All in all, it's hard to complain as a Giants fan. From 2010-14, we won three of five World Series. And as someone who originally named this blog "Waiting For Rings" I initially decided the Giants wouldn't win another World Series until 2015. I was wrong... they won't win it this year, but they certainly beat my expectations with those three Series wins.
We had the usual. Great seasons by Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner, and a potential Rookie of the Year in Matt Duffy. While it's hard to declare that having Joe Panik remain healthy during August and September would have changed our fortunes, especially since Kelby Tomlinson did an admirable job in his absence, it certainly stung a little to lose our All-Star second baseman.
Joe Panik's performance at second base this year is the best we've had since Jeff Kent back in 2002. I like Panik as a player. He isn't what traditional scouts would describe as a "tools" player, but he has a great batting eye, excellent contact skills, and enough power that pitchers can't ignore him as a threat.
I've always liked players with that sort of profile. I suppose the infatuation with contact/patience hitters began in 1996 when I watched Bill Mueller when I was 11. I didn't really understand baseball too much outside of playing Super Baseball Simulator 1,000 and Ken Griffey Jr. Presents, so when Bill Mueller was hitting .442 I wanted him to push his average up to .500.
Obviously, that was unrealistic but he still hit an excellent .330 that season. I haven't always been correct in my predictions. For example, I am Conor Gillaspie's biggest fan outside of his family and fiance and he did not meet my expectations this year. But I think next year he could make a comeback and put together a solid year at the plate.
It's been a frustrating year for Giants fans but we got to see some great talent. However, I'll be honest here. Some of the thrill is gone. I enjoyed going to games more in 1997 and 1998 when the Giants were a good team that still couldn't pull huge attendance numbers. This year, I'd like to see the Blue Jays win the World Series. Won't bet on it, but it's a hope I suppose.
Have a great afternoon and keep being baseballs.