Only Baseball Matters
…. Worse than that

My wife came in the living room last night while I was switching back and forth between the Giants game and the NBA Finals, and after a minute or two, she noticed that I wasn’t watching the Giants, I was switching to the Giants game during commercials. (And God Almighty, can somebody please tell these TV guys enough is enough with the commercials). This prompted her to ask me why, and I told her what I’m about to tell you:

The Giants are unwatchable. They are a train wreck, a debacle. It’s not that they are old. It’s not that they’re slow. It’s not that their record has been at or near .500 all season long. It’s not that Bonds is done. It’s not that they are wasting some damn good pitching, losing ground when they should be gaining.

It’s all of it. It’s Sabean and Magowan and all of the bad decisions they’ve made over the past three or four seasons, (which, by the way, have really started to pile up). It seems like every team in the league has at least one or two exciting young hitters they call up who are lights out. Not the Giants.

We draft pitchers. Great. Fine. We draft pitchers, who we then trade away for waiver wire talent, who we then overpay to the point where they handcuff our ability to upgrade our team when it’s really neccessary. Think about how our team might look if we had, say, just let Torrealba be our catcher, and kept Bonser, Liriano and Nathan, and then, say, took the $60 million dollars we gave to Benitez and Morris and gave it to, oh, I don’t know, ANYBODY WHO CAN HIT!!!!

The list of free agents the Giants never even took a swing at, lined up against the guys we went out and got, guys like Alfonzo, Durham (I’ll say it again, he’s a bust, no matter how you slice it, he’s a bust), 100 runs a year Matheny…. I mean, jeez.

2003 and 2004. We had a chance, both of those seasons, we still had a chance. Virtually every decision the Giants have made since about midpoint in ’03 has been a disaster (with the exception of the Randy Winn acquisition). Mosies Alou? Exactly as advertised. Terrific bat, 40 years old, can’t stay on the field. $25 million for three years? Benitez. Risky deal? You bet. Backfired? You bet. Finley? Sweeney? Neifi? $18 million extension for Woody? Keep trotting JT Snow out there at first? Vizciaino? Michael Tucker? Mohr? Feliz? On and on and on.

The Giants have exactly four position players on their roster who are 20-something, Neikro (27), Ellison (28), Ishikawa (22), and Alfonzo (27). Three of them are career minor leaguers, and the one who isn’t, is up with the big club from Double AA because one of the other boneheads is on the DL.

Where is the talent, the young, exciting talent?

Not at Pacbell. Not in San Francisco.

We go to Arizona, which had just lost it’s last seven games by a combined score of 100-3, and we get put to sleep like a 16 year old cocker spaniel. Every time I put the game on the Giants were pitching. Maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe it’s just been a string of bad luck. Maybe if Benitez and Bonds and Alou and Durham were healthy, and Morris was pitching well, maybe we’d be in first place. Maybe.

But they sure are hard to watch right now.

UPDATE: Jim Adams brings his own two cents to the pity-party:

…. I was doing the exact same channel-switching between the Giants and the NBA last night, and I donít even like basketball very much.

For the past few days I have been puzzling over why I dislike this team so much, even though their W-L record is decent and they seem like good people (judging from what I read in the papers). Hereís my personal list of what is bringing me down, in order of importance:

1. The Bonds/steroids thing. Yes, the media is making Barry the scapegoat for everything, but still, this is so damn depressing.

2. The fact that the Giants have morphed from a good, veteran team into a mediocre, geriatric team. With the acquisitions of Vizciano, Sweeney, and Greene this past off-season, Sabeanís obsession with aging ballplayers has reached self-parody. I mean, I know these guys arenít key members of the team, but it is pathetic that Sabean would sign these burned-out husks of ballplayers rather than give some one in the farm system a chance.

3. The farm system itself. Weíve got nothing in the way of promising position players, which is kind of a problem since we need to replace every single starter (except possibly Randy Winn) over the next two years.

4. The residue of the Pierzynski for Nathan-Liriano-Bonser trade debacle. The trade itself was awful enough, but every time I see Armando (signed because we traded away Nathan) or Matt Morris (who we wouldnít have signed if we still had Liriano) stink up the ballpark Ė at enormous cost Ė it pours salt in the wound.

5. For the past couple of years, every starting position player except Bonds has been a short-term Giant (Matheny, Durham, Winn, Alfonzo, Vizquel, Grissom, Finley, Alou). Itís hard to develop loyalty to guys who have not been part of the teamís long-term success, and who we know will not be around in a year or two.

Ummmm….. Yeah. That’s what I was trying to say, yeah…. that’s the ticket.


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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
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