The Aughts began with the San Francisco Giants on top of Major League Baseball, almost literally. They finished with the best record in baseball in 2000, came six agonizing outs away from the World Series in 2002, and made it back to the postseason in 2003.
They were strong contenders in 2001, 2004, and 2005 (although I'm being liberal with "strong" on that last one).
Then came the Darkness. Or maybe it was a Fog.
Los Gigantes slid into baseball obscurity, toiling in the cellar of the Show's weakest division. But a new day seems to have dawned as the Gents bursts back into relevancy in 2009.
It hasn't been pretty and it isn't finished, but the franchise seems to have finally found some solid and successful ground again. It finally cut ties with beleaguered and/or spent veterans, invested wisely in young pitching, and caught a couple breaks along the way. Plus the National League West is not quite the juggernaut it could/should be nor does it look to be improving too much for 2010.
While my fellow Featured Columnists Evan Aczon and Danny Penza will be handling the facets that have driven the resurgence, I'm getting the group (or the man) who drove the early success...