Can the young guns help the world champions repeat.
Kiss 'Em Goodbye is a series focusing on MLB teams as their postseason dreams fade -- whether in September (or before), the league division series, league championship series or World Series. It combines a broad overview of this season from Buster Olney, a take from Baseball Prospectus, a look toward a potential 2011 move courtesy of Rumor Central and Kevin Goldstein's farm system overview. You can find all the teams on one page by going here.
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Aubrey Huff is reveling in his first taste of the postseason, along with other news and notes from around the major leagues.
SAN FRANCISCO—Aubrey Huff waited a long time to finally get to the postseason. He played 11 seasons and in 1,479 games before the Giants clinched the National League West title on the final day of the regular season.
It's a series that will feature superb pitching staffs, and one team will come away with a long-awaited title.
In baseball as in literature, archetypes tend to be formulaic, proof that fiction falls short of reality when it comes to the power to describe any one thing in shorthand. The need, indeed one of the great benefits of the human mind is to identify patterns, and to peg things that fall within those patterns, or to re-evaluate the pattern as a whole to create some new rubric, some new way of explaining things. Take our current post-season slate: instead of a much-anticipated rematch between the Evil Empire and the Phillies' a-bornin' senior-circuit dynasty, last week we got the pleasure of witnessing imperial ambitions utterly overthrown in both leagues.
A series that will feature spectacular pitching may come down to the tiniest advantages to decide the winner.
So, let's see, for an initial checklist for maximum LCS entertainment potential, is there anything missing? Record-wise, the two best teams in National League? Check, even if we allow for the fact that the Giants weren't one of the top two teams in Clay Davenport's adjusted standings. The two best rotations in baseball? Check. Heck, it even features two of the three best defensive units in the league (via PADE), with only the already-vanquished Reds separating the Giants and Phillies. And the offenses are... well, OK, this whole clash of the titans thing only goes so far, because they're not both among the best in the league. The Phillies are, tying for third in the league in team-level True Average, but the Giants finished back in ninth place, even with Brian Sabean's ticky-tack trades to accrue incremental improvements.
The author and museum curator discusses the history of the Giants and his thoughts on the 2010 team.
Richard A. Johnson knows baseball history, and as a lifelong fan of the team that calls AT&T Park home, he certainly knows San Francisco Giants history. The longtime curator of the Sports Museum in Boston, Johnson is the author or co-author of numerous books.
Two teams that took interesting rides to the postseason meet in the first round.
Those of you who root for chaos and the eventual heat death of the universe were no doubt disappointed that the season did not end with a series of one-game playoffs. To the Braves and the Giants, however, the outcomes of Sunday’s games were more than welcome. Their starters will receive an additional day of rest each, and they won’t entirely foreclose the possibility of pitching their Game One starters on short rest in Game Four. The condensed schedule of this series (potentially five games in seven days, rather than the eight allotted to the other NLDS) means Bobby Cox and Bruce Bochy will have tough decisions to make should the series go to four or five games.
Despite squandering their National League West lead, San Diego is still in position to get to the postseason.
On the morning of August 26, the Padres found themselves 6 1/2 games up on the second-place Giants in the National League West. The Friars had just finished off an 8-2 stretch that saw them push their playoff odds into the 90 percent and higher range, and with one game remaining in a series with the Diamondbacks, a three-game weekend series against the Phillies and then a slew of inter-divisional series, it looked as if they could finish off their playoff chase before anyone else in the NL.
Placed RHP Juan Gutierrez on the 15-day DL (shoulder inflamation); activated OF-LRyan Church. [8/3]
Optioned INF-S Tony Abreu to Reno (Triple-A); recalled RHP Rafael Rodriguez from Reno. [8/4]
Activated RHP Juan Gutierrez from the 15-day DL; optioned RHP Rafael Rodriguez to Reno. [8/18]
Activated 2B/OF-S Eric Young Jr. from the 15-day DL, and optioned him to Colorado Springs (Triple-A). [8/2]
Activated 1B-LTodd Helton from the 15-day DL; optioned MI-S Jonathan Herrera to Colorado Springs; claimed 3B-RWes Hodges off waivers from the Indians, and optioned him to Colorado Springs. [8/3]
Placed RHP Aaron Cook on the 15-day DL (sprained big toe), retroactive to 8/4; recalled INF-RChris Nelson from Colorado Springs. [8/5]
Optioned INF-R Chris Nelson to Colorado Springs; recalled RHP Esmil Rogers from Colorado Springs. [8/8]
Placed LHP Jeff Francis on the 15-day DL (shoulder ), retroactive to 8/12; recalled 2B/OF-S Eric Young Jr. from Colorado Springs. [8/14]
Placed RHP Taylor Buchholz on the 15-day DL (lower back), retroactive to 8/14; recalled RHP Jhoulys Chacin from Colorado Springs. [8/17]
Released 1B/RF-LBrad Hawpe; purchased the contract of LHP Matt Reynolds from Colorado Springs. [8/19]
Wrapping up a trip around the venerable High-A league.
Inland Empire 66ers
There are a number of ways to make money with a minor-league baseball team. The most advisable is receiving ample support from a major-league affiliate in the nation’s second-largest market, building a stadium with a bevy of state-of-the-art luxury boxes leased by the season to Los Angeles’ most wealthy individuals and corporations, and having a band of Indians supply the second-largest video board in minor-league sports west of the Mississippi. Having that same band of Indians sponsor a scantily-clad female dance team is also advisable.
The Giants take steps to try to improve their lackluster offense, plus other MLB notes.
Bruce Bochy has been a major-league manager for 16 seasons, ranking him fourth among big-league skippers in continuous service behind Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox, and Joe Torre. Thus, Bochy has been around long enough to know what his Giants need to put themselves among the major leagues' elite teams.