Every single free agent rumor leads to the same mental dead end. I'll entertain the thought of a player like Dan Uggla, Orlando Hudson, or Nick Johnson, and I'll cycle through the new, rosterbatory nonsense in my head. "Wow, they almost would have a legitimate hitter at every position! Sandoval, Sanchez, Rumor du Jour, and...Renteria." Enthusiasm over. Every time. It's like planning out the Olympic relay team for the 4x100 and having to work in Tyler Walker.
To be fair to Renteria, the Giants offense is doing just fine if he's the only bad patch in the lineup. If the acreage of terrible is reduced to a patch by March, everyone will be pleased with the offseason. And, hey, it isn't that crazy to think that a 34-year-old hitter can rebound a little, even if he looked liked he was swinging underwater last year.
But, yeah. The easiest way to help the offense would be to send Renteria on the Dave Roberts Express and find someone who can hit a little, even if that might not be the most realistic solution. Yet every time I cycle through infield options, there's Renteria, sitting on the couch, minding his own business, and eating my chips. It's not like he makes up for the impotent bat with Neifilliant range, either. Our shortstop has the range of a piranha plant.
It's pretty clear that while the idea behind the Renteria signing was sound -- pounce on a non-Bocock early to make sure the Giants don't go into the season without one -- the signing was kind of a dud. Still, I have hope that it will all work out. There were other options last year, but did you notice the seasons they had? Rafael Furcal was a little better, but he wasn't an extra year, a draft pick, and $21M (!) better. Orlando Cabrera can still play defense, and he rebounded a little for the Twins, but he was still pretty bad at the plate, and he cost the A's a second-round draft pick (that they eventually made up for by trading him). One of the reasons that the Giants went after Renteria so hard is that he wouldn't cost a draft pick. I can't grumble about that, even if that's left the Giants in a bad spot this offseason.
So a part of me is hoping that Renteria rebounds, and we realize that the deal wasn't a total and colossal failure while Renteria is still playing. That'd be nice. A much larger part of me knows that isn't likely. So my hopes for the Renteria contract lie with second-round pick Tommy Joseph, who is the pick that was saved by not signing a Type-A.
The count is full. Two outs and the tying run on first. Mariano Rivera, who's like 65 or some crap, needs one strike to win yet another World Series. Joseph stands at the plate. Rivera throws.
It's a long drive, I do believe...the Giants won the World Series! The Giants won the World Series! The Giants won the World Series! The Giants won the World Series! Tommy Joseph hits into the lower deck of the left-field stands! The Giants win the World Series and they're goin' crazy, they're goin' crazy! HEEEERRRRFFFOOAH! I don't believe it! I don't believe it!
And while the rest of you are jumping up and down like idiots, I'll calmly pump my fist and say, "Thank you, Edgar Renteria. You've delivered a championship because you weren't Orlando Cabrera or Rafael Furcal."
Maybe not. But that dream keeps me from drinking when thinking about next year's lineup*. Mainly, I'm just hoping that the Giants have average-or-better hitters in seven lineup spots when the offseason is done, which isn't totally insane, and I'm hoping that Renteria is a little better. Just a little. I'm not asking for much. Except for the Joseph walkoff Series win, but we deserve that.
*Note: this isn't true