Are the 2010 San Francisco Giants the new “Atlanta Braves” of the 90s and early 2000’s? 

Maybe. Think about these:

1.) Buster Posey could potentially be the Giants‘ version of “Chipper Jones.”

2.) Tim Lincecum could potentially be the Giants’ version of “John Smoltz.”

3.) Matt Cain could potentially be the Giants’ version of “Gred Maddux.”

4.) Barry Zito could potentially be the Giants’ version of “Tom Glavine.”

5.) Jonathan Sanchez could potentially be the Giants’ version of “Steve Avery.”

What a foundation?  The Giants management of the late 90s, including Brian Sabean, Ned Coletti, Dick Tidrow, and Dusty Baker, were eyeing the Braves and looking to rebuild, but couldn’t with Barry Bonds’ contract and a gutted farm system. 

So they hired former MLB pitcher and player developer Dick Tidrow to be the Giants VP of Player Personnel and Development. All the players above except for Zito are home-grown Giants players, and the beginnings of a new foundation similar to the Braves blueprint of the late 90s into the early 2000s. 

Of course, the above does not include promising young starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner. Additionally, the other differences between the 90s Braves and today’s Giants is that Cain and Sanchez are even more power-oriented arms than their Braves counterparts.  And power arms succeed in the postseason, according to many experts. 

So maybe the Giants will set forth on a winning tradition, beyond just division or even League pennant championships.  Maybe they’ll somehow succeed at winning a World Series or two or more. 

Right now, the Giants are in a real dog fight for their lives in the dirty south with these Atlanta Braves.  Although they are quite shorthanded by injuries, the Braves and Manager Bobby Cox still have a tradition of winning.  While it may not be the impressive team they once had, the aura and confidence that the Braves and Cox still have is not to be underestimated.

Look for this series to come down to a Game 5.  I think the Giants should be able to edge out the Braves in five games, but it could go either way.  The Giants still lack some key postseason experience in their bullpen, and the offense is not quite where it should be to be a champion.

By the way, LF Pat Burrell should be in the lineup ’til the end of the game, unless the Giants are up by two runs or more late. He reminds me of a modern-day Bobby Thomson (of 1951’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World fame).

Anyways, if the Giants somehow get past these Braves, that would be a nice feather in their cap at this stage of their development.  The Giants vs. the Phillies quite honestly will be a mismatch.  While the pitching is about even, with maybe a slight edge to the Giants, the Phillies offense, recent postseason experience, and the rest they are now getting after dispatching the Reds will be too much to overcome for the Giants, imho. 

2010 NLDS:  Giants win 3-2 over Braves

2010 NLCS:  Giants lose 2-4 to Phillies

I’m a Giants fan, but this is the likely reality.  We’ll see, of course.   But the good news, this experience will be good for the long-term, as they build on an already excellent young foundation for the next few years to come. 

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