And so another successful Giants season will shortly come to an end. I don't know about the rest of y'all, but I'm getting bored by year after year of 90+ wins, deciding whether I want to watch Zito shut out the Cubbies in the NLCS or watch Aaron Rowand make another perfect throw to nail Dustin Pedroia at home plate in the World Series. Why, I'm not even sure I'll attend this year tickertape parade down Market Str---
Oh, sorry. Seems like my doppelganger was just fanposting in an alternate universe and the HTML spilled over. Where were we, then? Ah, right. 2008 Giants. Popular Giants blog. Guy who runs popular Giants blog. Excerpts from posts by guy who runs popular Giants blog. Blogger nerds read posts, then lavish praise of guy who runs popular Giants blog. Moms of bloggers call down to basement.
Yes, it's that time of year again. Presenting Grant Brisbee in "Grant Appreciation Day 4: This Time, It's Personal":
4/22: A well-stocked organization wouldn't have much use for a Eugenio. The Giants are like the homeless person accepting a chowderless bread bowl -- they're more than a little resentful, but danged if they can't use it.
The simile makes more sense in my mind. See, Velez is the bread bowl. Durham is the heroin addiction that caused the homelessness in the first place. Barry Bonds is the fantastic double album written on heroin that caused the Giants to keep trying to recapture the magic. Justin Upton would be creamy and delicious clam chowder. The person who gives away the bread bowl without a hint of self-awareness -- "They should be lucky they even get my bread bowl!" -- is a baseball god. With just one more, I can make sure this is the most ridiculous thing I've ever written, so allow me to present Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain as two sweet, sweet bottles of warming hooch.
You should get a Croix de Candlestick just for wading through that. Hey, it's free.
5/8: When I went to college the first time, if the game wasn't televised, I would need to leave the CNN Headline News ticker on to follow the score from home.
Now, I'm in the middle of a class, listening to a professor yammer about something to do with Carthage or Edgar Allen Poe or genomes or something, and MLB Gameday just told me that Matt Cain's changeup just broke seven inches downward.
5/11: Pedro Feliz finally understands why the Giants no longer needed his services. Jose Castillo can ground into bases loaded double plays for a fraction of the cost.
5/16: And you interleague-loathers want to deprive me of my right -- my god-given right! -- to boo the crap out of A.J. Pierzynski? For shame. I thought this was America. I just hope you'll let me bring a cribbage board to the gulag
5/19: Oh, fantastic. Coors Field and a losing streak. I'd rather watch Steve Buscemi make love to an anteater than watch this game.
5/20: This was supposed to be the season from our nightmares -- a combination of running in place when trying to get away, making a speech in front of a large audience and forgetting your notes, and being eaten by a komodo dragon. It wasn't like that at first, though. Young hitters were doing okay with the at-bats they were given, the bullpen was fantastic, and the young aces were doing well. The team wasn't going to contend, of course, but it wasn't a one-way ticket to Firstpicksville either.
The dream interpretation book I bought from the Barnes & Noble bargain bin says that komodo dragons tend to represent "old, goateed, soap opera veterans." Best $5.99 I ever spent.
6/11:Title Card: Present Day
Scorched earth. Flames ten feet high. Corpses. A hopelessly barren landscape.
Giants Fan #1
Line drives did this.
Giants Fan #2
They warned us about Zito...
but it was Misch...dammit...
it was Misch the whole time.
Giants Fan #2 sinks to his knees and sobs.
6/14: I'd be satisfied with Barry Zito's march to 20 losses if there were cool things like steals of home and sprinkler malfunctions in every one of his games. Next Zito start: unassisted triple play and golden retriever on the field. The start after that: hidden ball trick and someone hacking into the centerfield scoreboard and showing Top Gun clips.
7/1: Dear Brian Wilson,
Please stop doing that.
7/7: You just know that there's a National Enquirer reporter who is about ready to strap on a vest bomb if he's assigned one more Britney Spears story...That's me, except the role of Britney Spears is played in my little world by Barry Zito. Bloated pill-popping and drunken driving = reduced velocity. Seemingly neglectful parenting = $126M. The "Leave Britney alone!"-kid = Mychael Urban. The parallels are there if you stretch them past any reasonable point.
7/11: You can put a frog in a pot of water and slowly turn up the heat, the old story goes, but the frog will stay put until the boiling water kills it. I present your official 2008 second-half Giants metaphor. The heat is suck. The frog is us. If the Giants' hitters from 2007 show up in the second half of 2008, they'll still get their playing time. The decline won't be obvious when Bochy looks at the numbers. It'll be just like a fire slowly getting hotter.
Wait, maybe that means the hitters are the frog. No, wait. The hitters would be the suck-fire, and we're still the frog.
7/23: Even though Brian Sabean is surely going to win a Littlefield at this year's Incompys for allowing Brian Bocock to get over 100 at-bats, he's getting greedy and shooting for the Marble Award (most pointless roster move) as well. Go Brian!
7/25: Here's a Buster Posey interview with Baseball Prospectus Radio. Posey doesn't mention the Giants until 9:15 in, but I ran his voice through my computer voice modulation analyzer, and if I'm reading the results correctly, he sounds like he intends to sign. And by "computer voice modulation analyzer", I mean "Windows Media Player" with those trippy visual effects turned on.
7/29: I have no idea if Lincecum did say something to Righetti or Bochy, but it should be noted that we, as Giants fans, want our pitchers to be FORD TOUGH, and HAVE THE ATTITUDE OF A GAMER at all times, and PITCH THROUGH DISCOMFORT and tell the skipper that HELL YEAH I CAN TAKE THE BALL AGAIN. I CAN TAKE IT AND THROW IT THROUGH A GODDAMN WALL, MAN.
Because the alternative - being honest about how one feels physically so as to prevent strain and possible injury - is for SISSY GODLESS NON-GAMERS WHOSE MOTHERS STILL NURSE THEM IN A ROOM WITH FRESH FLOWERS AND PICTURES ON THE WALLS OF UNICORNS GIVING BACKRUBS TO PANDA BEARS. Commie fruits, the lot of them. Report a tired arm, lose 50 man points. Them's the rules.
7/30: Ha! Ha! You have no idea if Billingsley's game was really spectacular, or if it was just an illusion created by the Giants' sub-AA lineup! I can hear the uncertainty rattling around in your brain! Should you be excited, or should you dismiss Billingsley's outing as you might if he pitched against a Pony League team in an exhibition game? YOU'LL NEVER KNOW!!!!
It seems as if we've won this round. By starting an urn full of Omar Vizquel's ashes and something called Dave Roberts, we've shrouded the development of your pitcher in a fog of mystery. Try to keep up, silly Dodger fans.
8/4: Person A: Knock knock
Person B: Who's there?
A: A good option for the shortstop job in 2009!
B: Aiiiiieeeee! Not another one! Oh god, no!
A: I've become one of them! Barricade the doors! Save yourself, youafargengggrrrreeaackccccckkkk (note: Person A's skull was crushed when was overrun by a stampede of good shortstop options)
B: I'll never forget you, Person A. I'll nevafurrggggrrrrraaaall (note: several good shortstop options came in through the front window and killed Person B for sustenance, as there are just too many of them to feed using typical resources)
8/6: According to Andrew Baggarly here, the Giants designated Sergio Romo for assignment by accident. Or something. I'm sure this will all get straightened out, but in the meantime it's perfectly acceptable to jump to conclusions and start freaking out.
8/8: Dodgers Haiku
8/13: You are the GM for the Giants, and you hav....
Hey! Stop that! It's distracting to try and communicate with someone who's poking themselves in the eye.
Okay. So you are the GM for the Giants, and you...
C'mon, man. Stop filling out those Peace Corps applications. I'm not asking you to pretend that you are Brian Sabean; I'm asking you to pretend that you've magically become the GM for the Giants. Maybe Sabean filled out the Peace Corps application on his own. Maybe he was fired. That part of the fantasy is up to you.
8/21: An excerpt from the forthcoming book: 2008: That Which Is Underneath Sub-Par
...and suddenly only 40% of the starting rotation was worth anticipating. The change happened so quickly, so violently, that I was lost in a cloud of fringe fastballs and lazy breaking balls. I tried to watch. Where zeros were needed, crooked numbers appeared. Where crooked numbers were needed, zeros held their ground.
I made up my mind to do something more productive with my life. After mulling my options, I decided to spend my days proofreading user comments on YouTube....
8/24: Bruce Bochy's dream: An 89-man roster, with lefties to face righties, righties to face lefties, and never the twain shall meet.
8/26: The argument goes something like this: Pitchers should throw as many pitches as they used to because a) that's how they used to do it, and b) remember when that was how they used to do it? Jenkins invokes the Ozzy Osbourne Defense. Hey, Ozzy used to snort piles of cocaine the size of Marvin Benard. But Ozzy's still alive, right? Ergo, nuts to moderation with that stuff.
9/11: The last time the Giants farm system drafted and signed a better outfielder than Fred Lewis, Bing Crosby might have been listening to a Clash 8-track on his way to see Star Wars in the theater. At least, that's how I've always pictured the world back then.
9/15: 2007: And hope, to me, means a potential solution to the gaping first-base hole. So that's where Pablo's playing now, huh?
Me: Well, kind of. Travis Ishikawa will probably get a lot of the at-bats next year.
2007: I'm sorry, you're breaking up, probably because I'm calling you on technology that doesn't exist. I'll just assume you said "Yep" because what I heard was crazy talk. And I'll also assume that Sabean traded all of the veterans, too.
Me: Not really. He traded Durham for the organizational equivalent of Matt Palmer and Antoan Richardson, but Molina, Winn, Vizquel, and Aurilia are still here.
2007: *stunned silence*
9/16: So let's all be thankful for Anyone but Randy Winn in Center. There's only $54M left to go, so let's not bicker over which player's second-half decline most closely resembles the end of Jose Cruz, Jr.'s Giants career, or which 36-year-old player never should have been signed as a center fielder in the first place. It will all work out. It'll be fun to watch. Yep. Fun. To. Watch. I'm not tired of watching Anyone but Randy Winn flail around after sliders in the dirt. Nope. Fun to watch.
9/17: Myth: The Giants called up Osiris Matos and Geno Espineli when the rosters expanded.
Fact: Jack Taschner strangled both pitchers before they were called up, and he dumped their bodies in a ravine outside of Fresno.
9/21: I had a dream last night that Matt Cain was traded for Edgar Renteria and a C-level prospect. Really. I think the end of the season is coming at a good time for me.
9/25: I've paid hundreds of dollars of dollars for parking and train tickets, hundreds of dollars for lukewarm dinners, and hundreds of dollars for tickets this season, and my reward was one good game. So, yeah, I left in the fifth inning. And if I had to do it over, I would have done a little goat dance on the tickets before I burned them. I don't want this to be a "woe is me" post, so I'll just finish by writing this: Woe is me. You'd think I'd done something to deserve this kind of crappy karma, like spend hundreds of hours writing cynical and nasty things about the franchise and front office, but that's just not the case.