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Lowell Cohn: Giants euphoric, at least until season starts

  • New acquisition Michael Morse hit 31 home runs in 2011, but he's steadily declined since then, partly because of injury. (NICK WASS / Associated Press)

When it comes to baseball, this is the euphoria time of year. Both the Giants and A's and all big-league clubs happily experience the euphoria period, although this column is about the Giants and their particular euphoria.

Locally, the euphoria period begins with the Giants' and A's Media Days — recently concluded — and extends through spring training. During this period, every single thing about our local guys is fabulous to the max. The dark clouds — and there are dark clouds — exist in the distance over the hill and out of sight.

The Giants, whose 2013 season wasn't so hot, are in full euphoria mode, and they want to share it with you. Their collective euphoria extends to their hitting, generally considered an essential part of baseball.

Are the Giants entitled to hitting euphoria?

I won't belabor you with statistics, except these two, among the most important. Of the 30 big-league clubs, the Giants were 21st in runs scored. The A's, by comparison, were fourth. It is hard to win if you can't get guys to cross the plate, even if your pitching is top notch. Whether or not the Giants' pitching is top notch is another euphoria-time issue to be examined at a later date.

And get this. Of the 30 big-league clubs, the Giants were next to last in home runs, dingers, in going yard, downtown. That is what you call a “Lord, help us” statistic, and it means the Giants, who don't run so fast, must hit a lot of doubles and singles to score runs, which means the Giants are what you call a station-to-station team, which means the Giants are more like an American League club than a National League club. FYI, the A's were third in the big leagues in home runs.

Here is what Giants manager Bruce Bochy said at Media Day when I asked why he's optimistic about his team's hitting. Imagine Bochy sitting in a chair wearing a blue-striped shirt his wife bought him, looking dapper, looking younger than he looks in a baseball uniform. Imagine him speaking in that deep Bochy voice, speaking slowly, speaking with conviction.

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