Monday, November 20, 2006


Rescued From Slappy the Stinker

It looks as though the Dodgers may have saved the Giants from themselves by offering punch-and-judy speedster Juan Pierre a five year contract for way too much money. Pierre is one of those pesky smallball types that Bill Plascke and his ilk cream themselves over, but at that money, man, if the Giants had signed him for anywhere close to what the Dodgers are paying him, I'd have gladly invited all of you to a live gala event where I jump off the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Giants' pursuit of a center fielder has me completely baffled. With holes at first base, second base, third base, right field, left field, at closer, and quite possibly at catcher, I just don't understand what has Brian Sabean thinking he all of a sudden desperately needs to find a leadoff hitting center fielder. With Randy Winn under contract for three more years, the Giants need another crappy outfielder like they need a bullet in the head. Sabean is correct in deducing that Winn's bad hitting was one of the reasons the Giants stunk last year, but it wasn't a major reason. There are other, much more pressing needs that need to be taken care of before the already zany free agent market completely dries up. Needs like, oh, I don't know, finding a player who can take some pitches or hit some home runs.

I guess if the Giants have to overpay for a center fielder in this market I'd take Gary Matthews Jr., but that just illustrates the irrelevancy of it all. Matthews is rumored to be getting $10 million a year, which is idiotic for a guy who just put up his first great season at age 31, in a hitter's park no less. Why pay Matthews this kind of cash when the whole point of locking up Randy Winn last winter was so that the team had their center fielder of the future? It boggles the mind. It's like Sabean is just out and out admitting that he made a huge gaffe in extending Winn's contract. If Matthews is indeed signed that probably means that Winn moves over to right field, and that just isn't good for anybody.

Here's a tip for you, Mr. Brian Sabean. You want a speedy leadoff hitter? Fine, I got one for you. Kenny Lofton is out there and you know what? He's both better and cheaper than Juan Pierre. He may not be as good as Matthews but I can hardly imagine him being a significant downgrade and he'd settle for a contract that wouldn't cripple the team's payroll for three years. Hell, Lofton is probably going to be even cheaper than good ol' Dave Roberts, another focus of Sabean's strange crushes and a so-called "bargain basement" free agent. Lofton would solve this imaginary glaring center field problem at a third of the price, which would mean more money open to spend on something we actually do need.

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