It has been funny reading the articles during this Giants team semi-Dynasty run. Everyone wants to know how the Giants do it, and what is their blue print that has allowed them to win 3 in 5 years.
From a local perspective, it is easy to see. Brian Sabean has had a way of building teams, a style he has remained consistent to, and over time its become obvious.
First: - he never left defense behind. Giants fans have been maddened by the hitters he has passed by because they weren't up to snuff defensively. And it has shown in the playoffs. The Giants have routinely taken advantage of an error, and consistently seen offensive juggernauts slain by the Giants boring plan of not making mistakes.
2nd - They keep their money in house. You wouldn't know it based on the complaints about this off-season, but the Giants were 6th in payroll last year. this year, they are 4th, with only the Dodgers, Yankees and Red Sox behind them. But How? Because they don't let their key players leave, they spend the money to keep them, Pablo Sandoval aside. Look at all the double digit Millionaires they have: Buster Posey makes $16.5 million this year (9/167 extension), Matt Cain is making 20, Tim Lincecum 18, Hunter Pence 18.5, Tim Hudson 12, Angel Pagan 9, Marco Scutaro 7, Jake Peavy 11, and they gave Madison Bumgarner an extension years ago so that he is only making 6.5 this year. Considering they legitimately offered Pablo Sandoval 20 million a year, how many 15+ million dollar a year position players can one team have?
3rd - The Giants find undervalued players. It has been their most consistent trait. Sure, Billy Beane seems to do it better than anyone else, but look at some of the most KEY players in the Giants recent World Series Runs: Aubrey Huff, Juan Uribe, Marco Scutaro, Gregor Blanco, Travis Ishikawa, Ryan Vogelsong, Jake Peavy - none of these players were very highly regarded as players when the Giants acquired them. But each one of them made key contributions in the playoffs that brought home a championship.
This is no overnight Success. Sabean has been the head of the Giants for 18 years, and in that times has seen a lot of ways to build teams. And he has seen the flaws in his early playoff teams. In this era of pitching, you can never have enough - that's why the Giants go into this season with 7 starters. They took undervalued players to fill holes in Left field and Third Base. And they go into 2015 ready to compete, entertain the Bay Area, and if they are close at the deadline, make a move to try for their first ever back to back championship. And if all else fails, they have nearly 50 million in payroll coming off the books next off-season (Lincecum, Hudson, Vogelsong, Scutaro, Affeldt, Mcgee and Aoiki. With their track record of winning with pitching, I am sure they will be tossing their hats in the ring to the either improve offensive shortcomings (Juston Upton, David Freese, Yoenis Cespedes) or further strengthen the starting rotations (David Price, Jeff Samardzija, Jordan Zimmerman)
Even in an odd year, its still good to be a Giants fan.