SAN FRANCISCO -- Proving if nothing else that they are not prisoners of a run-deficient status quo, the Giants churned up their Opening Day roster Wednesday.
Stuck with a conundrum at first base between Aubrey Huff, Brandon Belt and Brett Pill, they kept all three. Looking for a cushion for Buster Posey, they dropped Eli Whiteside (who was optioned) and Chris Stewart (who was traded to the Yankees for pitcher George Kontos) and made a place for Hector Sanchez. Trying to remake their outfield, they finished with Gregor Blanco.
They also promoted Dan Otero to their bullpen, though that is mostly pro forma until Ryan Vogelsong returns.
Then again, it wasnt the pitching that needed the makeover.
Still, eight of their 13 everyday players were playing every day somewhere else last April, which is an impressive remodel for a team that won 86 games a year ago.
The problem, though, was that based on their run differential in 2011, they were lucky to have won those last six, and everyone who pays attention to baseball knew it. In other words, overachieving with no offense pays off just as poorly as not.
The decisions made Wednesday means that only Posey, Huff, Nate Schierholtz and Emmanuel Burriss are everyday players with 2010 World Series rings. There would be a fifth if Freddy Sanchez were healthy, but that is so yesterdays news.
Thus, the allegedly conservative Brian Sabean shows that he has overcome his one instance of romantic loyalty, and the stereotypically age-bound Bruce Bochy now has 13 players whose average age is a shade over 27.
In short, if the Giants are any kind of team at all, they are a team in flux, and they are because a team with 590 runs on their resume has to be. Wednesday was not the day it all blew up, but it was the day they committed to a new broom.
Sanchez made it because he had the best spring of the three backup catchers, so much so that he overcame Whitesides reputation as a handler of pitcher and Stewarts arm. Belt made it because he hit too well in Arizona not to, and Pill made it because Ryan Theriot could not be the right-handed bench power alone. Blanco made it despite Huff being moved to the outfield.
And they all made it because 2010 is a million years ago.
There is still the question of whether this roster will work better than the one last year although the Galactic Overlord is the only one who could imagine how it could be worse but it is considerably different, which means that Sabean and Bochy were as sick of looking at last year as the rest of you.
And if you are prone to self-absorption, you can pretend that they listened to you specifically. Nice work, Miscellaneous Giants Fans. Your incessant whining paid off . . . kind of. Maybe. Youll know for sure in 162 games.
But if you didnt whine for the right people, you could be just as gone as Cody Ross or Chris Stewart. So watch yourselves.
Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com.