You may have noticed for the past couple of weeks I’ve been particularly silent on the topic of Giants baseball. Over the span of the last 14 days I’ve maybe seen 9 innings of total baseball that relates to the Giants. It’s not that I’m super busy on a personal level — I’ve had things to do but free time, too — and can’t find enough time to turn on the game. For the first time all season, the idea of thinking about Giants baseball induces emotions of blah. I’ve sat through hundreds of innings of Neifi Perez, Damian Moss, Lance Niekro, Dave Roberts, Jose Castillo and Matt Morris. I’ve seen dropped fly balls from Jose Cruz Jr. I’ve watched the years of 2005-2008. I’ve seen it all. I’ve been able to handle most anything, but I haven’t been able to handle parts of this season.
I haven’t been able to handle Bruce Bochy continuously playing Eli Whiteside.
It’s pretty amazing, I’m a huge fan of baseball. I eat, drink, and sleep baseball. At anytime during a given day I’m probably thinking about baseball. But around 14 days ago I had my fill of Giants baseball. I just couldn’t stand to see Randy Winn hitting 3rd place anymore while John Bowker sits on the bench. I couldn’t stand to see Eli Whiteside come in repeatedly in blowout situations while Buster Posey sits on the bench. The Giants currently have a 2.9% chance of making the playoffs. Not to get all mathematical on you, but that’s a pretty small chance.
Scene: On Tuesday, it’s the 3rd inning of Giants vs. D-Backs. The Giants are down 9-3 and Bengie Molina is coming out of the game. Perfect time to get Buster Posey some playing time? Nah. It’s time for some Eli Whiteside.
I immediately turned off the game. No thought about it. It was like a reflex. I don’t need to watch 6 more innings of Eli Whiteside. I just don’t. Nothing against Whiteside, but he’s never hit at any level in his career. Bruce Bochy chose to put the guy in with a career minor league line of: .244/.288/.393 over the most talented (debatable) prospect in the entire Giants farm system. Whiteside has a OPS+ of 35 this season. Even if you buy into ‘catcher intangibles’ there’s no amount of ungodly game-calling, clutchyness, plays-the-game-right, that will overcome a OPS+ of 35. There just isn’t. It isn’t possible.
Last night’s game. I check the lineup before first pitch. Molina is still hurting and out of the lineup. Guess who is starting behind the plate? Eli Whiteside. He went 0-3 with 1 strikeout and 2 LOB. Needless to say, I wasn’t watching last night’s game either. The Whiteside approach is a startling refutal of all things logical and I’m not going to watch it. If you could take this speech and splice in bits and pieces about Bochy, veteran goodness, and bench-sitting prospects, I think it might, just might, explain my current sour mood.
Begrudgingly, I’m back.
Trading top-prospect Tim Alderson for 2B Freddy Sanchez might not have been such a good idea.
Sanchez said he knew he would need offseason surgery even before the Giants completed the July 29 trade. And there’s no blaming the Pirates for subterfuge; the Giants’ medical staff conducted its own examination of Sanchez because the trade was completed after a three-game series at San Francisco in which he sat out all three games.
Amazing. Just amazing.