Baseball is Coming!

We are just a few days away from Valentine’s, Ash Wednesday/Lent, and, oh yeah, pitchers and catchers reporting.

While I have no earth shattering insights today as we stand on the precipice of a new season, a couple of random thoughts to hopefully get us a bit more excited about what lies ahead:

  1. The PECOTA system, one of the better projection models for baseball, thinks that the Giants will win 84 games and be the second wild card team. They are high on Johnny Cueto having a bounce back season (and Bumgarner/Cueto/Samardzija being very good), which brings us back to what I said a few weeks ago. For the Giants to be good in 2018, Cueto needs to meet his PECOTA projections. Please.
  2. The Giants made another move, by signing Derek Holland to a minor league deal, and there are still many other options out there for pitching depth. Holland was pretty terrible last year, but has been good for the most part during his career when healthy. He also has sported one of the greatest mustaches of all time. holland_stache
  3. I’m not sure how the money and roster moves would work out, but I’d be more than willing to open 2018 with Holland as the 5th starter if he shows anything during camp. His best is a close approximation to Matt Moore’s best (sorry to open that wound), but he will be way cheaper than Moore was ever going to be this year.
  4. Speaking of the 2010 World Series, Tim Lincecum is making another comeback and the Giants are interested. I’m interested too, because IT’S FREAKING TIMMY, COME ON, but also because I still believe in a Lincecum renaissance as a multi-inning bullpen weapon. How even-year-magic would it be if Lincecum turned into a poor man’s Chris Devenski and helped the Giants make another run?
  5. Finally, Fan Fest was this past weekend and how good does Andrew McCutchen look in orange and black? (Answer: real good)920x920
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Games 3&4…

…Or a short treatise on greatness. Albert Pujols is great. He’s already proven that. He doesn’t need to do anything in this post-season to prove that. In fact, post-season greatness really doesn’t reflect who is actually a great baseball player. (I ran into a Phillies fan just after they got bumped by the Cards and he is still more upset about Cody Ross than this year’s playoff bounce). All that to say, just because you succeed in the post-season, it doesn’t make you a great player.

But Albert Pujols is great and there is something special about a great player having a great night on baseball’s largest stage.

I’ve always had a strange connection with Pujols (I think because we born in the same year and because I have never lost a fantasy season in which I drafted him). And even though I kind of want the Rangers to win this series, I always love watching the guy and root for him except for when he is playing the Giants.

Derek Holland is not great. At least not yet. We might be seeing the birth of a star. We might not. He had a horrible WS last year, so good for him, having the night of his life last night. Again, this is baseball: one night its greatest player has the greatest night ever. The next night he gets shut down by a guy who looks like this:

Baseball. Got to love it. Three more games please.

(-SB)