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Suggestions Hollow When They Won't Hit Target

Well that series didn't exactly go to plan. Certainly not to the blueprints laid out by one Johnathon Sanchez. To Sanchez' minor credit he didn't exactly pitch horribly. However, when he was removed in the 6th he was doing his best to implode. That aside, he certainly didn't pitch like a guy who had just guaranteed a complete shutdown. That was his opportunity to really endear himself with this fanbase. Talk a mean game, then immediately follow it up by actually pitching a mean game. Then he could sit back and bask in the fan love while he looked to his teammates to back up his confidence in them. He could've relaxed and said, "alright big boys, I did my part." That's not how it happened. Instead he helped set the series tone, and seemingly lit a spark under the other bench. The next time a quote like this comes to Sanchez' mind, he should probably go ahead and keep his mouth shut.

Speaking of that, guarantees are starting to become a bit of old hat. Seriously, can you name one, since Namath, that has worked? I tried and tried and couldn't think of one. Perhaps you can think of one I missed? Even Namath's situation has a footnote. I have seen Super Bowl III (thank you NFL Network) and the Jets didn't exactly dominate that game. The Colts offense had major problems getting going. Earl Morall had one of his worst passing days of his career and was missing passes with no aid from the Jet defense. They were just bad throws. The Jets run defense then had a much easier situation what with the pass offense being all but non-existent. Namath managed a good game but by no means had an offensive juggernaut of a day. In fact Matt Snell, the running back, was the offensive hero for New York. The Colts got so frustrated with Morall's poor performance that they even made a desperate attempt at a miracle by sticking an aging Johnny Unitas in at quarterback in the late 3rd quarter. Simply put, the Jets didn't win as much as the much more talented Colts dropped the ball. What's the point of all this? Don't make guarantees.

Timmy? Hello? Are you there? We here in Giants land miss you. You used to be our day to relax once, sometimes twice, a week. You used to be the game that opponents crossed off their list and planned how to win the other 2. Now you're as fallable as any, if not more so of late. You looked scared out there buddy, like a deer in the headlights with hundreds of yards spacing you and the rig, but you're unable to move. After the double play yesterday I knew you were gonna give up a hit to Tejada. I asked earlier this season how good must Timmy be that we were complaining about a guy with stats other pitchers would kill for, but I think we can all see that this stretch is different. It goes to show you how early success can actually harm you. For starters it sets the bar to high. Second, it comes with the ever pressure filled pay increase. In Timmy's case we aren't talking about just any pay increase, but rather a jump from less than half a million to nearly 12 million. What Timmy really needs to do is go back to the minors and work out his mechanical problems without it being a detriment to the team. Now, I don't live in a cave or have a Forrest Gumpesque intelligience level, so I realize that will never happen, and truly it shouldn't. He gets paid way too much to be sent down and since he is so depended upon to be beyond automatic there isn't anything anywhere CLOSE to someone who could replace him in the rotation.

Please don't send comments or emails about how I'm crazy for even suggesting that Timmy be sent down. It's what would make baseball sense, but I realize TOTALLY it won't happen, and from the much more practical sense it CAN'T happen. If I was Brian Sabean I wouldn't do it. I'm just saying it would be easier for him to work under less pressure.

What should Timmy do? I don't know and I am not pretending to know. I do however have some suggestions.

1) Cut your hair and stop making TV spots. Your image has gotten a bit out of control. That one about you and your dad is so sappy it makes me wanna puke. Actually I don't know what you can do about that one. You didn't act in it, it's just a montage. As far as the hair, well buddy when you're winning it's "quirky". When you're losing, it's stupid. Cut it.

2) Tell your dad to back off and let some professionals help you out. This is a bit biased because I hate how Chris Lincecum comes off on his weekend show with Mychael Urban. He is incredibly arrogant and speaks about pitching with certainty. With no added undue respect, Mr. Lincecum never threw a pitch of professional baseball. He has also never coached a single pitcher whose last name didn't rhyme with Bincecum. His whole no ice theory is just an attempt to be different. "I always told him, 'ice is for your drink.' " Shut up will ya? What a dumb saying made up entirely to make you sound like some sort of guru. Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson, Carl Hubbell, Juan Marichal and Don Drysdale all iced. But what do they know? You studied b.s. self made charts and supposedly invented the perfect motion, that Timmy is having a very difficult time reproducing right now. You guaranteed that Timmy would never get hurt, well he's hurt right now. No one is admitting it, but to me, it's obvious. Besides, I think we already covered the pratfalls of guaranteeing things. Look, you did a good job getting Timmy to this point. You certainly taught him to "grab the dollar". Now it's time to back off before I start calling you Dina Lohan.

3) Join your teammates and get your head in the game. I realize Timmy has breezed through every level of competition and thus is not really used to having to actually pay attention to what's going on. Well now Major League hitters have come around on you. Everyone in the league was a high school and/or college stud, thus why they are your contemporaries rather than some math major who happens to also be on the USC team. This must start with the little things. Quit depending on stuff and start hammering at location. HOLD RUNNERS ON. I know you would like to have that Rob Nen mentality where you don't care what they do on the bases because you're gonna strike people out. Well now that your velocity is down that's just not going to happen, not to mention what that does to the pitch count. Start learning to pitch, your throwing days are done. Oh and when you're next up, get your ass out on the on-deck circle. That's part of getting your head in the game. Also, if you're gonna cut your warm up short wait for your teammates to get all the way out there to start warming up.

In short, not entirely through your own fault, you have become to self-assured and don't know how to handle downfall. Well, Timmy baby, I love you, but, time to grow up.

Oh and if you quit...maybe it's time to light another bowl. That's not a normal suggestion I would make, but at this point I'm willing to believe anything could be the difference.

Yesterday's game went exactly like I thought it would pregame, but with the teams reversed. The Padres looked like they were struggling to score and we should have won by more runs on Saturday, but the wind played havoc on balls that on different days, AT AT&T, would have definitely gone out. I went into Sunday thinking our offense was about to explode. I should have looked at the fact that it was Timmy going against LeBlanc, the weakest spot in their rotation. When things become that obvious it is only baseball natural that the opposite should happen. Clayton Richard coming off of a couple of bad starts shuts us down. Bumgarner was struggling and yet he outpitched Mat Latos, the Padres ace, then yesterday. Sometimes I wonder why stats are even kept.

Alright, big games coming, but somehow anyone not named the Padres seems like a much easier task, even when it's not. This next series, though, is basically just as important as the last. The Phillies are our current wild card lead roommates. In fact, all these game are important. The whole line about this being a long season is starting to wear thin. Right now it's an incredibly short season, and every game is a playoff. A playoff for the playoffs. The lead where it stands right now must not grow by the start of September. 3.5 is a lot to make up in a month. It depends too much on a Padre meltdown, which I would still bet on occurring, but you have to cover all your bases.

See ya Friday.

(feel free to comment or email me directly at realisticgiantsfan@yahoo.com. This column appears every Monday and Friday...for the most part.)


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