Monday, April 03, 2006


Opening Day Tuneup

Well, that was a long offseason. Is it just me, or do they get longer every year? Opening Day is here at last! The Boys in Black square off against the Padres at Petco Park tonight, with Jason Schmidt going against Jake Peavy. If Schmidt is on, this will be a fast-paced, low-scoring game, although maybe by some chance Peavy will be off, and the Giants will run up the scoreboard on him. Let's hope.

Here's the likely starting lineup tonight:
CF Randy Winn
SS Omar Vizquel
2B Ray Durham
LF Barry Bonds
RF Moises Alou
3B Pedro Feliz
1B Lance Neikro
C Mike Matheny
P Schmidt

How does this lineup shake out in the long run? In short, look for some trades to be made come July 31st.

Winn- Love the guy. I'll love him even more if he stays hot this year.

Vizquel- Has no business at the top of the order, but the Giants don't have anybody else. If he hits .290-ish with walks and some steals, with that defense, who's going to complain?

Ray Durham- Not your typical #3 hitter, but, again, this is a Felipe Alou/bizarro batting order we're talking about. Durham will almost certainly fight nagging injuries, as usual, but when he plays he's a very, very good hitter. He's definitely a Stankeye fave.

Barry Bonds- Please, please stay healthy. We all know what happens if he doesn't.

Moises Alou- Another age/injury time bomb, but when he's out there he produces. He could have a big season with Bonds getting on base all the time.

Pedro Feliz- Okay, Pedro, you have one year to prove to me that you're not worthless. Get that OBP over .320, that OPS over .800, then I'll consider you a ballplayer. Until then you're just a black hole.

Lance Neikro- Wait, did...did we not, trade for another bat to stick at first base? Oh, lordy. As Joe Cabot said in Reservoir Dogs, the only thing you can do in this situation is shit your pants, dive in and swim.

Mike Matheny- I've often been hard on poor Matheny on this blog, often for good reason. His magic game-calling abilities do wonders for upstart pitchers and starving children everywhere, but his bat is just awful. If he hits 13 homers again, he'll sorta be okay, but it'd be nice if he drew some walks once in a while.

Pitching and Barry Bonds are the keys to the season. Let's get it started on the right foot. Go Giants!

-Some other notes from Opening Day:

-The ceremonial drubbing of the Reds' pitching staff is under way in Cincinnati, as the Cubs obliterated the Reds 16-7. And the sad part is, Aaron Harang was the starter who gt rocked, and he's their best pitcher! Bad for the Reds and their fans, good for the Cubbies and my fantasy team, which includes both Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez.

-There's nothing like sitting back and watching the Dodgers get smacked around by Atlanta. You know, I was a little worried about the Dodgers when Ned Coletti made all those big name moves this winter, but when I looked at their Opening Day lineup and saw Sandy Alomar Jr., Jason Repko, and Olmedo Saenz in there, those worries went right away. Leave it to Grady Little to give a corpse like Alomar more playing time than he deserves.

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