What else can baseball fans do in January but dream of October? In You May Say I'm a Dreamer, the Outside Corner staff will imagine the route to a World Series in 2013 title for all 30 teams.
For the third time in four seasons, the San Francisco Giants are World Champions. Brian Sabean's somewhat unorthodox winter will be forgotten once again, as his retention of most of the 2012 World Series champion team paid off in spades.
Catcher Buster Posey was once again the catalyst for San Francisco's offense. The reigning NL MVP won the award once again, hitting 26 homers with a .961 OPS and a .334 batting average. Back to back eight win seasons from a backstop is extremely rare, yet Posey is making it look old hat. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval also helped the Giants offense out a lot, homering 26 times with a .913 OPS and managing to play in 150 games for the first time since 2010.
The guys Sabean brought back from the 2012 team held their own too. Angel Pagan stole 33 bases and had a .763 OPS. Marco Scutaro hit .313. Hunter Pence hit 22 homers with an .857 OPS, setting himself up for a nice multi-year contract over the offseason.
In the rotation, Matt Cain once again led the Giants' charge. Cain threw 222 innings and posted a 3.04 ERA for the year, striking out 190 and walking only 42. Madison Bumgarner served as the perfect complement to Cain in the rotation, pitching 204 innings with a 2.69 ERA and 187 strikeouts. Tim Lincecum also had a nice rebound year, logging a 3.40 ERA in 209 innings while punching out 212 hitters.
The bullpen was led by bearded closer Sergio Romo, who struck out 70 in 61 innings and saved 35 games for Bruce Bochy's squad. Jeremy Affeldt kept plugging along, throwing 65 innings with a 2.35 ERA. Santiago Casilla got his homer issues under control, striking out 51 in 58 innings with a 2.64 ERA.
In the playoffs, the NL West champions faced off with the Cincinnati Reds once again in the NLDS, and knocked them off in four games, a much easier series than a year ago. In the NLCS, they took on the NL East champion Nationals, and bested Washington in five. Finally in the World Series, the Giants took on the Toronto Blue Jays, and defeated the heavily favored AL champions in six.
The Giants are the new dynasty in baseball, and they're doing it differently than both the Red Sox and Yankees did it a decade ago. Hey, you can't accuse them of buying titles at least.