Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press
Unlike the Red Sox, who had some chemistry issues throughout their clubhouse, resulting in the ousting of manager Bobby Valentine and a complete makeover of their roster prior to the 2013 season, the Giants didn't feel the need to blow things up and start from scratch after a rough year.
A strong core of talent remained in place, and manager Bruce Bochy and his coaching staff hadn't lost an ounce of respect or confidence from their players or upper management.
Winning two World Series titles in seven seasons on the job will do that. But Bochy has a long track record as a successful manager who will stick by his veteran players and isn't quick to give a regular job to a young player.
As frustrating as that may be for some fans, it's why veterans love playing for him and why a young player like Brandon Belt, who was on the wrong end of that managing style for a couple of seasons, can now feel a strong sense of accomplishment and job security after finally winning over his skipper.
The tight-knit clubhouse is a big reason why veterans like Jeremy Affeldt, Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro were so quick to re-sign with the team after the 2012 season, as did Tim Lincecum, Javier Lopez and Hunter Pence (pictured) prior to this season.
With 20 of 25 players on the Opening Day roster (two others, Scutaro and Affeldt, were on the disabled list to start the season) returning from last year's squad, general manager Brian Sabean was making a clear point that he wasn't going away from the philosophy that had made the organization so successful in the past.
Draft and develop players who will become stars so they don't have to break the bank in free agency. Spend big to keep their own guys. Take calculated risks on players like Pagan and Scutaro, who cost the team almost nothing to acquire. Build depth with smart "under-the-radar" signings, which is how they end up with a Gregor Blanco, Santiago Casilla, Jean Machi or Ryan Vogelsong.
It's worked in the past, and sticking to their guns has resulted in another successful season thus far.