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Finally

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Welcome. It's not everyone's Opening Day, but it's ours.

I don't make predictions, by the way. Stopped doing it years ago. I like the Giants. They have very good pitching, and their offense should be better than last year's. That's as far as I'll go. That, and Pablo Sandoval will be WorldWide MVP. Really, though, no predictions. By May 15 Aubrey Huff could be on the bench, or he could be basking in his patented even-numbered resplendence. Brandon Crawford could hit .275 / .330 / .360 and be an All-Star. George Kontos could end the year as the closer.

It's time to enjoy the ride.

A few thoughts on the end-of-camp machinations:

- With Huff in left field, look for a Burrell-esque defensive rotation. When the Giants have a lead to protect with their real gloves in the seventh or eighth inning, Schierholtz or Blanco will take over in right field with Melky shifting to left.

- Angel Pagan's slump. Much ado about probably nothing. Moving him down in the order against the A's was probably a little wake-up call, but he's going to have some slack to start the season. When healthy he's got all kinds of skills, and I'm looking forward to seeing them.

- Hector Sanchez. I'm still kinda like, dude, whoa, wow. The decision wasn't out of the blue, as Bochy was telegraphing a bit the final week or so, but it's such a huge vote of confidence in the kid. It's also an interesting litmus test of management's ability to coordinate various opinions -- scouts, trainers, coaches -- and evaluate its own in-house talent. Have they correctly assessed Buster Posey's recovery and projected stamina? Have they correctly evaluated Sanchez's rapid progress both at the plate and behind it?

Instead of a season preview, here's an abridged off-season review. The Giants basically did what they said they would do. Keep the pitching intact with mega-millions. Trade the one or two guys where it made the most sense for as much offense as possible; the Sanchez-Cabrera and Torres/Ramirez-Pagan trades were as sensible as could be expected. For the rest of the O, bank on the returns of Posey and Freddy Sanchez (1 for 2 so far), while hoping the homegrown guys both established (Pablo Sandoval) and otherwise (Brandon Belt, Brett Pill, Brandon Crawford) could contribute a net upgrade over their predecessors with bats, gloves, or both. It wasn't a Marlins makeover, but as 2010 showed, there's always plenty of time for tinkering and trades.

Right now, I'm plenty jazzed just thinking about this: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, it's Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain on the mound. Play ball.
 

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