And then that happened.
Wow. It’s easy to think of Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean as one entity -- a single, amorphous, veterophile who will get around to putting some stats on his Apple Newton one of these days. You think of them riding a tandem bike, talking about veterans. Playing on a seesaw, talking about veterans. Having a few sets of tennis, talking about veterans.
It’s obvious to everyone that Bengie Molina’s defense is slipping. His offense, not good to begin with, went so far in the toilet over the last two months that it knocked over Leonardo’s katana rack. But there wasn’t anything you could expect a team to do. Where else are you going to find a catcher this late in the season...
...except this team -- this Giants team of ours -- has a young catcher. He is, oh, one of the top two or three young catchers in the game. He’s ready. It seemed so painfully obvious what need to be done. It was like watching someone complain about needing a new transmission for a Ford Aspire as they polish a new car in the garage. But that single, amorphous, veterophile wasn’t on board. What would happen if the rookie didn’t, I don’t know, bring a mitt to the stadium? What if the rookie didn’t learn any of the pitcher’s names? What if the rookie entered 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 45 into the computer? WHAT WOULD HAPPEN THEN?
Armageddon. Plain and simple. That’s what would happen if a rookie catcher had to catch Tim Lincecum. At least, that’s what the single, amorphous, veterophile who ran the Giants thought. They always finished first in the three-legged sack race because it was a lifestyle to them, not a silly picnic-time diversion. Brianuce Sabocheany. "If you can think of a better way of exchanging long protein strands, I'd like to hear it!"
Turns out that’s not exactly how Bochy and Sabean interact. In the case of the decrepit catcher and the nefarious upstart, it was probably just Bochy who was to blame in the past two months. I knew it was you, Bochy. You broke my heart. And my apologies for assuming Sabean was complicit when he was secretly trying to resolve the situation.
For the last time, the Cliff Notes on how Bochy works: Vinny Castilla was a smoldering husk of a player, but Bochy kept playing him. The GM of the Padres was all, "Hey, did you ever think about not playing him?" And then Bochy was all, "Hey, Poindexter, you gave me these players, so I’ll play the ones I think help the team. If you don’t think I should play a guy, get rid of him." And then the Padres GM was all, "Fine." And Bochy was all, "Fine." Then Vinny Castilla was released, where he was quickly signed by retirement.
I can’t believe that Sabean was willing to decastilla the Giants to make the team better. It’s stunning. I starting screaming "organizational dissent!" last year when Bochy wouldn’t play Posey, but then I got worried I was coming off as a tinfoil-hat wearing goof. I’d like to revisit that stance now. This whole time, someone in the front office -- maybe someone with a goatee and a surly disposition -- was just as annoyed with Bochy’s refusal to play Posey as we were. The only guess as to why Molina was re-signed in the first place is that there’s a difference between "never, ever let Posey catch" and "I’m not sure if Posey’s ready to catch 150 games yet."
As for Bengie, that eulogy was written prematurely, but everything still holds up. Thanks to Bengie. A sincere thanks. I still want to cancel my MLB.tv subscription because I’m scared my cat will jump on my laptop, clicking on a Rangers feed, which would lead to me watching Molina play for five seconds as I fumble for the mouse, and that would be unacceptable. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate Molina’s popularity in the clubhouse or the work he’s put in with the team. He won the Willie Mac award twice -- that has to mean something, right?
No mind. What news. What a day. From the lowest of lows, to the highest of highs. Well done, whoever made this happen. Well done.