So I haven't posted in 6 weeks. That's pretty much unacceptable. But what was there to say really that you folks didn't already know? The Giants couldn't keep it going with all the injuries and eventually petered out and fell to the surprising Diamondbacks.
Baseball felt a mini renaissance of sorts due to playoff chases that culminated in stunning fashion on Day 162. Red Sox and Braves fans had their hearts broken while Cardinals and Rays fans rejoiced. Nowhere is it summed up better than in the article here. Good luck finding drama like that in any sport any time soon. That only was the beginning, as we came to find out, as the NLDS had 3 series go to Game 5. Which of course, was merely a precursor to one of the best World Series played by two evenly matched teams with game 6 of the Series being one of the most entertaining baseball games ever played in modern history. An instant classic.
The St. Louis Cardinals are World Champions now. Can't say I'm happy with that. Tony LaRussa is the Bill Belichick of baseball and I hate that he now has 3 World Series rings. And aside from the Giants winning multiple trophies, I like new blood getting a taste. The Giants straight beat the Rangers last year. But the Cards and Rangers could have played a 10 game series and it wouldn't have been able to clearly determine who was the better team. It was one of the most balanced Fall Classics in awhile and the first to go seven since, well, since that World Series in '02 that may or may not have happened. And although I hate Texas (the state) for a lot of reasons, I really did wish the Rangers got to sip the champagne. Their fans were classy when the Giants won it on their field last year. It would have been their first championship. The Cardinals now have eleven. But I guess it was better than seeing the Phillies or Yankees win so I guess I'll take it.
So now it's officially the offseason and the Giants have already kicked it off with the resigning of Javier Lopez and the imminent return of Jeremy Affeldt (who's 5 milli option was picked up). First of all, let me state that I'm happy both will be back. I thought at most the Giants would keep one guy with a very real possibility of losing both. And although I think Lopez is more valuable, the Giants and specifically Brian Sabean mentioned Affeldt would be back which made me think the Giants would let Lopez walk. I didn't know how I felt about that. But now, they're both back. But it wasn't on a home friendly discount. Lopez is going to make 4.25M in 2012 and 2013. There's murmurs that Affeldt might restructure his option for a 2-3 year contract which might make it more team friendly. We're yet to see that development so as of right now, it stands that a middle reliever is going to make 5M next season. That's 1M less than Freddy Sanchez. Hopefully they had preliminary outlines of a new contract because that's a steep price for a lefty reliever that has had 1 great season, 1 good season, and 1 mediocre season. And although Runzler hasn't been completely impressive, if the choice was between Affeldt and his 5M or Runzler and his 600K, you go with Runzler, especially if your team is on a budget and needs a lot of help on the offensive side of the ball. Lefty relievers are a commodity and the relief market last year was ridiculous. Still, these contracts seem to be a tad high.
But you can't grade an offseason until it's complete and for now, Sabean has ensured that his two left handed stalwarts will be available in the 'pen in 2012. And that is a good thing.