It was with a team concept beyond compare that the Giants Brandon Phillips Black Jersey took the National League West title and ran with it in 2012, staving off elimination at every turn all the way to a second World Series title in three years.
With that team intact almost to a man, it’s hard to wrest the favorite’s role away from the Giants in the NL West, a division that historically has been difficult to predict.All Black Brandon Phillips Jersey.Two years ago, for instance, defending the NL West and World Series titles didn’t go so well for the Giants, who didn’t make the playoffs in 2011.
This time around, the Dodgers are putting their vast resources to work to try and topple their rivals, first with their blockbuster trades of last summer and then by signing the top free-agent pitcher on the market over the winter.
Yes, it appears the Giants-Dodgers rivalry, which dates back decades and extends from coast to coast, will decide the fate of the NL West this season. Black and Red Brandon Phillips Jersey.But if the mercurial and somewhat unappreciated division has taught us anything over the past several years, it’s that you never quite know how things will shake out.
“I think sometimes this division doesn’t get quite the credit it should, because there’s tremendous pitching in this division, and a lot of great athletes,” said Giants Brandon Phillips Black Jersey manager Bruce Bochy, who has managed in the NL West since 1995, first with the Padres for 12 seasons and now with the Giants. “It’s a division where there are pretty big ballparks — ours, L.A., San Diego — where you’ve got to play the game of baseball. I think it’s a balanced division all the way around.”
Indeed, it’s a division that has seen all five of its members reach the postseason in the past seven season, something no other division can come close to matching. From the Dodgers’ back-to-back titles in 2008-09 and the Rockies’ Wild Card run in ’09 to the Padres’ narrowly missing the playoffs in ’10 and the Diamondbacks’ surprising title in ’11, everyone has been in on the action in recent years.
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Obviously, there are variables in play, such as injuries — the Dodgers will start the season without third baseman Hanley Ramirez (thumb), the Giants are concerned about Pablo Sandoval’s throwing elbow and the Padres have lost star third baseman Chase Headley (thumb) for the start of the season. The Giants don’t have to be reminded about how much health can affect one’s chances, having seen Buster Posey’s leg injury in 2011 foil their playoff hopes and then a healthy Posey winning NL Most Valuable Player honors in 2012.
All things considered, the staff of reporters who cover the NL West — Corey Brock (Padres), Steve Gilbert (D-backs), Ken Gurnick (Dodgers), Chris Haft (Giants) and Thomas Harding (Rockies) — give the Giants a slight edge over the Dodgers as the 2013 season begins.