The Giants, with manager Bruce Bochy at the helm since 2007 and a core of veterans, undoubtedly can boast of a strong culture. Of course, that culture couldn’t compensate for significant underperformance in 2011 and 2013.
Baer and his team deserve industry-wide appreciation. Industry-wide emulation, however, is harder to pull off when we still are not certain exactly what the secret formula is. Or, more to the point, whether there is one at all.
At the general managers’ meetings, Schuerholz made a point of congratulating Giants GM Brian Sabean.
“If he’s got a way, he’s not going to share it,” Schuerholz said. “I don’t think he’ll let anyone else know what they’re doing.”
I think it’s pretty safe to say there’s no secret formula.
By which I mean there’s no formula, secret or otherwise. This would be a big secret. You can keep small secrets in baseball, for a few moments. But you can’t keep any big secrets.
Which doesn’t mean there’s not something special about the Giants. It’s certainly possible that the Giants do have something special. Maybe there’s some bizarre, unquantifiable spur to postseason success that is created whenever Bruce Bochy and Hunter Pence are within 60 feet of each other. Or maybe Buster Posey has to be a conductor of this strange energy, too. Hell, I don’t know.
But yes, maybe there is something there. Something that increases the Giants’ chances of winning the World Series — you know, when they’re actually good enough to qualify for the tournament — from six percent (when they don’t win their division) or 12.5 percent (when they do) to … what, maybe 14 or 15 percent?
I suppose another team could start by hiring Bruce Bochy. Otherwise, though? Good luck. You won’t figure it out while I’m still alive. Probably not you, either.