Giants hope they’re not done winning yet
AP Baseball Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer wants to add more World Series championships to the two his franchise has captured the past three seasons.
Why not build a baseball dynasty in the Bay Area?
Baer said Wednesday the front office is already hard at work beginning plans for the 2013 roster – and he is optimistic many familiar faces will stick around, including second baseman and NL championship series MVP Marco Scutaro.
“Nobody thinks we should be done,” Baer said. “I think we want to get lots of people back, and he’s one of them. … My favorite sign was ‘San Francisco, Happiest Place on Earth.’ That’s how we all feel about this. That’s what the goal is.”
NL West champion San Francisco completed a four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers on Sunday night at Comerica Park. The Giants and the city celebrated with an orange-and-black parade through downtown Wednesday – fitting it fell on Halloween.
General manager Brian Sabean called it a priority to re-sign Scutaro, center fielder Angel Pagan and left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt. So far, he said, his staff has spoken only “informally” about what’s next as everyone wanted to get through Wednesday’s festivities before starting in earnest.
Scutaro, who celebrated his 37th birthday Tuesday and then partied some more with his teammates a day later before this group parts ways for the winter, said it’s a no-brainer he would like to return.
“What a question. Of course I want to come back,” Scutaro said. “Sometimes there are decisions you can’t control. I don’t know what they’re thinking, what other teams are thinking. I just have to wait. The only thing I can say is I hope everything works out because I want to come back here.”
So, what will it take?
“I want 15 years, three thousand million dollars,” Scutaro joked. “How do you like me now? I gotta go.”
Just like two years ago, the Giants brass is about a month behind in preparing for next season. Though vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans has said that’s a good problem to have when it means your team has won it all.
Pagan, too, hopes the team will stay intact and that he remains a key part of it as the Giants try to defend their championship next year.
“Now is for celebrating,” Pagan said. “We’ll have time for that – negotiations. I have no words to describe how special this is to be able to bring this championship to this beautiful city. A lot of people told me before I came here how the fans are, the great fans. But actually to win a championship and experience it myself, I have no words. This is truly a blessing and I hope I can come back next year, seriously. It would be great.”
Sabean has all five starting pitchers under contract for next season, but maintaining a dominant bullpen will be paramount for a GM who has long built his club around the pitching staff.
While Affeldt also acknowledged he would like to stay put in San Francisco, he is seeking more than a one-year deal to give some long-term stability to his family with a wife and three young sons.
“It’s nice to hear. I’m sure they’ll be talking,” Affeldt said. “If it doesn’t go the way we’d like it to go and I’ve got to move on, I’ll never say anything bad about this front office or team. It’s a special group of people. Hopefully we can work something out. This team has brought me a lot of joy for the last four years and I can’t complain one bit about anybody. … I’m not looking for a one-year deal. I’ve got a family. When you have a family and you have an opportunity, a one-year deal is definitely not something I’m going to do.”
If the Giants can bring this group back, everybody would be thrilled. Yet the players all fully understand the business side always comes into play.
“That’s not my job,” World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval said.
For now, the Giants are going to relish in what they just accomplished again so soon after the 2010 championship run brought the franchise’s first World Series title since it moved West in 1958.
“Wonderful day,” Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal said. “Wonderful day.”