Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Nice Knowing Ya

The Giants designated six players for assignment yesterday, with none of the group being anybody really of note. Brian Cooper, Matt Kinney, Adam Shabala, Doug Clark, Julio Ramirez, and Yamid Haad all played sparingly in 2005. The only one who is definitely gone is Cooper, who refused his AAA assignment and became a free agent. Cooper’s big claim to fame was going head-to-head against Roger Clemens in his only start of the year, and matching him pitch for pitch. Cooper pitched well enough in a limited amount of innings so that his crappiness didn’t quite show through, so I’m sure some dumb team will take a flyer on him, ignoring his track record of futility.

The other guys I’m sure will stick around somewhere in the Giants’ system. Matt “I gave up #660” Kinney pitched great in Bonds’ comeback game but was awful in all of his other appearances. He has good stuff and in 2001 was one of the top prospects in the league, so he’s worth keeping around in case he puts two and two together at some point. Shabala showed enough in AAA to make me think he can be a decent backup, but the same was said for Todd Linden, and look where that got us. Clark is a typical all speed, no hit guy and probably has no future in the big leagues. Ramirez got a big hit in a game against the Rockies, but he didn't play enough to get any real read on his abilities. His .445 career OPS is less than stellar.

Then there’s Haad, who was one of the worst hitters I’ve ever seen swing the bat at the major league level (that’s right, even Pete Rose Jr.’s got nothing on this guy). I didn’t think anybody could make Mike Matheny look like Roy Campanella, but Haad certainly accomplished that feat, “hitting” .071 in 28 at-bats. A small sample size, for sure, but I’ve never seen a player look so overmatched against even the most mediocre pitchers. Seriously, I’ve seen high school hitters with better plate awareness than Haad showed this season. It begs the question: what did Justin Knoedler do to the members of the Giant front office to not get the backup catcher job after Vorvit Torrealba was traded? Did he run over Brian Sabean’s dog? Did he impregnate Larry Baer’s daughter? Someone tell me, because it makes no sense that he could be passed over so quickly while Yamid was carrying out his “G” Haad against respectable hitting. It’s “Haad” to believe that Knoedler won’t be backing up Matheny next year, but if Yamid comes back it’s “Haad” luck for everybody. *

*Then again, I’m thinking they should keep Haad around just so I can make bad puns with his name. It’s about the only thing he’s good for, really, and I don’t think Knoedler is nearly as fun. “He Knoedler’d that bunt!”…ugh, see what I mean?

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