We normally kick off the start of a major sport’s season by telling you how bad your favorite team will be. But let’s face it: We’re not experts. Nobody is an expert. And speaking personally, when it comes to baseball, I’m not qualified to tell you about any team that doesn’t reside in the AL East, and really any team that isn’t the Yankees. I don’t follow every single team — therefore, it would be wrong of me to tell you that what’s wrong with them.
On the other hand, we’re also not down with blind optimism. Your favorite team is probably not going to win the World Series this year — only one team can do that, and there are 30 to choose from, so the odds are not in your favor. Sure, when Opening Day rolls around, everybody is in first place. But that’s not going to last.
With that in mind, we’re asking knowledgeable people who hate certain teams to preview said teams for us. Who better to ask about a team’s chance at success than their rivals? You should know thy enemy as you know thyself. We’re asking Yankee fans about the Red Sox; Mets fans about the Phillies; A’s fans about the Giants. Think you can preview your rival’s season? Let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org) — we’re on the lookout for people who think they know what they’re talking about.
First up: Reginald MacKenzie*, a die-hard A’s fan (and Giants hater) from the Bay Area and friend of the website’s, talks to us about the 2014 San Francisco Giants. Our interview is below, edited only for clarity. Drinks may have been involved.
To start, let’s review last season: Why were the Giants so disappointing (76-86) last year?
Well, the beginning of their season actually started off pretty similar to the seasons that they’ve won the World Series, where they were kind of into it — they seemed like, you know, “Oh, we’re gonna falter in the beginning but come strong at the end,” just like they always do, to win the World Series. But then, maybe in August or late July, everything just fuckin’ fell apart. Timmy just got lit up, Matt Cain fell apart, Marco Scutaro got injured like a little bitch. And pretty much what derailed them was the starting pitching that had been solid every year just completely fell off, and then you lost your clutch hitters, like Cody Ross in the past and Marco Scutaro last year and shit like that. And then they ended up being sub-.500, which was amazing.
What changes have they made last year to improve in the NL West?
Yeah, so, they offered a little bit less money than the A’s did to Tim Hudson and they were able to get him, which was a really big bummer because the A’s are way fucking cooler than the Giants. So they signed Hudson, who’s a reliable pitcher, so, he’s one. I’ll give that to them. But he got outdueled by Scott Kazmir the other day, and the A’s won again.
They also signed Michel Morse or whatever. He played for Seattle at the beginning of last year, then he got traded to the Nationals, no, the Orioles, yeah, and he’s pretty much a home run hitter and as an A’s fan, I have bad feelings about him, because he’s one of the those guys who’s no name but he could still produce, and I could see all the stupid ass fuckin’ Giants fans at the end of this year being like “Oh man Doug Morris is the man” because he goes on a tear and hits hella home runs and shit.
So those are their two main acquisitions, I would say. There’s a really big question mark at second base because Scutaro is injured, and there’s always the question of Sandoval: Which is he going to be, is he going to somehow hit three home runs against Verlander with his eyes closed in the World Series or is he going be the fat guy eating Dunkin Donuts? — actually it’s San Francisco so he’s probably eating Colonial Donuts. But the main two are Timmy and Morse.
Why did Hudson pick the Giants over the A’s?
Because it’s fancier. They have that new stadium and they have all the Bush-Reagan motherfucking fans. Like, I don’t know if you saw but Maurice Jones-Drew was interviewed — and he’s now a Raider, and that’s awesome — and he was interviewed and somehow the Bay Area came up and he was like “All these fucking bandwagon Niners fans, you need to pick a goddamn team. Either choose the Raiders or choose the Niners, don’t flip flop and all that shit.” [Editor’s note: Apparently this actually happened.]
And I feel like the Giants are very much a similar team and they’re the glamour and the glitz. You’re not going to the Coliseum every day, you’re going to AT&T, and it’s a nice little way to end a career. Plus he gets to hit and I’m sure that’s a part of it, he likes to hit because he’s a boss at hitting. But I think there’s so much more glamour and glitz in San Francisco than there is for the A’s, which hurts because that’s where he CAME FROM, that’s who he STARTED WITH, but there’s only so much you can do.
Which players should we keep an on eye this year? Is anyone poised for a breakout or jump to the next level?
The way I always think of the Giants, well, the way they always win is like, somehow they get to the playoffs and they get hot. And there’s always one player that fuckin’ carries them in the postseason who’s like a no-name piece of shit. And so to be honest I’m really worried about Morse, the guy they just signed.
Buster Posey is a consistent player, and if he’s healthy he makes them into a potential playoff team. BUT, when it comes down to it you have to look at what the Giants do to win the World Series, with these little fuckin’ bullshit players that no one’s ever heard of who all of a sudden turn into fuckin’ gods. So I’m worried about Morse.
I don’t think Lincecum is going to pan out, if you want my opinion on that.
What do you mean? What happened to him exactly?
Back in the day he used to throw like, 94, 95, and when you can throw that hard and then you have a changeup that gets to 81 and can move around the strike zone, you’re pretty good. So, that’s what got him the Cy Young. Now all of a sudden he can’t throw 94, he throws like 90, 91, and he’s way more hit-able when he does that. Some people think it’s mechanics because it’s hard to repeat, there are some people that say steroids… I don’t really know. But I don’t think he’s going to have it again. I just think that he’s, uh, lost whatever touch he had. Not to say he can’t be an effective pitcher, but he’s not going be the old Lincecum, he won’t be The Freak.
But I do applaud him because he smokes weed and that’s cool.
The Giants won the World Series in 2010 and 2012. Aren’t they due for a title in 2014?
Hell no. Hell no dude. It’s the Dodgers’ division to lose number one. Number two, they’re just like, the New York Giants — they get hot at the very end, and they carry it into the playoffs. It doesn’t mean they’re the best team. They just got hot. And all of a sudden this San Francisco magic happens. If they somehow made it to the playoffs as a wild card team, the competition with St. Louis and L.A. is too strong, they won’t make it past. They don’t have enough players and enough offense to be honest. Posey is really good but other than that I don’t think they have, whatever. Although, Sabean — what’s the GM’s name? Sabean, right? Whatever his name is — he makes moves every once in awhile so he might come up with something at the deadline. But right now they don’t have enough. They’re counting on their starting pitching, and I don’t think guys like [Ryan] Vogelsong can hang.
AT&T Park seems like a beautiful place to play and watch a game. What was your experience there (if any)?
Yeah I’ve been to AT&T Park. Fuck that place.
It seems like a really cool stadium.
I don’t know man. It’s nice. They have good, really, really expensive food, and they have a bunch of people who are drunk and like not really watching baseball — ha HA — um, but, no, it’s an okay place. I’m personally more a fan of O.co Coliseum because it’s a little bit classier than the skanks over in San Francisco. But it’s nice. I hope the A’s actually end up doing the same thing in Oakland, putting a ball park on the water, that seems to be a classy thing to do.
They do have garlic fries, I’ll give them that. But they cost like $18.50.
So what’s your prediction for the Giants this season? Are they making the playoffs? Are they winning their division?
Um… so, now is when I start recanting my testimony, because now that I feel like I’m talking all this shit it’s gonna come back to bite me and they’re gonna end up wining the whole thing. So I think they have a chance for the wild card. Maybe their starting pitching turns out to be good enough? I’ll say… maybe they’ll be good enough for the wild card. If Timmy can be as good as he’s been in the past, if Bumgardner’s a solid pitcher, Hudson’s a solid pitcher, they need Lincecum to return to his Freak time… If they can get enough out of their starting pitching, then, yeah, the wild card is definitely a possibility. But I think the West is gonna go to the Dodgers, I think they’re too good.
Finally: On the other hand, give me a quick synopsis of the A’s offseason and your predictions for them this year.
So, I was really pumped on the A’s because they added to their bullpen big-time, and my opinion is you can’t have too much bullpen, because when it comes down to it that’s what you need to get to the playoffs, pitching and closing out games. However, we lost Jarrod Parker for the season to Tommy John surgery for his second time, and he was supposed to be our starting pitcher on Opening Night, he was supposed to be our guy. But now he’s not our guy. We did sign Scott Kazmir, and we’ve got another dude named Sonny Gray who’s also very good, though this will be his first full year in the majors.
One thing that I think about the A’s is that we’re gonna score some runs. Everyone talks about our pitching because that’s what we added to, but our lineup, one to six or seven, is pretty solid, I would put us up against a lot of teams in terms of our hitting. So I think we’ll be competitive.
Whether or not we win the division is a big question mark, because everyone else in the AL West has gotten really good. But I’m hopeful.
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Photos via Getty
*Not his real name.