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Friday January 25, 2013
Kyle Holland (MLB Reports intern): Follow @TheKHolland13
Brian Wilson has been a member of the San Francisco Giants since the summer of 2006. He started off as a reliever, beardless might I add, and gradually made his way up to the closer he is today. Back then he wasn’t the big name player that he is now. Back when they still had the likes of Barry Bonds on the team. Only recently has he made his way to one of the best closers in the league, and one of the craziest.
2010 is when he really made his way onto the scene. Sure, he was an All-Star in 2008 but quite frankly; the Giants weren’t nearly good enough for him to be noticed. San Francisco finished fourth in the NL West with a 72-90 record, a little surprising considering Tim Lincecum won the Cy Young Award. Out of those 72 wins, Wilson saved 41 and got the win in 3 of them.
Best Brian Wilson Interview Of ALL-Time:
Thursday November 29th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):
It is not an outrageous thought that the San Francisco Giants, coming off their second World Series title in three years would not have a problem signing two key free agents. Angel Pagan was a fixture at the top of the lineup throughout the year and played a big part in helping the Giants reach the playoffs and World Series. Marco Scutaro, a trade deadline acquisition, provided the Giants with the boost they needed to leave the Dodgers in the dust in the NL West. Not to mention, Scutaro caught fire in the NLCS against the Cardinals and wound up NLCS MVP. Signing both of these guys would most likely make the Giants favorites for a Wild Card at the least. It could be hard to compete with the Dodgers for the West after the blockbuster trade that they made with the Red Sox, but Scutaro and Pagan could help. So, how likely is it that both free agents sign with the Giants and return for 2013? Also, why has this team been so quiet in pursuing other Free Agents so far?
Unfortunately for most Giants fans, not very likely. I see the Giants signing one or the other. Angel Pagan, coming off a great season, will undoubtedly ask for more than he’s worth. The Giants also have highly regarded prospect Gary Brown waiting in the wings. He is suited to man centerfield for years to come. Pagan is probably looking for at least four years, and Brown will most likely be ready by late 2013 or 2014. Pagan would probably demand somewhere around $10-12 million per year. He has been a great fit for the top of the Giants lineup, setting the table for Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey. He led the league in triples and scored 95 runs, partially due to his great second half. Pagan’s speed is especially valuable in the spacious outfield of AT&T Park. Gary Brown also has great speed, so there will not be too much of a discrepancy in the defensive abilities once Brown is a Giant. What comes to my mind when I think about rewarding Pagan with a large contract is Aaron Rowand. The Giants made a huge mistake by giving Rowand a large contract after just one good year. Pagan, like Rowand at the time, has not had a streak of consecutive great years, so signing him for more than a few years could be risky.
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @chuckbooth3024
I can’t believe I am going to utter these next few words, “I am starting to shift on the idea of eliminating the DH in the AL and also I am beginning to find the National League Brand of Baseball a lot better these days.” I am not just saying this because the National League has registered 5 World Series Wins out of the last seven years (STL x 2, SF x 2 and PHI vs BOS AND NYY since 2006.) I just find that the American League Baseball is becoming boring. If you have read my articles in the past, I hate teams that strikeout non-stop and when you put two of these teams together for a Series like the AL routinely does, the games are filled with heavy pitch counts, four-hour games and not much contact. This years ALCS represented an all-time low for fan excitement. Put aside that I am a Yankees fan for a minute, it was absolutely brutal baseball. In fact, last years ALCS was no picnic either. If the games continue on like this, they might as well scrap the DH, start having the umpires call more strikes on the hitters and have all AL Teams convert to a National League style of game.
The National League has seen the Cardinals give us thrilling moments and comebacks to epic proportions over the last 2 years. I honestly think that Mark McGwire is not receiving enough credit for molding that team into a bunch of contact hitters. You watch the 2013 offense of the LA Dodgers, they will all have a different approach. We will save the DH debate for another day, but lets just say that 2012 was the worst year for DH’s in some time if not ever. There are only about 3-4 decent DH’s left in the game and if David Ortiz is not in the lineup for the Red Sox, there are no more marquee guys that just hit and not field! The National League Teams plan on more contact for runs created out of necessity and it is always reflective by the competitive games we see them play in the playoffs.
In 2012, the Giants made 4 key acquisitions before and during the season to change their offensive demeanor. If you ask me flat-out as a baseball observer, there is no way the Giants win the World Series without Marco Scutaro or Angel Pagan at the top of the lineup. I also am conceding credit to Melky Cabrera’s hitting contributions as a contact hitter before being busted. Before Melky Cabrera was shown the door for PED’s, he was the same hitter as Scutaro in the 2nd half and postseason, in just hitting every single pitch that was thrown at him. To be honest here, Angel Pagan does strike out a fair bit as a lead off hitter, however he also has speed that makes him dangerous whenever the ball is contacted. It is all about a mixture of power, speed and contact hitters. To illustrate this fact, Hunter Pence (also picked up near the Trade Deadline) did not hit well in the regular season or playoffs for average, yet he was able to drive in a pile of runs because guys ahead of him were always on base. All he needed to do was to make contact for his RBI. Read the rest of this entry
Saturday September 8th, 2012
Jake Dal Porto: When Brian Wilson was ruled out for the remainder of the season more than four months ago, the Giants’ hearts sunk, their fans’ hearts sunk, and anyone that was involved with the organization found themselves in despair. Wilson was and still is the heart of the Giants. He was one of the many pieces that led San Francisco to the their championship in 2010. But since throwing that final 3-2 pitch to Nelson Cruz to clinch the title, his right arm has experienced some serious ramifications to throwing over 60 innings during that magical 2010 season. Signs of fatigue often appeared in 2011 when he only pitched 55 innings and collected 36 saves. For Wilson, those numbers aren’t nearly the norm.
As a result, he was shut down in September with arm issues. That was the last of Wilson the baseball world saw in 2011, and 2012 has basically just been the same string of events. After supposedly feeling great during spring training, his elbow flared up once again very early in the season, and after pitching just two innings, he was done for good. Now, he is currently rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery, the second time he has endured the infamous surgery over the course of his seven-year career. While Wilson continues to rehab, the Giants continue to lack the closer’s presence that he brought to the table. Read the rest of this entry
Monday July 23, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024)- This weeks installment is actually a top 11. I bent the rules a little to accommodate the A’s. It is hard to maintain a great franchise in today’s Major Leagues. Sure the heavy hitters like New York and Boston will always be sniffing around the top of the league with their huge payrolls, but most teams don’t have the luxury to spend like these two teams do because of their limited revenue streams. In the last few years, the Phillies, Angels and Tigers have entered the echelon of top spenders. Spending money doesn’t always equal great results. The Texas Rangers have only had success lately and were often victim to heavy payrolls and not great results. How many years did Peter Angelos try to buy a contender with Baltimore? He has dedicated himself back to the right way of building a team the last couple of years and it has worked through player development.
Minnesota and Oakland have been run incredibly well for a long time. If this list was for a five-year stretch, you would have seen the Tampa Bay Rays as part of the top 10. These are the small market teams that have been consistently playing well against the big boys. The Twins have only faded back in the standings in the last couple of seasons. The Atlanta Braves finally had their consecutive playoff years stopped in 2005 and they were only mediocre for a few seasons. Right now, they might be the best team in the National League. The Angels, Twins, Dodgers, Athletics, Dodgers and Braves did not make any World Series appearances since 2003. Out of these teams, the Angels have the most wins.
According to the movie ‘The Natural,’ losing is a disease, and like other diseases, (insert disease here) it is curable. Most of these teams have not even struggled in the last 10 years. The Yankees have only won one World Series in this time frame, despite dominating the win total every year. In fact, the last time the Yankees has a losing season was 1991. The Cardinals and the Red Sox both have won 2 World Series, and the Cardinals are the only team to have appeared in the Fall Classic 3 times during this stretch. Read the rest of this entry