Ok. Quick disclaimer. I have watched exactly zero SF Giants games until the NLCS. I watched about half of game 1, and about the same of game 2. So, all you Giants fans out there can tell me I’m full of it. But, it certainly looks like they are what Theo had in mind when he talked about pitching and defense.
I look at the Phillies line-up, and I have heard of a lot of those guys. And, not just because they were in the World Series the last two years. Howard, Utley, and Rollins are certainly household names, well known for their batting prowess. (Speaking of Howard. After watching David Ortiz for so long, I’m always amazed at how relatively tiny Howard is) Add in the rest of the group, most of who would star on other teams, and you have a mighty fine offense. But, when I look at the Giants line-up, the only reason I know any of their names is because they used to be something. Edgar Renteria used to be a great shortstop, until he came to Boston. Freddy Sanchez used to be a batting champion. Ok, he’s still a champion…but not a current one. Aubrey Huff used to be the underrated star of the Devil Rays. Pat Burrell used to be the rising star of the Phillies. These days, they’re simply solid additions to a line-up. What the Giants do have, obviously, is pitching. They have the horses at the top of the rotation that would be the envy of almost any team. They have the bullpen arms that will save most of their leads. They don’t need to score many runs. They’re not going to give up many runs. And, it would appear, that system can lead to success. There really is more than one way to build a team and win games. Imagine that.
If the Red Sox rotation had performed up to their capabilities, or Theo had remembered he needed a bullpen, the pitching and defense angle would have worked. It’s too bad really. Just because it didn’t work, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good idea.
And, just because it does work doesn’t mean it was a good idea.