But my mind has been racing with various thoughts and so, here goes.
First of all, I would love for any of the Sabean Naysayers to go up to Aubrey Huff or Pat Burrell and tell them that they were lucky to win it all. I think I would pay to see that.
Luck or Design
A baseball season is full of luck, from each pitch, each ball in play, each inning, each game, each season. Anyone can easily pick out key elements of every season where if good luck did not happen, that team would have not have been champions. As I've been writing all over, the naysayers have been exposing their colors by interpreting luck in their way and not giving Sabean much or any credit for winning the championship.
As I've commented around the blogosphere, I think we all can agree that the Giants would probably not have won had they not had their four pitchers, and if we ask all the Sabean Naysayers to raise their hand if they had proposed or agreed with the trade of any of our great young pitchers to get hitting, all of them would be raising their hands. For all the talk about luck, they forget that it was not luck that the Giants retained all four starters, Sabean made that decision and clearly that was the main reason why the Giants won the championship, their pitching and fielding defense. Even if we assume he was lucky in getting any particular member of the rotation, he still made the decision to keep them together.
Better Offense NOT Necessary
For all the bemoaning about the Giants lack of offense, while justified in terms of what they produce, none of the Naysayers have yet come to the realization that they were wrong: a team could win with an offense as bad as that. And I've been writing about this for years, I've pointed out how the D-gers in the 60's had lousy offenses and two main offensive superstars, Maury Wills and Tommy Davis. Plus, as I noted in my baseball business plan, if you want to go saber all over that concept, Pythagorean shows the way: when you have the best defense in terms of pitching and defense, you can win with one of the worse offenses in the league, dominate with only an average one. And with the pitching taking another notch up with Bumgarner, they might be able to win even with a major league's worse offense.
So, these people say that the Giants cannot win it all unless they trade a pitcher for a good hitter, and yet when faced with the evidence that they were wrong, they chalk it all up to luck.
End of My Rope
I'm tired of all this. Part of the reason I do what I do is that I don't like to see people suffer. That's an extended discussion I had with Boof early in the 2010 season, and off and on previously, I try to see the team as it is and set my expectations appropriately. So I can enjoy a .500 season knowing that they aren't that good anyway, kind of like having a kid you know is average but you love him/her anyway and set your expectations appropriately. And I try to pass on my knowledge best as I can.
Am I always right? No, I know I'm not. Plenty of misses on the detailed nitty gritty. FYI, I try to toe the balance between safe statements and one that are edgier because I took to heart a saying that you don't gain much by staying safe, you have to go to the edge sometimes. People who want to get better need to take calculated risks to get better, and so I try. So I can live with being wrong, that's just part of the "business" if you will, of taking stands on topics.
So if you want to point out stuff I got wrong, I'm sure I can fill a post - my standard length :^) - with my mistakes. One that I remember vividly on MCC was when I repeated a post on the A's picking up Jerome Williams, not remembering that. I had a good chuckle the first dozen or so times someone mocked me on that, I can laugh at myself, but the dozens of times after that, it gets really old, like, can you try something new?
But what has been my main thesis and theme all these years? That Sabean has a plan - pitching, pitching, and more pitching, plus good fielding and some lightening speed. And he has pretty much delivered on that plan, in spades. And people call it luck, but the A's had their vaunted 4-Aces rotation (and Mets too) in the early 90's, yet both fizzled - very badly - while the Giants unvaunted rotation - if you look at most experts assessment of the Giants farm system by year, overall one would think that the team wasn't that good with their farm system.
Cain was often rated below the other top pitching prospects of his time, and Lincecum, one expert would not have been surprised if he fell to the middle of the first round, he expected the Giants to pick up Daniel Bard, who fit his notion of what an ideal Giants pitching prospect looked like. Sanchez wasn't on anyone's radar, and most did not think much of Bumgarner being selected as high as he was.
Yet they are arguably one of the best rotations in the majors since the Oriole's foursome in the late 60's, early 70's (late Pat Dobson, who was one of Sabean's closest advisors and confidant, was a part of that rotation, which I think is partly the reason why the Giants strategy is what it is).
So I wash my hands over the hand-wringing naysayers. I realize now that they are what they are, and I can't change them, and as Boof advised, that's OK, we can have a difference in opinion.
And be their miserable selves, for I really thought that a championship would change most of their opinions, that maybe they can let bygones be bygones, because Sabean succeeded where no one had before. I mean, isn't this what all of us has been waiting for as Giants fans? And he did it. Yet these people can't let go of whatever it is that causes them to hate Sabean (and this depth of feeling is a hatred, as they are holding on hard to it, despite all the evidence against).
I've been called sad and repugnant (and by the same blogger) for suggesting that these fans acknowledge that Sabean knew what he was doing and thank him for bringing us another World Series team, and now World Champions, after all, they all said that his strategy and plans would not work, and now we have wonderful evidence that they were wrong. So what do you call people who cannot even acknowledge Sabean for bringing them what they say they have been waiting for all their lives as a Giants fan?
And knowing me, I know I'll probably get soft again and try to get someone to see the light again. Probably not during this off-season, maybe mid-next season. But I won't be so naive anymore and think that a World Series championship will change these people.
2010's: Decade of the Giants
I still stand by my statement for this offseason. With this core and talent coming up, the Giants should dominate for a good number of years, at minimum to the mid-10's. And Neukom appears willing to let the payroll jump up to keep that core around for a while more beyond their free agent years and into the end of the 2010's. At minimum, we control these players to these years:
- Lincecum: 2013
- Cain: 2012
- J. Sanchez: 2012
- Bumgarner: 2016
- Wilson: 2013
- Romo: 2014
- Runzler: 2016
- Sandoval: 2014
- Posey: 2016
- Belt: at least to 2017
- Brown: at least to 2018
Then you complement them with vets filling in other positions, it is not like you need great players at those other positions, you just need to fill them with good average players and the offense will take care of itself. Because with pitching and fielding so good, you can win with a lousy to average offense, thus resulting in a new offensive hero every game.
The Giants are the World Champs! Woo Hoooooooo!!! Let's do it again!