Question and Answer Time
I did this last year, and I’m doing it again this year. Daniel Shoptaw writes a blog for the Cardinals (www.cardsconclave.com) and I have put my feelings aside about the Cardinals to write a thread answering 6 questions. I don’t know Daniel personally but he’s featured in Pawlie’s book “Baseball’s Starry Night”. I met Daniel through the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and we connected those dots from there. His upcoming segment is called “Playing Pepper” and he asks different blog owners from different teams to answer specific questions about the off season and the season ahead. Here goes:
1) How would you grade the off season?
answer: I grade it a B. I love the Huddy signing and Morse is a low cost answer to the black hole we call left field. Locking up Pence early was brilliant as it turned out he would have gotten significantly more had he tested the market. People scoffed at the dough thrown at Timmy but it was only 2 years and I expect him to have a very good year. I would have liked to have seen them sign a “Kelly Johnson” because he’s affordable and the one thing the Giants can’t afford to do is suffer injuries and have to turn to the farm system for long term help. It is not there.
2) How strange (and perhaps liberating) will it be to not see Barry Zito on the roster this year?
answer: I won’t miss Barry pitching for us, it was often disastrous. But I will always hold Barry Zito in the highest esteem for what he did in Game 5 vs the Cardinals in the 2012 playoffs. They do not win the 2012 World Series without Zito pitching in Game 5 of the NLCS. And his final game as a Giant will go down in history, for me, as one of the most emotional single “walk off the mound” moments in Giants history.
this is far from the best video of that moment, but considering how much he was hated for so many years, this send off is most awesome. These fans “get it”. Somebody else might be able to find a better video of the moment. It’s barely addressed anywhere but this is Mark Kotsay’s final at bat as a big leaguer too, and I can’t say enough about Kotsay’s character to take this strike out for his old buddy.
3) What roster battle will be the most intriguing during spring training? (he sent me this a while ago, I apologize for just getting to it now)
answer: Marco Scutaro’s battle vs his own back. I said back in Feb 2011 that Freddy Sanchez would never play again and people laughed at me. I do think Marco will play this year but he’s utility material at best. I’d take The Wonger from the Cardinals in a nano-second. Or even Mark Ellis.
4) What rookie, if any, will have the most impact on the team in 2014?
answer: Probably Adrianza just because he’s out of options and might fall into the 2nd base gig as Scoot continues to battle his back.
5) What will be the final record of the team and where will they finish?
answer: total homer call here, we have to stay healthy across the board, but I am predicting the Giants win 92 and the division. I’ve nailed too many other final win totals cold over the years, I’m allowed to take a flier like this now and again.
6) Which player from your team do you most enjoy watching?
answer: The Pagan Salute. If he’s saluting at second base, we’re winning and that’s all this Giants fan cares about…….