In those first 13 games, they'll face both the Padres and the Dodgers on the road, while facing tough competition at home in the forms of the Braves and Astros.
Now, this ain't to put no more importance on the first 13 games then the last 13 games, or even any particular 13-game stretch in any other portion of the season. The Giants got as close as within two games of the Padres late last season, but faded before completing the comeback. It's very easy to say that they just couldn't get the job done, but I'm sure we could all point to several silly losses someplace in May, June, or August that would've made the well-nigh impossible comeback just a little more possible.
That being said, I think a healthy jump out of the gate against those types of teams would do wonders for this team.
I'm not going to insult your intelligence by going into great detail as to why this is, because you already know:
- Last season's poor showing largely without Barry Bonds.
- Expectations this year assuming Bonds plays a majority of the season.
- Oh yeah...steroids.
- Peanut Butter...just seeing if you were still with me.
- Yes. Steroids.
The media crush will be intense enough for Bonds with Bud Selig's probe, and thus will be intense for the other members of the team, as well. But let's imagine that crush, and throw a little extra scrutiny onto the performance of Bonds and the team, especially in the early going. I've heard many people talk about the whole East Coast bias before, with the Yankees and Red Sox getting so much more coverage than most teams. Well, it'll be a San Francisco Bias for a while now.
Personally, I think it's close to imperative that the Giants get off to a good start to alleviate some of this pressure. Throwing in a poor team start or a poor Bonds start will set things up for avalanche-type conditions, and the season could become a disaster in a hurry.
But you know what? Damn it all to hell, I'll just be happy to see some baseball.
Sidenote: Nice to see the good ol' preemptive strike in effect. The Giants lock up Noah Lowry for four years. Neat.
I'm just trying to get to the end of the week -- I went ahead and gave myself a four day weekend, Friday through Monday off.
Baseball and a four day weekend. If there's anything better, you just let me know. Well, besides winning 100 million plus, or sex with an attractive, talented woman. But just you try to think of anything else! I dare ya!