NLCS:  Giants v Cubs?

Posted: April 17, 2016 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized
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Hey there, Chicago!
I relish the opportunity to wax on about the San Francisco Giants here on SportsTimeRadio because simply put, the Giants and your Chicago Cubs are destined to meet in October. At least put it this way, the Giants will be there and I expect you’d back that up with a resounding, “Don’t you worry about our Cubs.”
First off, I’m sorry to see Kyle Schwarber go down especially the way the whole play unfolded. San Francisco lost Hunter Pence the first week of spring training last year and the team never fully recovered. Of course, Pence means much to the soul of the Giants but still, here’s hoping that Schwarber is back on the diamond in the most timely of manners. No team nor its fans wants to get a leg up on another club through injury.
Looking at the Cubs’ complete roster though, with its depth, leaves me to believe that my opening statement is accurate: The Giants and Cubs will compete against one another in the 2016 playoffs. The last time that happened was in 1989, when San Francisco prevailed four games to one, only to lose to the Oakland A’s in the infamous Earthquake Series.
I first appeared on this show in November of 2014, when Dan called to ask about my “Dynasty” piece on the Giants. I had written that three titles in five years, while stellar, did not make a dynasty because the rule of thumb is continuous success over a decade. That’s ten years, not five.
Since then I have appeared every few weeks when there are some lively topics to bat around, not so often when there isn’t much going on. When Pablo Sandoval was in the news only a year ago in December, with all of his palaver about wanting a new challenge in Boston, I was chiming in with my nickel’s worth routinely. I see now that the rotund one is back in the news with his recent disharmony with Boston management.
I feel bad for The Panda because he was so easy to like, but like the tragic hero, he has a flaw. His flaw is not so much the excess weight he carries around, but the fact that he refuses to acknowledge that the weight is the albatross that keeps him so locked into his decline.
For the Giants, of course, it meant that Matt Duffy was able to step right into the slot and not only make fans forget Pablo, but introduce us to “The DuffMan!” Duffy is now in his second season and fits in well with the all home-grown Giants infield.
Most recently, the decision to keep the red-hot Trevor Brown over Andrew Susac as Buster Posey’s back-up behind the dish, has paid off handsomely. The UCLA grad from Newhall, California has produced an early line of .385/1.154/1.538; in thirteen at-bats, the rookie has five hits, three of them big flies. 
The Giants like Posey’s offensive numbers much more when he is playing first, but they also like those three world series rings that Posey has delivered. Buster wasn’t playing first base when his three-time underdog Giants beat some pretty impressive American League powers to acquire their three rings.
I imagine there are Cubs fans who are keeping an eye on Jeff Samardzija for a variety of reasons. Though The Shark may have worn out his welcome in the home town, he has been embraced by the Giants, who have a reputation for rolling out the red carpet for new arrivals. It doesn’t hurt that Samardzija will be pitching half his games at AT&T Park, with one of the best pitching coaches in the game in Dave Righetti.
The Cubs have been ranked number one amongst MLB’s elite since the first preseason power polls were released. Nothing has occurred to change that. The Giants have hovered somewhere in the middle of the top-ten so far.
I imagine both teams are exactly where they would like to be. I know the Giants relish being the underdog and it still amazes/amuses me that they frequently get so little respect. 
Respect is a commodity that must be earned and the Giants have three recent titles in their resume that assures me they have the necessary credentials. Recent success does not guarantee continued success, but it is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. 
See you next time.


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