2017 was a rough year for the Giants.
Staff Ace, Madison Bumgarner spent most of the year on the DL following a bizarre dirtbike accident, and the Giants never really put together any prolonged stretches of good baseball.
Don’t look now though!
It’s an even year, and San Fran has been very busy this offseason.
I spoke to two lifelong Giants fans, about the team, past, present and future.
Here’s what they had to say.
MOSTLY METS BLOG: As a Mets fan, Conor Gillaspie is a name I never want to hear again. What other unlikely Giants do you remember coming up big?JOSEPH GARCIA: The unlikely Giant player that came up big for me is Ryan Vogelsong in the 2012 World Series. Came up huge in game 3!
MMG: How cool is it to be a fan of a team with so much history?JG: It’s awesome man. I’ve been a fan since I was 11 years old.
MMG: 2017 was a tough season, but the Giants have been very active this off-season. What do you think of the acquisitions so far?JG: I love the new additions to the team, I know a lot of people view the players we acquired as “has beens” but I feel like Cutch and Longoria are gonna produce very well this year. Also looking for bounce back seasons from Cueto and Bumgarner.
MMG: In what area do the Giants still need to improve?JG: Giants still need a power bat. Brandon belt was supposed to be our power bat but hasn’t really done much. He’s always injured. We still need some productive young outfielders. hopefully the giants hit big this draft.
MMG: 2018 is an even year. Give us a prediction for the upcoming season.JG: Im gonna be biased and say the Giants get a wild card spot. If the whole team clicks as one I feel like this team has it in them to win it all. We’ve been doubted before! In 2010, the Giants had an average age of 31 years old on that team and won the World Series. In 2012, no one had the Giants winning against the mighty powerful Tigers rotation and we swept them. I’m confident. I’m very excited with the new additions to the team.
MMG: The Giants have had a ton of success recently. What’s your favorite Giants’ postseason memory from the last decade?JG: My favorite post season memory has to be Travis’s Ishikawa’s Game 5 Home run in the bottom of the 9th against the Cardinals was epic. I yelled so loud I couldn’t breath man!! Super epic!
MMG: What do you remember from your first Giants game? What drew you to the Giants?JG: My first Giants game was in LA. I remember it because that’s when the Giants still had Omar Vizquel playing. Omar was fun to watch even though the team was horrible. I was driven to the game by my dad. mainly He’s a dodger fan and I’ve always rooted against him in everything. Also, my uncle lives in San Francisco and every time we visited, he took me to the stadium. Barry bonds made me a huge Giants fan too.
MMG: Since you have been a fan what is one move the Giants front office made that you hate and you cannot forgive them for?JG: The one move I hate that the Giants front office made was signing Brandon Belt to that outrageous contract. He’s a very solid first basemen but he’s seriously over hyped it’s annoying!
MMG: Finally, who is your favorite giant of all time? And I may already know the answer but in a must win game what Giant pitcher past or present do you want on the mound?
JG: My favorite Giant of all time is Barry Bonds, just because I got to see him play. I’m too young to have seen Willie Mays play ball in a Giants uniform! So, Barry the Home run King Bonds is my favorite giant of all time!And you already know man, MADISON BUMGARNER BABY!!!
Moving right along…
MOSTLY METS BLOG: As a Mets fan, Conor Gillaspie is a name I never want to hear again. What other unlikely Giants do you remember coming up big?CHARLES FRACCHIA: The unlikely Giants that I remember are Cody Ross after he was picked up off waivers in 2010. He became an NLCS MVP hero. I remember Marco Scutaro in 2012. It’s amazing how they became heroes. Further back, I remember Joe Morgan and Reggie Smith stepping up big in 1982.
MMG: How cool is it to be a fan of a team with so much history?CF: It is awesome to be a fan of a team with such a long history. I started as a fan in 1978 when I was 13 years old. It still amazes me to learn even more about their history, not just in San Francisco, but also in New York.
MMG: 2017 was a tough season, but the Giants have been very active this off-season. What do you think of the acquisitions so far?CF: I am happy with the Giants picking up Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen. These players are gamers who I think should fit in well with the team and their history.
MMG: In what area do the Giants still need to improve?CF: I think that the Giants need to look at their bullpen in 2018 in hopes of making the team better.
MMG: 2018 is an even year. Give us a prediction for the upcoming season.CF: I view 2017 as an aberration where everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I realize that they lost 98 games, and I would like to see them at .500 in 2018.
MMG: What do you remember from your first Giants game? What drew you the Giants?CF: I don’t remember my first game, but I do remember becoming a Giants fan in 1978. It was a really exciting team. Unfortunately, they faded in September, but it was a great team, and it remains one of my favorites. I was drawn to the Giants because I grew up in San Francisco, and I had great friends who introduced me to the Giants. Part of my Giants passion comes from going to Candlestick Park, which was a miserable ballpark. But I did learn to love baseball.MMG: Since you have been a fan what is one move the Giants front office made that you hate and you cannot forgive them for?CF: There are actually two moves that they didn’t make which still bother me. In 1983, the Giants tried to sign Steve Garvey as a free agent to play 1B. I’m glad that they didn’t; as a Giants fan I find this a horrible move. The other move was that midway through the 1982 season, the Expos released Bill Lee. I think that the Giants should have signed him; he could have gotten them over the hump. They finished in 3rd place, two games out of first place in their division.MMG: Finally who is your favorite giant of all time? And I may already know the answer but in a must win game what Giant pitcher past or present do you want on the mound?CF: My favorite all time Giants player was Willie McCovey. I saw him at the end of his career, and I still thought that he was great. He has style. One of my favorite baseball memories was in 1986 going to Cooperstown, NY to see McCovey get inducted into the Hall of Fame.Any pitcher to start one game is a tough choice since the Giants have such a great history of pitching. I have to go with my four top choices from their long history— Christy Mathewson, Sal Maglie, Juan Marichal or Madison Bumgardner. Unfortunately, I don’t think that I can narrow it down further.