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Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Optimistic Timeline of the 2025 World Champion San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014. However, in the last three seasons, everything has changed.

The Giants fired their general manager, Bobby Evans, said goodbye to their manager Bruce Bochy and watched World Series heroes walk out the door every off-season.

Madison Bumgarner, the most decorated hero of the group is now an Arizona Diamondback for the next five seasons and Giants fans are in mourning over the loss.

We have seen Tim Lincecum not brought back, Matt Cain retire and many more wave to the crowds at 24 Willie Mays Plaza for a final time.

As we look into the future, and the team new president Farhan Zaidi and general manager Scott Harris are building, here is how they can return to dominance.

Opening Day 2020

Giants Rotation

The Giants are likely to include Logan Webb as part of their starting rotation. Of the young pitchers showcased in 2019, Webb showed the most promise. He will be entering his age 23 season in 2020.

Also in the mix for a starting job include:
Shaun Anderson (25)
Tyler Beede (27)
Conner Menez (25)
Dereck Rodriguez (28)
Andy Suarez (27)

Webb's age clearly has him as the front runner to be a piece the Giants can build a rotation with long term.

Giants Lineup

Mauricio Dubon will be entering his age 25 season. He has already showed potential at both second base and shortstop and there is talk of him possibly moving to center field. Dubon's athleticism and versatility should make him a valuable piece for the future.

Age is a huge crutch for the 2020 Giants lineup.

Jaylin Davis (25) Steven Duggar (26) Chris Shaw (26) Austin Slater (27) and Mike Yastrzemski (29) are the only players under 30 that have a chance at competing for an Opening Day Roster spot.

That is one of the reasons the team decided not to bring back Kevin Pillar. Giving guys like Davis, Duggar, Shaw, Slater and Yastrzemski at bats is critical to deciding who should stay beyond 2020.

June Draft 2020

Amateurs

The Giants own five picks in the first 100 selections in the June draft.

Their top pick will be 13th overall. They will also have the 43rd pick overall as well as two picks after the second round as compensation for losing Bumgarner and closer Will Smith. Along with their third round pick, that will give the Giants five of the top 100 amateur athletes in baseball added to their system.

The influx of young talent has been the key to the rebuild. At the trade deadline last year, the Giants traded veteran pitching for prospects like Dubon. They also added 2018 draft pick Tristan Beck.

So far this offseason, the Giants traded for Will Wilson, who was the 15th pick in the 2018 draft.

Zaidi's first draft in 2019 added the Giants three players to their top 30 prospects list, and the Wilson trade gives them four. That's also four players in the last three drafts taken in the top 17.

Heliot Ramos, Joey Bart and Hunter Bishop are each expected to play big roles in the Giants future. The Giants also added Sean Hjelle in the second round of the 2018 draft as well as Seth Corry the year prior.

If Zaidi can net some elite talent again in June, the system will be the healthiest it's been in years.

Trade Deadline 2020

Veterans on the Move?

The Giants are unlikely to win games in 2020. The team is filled with veterans who are not going to be a part of the team's future beyond 2021.

Some of the veterans may even be traded before the off-season is over. Others will be sent elsewhere in July. Last year's trade deadline saw veteran pitchers Mark Melancon, Drew Pomeranz, Sam Dyson and Ray Black moved.

By the time the Giants hit August 1st, veterans like Jeff Samardzija, Brandon Belt, Evan Longoria, Johnny Cueto and Tony Watson could be playing in another uniform.

If any of those veterans show they can be both healthy and productive, the Giants may be adding more young talent to their organization.

September Call Ups 2020

Bart and Friends

Bart is the most likely prospect heading for Oracle Park in 2020. His call up is a matter of when in 2020 and not if. At the very minimum, he should be added by September.

It is also possible that Ramos and Hjelle could be given opportunity to show what they can do the final month of the season.

You never know what will happen over a six month baseball season, and there will always be surprises. Pitchers like Melvin AdonJake Wong or Gregory Santos could make big strides in 2020 and end up in San Francisco before the season ends. While all three are outside the Giants top 10 prospects list, they all rank in the top 20 and have showed potential throughout their time in the system.

2020 Off-Season

More Money to Spend

Samardzija will be gone one way or another after the season ends. That's another $18 million they can spend elsewhere. Kevin Gausman, who was recently signed this year, is only on a one year deal as well. His $9 million contract will expire as well and if he's not traded at the deadline, he will be free to sign with anyone after the season. Another $15 million is being spent on Zack Cozart, acquired with Will Wilson, and Tony Watson.

That will be $42 million off the books at the end of the year.

If the Giants can move Longoria (owed $58.5 million through 2022) Cueto ($47 million through 2021) or Belt ($34.4 million through 2021) between now and the end of 2020, they will be well positioned to add elite talent in free agency.

Opening Day 2021

Influx of Young Talent?

Assuming Bart comes up in 2020, it is also likely we will see Ramos, Hjelle and others join him on the 2021 Opening Day Roster.

Without making assumptions on who the Giants add from other teams between now and the 2021 Opening Day, here is the likeliest Opening Day lineup with the current players in the organization.


Bart and Ramos are the most likely to be starters by the time 2021 begins. If the Giants don't upgrade at the corner outfield spots, Ramos would be more likely to start in right field with Duggar starting in center field. At the moment, Webb would be ahead of Hjelle, although, both should make the starting rotation.

Even if Belt is still with the Giants, it would be more likely he would be on the bench as Posey would move to first base.

This would also mean that only Cueto, Posey, Crawford and Longoria are left among the current group of veterans in the starting lineup.

Buster Posey - $22.178M
Johnny Cueto - $21M
Evan Longoria - $18.667M
Brandon Belt - $17.2M
Brandon Crawford - $15.2M

5 Players: $92 million in 2021.

While it is unlikely Posey or Crawford is traded before Opening Day 2021, it is very likely that some of these veterans will be gone.

In the meantime, it is exciting to think about 2021 as the likely first Opening Day starts for Bart and Ramos.

June Draft 2021

More Amateurs!

With the Giants unlikely to compete in 2020, it is also possible that the 2021 June draft will give them another haul of top prospects. Being able to earn another top 10 pick in the draft, as well as two more in the top 80 should give the Giants another opportunity to build up their farm.

Trade Deadline 2021

Veterans on the Move Again?

By the time the Giants reach July 31, 2021, this team will look completely different. Only Longoria will be owed significant money in 2022. This trade deadline could be the end for Posey, Crawford, Cueto and Belt, if not before.

In the meantime, Bart, Ramos and other prospects should be on the big club.

September Call-Ups 2021

Bishop and Friends?

One of those prospects is Hunter Bishop. Farhan Zaidi's first ever draft pick could rise quickly through the system.

Posey, who was the 5th pick in the 2008 draft, came up in September of 2009, and then came up for good in May of 2010. Only Tim Lincecum had a faster trajectory.

Bart, who has dealt with injuries, did not appear for the Giants last September, and may not come up before September this year.

It remains to be seen if Bishop will be in San Francisco less than three years after being drafted in June of 2019, but there is a good chance that he will be on the doorstep.

For an organization that built a dynasty with a mostly homegrown pitching staff and infield, having outfielders like Ramos and Bishop is exciting.

The Giants actually drafted quite a few bats in 2019, including first basemen Logan Wyatt and Garrett Frechette, center fielder Grant McCray, and shortstops Tyler Fitzgerald and Dilan Rosario.

It is unlikely that any of the other 2019 draftees will be playing at Oracle by September of 2021, but it seems clear that the Giants won't hesitate to move Bishop through the system.

The most exciting pitching prospect that may be brought up in September of 2021 is Seth Corry. Corry was a 3rd round pick in the 2017 draft. His 2019 season with the Augusta Green Jackets turned a lot of heads in the organization and around baseball. While Sean Hjelle remains the highest ranked prospect in the system, Corry might end up having more success at the big league level.

In 26 starts for the Green Jackets, Corry posted a 1.76 ERA over 122.2 innings pitched with 172 strikeouts and only 58 walks.

For comparison, Hjelle posted a 2.66 ERA over 40.2 innings pitched with 44 strikeouts and only 9 walks before being promoted.

Prospect ETA

1. Joey Bart: 2021
2. Heliot Ramos: 2021
4. Hunter Bishop: 2022
5. Logan Webb: In San Francisco
6. Sean Hjelle: 2021
7. Alexander Canario: 2022
8. Mauricio Dubon: In San Francisco
9. Seth Corry: 2022
10. Will Wilson: 2022

2021 Off-Season

Heading into the 2022 season, the Giants 40 man roster should include nine of the current top 10 prospects in the organization.

Much could change, and many new prospects could be added, but it is important to know that the 25 man Opening Day roster in 2022 could be heavy with homegrown talent.

C Joey Bart
2B Will Wilson
SS Mauricio Dubon
LF Hunter Bishop
CF Heliot Ramos
RF Alex Canario
SP Sean Hjelle
SP Seth Corry
SP Logan Webb

With all primed to be ready by 2022 or sooner, the Giants off-season needs might not be as big. That being said, the Giants will have money to spend to search for top end talent.

One other factor to consider about the potential for a loaded 2022 roster is the same thing we saw in 2012.

The Giants were paying almost no money by baseball standards to their most important players. Cain, Bumgarner, Posey, Belt, Panik, Crawford and more were on deals they signed before being eligible for free agency.

This cost-effective strategy is a clear plan of Zaidi, Harris and the rest of the Giants brain trust. Assuming the baseball economics remain the same in 2022, that will be a critical part of the team's financial health.



The Rise of Marco Luciano?

The only prospect not predicted to be arriving to San Francisco by 2022 is Marco Luciano. Luciano is heading into his age 18 season in 2020. The idea of the Giants being able to bring up a teenager through their system quickly has most of the Giants fan base excited for the possibility.

Baseball does not see teenagers very often.

Mel Ott is the most famous teenager in Giants history, who started playing for the New York Giants at 17. Other Hall of Famers like Ty Cobb, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Robin Yount, and Ken Griffey Jr. began their major league careers before they turned 20.

The Washington Nationals brought Bryce Harper up in 2012 and Juan Soto up in 2018. At the same time, some of the most exciting players in all of baseball right now are not allowed to drink legally in the U.S.

Ronald Acuna Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Ozzie Albies, Gleyber Torres, Cody Bellinger, Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Mookie Betts and Mike Trout are just some of the elite talent who made their major league debut before their 22nd birthday.

Luciano has said his goal is to get to the big leagues in three years. That would have him in the bigs by 2022. That would be his age 20 season.


When Giants fans say they are excited about Luciano, there is a reason.

Luciano is Not Alone

Alex Canario was even better in the Arizona Rookie League, albeit a shorter stint.

In 10 games, he slashed .395/.435/.1000 for an OPS of 1.435. He had 11 extra base hits, including seven home runs.

Luis Toribio, who is the top third baseman in the system and the 11th ranked prospect overall, slashed .297/.436/.459 for an OPS of .895 over 51 games and 185 at bats.

17th round pick Connor Cannon led the team with 13 home runs over 35 games and 132 at bats. The 21 year old slashed .326/.399/.689 for an OPS of 1.088.

Luciano, Toribio, Cannon and others in the Arizona Rookie League are not expected to make the long journey through the system until at least 2023. Even if none of them are options in 2022, they could all be in Double or Triple A if they continue to make strides.


Free Agency 2022

The Giants should be big players in Free Agency heading into the 2022 season.

Possible additions include Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story and Noah Syndergaard.

While Luciano is a shortstop, there has been talk about him moving positions, so if any of these top flight shortstops are available, the Giants could make a move for one of them. There are already rumors about a possible Lindor trade this off-season and there was some talk of Correa moving as well. If Lindor does get moved, it could be to the Los Angeles Dodgers, which could include Seager in the return. The Rockies are always struggling to decide how they'll spend their money, so Story could be the odd man out if they keep Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon instead of extending Story.

With Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman in New York, it is possible and even likely that Syndergaard would be available as a free agent as well.

With Alex Bregman, George Springer and others to extend in Houston, Correa could be the odd man out with the Astros.

The Giants could go big with the signings of Correa and Syndergaard to add to an already impressive core group.

Opening Day 2022

C Joey Bart
1B Logan Wyatt
2B Mauricio Dubon
SS Marco Luciano
3B Carlos Correa*
LF Hunter Bishop
CF Heliot Ramos
RF Alex Canario

UT Will Wilson
IF Luis Toribio

SP Noah Syndergaard*
SP Sean Hjelle
SP Seth Corry
SP Logan Webb
SP Jake Wong

CL Melvin Adon

So much can change in the next three years. We have no idea who will be drafted in the next two seasons, which players will improve. Which prospects will get injured or fall off the projection charts. We don't know which free agents will sign extensions and which potential free agents will still be valuable in 2022.

The 2022 25 Man Roster was suppose to include Madison Bumgarner. Of all the Giants with World Series rings, he may have been the most likely to be a Giant in 2022.

With the way things can change in baseball, maybe Farhan makes a trade for Bumgarner in 2022. Maybe Farhan is no longer in the Giants organization.

One thing is clear: The current farm system is healthier now than it was before Farhan Zaidi arrived.

It will undoubtedly be even healthier in June.

If the Giants can continue to add depth and top end talent to their farm, there is no telling how good they can be in a few years.

By 2022, they could be a threat to everyone in the National League West and beyond.

By 2025, they could be planning another parade, if not before.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Why Kenny Lofton Deserves to Be in the Baseball Hall of Fame

For the next several weeks, I will be publishing articles on this blog to showcase and highlight baseball players not in the Hall of Fame that deserve to be.

The perspectives will be from first hand accounts of baseball experts who have watched these players play the game at an elite level and seen then thrive in their era.


For our second piece, we will be looking at center fielder Kenny Lofton.

Vince Guerrieri of vinceguerrieri.com was kind enough to share his views on Lofton and what made him so special to the game of baseball.

In 1991, the Cleveland Indians moved the fences back at Municipal Stadium, making an expansive field — Babe Ruth said at its debut that outfielders should cover ground on horseback — even more cavernous. They wanted to take advantage of their speedy center fielder, a fan favorite from whom great things were expected: Alex Cole.

 The Cole experiment was a short-lived failure. But the center fielder they were waiting for was in the wings. Kenny Lofton was virtually stolen from the Houston Astros in a trade of back-up catcher Ed Taubensee.

And the Indians were in the cusp of greatness. The team’s offense was a murderer’s row. Albert Belle’s 1995 season was unparalleled — he remains the only player with 50 homers and 50 doubles in a season, and he did it in a strike-shortened year — with only his truculence costing him the MVP award. Eddie Murray was at the end of his career but still a dangerous hitter. The team was so loaded that Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez were relegated to the bottom of the lineup.

And at the top was Lofton, giving the Indians’ offense another dimension. His role was to be the runs batted in that the rest of the lineup earned. He was the right man for the job. A former college basketball player at Arizona (he’s one of just two people to play in a Final Four and a World Series,) Lofton ran like a gazelle and seemed to be capable of leaping tall buildings in a single bound (Cleveland IS the birthplace of Superman.)

There’s an old baseball joke that 2/3 of the world is covered by water, and the fleet-footed fielder of your choice covered the other third. That applied to Lofton. He once climbed the center field wall to come down with an out.

He dropped off the BBWAA ballot for the Hall of Fame after only one year. His numbers stand up to scrutiny, but it’s his almost balletic grace stealing bases or patrolling center field that made him so memorable.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Why Keith Hernandez Deserves to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame

For the next several weeks, I will be publishing articles on this blog to showcase and highlight baseball players not in the Hall of Fame that deserve to be.

The perspectives will be from first hand accounts of baseball experts who have watched these players play the game at an elite level and seen then thrive in their era.



For our first piece, we will be looking at first baseman Keith Hernandez.

Chris Bodig of Cooperstown Cred was kind enough to share his views on Hernandez and what made him so special to the game of baseball.

1. When did you first see him play and what, if anything, do you remember?

I first saw him play in the 1982 World Series with the Cardinals. It seemed like he was "on" everything (as a hitter) in the last couple of games of the series. The first time I saw him play in person was in September of 1984 at Shea Stadium. I don't remember anything Keith did, but I do remember starting pitcher Dwight Gooden pitching a one-hitter (only hit on a Mitch Moreland grounder that Ray Knight should have fielded at third).

2. What stands out about his talent?

What stands out about his talent was his glove work. I attended nearly 200 Mets games between 1985-1988, many of them with a bird's eye view behind home plate. Hernandez was a maestro at first base. He had cat-like reflexes, allowing him to stop ground balls others would miss. He was especially adept at going to his right, making a play and fluidly throwing to the shortstop with the speed required for the shortstop to finish a 3-6-1 double play. On bunt plays, he was fearless. Keith would charge uncomfortably close to the plate. On bunt plays with runners on second, he was so aggressive that he could field bunts down the third base line and fire to third to get the lead runner.

3. What made you a life long fan?

I became a life-long fan because of his brilliance defensively.

4. What is the reason(s) he deserves to be remembered forever?

He deserves to be remembered forever as arguably the greatest fielding first baseman in the history of baseball and that he was also an excellent hitter with a keen eye.

5. Why do you think that aren't in the Hall of Fame?

I'm convinced he's not in the Hall because he was a first baseman who didn't hit for power and because injuries ended his career prematurely, with only 2,182 hits.

6. Is there someone already in the Hall of Fame at the same position you would argue he's better than? If so, explain.

Hernandez is better than many first basemen in the Hall (most of whom played prior to 1950). I also believe that he was a better hitter than Tony Perez, even though the "Big Dog" had 550 more hits, 217 more home runs, and 581 more runs batted in. Perez also had 2,308 more plate appearances, which is the equivalent to about 4 seasons. Perez had the volume but Keith was a more pure hitter, with a batting average 17 points higher and an on base percentage 43 points higher. Therefore, his OPS+ is higher (128 to 122). Perez also struck out 855 times more and hit into 107 more double plays. But the #1 reason that Hernandez is a better overall player is because of his defense.

7. Do metrics like Wins Above Replacement, OPS+, ERA+ etc... need to play a larger role in determining Hall of Fame credentials over traditional numbers like hits, home runs and wins? Why or why not?

Metrics like WAR, OPS+ and ERA+ (specifically these three) definitely need to play a larger role in determining Hall of Fame credentials because they measure a player's overall worth. A lesser hitter can get to 3,000 hits while the superior hitter doesn't because they either managed to stick around long enough in late-career mediocrity or because they didn't draw walks. The milestone numbers are still important but they should represent only one track to the Hall of Fame. Players with hidden skills that are revealed by WAR or OPS+ should also have a track.

8. If you had to choose just one factor, what is the thing that should carry the most weight for Hall of Fame induction? Explain.

I'll answer this question is in regards to a borderline Hall of Fame candidate. If a player has a WAR over 70 or reaches a traditional milestone, that should be honored. When it's a player without one of those, I ask myself about the player's relevance in the history of baseball. When it comes to Keith Hernandez, his relevance is as the greatest fielding first basemen ever or at least of the last 50 years and that he was a key member of two teams that won the World Series.

If you would like to read more about why Chris believes Hernandez is a Hall of Famer, check out his article on Keith at Cooperstown Cred

Friday, March 9, 2018

What I Am Thankful For As A San Francisco Giants Fan

The easy answer is 2010, 2012 and 2014. And to some degree, those are certainly three of the things I am most thankful for, especially 2010. However, what I am truly thankful for is the fandom itself.

I am thankful for 1983. That was the year of my first game at Candlestick Park. My father took me to the game. I don’t remember what game it was. I don’t remember if the Giants won or lost. The Giants won 53% of their home games that season, so I had roughly a 50/50 chance of seeing a win. I am much more thankful of my father taking me to the game in the first place. I am thankful for the love of the game he had and the love for the game he instilled in me.

Candlestick Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants 1960-1999
I am thankful for 1987. My first pennant race. I am thankful for being seven years old and beginning to live and die with my team. I am thankful for the young homegrown stars like Will Clark, Robby Thompson, and Chili Davis and new players traded to the team like Jeffrey Leonard, Jose Uribe, Kevin Mitchell, Mike Krukow, Don Robinson, and Dave Dravecky. I was heartbroken when they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, but I was excited for the future.

I am thankful for 1989. My first World Series. I am thankful for seeing some of my favorite players evolve like Clark, Mitchell, Robinson and more. I am thankful for new additions like Steve Bedrosian and Brett Butler playing key roles. I am also thankful for the first responders and everyone that came to the aid of the victims of the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Despite the loss to the Oakland Athletics, that reality hit home harder than any loss could ever do.

My father and I were in the car heading home to watch Game 3 when the earthquake began. We were listening to the pregame on the radio when it felt like all four tires went flat at the same time. But then you look around and every other car is stopped on the freeway as well. I am thankful that we weren’t on the Bay Bridge that day or on 880. I am thankful that so many survived.

Barry Bonds waves to the crowd after a home run, 1993.
I am thankful for 1993. I am thankful for Barry Bonds agreeing to sign with my favorite team and the 15 years of entertainment he provided my family. My grandfather was near the end of his life as Bonds was beginning his career in San Francisco and he would watch every game. He would call my dad to comment on the fact that Barry Bonds had homered in the exact same spot as he did the day before.

[Sidenote: My grandfather would watch the replays of the game on SportsChannel Bay Area and not realize they were replays.]

I am thankful for the excitement Bonds, Dusty Baker, Rod Beck, Matt Williams and so many more brought my grandfather, my father and me.

I am thankful for 1997. I am thankful for Brian Sabean and the team he built. I am thankful for Williams and all he did for the Giants in his time in San Francisco. I am thankful for Jeff Kent, J.T. Snow, Rich Aurilia, Russ Ortiz, Shawn Estes and Kirk Rueter. I am thankful for the era that began that season.

Kirk Rueter's first pitch at AT&T Park on April 11, 2000
I am thankful for 2000. I am thankful for the most beautiful baseball park I have ever set foot in. I am thankful for Ellis Burks, Robb Nen, and Mark Gardner. I am thankful for the first time I was able to take my dad to a game. I am thankful for sitting at Pacific Bell Park with my father, driving the two of us to the park to enjoy the game I had loved for the past 17 years.

I am thankful for 2001. I am thankful for Bonds and the season he had. With every home run, I felt like I was home instead of being away at college, 1,646.2 miles away. I am thankful for home runs 71 and 72 as I shared baseball history with my roommates and felt a connection to my team despite being so far away.

I am thankful for 2002. I am thankful for my second trip to the World Series as a fan. I am thankful for how close we got. It was gut wrenching and heart breaking and still feels raw to this day, but it was such a special season. I am thankful for all of the players that were a part of that team. I am thankful for Kenny Lofton, Benito Santiago, David Bell, Reggie Sanders, and Jason Schmidt. I am also thankful for the team’s first round draft pick that season.

Matt Cain's Debut Start
I am thankful for 2005. I am thankful for the debut of Matt Cain. I am thankful for the first move towards an eventual championship. I am thankful for the front office changing their philosophy on how they would build the Giants in the future. I am thankful for future draft picks like Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, and Joe Panik.

I am thankful for 2008. I am thankful for taking my future wife on dates to San Jose Giants games and seeing those homegrown draft picks up close. I am thankful for watching Posey and Bumgarner with her and watching them get to the big leagues. I am thankful that my wife was a Los Angeles Dodgers fan before we met which meant she already loved baseball. I am thankful that because of those San Jose Giants games, she fell in love with the Giants. I am thankful for her family, despite their love for the Dodgers, were happy for me and my team when they made the playoffs. I am thankful that she fell in love with them organically. I am thankful that when they won it all in 2010, she was the first person I hugged.

And yes, of course I am thankful for 2010. I am thankful for every torturous moment. I am thankful for every thrilling moment. I am thankful for every Bruce Bochy decision, every Cain pitch, every Posey at bat, and every Lincecum strikeout.



I am most thankful for November 1, 2010 about 30 minutes after Brian Wilson struck out Nelson Cruz in Game 5. About 30 minutes after that last strike, I showed up on my father’s doorstep and knocked on the door. When he answered the door, I hugged him and cried. It was one of the most special moments a son could have with his father as it relates to sports. It is why we care so much about the game itself. Losing happens. No team goes undefeated. The people you share those moments with and the shared joy you feel when your team wins the final game of the season is indescribable. Had the Giants won all the time, 2010 wouldn't be as special as it was. Had the Giants continued to win the World Series every other year like some “Even Year Magic,” 2010 wouldn’t be as special as it was.

I truly loved seeing San Francisco win the World Series in 2012 and 2014. But the moment i embraced my father on the night of November 1, 2010 is the best moment I have ever shared with him when it comes to our Giants.

Aaron Saltzman, the next great Giants fan

And now my son, Aaron, who is two years old, will be the next generation to be a part of this fandom. I look forward to introducing the Giants to him and rooting for new players that come along and become his favorites. This is bigger than any win or loss the team can have. This is more special to me than whether the Giants sign the next Barry or draft the next Buster. This is what I am thankful for, this is what baseball is all about, and this is what the San Francisco Giants mean to me and my family.

Monday, February 13, 2017

CONTEST GIVEAWAY: Free Bobblehead

This Thursday, I will begin posting my picks for the 64 greatest San Francisco Giants since 1958. Starting today and ending Wednesday at 11:59pm PST, I will be taking answers for a free bobblehead giveaway.

 Here is the official question: How many current San Francisco Giants are a part of the 64 Giants that made the cut? How many and can you name them?

One lucky Giants fan will win a free bobblehead for getting both answers right. If no fan gets the answer 100% right, I will see who named the most correct Giants and choose among the people that were closest.

Make sure to look for the #SFGiantsMadness hashtag on Twitter for the articles that will begin posting this Thursday and every Thursday to see which Giants made the list.

Good luck to all Giants fans and Happy Bumgarners and Poseys Day!

Here is how last year's Brackets ended: