Notes on Frustration: Apparently, This Giants Team Can't Hit

This might not be the right time to pose this question, as our judgment is a little cloudy, but here goes...

What's more frustrating: watching a good pitching staff that's constantly undermined by an impotent offense, or watching an efficient offense that struggles to keep pace with a wretched staff?

I don't remember what a good offense is like. Therefore, it must be more frustrating to have a good pitching/awful hitting combo. I'm not even sure that frustrating is the right word. It's like being on a desert island, where all you've had to eat is charred island-rodent meat for six months, and then one day you stumble across a perfect sandwich. It has turkey, bacon, avocado, swiss -- substitute the sandwich fixin's of your choice, of course -- but it's behind a glass case that's locked with a combination lock. Taped to the glass case is a note that reads, "The combination to the sandwich case is 31-21-(illegible)." So you try 31-21-1, 31-21-2, and so on, but nothing works. You go through a second time, just to make sure. You do the combination in reverse several times. You start at the beginning with 1-1-1, trying every possible combination. Meanwhile, the small air holes in the case allow the smell of the bacon to escape and tease you, while the holes also allow air to slowly spoil the sandwich. You're fighting the odds, hoping to figure out which of the 64,000 combinations gets you the sandwich, but the avocado starts to brown, and little beetles start to crawl on the bacon. You bang on the glass until your hands are bloody and your legs give out from exhaustion -- you've spent so much time on the forbidden sandwich, you didn't have a chance to hunt for island rodents, and now you're weak. So now you're slumped against the case, bleeding, dying from hunger, as the smell of turkey slowly moves from appealing to spoiled, and your last thoughts before entering a sleep from which you never wake: "If only I had that last number! I would have supped on a delicious turkey sandwich this fine morn!" After you die, island rodents eat your corpse, and the feces help fertilize a productive mango tree.

That's how frustrating it is to watch the 2009 Giants.

Again, maybe I should have asked the question after I'd cooled down a little bit.

Take a team like the 1999 Giants. The lineup was stacked, even with Bonds missing time because of an injury. Maybe I should start a weekly feature, "Guys from the Past Who Could Totally Have Hit Cleanup for the 2009 Giants!", because Marvin Benard's 16 home runs and .457 slugging percentage would have been an obvious choice on this year's team. But the '99 Giants had an inconsistent starting rotation and bullpen, and they lost fifteen games in which they scored six runs or more. The end result was a team that was over .500, out of the playoffs, and frustrating as all heck to watch.

Were they as frustrating as the '09 Giants, though? See, the '09 Giants are like a dentist's waiting room that has magazines that aren't interesting to you, so you...

You get the idea. Worse to have a no-hit/all-pitch team, or the other way around?

I think the correct answer is "neither," but humor me.

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