So that’s that. The season has ended, and the Giants will be watching the playoffs for the second year in a row. How many ways did 2005 go wrong? The Giants started the season without Bonds and Alou, lost Benitez, agonized through Jason Schmidt’s strange and still ongoing decline from Cy Young contender to Brett Tomko look alike, lost faith in Jerome Williams, Kirk Rueter, Marquis Grissom (remember Grip?), Pedro Feliz and Edgardo Alfonzo, discovered a real centerfielder, and the team meandered through a season that featured only one 6-game winning streak and their worst record in a decade.
Along the way, the honeymoon with Felipe Alou came to a close, the entire pitching staff collapsed at one point or another, and Brian Sabean enters the off-season with as many questions as he and the team have faced during his decades-long run of excellence.
The team needs a first-baseman with power (love to see Bonds there), an everyday third baseman (Feliz would be fine), some infield depth, and the pitching problems must be addressed. On the one hand, the Giants have some really nice-looking young pitchers, (Cain, Munter, Accardo, Lowry). On the other, this team is built to win now, so while it’s nice to have some young pitchers with upsides; if Righetti can’t solve Jason Schmidt’s mechanics, and Alou won’t recognize that he’s mis-using and abusing virtually every pitcher on the roster, this team won’t contend in ’06 anyway.
UPDATE: Backtalker Grega:
It would be helpful for the Giants to have Bonds be able to play first, but since Willie Mays never did, don’t expect Barry to even consider it.
I wouldn’t say that. Bonds has a goal, two actually, a ring and the HR title. Willie got his ring, and wasn’t gonna catch Aaron. And even given that, he played as long as he possibly could, until he was a shell of himself. Bonds could be a solid five years away from being as bad, if he decided to push the HR record past 800.
And Bonds, Gold Glover that he is, was never considered a fielder on par with Wille. At this point of his career, he should feel no real devotion to being a left fielder. Playing first base would be a simple solution for the two things that matter most to him now, staying in SF and staying in the lineup. And Barry’s nothing if not smart. It’s the smart thing to do. If we read something about it in, say, the SF Chron, in next couple of weeks or months, I wouldn’t be surprised at all.