01 April 2014

Welcome Back

Call me "Magnum"
As you may have noticed, it's been a while since I've written in this space, and frankly, I'm a little rusty when it comes to my sportswriting chops. I've been locked into the political and nonprofit world for so long that I fear any mention of Pablo Sandoval's contract negotiations will come with an entirely unintentional diatribe about the history of organized labor and the power of solidarity. So bear with me, folks. It's gonna be a long, bumpy ride back to coherence.

So far as the team on the field is concerned, there's some added depth, and the lineup certainly has the potential to produce at a higher clip than we're accustomed to. But it all comes down to the health of the starting rotation and the dexterity of the bullpen. Unlike a lot of fans, I'm on board with pitching and defense as the backbone of a team that plays 81 times a year in a park built to reward pitching and defense. We were spoiled by the Bonds years into thinking 40-HR seasons could be the norm at McCovey Cove, but anyone with eyes and a brain can tell you that's fool's gold.

No, this team will rise and fall on the backs of the Bum, the Horse, the Freak, Huddy, and the Vongelsong. (Sounds like some hippie band from "Inside Llewyn Davis" when you say it like that.) If Matt Cain posts another 4-plus ERA; if Timmy can't translate his sabermetric superiority into W's for the team; if Vogey can't resurrect the attitude that put him on the All-Star team two years ago; if Hudson's ankle falls apart... There are just too many ifs to ponder. So let's not and hope for the best. After all, not like any of this is up to us. Right?

The Opening Night contest was a fun little excursion into Wackadooville. I tried to break down the game a million different ways, but this is the best I could do: Somebody won, somebody lost, errors were made. Madison Bumgarner was meh, but didn't exactly get shelled. Brandon Belt had a rollercoaster ride on the Twitter but eventually redeemed himself — and rewarded my faith in drafting him for my fantasy team (errors don't hurt my stats). And Buster Posey did... what Buster Posey does. Amazing what an added 10 pounds can do. Maybe I should hit Five Guys today and start a new regimen.

Talk to you soon. I hope.

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