First thing - a big congrats to Tulo for winning another Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. I think as fans who see a player everyday we tend to forget that Tulo, up to this point, is potentially one of the Top 10 shortstops of all time. Certainly the greatest shortstop playing the game right now and while I am sure he is happy about the hardware I think he would have rather been playing in October. The question now is whether the Rox can find that missing something to get the team back to playoff contention. And getting us into contention is the big question Rox management has to sort through. Just has a starting point Rox are currently 25 to 1 to win the 2012 World Series.
After just two short weeks, the hot stove is heating up as we have seen the Giants rid themselves of a pitcher, Jonathan Sanchez, for Melky Cabrera. Like everyone in the league, the Giants are looking for some more offense. They scored 570 runs last year which ranked 16th in the NL. While I indicated last week I thought the Rox hadn't scored very well last year they actually were 2nd in the NL with 735. So maybe our offense sputtered a bit but perhaps I am being too hard on them. Of course looking at the graph below shows how in comparable sense (their last 18 years) that maybe we are looking at a new "dead" ball era!
The other two big deals was Papelbon going to the Phillies and Jamey Carroll, who supposedly was on the Rox radar, signing with the Twins on a two year deal. Over at the Purple Rox, Jeff Aberle does a fantastic job laying out what the Rox might do over the off season. While his opening line is somewhat tongue in cheek, if you also follow Troy Renck he also sees how frustrating it is to be a Rox fan because it seems free agents flirt with us but at the end of the day either more money or some sexier reason exists for them to stand us up at the foothills. Why do we have such a hard time finding that free agent. From all accounts the Rox are a good clubhouse with a good amount of talent. Playing in the NL West, with no dominant teams, allows each team to be competitive and have a chance. Has the humidor worked against us? Now that we play in a more pitcher friendly park do players not even bother? I think it is reasonable to think you can build your team through the draft but eventually holes have to filled and if Rox can't fill these holes it might be another long season next year!
Oh and this in...Tulo's not the only one who gets awards...Seth Smith steps up and is the Most Average Position Player of 2011. Let's hear it for Smith!
Also check out MLB Network's Clubhouse Confidential. Great new show with a new in your face take on numbers.