Aaron Rowand

Giants baseball: torture? Try really, really annoying

Fire Bochy. Fire Sabean. Fire Meulens. Fire Kelly. Fire Sandoval. Fire Molina. Fire Renteria. Fire Rowand. Fire Seal.

No, we can’t. This is the bunch we’re stuck with. Before the season started that wasn’t exactly okay, but the current cast of characters was at least tolerable to most of us. Sure, there were still a lot of weighty checks being cashed by ineffectual veterans, “gamers” that Bochy was sure to play too often for our liking. But at least there was the unlimited potential of a full year of Tim Lincecum and the Panda, who had even been working with the training staff to lose weight…

Ahem. We’d be okay with losing five series in a row (because winning two of three against the Orioles at home technically means you’ve lost a series in 2010), if it weren’t for the glimpses. Matt Cain tossing shutouts, Buster Posey picking up 3 hits per game as if it were his birthright, Juan Uribe and Aubrey Huff making AT&T Park look small, if only for a short time. But like sand through our fingers, the feeling that this team can play winning baseball as the season goes on, the division gets tougher and the fields get hotter is slipping away.

Since a lot of what the Giants do makes little sense, from their respective plate approaches to their lineup cards, we cling to what makes sense to us. Pablo isn’t just fat, the blubber’s getting to his brain!!! Timmy’s dad is the baseball equivalent of Marv Marinovich, it’s only a matter of time before Lincecum’s on the smack!!! The fact that Bochy plays Molina when everyone knows Posey should be the full-time starter isn’t just because Bochy loves veterans, it’s because secretly his favorite two things about baseball are wild pitches and passed balls!!!

And oh, the team speed. Nothing more beautiful than the sight of Aaron Rowand walking up to the plate and popping a squat after a fresh double play. Now some of the desperate among us are calling for the drum major himself, Prince Fielder, to be the next trade target. Please. Team charters can’t fly to away games if the plane can’t take off! That’s just too much weight for any plane to carry, and it’s not like you’re going to be able to convince Barry Zito to not bring that second suitcase of his that’s devoted just to his shoes.

But I digress. Last night I posted a question on Mychael Urban’s chat. The answer, while it didn’t surprise me, scared me a little:

BayAreaSportsGuy: Jose Guillen just sounds too much like a Brian Sabean move for it not to happen, although every once in a while he surprises us. What do you think it would take to get Guillen, considering the Royals said they’d be wiling to pay a good chunk of his salary, and what are the chances of that happening?

Mychael Urban CSN: I think it would take the Giants’ top starter at Double-A, a high-ceiling OF prospect from any level, and probably someone like Denny Bautista. Love your opening line, btw. So true.

You may think I reprinted that exchange because he complimented my question. And you’d be wrong (as far as you know). The worry here is that what Urban listed seems to be an awful lot for an aging power hitter who seems to be only a shade less crazy than Milton Bradley, and I have no doubt he’s correct. The Giants aren’t exactly stocked with aces in Richmond, but David Mixon and Daryl Maday have put up decent numbers. And with Brian Sabean trying to throw everyone off his scent/musk by saying, “We won’t rent players,” now we KNOW Guillen or a guy like Ty Wiggington will share the outfield with Pat Burrell, Andres Torres and Aaron Rowand.

Sending Aubrey Huff to first base should mean that Posey would be the full-time catcher, but what has shown you Bochy and/or Sabean are even remotely interested in that possibility? Molina’s got a .332 slugging percentage and his defense behind the plate brings to mind that time Pedro Feliz was forced to catch that time, but the brass is going to give him every opportunity to “succeed” (translation: come up with a game-winning hit that will buy him another month as the starter). Can you imagine the s—storm in New York if they had actually signed Molina to a 2-year deal last winter? Giants fans are about ready to go just as crazy if Posey keeps spending 2 games out of every 3 on the bench, but Bochy is content to sit patiently.

And the worst part about this team that nobody talks about: they don’t have a real shortstop. Wouldn’t it be nice for the first time since Royce Clayton called The Stick home to have a shortstop who:

1. Is younger than 34.

2. Has more range than a balldude.

3. Doesn’t clog up the basepaths.

I could be proven wrong, but I have the feeling Juan Uribe’s going to spend the entire second half proving to us that he should have been an upper-echelon utility player all along, not a starter (sort of like Torres, I’m afraid). But the only free agent that fits the bill is Jose Reyes, and he’s made of iPhone glass and isn’t exactly the best defender in the world himself. So we’re left to pray that Brandon Crawford makes the leap. Don’t hold your breath.

Here’s the synopsis of this season: the Giants lack offense, they’re reeling against their own division, and what do they do? Facing the guy who crushed Rowand’s face with a faceball, Bochy decides to put Rowand BACK IN THE LEADOFF SPOT to face Vicente Padilla, and surely won’t throw at Padilla, because that would be too obvious. No, put their “I’m not pooping, I’m hitting” albatross up there in the first inning so he can avenge a past wrong.

Or, maybe Bochy realized that if he hits first, Rowand can’t possibly hit into a double play to start off the game. Yeah, that’s probably it. Maybe they should just fire everybody. Especially Lou Seal. And anybody wearing a panda hat or green-lighting the practice of forcing the rest of us to hear some snot-nosed 5-year-old read the lineup like AT&T Park is the set where they’re filming the latest “Hooked on Phonics” commercial. It-t-t-t’s Maaa-gick I-i-innn-si-i-i-d-de.

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