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Black October?

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Everyone looking for Christmas in June can eat their own damn cookies and milk. Bonds isn't coming back in the near future, having to have some black fluid drained from his knee which accidentally escaped from his own black heart. At least, that's what I can gather now that I'm using sportstalk radio as my only source of news. The Giants have been a potent offensive team without him, though. Buy and sell charts for the rest of the offense, which is just a hackneyed way of listing whose performances are going to improve or decline:

1B - J.T. Snow - Sell

Okay, we're all starting to believe he morphed into an above-average hitter combining sage tutelage from Tom Emanski and Brian Dallimore, and he's now, at 37, a better hitter than he ever was. He isn't Ichiro, though, and that's what Snow is playing like. Well, he's hitting like Ichiro, but still running like Ichiro with an entire set of Encyclopedia Brittanicas taped to his back. If the answer is .300, with a .400 on-base percentage, it's a stretch, but I'll disbelieve it when I don't see it. But he should come down to the third planet at some point.

2B - Ray Durham - Buy

The party line is that second basemen age as well as avocados, and we have front-row seats to nature's twisted design. Maybe that's the case with Durham, as we certainly can't expect him to ever play a full season again. When he's in the lineup, however, I'm not ready for him to hit like a F.P. Santangelo clone, which is what his .224/.368/.278 line would suggest. He'll be better for the remaining 200 at-bats of his season.

SS - Omar Vizquel - Sell, kinda

Oh, I can't tell about this one. He sure looks good as a .300/.380/.420 guy, but he's old. But he's been good. But he's old. He can't keep this up. Unless he does. Which he won't because he's old. But good.

3B - Edgardo Alfonzo - Sell

Oh, lord, sell. Don't even try and disguise the glazed panic in your eyes. Alfonzo's a nice story -- and, yes, I would like a Viper -- but his hot start is slowly fizzing out. He could have his best year as a Giant, but not his best year.

LF - Pedro Feliz - Sell

This just makes me as stubborn as Feliz refusing to take a walk. Well, the old Feliz, that is. The new Feliz has already taken eight walks. Eight! He's just two away from matching his total of all 2003. He's not striking out nearly as much as he used to, and hitting for average. And walking, if even just a tiny bit. Eight!

The Newfound Allure of Pedro Feliz has made a very nice PowerPoint presentation, but it still can't close the deal on my Deeply Ingrained Prejudices.

CF - Marquis Grissom - Buy

Grissom's not this bad; he has his faults, but he should be able to outslug Noah Lowry. Most all agree, though, he shouldn't be starting anymore. Grissom has a good chance to improve, if slightly, while Jason Ellison has a good chance to decline. They'll still make the decision to start Ellison an easy one.

RF - Moises Alou - Sell on on-base, buy on power

He's not a walking machine, and, indeed, often looks disgusted when he takes a free pass. He is more powerful than we've seen, crazy rickets legs or not. He has not yet swallowed his glove in an attempt to run down a fly ball. He is just as bad of a baserunner as Cubs fans warned. Glad to have him, as it stands.

C - Mike Matheny - Sell



"What company are you in?"

"C company, 1st division."

"I don't think I've seen you around."

"Oh, I have been vastly productive, like any good American soldier."

"You haven't seen anything suspicious, have you?"

"No, no. Just a group of good American soldiers, working hard."

"Rumor has it that some German spies are kicking around, trying to pose as Americans."

"How awful."

"We'll find 'em, though. Why, us not finding the spies would be like Mike Matheny not having a slugging percentage over .440!"

"Ha ha, yes! Why both events are quite likely, my fellow red-blooded American!"

A gun is cocked

"You almost had me fooled, Fritzie."

Some of you have to disagree with a few of the buy/sell projections. Let's hear it. Or read it. Whatever.