Wednesday, October 07, 2015

2015 Playoff Rooting Interests: Giants Fan Perspective

When the Giants are not in the playoffs, I sometimes run through the playoff teams and give a recap of Giants fans' long-term rooting interests, based on prior history.

ogc thoughts

Here is the order of rooting interests, then I'll cover why afterward:
  1. Texas Rangers
  2. KC Royals
  3. Houston Astros
  4. Toronto Blue Jays
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates
  6. NY Mets
  7. Chicago Cubs
  8. NY Yankees
  9. St Louis Cardinals
  10. Los Angeles Dodgers
Really, the Royals, Rangers, Blue Jays, and Astros all are franchises that Giants fans don't have much prior beefs with.  I'm going with Texas first because we beat them in 2010, and they got so close for a number of years and fell short, so I feel sorry for them to a certain extent.  Plus, they and the Astros beat out the Angels for the last playoff spot, so that's pretty good too.  

But it's almost a coin flip between the Royals and Rangers, since we beat both of them in the World Series.  However, the Royals gave us Melky Cabrera in trade, and while that was much better than what we gave up (Jonathan Sanchez), that was something I didn't need to think about after getting out from under the Bonds cloud so many years ago now.  

The Astros and Blue Jays were similarly coin flips.  We have no real beefs with either team, that I can recall, though the Astros were really tough on us, it seemed, all those years the Giants were mediocre in the 70's and 80's.  The tie breaker for me was the Blue Jays giving Melky Cabrera that contract after he left us in disgrace.  Really?  I couldn't believe any team would give him that much and for two years to boot.  

Then there are the Mets, Cubs, and Pirates.  Very similar.  The Mets drove a dagger in our hearts in 2000, and Pirates did that to us in 1971.  We also ruined Rennie Stennett's career, but we made up for that by giving him that huge contract, plus we gave them Maddog Bill Madlock, though we got some nice players back in that trade, who eventually led to us picking up Mike Krukow.  The Cubs we beat in 1989, and because of their history, my initial thought right after the season ended was to root for them to finally win it all, frankly, until I remembered that it was a Cubs' scrub who broke Pence's arm in the early parts of Spring Training.  Sure, it was an accident, and random, but it still happened.   So I went with Pirates, since we just beat them out last season, and then the Mets, even though they ripped us off for Kingman and inflicted Bobby Jones into our collective memory, because the wound of losing a chance at repeating in an odd year, which I felt was a strong possibility given our roster, is just too great right now, so screw the Cubs, they can wait another year.  Props, though, to the Cubs for ripping off the A's and stealing Addison Russell from them, maybe next year.

Then there is the evil triumvirate of Yankees, Cards, and Dodgers.  Yankees, we have a long, long history with, with 1962 being the foremost, though there was the 1920's beat down.  But, if it wasn't for their dominance, Stoneham might not have ever moved out West to SF, and who would I be rooting for then, the Expos?  Padres?  Colt 45's?  Pilots?  Of course, that would not have been our team name, but those were around the times when the MLB expanded.  We probably would have ended up the Seals, in honor of long time PCL team.

Plus, the Cards, loads of recent enmity, and they are the team we are competing with for title of Team of 2010's.  And, of course, Dodgers got a permanent spot in the last spot of any list, well, because:  Beat LA!


  1. Heh, for me it's:

    1-7. Don't care, just want entertaining games
    8. Yankees (1 down!)
    9. Rangers (didn't like anything I saw of them in previous years, from the owners all the way down)
    10. Dodgers (of course)

    But really, I just want good games/series, and if the Dodgers can lose horribly, even better.

    I'm spending more time looking at comments from the front office than rooting for the remaining schmucks. :)

    Good to hear they've already told Heston his spot in the rotation depends on whether they add 2 starters. That and their stated focus on starting pitching makes me hopeful they're at least aiming to do what I've hoped: grab Leake + another big FA.

    Surprised they're not committing to Aoki yet. He's cheap and good. Them telling Tomlinson to train for OF makes me think they're going to pass on Byrd or Aoki, and I'd much rather have Aoki.

    1. It's cool, everyone has their own memories and feelings for and against other teams.

      I just wanted to get this out, I'm looking at the accounts by the beat writers since nobody appears to be providing a transcript or a copy of the video/audio (or at least I haven't found one yet; oh, maybe I'll try KNBR).

      The comment I heard on Heston is that they have not decided yea or nay on him yet. So there's one spot open, and maybe two.

      Yeah, I'm shocked by Aoki as well.

  2. I don't care that much without the giants in there, but I am primarily a fan of the league that does not have the DH, and I prefer that a team from the N.L. wins, yes, even if it is the hated dodgers. The teams I dislike the most in the N.L. are the dodgers, Cubs, Pittsburgh. St. Louis and Atlanta. 4 of those 5 teams got in. The Pirates are out, It seems as if the WS team in the N.L. alternates between the giants and the Cards.

    1. Yeah, my interest is not that strong either, but I'm a creature of habit and I used to do this every year (now every other year :^).

      I am a fan of the NL as well, and that did not factor into my ranking above. I could never root for the Dodgers, no thank you, nor the Yankees, really (oh, what if they faced each other? Luckily, don't have to worry about it this season).

      So I guess you are rooting most for the Mets, so that's a preference, since he dislike the rest of the teams.

      That's the great thing about this ranking, there's no right or wrong, just each person's preferences, and the discussion it brings up.

      I feel bad for the Pirates, losing two seasons in a row in the Wild Card. But the Cub's ace was better than the Pirate's, so that's how it goes.

      I've seen some argument to make the WC 3 games by reducing the number of games in the season to 154, like it used to be. Not going to happen, teams (and players) will not give up the money. Plus, that's the point of the WC, you want to incent teams to win the division, and sometimes teams get screwed (like the Giants in 1993). At least they have a chance to get in now, but unlike before, you also need to beat out the other lucky WC team as well. THAT is the whole point, that they get a chance now, not that it's not fair to them. Using that logic, you could push it out to 7 games (that's why the NLDS increased in games) for the WC. It's like in the comedies when they flip a coin, then it becomes 2 of 3, 3 of 5, 4 of 7, 5 of 9, 6 of 11, ad infinitem! NO! One game, for all the marbles, that's how it goes, do or die.

      Well, the Giants and Cards are battling to be the Team of the 2010's, so I'm rooting hard against the Cards, though with the Giants leading 3 championships to one right now, not too worried at the moment.

    2. The Pirates have actually lost in the 1-gamer THREE straight years! OUCH!

      Personally, I'd rather see the DS expanded from 5 to 7 than change the 1-gamer. One game is exciting, and really punishes you for not winning the division. It's perfect. The 5-gamer can go, it feels like a series-lite.

      And the way I see it, the Cubs had to win that game... because losing wouldn't have been painful enough. :)

    3. Thanks for the correction! Yes, OUCH!

      Yes, I would rather see the DS expanded as well, thanks for noting. I've been wanting that for a while to, forgot about that.

      HA HA! That's right, Cubs has to get to NLCS and lose for it to hurt again. Maybe an animal will come on the field and interfere with one of their hits or something weird like that. The weirder the better, the more to add to their mythology.

  3. Anyone but St Louis.
    Not rooting for LA but if the Dodgers win it all SF is more likely to do more to improve their team in the offseason. If LA falls short the old "if our players come back healthy, and Cain returns to form we should be OK..." thoughts might prevail.
    If Mets don't make it they may be more open to trade a pitcher to improve their team. Any of those guys would end up being a #2 for SF.

    That said, Go Toronto!!

    1. I don't think that LA winning will affect the Giants strategy this off-season.

      I was going to write on all this in my write-up of the ending presser, but here's a peek at some of my thoughts now.

      Evans said all the right things in the ending presser: at least one hole in the rotation, maybe more, with Heston being evaluated. Did he lose something? Did the league learn him? Can he not adjust back? Or was he just tired? All good questions.

      They also noted that Leake might not like their timing of pursuit, as Leake noted he would like to sign quickly.

      What I took from these two comments is that the Giants have decided that Leake is not ace-level, so they are going to pursue who they consider to be aces first, and put Leake on the backburner, much like they did with Peavy last season. And as they showed last season, they were picky about who they consider to be aces.

      I think Plan A is to get an ace to pair up with Bumgarner. Then you got Peavy and Cain, to make four, and probably Heston and Blackburn will fight for the last spot, since they spent so much for the ace, and hopefully one of Beade, Stratton, Blach, Mejia, in that order, breakout by mid-season and is ready if needed. That's six starters with one hopefully ready by mid-season. And probably Petit as long reliever, so he could spot-start as well.

      However, if none of the aces they are interested in give them a rose (again), then they pursue Leake strongly, as he's a good #2 starter, plus another similar #2 type pitcher (or if Leake's already gone, pursue two #2's), to give the Giants five starters with Bum, Peavy, and Cain, with Heston as long relief as upgrade over Petit's 2015. While no co-ace in this plan, they upgrade three spots with the two free agents and Heston over Petit, and Heston and Blackburn are the replacements, respectively, for Peavy and/or Cain.

      For I think the Giants holding back Blackburn from AFL shows that they think he's ready, and thus it was more important that he get started on preparing during the off-season, maybe work more on his stamina and slimming down, than seeing how he does against AFL level talent. So I feel good that if Peavy and/or Cain go down for any reason (like in 2015), then we got Heston and Blackburn in reserve.

      And in neither of these plans does it matter what LA does in the playoffs.

      And plan C is getting one of the #2's signed, and with Heston pitching as the #5, Petit as the long reliever, and Blackburn in reserve (if not pitching #5, as he'll be in competition with Heston next Spring Training, I believe). Not great, yes, but I won't blame the Giants if they are unable to get Plan A or Plan B done as long as they are trying (I'm not like Yoda :^) hard to sign some of the big starters available.

      Mets might lose Colon, he's a free agent. And I think they would rather buy a free agent than trade a pitcher to get a hitter, and besides which, which Giants hitter are you hoping to trade to get said pitcher? They are going to want established MLB hitters for their pitchers.

      I wouldn't mind Toronto either. My sorrow for Texas and KC is not that strong, now that I'm thinking about it.

    2. I agree that whether the Dodgers win the WS has no impact on the Giants' plans. SF doesn't really have to beat LA in the playoffs, they have to beat them in the season, so SF already knows what they need to match up with.

      It sounds to me like "Plan A" is two new FA starters, one of which may be Leake. Plan B would be Leake + Heston.

      I'd be surprised if Blackburn gets a serious look in spring. I'm guessing that like most young players, the Giants would gain an extra year of control over him if they keep him in the minors until at least June. I would think Blackburn would start in the minors then potentially be brought up around the time Bumgarner was if a slot opens up. Either way, he'd get some experience next year, and potentially replace Peavy the following year.

      I can't see the Giants doing much in the trade market this year, unless a young pitcher becomes available. They have so much money and the FA SP market is so good this year, it should be reasonably easy to make a big upgrade to the staff.

    3. I think the Giants will give Blackburn an opening in spring training, if they fall to Plan B or C, much like they give one most springs to one of their young players to show what they got. Some flop it, like Wilson did in his first big spring training. Others like Belt and Duffy, make it impossible for the Giants to return them to the minors. So I generally agree with you that most likely Blackburn will get returned to minors. However, the Giants have not been all that caring about that extra year or not, they have brought up players like Belt and Duffy on opening day instead of legitimately putting them in AAA to work on things.

      And yeah, I see him following a path like Bumgarner, where he comes up mid-year to replace someone who is faltering in some way.

      Yeah, I don't see a trade happening either, mainly because they need young blood coming up next few years, and that's all they have to trade, really, unless they trade Arroyo. That's why I haven't really noted that possibility, I agree with you.

  4. I'm rooting for the Cubbies. :

    Don't like anything about Texas or Texans - bring the pain.
    Mets or any NY* team - extra helping of pain please.
    Don't give a sparkling tinkle about KC or Tor.
    Beat LA! - Screw the plutocrats. Eat the rich.
    Card's have been too good for too long. Make 'em re-think their 'Way.'

    So the Cubs.....
    I want their fans to get the payoff I as a *RedSox and you Giants' fans felt - all the suffering and agony replaced by an indescribable, uplifting sense of contented joy.

    1. As I noted, I would be right with you regarding the pain and relief for Cubs fans, but their non-prospect broke our chance to get into the playoffs by breaking Pence's arm. I'll be happy for them in that way should they win, but I just can't root for them knowing that their breaking of Pence's arm cost us a chance to beat LA for the NL West Division title.

      But I like your thinking on all the other teams though. Especially the Cards!

    2. But if the Cubs win, whose misery will we have left to enjoy? :)

    3. Ha Ha, good one Josh!

      Um, how about the Padres? Rockies? Plus one more year in the rear view mirror for LA?



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