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MLB Round-Up; Giants Sweep! What’s Next for Both Teams?


The Giants celebrate their second title in three years.

In case you fell asleep for a couple of days last week, the San Francisco Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers four games to none to claim their second World Series title in the last three years. While I cannot say I surprised by the Giants victory, I can say I was shocked by the way San Francisco controlled each game with excellent pitching, solid defense and hustle.

I had the Tigers winning this thing in six game if I recall and much of that had to do with the fact that I just didn’t think the Giants would be able to match the Tigers starter-for-starter and boy was I wrong. Once I saw the way the Giants approached Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander in Game One, I started to have very eerie feeling this series was going to go differently than I had pictured. The Giants clearly went to the plate against Verlander with the intention of making him throw lots of pitches and making sure they laid off the curve. While he would tell you he didn’t have his best stuff, it really didn’t matter because the Giants worked him like a dog fouling off pitch after pitch before getting the ball in play.

The other Tigers’ pitchers Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez probably would have won their games in most every other case, but the Detroit bats were absolutely silenced with a few small exceptions. Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelsong and Madison Bumgarner were just that much better than their counter-parts from Detroit. The Giants didn’t get much in the way of offense outside of Game One and didn’t need it anyway with shutouts in Games Three and Four.

Congratulations to both teams on great seasons. Now what does the future hold?

Jim Leyland

Leyland will be back for his eighth season in Detroit

For Detroit…. The Tigers have already re-signed manager Jim Leyland to a one-year contract extension and the majority of Tigers’ fans welcome the move despite some consternation about Leyland’s style at times. Because their really isn’t anyone out there on the market worth getting, retaining Leyland was the right move.

In what can only be described as ‘completely expected,’ the Tigers will not renew with closer Jose Valverde who blew two leads in the playoffs. ‘Papa Grande’ should not be ushered to the curb with a kick in the pants however because the guy saved a ton of games in Detroit over the last couple of seasons. Many of which gave Tigers’ fans heart attacks, but nevertheless… Detroit will also part ways with left-fielder Delmon Young who had a nice second half of the season, but an upgrade is clearly needed there. Look for Detroit to get more athletic, especially in that position.

Detroit does plan to keep shortstop Jhonny Peralta and reliver Octavio Dotel around for the 2013 season as well. My guess is that the Tigers will look to upgrade their bullpen and wouldn’t be surprised to see a starter like Rick Porcello offered in a trade.

For San Francisco…. For General Manager Brian Sabean, the first issue may be dealing with a choice. Do you re-sign Melky Cabrera or sign Angel Pagan to the long-term deal you know he’ll be looking for? While many expect Cabrera to get that nod, I don’t and I think it’s because of his PED use. There’s no way he puts up the numbers he did last season before his 50-game suspension and a player like Pagan is incredibly important for team chemistry because of his fire and attitude and ability to get on base.

I have to believe that Tim Lincecum goes in one of two directions; Either he returns to the role he knows best as a starter or the Giants see what they can get for him in a trade. He’s scheduled to make $20 million next season so options are limited… Speaking of limited options, the Giants may be forced to re-sign playoff hero Marco Scutaro because there really isn’t anyone else to fill the second base void should he leave during free agency.

One final thought I would have on the Giants is that perhaps they’ll go after another starter. While their starting pitching was excellent in the World Series, I have to wonder if they don’t need a guy who can devour some innings to save the arms of the other starters perhaps.

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