A Fluke Or Something Bigger?
Tim Chalberg • Thursday, November 04, 2010
No doubt, the Giants won a legitimate championship. They had to take out the reigning NL Champion Philadelphia Phillies, and then turned the World Series into a lop-sided affair. However, to a degree, their championship has been painted as fluky, mostly because their offense was cast as a bunch of aging misfits.
By the way, that title for the Giants offense is fair. Andres Torres was their leadoff hitter, and Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell were the "big" acquisitions that proved to be legitimately big. Even Juan Uribe was surprisingly good, and then Edgar Renteria found a fountain of youth in the World Series (though he wasn't as bad in the regular season as he was painted to be).
However, how fluky will this championship be if the Giants keep winning? It's far from out of the question that they keep winning. It's arguably probable.
San Francisco's pitching staff is loaded, and will remain loaded with Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Madison Bumgarner leading the rotation for years to come. In the back end, Brian Wilson is awfully good too. Then, on top of that, the battery is completed by rising superstar Buster Posey (and I don't use the term superstar lightly), which further stabilizes the pitching while also providing a cornerstone for the offense.
Furthermore, what if Pablo Sandoval bounces back next year? The offense still wouldn't have the strong core that the pitching does, but it is a core that can be built around quite nicely. It is the type of core that is probably good enough more often than not to navigate a regular season, and then it becomes very difficult to beat in the postseason when pitching staffs are shortened.
Again, what's done is done. The San Francisco Giants are 2010 World Series Champions, and they earned it. However, I am curious to see if the perception of their team and season shifts in the future. The franchise is pretty well positioned to continue to win 90 games or so for several years, which would put them in playoff contention for the foreseeable future.
San Francisco might not have a full-blown dynasty brewing, but if they make the playoffs in, say, three of the next five years, and then advance to another NLCS somewhere in there, will the title they just got still be considered as fluky as it is now?