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by Hubert Huang on Jun 30, 2005
It doesn't take a genius to know the collection of overpaid, aging veterans on the Giants' roster has nary a chance to qualify for the postseason. Normally, a situation like this is a clear indication that the time for rebuilding has arrived. It's a simple process: make room for the young by moving out the old. It's exactly this type of decision that makes every fan in the upper deck of SBC who has imbibed three $8 Gordon Biersch Marzens think he could add something to the Giants' front office.
Admittedly, GM Brian Sabean's frequent bungling of player personnel decisions has justified the onslaught of criticism over the last couple of months. However, that's not to say there's no room for leniency. Many, including yours truly, have openly called for Sabean to be sacked for not beginning the rebuilding process already. But lest we forget, the Giants still need to field a team for the next 90 games. This means they have to get something in return for anything they jettison. And there certainly isn't a rowdy throng of circling SBC waiting to steal away the likes of Marquis Grissom and Michael Tucker.
The real sticking point is that every baby step the Giants take has to be reconciled with the prospect of a Barry Bonds' return. At the ripe old age of 40, Bonds doesn't figure to be around for any more than a couple more seasons. On the other hand, Bonds ability with the bat so dwarfs his peers that he alone matches the production of two all-stars. When you possess that caliber player, you have to strive for something more than holding a fire sale.
All of this brings us to Jason Schmidt. Of the players populating the Giants' dugout, Schmidt may be the only one that could fetch something of value in return. After returning from a mysterious shoulder injury, Schmidt saw his ERA balloon to 6.12. However, Schmidt seems to have recovered some of what made him a bona fide ace over the past three seasons. His ERA has shrunk nearly a run and a half over his last three starts, and the velocity on his fastball is beginning to inch back to the mid-90s.
If the Giants hope to compete if and when Bonds returns, the Giants will need the Schmidt of old to take the mound every fifth day. And if they opt to trade Schmidt, they might as well start exploring offers for Bonds as well. Because without Schmidt, the only thing Bonds will do for the Giants is give them a lower spot in the amateur draft.
On another note, it would be remiss to not mention the debacle across the bay this past Sunday, where the Athletics took the Giants out to the woodshed and beat them with a 2x4.
When the pounding finished, the Giants found themselves the zero on the 16-0 scoreboard. And if that wasn't enough, the Giants managed one measly single -- a can of corn that Deivi Cruz managed to fist over the head of A's shortstop Bobby Crosby. The As on the other hand had no trouble seeing the pitches from whatever whipping boy Felipe Alou trotted out to the mound. In fact, if not for Cruz's 5th inning bloop, the Giants would have etched their name (with an exclamation point) into the history books for the most lopsided no-hitter in MLB history, obliterating the old mark of 11-0 shared by several teams.
Perhaps the moment when Oakland fans laughed loudest at the visiting team came in the sixth inning, when Nick Swisher, who had homered earlier in the game, came to bat against Giants' lefty Jason Christiansen. Christiansen proceeded to knock down Swisher with a fastball aimed directly at Swisher's shins. Apparently Swisher was less than pleased to dirty his home whites, because he put the next pitch over the left field fence.
Honorable mentions for most humorous moments:
* Bobby Crosby batted in every one of the first five innings.
* The A's bested the Giants one hit by 23.
* Though the A's came to the plate 47 times, the Giants recorded 0 strikeouts.
* The A's left 16 men on base, but still scored 16 runs.
* Three Giants' pitchers gave up at least five runs in less than 3 innings of work.
Something to watch this week is what happens to Brett Tomko, the starter in the 16-0 loss, now that he's been demoted to the bullpen. Judging from his comments, he's not too happy about it. I'm not a big fan of player's whining, but from the outside this move reeks of idiocy.
It looks suspiciously like scapegoating, especially since Tomko is still the Giants' second best starter this season.
Comments and complaints should be directed to [email protected].
by Hubert Huang on Jun 30, 2005