Buster Posey Leads Way for San Francisco Giants in 2015 and Beyond


“Feast or famine” feels like the most apt way to describe the San Francisco Giants’ improbable start to the 2010’s. The team has seen a stretch of unrivaled success with three World Series titles, but they’ve also been through a season where their best player, Buster Posey, suffered a devastating injury and another season that saw them finish ten games below .500, just a year after winning baseball’s ultimate prize.

2014 continued this trend, as the Giants went from the best team in baseball over the first two months, the worst over the next two and ended with them hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy for the third time in five seasons, naturally. But the memories of Travis Ishiskawa’s own shot heard ‘round the world and Madison Bumgarner’s historic performance have faded as quickly as they happened thanks to a less than exhilarating offseason.

Bad luck has finally caught up to the orange and black, in the form of free agent signings that could have been and maybe should have been. World Series hero Pablo Sandoval booked it over to Boston, hot shot Cuban prospect Yasmany Tomas found the Arizona desert to be a better place to showcase his talents and the team’s top free agent target, Jon Lester, enjoys playing for clubs with a rich history of utter despair, apparently.

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The Giants have made some solid moves, but re-signing Sergio Romo, Jake Peavy and acquiring third baseman Casey McGehee isn’t necessarily blowing the rest of the baseball world away. With both the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres going through complete overhauls this offseason, the NL West is set to be as competitive as we’ve seen in years, possibly leaving the Giants in the dust.

So what are the Giants to do? The offseason isn’t over yet, and recent rumors surrounding Rays utility man Ben Zobrist and free agent pitcher James Shields show that they are not done wheeling and dealing yet. But for the Giants to avoid another World Series hangover, the change, as it often has, should come from within.

The Giants need a veteran leader, someone who’s been to the top of the mountain but has also taken his lumps. They need someone who can fill in as the team’s go-to clutch hitter after the departure of Sandoval. They need someone with a great feel for the game, a quiet leader who can speak softly and carry a big stick.

Luckily for the Giants, they already have this guy you might have forgotten, Posey.

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  • Posey was overshadowed by Bumgarner this past postseason and into the offseason as Bumgarner racked up plenty of prestigious offseason awards. Even Hunter Pence seemed to receive more attention this past postseason, thanks to his wacky personality and fiery speeches to teammates. Part of that is Posey’s own performance in the playoffs, where he batted just .246 with zero extra base hits. But if not for Posey’s amazing final two months, when he batted .401 with a .993 OPS, it’s safe to say the Giants wouldn’t have snuck into the playoffs as a Wild Card team.

    The tail end of the regular season once again proved that as Posey goes, so do the Giants. Without Sandoval batting behind him, that fact becomes more important than ever. The Giants will not be able to win a World Series with Posey slugging .246 again in the postseason, something he probably realizes with players like Sandoval and Michael Morse no longer in San Francisco.

    Going into his age 28 season and in the prime of his career, Posey must become the unequivocal leader of the Giants in 2015.

    There have been a myriad of articles comparing Posey to recently retired New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, and maybe the Giants should take that comparison to heart. Jeter was the last official “captain” left in baseball, and it might not be such a bad idea for the Giants to make Posey their captain in 2015.

    To believe such a thing would make a difference for the Giants is to believe that chemistry makes a huge difference to a team’s success. Judging by how the Giants have won three World Series, it’s safe to say that building great chemistry is a huge priority for the organization.

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  • Making Posey team captain of the Giants would not only represent a passing of the torch from Jeter as the new “face of baseball,” but it is a move that would positively impact the team in 2015 and could have great ramifications over the course of the next decade.

    Posey represents a stabilizing force in the Giants clubhouse, someone whose emotions never get too hot or cold, no matter the situation. That sets a spectacular example for young players who will come through AT&T Park over the next few years.

    With or without the title of captain, the team and the city will always have their attention focused on Posey. But making Posey captain could give the Giants players, a majority of which were on the team last season, a spark of energy after another long postseason. It could give Posey more drive to be the absolute best he can be, especially now that the team is without arguably their best clutch hitter in Sandoval.

    Most importantly, making Posey the team’s captain would show the fans, despite losing fan favorites, that the Giants are not just phoning in the 2015 season, and that they intend to contend for a title in an odd year (gasp!) thanks in large part to the leadership of Posey.

    Yes, Pence is without a doubt the vocal leader of the team, but he won’t be there forever. Posey still has at least seven more years with the Giants, and when he signed his huge nine-year deal in the 2012 offseason, he became the face of the franchise.

    There is no question this is Posey’s team. He’s got the titles, he’s got the hardware, he’s got the contract and now the Giants should get up on their desks and shout to Posey “Oh Captain! My Captain!” and put that big “C” on his jersey.

    Next: Get to know the newest Giant, Casey McGehee