IN HONOR OF BRETT BUTLER

The man who was one of the best lead off hitters during the 1980s and 1990s…

The man who had to fill Chili Davis’ shoes after the 1987 season and did so admirably…

The man who led the National League in runs in his first year with the Giants and led the NL in hits in 1990…

The man who led off Game 1 of the 1989 NLCS with a single and scored in the first off of Greg Maddux to send the Giants on their way…

A solid all around player who amased 2,375 hits in his career…

And a solid man who beat a form of cancer while with the Dodgers to return the same season he received treatments…

And did NOT star in Grace Under Fire

In his honor we announce

THE GIANTS MAGIC NUMBER IS 2!

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I still think 20 wins is cool

Jon Lester goes for win #20 tonight and I really hope he gets it.
Of course I want ANY Red Sox pitcher to win and with the Sox still having a shot at 90 wins, I want them win as often as they can now.

But 20 for Jon Lester will be sweet.

I know we’re not supposed to care about win totals anymore.
I had someone say they are a meaningless stat.

And while I wouldn’t go as far as meaningless (Hello! You play to win the Game!) wins and losses on the record can be misleading.

As I wrote in my Bert Blyleven post, the fact that he didn’t get the win in 13 additional games is keeping him out of the Hall of Fame is nothing short of insanity.

And in one of my MANY posts plugging Felix Hernandez for the Cy Young
, I pointed out that if the only stat that CC has over King Felix is wins, then that is not enough to give him the Cy Young.

So I understand that wins are not the end all and be all of a pitcher’s worth.

But I still think 20 wins is cool.
It’s a nice shorthand for an ace caliber pitcher.

“He’s a 20 game winner” still carries a little weight. If you win enough to take your team 1/5 of the way to 100 wins yourself, it must feel good for a pitcher.

I can’t imagine a pitcher being THAT lucky that they would get twenty wins and have it all be good fortune.

OK, maybe Rick Helling’s 20 win season in 1998 for the Rangers despite an ERA of 4.41 was a bit lucky.

But hey, I once heard that when Napoleon was considering new generals, one of the questions he would ask is “Is he lucky?”

So perhaps a healthy amount of luck is cool.

Besides, I’d rather be a Mr. Magoo winning games by pure luck than a hard luck pitcher losing games despite pitching well.

It also is aesthetically pleasing.

Seeing 20 wins on the back of a baseball card just looks cool. I don’t care how big a Sabrmatrician you are… it is like the spoiler on the back of the car. It may not mean much but it looks bad ass.

It’s a nice title to have.
It’s kind of like “Academy Award Winning Director” sounds cool in front of a director’s name.

Did the Oscar make Martin Scorsese or the Coen Brothers better directors?

Of course not… they were geniuses long before they got the Golden Guys.

But knowing they won Oscars and can be called “Academy Award Winning Directors” is neat, if overdue.

And with Lester… well it could make his Cy Young case more compelling (or take away from Sabathia’s case and maybe split the “You need the big win total” crowd and give Felix a real chance.)

It would be the latest peak that he scaled since cancer (that along with winning the World Series clincher in 2007 and throwing a no hitter in 2008.)

It would give the Red Sox a nice moment to build upon after a disappointing season.

And oh yeah, help create the winning foundation of the 2011 team.

It’s good to start with an ace… and what builds more confidence in an ace than knowing they won a pile of games?

Maybe being a 20 game winner.

It may not mean as much as it used to… but it is still cool.

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IN HONOR OF BILL TERRY

The greatest first baseman the Giants ever had before moving to San Francisco…

The man who in 1930 batted .401, had an OPS of 1.071, hit 23 homers with 129 RBI while striking out only 33 times. A good guy to have on your fantasy team…

The man who had the unenviable job of replacing John McGraw as Giants manager…

In his first full season as manager he led the Giants to the 1933 World Series, which they won against Washington 4 games to 1. Not a bad start…

He would later manage the Giants to the 1936 and 1937 National League pennants…

He ran a car dealership and a minor league franchise when he hung up his spikes…

The Hall of Famer and the last National Leaguer to hit over .400 has his number retired at AT&T Park…

In his honor I announce

THE GIANTS MAGIC NUMBER IS 3.

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