Spring is a time for optimism, to be sure. Even for a team like, say, the Pirates, the optimism might not be that the team will win the division, but optimism that the team is making progress. Ian Snell and Paul Maholm will both improve, and Andrew McCutchen will become the best position prospect in the game. Simple and realistic.
The Giants are caught between two worlds. They definitely have a legitimate shot to win the division; they might not be favorites, but it's ridiculous to think they don't have a shot. Any scenario involving a division-winning Giants team, though, is going to be propped up by several 2x4s of optimism. This guy has to hit. This guy needs to improve. That guy has to live up to his contract.
There's another world, too. The Giants aren't built for 2008, so there's a desperate need for some of that Pirates-brand of spring optimism. Tim Lincecum needs to be better than the hype. Two position-player prospects need to improve to the point of pushing for a lineup spot in '08. It's all part of that spring optimism package, but at some point it all becomes ridiculous. The combination of the two batches leaves you mumbling something akin to, "If Martin Scorcese directs the thing, they find someone to write a tight script, and Martin Short and Charles Grodin deliver the best comic performances of the past decade, a sequel to Clifford might not just conquer the box office: It could win an Oscar."
So it's time to start playing optimism Jenga and start removing the pieces that might just be asking too much, but not remove enough pieces to make the whole optimism tower come down on our noggins. Good enough, but Matt Morris is almost one of the players that has to be left alone. A division title and a repeat of last year's performance from Morris? That starts to get into Clifford II territory. I'll take my chances.
HR Allowed: 25
The control will get back to where it was, but the past 1.5 seasons have to count for something. A lot of people around here seem to think Morris is due to get back on track; I just don't see it.
Morris having a good season would be huge if the Giants contend and huge if they don't. If the Giants are ten back at the deadline and Morris is doing well, hellllllooooo prospect jackpot. Even though Sabean really hasn't made one of those white-flag deals in his career, he'd even go through with that one. If they're five back, though, and the Giants are doing well, that obviously means the team is poised to make a championship run and Morris stays.
The last scenario will resurface during our period of late-spring, early-summer, and mid-summer pessimism, but it has no place during our period of early-spring optimism. We're going all the way! We're number one! We're number one!