Lefty summed up last night's game with his great post, and he also rang in the Epoch of Shabala. Could a Shabala/Ellison arrangement be as productive as the legendary Bernard/Murray tandem of fire?
Centerfield, to this fan, has the following requirements:
a. Play defense like some KYed-up hummingbird.
(Note: KYed-up hummingbirds seem like they would make excellent defenders to me.)
b. Hit at, or close to, league average.
That's it. The average National League hitter in 2004 hit at a .263/.329/.423 clip. If Ellison could average something close to that, he can start on my team. His defense is fantastic. I have no idea if Shabala can play a competent center, but if he can he'd be a fine partner for the right-handed Ellison. Not a platoon-mate, necessarily, but a guy to spot Ellison against the tougher righties.
To catch to my centerfielder requirement is simple. The gains on offense need to be made elsewhere. The Ellison Theorem would work on a team tossing 2001 Jeff Kent and Rich Aurilia up the middle, or a team starting Albert Pujols at first and Scott Rolen at third. The idea doesn't work with a team goofing around with J.T. Snow and Edgardo Alfonzo, even if those two are somewhat useful players.
- The Nathan we watched last night was the Nathan we thought we were trading. It's easy to forget his last appearance as a Giant involved a trudge of shame off a playoff field. Now he's Joe Nathan: Super Closer, enjoying the perks that title can bring. Cover of Closerati Magazine. A 15% discount at Hard Rock Cafes the world over. Assloads of contracted money. The little things. He'll obviously bounce back, but it was just the tiniest bit of validation to see Hyde Nathan take a bow.
- Pants Man makes a good point here about Brett Tomko, and it would be a world-class surprise if the Giants weren't thinking the same thing. Tomko might have an over-inflated sense of self worth right now, but he'd be a touch goofy not to jump at a multi-year deal with a team in a spacious park like Mays Field.