The Giants finally made a couple of moves that made sense, cutting Miguel Tejada and Aaron Rowand. The local media hounds would like you to believe these represent bold and risky moves. They are not. They are a last ditch effort to salvage this once promising season. These moves are, in effect, far too little, too late. On July 28th, the Giants finished off a series win in Philadelphia behind Tim Lincecum. They were 17 games over .500, 4 games up in the division, and seemingly on their way to defending their title.
At that moment in time, almost exactly one month ago, the season was lost. At that moment, Brian Sabean should have been looking at his team, his roster, and he should have been telling himself what was obvious; that the Giants weren’t remotely as good as their record. They were a mere +18 in runs scored, which means they should have been maybe three or four games over .500, not 17. He should have looked at his roster and said to himself, there is no way we can sustain this kind of winning unless I can provide us with a major upgrade us at at least two positions, in particular, shortstop and first base.
He was unable to do so. Perhaps there just wasn’t any way to make it happen. Or maybe he was unwilling to make the moves that could have saved the season. The move he did make, the big one, has been an unmitigated disaster. Since being acquired by the Phillies, Hunter Pence has reached base 46 times, scored 18 runs, driven in 16 and hit 6 home runs. For Atlanta, Michael Bourn has reached base 39 times, scored 15 runs and driven in 11. Carlos Beltran has reached base 22 times, scored 5 runs and driven in 4. We gave up, by far, the best prospect for, by far, the least valuable acquisition.
Nevertheless, the last month of losing only represents the team coming back to their real level. All of the good luck that carried the team so far above where they should have been has transformed into the exact opposite, bad luck, bad breaks, pitches that were caught at the warning track going out, blown leads….
Simply put, no team can win 2 out of every three games with four regular players batting .230, including two full-time players below .200. No pitching staff can overcome the relentless string of zeroes this offense has put up.
Tejada was a disaster. The difference between him and 2010 Juan Uribe had to be worth ten wins. Rowand has been a disaster since he was signed to that bloated, undeserved contract. Cutting ties with him is an admission of failure. At this point, the team should seriously consider cutting ties with Zito, contract be damned. He cannot contribute anything if he continues pitching, so what’s the point of keeping him around? Either way, getting rid of Rowand and Tejada is worthless at this point; they’ve already made 600 outs between them, 600 outs that cannot be gotten back.
Keep it going. Don’t tell me there’s a reason to keep Gary Brown in the minors. Don’t give me that bullshit. Bench Huff and Torres (completely lost seasons by both players), bring up Brown, play Pill, play Belt, get some youth, get some fire on the field. 2011 is all but over. Let’s get on with 2012.