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So these are your 2011 Giants ...

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My hopes for the long-term:

  • Buster Posey gets healthy and stays a catcher, hitting up to his potential
  • Brandon Belt develops into a top-tier first baseman
  • Pablo Sandoval continues to grow as a hitter, not as an entity, and becomes the kind of hitter he’s capable of
  • Andres Torres ages like Kenny Lofton because the dude’s fun to watch
  • Gary Brown comes up in 2013 and vrrrrroooms up the place, playing like a healthy Grady Sizemore on methamphetamines
  • The pitching staff stays good forever and ever and ever because I said so

My hopes for the short-term:

  • The remaining good players don’t fall down an open manhole.
  • Weather the storm. Do the 2009 shuffle until Pablo gets back, and hope, hope, hope that Bruce Bochy figures out a way to get the best players in the lineup when he has best players to play with.

There are jackals ready to tell you that the Giants are going through injury troubles right now because of some sort of karmic adjustment. The team was so healthy last season that the universe is correcting itself right now. This makes me philosophical as I sit in a World Champions wearable blanket, drinking commemorative Maker’s Mark out of a commemorative tumbler, and watching World Series DVDs over and over and over again. I do believe this karmic exchange would be a fair trade. But I think that the Giants are getting hurt because a bunch of athletes are getting hurt playing sports. Call me crazy.

But I’m not going to whine about the injury bug. I’m looking to be pragmatic about this. With two months before the trading deadline, here’s a resolution:

  • Whereas the Giants are stuck without a real middle of the order, just like the dark, pitching-filled seasons of 2007 through 2009.
  • Whereas the best position player on the team is out for the year, and Pablo Sandoval is attempting to return from a hand injury, which can be funky things to get over
  • Whereas the pitching is still occasionally good enough to win even when the offense soils the the shredded newspaper
  • Resolved: the Giants hold on to every single last one of their prospects at the deadline.

There are times to go for broke, to chase a postseason run at the expense of long-term planning. This is not one of those times. The Giants are in a weird vortex right now. I wish I had stats to prove that-- vortex over replacement vortex -- but I’m getting the feeling that a Wheeler/Crawford/Surkamp-for-Reyes deal would end with Reyes eating Pop Rocks, drinking soda, and exploding. I’m getting the feeling that a Neal-for-Pudge trade would end with Pudge playing like Pudge, which wouldn’t do a damned thing for anyone.

I’m getting the feeling.

So until this feeling passes -- it’s probably just gas -- I’m just going to assume that the Giants are going to play a bunch of 3-2 games, and that they’ll win a few and lose a few, hopefully winning more than they lose. You know, like 2009. I’ll pretend Eli Whiteside is Bengie Molina and Aubrey Huff is Travis Ishikawa. Cody Ross is a glove-first guy like Randy Winn, and, oh, how that wacky Fred Lewis or Pat Burrell can make us cringe in the field before working a crucial walk in the next half-inning. And Emmanuel Burriss as himself.

Not giving up on the season -- no way -- but thinking the future is a little brighter than the present. Build for 2012 and beyond. Hope to win in 2011. If it sound like a defeatist philosophy, it’s what the Indians and Diamondbacks have deftly done. They’re doing just ducky. The Giants just need a little of that one-run magic to transfer into healthy-player magic for the rest of the season.

It can happen. This is still a good, if frustrating, team. It’s just not an all-in team yet. Not without Posey. Not after a run in which everything went right. Trying to force that kind of magic would be ludicrous. Trying to wait for that kind of magic to come to the team? I can dig it. So I’ll sit and wait. And hope for better games.

Please, better games. Monday’s was good. I liked the grand slam. More of those, please.