey is not in the opening day lineup it will be a sign of big trouble. Keeping him in the minors to hone his catching skills would be a crime. They need his bat now. Hell I think had they moved him out of the catching role and into the outfield (or third base) where I think he belongs, he would have been with the big club two months ago and would be contributing. The guy can obviously hit. And he has a clue of the strike zone - if his walks to strike out ratio is indicative of his ability.
Sanchez was a good pickup. He will help a lot next year. Garko will not be on the roster. The Giants have already decided he's a major defensive liability. It would have been nice had they figured that out prior to the trade.
Frankly, Pablo should be at first anyway. If you resign Molina, have Posey learn LF in the instructional league and pick up a third baseman, then things look a little better. Of the outfield free agents out there - I'll take Carl Crawford. .300 .360 OBP and 60 steals. Plus he's a hell of a centerfielder. Rowand? Eat his salary and get a mid level prospect or two if you can. That would give them this lineup
Posey LF I know, lots of pressure.
Uribe 3b Obviously I'd like an upgrade here. Unsure of the third baseman that may be available.
Yes they are still missing a power bat. But I don't think there will be many available in free agency and the Giants don't have a lot of trade bait.
Better than this year. If you add a third baseman with some pop (Beltre?), that would be a big help.