Don’t get it twisted, my last post wasn’t a call for the Giants to pick up Pat Burrell. He can’t field, he’s already made his money for the season and (most importantly) hasn’t contributed anything positive to a baseball team since Ryan Garko was an up-and-coming patient power hitter. Now I’m not even sure if the Giants are even willing to pony up the prorated vet’s minimum for anybody, because their “big changes” include no player acquisitions or dismissals at all.
Since the Giants aren’t in “buy mode” yet (they’d like to wait until the price for middling talent goes up right before July 31, because that’s just the way things are done in baseball), the master plan includes moving Pablo Sandoval to first base (where he belongs), shifting Aubrey Huff to the outfield (err, injury forthcoming?) and Freddy Sanchez to third (injury definitely forthcoming).
Since the 32-year-old Andres Torres has the “experience” and two good weeks at the plate, he’s now the Giants’ primary right fielder. Thank you, Aaron Rowand’s contract.
Nate Schierholtz had the misfortune of suffering a minor shoulder injury while in his mid-20’s, so he looks to join John Bowker on the bench, mostly full-time.
Buster Posey? Ha. Forget what Brian Sabean said before about service time being a non-issue. The Giants absolutely DO NOT want a repeat of the arbitration scenario they faced with Tim Lincecum a few months ago. Especially when the team is somehow able to sell $37.50 Standing Room Only tickets to see the Boston Red Sox in June.
How many general managers do you think are gazing upon the scene here in Giantsville, and laughing to themselves? How many general managers would never have touched Mark DeRosa and/or F-Sanchy with a 10-foot pole? How many GMs would be starting Schierholtz and Bowker everyday in an attempt to help them improve and see what they have in both players, especially considering the alternatives to either player and the fact that the Giants don’t have one consistent run-producer on the entire team besides Juan Uribe?
The Giants are exhausting to watch, especially for those who root for young players to thrive in The Show. And it’s not just guys like Schierholtz and Bowker, for whom every at-bat is a test to prove they shouldn’t be buried on the bench or shipped to Fresno. Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and especially Jonathan Sanchez have to be perfect every start. The fact we haven’t seen more breakdowns from those three pitchers any time they allow a baserunner in the first inning is a tribute to their mental toughness relative to their respective ages, as well as the underrated influence of Dave Righetti.
Not that the Giants’ hitting woes are the fault of Hensley Meulens. The fact that the Giants have decided to play positional musical chairs in response to one of the worst offensive droughts since, well, last year proves again that it’s not just the fact that the Giants have a bad general manager, it’s that they’re striving for the cheapest “competitive” team possible considering the bad contracts they climb into every offseason. But you already know that.
NBA Roundup: Safety in numbers
— Are you ready for Senior Citizen Coach Wars? 72-year-old Lenny Wilkens sees Don Nelson, 70, now has the all-time wins record, wants to coach again. (SI)
— If the Giants buy the Warriors, how much do you want to bet they fire Nellie, hire Wilkens and immediately start building a bigger, better all-time wins promotion? I’ve always wanted a Lenny Wilkens rally scarf. Guess that kind of goes without saying.
— From Matt Steinmetz: Anthony Randolph has apparently gained 25 lbs, all muscle according to his agent (well, what else would he say?). Nellie’s response: “Nice job, Ewing. Good luck getting playing time now, you dumb bastard.”
— Anybody else find it amusing that of all the sports authority figures in the area (big-time media guys, owners, coaches), the only one Gary Radnich rips repeatedly is Nelson, and it’s only because Nellie got drunk before Gary interviewed him? (Trust me, if you listen to Radnich enough, you’ll catch this reference … Radnich is not just a teetotaler, he’s also extremely judgmental).
— Granted, the referees weren’t helping the Lakers out much (42 FTs for the Suns vs. 20 for the Lakers), but last night’s game was the first time the Celtics became the odds-on favorite to win the NBA Title. If the Lakers can’t solve the Suns’ zone defense, what can they possibly do against the Celtics if they go the same route?
— And that’s not even considering the whole “Rajon Rondo is suddenly a Martian” factor. And to think I was this close to getting my ass kicked by Rondo in a Manhattan club a year and a half ago…