The backtalkers, Jim Adams, gdog, Mark Raines and company, all contributed mightily to an outstanding string on next season. Right now, I’m not gonna talk about cash, ‘cuz I could care less whether Magowan makes or loses money next season. He pays Sabean, Sabean throws away his money, it ain’t my problem.
As for the players on the roster now and next year….
Bonds, Winn and Alou will be the starting outfield. Talking out here in blogo-land is all well and good, but that’s your outfield next season. And it’ll be fine. Winn is a decent fielder, a decent hitter, and Alou and Bonds are what they are. That outfield will produce, (barring injury), 70-plus home runs, and will allow a lot of gappers.
The pitchers have been covered well by you guys. Schmidt, Lowry, and some combination of Tomko, Correia, Hennessey, Merkin, Cain, and one more starter that Sabean needs to steal. A number two guy is what’s needed, somebody like a Kris Benson. Is somebody like that out there? Maybe not right now, but Sabean could make a deadline deal with a contender, (Durham, Alfonzo, Feliz, even Snow could all be attractive to the right team). Of course, everyone needs pitching, so maybe we have to wait for the off-season. Doesn’t matter. One way or another, two things need to happen for the starting pitching to measure up in ’06:
1. Get another quality starter.
2. Get Schmidt right.
If both these things don’t come to pass, the rest of this genius rant is useless.
As for the infield, bite the bullet. Bench Alfonzo if you can’t trade him. Bench Snow if you can’t trade him. We’ve got 4 home runs from the corner infield positions. If you add up the entire infield, you’ve got something like 14. There isn’t one contender that can manage to overcome that kind of brain-dead Carribean slap-hitting. (sorry, couldn’t resist)
If I were Sabean, I’d see if I couldn’t figure out some way to get Giambi from the Yankees for Snow and some combination of pitching. The Yankees would gladly eat a substantial portion of Giambi’s salary, and the Giants could use his power. With Giambi at first and Feliz at third, we’d have some pretty bad defense on the corners, but if we could trade Durham for a pitcher and a defense-first second-baseman, the middle should make up for the corners, sort of like what you’d have in the outfield.
Matheny and whoever can be behind the plate, and that’s really all that the Giants would need to do to be ready for one final Bondsian push. Here’s my 2006 lineup, with backups listed:
Second Base ???
That ain’t too bad. The bullpen, provided Benitez comes back healthy, should be a strong point. One more starter, and Schmidt’s rebound, and the 2006 Giants are a 95-win team. Talk amongst yourselves.