The most ridiculous debate of this past week has been whether the Giants' second championship in three years is proof that they constitute a dynasty. It is a ridiculous debate for two reasons.

First, being declared a dynasty is not a prize you can chase. The "D" word is an entirely subjective term. There is no official Dynasty Clearing House for certification. So no matter what argument you make, someone else can make an opposite argument with no definitive debate winner.

For example, were the A's of the '70s a dynasty because they made the playoffs five times in that decade and won three straight World Series titles in 1972-74? Or could you call the Pittsburgh Pirates a better dynasty of the '70s because they were in the postseason six times and won two championships (1971, 1979) in the decade?

Second, it's silly to spend time debating the dynasty issue when there are so many more relevant issues to debate. Here's one: Can the Giants win it all again in 2013?

And the answer to that is, you bet your panda hat they can. Because maybe the most significant thing we learned over the past month was that Brian Sabean, the Giants' general manager, really has cracked the code for consistent contending at AT&T Park.

In fact, the true genesis of both the Giants' 2012 and 2010 championship teams occurred in October 2006, when Sabean hired Bruce Bochy as field manager. At that point, the Giants were a very different kind of team with a different philosophy. Ever since their move to China Basin at the turn of the century, they had been constructed around (questionably enhanced) mega-slugger Barry Bonds. Trades and moves were made to put players around him in the batting order who could outhit opponents.

Historians would note that such a blueprint was a Giants tradition that existed long before Sabean. Although the franchise's early years in San Francisco did feature Hall of Fame pitchers in Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry, the team was still built principally with an offensive-minded bent around star sluggers such as Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda -- and in later seasons, Jack Clark, Will Clark, Kevin Mitchell and Matt Williams.

Sabean, shortly after hiring Bochy, decided to flip things around. When the AT&T gates first opened in 2000, Bonds' home run proclivity initially fooled people into thinking it was a hitter's park. But by 2006, everyone had figured out otherwise -- that with its deep right field alley and knockdown winds, the place was actually a pitcher's best friend. So in talks with Bochy, Sabean revealed his vision of what the Giants would become in the post-Bonds era.

"It was discussed deeply how we would make the transition from what the Giants were," Bochy recalled during the World Series. "We had been more of a power club. But in our division, with the bigger ballparks, the thought was that we might be better off if we were going with pitching and defense and try to get more athletic."

You can track the Giants' current success from that point. The draft choices that were made, the trades that were executed, the personnel decisions ... all were focused on the pitching-defense matrix.

"We've always put a premium on drafting quality pitching," Sabean said. "But in the past, we would tend to use those players as trade chips for position players. Once we decided not to do that ... maybe that was a turning point. We weren't going to use them as trade chips. We were going to develop them."

And so it was that in the 2012 postseason, every one of the Giants' starting pitchers except for Barry Zito was a homegrown arm. Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Lincecum and Ryan Vogelsong (who was drafted by the Giants in 1988, traded away during the Bonds era and reacquired by Sabean in 2011).

The choice of Buster Posey in the 2008 draft fit squarely into the matrix. Sabean's assistants and scouting staff knew they would need a catcher to work with the young pitchers as the team transitioned into its new identity.

"They didn't tell me that at the time," Posey said as the Game 4 celebration wound down. "But as soon as I got called up and saw the type of arms we had ... to see them all three or four years ago, you understood the uniqueness of those types of arms being together at one time. Quality pitchers make a difference."

Other elements of the transition were more subtle, said Bobby Evans, the Giants' vice president of baseball operations. Because AT&T Park was not a home run hitter's paradise, more emphasis was placed on drafting or acquiring "line drive down" hitters -- batters who could lace hits into spacious outfield grass. There was also "maybe just a larger lean or a small push" toward favoring a player's defensive skills over any offensive awesomeness.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the Giants wound up with homegrown shortstop Brandon Crawford making one great defensive play after another in the postseason.

That is how the Giants wound up with swift-footed Angel Pagan (obtained in a trade) and Gregor Blanco (signed as a free agent) chasing down so many balls in the outfield.

That is how the Giants managed to overcome the Aug. 15 suspension of Melky Cabrera for a positive drug test and not miss his (questionably enhanced) batting average.

And that is why, even if Pagan and Blanco should depart, Sabean would cope. He knows what kind of outfield players he needs at AT&T and probably has a list in his pocket of the players on other rosters who fit that mold. As long as Sabean can hold the pitching staff together, the rest of the formula should fall into place quite nicely again.

So, yes, we could easily be having another debate about the "D" word next autumn. But here's my general rule: If you have to actually debate whether a team should be considered a dynasty, then the team is not yet a dynasty.

Let's see, then, if the Giants can pull off three championships in four years. Something tells me that would end the discussion faster than a tagged-out runner at home plate.

Contact Mark Purdy at mpurdy@mercurynews.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/MercPurdy.