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Giants' Baseball

Looking At Next Season

Let's see what the contenders did last week:

Giants
W-L > 69-57
GB > --
Week Ago > 64-55
RS > 661
RA > 627

Cubs
W-L > 67-56
GB > 0.5
Week Ago > 63-54
RS > 586
RA > 489

Padres
W-L > 65-58
GB > 2.5
Week Ago > 63-54
RS > 564
RA > 527

It's obviously still too close to call. The Cubs are the best team, by virtue of their starting pitching. Last week's starters:

SF: Rueter, Tomko, Lowry, Franklin, Hennessey
SD: Peavy, Hitchcock, Eaton, Lawrence, Wells
Chi: Zambrano, Wood, Prior, Rusch, Maddux

San Diego has one huge hole in Sterling Hitchcock; Chicago actually has six good starters -- Matt Clement skipped his start. But with Jason Schmidt, Jerome Williams and Dustin Hermanson away from the office, San Francisco's rotation currently features its 4th through 8th-best starters. (In case you were wondering, Tomko is #8 and Rueter is #7) It's not going to be good enough to go 20-16 the rest of the way, and the Giants rotation wouldn't be anyone's favorite to have a strong next five weeks.

One thing in San Francisco's favor: Chicago signed Neifi Perez. No further comment.

Magowan...

Barry Bonds ain't gonna last forever, as the song goes. If there was a Barry Bonds song, that is. Seriously though, if Barry Bonds retires or leaves the Giants without another World Series appearance, it will be the greatest travesty of team management we've seen in our lives. Magowan's got $50 million tied up in Bonds, Schmidt, Durham, Alfonzo and Rueter for next year. He'd better spend another $50 million to make the team a real contender.

Here's a checklist for the Giants in the off-season:

1. Find a centerfielder. Since the end of April, Marquis Grissom has hit .259/.301/.422. And over the last four years, he's hit even worse than that against righties. Michael Tucker has worked out nicely, but he's playing way over his head.

2. Find a real shortstop. Deivi Cruz's career numbers: .269/.294/.389. This year: .305/.344/.450. Tony Womack syndrome -- if his average drops 20 points, he's off the team. Anyone who pencils Deivi Cruz into the lineup for 2005 is delusional.

3. Find a good relief pitcher. Or make one. But tell Felipe to keep his goddamn mouth shut. You might find "old school" managers endearing for some unfathomable reason, but it was a low-class move for Alou to bench Matt Herges and not even tell Herges about it! Felipe doesn't shake things up, he just pisses people off. Felipe has stood in the way of many a good player's career -- Cliff Floyd, Brad Fullmer, Michael Barrett -- and now Yorvit Torrealba while playing guys like Neifi Perez, who wouldn't necessarily do well in AAA.

4. Play to their strengths! Bring up Todd Linden! Get Kirk Rueter the hell of out the rotation and maximize the value of Lowry, Williams, Foppert, Hennessey and Correia. Don't play guys who suck!

After the incredible support fans have shown the Giants, and the incredible amount of revenue it has brought Magowan, he owes it to them to spend that cash and make a real run for the title. Period.