With their 3rd World Series title secured in 5 years, there’s no doubt that the San Francisco Giants have established a dynasty. Their run of success, particularly in the postseason, has been unparalleled in recent years and they’ve become the best team in baseball. But how long can this period last for? Will there be more titles on the horizon or will the Giants eventually fade in the coming seasons ahead?
The reason that the Giants continue to contend is simple enough: they have one of baseball’s highest payrolls. Paying their players the 7th highest total in the league, the Giants’ spending is on par with the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels, two teams known for their prosperous budget. And given the divisional matchup against the free-spending Los Angeles Dodgers (who have by far the largest MLB payroll), the Giants certainly need to dish out the dollars in order to compete. It’s also easy to forget that the Dodgers won the NL West by 6 games, meaning that the Giants had to play in the single game wildcard match. This remarkable run could have been nipped in the bud over a month ago!
But San Francisco won that game and that speaks to the merits of this dynasty. What the Giants are best at is winning in the postseason. Their players seem to always rise to the occasion and their statistics back it up. For example, Pablo Sandoval is one of the fan favorites at the club. During the season he had a respectable .279 average. However, in the postseason he cranked it up to .366. Though he failed to get a home run in the 2014 MLB playoffs, he has been capable of that in past World Series runs.
Likewise, Madison Bumgarner had a solid season going 18-10 with a 2.98 ERA. That’s good, but what he accomplished in the postseason was legendary. He went 4-1 with an ERA of just 1.03! His 5 innings of scoreless pitching in Game 7 was on two days’ rest! Such a performance is nothing short of astounding. As long as these players can crank their games up in the playoffs, I can’t see anyone stopping them. The only trick for San Francisco seems to be just reaching those playoffs, which is how they were denied on the two occasions in the past 5 years in which they didn’t win the World Series.
But with baseball being such a sport of turnover, couldn’t roster changes threaten the longevity of their dynasty? Perhaps, but the Giant’s front office has to be commended on how well they have managed their team. Bumgarner, Hunter Pence, Tim Lincecum, and several other key players are tied up for a few years. Meanwhile, many of their impending free agents like Sandoval, Michael Morse, Ryan Vogelsong, and Jake Peavy are certainly re-signable, though they will certainly command a large fee.
An interesting issue that the Giants overcame this year was injuries to their highest paid players like Matt Cain, Marco Scutaro and Angel Pagan. Considering that they are likely to return next spring, San Francisco will have one of the deepest rosters around. They just need to focus on keeping their big budget rolling and the good times will continue. However, players will come and go, the Giants just need to keep their core star players in tact (specifically Sandoval), and their postseason dynasty should continue for some time. At this moment I certainly expect the Giants to win another World Series in the next few years and have their incredible dynasty continue. Their late-season prowess is every fan’s dream, and it looks set to keep rolling along!
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