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    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    Really Belated Random Thoughts on the Giants' World Series

    Congratulations to the 2012 San Francisco Giants and their World Series Title!

    I realize this is late, but I was very busy with classes the last few weeks, and this was the earliest that I could write. There are really two things I want to focus on from it, both more long term.

    The first: Are the Giants a dynasty now? With 2 titles in 3 years, it’s at least a fair question to ask. The first thing to ask would be what makes a dynasty? A dynasty should, in theory (at least, my theory), combine a strong regular season with some sort of post-season success.

    Do the Giants fit those criteria? Well, let’s look at the last few years. This year, they won 94 games. Definitely solid, but not an overwhelming record. Last year, they missed the playoffs with an 86-76 record. In their championship season before that, they went 92-70, which is a little weak for a champion team. Before that was an 88-74 mark that left them in third in the NL West, and then four consecutive seasons between 71 and 76 wins. That looks rather lackluster for a “dynasty”. Maybe this is the start of a dynasty, but just going backwards, It looks like this “dynasty” consists of only three seasons, none of which saw the Giants top 94 wins. I’d need to see a string of division titles or a few high-90 win seasons in the next few years before I go calling them a dynasty.

    On an unrelated side note, I would really like to measure baseball dynasties some day in the future. Maybe that could be an offseason topic.

    Second, there was a lot written about Bruce Bochy and his Hall of Fame chances. Now that the season over and there’s more time to discuss things like this, I might as well throw in my two cents.

    With two World Series rings and three pennants, Bochy stands in rarified air. Only 23 managers have multiple championships, for starters. That must bode well for his Hall chances, right?

    Well, not necessarily. All nine managers with more than two wins are, in fact, in Cooperstown (except for Joe Torre and Tony La Russa, but both are likely eventual members). The two-title managers are a different story. Of the fourteen dual-winners, only six are inducted. With a .502 winning percentage, Bochy stands ahead of only three other two-win managers, only one of whom is in the Hall (and that’s Bucky Harris, who won over 4400 games).

    Going by pennants actually doesn’t help, as 32 managers have 3 pennants, and Bochy has the third-lowest winning percentage, ahead of only Connie Mack and Buck Harris. Basically, his Hall case is directly tied to whether these Giants actually do become a dynasty. Another championship or a run of division titles will probably cement his case as one of the top managers of the generation, but at the moment, he’s just shy of the mark.

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