4.29.2005

Repentance and secret of Giants success

With the uncertainty of the closer situation clouding the Giants 2005 season, I just wanted to repent on my approval of the Pierzynski-Nathan trade. On paper, it still looks like a great trade but obviously the results speaks for themselves: Sabean's worse trade ever. And it could be a trend as I think his second worse was trading F-Rod for Ledee later that season.

I repent because I bought what a number of other Giants fans on a community board had convinced me: that relievers are easy to get. I thought the risk of giving up Nathan to get Pierzynski was worth it because it is not everyday that you can pick up an offensive catcher of his caliber, especially lefthanded hitter, but I was told that relievers were not worth that much because they don't pitch that many innings, they are easy to replace, and they are easy to get cheaply. Plus Nathan stunk in the playoffs.

Well, I'm still waiting on all that. It has not been easy to replace Nathan nor to get cheaply. And they might not pitch that many innings but finding someone who can pitch those limited number of innings SUCCESSFULLY appears to be harder than was presented to me. I think I will be holding relievers closer to my heart from now on. Of course, it is much more poignant given the Giants great need for a lights out closer as Nathan as appeared to have become. Then again, we don't know that Nathan would have done the same for the Giants - perhaps the trade gave him the push he needed to utilize his talents in such a way.

Another thing they convinced me of was the lunacy of paying so many millions of dollars for a closer, like the $9M for Nen. Of course, the Giants then went out and paid Benitez $21M for 3 seasons (though "only" $4.5M, or something like that, for this season). Obviously this injury colors that but the risk of injury exists for all free agents and you never know who will get hit by the injury bugaboo. I thought it was a good deal because while he has had issues in the past with pressure situations, he has usually dominated during the season and in particular last season and we needed someone to come in and take over that position and allow our other pitchers to focus on their role instead of dream of being the closer. Unfortunately, it was not to be.

There is talk about making Fassero the closer because he has had prior and successful experience there. While I don't think he is the best candidate for this - I think Brower/Eyre are out of the bunch we got now - this would be a good move as it would allow the other relievers to, again, focus more on their roles than on anything else plus not make another hole somewhere else in the bullpen. However, his recent performance in his career has been spotty at best so I would be more inclined to keep him where he is now, long-relief plus extras.

If there is anyone I would go to, it would be Walker just to see what he can do, with the idea of giving Correia a little more time to get used to the idea of being the closer in AAA before having to bring him up if Walker falters at the role. This would keep everyone else in their important roles, give Correia more time to get ready, plus get to see what Walker is made up of. Maybe he will thrive in such a role. Maybe he will stink. But it shouldn't hurt much since we are still close to the leaders of the NL West and wouldn't fall out that much with him in place as closer.

Addendum: oops, forgot about the second part of my title. The secret of the Giants lack of greater success this season seems to be my fault: I'm not wearing the right t-shirts. :^) Yes, the Giants are something like 6-0 when I wear one of my Barry Bonds t-shirts but are 4-11 with my other t-shirts and other clothing. I resolve to wear my Barry Bonds t-shirts for every game until they lose with me wearing it!

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