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Ferguson: Giants deserve credit for overcoming adversity

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Scott Ferguson
10/29/2012 10:56:13 AM
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The 108th World Series was nowhere near a classic. In fact it was a little bit of a letdown after the incredible playoff series that preceded it. Still, the San Francisco Giants deserve tons of credit for sweeping Detroit and for overcoming everything that they did, to become champions for the seventh time in franchise history.

They had to get by without their injured closer Brian Wilson. Their ace starter Tim Lincecum had a dreadful season, until he turned it around during the post-season in the pen as a long reliever.

The Giants also had to get over the shock of losing the National League's top hitter in Melky Cabrera after he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Through all of that, they still managed to win their second World Series title in three years.

There has been a lot of talk about Giants skipper Bruce Bochy getting his foot in the Hall of Fame door by winning his second Fall Classic. He's certainly got a decent chance since five of the 14 who have accomplished that feat are in, and two others - Joe Torre with four and Tony LaRussa with three - are a lock to eventually get in.

Of the seven that haven't made it including Bochy, you have two who definitely deserve the honour in Cito Gaston and Tom Kelly. Cito was the first African-American to lead a Major League team to a championship, and won his second the very next year with a decidedly different team that had 11 new players on the roster.

Kelly established a "Twins" style of baseball that made them contenders, when their payroll often suggested they shouldn't be.

While we're talking Hall of Fame types, how about Giants executive vice-president and general manager Brian Sabean? He has held that position longer than any other GM currently employed. He's also built teams that have been in the post-season six times, been to three World Series and have won two of them.
 
Sabean was also a scout with the Yankees and was instrumental in the drafting and signing of the "Big Four", Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte.


Talking Jays

The Blue Jays figure to have a new manager in place in the next week to ten days. If those in the media and many of the players had a choice, they would probably pick third base coach Brian Butterfield, one of the hardest working and top coaches in the business. But Dodgers third base coach and former Expos third baseman Tim Wallach and Cleveland bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. are formidable candidates as well.

There is no question the Blue Jays' top priority is to bolster their starting pitching rotation. They could really use three starters, but I've got a feeling the competition for quality arms will limit them to two.

I've got three possible options for consideration:
 
1) Trade for Tampa Bay's James Shields, who could be moved by the cost-conscious Rays. Augment this deal by signing a starter such as Washington free agent Edwin Jackson or White Sox right hander Gavin Floyd.
 
2) Sign right-hander Jake Peavy, who could be cut loose by the White Sox, since he has a $22 million option for next season. Trade for Marlins towering right-hander Josh Johnson, who's coming off somewhat of an off year, but has the stuff of an ace.
 
3) Trade for Marlins lefty Mark Buehrle. This is a more expensive option, since Buehrle still has three years left on a big buck contract. Trade for Cubs right-hander Matt Garza, who is coming off an elbow problem, but has a history of pitching well in the American League East.

In each case you would be getting an ace, and a two or a three, which would allow you to bump Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero further down in the rotation and lessen the pressure - especially on Romero who needs to rediscover what made him a solid pitcher over the two previous years.

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News has suggested that the Rangers should try to deal with the Jays to get Romero and catcher J.P Arencibia. The return would be second baseman Ian Kinsler and pitching prospect Justin Grimm.

It sounds interesting until you consider Kinsler's defensive play has dropped off so much, the Rangers are considering making him an outfielder next season.

Grant believes Romero would be a good fit in part because he has never given up a home run at the Ballpark in Arlington in over 130 innings.


Classic Content

This is going to be a shorter winter than usual for ball fans. The World Baseball Classic is coming up in March. Unfortunately there won't be any games at Rogers Centre as there were in 2009, the last time the event was played.

At least four Blue Jays could be involved: Brett Lawrie for Canada, Ricky Romero for Mexico, as well as Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion for the Dominican Republic. Henderson Alvarez could have an outside shot at pitching for Venezuela.

Pablo Sandoval (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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