I'm almost okay with the Giants acquiring another second baseman and moving Freddy Sanchez to third. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to pay a bunch of money for a player whose worth is completely intertwined with his ability to play a good defensive second base, but at least I wouldn't have to wince when 75% of the infield came up to the plate. The idea doesn't make a lick of sense, but I could file it under "acceptable silliness" if the team is improved as a result.
I'm almost okay with Aaron Rowand starting in center. Well, I'd better be okay with it, 'cause he's there for the next several decades, until we can draft Andrew McCutchen, Jr. Rowand's defense and offense are average. Rowand is a big ball of average. That's not just a gut feeling: FanGraphs ranked him third on their list of "Average-est Position Players of 2009." That's pretty danged average. It's easy to forget the month-long hot streaks that sustain Rowand, especially when he's in he middle of his "Imma gonna sit on a fastball in this 0-2 count and hit a home ru...slider?!?! Why, the nerve!" phases, but he does have stretches of competent hitting. Seriously. Look it up. Hopefully, he doesn't completely fall off an age-related cliff next year.
I'm almost okay with a short-term contract to an old timer. Johnny Damon wants something close to Bobby Abreu's deal -- two years, $19M. That's Edgar Renteria money! Who does Damon think he is? Still my biggest problem with the Zito and Rowand contracts wasn't the yearly amount; it was the length of the deals. A high-priced, short-term deal to Renteria is making a difference as to whom the Giants are pursuing this offseason, but at least it's over soon. While I hate the result, I still stand by the logic behind the Renteria signing. Damon, even with his noodle arm, would be a pretty good player for a team trying to win in the short-term, and he wouldn't be around long enough to affect long-term roster decisions.
I am not okay with Eugenio Velez starting. With Bengie Molina almost certain to go somewhere else, this is my new windmill. Velez in the starting lineup means that the Giants:
- do not care about past minor league performance
- truly have no idea what kind of offense is usually provided by a corner outfielder
- have proven the capacity to overreact to an unsustainable streak of 100 hot at-bats
- wouldn't know a legitimate building block if he streaked the front office
- are telling the world that it's more important to have a fast player lead off than it is to have a player with an acceptable on-base percentage
- really, truly have no idea just how bad Velez is against left-handed pitchers.
That last point is debatable, as Velez is usually mentioned in concert with Andres Torres, but Velez is so, so, so bad from the right side that he's barely capable of being on a major league roster. As a 25th man on a roster, he's useful. He's fast (though not an especially good baserunner), he has a little pop, and he offers positional flexibility.
As a leadoff hitter and starting corner outfielder, he's a debacle. He offends me as a fan of a team that knows they need to improve offensively. It's like being snowed in at a house with a broken heater and watching someone leave the fridge door open in an attempt to solve the problem. It's not going to make things that much worse, but it sure as hell isn't going to help.
No. Just no. I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.