After the Giants' second World Series victory in three years, however, the promise of more to come is never a certainty — something that Red Sox fans know all too well.
With World Series wins in 2004 and 2007, the Red Sox looked poised to challenge for a pennant every year.
On the pitching side, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester were top-of-the-rotation stars, Clay Buchholz was about to become one and Jonathan Papelbon was the team's lights-out closer. In the lineup, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia were the bright young stars of tomorrow while David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez comprised the most dangerous hitting duo in all of baseball.
"The bash," Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci proclaimed after the team's sweep of the Colorado Rockies, "just might last for years to come."
Sound familiar, San Francisco? Swap some names in, and the theme remains the same with Buster Posey, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Pablo Sandoval ready to lead the way.
Despite reaching the ALCS in 2008 and winning the wild card in 2009, the Red Sox failed to capitalize on the path to glory they had laid out for themselves. Just five years removed from what was supposed to be a golden era of Red Sox
baseball, the team finds itself at a crossroads — something the Giants would do well to avoid.
"The Red Sox will continue to emphasize player development as the backbone of their business," Verducci declared of the team's 2007 offseason plans. Unfortunately, the Sox struggled to stay true to that pledge.
Former general manager Theo Epstein admitted as much, explaining that the team fell victim to "the monster" of expectations and strayed from their core focus on finding home-grown players. The lure of free agency got the best of the Sox, and big names like Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford were brought in while the likes of Brandon Moss and David Murphy were squeezed out.
The Giants, for all the talent they have locked up for the years to come, could heed Epstein's advice in order to avoid the malaise that befell the Sox.
San Francisco has been built through the draft, with their highest-paid player (Barry Zito) a disappointment after coming by way of free agency. The Giants would do well to build around their young MVPs in Sandoval and Posey, but not to forget how they acquired those players in the first place.
General manager Brian Sabean might be tempted to adopt a more aggressive approach in his moves with an eye towards the "now," but that's not the attitude that put the Giants in position to rule the MLB.
The script so far is the same for the Giants as it was the Red Sox — San Francisco should make sure to write a better ending.
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