Barry Zito

I’ll Happily Work While the Young Giants Play

Work helped me out big-time today. Sure, I’m working towards a paycheck and all that, but today the assistance from my job was more sanity-related. Due to our cable-free workspace and constant iTunes blaring every second of the day, I wasn’t subjected to the Giants and their 13-4 loss to Milwaukee this afternoon.

All we need to know about this loss is that Jonathan Sanchez pitched. He did give up seven runs in seven innings, but he also struck out eight. More importantly, the Giants didn’t panic after Noah Lowry’s injury and sign some Jose Lima type veteran to be an emergency starter, forcing Sanchez to the bullpen.

In a season where wins and losses will have most likely lost importance by about…um…May, the 2008 Giants can only be judged by what is learned about players that can be Giants in three years.

(Let’s call them “They Might Be Giants.” No copyright on that name, is there? No? Good. The list could end up including several players, but the obvious members are Eugenio Velez, Nate Schierholtz, Fred Lewis, Merkin Valdez, Jonathan Sanchez, Kevin Correia, Dan Ortmeier (barely), Brian Wilson and Erick Threets)

Since Brian Sabean (and by association, names like Peter Magowan, Larry Baer and Dick Tidrow) is about to take a lot of heat this summer, it’s time to give them a little credit. From their actions from the first day of spring till today, they have shown their plan:

1. Stay away from shortsighted trades or free-agent signings.

2. Play some key veterans that still have trade value (Winn, Durham, Aurilia, Roberts and Molina) in hopes of possibly getting something for them in a trade.

3. Go with young guys everywhere else.

As much as many (including me) would wish the Giants would just sit the older guys and go young everywhere, at least they have a plan. The ownership does have to pay the hefty salaries for those aforementioned veterans, and it may not be the worst idea to at least see if they can get a prospect or two from a desperate team later in the season. They’d have to be real desperate, but at least the Giants are sticking to some sort of plan, rather than what usually has happened: Sabes’ does his famous “due diligence,” kicks the tires a little, and tries to patch holes with veteran guys with whom you supposedly knew what you were getting.

So it shouldn’t matter that Sanchez gave up a bunch of runs in that little inflatable castle of a park over in Milwaukee. At least he’s getting the chance to learn his craft in the Major Leagues — hopefully the Giants won’t tire of his act and get rid of him before he blossoms in a year or two. This is possible, because for all the talk about the Giants and their starting pitching, their top three left-handers are as follows: Zito, Lowry and Sanchez. Would anybody actually be shocked if not only Cain and Lincecum, but even Correia finish the year with more wins than any of those three?

Nobody knows the answer to that question yet, but I’m definitely hoping most of the games that occur while I’m working are when a Giant lefty is on the hill.

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