Saturday, September 30, 2006

So, what now?

Jason Grimsley has been reported as linking many big league players, including such names as Miguel Tejada, Andy Pettitte, and...wait for it...Roger Clemens, in using performance-enhancing drugs.

So...what now? Is your world rocked yet? If so...why?

C'mon, did any of us really think that Barry Bonds was going to be the only guy to villify? It's unfortunate, because a player like Clemens has an escape clause much like Mark McGwire's -- retirement. If Clemens simply doesn't bother to try and pitch in the majors again, this will serve to dim any potential scrutiny, although I imagine it will still be intense.

But, just not as intense as it could be, or should be, just because he won't be playing anymore.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't want to see Clemens go through exactly the same things that Bonds has gone through, because I see Clemens in the same type of light that I see Bonds in -- an incredible athlete, in whom the greatness resides to be considered one of the best players of all-time, regardless of whatever types of drugs they took.

However, forgive me if I wonder at how this will be handled, as well as any other evidence that may come out to point the finger at the future Hall of Famer. While I'm sure the media will jump on any juicy bits of news and shoot it to the top of the broadcast, the public's reaction to any building of circumstantial evidence and testimony will be the thing to watch.

Many people who are dead-set against Bonds qualify their remarks by pointing out all the "tainted" records, saying Bonds is ruining the game's integrity, etc.

Hm. I'm thinking Clemens would "ruin" the game just as much, only he'd be doing it on the pitching side of things.

But still, it's all moot. Let's you and me both be realists -- there isn't any way this side of Heck that Clemens will be villified, scrutinized, and hated on as much as Bonds, because just about everyone likes Clemens. Think about it -- one of the only players I can think of off-hand that both Yankee fans and Red Sox fans adore, not to mention the entire state of Texas, and probably anyone above the age of 40. No matter what evidence, no matter if it's proven beyond doubt that Clemens took PED's, it will never reach Bonds' level.

We shall see how it turns out. I have had the attitude of ignoring much of the news carousel around Bonds over the past couple of years, but I readily admit I will not be doing the same with this story.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

And....cut. That's a wrap.

As I said before, it was unlikely to begin with, but now it's strayed into the region of Well-Nigh Impossible. The Giants aren't going to see post-season play in 2006, and more's the shame, because the NL playoffs could've benefitted from the Giants special brand of mediocrity. Now they'll have to settle for the mediocre mediocrity of every other team that's going to make it, with the exception of the New York Mets, who have the gall to actually be good.

Onto other, more prevalent things...

I've decided that though it doesn't make a whole lot of economic sense, I want to see Ray Durham return on a two-year contract. Should the Giants re-sign him? More to the point, should the Giants sign him to a multi-year contract?

Probably not, and definitely not, but I still want to see Durham hit one more season, while realizing that Durham won't want to sign a one-year contract at this stage of his career -- especially with the numbers he'll have behind him coming out of this season. I don't see any team signing him for more than three years tops, regardless, but the two-year is a feasible thing, and may not even hurt too badly -- depending on the total payout, of course. I'm thinking his current salary level sounds about right (7 million per), but I can see him getting some team to pay him eight or nine million per, because there's always a team or two that will overpay.

But neither here nor there. It makes the most sense for the Giants to let Durham go, given that they've never really gotten full value out of him due to the games he's missed due to injury while with the Giants. It's a nasty coincidence that the best offensive year he's ever had comes in the final year of his contract, but that's the way the cookie he'll be 35 years old by the time next season rolls around, it's unreasonable to expect him to repeat this production.

Still want him back...on a one-year contract...but since that won't happen, a two-year contract. One more good season of 130 games played, very good offense for his position, and barely acceptable defense at 2nd base (I think Durham's double play savvy makes up a bit for his otherwise mediocre play defensively). Meanwhile, Kevin Frandsen backs him up, gets some significant playing time filling in for Durham whenever he's injured and playing a bit more around the infield and pinch-hitting, and hopefully is ready by 2008 to take over full-time --at which point the Giants trade Durham over the winter of 2007/2008.

Yep, got it all figured out, I do.

I also don't want to see Shea Hillenbrand back. The little home run tear he went on a bit ago was nice, but he's been here for 50 games now and still hasn't done squadoosh overall. I'm going to beat the Craig Wilson drum over the winter again, and hope that this time Brian Sabean dances to the rhythm. This is assuming that the Giants aren't going to spend big money at 1st base -- which they actually shouldn't be able to, because the free agent market for 1st baseman in 2007 is thin.

The only palatable free agents at the position over this winter, to my mind, are Wilson, Wilson, and Wilson. Every single other player is in their 30's, and many in their mid and upper 30's, and either declining, or no good to begin with. The only problem is that Wilson could be in high demand...but given that the Pirates took Shawn Chacon in exchange for him perhaps bodes well. Wilson isn't really good enough to get into a bidding war over -- I'm thinking something in the five million-per range would probably be both palatable for the Giants and a realistic price tag.

While I'm at it, I also wonder if Pedro Feliz will be brought back. I think it likely for five reasons: 1) although his offense still stinks for a 3rd baseman, he's basically the same offensive player the Giants have been smitten with these past couple of years, so there isn't really any reason the Giants will think differently of him now, 2) his glove and durability are both good, 3) the free-agent market for 3rd base looks just as bad as the 1st base market, 4) meaningless milestones like this year has seen Feliz hit career highs in both HR's and RBI, and he may top 100 RBI total for the year, and finally 5) the Giants really ain't got jack-shit behind Feliz in the minors.

He'll probably be back, and they'll probably sign him for another couple of years -- I'll throw up in my mouth a little, and attempt to fortify my psyche against another couple of years of watching Feliz flail away at the dish.

In any case, enough aimless rambling for now. I got some sleeping to do.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Gotta gloat and laugh...and, gloat and laugh a little more

After watching the 2nd half (and missing the 1st half, dammit) of the Michigan/Notre Dame game...excuse me, the Michigan obliteration of Notre Dame, I just had to put up a small post of satisfaction.

If anyone follows the Wolverines at all, you know what they're problem has been in many recent years has been -- early season losses, and specifically, early season losses to the Irish. It's always a test, because many of the teams that usually start the season ranked in/around the top 10 don't play anybody in the first couple games -- play so-so teams, blow them out, protect their ranking. Michigan always has that early season test, and they've failed it more often than not in recent years.

Not this year. Heh. 47-21 Michigan.

Gotta figure this will catapult Michigan deep into the top 10, depending of course what the other top 10 teams do today -- but none of the other top 10 teams will have as impressive a win as this, a blowout of the 2nd ranked team in the nation on their own home field. So...we'll see.

On another college football note, I'm also getting a good guffaw over the troubles of Miami, a program which I can't stand -- I think the Hurricanes are probably the most suspect program the nation has had in the last 20+ years. Now, I don't mean suspect in the sense that their teams haven't been good, I mean suspect in how their program has been run.

But my laughter is because of the annihilation they suffered at the hands of Louisville today, 31-7.

Not only was this the FIRST EVER time that Louisville has beaten Miami, but they were blown out after stupidly stomping on Louisville's insignia at midfield -- firing the Cardinal up, and also firing up their funeral pyre at the same time. The arrogance of that is ridiculous, and to see them get open-hand slapped after such an idiotic move is so satisfying it borders on the...okay, it isn't quite that good, but it's very nice.

Perhaps now Miami will shut up, and play football. Perhaps now the people who rank the division 1-A teams will realize that Miami just isn't any good, and stop giving them a ranking based on history rather than reality. The way Miami ended last season should have been a harbinger of this (their offense has been almost non-existent for a while against division 1-A opponents), and when I saw their pre-season ranking I almost retched.

Ah, whatever. Michigan blew out Notre Dame, and Miami got smacked around -- only thing missing would've been if Ohio State got upset, but you can't have everything.


Looks like Luis Gonzalez and the Arizona Diamondbacks will part ways at the end of this season. Gonzo is an older, veteran player who still seems to have retained a portion of his former skills, thus the chances of him playing next season are pretty good.

Do you know where I'm going with this?

Don't do it, Brian Sabean. Just...just don't do it. It's an unlikely move at best, but still, I feel it's necessary to say it. Gonzo is simply a Sabes type of player through and through, and that scares me...of course, anytime any formerly-good 35-plus player hits free agency, it scares me. But Gonzo's won a World Championship and brings such an abudance of good clubhouse vibes, it's often seen falling out of his pockets as he walks down the street. His veteran savvy is so puissant that passerby often say things like, "You know, Gonzo has some really puissant veteran savvy". And that really speaks volumes, because people don't just walk around the street using words like "puissant" everyday, you know.

Or, something like that. Sometimes my metaphors fall a bit short. You get the idea -- just deal with it.

The move for Gonzo to make is the American League/DH move, because his throwing arm...that is, if we can actually call it a throwing a huge liability for any NL team. He'll also probably need a hitter's park, because playing half of his games in Arizona has helped his offensive stats to some degree over the years.

But, enough on that. The Giants have two more games with the St. Louis Cardinals, both of which they must win. With only 15 games left to go, the Giants will soon be in a position where they'll simply have to win out to stand a chance. They do have the three games with the Dodgers remaining at the end of the season, so it's also imperative that the Padres take their remaining two games vs. Los Angeles, because that will better the Giants chances overall (the Giants don't play the Padres again, so the "control their own fate" thing is out of the window with San Diego).

Well, I digress. it all starts with the Giants winning, anyway, and they'll have to at least do something like go 11-4 the rest of the way to stand a chance -- and that'd be a fairly slim chance, too. Everytime they lose from here on out, it's another nail or three in their coffin.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The instructions seemed so simple...

  1. Find control panel on thigh, on the left side of left leg
  2. Unscrew control panel door
  3. Find "Care" button
  4. Switch to "Off" position

I think I'd better call the Help Desk, because although I flicked that switch to the "Off" position a couple of weeks ago, it hasn't worked yet.

I still care.

Caring, however, is one thing. Hope is altogether something else. By now, I've found that I've completely exhausted my supply of that particular...

...hey, what's that? Laying on the floor over some kind of inscription or lettering on it...I think it reads:


Wait, there's a bit more...


Alright, just kidding about that last part. The Giants previous too-many-teams-in-front-of-them-to-overcome syndrome has vanished, leaving them with one, single team in front of them, only a tantalizing two and one-half games in front. Just imagine if Armando Benitez had simply not blown one of those saves earlier in the season...well, while we're at it, let's imagine world peace, too, and short lines at the DMV.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Death in the Family

I hope that didn't sound too dramatic, but recently my truck died, causing my commute to lengthen by about an hour and for me to lose a bit of enthusiasm to write something on this blog after work...or even on my days off.

Looks like I should be picking up something this week, so my quality of life ought to improve enough from that to make writing something not be such a chore. I will acknowledge that the Giants got just hot enough that I suppose writing off the season isn't really possible, as they're only a couple games behind in the race for the wildcard...or, as I call it, the mildcard (none of the teams in the hunt for this spot are particularly impressive).

Oh, and if you value your sanity, don't buy Everquest. The nickname for that game is Evercrack, and that's not without reason.