Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Clubhouse Stomach Virus

Cancer often kills. So it seems a bit extreme to call Armando Benitez a clubhouse cancer. Clubhouse stomach virus is much more appropriate, as his recent pitching and even more recent bitching makes me want to throw up.

Read that link, then tell me whether you think the Edgardo Alfonzo signing or the Benitez signing was worse. Too close to call for me, but I think I'm leaning towards the latter overweight, overpaid player. Big D seems to share that sentiment, too.

In other news, the Giants Cub-like inability to score remains both annoying, and thought-provoking. The 2-1 loss to the Diamondbacks shows just who is the sadder team right now -- the Giants couldn't find a way to score 3 runs against a team who had lost seven straight.

In four straight games, they've wasted a decent-to-good start from each member of the rotation: Matt Morris, Noah Lowry, Jason Schmidt, and Jamey Matt Cain next?

Brian Sabean has got to start making moves of some sort soon to remedy...something. Dunno what, exatly, and I don't care all that much -- Sabes, do something to let us knew you're paying attention.

Anyhow, I thought I'd throw out a comparison between Mike Matheny and his backup catchers.

Todd Greene/Eliezer Alfonzo: .337/.388/.554
Mike Matheny: .231/.276/.338

Matheny's had twice as many plate appearances as the other two combined (171 to 85), and that's of course only since he's been on the DL -- that gap would be larger otherwise.

The question is this -- regardless of a players general standing, contract, etc., if you are the major league manager of a club that is struggling offensively and facing the prospect of bringing back Matheny and playing him everyday with that large of a disparity in offensive production, would you do it anyway? Would it make any sense if you did?

Now, obviously Greene and Alfonzo aren't going to keep that pace up, sure, but there's something called "riding the hot hand". Felipe Alou doesn't seem to put much stock in that, as I've noticed several occasions where a player does extremely well with the bat on a particular day or has been hitting well for a period, and doesn't get rewarded with extra at-bats.

We'll see how things are handled, but if the Giants offense continues to hibernate today against another unremarkable pitcher in Claudio Vargas, it's going to be red-flag time.

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