In just about 72 hours, the San Francisco Giants will kick off the 2023 season against the New York Yankees. This is the best time of year to be a baseball fan* because everything is perfect, shiny, and new. There are so many possibilities — nothing’s set in stone*, and the team can wind up being whichever version you’ve predicted them to be.
But that first month of the season looks tough. At the Yankees, at the White Sox — who got better by simply subtracting Tony LaRussa — home against the Royals and Dodgers, at Detroit and Miami, then an eight-game homestand versus the Mets and Cardinals before ending April with a two-game series against the Padres in Mexico City.
It’s always tough to call the first month of the season make or break, so I won’t because it isn’t, but it’s a great test right up front for the depth and planning of the Giants’ front office. J.D. Davis knocking stitches loose and Thairo Estrada stealing every base can go a long way towards helping the team navigate a tricky month. The new schedule means the Giants won’t have many stretches where they’re not playing a juggernaut, and we’ll learn really quickly which recent Giants team — 2021 or 2022 — this year’s team resembles.
So where’s your head at? Does the Davis Smash / Thairo Sprint combo excite you? Does the idea of a Webb-Cobb-DeSclafani-Manaea-Stripling-Wood-Hjelle-Junis high floor rotation make you go
Oh, what’s that? GIFs are too old fashioned, too boomer, too millenial? Fine. Here’s a Tickle Tockle:
@sfgiants Jason Momoa who? ♀️ #SFGiants #MLB #Baseball #SanFrancisco ♬ HEYYY WAIT A SECOND - THEREALFIERY
Looking forward to Michael Conforto’s triumphant return? Are you on Team Mitch Haniger Will Play At Least 60 Games? Are you leading the Blake Sabol Squad at Oracle Park?
Do you ignore or chew on projections for this squad? It’s basically in the 83-87 win range if most or all goes well, and if nothing great happens with the Dodgers, Padres, Mets, Braves, Phillies, or Cardinals, then that should give them a decent chance of hanging in a postseason hunt. But as baseball has shown us, are playoffs even that big a deal? At the end of the day, they reflect 100% luck born of no talent. I mean, that’s what front offices demand of us, right? That teams in the postseason have no talent, just luck on their side?
Do you think the Giants could be one of those all luck no talent teams if they make the playoffs? Or do you feel like this organization is so smart and so savvy that they’ve devised a scheme that factors in talent and luck and can compete all the way until the end?
Or do you have more reasonable expectations and you’re just looking to see players have fun out there? You’re looking forward to the pitch clock, you’re vibing with the shorter basepaths, looking forward to some more stolen bases. You want to see the Giants play exciting baseball and the six-month outcome is less important than the day-to-day.
I think I’m in this last camp. I just want to see them have fun. And somehow, improbably, hold Aaron Judge to an 0-for-12.