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Neifi. Again.

When the Giants lost the World Series, it was obviously a low point for most of us. I personally didn't shave for three weeks, waking up at 3:00 every afternoon only because I had to go to the bathroom, kicking over empty bottles of rum and Yoo-Hoo! on the way. There wasn't any way to feel worse about the game of baseball, right?

Imagine this, then: Someone from the future comes back in time to the day after Game Seven. He sits you down, takes out a San Francisco Chronicle from the future, and clears his throat. "This is a recap of a game three seasons from now. I won't read the whole thing, rather I'll just give you a brief summary." Still, as fantastical as this all sounds, you're thinking about Livan Hernandez hanging breaking balls like they stole his cattle, and sweet Felix Rodriguez not fooling anyone with the 37 straight fastballs gag. The visitor from the future begins.

"Ahem. So, after Neifi Perez knocked in the tying run for the Cubs, the game went into the ninth. The Giants brought in Jeff Fassero to try and close things down, but, alas, Roger Cedeno scored the winning run. Jerome Williams was excited, knocking off his Cubs hat and jumping off the bench when Cedeno came around to score. With all of these one-run games, you have to wonder how much of a factor having Barry Bonds would have been on this season."

That'd do it. You can do the same thing out of context for almost every team, and every game recap. Still, it involves Neifi Perez being a hero, Jeff Fassero rolling around in the ninth inning, Bonds not on the roster, and our top prospect at the time wearing another uniform. That's a bad stew.

Now to reality. Though it might be the best thing to do, I don't want the Giants to trade Jason Schmidt. I think his problem is absolutely location, and that isn't the sort of thing you fix up a splint for. Still, having him under contract for one more year at an inflated rate is a better risk than taking up a free agent pitcher for three or four years at an inflated rate. I think I was caught up in the fever of our first trade deadline as sellers. Sabean has the right idea, as he's listening to offers, but not even entertaining them unless they are ridicospectacular. Bronson Arroyo, Hanley Ramirez, and about four minor league pitchers who make Baseball America's collective bow tie spin. No? Move on.

Schmidt pitched a good game last night, and it's again a comfortable feeling when he is starting a game. It was, for a while, "Lowry and Schmidt, and then pray for...hey, those two guys aren't exactly setting the world on fire. Those are the steady ones? I'm outta here." Now with Schmidt coming back strong, there is at least one pitcher to really look forward to.