Even though the San Francisco Giants are fully focused on their game tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals, there will baseball beyond 2012.Whenever it is that the Giants enter the off-season, they will need to carefully consider the annual crop of free agents to decide who can best give them a chance to win in 2013.Here are three candidates worthy of San Francisco's attention. Begin Slideshow
Last Sunday, the unthinkable happened. Seated at AT&T Park, I watched as Tim Lincecum turned-in his latest disaster on the mound. More worrisome than the hits were how erratically he allowed them.In the first inning it was three walks, the second three strikeouts.By the time a booming Josh Hamilton double made the score 5-0 in favor of not the Giants, I turned to my friend and said the impossible: “At least we still have Barry Zito.” At earlier junctures in Zito’s tenure (read: all junctures prior to 2012), this statement would serve as a respite, a bit of levity to lighten a dour mood while simultaneously commenting on the futility of the Giants perennial fifth starter.Of course we still had Zito. That, in fact, was the problem. But something is happening this season, and it’s the kind of subtle magic that doesn’t lend itself to acronym statistics—although we will employ ...
From winning the World Series in 2010 to missing the playoffs in 2011, the San Francisco Giants have experienced euphoria and crashed back to earth.The Giants are a pitching-rich, offensively depleted team. They enter 2012 with one mission in mind: to prove their championship a season ago was not a fluke. It won't be easy. Everything that seemed to go right on their path to the World Series went wrong the following season.Will Buster Posey return to form? Can Aubrey Huff find his swing? Does Tim Lincecum have another Cy Young season in the tank? Fans are eager to see if a team largely unchanged during the offseason can overcome the hardships and disappointments of 2011.Let's take a look at five major possibilities for the 2012 season.Begin Slideshow