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In 2016, unique expectation returns to Giants

Even-numbered campaign signals championship hopes after wins in '10, '12 and '14
MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The baseball year officially began for the Giants on Wednesday as pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training. And since it's an even-numbered year, they know what's expected of them:

Win the World Series.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The baseball year officially began for the Giants on Wednesday as pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training. And since it's an even-numbered year, they know what's expected of them:

Win the World Series.

They've conditioned observers by winning it all in 2010, '12 and '14. Maybe this has been just coincidence. But after a fruitful offseason in which they acquired right-handers Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija and outfielder Denard Span, the Giants have positioned themselves to make a strong bid to return to the postseason.

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"I think our expectations might be a little bit higher than maybe in some other years, because of some of the acquisitions we made this offseason," shortstop Brandon Crawford said.

Then again, San Francisco believes it should thrive this season, regardless of the calendar's arithmetic.

"Our expectations are always high, and I think it'll be the same this year," Crawford said.

Tweet from @SFGiants: TODAY'S THE DAY!Pitchers & Catchers officially report to spring training.#ItAllStartsHere #SFGSpring #SFGiants pic.twitter.com/iLXtwDs3zE

By now, the Giants have created a winning culture which will drive them through spring drills and the Cactus League schedule into the regular season. This impetus, said second baseman Joe Panik, "is the same every year. That's to win the World Series. I think everybody has the same mindset."

Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to participate in their first workout Thursday. Position players are on deck to report Monday, one day before the initial full-squad workout.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

San Francisco Giants