They don’t scare you with this roster. They don’t wow you with their farm system. There seems to be nothing special about the Team-by-the-Bay, except for the fact they win.
Brian Sabean is not some flashy front of the line GQ-type-GM. Bobby Evans is a virtual unknown amongst the fans and media. Bruce Bochy is about as old school a manager as there is, from the era of Royal manual typewriters and dial telephones.
All they do is win, witnessed by 3-World Series rings in a 5-year span.
Earlier this month, the Padres, looking across the field into the other dugout, saw the Pittsburgh Pirates. You remember them don’t you? Money-starved, fan-starved, success-starved franchise. The one that went 20-years between playoff appearances. Look where they are now. Right in the top spot for the wildcard spot in postseason again. Winning with their own wearing Black & Gold with the swash-buckling, ship-boarding pirate as their logo.
The Padres just needed to look across the diamond at the San Francisco lineup card again last night, to understand why we have to watch the Giants on television every October, and why there is so much ‘Orange’ in the Petco Park stands.
Brandon Belt, Joe Panik, Brandon Crawford and Matt Duffy start from first to third across the infield. Everyone of them home grown, from Panik a first round pick, to Kelly, the 12the round selection. Crawford rocketed thru the farm system after coming out college, and Duffy was an afterthought draft pick, who is playing like somebody’s high draft choice.
Of course this lineup is anchored by the all-everything catcher Buster Posey. He may not be Johnny Bench, but he is close, and similar too to the best in the game right now, Yadier Molina.
Pitching is so tentative and fragile in the game today, but 7-of-the 12 arms on the San Francisco roster today, are their own. From the once-phenom that was Tim Lincecum, to the vested veteran Matt Cain, to the modern superstar-World Series hero Madison Bumgarner. And that always in use bullpen is made up of draft picks, and undrafted-then-signed street free agents.
And when it is crunch time to deal, the Giants find a way to steal a good one. Hunter Pence, Cody Ross, Carlos Beltran, Marco Scutaro and on-and-on, every trading deadline every year.
Even when free agents defect, like Pablo Sandoval, or guys get hurt like Hunter Pence, it just never knocks Bochy’s bunch off track.
The St. Louis Cardinals may be the most respected organization in player development. Yes the Dodgers-Yankees-Red Sox spend the most. But San Francisco, in its own unique way, is as good as it gets.
San Diego may not like the Giants color ‘Orange’, but you should respect who they are, how they operate as a franchise.