Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Whoah, Speak Of The Devil

Mere hours after I speculated that the Worrell signing might free up the Giants to trade LaTroy Hawkins, the Giants did just that, sending Hawkins to Baltimore for lefty reliever Steve Kline.

I like the deal on the outset, just because Kline is cheaper than Hawkins and ostensibly replaces Scott Eyre as the team's resident LOOGY. He wasn't very good last year, allowing lefties to smack .317 against him, but he's made a career as a lefty killer and lefties have hit just .227 against him since he came up in 1997. He probably won't outperform Jack Taschner and this might be just a case of Sabean getting googly-eyed over a "name" LOOGY, but I have no qualms about this deal. If it frees up more cash to improve the lineup, it's worth it.

Of course, Giants fans all have a place in their hearts for Kline after he served up a fat slider that Kenny Lofton roped for a pennant-winning single in 2002 when Kline was with St. Louis. The memory provides a good excuse to toss up a completely gratuitous yet uplifting photo that never ceases to bring a tear to my eye.

If you look close enough you can see Kline there in the middle of the maelstrom, caught like a mouse in the middle of a Fancy Feast ad, just before he started pointing and talking crap to Rich Aurilia like a poor loser. At this point he was probably pondering the benefits of a life of contraband smuggling. Oh, and wouldn't you know it, there's Mike Matheny at the bottom of the frame, sucking in grass after J.D. Drew 18-hopper finally reached his glove, long before any of us could ever imagine he'd be our regular catcher. Ah, memories!

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