Thursday, December 02, 2010

World Champ Giants Off to a Rough Post Season Start

To this point, the Giants' post season has consisted of losing their World Series hero, then another hero to the Dodgers and in return have signed a trio of baseball geezers. With all due respect to Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell for their contributions to the Giants' World Series season, the two can't be counted on to provide that much production again. Then, when Juan Uribe was lost to the Dodgers, the Giants replaced him with the aging Miquel Tejada. What's next? Are they going to trade for Ivan Rodriguez?

Aubrey Huff had a wonderful year in 2010 and with his $3 million salary was the steal of the year. His ..891 OPS made him one of the most productive hitters in the National League. But it's not hard to forget that his OPS the year before was .694. Huff did have a great year in 2008, but he was basically league average for the four years prior to that. There is simply no guarantee that he can produce like he did on a  regular basis. And this year, after his Series swoon contract was signed, he won't be a bargain this year either.

The terms of Burrell's deal haven't been announced. Fortunately, it appears to be a one year deal. So there isn't much risk involved there. Burrell can be helpful as he takes a lot of pitches, gives you good on base numbers and he still has some pop in his bat when the ball accidentally hits there. But he's a drag in left field and he wears down when he plays every day. He's a role player at best and should get 300 at bats.

The Miguel Tejada deal was just depressing. Tejada has bounced around now for several years. Again, the deal is for only a year, and his salary will be earned just playing shortstop because of the positional bump. But the guy is long past his prime, is not close to being the player Uribe is and his fielding will affect guys like Matt Cain whose strong suit is pitching to contact.

Thus, the Giants are centering itself with a core of old guys that may or may not be helpful this year. Huff will likely hit. Burrell will likely struggle and Tejada will offer little. If it wasn't for Buster Posey, this story would seem to suffer from a lack of Geritol.

Look, we all get that the Giants live and die with their pitching. They throw the ball from the mound as good as anybody. But the team can't always count on only pitching to carry the day. The line up and the fielding has to have some dynamic talent, not a bunch of old guys. Cody Ross is a nice player and all, but when he's your second or third best position player, that's kind of scary.

Who knows. It's easy to speculate in November and to question a team's strategy. The proof will be in the season the Giants have while defending their title. This Fan just isn't getting it though.

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