What if after last year's improbable World Series triumph Brian Sabean had ignored the We're-The-Jolly-Good-Ship-Giant hyper-sentimentality, pursued a few key free agents and allowed Aubrey Huff, Cody Ross and (less critically, Pat Burrell) to pursue other options?
Would we still have seen a historically-inept offense burden a brilliant pitching staff to the point of near-collapse?
Would a four-game division lead in August have become a five-game deficit in barely a month?
And would a formerly unified clubhouse have unraveled, as captured clearly, if bleakly, by San Jose Mercury-News beat reporter Andy Baggarly?
If you believe in curses and karma, perhaps Sabean's offseason decisions wouldn't have mattered. If you believe that actions produce reasonably foreseeable outcomes, they might have mattered a whole lot.
From here, Sabean's choices—those he made and those he didn't—were born of faulty logic that contaminated the club's chances in 2011.
Here are five players the Giants may regret not adding, re-signing or acquiring in trade.