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The San Francisco Giants won 92 games, lost 70, and captured the NL West title on their way to a "surprising" World Series title.
Prior to the start of the 2010 season, the Giants were not expected to be contenders. As late as July 16, they were fourth in the NL West. They did not win the division until they defeated the San Diego Padres on the final day of the regular season.
Throughout the playoffs, they were underdogs the whole way.
However, upon close examination, it should not have been so surprising the Giants were so good.
They have a scarily good pitching staff, led by Tim Lincecum in the rotation and closer Brian Wilson in the bullpen. San Francisco's pitchers posted the lowest collective ERA in the majors.
The rotation is one of the best in the majors with Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, Madison Bumgarner and Barry Zito.
In addition to Wilson, their bullpen also includes Javier Lopez, Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, Ramon Ramirez and Sergio Romo. It could also see the return of a healthy Dan Runzler.
Furthermore, they have a superb, young pitch caller behind the plate in Buster Posey.
The Giants were, generally, a very surehanded team on defense.
While San Francisco does not have the most fearsome offense, they proved they could come through in the clutch, scoring 29 runs in the five-game World Series.
Having Rookie of the Year Posey and fellow first-year sensation Bumgarner for a full season should provide an added boost to the Giants.
Having late-season acquisitions like Pat Burrell and Cody Ross, who provided a tremendous lift, for all of 2011 also bodes well for San Francisco.
Yet another player who could give the Giants a little something extra if available the whole year is super utility man Mark DeRosa who missed most of last year to injury.
What's more, the Giants have what is most likely the best clubhouse environment in baseball and among the best in sports, led by rally-thong-wearing Aubrey Huff.
There was frequent talk of how well the players got along, how much they loved each other and it was clear it was not just talk.
Chemistry does not win games, but it was one of the many key ingredients in the Giants' championship run.
Fortunately for the Giants, almost every important player from last year's roster will be back this year.
Their most important move of the offseason was resigning offensive leader Huff to a two-year contract.
The arrival of Miguel Tejada and having Pablo Sandoval in better shape should offset the loss of Edgar Renteria and Juan Uribe.
In 2010, the Giants were tagged with various slogans and catchphrases—"Fear the Beard," "torture," "misfits and outcasts" and so on.
This year, the Giants do not need any of that. Their talent speaks for itself.
The San Francisco Giants are the best team in Major League Baseball.
Key Acquisition: Infielder Tejada.
Key Departures: Infielders Renteria and Uribe.