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Friday, October 28, 2005

Giants First Off-season Moves

The Giants excercised their options on Jason Schmidt and Randy Winn on Thursday. LaTroy Hawkins, Moises Alou, and Ray Durham all decided to return to the Giants in '06 as well. Non of these moves should come as a surprise. If they wanted to get rid of Schmidt they would have done it in July. Randy Winn could do no wrong once he put on a Giants uniform. Brian Sabean wants to sign Winn to an extension before the '06 season starts. Winn will be making 5 million this year, and so he'll probably command about that in an extension. I'd say a 3 year, 15 million dollar deal sounds pretty good. Ray Durham is as fragile as they come, but when he's healthy he's an offesive force. The Giants need to figure out a way to keep him healthy, because he's sticken around for another year. LaTroy Hawkins may finally rebound now that he has a legit closer behind him and he will never be asked to close. He has such a live arm, but I can't help but think Felix Rodriguiz every time he takes the mound for the Giants. Moises Alou should be more productive next year with Barry Bonds around the whole season, but Alou has injury issues of his own. He missed significant time down the stretch and throughout the year due to nagging injuries. Sure he hit .320, but 19 home runs and 63 rbi was a huge drop off from his '04 campaign in Chicago. The Giants now have close to 80 million dollars already locked up for next year. They need to deal some contracts if they want to think about a left-handed run producer or a #2 starting pitcher. Sabean has a tough winter ahead of him. The Giants also re-signed lefty reliever Jeff Fassaro to a 1 year, $750,000 contract.

The Golden State Warriors start their season in less than a week and for the first time since they drafted (traded for) Antawn Jamison in 1998 I'm looking forward to Warrior basketball. This team has been terrible for so long, but after the trade for Baron Davis, it's like this franchise was reborn. They went on a tear last year to finish off the season. I tuned into games actually expecting the Warriors to win. Barron Davis is a stud and he's going to be an all-star. Him and Jason Richardson make one of the most exciting back courts in all of the league. Their frontline is on the rise. Mike Dunleavey is looking more mature and polished, and Troy Murphy is always good for a double double. Ike Diogu was drafted to provide some points in the paint and I think he'll fit in great. The Warriors are going to have a hard time keeping him out of the line-up. Mikeal Pietrus and Zarko Cabakaba are 2 bench guys that have tons of abitity. Pietrus could start for a lot of teams in the league, and he may be a guy who is used as trade bait in February if the Warriors need something. All in all I'm stoked for the season to start. If they were in the East, I'd put them as a lock to make the playoffs, but they're not, so they are going to have to knock off some pretty good teams to get there. If I had to guess right now, I'd say if Davis stay's healthy for 60+ games, they make the 8th seed.

Chicago White Sox are the 2005 World Series Champs as they defeat the Houston Astros in 4 games. I was totally wrong about this team. I thought they would choke in the first round and they ended up sweeping the series. It was the first time I got to take an extensive look at the Chi Sox and they are a damn good team. If they bring back Paul Konerko, they should be in the thick of it next year as well. With the White Sox winning it all, it now leaves the Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants as teams with the biggest championship droughts. I could go for an '06 world series match up that looks like this: San Francisco Giants vs. Cleveland Indians.
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