Lessons from San Francisco

Like most winning formulas, the Giants approach is not fully replicable. Any strategy that begins with developing five top notch pitchers and an all-star quality catcher all within a few years of each other will be tough to follow, but most good teams are able to develop a core of top talent. That is more or less what defines a good team. The Giants strength lay in recognizing this was their moment and developing a good strategy to augment their core talent.

Cliff Lee is Human After All: World Series Notes

The most overlooked story of the game is that while neither Lee nor Lincecum had their best stuff, Lincecum pitched a tough 5.2 innings and kept his team in the game, while Lee did not. Lincecum appeared to be unraveling in the first inning, but got it together and settled down enough. It turns out that the long haired pot smoker was able to bear down and tough it out better than the deer hunter from Arkansas.

Lincecum and Cain and Pray for Rain, but Don't Settle for Sanchez and Garko

The first question this raises is: what is meant, in this case, by playing for this year?  Does that mean that Giants are going to try to get the wild card, or that they are going to try to build a team that can play deep into the playoffs and have a chance at winning the World Series?  If the goal is the former, than these trades make some sense.  Sanchez and Garko will be marginal players; not dramatic upgrades over Travis Ishikawa and Juan Uribe. But then again the wild card race could well be decided in the margins.  The Giants’ reason for pursuing this strategy is not clear. Although the team has now missed the post-season for five years in a row, they have also been eliminated in the first round three of the last four times they reached the post-season.  Another first round exit may not slake the thirst for a championship of a franchise that has not won the World Series since Eisenhower was in his first term as President.