The 2011 offseason figures to be an interesting one for the Giants.
With changes in management and a disappointing follow-up to the 2010 World Series win, San Francisco baseball fans will eagerly anticipate some offensive additions.
So it's good news, I think, that Giants CEO Larry Baer sent a letter to season-ticket holders emphasizing the team's plans to compete next year, as well as how impressed he was with the fan support to the end of 2011.
"Frankly, I have never seen anything like the outpouring you showed to the team during those last three home games," Baer wrote. "Though we had been eliminated from contention, the cheers never stopped: for retiring managing general partner Bill Neukom, for veteran Pat Burrell playing what might be the last game of his career, for 22-year-old pitcher Madison Bumgarner, rebounding spectacularly from an 0-6 start.
"You cheered for every Giants players who delivered a World Championship last year and who scrapped every day this season to figure out how to win with a roster battered by injuries."
Now, one could point to that -- the mention of injuries -- as a bit of an excuse. And it's kind of a good one, but at some point, attrition relating to health kicks in, especially if you're coming off a season in which no one was injured and you won a title.
Whatever, as long as the team's willing to go out and drop cash on big-name offensive players, then it's all good, right? Right!
"That remarkable send-off still reverberates through the hallways and offices here at AT&T Park. We already are deep into the challenging, strategic work of building a championship-caliber team for 2012 and beyond," the CEO continued. "That means pushing innovation, whether in baseball analytics, physical training or video technology. It means thorough scouting and smart coaching; drafting and developing young players; deepening the talent pool up and down the roster; studying every possible deal; and securing and protecting the best pitching staff in baseball.
"We have one goal: To compete for a championship every single season."
Hmmm. One thing noticeably missing from this letter is "drop cash." Unless "deepening the talent pool up and down the roster" means "doing whatever is necessary to get Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Beltran so that our fans will be happy and our offense won't be quite so anemic in the coming season."
But I doubt that it does. It could. But I'm not so sure, especially when all the money, per the letter, seems to be getting prepped for a full-on spending spree on Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum.
Don't get me wrong -- that's a good thing. But anyone hoping that the Giants will go on a free-agent spending spree to beef up one of the worst offenses in baseball for 2012 might find themselves disappointed when the offseason ends.
At least that's what Baer's letter -- and you can read the whole thing here -- says to me.