Buster, the Rack
Batter up! Those may be the most magical words in the English language, except for maybe, “He’s safe!” in the bottom of the ninth, at AT&T Park. It’s all happening in Scottsdale, even as we speak. The Giants will contend in the NL West this season for a multitude of reasons, five of which I will elaborate upon, and see if you do not agree with me.
The Giants have Sabes, Brian Sabean, who has been the general manager since 1997. When he came on board, the Giants were on a roll; unfortunately, it was sloped downhill, the G-Men having had losing seasons, five of the previous six years. Now beginning his sixteenth season, the Giants have had a dozen winning seasons under Sabes’s watchful eye, including Oh Ten, when they picked up a new bauble for the old trophy case, a unit that had been languishing under layers of dust and frustration, for fifty-four years, and one whole western seaboard’s worth. You do not need to know anything more about Sabes, than that he was smart enough to not listen to the nay-sayers, bleating on about a “big bat.” I can’t help thinking these folks already have enough bats, the kind generally encountered in belfries.
Secondly, the Giants have B.B, Bruce Bochy. As a player, he was a catcher for the Padres, at one point as a manager, taking them to a Series. Those catchers are awfully tenacious. Bochy is consistent in his inconsistency, changing lineups as frequently as middle school girls change friends. However, his system works for him, because he communicates with his players, and gets them to buy into his philosophy, of baseball as a team sport. I do not even mean on the field, so much as in their minds. Each of the players, seems to have his teammate’s back. If one guy falters, there are two more to take up the slack. If one Giant allows a run to score in the top of the ninth, and another knocks in two, in the bottom of the ninth, the first player will not forget. That strengthens bonds, thank you Barry.
Third, the Giants have pitching. This is the most crucial element on the field. Brian Sabean and the Giants’ organization, have built up the finest staff from their farm system, in the major leagues today. It’s just an opinion, but one shared by many. Pitching is always key, but more so when it complements our yard. AT&T is built so that long fly balls can be chased down on the track, and Sabes has put together a staff which features the best combination of talent imaginable, and it’s all ours. Smirk.
Fourth, The Giants have Buster. Whether or not he is the “big bat,” or not, he is still Buster. You see, there is no technology available to measure heart, and Buster’s got heart. Miles and miles of heart, to quote the old musical, which I used to enjoy, until my distaste for the Yankees took hold, with an icy grip. We will see exactly how much heart Buster has, when the going gets tough. When that happens the tough gets to be like rawhide, and the going, like stretching rawhide. So Buster becomes a rack, upon which, rawhide doesn’t stand a chance.
Finally, the Giants feature a team for all/all for team approach, which allows each player to contribute, and allows Bochy to play the hot hand. Having players willing to set aside their own egos, for the betterment of the team, is the mentality which allowed us to defeat the Braves and the Phils in Oh Ten. I think we have the players, the management the confidence, the setting and the heart to contend this year. I say we use the time during spring training to iron out the wrinkles, and continue that mode, as we steam- roll our way to a division championship. That’s as far as I have gotten in my logic, but it’s a pretty good start.