Thursday, April 28, 2005

And a left! And a right! And another right!

The Giants just keep on taking 'em on the chin.

After the absolute worst thing that could happen happened in the form of Barry Bonds' injury, the bad luck stepped up to take away Moises Alou for a stretch (although I don't think it mattered as much as it might seem). What's the worst thing that could happen after that? Injury to Jason Schmidt? Well, yes, but after that?

Injury to Armando Benitez? Ding, ding ding, ding! You win an all-expenses-paid trip to Fresno, California, where you can pick the Giants next reliever!

Do you want a little Brad Hennessey? How about Jesse Foppert? Matt Cain or Merkin Valdez? Maybe Kevin Correia?

Heh. What you're gonna get is Scott Munter. Take it and like it.

I dunno what to think about that right now. All I know is that they paid Benitez a lot of money to be the closer after Rob Nenn's salary was finally off the books, thinking that it'd be nice to have a good closer again.

Well, after Benitez hardly showed anything to resemble the closer the Giants thought they'd acquired, he tears his hamstring and will be out for...quite a while. Possibly the entire season. The Giants freaking need AFLAC, so when these players miss work, it won't hurt to miss work. Of course, Benitez already has cash, which is just as good as money.

I suppose, if the Giants are actually able to stay in the race somehow, we'll be able to look at all of this and think, "What a gritty, gutty team!".

But for now? They're a very hurt team; one that is going to need a lot of breaks to keep up with the Dodgers and Diamondbacks in the NL West. Or, failing that, Brian Sabean needs to work those phones and find some band-aids for these bullet wounds in the Giants hopes for contention. The unfortunate thing about that is, the only pretty rocks the Giants have to get other teams' attention is pitching: specifically, young prospects such as the aforementioned Cain and Valdez. The last couple of times that Sabean has traded away young pitching it hasn't worked (see: Ainsworth, Kurt, and Nathan, Joe). Ainsworth hasn't become anything for the Orioles, yet, but Sydney Ponson didn't exactly give the Giants what they were looking for. A.J. Pierzynski wasn't horrible with his on-field play, but when one looks at what Nathan is doing in Minnesota coupled with the closer problems the Giants had last season, one must count that trade as a big-time loss.

(sidenote: Sabean's got to feel like a doofus whenever Nathan's name is brought up. Were I him, I'd make a just-bit-hard-into-a-lemon face everytime someone mentioned it. Of course, the Pirates whole organization probably makes that face when the Jason Schmidt trade is brought up. Heh. Schmidt and John Vander Wal for Ryan Vogelsong and Armando Rios. Heh.)

So if anybody talks to Sabes in the next week or two, tell him I said to be very, very careful if he decides to trade away any pitching, alright?


Jim McLennan said...

Hang on... Top slugger injured? Check. Veteran outfielder crippled? Check. Closer gone, possibly for the rest of the season? Check. One stud pitcher and a bunch of scrubs? Check.

The 2005 Giants are the 2004 Diamondbacks. I feel your pain.

Actually, I don't think you'll be seeing the wrong side of 100 losses this year - that's strictly Rockies territory - but it would take a severely optimistic magic 8-ball to think there'll be playoff action by the bay this year.

Daniel said...

Thanks for visiting the infirmary, Jim.

It isn't as though the Giants, as it stands now, are going to be a worse team without Benitez -- he himself had pretty much stunk up the joint in his early appearance -- no, they won't be worse, but it's very likely they will fail to any better than they are now. Each potential win lost by the lack of a premier closer will cost the Giants dearly. Frankly, they can't afford it.

Yes, it's very doubtful the playoffs will be within reach, and now .500 starts to become a major question mark as well.

Anonymous said...

Last year, as soon as it was revealed Nen was out, I knew it would be bad. On paper, that team was much worse than this year's model, to me anyway. And they were horrid for months, and I totally gave up hope.

So, I won't give up on this year. The bullpen is basically the same at this point, and they only missed by a Cody Ransom last year. So it could happen. Alfonzo and Snow in particular are playing quite well, and Ellison seems to be rebounding which gives a nice dimension to the team (along with OMAH! as some guy was yelling on Tues. night as the old dude ran wild).

It's time for Sabean to swallow the pill, and let the old wildebeasts fall by the wayside if they are caught by the young lions. To trade away the young talent there is for yet more old codgers to try to "win one for Barry" would be even stupider.

Maybe they're really waiting to see if Bonds does come back, and if so if he's as he was before, which I'm severely doubting. He was slow in LF before, so that will be much worse. Maybe Barry will want to go DH for the LA Angels of Disneyland after all, and we can come up with some kids from that system, if there are any.