TTFB Giants staff writer Philip Mo interviewed Troy Nelson of 22Gigantes.com recently, and they chatted about the upcoming season for the defending champs, the San Francisco Giants. They posted an interview on us a while back; click here to view that. Enjoy!
TTFB – Last season was magical for the Giants. What was your first reaction when the final out was recorded and the Giants became World Series champions?
After 40 years of torture, I just went ape shit. I was at home. My wife, best friends and kids were all at my side. We were all on our feet when Wilson struck out Cruz. The whole house went nuts. And not just mine. You could hear hoopin’ and hollering going on all over the neighborhood.
TTFB – Fans often used the word “torture” to describe Giants’ baseball last season. How would you describe it?
Let’s just put it this way: I probably went through more bottles of TUMS in the 9th inning of games last year than in my whole life.
TTFB – Besides bringing up Buster Posey, what was the best move the Giants made last season?
Trading John Bowker to Pittsburgh for Javier Lopez (we also got Ramon Ramirez in the deal). The Cody Ross signing was huge, don’t get me wrong, but Lopez was nails down the stretch, and Ramirez also helped solidify what ended up becoming — in my opinion — the best bullpen in the majors last year.
TTFB – What are your expectations for the Giants this season?
A repeat, of course. The Giants have the same unit as last year (if you count Miguel Tejada as a decent replacement for Uribe/Renteria, which I do). A full season of Posey, Ross and Madison Bumgarner should make the Giants a much better team, too.
TTFB – Which team or teams, besides the Phillies, do you believe will be the most dangerous threat to the Giants repeating as champions?
Watch out for the Milwaukee Brewers this year. They’re going to surprise some people. In the AL, you have to worry about the Red Sox and Yankees. But my pick for the 2011 World Series title is actually … the Minnesota Twins. With the return of Justin Morneau and former Giant Joe Nathan, they look downright unstoppable.
TTFB – Brandon Belt has been sensational in Spring Training. Do you expect him to be on the roster come opening day?
There’s a good chance he will. But that means the Giants would have to find some sort of mystery illness or injury for Travis Ishikawa, unless they’re able to work out a trade for him.
TTFB – You went out on a limb and said that Jonathan Sanchez might win the Cy Young this year. How do you think Madison Bumgarner will do this season?
Not as good as a lot of fantasy baseball owners are hoping, that’s for sure. I’m actually very concerned about MadBum. Aside from the velocity issues we all heard about two years ago, he’s the one pitcher in the Giants rotation who had a huge increase in workload from 2009 to 2010 (66% increase to be exact). Giants pitchers have been relatively healthy for a couple years now. I don’t know whether to credit pitching coach Dave Righetti or just knock on wood.
TTFB – What do you think of Bruce Bochy as manager?
He doesn’t get the credit he deserves. I have gotten into it with other Giants bloggers who — before the World Series win — wanted Bochy’s ginormous dome on a platter (as well as that of GM Brian Sabean, too). Bochy knows how to get the best out of his players. They want to play for him and he does a great job using the team’s versatility to his advantage. Look at how Barry Zito and Pablo Sandoval handled their “demotions” during the playoffs. That’s the sign of a good skipper right there.
TTFB – What advice would you give to a young website like ours?
Stay consistent with what you believe. Don’t try to be everything for everybody. Use social media and other interactive tools.
TTFB – I would not be doing my job if I didn’t ask you this final question. Do you fear the beard?
Lucky for me, I don’t have to stand in the batters box staring down that delicious piece of awesomeness. But if I did, I’d probably shit my pants the minute he stepped on the rubber. Brian Wilson is one scary dude.