Giants a dynasty? Weigh them against what the 49ers did

Here is my Saturday column.

Credit the Giants for winning their third World Series in five seasons. Good going, Giants.

Just don’t call them a dynasty.

The Yankees were a dynasty. They won four World Series in five years with the same group of core players: Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Tino Martinez, Paul O’Neil, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. We will remember that group the rest of our lives.

How are we supposed to remember these Giants? All three of their World Series teams were vastly different.

The ace went from Tim Lincecum in ’10 to Matt Cain in ’12 to Madison Bumgarner in ’14.

The closer went from Brian Wilson to Sergio Romo to Santiago Casilla.

The center fielder went from Andres Torres to Angel Pagan to Gregor Blanco.

The second baseman went from Freddy Sanchez to Marco Scutaro to Joe Panik.

Only two starters – Bumgarner and Buster Posey – were major contributors for all three World Series teams. Not enough.

Call what I just gave you the anti-dynasty argument. It’s been floating around lately. It’s trumped up and it doesn’t hold water. If it held water, Bill Walsh’s 49ers wouldn’t have been a dynasty, either.

Everyone calls Walsh’s 49ers a dynasty. No one ever disputes that. I’m asserting — shouting — that Bruce Bochy’s Giants are no less a dynasty than Walsh’s Niners.

Walsh and Bochy each won three championships. Walsh won three in an eight-year span — the seasons of ’81, ’84 and ’88 (I know the Niners won two more Super Bowls under George Seifert). Bochy won three championships in a five-year span. For the sake of comparison, let’s focus on Walsh’s three championships and Bochy’s three championships.

The Giants and 49ers won championships in exactly the same way, remaking themselves on the run season after each season. This what the Niners did — totally Giant-like.

Only four players started in all three of Walsh’s Super Bowls — Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Randy Cross and Keena Turner.

The 49ers’ key receiver went from Dwight Clark to Jerry Rice. The key running back went from no one to Wendell Tyler to Roger Craig. The key tight end went from Charle Young to Earl Cooper and Russ Francis, and then to Ron Heller and Brent Jones.

Who says a dynasty has to be the same big group of players? Look up the definition of the word. A dynasty is “a succession of people from the same family who play a prominent role in business, politics or another field.”

A succession of people. Not the same people. King Louis I wasn’t a dynasty. There had to be more than one Louie. You need lots of Louies for a dynasty.

It does not take skill to keep a group of great players on one team for five years to 10 years. It takes wealth. We’re talking Yankees. They could afford to keep their best players every year. Most teams can’t.

The Giants may not be able re-sign Pablo Sandoval this offseason. Teams much richer than the Giants, like the Red Sox and Dodgers, need third basemen and may want to sign the Kung Fu Panda. Whatever the Giants offer him, those two teams can blow the offer out of the water.

If the Giants lose Sandoval in free agency and miss the playoffs next season, would they be any less of a dynasty?


Sandoval did not contribute in the first World Series. He had zero hits in three plate appearances against the Rangers in 2010. The Giants have won without him before and can win without him again. No team replaces key players as well at the Giants. This is their brilliance. This is how they built their dynasty in the first place. If the Giants miss the playoffs next season, they could be in position to win the World Series the very next season after. That’s the precedent.

But what if, for some reason, the Giants fail to replace Sandoval? What if Bruce Bochy never wins another World Series? Then would the Giants be any less of a dynasty?


Nothing can take away from what the Giants just accomplished — three championships in five seasons. As great as the 49ers were when San Francisco was the center of the football world, they never won three championships in five seasons.

San Francisco is the center of the baseball world now.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at

This article has 104 Comments

    1. No matter, the Giants are the most popular team in the Bay Area right now. They’re just a far more likable bunch, and they kept their ballpark in San Francisco unlike the
      49ers who moved out of the City. Bochy versus Harbaugh? Sabean versus Baalke?
      Bumgarner/Posey versus Kapernick? These Giants got it all over the 49ers.

  1. Congrats to the Giants! But football is still the more popular sport..Needless to say..Im willing to bet.there are more 49er fans all over the world than Giants fans…When the niners get number six..It’ll be biggerl

    1. Who cares if the Niners are the more popular team, they have trying to get number 6 for the last 20 yrs, Giant have 3 in 5 yrs , your point is lame. Column has nothing to do with fan base.

      1. Who sh!t in your cereal?lol..Im stating my opinion..Baseball aint football..And you’re right..we been chasing for twenty years..When we get it..Like I said..It’s gonna be huge..3 in 5 yrs is a tremendous feat…It’s harder to win a superbowl..that’s all im sayin..Grant brought up niners and giants..Just stating my opinion on the state of both franchises.

        1. Duh, everyone knows that football is the more popular sports, thanks for sharing your opinion, that every sports fan already knows.

    2. You probably don’t really know the history of the S. F Giants way back from New York. You are comparing the Giants to the 49ers. Good try, make a research before you make fool of yourself. LOL!

  2. The definition of dynasty seems to be outdated and silly as if you take away Frank Gores 35 yard winning TD, he average 2.8 yards per carry.

  3. Grinding the ax a little huh Grant? You did predict the A’s would outdo the Giants after the all star break didn’t you?

    Yes, they have won with different player’s while only keeping a small core group but in my opinion that is what makes this championship special.
    The Giants were underdogs against every playoff team they faced and still brought the trophy home.

    I don’t care if people get hung up on the word Dynasty or not, I only know that winning championships in this day where players jump from team to team is a feat that I will cherish forever.
    Go Giants!

    1. Grant Cohn – July 10, 2014
      “The Giants are not a dynasty. They were good in 2010 and 2012, got hot in the playoffs and won two World Series in three years. Very impressive.”

      So Grant, if the Giants were “very impressive” after winning two championship in three years, what would you call them now that they have won 3 championships in 5 years?
      After all, it’s you who seem to like to toss the word dynasty around.

  4. If your talking about 25 players making up the team then I would say your right. However its the whole organization that’s a dynasty. Clearly staff and management have repeatedly made the best decisions over all other teams in the last five years. Just because they don’t beat you with the consistent long ball doesn’t negate their dominance. Not flashy just very good when needed to be very good.

  5. Grant ..
    you sure love to stir the pot ! .. but.. to answer your question..
    yes… I consider both the 49ers and the SF Giants dynasties

    The fact that different players were on the championship teams ..
    is irrelevant ..

    Deezy ..
    I dunno if I agree with you on whether or not
    winning a Super Bowl is harder to win than a World Series ..

    There are many valid arguments on both sides of that coin
    ya kno

      1. Well, 162 vs. 16 sure is a big difference, but unless you’re a catcher, you’re not getting physically pounded in those games. Not that many hitters have their seasons ended by beanballs. But plenty of NFL players lose a year to concussions, ACLs, broken legs, etc. etc. With proper conditioning and no freak occurrences, most ballplayers can be expected to make it from April to September, with a few days off.In the NFL, no amount of conditioning can save you from the violence inherent in the game.

      1. I don’t think so Neal.Football doesn’t have seven tries to win a championship like baseball does.if u wanna get technical about it..It’s win or go home..Stakes are much higher..that’s why u don’t see many nfl teams winning championships “3 in 5years anymore…like the SF Giants have in baseball..It’s hard to do…

        1. the patriots were the last team to win 3 in 5yrs..That was ten years ago.The cowboys 92-95 and 49ers 84-89.. did it before the patriots..thats over twenty-five/thirty years..

            1. Jan of 85′ to Jan of 90′ seems like 5yrs to…nah im just kidding. I see your point.3 in 6 seasons lol

        2. Wouldn’t it be kinda cool is the superbowl was three weeks..And u had to win two outta three??

  6. There are different meanings for dynasty IMO. The Bills had a hella run, never got the big ring, but they dominated wins/losses, then nothing since. The Rams had a run. Vikes. Other teams have done it off and on; SF, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Patriots. Miami had an awesome short run, then Marino got them to the big dance once. NY Giants had a couple of runs.

  7. The thing that made the 49ers a dynasty is that they went almost twenty years with seasons of 10 wins or more. They were always competing for championships. Yankees are a dynasty because they have had great teams in almost every generation since the early days of the last century. Longevity is what makes a dynasty. If the Giants can continue to play and compete at a high level for ten more years than maybe you can start talking dynasty. Right now they are a good team on a four year run.

  8. Not that Grant is correct in his estimation that “all three of their World Series teams were vastly different” (for one thing, Cain, Lincecum, and MadBum were on all three – why does it matter who’s having a better year?), but the changes the team has gone through actually support the notion of a “dynasty.”

    If a “dynasty” is a “line of rulers from the same family,” that implies two things: both change and continuity. That is, in sports terms, different pieces in the same span of organizational time. In that case, the Sabean-Bochy Giants perfectly suit the definition, whether they ever win again or not. And so do the Walsh-Seifert Niners.

    But really, who cares? This is just column filler. That was a thrilling playoff run and now let’s see the Niners go on one of their own. GO GIANTS, GO NINERS!

  9. Gee.. prime ..

    Hope yer wrist doesn’t stay sore very long ..
    ya kno ..

    (from pattin’ yourself on the back .. ;-} .. )

    1. People were giving me relentless grief over the fact the 49ers would not add a DB. Well look at all the injuries, it was a no brainer. They had to because a lot of guys might be a game time decision.

      1. Relentless grief? Maybe I missed something but all I recall is I suggested it, you agreed, Jack was on the fence, and razor said he thought the spot would be taken by Aldon Smith.

            1. Nope. Razor said the 49ers were looking to fill a roster spot because Cook and Kilgore were put on IR. I mentioned they would likely be looking at someone in the secondary. He suggested DL because the Niners didn’t need any “puny” cornerbacks rather pass rushers.
              Jack said pass rusher (s) would benefit the secondary instead.
              Well, looks like I was right!

              1. So now you didn’t suggest pass rush was more of a need and the roster spot should be used to fill it?

              2. I suggest you re-read the thread Prime.


                Jack relayed the news Cook and Kilgore were off to IR. I asked if they may look to add another CB with Cook done, you agreed, Jack said it depends on how guys currently injured heal up over the bye week, and razor said Aldon would take it.

                Only razor suggested pass rush was more of a need.

              3. What’s the issue? I said DB,others said DL. What was it filled with? DB. Thank you come again!

        1. Here’s how it went down.

          Jack Hammer October 25, 2014 at 11:14 am
          Kilgore and Cook to the IR. 49ers now have an open roster spot.

          Scooter_McG October 25, 2014 at 1:41 pm
          Dang, I hadn’t realised Cook’s hamstring injury was that serious. Hamstring injuries can linger a long time though, so I guess it makes sense.

          Dontae Johnson has done enough in his playing time to suggest he can take over that backup role. But wouldn’t want any more injuries to the CBs. Do they sign another CB to the 53, do you think?

          Jack Hammer October 25, 2014 at 1:52 pm
          Depends on the health of Culliver and Ward.

          Prime Time October 25, 2014 at 2:17 pm
          I think they have to with Brock still recovering as is Ward and Culliver. That’s one position you can never have enough depth. I would imagine a signing very soon.

          Razoreater October 25, 2014 at 7:26 pm
          Nope. Aldon Smith will be filling that roster opening. Not some puny little defensive back. We need pass rushers!

          Prime Time October 25, 2014 at 8:00 pm
          How many healthy pass rushers do we have versus corners? Math Eater, do the math!

          Jack Hammer October 26, 2014 at 9:27 am
          Sounding like that could happen as soon as tomorrow. Adding Smith could really help the play of the DB’s.

          Razoreater October 26, 2014 at 9:45 am
          The 49ers secondary has weathered the storm. On the horizon, a rainbow appears in the form of Aldon Smith….

          1. Thank you I was right! The spot was filled by a DB not a pass rusher and not Aldon Smith.

              1. None of us responded to you. Might want to re-read the thread Hammer.
                I get it, a want to be writer gets it wrong while a little old Canadain gets it right and it burns your a$$. Don’t worry amigo, your time will come!

              2. Prime, not one reply was made on any of your posts in that thread. Razor’s reply about Aldon was in response to my question, not your comment.

                As for getting it wrong, Jack never said they wouldn’t sign a DB, just that razor’s opinion that it could be Smith could well happen. That was the speculation at the time.

              3. Did Prime just liken himself to Johnny Drama? As if that’s a good thing?

                The way he’s been getting his a$$ handed to him lately, it’s easy to understand why Prime’s celebration went over-the-top when he finally got one right.

            1. They didn’t “sign” anybody, which suggested to me that you believed they would look outside the organization for another defensive back. I’ll give you a pat on the back though for being partially correct for this week. Maybe that helps with your “little Canadian” syndrome….

          2. Sorry, hadn’t realised you had already posted this here, Jack.

            Prime, you sure are taking a lot of pride in being right about something only one person disagreed with your opinion on, especially for an opinion that somebody else suggested in the first place.

  10. The Dodgers need 3rd basemen?? C’mon man, Juan Uribe is an INCREDIBLE fielder and hit .311 with a .777 OPS and Justin Turner, after the all-star break, led the majors in OPS (1.025) amongst all players with more than 70 at-bats. Find me the last time a team had 2 third basemen that good. No team is less in need of third basemen than the Dodgers. Granted I think Turner’s a free agent by no way they’d let him go just so they could pay more to a player who had a way worse year in Sandoval, when they’d still also have Uribe.

    1. Sam ..

      Looks as though you’re a little lost ..
      let me help you out ..
      (which way did you come in ?)

      At any rate .. this is a SF 49ers blog ..
      ya kno .. FOOTBALL …(not baseball)

      Also … the 49ers are in NorCal … (not SoCal)

      So … there ya go !

      In case you get lost again ..
      you might wanna bookmark .. THIS link

      Yer welcome

  11. All this talk about how great Kelvin Benjamin is and he goes out and catches 2 of 10 targets.

    1. CFC ..

      during the run-up to the draft ..I seem to remember
      quite a few wanted Benjamin…
      (or, at least, his name was bandied about,a lot .. here) .. but..
      I was pretty firm in my resolve.. that I wanted the Niners
      to snag Jordan Mathews …

      Looking back, now … my conclusion would be ..
      “What do I know ?” …

      (Hindsight is 20/20 )

      1. You mean hindsight is NOT 50/50? It was asserted on here earlier today that it is 50/50. Well I’ll be hornswaggled!

      2. KB is doing better then I thought he would but it’s also still too early to claim he’s going to have a solid career.

        Latimer and Mathews were the two WR’s I liked best if I remember correctly now.

        Paul Richardson is the AJ Jenkins clone some of us saw him as.

        1. I liked Allen Robinson, Mathews, Evans and Watkins (duh). Robinson had TC injury that slowed him but he may be OK, Mathews looks good. Watkins looks excellent (other than his Leon Lett act). Haven’t heard much on Evans. KB is being fed but he’s still exceeding my expectations. I worried that KB might be JJ Stokes.

          1. I was high on Matthews, but really Ellington. Watch for him to make a big play or two today. (Hat tip to Razor)

          2. I liked Latimer. He was chosen just before Hyde.

            I was hoping Aaron Donald would fall to within (reasonable) trade-up range. The Rams grabbed him at #13.

            Teams were asking ridiculous trade-up terms to move up to the mid first. It was a tough first round watching all the players I coveted fall off the board.

  12. MadBum, Buster, Timmy, Pablo, Cain, Bochy, Sabean are names that will live on forever. Cohn’s arguments hold so little water, his drought is worse than Southern Cali’s. I am done with the Press Democrat. You should be impartial to the local teams you cover. Grant Cohn flat out hates them.

      1. Was more a question than prediction. How many passes does Weeden throw today? I think they’ll ride Murray into the ground.

        1. Yea, I noticed the question mark Hammer. Believe me, I’ll be a Cowboy fan during that game, and hate myself for it later. Haven’t they already ridden Murray like Little Blackie?

        2. Let’s see if Cards are riding some magic this season. Today will be a good test for them. Can Dallas run it enough against them? Does Weeden turn it over?
          My hunch is Cards win it.

          1. I predict a late season collapse for the Cards. Don’t ask me to back that up with anything even the least bit solid or credible but you can take it to the bank!!

  13. I bumped into Admiral Ackbar this morning and he had this to say about today’s game; “It’s a trap!”

  14. Anyone else see Jay Glazer report that Niners almost traded Ahmad Brooks to the Browns at the trade deadline ? Really interesting. Thoughts ?

    1. You mean like how we almost traded Harbaugh to the Browns. Hard to believe these “almost traded” reports.

      1. Point taken. Well let me follow that up with another question. Will Brooks get traded/released after the season ?

        1. I’m probably the wrong person to task because I’ve been predicting the team cutting ties with him because of his cap number for the past two seasons.

    1. @C4C

      Good call on the Miami-San Diego game

      I’d like to have it different, but The last time I called for the opponents, we won; I’m Irish , so superstitious….Rams 27–Niners 24

      1. I’m with Ackbar on this one and think this could be a “trap” game. I worry the team is looking past this week.

  15. The term “Dynasty” is relative and in large part decided on by the public and companies marketing merchandise. The talking heads can debate it all they want, but when ESPN asked the question in their “Sports Nation” poll, every state…including Missouri…said yes…and it wasn’t even close. 70% of those polled said it was a dynasty. As for me, I will always wear my Giant’s gear…as I do my 49er’s gear, with pride…including my “Giants Dynasty” shirt.

  16. KNBR Rumor – The 49ers almost traded Brooks to the Browns before the trade deadline.

    I’m not so sure Bowman will be back full speed this season (if at all) and Willis has that pesky toe. I like the idea of Aldon and Lynch on the bookends, with Brooks playing spot MLB.

    1. Someone mentioned earlier that Glazer had that too. But really, what does ‘almost traded’ mean? Exchanged phone calls? Considered offers? How seriously? We’ll never know now that it didn’t happen.

    2. Given the situation I believe the Browns called and the 49ers listened but that it was going to take much more then the Browns were offering. The “almost” part is where I call BS. Just because they pick up the phone and don’t immediately hang up doesn’t mean he was “almost” traded.

      The 49ers ONLY motivation to make a deal is his cap number and to try and get something for him rather then cut him loose for nothing as a cap casualty in the off season. Frankly right now I think they need him far more then they can afford to lose him I think the team knows it too which is why his value to them exceeded what the Browns were willing to offer.

      1. Think about this, we could have traded Brooks and started Murphy in his spot today.

      2. Warning to GMs… if you make a casual “what-if” comment with the Browns, it could be a headline later.

        1. Which always raises the question…who if anyone actually leaked that information to Glazer? It’s hard to think that this and other similar situations are legitimate “leaks” given that there are only so many individuals privy to this level of information that if someone did blab it wouldn’t be that hard for the organization to figure out who it was. So if it’s intentional which side had the motivation to call up Glazer and feed him a story? Do the Browns make the call as a PR move to make ti look like they’re trying to improve the team? Maybe but that would just backfire with some as to why didn’t they try harder to get him? Do the 49ers make the call in the hope of lighting a fire under Brooks? That seems even less plausible.

          I dunno, when we “hear/read” these stories my first thought is always about the motivation of how we were able to come about this information. Teams have shown that if they want to keep a secret they’re plenty good at doing so.

            1. It’s a likely explanation but I still question the motivation. What is gained by either sides agent. Does Glazer feed them money for these tips?

  17. The 49ers are -7 in net points for the year meaning we’ve given up more points then we’ve scored so far this season. When you look at other playoff possible teams, it’s a trend we need to reverse in a big way;

    Broncos +82
    Ravens +86
    Patriots +61
    Cardinals +25
    SeaChickens +22
    Saints +29
    Lions +36
    Packers +31
    Colts +63

    Strength of schedule and other factors have an impact on this number but when it comes playoff time if the defense has an off day our current offense doesn’t produce enough to counter.

  18. I am saying this very quietly, Go cowboys! That’s what pisses me off about the season so far I have to root or the cowboys to win.

    1. 49ers inactives: Johnson, Patton, Brock, Willis, Farrell, Dobbs, Carradine.

      Those pesky turn toe injuries!

  19. Late weighing in on this one Grant but I thoroughly agree with your position on the Giants. The work by Bochy and Mad Bum was impressive. One of the all time great World Series IMHO. The team was what made key plays at key moments with all contributing. A dynasty needs to have longevity and a capacity to leave lasting impressions on history.

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