- Willie Bloomquist, LF
- A.J. Pollock, CF
- Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
- Aaron Hill, 2B
- Matt Davidson, 3B
- Miguel Montero, C
- Chris Owings, SS
- Adam Eaton, RF
- Wade Miley, P
Yep, that's Willie Bloomquist in LF. Prado still being kept out of the line-up today, and I guess they prefer Bloomquist against a left-handed starter, rather than Campana.
If you'd told me at the beginning of the season that we'd come in to the last game of the year against the Giants, with a chance to take three of four on the road, I'd have been pretty happy. Of course, a lot of water has gone under the bridge, over the 140-odd games which has occurred in between times: now, San Francisco are less the reigning World Series champions, and more the team with the third-worst record in the National League. How does that compare to other WS winners? Let's review regular-season records of them all, since the last bout of expansion brought in the Diamondbacks and Rays.
- 1998 Yankees: 114 wins. Next year: 98 wins (-16)
- 1999 Yankees: 98 wins. Next year: 87 wins (-11)
- 2000 Yankees: 87 wins. Next year: 95 wins (+5)
- 2001 Diamondbacks: 92 wins. Next year: 98 wins (+6)
- 2002 Angels: 99 wins. Next year: 77 wins (-22)
- 2003 Marlins: 91 wins. Next year: 83 wins (-8)
- 2004 Red Sox: 98 wins. Next year: 95 wins (-3)
- 2005 White Sox: 99 wins. Next year: 90 wins (-9)
- 2006 Cardinals: 83 wins. Next year: 78 wins (-5)
- 2007 Red Sox: 96 wins. Next year: 95 wins (-1)
- 2008 Phillies: 92 wins. Next year: 93 wins (+1)
- 2009 Yankees: 103 wins. Next year: 95 wins (-8)
- 2010 Giants: 92 wins. Next year: 86 wins (-6)
- 2011 Cardinals: 90 wins. Next year: 88 wins (-2)
- 2012 Giants: 94 wins. Next year: on pace for 72 wins (-22)
Obviously, in most cases, there has been a decline: when your World Series champions, there is generally one way you can do. Of these fifteen teams, only three posted an improvement on their regular-season record the next time, with the 2001 Diamondbacks showing the biggest improvement. Overall, however, and excluding the Giants, the average World Series champion is 5.6 games worse the next year. But there must be something about Californian teams suffering post-Series stress disorder or something, because the 2012 Anaheim and this year's Giants franchises have both imploded after winning it all.
Now, it certainly isn't the worst in history. That dubious honor would, I suspect, probably go to the 1997 Marlins and their fire-sale, who were 38 games down in the standings the next season. But, it was pretty clear from the get-go, that Florida (as they were in those days) wasn't even trying. If you look at ESPN's pre-season predictions, you see apparently intelligent, sane people like Jim Bowden, Jim Caple, Tim Kurkjian and Dan Szymborski, all picking the Giants to win the NL West. To apparently be off the mark by more than 20 games just goes to show: you can't predict baseball.