blast from the past: wedding expenses
music friday: steve earle, “telephone road”

the 2012 giants

One of Brian Sabean's better qualities has always been that he isn't satisfied, and thus never takes anything for granted in mid-season. So he'll make moves; he doesn't stand pat. This year it worked out well, most obviously with Marco Scutaro. One reason he gets these mid-season opportunities, though, is that he doesn't do a very good job building a roster in time for April. So thank goodness he fixed the problem at 2B, but why did he think Ryan Theriot was the answer in the first place?

I do wonder how much he knew about Melky Cabrera when he traded for Hunter Pence. It was as if he was already replacing Cabrera before he was gone.

It would seem Sabean and Bruce Bochy are a good match in one other area, in that Sabean always builds good bullpens, and Bochy does a good job of handling his relievers. The problem with this general truism is that the 2012 bullpen isn’t that good. Sergio Romo has been the team’s best relief pitcher for some time, now, but after that, it gets iffy … there are some good arms in the pen, but the Giants may rely too often on the likes of Guillermo Mota.

The single biggest problem this season was how Brandon Belt was treated, and we shouldn’t forget that debacle. I don't know whether to blame Bochy, Sabean, or both (probably the latter), but for a long time this season I despaired, thinking the only way Belt would get a chance was if/when he got traded. They finally realized Brett Pill was not the answer ... I don't think they figured out Belt WAS the answer, but he ended up with the job by default, and now they finally like him.

Unfortunately, with the obvious exception of Buster Posey, there aren’t any true stud hitters on this team. Belt and Pablo Sandoval have been OK, and Angel Pagan is terrific when he gets hot (but awful when he’s cold). Scutaro has been ridiculous, and if he continues his hot streak, that will make a big difference. But we’re also talking about a team that will play Hunter Pence (average at best), Brandon Crawford (wonderful glove, improved bat, still not a good hitter), and a combination of Gregor Blanco and Xavier Nady. Not to mention any AB Bochy gives to Hector Sanchez, who is doubly cursed, first because of his .293 OBP, second because a better hitter will sit so that Sanchez can play.

Of course, there’s an easy solution to at least some of the hitting woes, at least after five more games. But the Giants have stupidly turned their backs on Melky Cabrera, so they can feel holier-than-thou while they enjoy watching Blanco and Nady patrol left field.

The 2012 Giants have been a fun team to watch (if nowhere near as fun as the A’s across the Bay), and it’s always nice to reach the post-season, where “anything can happen”. I’d feel more confident if the rotation was something other than Cain, Bumgarner, and someone I don’t trust. Basically, I don’t think the Giants will get past the Reds in the first round. As always, I hope I’m wrong.