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Angel Pagan on the Giants: “This is the team to beat”

Feb 7, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

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After spending the first six years of his career with the Cubs and the Mets, sure, Angel Pagan is entitled to a little optimism. But I tend to think that this is too much optimism. From John Shea’s story about him in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Angel Pagan prides himself as the Giants‘ new leadoff hitter. The No. 1 man. So allow him to be the first to make a bold statement about the 2012 Giants in the National League West:

“I’m very, very confident that this is the team to beat,” Pagan said.

They only finished eight games behind the Diamondbacks and four back of the wild card-winning Cardinals. And the Diamondbacks had so many things go right last year, so it’s totally possible that the teams are closer. And thus, no, it would not be shocking if the Giants’ pitching made them contenders all year.

But “the team to beat?”  Man, I dunno. I’m having trouble going that far with it.

  1. cur68 - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Angel Pagan deserves his moments of sheer unadulterated madness after all he’s had to put up with. I say, good for him. His optimistic outlook and faith in the salubrious natures of his new teammates (some of whom are in BSOL) are refreshing. Now if he can do something at the plate besides bat .262 ….

  2. Francisco (FC) - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Pagan is just trying to imitate Jimmy Rollins… right down to the batting average and the OBP…

  3. mirmz - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    Pagan is right – the Theriot signing put them over the top. Definitely de facto favorites for the NL Crown.

  4. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    What’s he supposed to say? “Man, I know being traded from the Mets to the Giants should be considered an upgrade, but the NL West is going to beat our asses this year. It’s going to be brutal.”

    • Kyle - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:39 PM

      Amen. This offseason really needs to end.

  5. icanspeel - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Giants have great pitching, but they have too many questions to be “the team to beat” such as is Posey 100%? Can they hit? Can Angel Pagan have a higher OBP than last years measly .322?

    • scatterbrian - Feb 7, 2012 at 3:31 PM

      Their top three might rival the Phillies by he end of the season, but the offense is Posey/Panda and a bunch of filler. If they get Belt in there and he produces, and other things click, they might have a decent offense. But Arizona has a pretty solid 1-2-3 of their own, plus at least half a dozen guys capable of hitting double-digit homers.

  6. crisisjunky - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Craig, pardon this man for floating on clouds of gonfallon. He has shed his gloomy Ex-Cubness for a
    gleaming new air of Ex-Metness. What elation.
    The effect of being under the care of the Gigante’s medical staff in lieu of Metdoctor,
    should literally put plenty of extra spring in Pagan’s step for ’12.

    • cur68 - Feb 7, 2012 at 3:03 PM

      “Metdoctor”? I thought Mr. Met was the team doctor. He so big headed I was certain he was. Oh well, live and learn.

  7. koufaxmitzvah - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    And they will be beaten many, many times.

    • Gamera the Brave - Feb 7, 2012 at 11:59 PM

      That’s a lot of chutzpah, ‘mitzvah…

  8. spfinne - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    sure they will be beaten many many times… every team in baseball is, but thankfully not nearly as many times as the dodgers will be. kemp and kershaw and a bunch of scrubs are not nearly enough to contend.

  9. SOBEIT - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Craig, Christmas was over weeks ago. You can put away your Grinch outfit. Winter is almost over and spring is just around the corner…hope and positivity are the theme. Anything can happen away from Mets and Cubs (what can go wrong this year) kinda atmosphere. This is a weak division…as we Giants fans are always reminded of when we do well. If Arizona is our toughest competition, then how can you blame a guy for a little optimism. Maybe Pagan is just not used to being on a contender…maybe that is what he should have said so that Grinch Calcaterra did not rear it’s ugly head for a moment of snarkyness.

    For the most part, Pagan’s statement is non-newsworthy and just a reflection of a player who is happy to be somewhere new.

  10. nogoodtomedead - Feb 7, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Why is this considered absurd? This team won the WS two years ago, and only ran out of steam in August last year after a season of terrible injury luck and career lows by most of their other hitters. As long as they get a little better on offense (which is reasonable with Posey back, Sanchez back, Sandoval staying away from the gravy boat, Huff not being a laughing stock, etc) I know its a lot of ifs, but nothing too crazy. I guess in MLB if you don’t have a 200 mil dollar payroll you shouldn’t have confidence. Let the Philly vs. NY world series predictions begin……………………………

    • andyp03 - Feb 7, 2012 at 7:49 PM

      I’m a Phils fan til I die, but their age really has me nervous. I’ve really learned over the last 3 years that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t buy a ‘chip. They’re won on heart. It’s what the Phils had in ’08 and it’s exactly what the Giants had in ’10. The Giants should be right back in the playoffs this year on the strength of Posey’s return alone. I look for these two teams to rematch in the NLCS, hopefully with a different outcome though. Either way, hurry up baseball!!

  11. jmarthal - Feb 8, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    I totally agree with you andyp03. Heart, chemistry, great pitching, timely hitting from any schmuck, and a bit of luck is what it takes to win a championship. The great Yankee teams of the 90’s won with a gritty Paul Oneill and emerging stars like Jeter and Rivera. How many championships did they win with MVPs Giambi and A-Rod? One, finally, in 2009. My Giants and the Yanks and your Phils are no different. Running up the payroll trying to buy a ring historically has a poor return on investment.

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