Happy Opening Day Every one! Today should be a national holiday and MLB agrees with me:
Head to the ballpark or sit in front of the TV.
WE GOT YOU. pic.twitter.com/Ge4hS67FmJ
— MLB (@MLB) March 27, 2019
Opening Day brings with it optimism, expectations and the exciting anticipation of the daily drama of a baseball season.
Speaking of expectations I will never forget that one road runner jacket I wanted badly for Christmas and never ended up getting. I was six years-old and my friend Peter had one. I asked my mom for the same cool brown satin number. Instead I got a heavy practical wool coat to keep safe and warm in the Canadian winters. The feeling of disappointment was primal and still scars me.
My point is this: Expectations can crush you.
This year the Giants are beginning their season with quite possibly the lowest expectations (by experts and fans) of any year since 2008. Opening Day always brings with it a certain naive baseball optimism but the hard truth is no serious Giants fan should or would expect much from this squad. Throw in the underwhelming additions to the team (with the possible exception of Drew Pomeranz) and you have even less reason to think the Giants will reach the postseason where Bruce Bochy can work his magic and maneuver his boys of summer into the Fall Classic.
The upside is this: with low expectations the Giants have a chance at surprising us in a very pleasant way and say, finish above .500, perhaps hang around the division for a few months… Who knows? Stranger things have happened.
It is a bitter truth that our World Series Winning core of Buster, MadBum, BCraw, BB9 and Joey Baseball may simply not be good enough anymore. There are no more Matt Cains, Tim Lincecums, Poseys and Bumgarners coming up as special talents. Those days are gone.
The Giants outfield consist of a career fourth outfielder past his prime in right field (Parra), a talented yet unproven rookie in center (Duggar) and a black hole in left. That’s 3/8 ths of a starting every day line up. That’s a lot of question marks.
Everyone believes the team’s strength will be its deep bullpen and that may be the case but it won’t make much difference if the Giants cannot score runs or the starting pitching starts to develop leaks.
Now that the Giants 25-man roster is set we can begin to assess the work of Farhan Zaidi.
Infielders: Evan Longoria, Brandon Crawford, Joe Panik, Brandon Belt, Yangervis Solarte, Pablo Sandoval
Outfielders: Steven Duggar, Gerardo Parra, Michael Reed, Connor Joe
Catchers: Buster Posey, Eric Kratz
Bullpen: Mark Melancon, Sam Dyson, Will Smith, Tony Watson, Reyes Moronta, Nick Vincent, Travis Bergen, Trevor Gott
Starting Pitchers: Madison Bumgarner, Derek Holland, Dereck Rodríguez, Jeff Samardzija, Drew Pomeranz
This is not a typical Giants season. For starters, it is the beginning of the Zaidi regime. It is also Bruce Bochy’s final season as the Giants skipper (He has not ruled out managing for another team).
As he prepares to enter his 25th season as a manager and his 13th with the Giants, Bochy’s Hall of Fame credentials certainly appear to be in order. He is one of only 10 managers to win three World Series championships. The other nine already have plaques in Cooperstown. Bochy, 63, currently ranks 11th all-time among managers with 1,926 career wins, and he’s just 82 shy of tying Hall of Famer Leo Durocher for 10th place. In an era of frequent managerial turnover, Bochy has been one of the few constants. He will become only the 11th skipper to manage 25 seasons in the Majors and the fifth to do so in consecutive fashion.
Bruce Bochy will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame one day. I have no doubt about this. When it comes to getting those 74 wins to reach the magic 2,000 number, that’s no sure thing with this squad.
My Prediction for the 2019 Giants: 74-88, fifth place.
My MLB Predictions:
AL East Winner: Red Sox
AL Central Winner: Indians
AL West Winner: Astros
AL Champions: Astros
AL Wild Cards: Who Cares and Who Cares
NL East Winner: Nationals
NL Central Winner: Cardinals
NL West Winner: Dodgers
NL Champions: Cardinals
NL Wild Cards: Cubs and Rockies
World Series: Astros over Cardinals in 6
Giants Vs Padres at Tony Gwynn Field, 1:10 PM
Madison Bumgarner Vs Eric Lauer