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Punxsutawney Yorvit would be a great name for a band

Most of us are torn between two worlds. Without having a complete demographic profile in front of me, it seems safe to wager this site is not filled with statheads. There are few here who can spout the formula for RC/27 from memory, and who give their children Joy Share reports to show just how much they mean to the family unit. Rather, the site is filled with intelligent baseball fans who were familiar with the terms in Moneyball before there was a Moneyball, and who know the importance of sample size. No freaking out about a slow start, and no inappropriate jubilation when a short-reliever has a good month.

This isn't fun, though. The baboons on talk radio get to make wild assertions based on a handful of at-bats. The callers get to say things like, "yeah, Edgardo Alfonzo is a GAMER who got his career BACK ON TRACK this season, and now he seems like the CLUTCH HITTER the team sorely needs." Baseball Tonight has no choice but to start running pieces about the early successes and failures, with each talking head using a different Rosetta Stone to translate the equivalent of a Greek gum wrapper.

We, the moderately intelligent baseball fan, need a groundhog. The groundhog needs to come out of its burrow, see a shadow, and tell us when to panic. It could be a metaphorical groundhog, though it would be much cooler to have an actual genetically-enhanced one who smokes a cherrywood pipe in an easy chair, and rumples down his Wall Street Journal long enough to say, "Twenty-two games in? I'd start worrying." Without this furry sundial, the first parts of the season are wait-and-see affairs.

Jerome Williams' biggest sin wasn't that he allowed seven baserunners in four innings, it's that he allowed them in the wrong order. He didn't space them out and get lucky, and that's going to happen more often than not. What can we infer from his performance? Did he look especially sharp? In the early going, sure, but he looked awful in the fourth. Did he deserve to have an ERA of 9.00 for the game? Probably. He wasn't missing many bats, and that's never good.

What does it all mean? Darned if I know, but this team isn't especially fun to watch. One six-game winning streak can change all that, though. Even though the Giants have beaten a major league team only once in seven tries, we've about 90% of the season to go. And if it doesn't work out, we'll always have the second-place finish in the Cactus League to light our darker hours.