On Saturday, June 25th, Bleacher Report staff spoke with the founder and operator of SFGiantsInsider.comMichael Manbert.

Michael is a columnist and summer intern here at Bleacher Report, and he also personally maintains SFGiantsInsider.com.

BR: Welcome, Michael! Thanks for joining us.

MM: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.

BR: We love the work you’ve done for us. Firstly, though, how exactly did you go about setting up your site, SFGI?

MM: I’ve been a huge reader since I can remember and have always had a natural affinity for writing. After having written about a variety of topics including but not limited to politics, book reviews, health and fitness and sports, I decided it was time to begin working for myself rather than others. I bought the rights to SFGI, designed the site, began writing articles and never looked back.

BR: Awesome! The site looks great. What advice would you give to other young writers who aspire to follow in your footsteps?

MM: My first piece of advice would be to cover something that you’re passionate about. Although I believe that a talented writer can make an interesting read out of any topic, I feel that in order to continually produce high-quality work, one must maintain a passion for their respective subject, whatever it might be.

BR: Wise words. I take it baseball is one of your passions—more specifically, the San Francisco Giants. How long have you been a Giants fan?

MM: Although I was born and raised in Southern California, my father grew up in San Francisco, and his entire side of the family still resides in Northern California. I grew up a San Francisco Giants and 49ers fan, and that’s never changed. It never will!

BR: Loyalty is an honorable trait!

MM: Definitely. I’ve got no respect for bandwagon fans.

BR: Even those who fell in love with the Giants following their World Series victory this past season?

MM: Well.. I suppose I’m alright with them! (laughs)

BR: Back on topic.. How long have you been writing, and do you currently have anything other than SFGI in the works?

MM: As I’m sure you know, (laughs) I am a summer intern at BleacherReport.com and am obviously also a columnist there. I write part-time for TheMuscleFeed.com and do some paid work for Patch.com, covering the Temecula region. Although I’ve been writing high-quality essays and the like in school since I was young, I found that I excelled at the journalistic side of writing/reporting in 2009.

BR: Sounds like you’ve got a fair amount of work on your plate. With that said, let’s get down to business! Would you be so kind as to give us your NL West predictions for the 2011 season?

MM: Absolutely.. I’ve been waiting for you to ask that. Although I am obviously a huge Giants fan, I will give my predictions without bias.

My final NL West standings are as follows:

1. San Francisco Giants – As I said, without bias. Even if I happened to be a Dodgers Fan (God forbid), I just can’t see the Giants not taking the NL West this year. As of today, they’re a 1/2 game behind the Arizona Diamondbacks. They’ve done this without Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Freddy Sanchez, Barry Zito, Mike Fontenot and various other players who have been lost to the DL for extended periods of time. Furthermore, their pitchers have yet to throw to their full potential. The fact that the Giants are either in first or within a couple games consistently given the circumstances they’ve faced this year leads me to believe that they will run away with the division when they start playing to their potential.

2. Colorado Rockies – The Rockies in 2nd, rather than the Diamondbacks? That’s right. I feel that Colorado’s offense – anchored by heavyweights Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzales and a resurgent Jason Giambi – will keep them in contention throughout the year, and will eventually lead them to be runners-up in the NL West.

3. Arizona Diamondbacks – I don’t necessarily have any statistics to back this one up. I just feel that the Diamondbacks are barely hanging on at this point. It seems that they’re playing to the best of their potential, while the Giants aren’t playing particularly well and are still taking turns with Arizona as leaders of the NL West. Arizona will eventually show their true colors as a mediocre ball club, in my opinion.

4. Los Angeles Dodgers – The Dodgers’ management situation – highlighted by the infamous McCourt divorce situation – is in shambles. Their team has followed suit. The Dodgers are nine games under .500, and I can’t see them making any waves this year.

5. San Diego Padres – Last and certainly least are the San Diego Padres. As a student at San Diego State, this should pain me to say; it doesn’t. Does the truth hurt, San Diego? The Padres – contenders in 2010 – are nothing without Adrian Gonzales. The Padres will again revert to what they are: basement dwellers.

BR: Wow. An insightful look at the NL West from the brain himself, Michael Manbert. It certainly seems that you have a bright future, Michael. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us!

MM: Of course. Thank you very much for having me.


This interview is copyrighted by Bleacher Report and SFGiantsInsider.com.

Michael Manbert is a reporter for SFGiantsInsider.com.

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