He’s a local guy, grew up near Santa Cruz and went to Bellarmine. Even though he’s from pretty much the same area and has been infinitely more successful in the Majors, Pat Burrell just isn’t getting the same love Kevin Frandsen did when he was a whiny little Giants farmhand.
OK, that’s not fair. Frandsen and his achilles were jerked around like salt water taffy at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (BOARDWALK!!!) by the Giants, leaving Franny no choice but to try to become the Minor League version of Eric Byrnes (on the radio) and complain to a beat writer or two.
But still, why isn’t everyone celebrating the quick arrival of Burrell? I mean, this was a surprising, gutsy move by the Giants that nobody could have predicted, and it’s clear as day that Burrell will relearn how to hit because he’s in the National League.
So why no parade? Well, that’s because the man Burrell is replacing, John Bowker, isn’t just a fan favorite with a nickname (Bowkermania) that’s probably second in popularity on the team behind “Panda” for Pablo Sandoval and “Dead-Arm Stoner Dude” for Tim Lincecum. Bowker also gets to play the sympathy card because he’s been treated even worse than Frandsen was, considering he’s done so much more to prove he’s worthy of a full-time chance. Bowker’s a PCL batting champ, and now he’s being forced to try and reclaim his title. Sounds like fun. You know, if you hate money, huge per diems, a never-ending supply of bats and gloves, and groupies you wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen with.
The Giants need a right-handed bat on the bench, and the Giants’ Swiss Army Knife (Mark DeRosa) is broken, which along with Renteria’s groin has forced Juan Uribe into a full-time starting role and makes optioning Matt Downs impossible. At this stage, the Giants have to try as hard as possible to either figure out if Nate Schierholtz is a starting right fielder or boost his trade value enough to deal him to a team that thinks he can be, and Travis Ishikawa looks like he could stick in the Big Leagues as a pinch hitter/defensive replacement kind of guy. So Bowker’s the odd man out. At least we can all be proud of him after his first 25-homer season once the Giants trade him to the Rangers for $50,000, some empty beer kegs and a few thousand Rafael Palmeiro bobbleheads. Good luck, Bowker. The Giants don’t appreciate you, but the fans do. And just ask Fred Lewis, there is life after “The Giants Way.”