As we bring out a fresh plate of crab-stuffed mushrooms and brie for the pity party Giants fans are throwing, it helps to remember things aren't all bad. This is easier to write after the era-spanning two-game winning streak, but still applicable. I spend so much time wailing and moaning, sometimes there are people who don't get lauded for helping the Giants win.
Moises Alou deserves an apology. This was a signing with obvious best-case scenarios, and obvious worst-case scenarios. It has worked out better than we all could have hoped. Alou just might be the worst baserunner I have ever watched -- the Cubs fans were right on that one -- but the defense isn't so bad to negate the good. The good is a whole lot of hitting.
The start to Alou's season didn't portend this success. In April, it was like there was a sequel to Field of Dreams, starring Alou. Instead of, "Go the distance!", he heard, "The first pitch is going to be an 86 MPH fastball down the middle." After Alou dribbled the shoelace-high slider back the pitcher, he heard the ghostly whisper again, "Wait, this is Tuesday? Damn. Sorry. I'm always messed up after three-day weekends. Slider in the dirt, Moises. Sorry." He looked like a $14 million mistake with every wild swing, and ended April on the disabled list. He also ended the month with 59 pitches seen in his 50 at-bats, and about two infield hits to show for it.
So let this post serve as a doe-eyed love letter to Alou the Younger. The Giants are pungent this year, but they'd have probably plummeted past their purple-clad brothers in suck without him, making their home in last place of a bad division.