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Just a .500 team....

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While praising the Benitez signing, there was an elephant in the room. After last night, the elephant is using your toothbrush and asking to take your younger sister out on a date. What if the other relievers don't improve from last season? Matt Herges was always somewhere in the vicinity of above-average and below-average, but never an abject horror show before . What if he's that bad this season? What if Jeff Fassero is as bad as he was last year? What if this really is the post-injury Jason Christiansen?

Well, what if? Benitez is nice, but he's just one guy packaged as one-and-a-half guys. Herges can not continue to be awful, and one of Christiansen, Fassero, and Scott Eyre needs to become completely trustworthy. Last night was just one game, and that refrain will continue for another couple of months. It would be as ridiculous to say the bullpen is still awful after the one game as it would to proclaim Mike Matheny on an 81-homerun pace. Well, maybe somewhat less ridiculous, but still not a good idea. I'm thinking 76 homers, max.

Elsewhere:

* Two readers have put up diaries to highlight. The first is from Josh from Hollywood, or J-Holl as he's known on the streets, and is a great, life-affirming piece. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll realize what you've been taking for granted.

The second is from Irwin, who put up links to the Norwich (AA) and Fresno (AAA) rosters. There were a couple of surprises, but nothing that would rock the foundations of this site. Merkin Valdez is in AA, and not AAA. Surprising, but not a poor decision. Justin Knoedler has zoomed up the depth charts, and will start at AAA, with Trey Lunsford starting in AA. Was that expected, or did it catch anyone else off guard?