BGB Team Picker – 2nd place San Francisco Giants

Just two years ago, the Giants were Barry Bonds and Barry Bonds was the Giants.  Now, he is a part of their history that they seemingly don’t quite know how to  reconcile themselves with.  A newcomer doesn’t have to worry about that though.  The Giants are at the beginning of a new era and that makes them an attractive proposition for a British fan trying to decide which team he or she should make their own. 

Team Picker Scores

Roots and Tradition Underdog Status Hope for the Future Following from afar Road trip potential Total Score
13 16.5 5 18 16.5 69

As you can see, the Giants score well across the board.  The one area that lets them down at the moment is their low ranking in the ‘Hope for the Future’ category, but they do have an ace up their sleeve.  Quite literally.  The newly crowned NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum is surely worth an extra three or four points on his own.

While their move from New York back in 1958 was contentious at the time, it would be wrong to penalize them too heavily for that now.  After all, they have been in San Francisco for fifty years and counting.  Their low win totals in the last few years means that they are definite underdogs, although they haven’t been shy about spending money at the same time.  Unfortunately for them, they haven’t been great at spending it wisely (Barry Zito being a classic example).

The Giants played a good number of day games (nineteen) during the working week in 2008, which along with a decent amount of weekend day games helps them to greatly reduce the negative effect of their west coast position in terms of their games being played at a convenient time for British fans.  Add in San Francisco’s attraction as a tourist destination and the Giants are strong candidates to be an ideal team for a Brit to pick.

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9 Responses to BGB Team Picker – 2nd place San Francisco Giants

  1. Joe Cooter November 19, 2008 at 10:51 am #

    Here is the thing with the Giants. They Used play in New York and are the REason that the NFL team has the Name Giants. For nearly thirty years, they were Managed By John McGraw who was know to be Super Competititive. McGraw would do anything to win including arguing with umpires. As a player he cut across the diamond when the Umpire wasn’t looking and go to third on a single when the Umpire wasn’t looking. There were only two umpires per game back in those days so players would frequently tack advantage of the situation.

    MCGraw Grew up in Taunton, New YOrk in Cortland County about 30 miles from Syracuse, the son of Irish immigrants. Four Years after his death, the Giants went to Taunton to dedicate a plack in his honour and play and exhibition game. To the best of my knowledge that plack still stands.

  2. Joe Cooter November 19, 2008 at 10:55 am #

    Uh oh, I goofed it was Truxton.

  3. Tim November 19, 2008 at 6:08 pm #

    The Giants are my ‘second’ team – or, if you like, my National League team – behind the Mariners. Basically because the first MLB game I saw – and my first exposure to Major League Baseball – was at what was then Pac Bell Park in 2003. The beautiful bay-side park, the introduction to the whole baseball park atmosphere and the fact that I went with a Giants fan, who could fill me in on what I needed to know, all tickled my fancy. It also helps that the city is possibly my favourite of the US cities I’ve visited.

    Despite all this, it is the Mariners who I find myself attached to. I think a mid-summer day game with a cool drink at the ballpark by the bay in San Francisco represents to me my quintessential baseball experience, whereas the Mariners are the team I actually care how they’re doing, who their new manager is going to be, how they’re going to work themselves out of the rut of recent years. They’re the team I got almost pants-wettingly excited about seeing for the first time at Safeco Field on a more recent US trip, and the reason I still had a warm feeling about me (unrelated to pants-wetting) on walking out of the ballpark, even though they’d been thoroughly tonked by Toronto. Basically they are team I have become emotionally tied to – and once you go down that route you can’t really extricate yourself.

    As the Mariners have struggled in recent years I do wonder how things might have been different when I ‘chose’ my team. The type of team they’ve been – one with money to spend but lacking the ability to spend it wisely – is the type of team I normally loath in any sport. If someone had thrust a copy of Moneyball into my hands at the same time I got into baseball things might have been different as the Athletics’ way is actually a lot more appealing to me.

    However, what’s done is done. At the time they ticked a number of the criteria Matt and Joe have used. Seattle was the very first city I hit on that first trip to the States in ’03 and I really liked the place. Once I started following baseball in San Francisco I seemed to retroactively date my allegiance back the Mariners because of that. One thing which tipped the balance in the Mariners’ favour over the Giants in that ‘formative’ summer was that they were actually in contention for something right up to the end of the regular season! Other ingredients: they had a ‘franchise star’ in Ichiro plus some long-time fan-favourites like Jamie Moyer and Edgar Martinez; despite having only a very short back story they had enough recent history of success and association with recognisably famous baseball personages to make them interesting; they weren’t one of the mass-market ‘obvious’ teams to support, which was also appealing to me.

    Whoops – apologies for the long post.

  4. Joe Gray November 19, 2008 at 6:21 pm #

    Hi Tim,

    As a fellow Mariners fan (which you know of course) who wonders now why exactly he chose the Mariners but still loves the team, I feel it is my duty to break some news to you… the Mariners are not going the number 1 team in tomorrow’s post. That still leaves 27 teams it could be (so I hope Matt doesn’t boot me off BaseballGB).

    Your thoughts on tweaking (or even overhauling) any of the categories would be appreciated as much as anyone else’s, although you’ll probably find it easier to make suggestions when you see the full breakdown in Saturday’s post.

    And in-between those two posts, you’ll get to test your scoring knowledge on Friday’s noontime “You Are the Scorer”.

  5. Chico November 19, 2008 at 7:22 pm #

    Tim and Joe: I just know the #1 team is going to be the White Sox. LOL! Seriously, I think it is going to be the Cleveland Indians. Just a hunch. I hope it’s not the Cubs! The Cubs have too big of a payroll and are too much of a “bandwagon” team because of Wrigley field. The Cincinatti Reds could also be the pick. Yes, it will be Cincinatti.

  6. Matt Smith November 19, 2008 at 7:26 pm #

    I’ll let you off Joe!

    I think it’s often the case that Brits stumble across a team for any number of random reasons. I just happened to see the A’s on TV and their colours (what looked like green and yellow caps) matched my football team so that was good enough for me.

    Joe and I thought this would be a fun way for people who haven’t got a reason to pick a team to make their choice. We’ve certainly enjoyed the process so far and are looking forward to hearing what people think about it.

  7. Chico November 19, 2008 at 7:28 pm #

    Uh oh, It just might be the Cubs when I look at the Team Picker Scores. Say it ain’t so Joe!

  8. Joe Cooter November 19, 2008 at 11:46 pm #

    Chico,

    I thought the quote “Say it ain’t so, Joe!” was associated with the Chicargo Whitesox.

  9. Chico November 20, 2008 at 6:39 pm #

    Hi Joe Cooter! You are correct. Legend has it that a kid on the street near 35th and Shields said that to Shoeless Joe Jackson in regards to the 1919 World Series and the Black Sox scandal. I was just trying to make a Chicago reference and also tie it in to Joe Gray. Chico

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