Congrats to the Giants on their first title since moving to San Francisco. The position players of this championship team self labeled as The Misfits, combined with their home grown stellar pitching rotation, were able to accomplish what big names like Will Clark and Barry Bonds were not able to finish in 1989 and 2002 respectively. Tim Lincecum continued his undefeated 2010 postseason with another dominating performance that included 10 strike outs and only one earned run through 8 innings. Edgar Renteria was able to turn the clock back one more night, pulling a Babe Ruth like feat by telling the teammates around him that he would hit a home run, before stepping up to the plate to launch the clutch two out three run bomb off Rangers ace Cliff Lee. The called shot ended up being the game winner and his night was capped off by being handed the World Series MVP trophy. Renteria has hinted that this may be his final season, and if that is the case, he was able to make sure he left on top. He will take into his retirement the memories of game winning hits in both this World Series and the 1997 Series.
While the Giants probably celebrated with champagne late into the night, the close of the 2010 World Series signals the official start of the off season that the remaining 29 teams figure to get a head start on as they work to try to de-throne the Giants in 2011. As Jordan mentioned in a previous entry, the Cubs have already scheduled their organizational meetings for this week. By the weekend, if not earlier, we hope to get an idea of how the Cubs will be approaching the off season.
Over the last few posts we have discussed the holes we see on the Cubs roster as being at 1B, 2B, a veteran arm for the pen, and adding depth to a starting rotation that lost Ted Lilly via trade and includes Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde himself, Carlos Zambrano. The direction the front office decides to go in is important because it will determine the order of importance in which they will address these holes, as well as determining which names they will be going after.
What makes this decision more interesting for is that over the past few seasons, we have seen different formulas succeed when reviewing the World Series participants. As already mentioned, the new World Series champion Giants developed their dominate rotation from the farm up and surrounded it with a veteran line up that was able to score the few runs the rotation would only need to post the win. The Yankees of course won the 2009 World Series with the help of big ticket additions C.C. Sabathia and Mark Teixeira. The 2008 champion Phillies had a bit of a hybrid approach, pairing a offensive core of career long Phillies Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard with a mix of veteran mercenary help such as Brad Lidge, Scott Eyre, and Pedro Feliz.
The emergence of Starlin Castro, Tyler Colvin, and Andrew Cashner during their 2010 season long audition will provide a little bit of the young core the Cubs will build around. But it will be the budget (big or small) combined with the direction that will determine how the rest of the roster will be pieced together.