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Giants spring training preview 2009
In which new fathers Grant of McCovey Chronicles and El Lefty Malo discuss the odds of the Giants being more fun in 2009 than a dirty diaper.
[ March 6, 2009 at 12:00 AM ] [ Comments (3) ] [ Full Story ]  [ Filed under: Features | Giants ]
Early morning. The city sleeps. Another storm rolls in from the Pacific, but it can't relieve the drought -- the drought of four straight losing seasons and more than 50 years without a ring. People are thirsty. Hungry. In pain. It hurts, the way molars hurt breaking through a toddler's gums. Ice doesn't help. Baby Motrin doesn't help. Gin doesn't help. At 3 a.m., the rain pounds, the baby cries, the wife snores, the phone rings...The phone rings?
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Lefty [one hand holding a bottle, the other holding the baby, the phone cradled against his shoulder]: Hello? Are you outta your mind? It's three...

Grant [one hand holding a bottle, the other the baby...etc.]: Sorry, I couldn't sleep. I just can't stop thinking about Manny Ramirez.

Lefty: Grant? Is that you? Stop it. How's the colic?

Grant: Terrible. How's the teething?

Lefty: Awful. The kid isn't doing so hot, either.

Grant: Funny. Really. We gotta talk about Manny.

Lefty: He's gone. Forget it. He's just not that into you. Or me. Or the guy in the Mays Field bleachers with the bunny ears.

Grant: I guess so. Good riddance to the bum. I'm already getting my booooooo on. But...but...

Lefty: Dingerz?

Grant: Dingerz. And now they'll be Dodger dingerz. The worst kind.

[Both men sigh. The phone line crackles. The babies stop wailing in recognition of the philosophical ambiguity their fathers are suffering at the moment. Or maybe it's in recognition of the fresh poop in their diapers.]

Grant: At least we have the Unit. So far, so ugly, so good.

Lefty: Yeah, did you see the seven Ks in 3 innings against the D-Backs? Don't tell me the old buzzard doesn't have some angry left in the tank. It's a good sign. He's not just here to collect a few mil, notch the 300th win and ride off into the sunset.

Grant: Sure, but fire and brimstone don't guarantee health. If his back or other 45-year-old body parts don't work like they should, it could be a long year. We need those starters or else...

Lefty: I don't want to think about it.

Grant: Can you imagine if Linc --

Lefty: Zip it!

Grant: Or Cain --

Lefty: Nope! Shazam! Blah blah blah I can't hear you. I am whistling past the graveyard of your reality-based thought processes, sir.

Grant: Well, Mr. Cynical, I was actually going to say: Can you imagine if Lincecum and Cain were so good they both won the Cy Young?

Lefty: Ah. Co-Cy Youngs! I love it. Why not Co-Co-Co Cy Youngs with Randy Johnson, too? And Jonathan Sanchez wins Retroactive Rookie of the Year.

Grant: That's more like it. It's certainly more fun than trying to wishcast Kevin Frandsen as this year's Dustin Pedroia.

Lefty: Dustin Pedroia? I'd settle for Mark.

Grant: Which one? Mark Grudzielanek? DeRosa? Loretta?

Lefty: Yes.

Grant: Modest expectations, I guess, but Pedroia's career minor league batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage lines were .308/.384/.454. Frandsen? .327/.391/.458.

Lefty: So you're expecting Frandsen to turn into an MVP?

Grant: Please. I'm no starry-eyed dreamer. I have him penciled in for a Silver Slugger award.

[A baby cries.]

Grant: What's up with her?

Lefty: She always gets fussy when people ignore age-related context when evaluating minor league numbers. That, and when I stand over her bed in a werewolf mask and growl.

Grant: Yeah, I know Frandsen won't be anything more than an average major leaguer, but if that's all he is, he'll still be an asset: An average player making minimum salary. The Giants need cheap. Did you see Dierkes's list of the worst contracts in baseball?

Lefty: Ugh. Dave Roberts is the most expensive fifth outfielder in the game. Aaron Rowand was a terrible fit from the start. And don't get me started on Zito.

Grant: Eh, Zito's not that bad.

[Stunned silence.]

Grant: He's overpaid, sure. But he's only making $6M. That's not out of whack with what he'd command on the open market.

Lefty: Zito is not making only $6M.

Grant: Sure he is. And Randy Johnson's making $6M, Lincecum's making $6M, Cain's making $6M, and Jonathan Sanchez is making $6M. The staff makes a combined $30M. What, like Zito makes 18 and a half while Lincecum makes 600 K? Ha. Yeah, right.

Lefty: That's exactly what's happ --

Grant: I CHOOSE TO BELIEVE MY VERSION.

[A baby cries.]

Grant: Is that mine or yours? Crap. Mine. You've woken her up with your cynicism.

Lefty: Maybe it was the all-caps screaming. Or maybe it was, as we say in the blogosphere, the daily link dump.

Grant: There's no...(checks diaper)...dammit. Say, that reminds me of the Giants' bullpen last year. Do you think that Jeremy Affeldt and Bobby Howry constitute a fix?

Lefty: They can't hurt. Well, I guess they could. They could be much, much worse than anyone who pitched last year, and that would hurt. But that's not soddin' likely. With Howry, Sergio Romo and Brian Wilson, there might be three trustworthy righties in the 'pen, and Affeldt would give them something more than a lefty specialist.

Grant: I'm in, even if Wilson scares the tar out of me.

Lefty: He says he's working on off-speed stuff, but you just know when it comes to game time, he'll go back to all fastballs. It's the old saw: "I'm not going to get beat with my second best pitch."

Grant: I never understood that. If everyone knows what's coming, eventually they'll hit it. Unless you're Mariano Rivera.

Lefty: And Brian Wilson, you're no Mariano Rivera.

Grant: That's the main problem with the Giants the past couple years. Players being cast as what they aren't. Barry Zito is not an ace. Aaron Rowand is not a gamerrrrrific team-leader center fielder. Pablo Sandoval is not a third baseman. And most obviously, Bengie Molina is not a cleanup hitter.

Lefty: I see what you mean, although you could argue Sandoval's young and athletic enough to turn into a real third baseman. But with the rest, it's like the Giants had rosy-colored ideals for what these players should be even though most indications screamed otherwise.

Grant: Right. Walk into any pub east of Yerba Buena Island or south of Gilroy where the patrons know baseball, slap a $20 bill on the bar and say, "Twenty bucks I guarantee you'll laugh at my next sentence."

Lefty: I know where this is going: "Batting fourth, Bengie Molina!"

[Both babies start crying anew.]

Grant: Sssshhh, it's OK. Uncle Sabes promises to make a mid-season trade if they're still in it.

Lefty: Would you let Uncle Sabes babysit? After all, he is showing much more interest these days in youth development.

Grant: At this point, I'd let Tommy Lasorda babysit if it meant a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.

[Both men shudder, as if the chill of the damp night has finally gotten into their bones.]

Grant: OK, maybe not.

Lefty: You scared me there for a second. Try to get some sleep.

Grant: You, too. Good night.

Grant is the man behind McCovey Chronicles, SB Nation's Giants blog. El Lefty Malo can be found in the bleachers at Mays Field, Buy Buy Baby or talking Giants at leftymalo.com.

3 Comments | Leave a comment

Loved it! Can't wait to forward it to my son, another LSGF (long suffering Giants Fan). Good luck with the kids. I promise, they will sleep thru the night when they're 17 (and half the day as well)!

This Giant ballclub is going to be a last place
finish? Now Can We fire Brian Sabean and Bruce
Bochy!!! I think that if I were General Manager, I
would definitely get a slugger or 2 before the seaon starts.. I think that Nick Johnson or Nick Swisher will be very available at 1st base.
As outfield punch. Willy mo Pena is another man
worth taking a chance on.. he has such raw power.
your pitching staff is good and we can always use
a Duane Sanchez as a extra closer.

I will keep it in mind Checkin In On The Bombers, thanks for sharing the information keep updating, looking forward for more posts. Nice information this is really interesting vimax vigrx plus


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