Giants 2009: State Of, 10/24 Part 1 Of 2
They can't hit.
Well, they can hit, it's just that they hit a surplus of balls directly to defenders, who then as per the rules of baseball, field the balls and throw them out at first base.
They are, simply put, a bad offensive team.
Now that the BIG SECRET is out, let's get to the meat of things.
This is a team that either blows out the opposition hitting three or four balls out of the park in one day, or scratches out a single run on a passed ball or wild pitch—the runner having reached base on an error.
The old phrase "hitting is contagious" was never truer than when applied to the 2009 San Francisco Giants.
Everybody says "The Giants need to get a bat, the Giants need a big hitter."
NO, they DON'T.
The Giants CURRENTLY have plenty of players who can hit, MAJOR LEAGUE players who have hit in the past, and should be hitting right now.
Edgar Renteria used to flirt with .300 annually. He's only 34, so asking him to bat .280 and move runners along shouldn't be asking too much. (I'm not as down on Edgar as some, because he was ready to lay the gauntlet on Russell Martin, who I absolutely abhor, last month during a brawl.)
That brings us to Garko.
Great name, lacking game.
In his defense, the same fans who criticize Brian Sabean for making this deal are the same fans who would have criticized him for NOT making it. Ryan Garko was a young, cheap power hitter with very respectable numbers.
Is he Albert Pujols? Well, not exactly. You can't even compare Albert Pujols with himself; he's that great.
But is Garko an upgrade over Travis Ishikawa? I think so. It is a move that HAD to be made if for no other reason than public relations. It hasn't worked out so far. Don't blame the GM.
Lastly, but not leastly, is the broken nose. We all know that if it weren't for A) being a popular member of the '05 World Champion White Sox, and B) planting his face against the brick wall in Philadelphia, Aaron Rowand—as good a guy and teammate as he may be—would have been lucky to get a three-year, $18 million deal from anybody.
We got him for five years and $60 million.
And, if I read through all the lines correctly, we are basically paying Rowand $60 million just to not be Barry Bonds.
Note to the Giants: I would have done that for a lot less.
Rowand doesn't act like Barry Bonds off the field, or on it. Well, there is one thing they have in common—you can't depend on either to be in the lineup on any given day.
I hate to take shots at him. He is a hard-nosed player whose effort you never have to question. But when you SIGN a contract for that much dough, you are in effect saying you are WORTH that much dough.
Let's see: he did have that hot streak when they first moved him to leadoff, and that catch to help preserve Jon Sanchez' no-hitter, but other than that, he's been Andres Torres without the ability to bat left-handed.
Mike Krukow said it best: the current Giants need to play better themselves if they have any hope of making the postseason, instead of closing their eyes and wishing for the next Bonds to walk through the door and carry them there.
I couldn't agree more. Now, on to Pablo Sandoval...