Ain't that a kick to the groin...

Boy, I knew Pierzynski is suppose to be a bit twisted but really! According to a recent article by Bruce Jenkins of the Chron, A.J. took a ball to his balls in an exhibition game and when Conte kindly asked him how it felt, he said "like this" and kneed Conte in his gonads! Holy moley, Shazam! and Great Caeser's ghost!

I guess the cancer was just there from the beginning. I mean, I understand that it was probably a pretty stupid question on Conte's part - anytime a guy is gnashed on his gnuts of course it !?!#^~"&*!@! - but that's a (pun intended) pretty low blow on A.J.'s part. Given that knowledge, I'm glad that Pierzynski is gone and glad that he wasn't signed to a long term contract.

What I want to know now is why the hell the Giants traded for him if he was so twisted? This couldn't have been the first time he's pulled anything like this with a co-worker. There must have been some stories circulating. I suppose they could have known but still decided that it was worth a calculated risk when none of the pitchers traded had even two years of good performance and were traded for an All-Star lefty-hitting, relatively strong defensive catcher. I supported the A.J. trade, even with Nathan's incandescent season, and Liriano's potentially breaking out any season now (once he can go through a season uninjured), but now I see that I was just plain wrong.

It is stuff like this that shows how wrong fans can be about a situation because they are outside of the sphere of professional sports. I've always tried to assume that the team knows a lot more about the situation than we fans but that we can still analyze the situation based on the facts in hand. Unfortunately, it appears that the Giants were either also outside of that sphere as well or just plain decided to ignore the signs.

I suppose teams can and have won with players who are just, for lack of a better phrase, plain "ornery" - see Ty Cobb and Pete Rose - but I believe you are playing with fire when you do that (hence why I didn't want to pursue Milton Bradley or Raul Mondesi) and unfortunately the Giants got burned. That could explain their signing Vizquel and Matheny as they are considered upstanding guys (not that Benitez and Alou are bad, just not as well known as Vizquel and Matheny for that). In particular Matheny since he is A.J.'s replacement.

I have seen in baseball that what goes around, comes around. Players usually take the law into their own hands and try to mete justice to perpetrators like Pierzynski. Hopefully, he's a bit more humble after being dumped by the Giants and "only" getting $2.25M. However, he's probably going to get dropped again next off-season by the White Sox because I'll bet that he didn't learn anything from this situation and will try to gouge the White Sox in arbitration, resulting in them letting him go again.

That's because there's always another team (See Milton Bradley - Dodgers or Steve Howe's and Darryl Strawberry's numerous chances) willing to give him another chance and thus he has no real reason to be cooperative. Then he'll probably end up with the Pirates or some loser team playing for $1M in 2006 and hoping that free agency will bring him more money. Consistent near-.300 hitters will always command some attention, especially from the catcher's position.


Do the A's Know the Way to San Jose? Giants should lead them there... for a price!

With the news that Lew Wolff is thinking of buying the A's, the rumors have been swirling that he's going to bring the A's to the South Bay to San Jose. It makes a lot of sense. He was a principal figure in the attempt to bring the Giants down to San Jose before the Magowan led group bought the Giants. He has a lot of connections down in the South Bay and, more importantly, is politically connected as well. He has a lot of money, so he could conceivably invest a chunk of money into a new stadium as well if push comes to shove (and it will).

However, Magowan and company is "pissing" all over the territory, marking it as their, and stating something like "A's, you know the story, the whole South Bay is Giant's territory!" And Wolff has taken the politically correct stance by saying that he is concentrating on staying in Oakland. But everything is negotiable for a price and Wolff could be blowing heart-shaped bubbles now about how fair baseball rules are about the South Bay being Giants property but could look into moving into the South Bay ONCE baseball owners OK him as the new owner (and even that is a maybe, he is only thinking of doing it, he's taking to March to decide whether to buy the team or not) and once he gives Oakland the perfunctory period to hem and haw about fiscal constraints and responsibilities to their constituents (i.e. Darth Davis) before he declares that Oakland is no go, lets head south.

I think the Giants should keep up this public front about owning the South Bay but privately let it be known that the A's moving to San Jose is negotiable - for a huge dowry/bribe/blackmail. Negotiable starting with what has been proposed so far for the Washington Nationals move into the Orioles' "territory".

Technically, Washington, D.C. is not official Orioles territory but since they are the closest team, they have been acting like a claims jumper and claiming that area. And yet MLB is proposing giving him a host of valuable parting gifts, including guaranteeing that his franchise will be worth $200M more than he paid for it, giving him 60% of the revenues of a regional sports network in combo with the Nationals, and the whip cream on top: guaranteeing that the Orioles' revenue would never fall below the average of what they earned before the Nationals moved to Washington. And he doesn't even have a legit claim, they just want to pay him to go away.

Think about what the Giants could get then with a legitimate claim on the territory. Start with the guarantees on the value of the franchise and revenue level plus 60% of the revenues of a regional sports network. Especially, make the revenue guarantee exclude the extra revenues that 60% of a regional sports network would generate, so that the Giants revenues are guaranteed to be increased for the term of the guarantee. Extend the guarantees to the end of the loan payments the Giants have to make, which ends in 2019. Then let the imagination flow on what else they would get in addition: a compensation fee for the loss of the area, say, $50M? $100M? More? Perhaps they get a cut of the revenues of the A's in their new stadium for, say, 5 to 10 seasons, its negotiable.

This would give the Giants money now plus money later to spend on free agents. And personally, I would forgo the guarantee on the value of the franchise and go for more cold, hard cash, cash that the Giants could immediately allocate and use to acquire T.O.A.B. (The One After Barry). In any case, with the team's pitching looking to be populated with a lot of promising young pitchers over the next 5-10 years, they can use the extra money from the cheap pitchers and A's move to San Jose to buy the offense that will be missing once Bonds is gone. Plus be able to spend more so that the Giants offense will be much more balanced and yet still potent offensively despite the loss of their once in a generation player.

The Giants need to do this if they are not willing to sell the club to owners with more money or at least take on additional owners who would buy, say, 30-40% of the team, which would bring in about $150-200M in the Giants coffers. Look at the D-backs. Just about a year or so ago, there were fears that they were going to go bankrupt with the huge deferred payments that they have hanging over their heads. Now with their new owner group in place putting in boatloads of money, they are spending money left and right (though fortunately not too wisely, overpaying for Ortiz and Green, plus I think Glaus had some health problems too if I remember right, then bringing in retreads in Royce Clayton and Craig Counsell to "stabilize" their middle infield - what happened to their vaunted "Baby Backs"?). I don't think that they have done enough to compete for the division title to the end of the season but they will at least be competitive throughout most of the season with these changes.


Could Beltran signing bring us a CF?

I was looking at the news and with Beltran whoring, er, signing with the Mets soon, Rob Neyer of ESPN wrote that perhaps Mike Cameron will become available as trade bait with the signing since Beltran will take over CF now and either push Cameron to RF or push the Mets to trade him though his contract would make that hard. I would assume that they would have to provide some cash to get rid of him in a trade then.

Maybe they would take Michael Tucker and/or Marquis Grissom, who could then play RF adequately for them, in trade for Cameron, who is acknowledged as a strong offensive and defensive CF but is not as strong offensively for RF (the Alfonzo dilemma). The Mets would basically give the Giants Cameron's salary for this year (minus the amount saved by the players traded to the Mets) but the Giants would take on his other years going forward so that it is net no difference for the Giants budget in 2005, plus maybe get a few more millions for future years as well but not the full salary, since Grissom's and Tucker's contracts end in 2005.

The only problem is if both are traded, the Giants don't have anybody experienced enough to backup the three outfield positions. Mohr would have been good but now he's on the Rockies. I guess we could go with Ellison or Linden with Torcato as the main LH PH but Sabean probably would bring in one of the remaining free agents OF to do the job since he leans heavily towards experienced players and he's not going to go with two rookies in the OF. Then again, maybe this opens up more ABs for Feliz to take on if Tucker and Grissom are gone since then he will probably be the main backup for the corner OF positions. In any case, I guess it would have to be Ellison or another CF as we would need a backup CF in case Cameron needs a rest or something. Shinjo anyone? :^)