Brian Sabean told MLB.com that he's not worried about the Giants' recent slide, which has now seen them drop 9 of 11. You gotta wonder what kind of disaster COULD provoke panic. I guess that's what happens when the bar for a contract exention is set at making sure the stadium doesn't fall into the Bay.
It's not that the team is losing, it's that they aren't competing -- at all. I've coached high school teams that are more technically proficient than the San Francisco Giants. Today add Sanchez's sloppy balk and Burrell's even sloppier play in left to the growing list of San Francisco on-field misadventures. This team, despite the record, simply isn't very good. In fact, if you can draw any conclusion from the record it's that things are getting worse.
Not worried? Brian, it's time for Dr. Freud to visit with GM Fraud. You're lost.
There are plenty of reasons to worry. How about that fact that Sanchez has become a five-inning pitcher? How about the dismal record within the division, and specifically against the teams they're supposed to be chasing? How about that fact that this punchless offense managed just a handfull of runs in a series that they should have, no NEEDED, to be up for? And how about the fact that this team is fast approaching triple digits in the hit-into-double-plays category?
Jeez, Brian, when exactly is the time for concern? Is it when someone outs Neukom and the photos you posesses involving lingerie and small wildlife won't save your miserable job anymore?
Let's face it, there is no element of the game right now the Giants can point to and say "we do that as well as anyone." Lincecum is struggling, Zito is up and down, Cain and Sanchez are a combined 0-13 against LA (one of the teams they HAVE to beat to contend), and the offense as a whole sputters like a 1954 Ford Falcon with sand in the gas tank -- and that's on a good day.
Worse, the moves by the front office exacerbate the problem. They give up on young players with potential (anyone seen Frandsen's numbers with the Halos lately?), fall in love with marginal prospects (Linden, Ransom, Velez), and take the consensus blue chippers and watch them rust (Posey, Scheirholtz).
You can move Huff to the outfield and add Burrell's bat, but it weakens the team defensively. It also means yet another up-and-comer doesn't get his opportunity to break out. Anyone wanna bet Nate catches that ball in the gap that split Huff and Rowand?
There are too many things going on here that make less sense that an Amish tech conference, but the bottom line is this: the Giants have glaring flaws and they won't be fixed by shopping in the bargain bin. The players Sabean acquires are available in the first place because they've got something that made them less attractive to other teams.
Huff and Burrell are defensive liabilities. Molina runs like an injured turtle going up a 45-percent grade and he's lazy behind the plate. Renteria is an inconsistent fielder who can't stay off the DL. Most of the pen either suffers from control issues, are early candidates for Alzheimer's testing, or both. Sandoval and Uribe eat themselves into shape -- and that shape is a circle. The list is endless.
When a team is this dysfunctional the reasons are legion, but it starts at the top. When the kids are out of control, take a look and the parents. Is Johnny a loser because Dad is an alcoholic, or his Dad's best friend Jose Cuervo because Johnny is a loser? In the case of the Giants, I think it's a little bit of both, but the Dad here has a chance to pick his kids and consistently chooses Axl Rose and Amy Winehouse over Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
Until the system changes, until the Giants realize that the direction they've taken will not work, the ringless dry spell will continue. If the Giants wish to be baseball's Statue of Liberty (give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, your drastically undertalented), this is the kind of baseball we'll see. Occassionally they'll have a decent stretch, but they'll simply be POWs who got outside the gates for a moment but know the dogs and the guards are closing in.
I've been challenged to say something positive, so here it is. I noticed there were no major gaffs behind the play today. Of course, I also noticed that Moo-lina didn't play. Conincidence? There also were no major foul-ups on the basepaths, but then again there also were no base runners. I guess if there's no good news you make your own.
Anyone who still believes in this team is in a total state of denial. Bill Neukom, this means at you. Clean house. Fumingate. Burn the joint down. Do anything that ISN'T part of the Sabean plan. Buck Showalter, Gail Ng and Paul Depodesta are just a handfull of those out there waiting for the phone to ring -- and a blind chimp would be an improvement over what we have.
I'll spring for the call.