With the World Series in full swing, and the baseball world outside of Tampa and Philadelphia extremely quiet, one Giant made news over the last week.Tim Lincecum is still waiting for the big announcement coming November 8th regarding the NL CY Young, but he already has the endorsement of his peers. Lincecum was named NL Pitcher of the Year last week, an award that is voted on by the players and coaches. He also garnered The Sporting News' honors for the same award. Arizona's Brandon Webb did finish the year with 22 wins for a team that finished 2 games over .500 while Lincecum won 18 with a team that finished 18 games below the .500 mark. Not trying to take anything away from Webb, he's one of the top 5 pitchers in the NL and had a great season, but Lincecum outpitched Webb in every single category this season besides in the win department. I've made my claim for Lincecum deserving this award many times over the last month or so and I won't keep beating the subject anymore until the actual award gets announced, but after he won the two awards last week, I had to bring it up one last time.
Outside of Lincecum's awards, there really hasn't been much to talk about regarding the Giants as of late. A few of their notable youngsters have gone off to play some fall and winter ball including Emannuel Burris, Kevin Frandsen and Buster Posey. The Giants have their possible double play combo for '09 playing in the AFL with the Scottsdale Scorpions. Manny Burris is playing shortstop everyday and his hitting .321 with 7 steals in 15 games. Kevin Frandsen, who missed all but one game of the 2008 season, is trying to get back into everyday playing shape and has looked good so far, carrying a .333 average through ten games. The Giants could still go for some outside help up the middle this winter, but right now, Frandsen and Burris are your most likely candidates to be the teams' starting second basemen and shortstop. Buster Posey has been bounced around a bit since the season ended, starting off in the AFL, then moving onto a Hawaii fall league, and now back in Arizona playing in an Instructional League. I'm not quite sure about what he's done so far this fall, although I do know he had 6 hits in14 at-bats in his short stint in Hawaii.
Since this will very likely be my last post before the end of the 2008 World Series, I did want to touch on that a little bit. I didn't think Tampa would get by Boston in the ALCS, as I thought the pressures of the post-season and playing against a semi-dynasty in Boston, they would eventually buckle. It looks like my prediction came one series late. The Rays bats have gone stone cold in the World Series and the team is finally showing it's age. Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena, the Rays two biggest run producers, have wilted during the Series and has looked lost at the plate, and they aren't getting much help from their bullpen. In no way am I trying to bash the Rays, they've put on a helluva show this fall, but it's tough for a team with so little post-season experience and such a thin bullpen to win the whole thing. Not saying it's impossible, just saying it's tough and we're seeing it in this series. The Phills are up 3-1 and they have Cole Hamels, who could very well end up the World Series MVP after taking the NLCS honors against the Dodgers, on the mound in frozen Philadelphia backed by 50,000 hungry Philly fans wanting that elusive World Series trophy. I would be very surprised if the series gets back to Tampa and it should end tonight. However, if it does get back to Tampa, and with Hamels likely unavailable anymore this series, all bets are off.
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