Thursday, March 19, 2009


Get Out of My Dreams, and Into My Third Base Opening

Jesus Guzman is making a case for himself to be on the Giants' Opening Day roster, maybe even as the starter at second or third. He's lighting up everything in sight this spring, batting .421 with four homers, one of them a monstrous blast that opened eyes all over the Cactus League. Is this Jesus the savior that will descend from the heavens and take us to the promised land? Is he the Jesus that will stick the gun in unmentionable places of opponents and pull the trigger 'til it goes "click"?

Well, if he is, it's a godsend not only for the Giants offense and Big Lebowski dweebs, but also for us blasphemers who take delight in dropping semi-offensive biblical wisecracks at every opportunity. I've seen enough Jesus puns in the last few days to last me a lifetime. That isn't to say they aren't entertaining.

You can do it with other Giants, also. Tim Lincecum is the tiny David slaying the Goliaths of the NL. Randy Johnson is Samson: long hair and indestructible (I don't want to know what his ERA will do if he cuts it, though). Randy Winn is like Job, having his faith tested by having to play on crappy teams his whole life. Brian Sabean is John the Baptist, signing Guzman and thus foretelling the coming of Jesus. Ryan Rohlinger is Onan, blowing his load early.

Okay, so that can get offensive and just plain...disturbing, especially if your mind is in the gutter like mine and you grew up exposed to The Residents. Let's get back to talking actual baseball and other things that won't get me a ticket on board the bullet train to Hell.

Is Guzman really this good? Obviously these are sample size shenanigans against awful spring pitchers, but it's clear the guy can play. He has always hit in the minors, so this torrid streak is hardly anything unusual. His defense is supposedly atrocious, but if his bat is anywhere near this good he's a guy you make room for and try to live with the circus act in the field.

The question is where to put him? Travis Ishikawa seems entrenched at first base, which means Pablo Sandoval won't be able to move there from third to make room for Guzman (and apparently the Giants are having second thoughts about Pablo's defensive acumen). If Guzman can't handle third base competently, he'd probably be a ten-car pileup at second base. Then again, the Giants lived with Ray Durham's phantom glove for a few years, so they might be willing to stomach Guzman if his bat is the real thing.

Personally, I'd rather just start Sandoval at first, Guzman at third, and send Ishikawa wherever. The Giants seem to like the Ish, however, so the best bet is to probably stick Guzman at AAA and see if his bat stays hot there. If someone slumps, Guzman is always there to take his place.

Then again, maybe we're getting worked up over a bunch of hooey. I mean, Rohlinger looks like Mike Schmidt out there and no one thinks anything of his bat. Spring stats do this to us every season and yet we never learn. Maybe Guzman is for real, maybe not. One is that is for sure is that he deserves a chance, somehow, someway, and the Giants are certainly a team that can afford to give it to him.

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