Monday, March 09, 2009
It's All Over Here Except for the Paulie
In my time there I probably managed to exhaust every Simpsons and U2 reference imaginable ("Drowning Man" on Valentine's Day? If only they break that out on the 360 tour). I also got mentioned by Rob Neyer, Baseball Think Factory, and Wall Street Journal online, so I gotta say, it was pretty cool while it lasted.
Anyway, enough of the past. While we're getting reacquainted, let's talk some Giants. We're going to laze ourselves back into this thing with a hacky bullet point post. Here are some goings-on in Giants-land and the baseball world, which is inching ever closer to games we can actually care about.
-- Dave Roberts is gone. I'm honestly shocked. I figured the Giants would rather bend over backward trying to find Roberts a spot on the roster as a fifth outfielder at the expense of a young guy than cut him outright and admit that giving him that three year/$18 million contract was a mistake.
I'd argue that the Roberts contract is almost on par with Zito's in terms of sheer idiocy. I mean, at least Zito was a star at some point. It made no sense to break the bank for him, given his declining numbers, but at least the Giants were in a bidding war with someone, indicating that they weren't the only ones who were still star-struck by the echoes of 2002.
Roberts, though? He was a good fourth outfielder on his best day, he was never anything close to a star, he had had three good years, and he was 35. The team had also just given Randy Winn a dubious contract extension, only to convince themselves that he couldn't play center field regularly, and had Fred Lewis, a better player than Roberts ever was, toiling away in the minors. Kenny Lofton would have also been available for just a one-year rental if they were really that desperate.
Instead, the Giants shelled out $6 million per year for Roberts and his ability to teach the young kids who didn't exist on the team's major league roster. Shockingly, the aging speedster didn't hit, got hurt, missed almost all of 2008, and Lewis came up and proved he was twice as good at a fraction of the cost. It was a move that was just a complete failure of brainpower at all levels. Just a complete fucking waste.
-- The OC. Orlando Cabrera signed with the A's for one year/$4 million, which makes the Giants' haste to ink Edgar Renteria questionable, to say the least. I'm no Cabrera fan, but he's superior to Renteria with the glove and probably his equal with the bat, so it may have been prudent to wait around and see how the market fleshed out.
I get the feeling the Giants are like some Walmart shopper camping out for Black Friday to get that XBOX 360 at a reduced rate, when he probably could just wait a few months and get it at an even lower price (I don't know if that's an apt analogy, but I had to work one of those a few years ago, and the emotional scars are still there).
In fairness, it would have cost a draft pick to net Cabrera and it's not like two years of Renteria is a big sinkhole. Even if he hits like 'twas 2006, he'll probably be worth the $9 million he's getting. Just think of Brian Bocock swinging feebly at belt-high fastballs and Renteria starts to look a whole lot better.
-- Hacktastic Panda. Beyond the Box Score shows us that Pablo Sandoval swung at more pitches outside of the strike zone than he laid off. I know a lot of fans are expecting Pablo to be one of the heavy hitters who will bring the Giants back to the promised land, but this is insane. Maybe he's like Roberto Clemente in that he can hit everything in his wingspan with authority, but those kinds of guys are extremely rare birds. Also, comparing a catcher with 140 major league plate appearances to one of the all-time greats is quite the bit of sacrilege.
All I'm saying is, if Sandoval hits .250 with no walks and starts cursing the bastard who brought BABIP into our national consciousness, don't say you never saw it coming.
-- Season starts...when? Ryan Rohlinger continues to prove why Spring stats are almost entirely meaningless, the strange Eugenio Velez fascination rolls on, and the only reason I care about the WBC is to make sure Jonathan Sanchez's arm doesn't fly from its socket. Sigh, can the season start already?
--Murray Chass has an unhealthy obsession with naked mens' backs. You know the steroid craze has gone too far when we're now obsessing over Mike Piazza's bacne. Just kill me now.
-- Let's see if I can remember how to plant a dumb celebratory video here once again.