Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Licking Wounds and a New Fish

Remember when you were in Little League and you just suffered one of those absolutely horrible losses that made you want to immediately charge from the dugout and take a fungo to the snack shack? The kind of game where outfielders fell down, your starting pitcher was escorted off the mound in tears, and the opposing team's massive, chain-smoking slugger only strengthened your suspicion of his birth certificate by launching three home runs. After the game, the coach would gather everybody in a circle and say to just forget it, put it behind you and prepare for the next game.

Like hell! There's nothing more deflating than getting ten-run-ruled and then being forced to clap hands with your snickering opponent bastards after the game. I wish that, just once in my Little League life, when we were chanting "2-4-6-8, who do we appreciate?", some brave kid would have just broken from the pack and screamed, "Fuck You!" at the other team and then ran away. That would have made my childhood. As it was, we just had to deal with it, still aching and furious from the epic depantsing that had just ensued.

As poorly as that rah-rah crap flew as a little kid, it's exactly what the Giants need to do. Just forget about it. Dodger fans have had nearly 48 hours to eat, drink and be merry in celebration of Monday's whupping. Let them dance, I say! Tomorrow is a new day.

At the end of the season, if the Giants beat the Dodgers for a pennant, who is even going to care about Monday? Wait, not even that. What if the Giants rebound and win the next two games, taking two of three and winning the opening series? Will we care about the throttling we took in the opener? Will Orlando Hudson be anything more than the answer to a boring trivia question then? No.

Let's just put it past us. Let's munch on our snow cones, clean those stirrups (I love those things, they should totally bring them back) and think about tomorrow. Matt Cain pitched like a champ against the Brewers, and he'll try to get the team on the right track. I'm pumped, how about you? 2-4-6-8, who do we...eeeeaagh. Let's just beat those stupid Dodgers.

--Perhaps the days of the Easily Obtainable First Base Talent Rant are over here at Stankeye. Two years after I suggested that the Giants trade Matt Morris for him (heh), the team actually went and signed former Angels uberprospect Dallas McPherson to a minor league deal. McPherson rocked AAA last year for the Springfield Albuquerque Isotopes last season, mashing 42 homers.

Can McPherson ever live up to his potential now that he's in SF? Will that power translate to the majors? Scott Boras believes, but he's an evil sonuvagun. Me? I'm excited. McPherson is exactly the kind of guy the Giants should be looking for: cheap players with major power potential, kind of like Josh Phelps before he became superfluous (um, did he?). He might be able to play third, probably badly, in the event of a Pablo Sandoval collapse. He can definitely play first in the event of an Ish fall from grace.

Before we get too excited, remember that his major league performance has been less than inspiring. In 399 plate appearances, he has slugged a solid .468, but has walked only 27 times and OBPed a miserable .298, while striking out in 34% of his at-bats (that's, um, bad). If you're whiffin' but you ain't walkin you ain't going to be spending too much time with the big club.

My question is, is 399 plate appearances, spread out over four seasons, really a fair shot? The Angels are notoriously obsessed with batting average and little things, so I can't imagine McPherson's slow slugger thing played well at all with that franchise. Plus, he missed all of 2007 with injuries and he could just be a late bloomer. When you're mashing 42 homers at any level, you can hit. Perhaps the Giants have stumbled upon the next Carlos Pena or Jack Cust. It'll be interesting to find out, and hopefully they don't just give up on him after one slump in Fresno.

--This is awesome! Not only did the Yankees get their lunch thrown at them, Nick Swisher came out to pitch, threw a scoreless inning, and struck a guy out! I bet when Gabe Kapler went to the plate he was thinking to himself: "Don't strike out. Don't strike out. Please, God, just don't strike out!" Then, bam! He strikes out. Shades of Lenny Harris v. Brent Mayne back in the Candlestick day.

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