Everything You Need to Know About The Giants in 2016
Editor's Note: The San Francisco Giants will be back for another season at the beginning of April. This article will be updated closer to the start of the season.
It's an even year and that means the chances of another World Series trophy coming to San Francisco are statistically strong. Naysayers call it coincidence; we call it cold, hard fact. The Giants have been and continue to be among the strongest teams in Major League Baseball, and we've got all you need to know as the season gets under way.
The Giants made three big acquisitions in the off-season. Pitcher Johnny Cueto joins the starting pitching rotation after a World Series win with the Kansas City Royals. Cueto made history in 2015 when he became the first American League pitcher in over two decades to throw a complete World Series game. That kind of post-season stamina is always welcome in San Francisco.
Jeff Samardzija comes to the Giants after time spent with both Chicago ball clubs. The towering right-hander showed strong stuff as spring training finished up. Here's a fun fact about the man they call The Shark: he's just at home on the gridiron as he is on the mound. Before he decided to focus on baseball, Samardzija was an All-American wide receiver on the Notre Dame football squad.
The Giants also now have Denard Span in center field. By all accounts, he's raring to go after a season delayed by injury. If he managed to achieve a .301 batting average and .365 on-base percentage in just 61 games, imagine what he might do with a full season and a clean bill of health.
The Giants welcome back a number of the stars who helped make them a team to be reckoned with. Matt Cain, who pitched the Giants' franchise first perfect game in 2012, and Madison Bumgarner, who has routinely dazzled in the post-season, will both be facing down baseball's strongest bats. They'll have the likes of George Kontos, Hunter Strickland, and the heir to Brian Wilson's beard, Sergio Romo in the bullpen to back them up. Showing them all the signs behind the plate will be one of the most well-rounded players in baseball--and, we suspect, the best hugger in the Bay Area--Buster Posey.
Expect the Giants' infield to continue morphing into an unstoppable Voltron of baseball defense. Brandons Belt and Crawford, Matt Duffy, and Joe Panik are all in their prime. Not one of them played in less than 100 games last season.
Denard Span will join Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence in the outfield. Both men have some interesting credits on their baseball resumes. Did you know Angel Pagan has hit three inside-the-park home runs in his career? Or that in 2013, Hunter Pence was the first Giant in almost 60 years to start every single game of the season?
Leading the way will be the Giants' manager for the past nine years, Bruce Bochy. When he's not coaching the team, Bruce likes to explore the cities on his schedule, as well as San Francisco. You can visit some of his favorite spots before your next trip to AT&T Park.
The Best Ballpark
Part of what makes being a Giants fan so great is that we have the best ballpark in the league. Other fans may argue otherwise, but they're wrong. AT&T Park, in SOMA, is in a class by itself. The building itself is a beauty and the views of the Bay from wherever you sit can't be beat. It also has some of the best food to be found in any Major League ballpark. This is San Francisco, after all, the best culinary city in the country. We don't settle for boiled hot dogs and cotton candy.
Giants fans are loyal and loud, but one thing you can always hear over the crowd is the voice of Renel Brooks-Moon. She's the stadium's public address announcer and is the only woman to hold that job in all of Major League Baseball. Did you know that her scorecard from Game 3 of the 2002 World Series is on display in the Baseball Hall of Fame?
You can take tours of AT&T Park all year round, book private events and parties, and even take the most restless baseball fan in your family to a playground in left field. It's a ballpark that offers everything for everyone. This stadium is centrally located and can be accessed by public transportation on lines 10, 30, 45, 47, KT, N Judah or ride-sharing app, Lyft.
So let's go, Giants fans! The 2016 season has begun and we won't stop until there's another parade down Market Street.