Before my week-long tour of Southern California, I declared that Aaron Rowand’s contract was actually even worse than Barry Zito’s. That was mostly due to Zito losing 2-1 in San Diego, in part because Rowand struck out in feeble fashion as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning.
Then I sort of lost touch with the Giants. That wasn’t such a bad thing, since they went 1-5 on their road trip, but I did get a text message from my buddy Carp, who figured Rowand must read BASG since he had absolutely caught fire since I ripped him.
It must be true. Since that story went up, Rowand was moved to the leadoff spot and is in the middle of an 8-game hit streak in which he’s gone 14-for-36 with 2 HRs, 5 runs, 6 RBI’s and even a couple stolen bases (Rowand only stole 2 bases in 6 attempts last year). Rowand’s hardly the prototypical leadoff hitter since he hasn’t even walked since taking over the role. However, who on the Giants is?
Since the Giants seem to take note when I rip them, here’s a few more bits of unabashed criticism in hopes of boosting a few more weak links in the team’s chain:
Rich Aurilia: Time to retire. The fact that Aurilia was deemed a keeper while Gary Sheffield was allowed to float away to the Mets for the veteran’s minimum is beyond depressing. Listen Rich, I know it’s hard to be kicked out of the game you love, but here’s the bright side: you obviously want to be a broadcaster after your career’s over, and I’m sure the Giants have a spot on postgame for you (as soon as they do the inevitable and kick the absolutely wooden J.T. Snow to the proverbial curb).
Travis Ishikawa: Loved to hear how you don’t feel that you’re a home run hitter after Monday’s game, Travis. Definitely don’t want your 6’3″, 225 lbs. first baseman worried about hitting for power — that isn’t the “Giants Way!”
Nate Schierholtz: I’m indebted to you for being my first pro athlete interview subject, but if you don’t start swinging for the fences soon you’re destined for a career of pinch-hitting. Sure, becoming the next Dave Hansen or Mark Sweeney can lead to a long career, but unless you hit at least 5-10 homers this year you’ll never be a starting Major League outfielder.
Edgar Renteria: Yeah, we know you’re a great playoff/clutch performer, but unless you improve on your 1-extra-base-hit-every-4-games pace, there will be no playoffs. You’re making $9M per year. At least pretend you have half the talent of Orlando Hudson (who Dodger announcer Charlie Steiner calls “The O-Dog,” by the way).
Fred Lewis: A left fielder who has more errors (3) than assists (2) has serious problems. I know backhanded catches are a little tougher, but there are plenty of hours every day where you can practice your left field defense. Leave the Oakley rep alone for a while and start shagging some fly balls.
Brian Wilson: You have two options: be unhittable or throw strikes. Choose one. And maybe lay off the TV show and claims of having a 180+ IQ. Nobody cares.
Jonathan Sanchez: Stop walking people.
Eugenio Velez: Pick a skill. I’ve been defending you for the past two years, but you can’t defend well at any position, you’ve only stolen one base even though you’re the fastest guy on the team and your batting average (.194) is worse than Matt Cain’s (.214).
Alright guys, you have your bulletin board material. Oh, and congratulations on sweeping the Braves.