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I was clearing out my dvr yesterday and I came across a couple of games from the '09 season. Being the sick fan I am I decided to watch them over, and I must say the lack of offense borders on tedium at times. This ball club was probably the most boring 88 win team I ever saw. Even the mid 80s Whitey Herzog led Cardinals were able to score. Perhaps by adding more speed and gap power we could even be somewhat like that team, but right now we win in spite of ourselves.

I would say that one of the most consistent compaints about last year's team was their lack of patience. I see it too. It even inspired Dan Dibley to invent a whole new stat known as FPOM (First Pitch Out Made) which we were undoubtedly the leaders in. It just stands to reason that the more you make a guy work, the more apt he is to make a mistake. I think this was a reflection of the leader of last year's team, Bengie Molina, a free swinger who almost seems to despise walks. Even in postgame interviews Bengie would not shy away from letting people know this was his philosophy. "It's important you stay aggressive, " he once said, "you never know, that first pitch may be the best one you see." There it is, the philosophy that sinks us. Everyone wanted to blame Carney Lansford, and as you see it cost him his job, but the real culprit was the one the rest of the team looked up to, the two time Willie Mac Award winner himself, Bengie Molina. He probably helped the pitching staff out to a certain extent, but they will be fine on their own. I personally was glad to see him go.

It is most definitely a case, I'm sure, of easier said than done. Maybe one even goes to the plate and has a definite plan of being patient and taking a few pitches, and then BAM! the ball is popped in the air on its way to the second baseman. I'm sure that happens a couple times, but, these guys went up there and HACKED every time. After a while it starts becoming apparent to you that this is not nervosa, or seeing some undeniable pitch, this was a philospohy that someone was pumping into their heads. They were trying to "stay aggressive" and had decided that this was their best approach in order to achieve success. The fact that it worked so well is all the reason they needed to keep employing this tactic (sarcasm). I don't know what Hensley Muellens has in store for this team, but I'm sure it includes preaching patience. Won't matter. Carney probably screamed until he was blue in the face about patience, as he was a very patient hitter when he played, but if you have a group of guys unwilling to listen, what are you gonna do? What we need is someone in a leadership role on this team who is patient, and inspires others on the team to exercise the same patience. Who is this guy? I don't know, but I'm not the GM. All I know is Sabean scored points with me simply by deciding that Bengie was not coming back.

Also, quickly, can I make an argument for Jermaine Dye? Yes, I know, he's 36, and he had that atrocious second half last year, but he is not washed up. First off, I think we can all agree that the American League is a superior league. (Don't agree? See last 20 All Star Games) Dye coming over to the NL will definitely benefit him, I believe, and let's face it, any improvement to our offense is a step in the right direction. I would say the biggest knock on him though is his age. I get it Giants fans, we are scared of old people because we have gotten burned by them in recent years. This is true, but with a little perspective you can see what went wrong with those signings. When you add Steve Finley and Dave Roberts to a team whose core is Ray Durham and an aging Barry Bonds, well then yes, youth is desperately needed. However, our core is now a very young pitching staff, and a 24 year old infielder who has a whole career ahead of him. Right now, adding a veteran would actually be a good move. We brought Ellis Burks and his ricketty knees out here for a few years, and I don't believe he played as many as 140 games in any of those years, and yet it was a great pickup. Even if Jermaine's power is down, gap to gap power is still an improvement. That being said, I am totally fine with the fact that we haven't signed him yet. The later and cheaper someone is signed the better the deal is when you get them. Sabean has stuck to his wait and see approach, and it looks to be working so far. His signing of De Rosa was because it was becoming apparent that someone was gonna sign him, it might as well be us.

So it's a new year. This franchise has now played 55 seasons without a crown, and those of us in San Francisco have never seen one. Maybe this is the year? I doubt it, I must say, but that's just because I'm too damn realistic. PLEASE PROVE ME WRONG!

1 comment:

  1. It will be great to watch San Francisco Giants, i have bought tickets from http://ticketfront.com/event/San_Francisco_Giants-tickets looking forward to it.