If the Giants aren't going to finish in first place then I want second place, goddammit. No late season death spirals that drop the team into mediocrity, thank you very much. It's a small thing, I know, but I'd like to see the lads finish strong, proudly displaying their World Series Champion shoulder patches for another few weeks. No shame in coming up short, especially with all the injuries and assorted bad things that have beset the 2011 club. And more of the Brandons, please. I want to see Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford every day for the rest of the year. We know what the old guys can do, let's give the young 'uns all the reps they can handle, whaddya say? I'd love to see both Brandons as the starters next season, but we know that's a bit of a problem for Boch & Sabes. Aubrey Huff, unless Belt hits .600 in the spring, will get the nod at first base to start the season. As he fades the youngster will take over and be the everyday guy in the second half. Or something like that. These stories are already written, aren't they? Nothing new here. Crawford is on the fast track, they are going to send him to the Fall League for more playing time, but whether they will plug him to the full-time 2012 job with an under-developed bat seems unlikely. I say bat him 8th and let him save runs with his glove, but the team is absolutely stocked with 8th-place hitters and the pressure on the Brian Trust to improve the wretched offense will be extra-huge this off-season. They can always scrape another Miguel Tejada or Orlando Cabrera off the scrap heap, and they just might do that if Crawford isn't ready. Yuck. No thanks. No more of that, please. Get ready, Brandon, I can't take another season of tortoises in a hare's position.
Madison Bumgarner had another great game today. FanGraphs says he's second on the club with 4.7 WAR. Damn. The Giants have Tim and Matt and MadBum. Damn! (And Dirty and Vogie, too.) The Phillies may have the best pitching in baseball this season, but the Giants are going to be the best next season (just like they were in 2010). And you know something? I'm already salivating over a Posey-Panda 3-4 punch. Pablo Sandoval is putting it all back together after last year's struggles and this year's injuries. He just turned 25 and has over 1800 ML PAs. I think this kid has a bright future, don't you? The news from Camp Buster is all good, too. Can't wait to see him back behind the plate again. In the meantime, let us appreciate what a rare gem we have with our super sophomore southpaw. He goes all Steve Carlton on you with the fastball and the strikeouts, then he throws in a little Jamie Moyer lefty-slurvy shite, too, adding to the batters' befuddlement. He's only 22 and will just top 50 career starts by the end of this season. Did I say "bright future" somewhere in this post?
Happy Labor Day!