SportsPickle is previewing each MLB team in the lead up to Opening Day 2010. Today:San Francisco Giants (2009: 88-74, 3rd in NL West).
STARTING PITCHING Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain are outstanding. Barry Zito, with his massive contract,remains the rotation's big question mark. Zito needs to follow the lead of Lincecum and Cain. He needs to be a total pothead like Lincecum or all clean-cut like Cain. One or the other. You can't go halfway, Zito. Stoner or straight-edge? Pick one and turn your career around. (Psst. Free tip: Go stoner!)
LINEUP San Francisco's lineup is Pablo Sandoval and then a bunch of incredibly old men: Aaron Rowand, Edgar Renteria, Aubrey Huff, Mark DeRosa, Bengie Molina, and Juan Uribe. Sandoval is an impressive young player, but he is 23 and 5'11", 265 pounds (and likely shorter and fatter). He probably already has the diabeetus. Chances are one, or more, San Francisco hitters pass away this year. My pick for the first one? Edgar Renteria. He's old and, come on Renteria? That's clearly a name designed to one day be given to a disease. So you heard it here first: Edgar Renteria will die this year from acute Renteria. Then Sandoval of the diabeetus. Then Aubrey Huff. (Because his name is Aubrey. It's only fair. It's actually impressive he's lived this long without getting beaten.)
BULLPEN Brian Wilson has 79 saves the past two years and is established as the closer. But let's all hope he has a terrible season and quickly falls completely out of baseball. Nothing against him personally. It's just that every time I hear his name, this horrid song goes through my head:
The best player not in San Francisco's starting lineup is Buster Posey. But he is in the minors. The Giants want to get him another year of seasoning before he replaces Bengie Molina at catcher. But he better not get too much seasoning; Molina might try to eat him.
OVERALL The Giants have an ancient roster mixed with a few young stars. But despite the older players, they should stay in contention in the fairly even NL West. And don't discount the value of their older players dying. Playing in honor of fallen teammates can be a great motivator. Renteria FTW!