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Grant Cohn: Depth is A's edge on Giants (w/video)

  • A's manager Bob Melvin's expectations for third baseman Josh Donaldson are that he continues his level of production and intensity. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)

PHOENIX — The Giants hope. The A's don't. The biggest difference between the two teams right now.

The Giants hope so many things go their way this season. They hope Pablo Sandoval keeps his weight down. They hope Angel Pagan stays healthy. They hope Marco Scutaro stays healthy. They hope Ryan Vogelsong stays healthy. They hope Brandon Belt improves. They hope Tim Hudson bounces back from a broken ankle. They hope Mike Morse bounces back from wrist surgery. They hope Matt Cain bounces back from a bad season. They hope Tim Lincecum bounces back from two bad seasons in a row.

The entire team is built on a hope and a prayer.

On Wednesday, the Giants' first day of full-squad workouts, manager Bruce Bochy sat on a bench in the Giants' dugout at Scottsdale Stadium and expressed his hopes and wishes about Sandoval. “Hopefully, we're not taking him out (at the end of games),” Bochy said. “He lost quite a few pounds. He should be moving around better. I think it's going to help him with the bat, too.”

Circle the key words in Bochy's quote.

If you circled “hopefully,” “should,” and “I think,” you get an A+. Those are words you use when you engage in wishful thinking. Bochy wishes Sandoval will improve this season and finally become a superstar. The pressure is on Sandoval to prove Bochy right.

On Thursday, the first day of full-squad workouts for the A's, manager Bob Melvin sat on a picnic table outside the A's minor-league complex and a reporter asked if he thought his third baseman, Josh Donaldson, will improve this season. I want you to compare what Melvin said about Donaldson to what Bochy said about Sandoval.

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