It’s Been A Giant Roller Coaster Of A Season So Far In San Fran

Ugh!! What can I say?! I know that baseball is a marathon not a sprint. What this means is that one needs to roll with the highs and lows of their respective team over the course of a long season. I just didn’t expect the highs and lows to come in the same week. Being the emotional and passionate person that I am, this season has all the feel of a fast roller coaster ride. And of course, having been a Giants fan for thirty plus years, there is no way that I’m getting off this ride.

The month of May was not a good one for the Giants; two of their bigger stars– Tim Lincecum and Pablo Sandoval both slumped badly. Bengie Molina and Aaron Rowand did not do well either. One of the things that I like about veteran players is that if their bats go cold, they do not let it affect their leather (their fielding). One of my favorite things about baseball has always been great defense. There is nothing I like more than seeing a great catch or a relay where they throw a runner out on the bases.

Andres Torres Photo by Icon SMI

I see great things in the outfield from Nate Schierholtz and Andres Torres. Torres has been spectacular, making great catch after great catch. He is very athletic!! It is amazing that he wasn’t picked up by another team who was able to see his mad skills. The other player in the outfield who has surprised me is Aubrey Huff. Giants manager Bruce Bochy had the foresight and courage to put Huff in the outfield to keep his productive bat in the line-up. Huff is athletic and a good outfielder, doing the things necessary to help his team win. I do love this– when professional players change positions at the big league level to help their team win. It shows a dedication to the greater good of winning as a team. I can remember three instances in Giants history that I love– in 1978, Bill Madlock moved from third base to second base. In 1982, Reggie Smith played first base instead of right field, although this may have been due to off season arm surgery, too. Then again in 1982, Hall of Famer Joe Morgan volunteered to play the outfield when the Giants had injuries to multiple outfielders.

There are three things over the course of a season that can definitely change the dynamics of a team; injuries, trades and acquisitions.  It looks like the Giants have lost Mark DeRosa for the year due to a recurring wrist injury. It responded to rest, but the wrist seemed to have rehab problems with the San Jose Giants and Fresno Grizzlies.  Freddy Sanchez who had shoulder problems at the end of last year, had to be put on the shelf. Sanchez has come back and played very well at second base. He has also shown himself to be a very good clutch hitter, too; he is a definite asset to the team.

C/1B Buster Posey Photo by Icon SMI

There were two other positive acquisitions or surprises for the Giants. One, in an effort to spark their floundering offense was the call-up to the majors of Buster Posey, their top draft pick in 2008. I am truly amazed at how professional he is; he reminds me of Will Clark and Matt Williams when they came up to the Giants in the 1980’s. Bochy, the Giants manager, has Posey playing at first base, which is not his natural position. Bochy recognizes that Posey could probably play anywhere. For example, he started off as a shortstop in college and moved to catcher. Posey also does have a cannon for an arm. One reason that Posey is playing first base is that the Giants do not want to move Bengie Molina from catching to the bench. The second, was the signing of Pat “the Bat” Burrell, who has played for the Phillies and the Rays. Burrell slumped with the Rays who released him and the Giants were able to sign him. He is also a ten year major league veteran.  So, if Pat Burrell gets a roster spot on the Giants, who doesn’t? And the answer is John Bowker. This doesn’t mean that Bowker isn’t a major leaguer, there just isn’t room for him right now. Of course, his .203 batting average might have something to do with it, too.  Time will tell if Bowker makes it with the Giants or with another team.

One of the interesting things about major league baseball is the tight competition for roster spots. Only one out of twenty-five Class A baseball players will make it to the major leagues and the average major league career is four years. There are always players on their way up and on their way down. It is just the reality of life in professional sports. It does make me apprciate those players who have played for years along with those who have struggled to stay for the time that they were in the majors. One can only appreciate the truly great players by watcing them and comparing them against other great players, and not so great players.

And, we shall see what the rest of June brings for the Giants with some interleague play and an end of the month mid-week series against the hated Dodgers…ah, the ride on the roller coaster continues…

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One Comment

  1. Pam Campa

    July 7, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Cool blog Charles. I think you missed your calling….you should have been a sports writer!

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