PHILADELPHIA -- As it turned out, center fielder Aaron Rowand knew precisely what he was talking about. After signing his five-year, $60 million contract with the Giants in December 2007, Rowand explained that he joined the Giants instead of heading elsewhere in free agency because the team's stable of young pitchers impressed him. "Pitching is No. 1," Rowand said one month after agreeing to terms with San Francisco. "Everybody [asks], 'If you're all about winning, why did you go to San Francisco?' I'm like, 'Take a look! Look closer. Don't just look at the fact that they were in last place [in 2007]. Look at the pieces they have, the young guys who are going to be here for a long time.' It makes sense to me."
At that time, Tim Lincecum had just completed his rookie year, Matt Cain was entering his third full season, Jonathan Sanchez wasn't yet a full-time starter and Brian Wilson's Major League career was 55 games old. Moreover, Madison Bumgarner had been drafted the previous June. Reminded of this the other day, Rowand grinned. "At least I know my thought process was right when I decided to come here," Rowand said.