If 2010 was the year of unexpected success, and 2011 the year of inevitable letdown, what is in store for the San Francisco Giants in 2012?
On the positive front, they welcome outfielders Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera to the team, albeit at the cost of Jonathan Sanchez, Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez.
The Giants have two pivotal players who missed significant stretches of time last season ready to return and contribute. There is reason to be cautiously optimistic.
There is also reason for concern.
The National League's West Division has long been considered the easiest of the NL's three divisions. However, in recent seasons, several teams have become potential contenders. The Los Angeles Dodgers are ready to emerge from the shadow of Frank McCourt. The Arizona Diamondbacks are certainly looking for a return to October baseball.
Beyond the local competition, there are variety of external and internal factors in play that could hinder the Giants' quest to redeem their 2010 championship. Here are 20 hurdles the Giants will need to leap in order to earn the division crown in 2012.