Whenever someone mentions the phrase "rebuilding year," bad memories from the Niners' and Raiders' almost decade long stints at rebuilding are what come to mind, but fans must realize that that is what this year is for the San Francisco Giants.
The Giants have a roster full of players fresh out of the farm system for the first time in a long time, some with no more than a full seasons' worth of experience (see Emmanuel Burriss and Pablo Sandoval).
It is a new era for the Giants, one that is long-past due. No more is the team made of veterans past their prime (see Moises Alou and Armando Benitez), or veterans on the cusp of their prime making a quick pit-stop with the team (see Jose Cruz Jr. and Kenny Lofton).
It is now a team with the promise of young talent.
As much as Giants fans want to see this team live up to their potential this season, it will happen in time.
Imagine a savvy Sandoval in a year or two that doesn't swing at anything thrown in his general direction.
Imagine a Fred Lewis that finds his swing and moves into a permanent third spot where he belongs.
Imagine a Manny Burriss that discovers what he was meant to do and secure a lead off spot.
Imagine Matt Cain following in Tim Lincecum's footsteps and winning the Cy Young Award.
The best part is that it's evident that these are not just imaginations but things soon to come.
The Giants have one of the best young starting rotations in baseball (see Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain), as well as one of the best young closers in the league (see Brian Wilson).
After a Cy Young winning season, Lincecum is 3-1 and second in the league with 58 strikeouts, trailing Greinke by one.
Cain is off to the best start of his career with a record of 3-1, a 2.61 ERA, as well as posting a quality start in five of his six outings.
Wilson is coming off an All-Star season and is 7-for-9 in saves as well as being 2-0 with 18 K's in 16.2 innings pitched.
Burriss is finally finding his stride and is the hottest hitter in the lineup right now. Batting early in the season like he was looking to be sent to AA, he is now batting .287, second only on the team to Fred Lewis' .290, and a career best six game hitting streak. Not to mention he just had his first career four hit game.
Sandoval has cooled off from his hot streak of a few weeks ago, where at one point he was 11-for-20 with two home runs, a triple and six RBI. He has proven that when he is on, he is really on, and a full season of starting experience will only help.
Fred Lewis is off to a slow start, but every once in a while he shows glimmers of what he was last year when he was batting .282 with nine dingers and 11 triples. There's no reason to think he is going to be striking out this much for the remainder of a long season.
And fans cannot forget that along with the players we have now, the Giants have one of the better farm systems in baseball. The Giants' fanbase will see their dreams truly realized when, on top of the aforementioned players, Catcher Buster Posey gets behind the plate with Madison Bumgarner and Tim Alderson joining the rotation.
With such young talent, San Francisco is on the right track. Whatever is done during this season, this "rebuilding" season, is a bonus.
Soon enough, Giants fans, soon enough.