Andres Torres was a cautionary tale of sorts, in that the Giants counted on him in 2011 to provide the same spark he provided the 2010 team that ended San Francisco’s World Series drought.
He was coming off a career year so skeptics abounded, each of them eager to note the inherent danger in expecting a journeyman-turned-cult figure to recapture the magic.
That Torres is now back with the Giants, after a disappointing 2011 that prompted a trade to the Mets that brought Angel Pagan to McCovey Cove (and after a disappointing 2012 that left Torres slumming for a job like, hell, a journeyman), only shines a harsher light on Pagan himself.
Hmmmm. High-energy center fielder with great speed, an endearingly honest approach to fan and media relations, and a capture-the-moment flair for the dramatic that brought unprecedented glory and statistics?
Where have we seen that before?
After all, it’s called a “career year” for a reason. Torres had his, the Giants cashed in during it, and Torres promptly came back to earth. No real harm.
Ah, but there could be in the case of Pagan. Sure, the Giants cashed in on his career year, riding the Crazy Horse to a second title in three years.
But Pagan, most UNLIKE Torres, literally cashed in after the parade of confetti had fallen (and after Michael Bour’s talents were overpaid for elsewhere), so the situation is not apples to apples. It’s not apples to oranges.
Financially, it’s apples to space-age polymers.
So whoa, time to freak out! It’s not just Pagan’s career year on which the Giants are hoping to build. It’s that of Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong, and Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey, and the rookie Brandons and Sergio Romo.
The Giants should have learned from the Torres thing, no? What are they thinking?
But hold on. Let’s not forget that Zito has won a Cy Young. Vogey was an All-Star in 2011. So was Pablo. Rookies get better. Romo was thrown into a role, thrived in it, and has the confidence of a teenager strolling into an 18-and-over club mere hours after getting laid for the first time.
And Buster? You’re sweating Buster? Come on.
Here’s the point: Career years or not, the Giants did the right thing in bringing this team back intact.
It’s like Hollywood. Sequels often suck, as did the 2011 Giants when compared to the 2010 Giants. But have you seen “Ocean’s 12”? Was not Don Cheadle even better than in “Ocean’s 11”?
He was. So might Pagan in ’13 over ’12. At the very least, it’ll be worth watching.
Mychael Urban has covered Bay Area sports for more than 22 years as a contributor to Comcast SportsNet, CSNBayArea.com, KNBR, MLB.com, ESPN The Magazine and various newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @BigUrbSports. His website is UrbsUnchained.com.