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The Long Goodbye

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I was listening to Ralph Barbieri yesterday, and he said something I agree with. When the subj...

Did you hear that? It sounded like a bell or alarm, or something. Huh.

So, I was listening to Ralph Barbieri yesterday, and he said something I agree with. As the...

Dang. There it is again. It's like a "woooooooop wwooooooop rrrrrreeeeeooooow rreeeeeeeeowwww", and then there's this flashing red light that makes it hard to see. I wonder what that's all about.

Anyway, he said that he doesn't care if the Giants bring some of the free agents back, or if they don't bring back any of the free agents. I concur. They can bring back Durham and I'll be happy, or they can let him go and I'll understand. If Feliz is signed to a reasonable deal, I can understand there aren't too many third base options. If he walks, I doubt my response would involve tears. There are mixed feelings involved with almost all of the free agents. Except with Felipe Alou, that is, who was just given baseball's version of "No, no; it's not you, it's me".

Respect the man, groan at the actions. Seventh inning, one out, no one on, two right-handers warming up. Why? One in case the situation calls for a double play, and one in case the other one has some sort of Stumpy Pepys kind of spontaneous combustion? Old player stinks for five months, old player complains about not receiving enough playing. Solution: Old player gets more playing time.

There isn't a manager in the world whose strategy will perfectly align with mine. That works out, because my strategy wouldn't perfectly align with yours. Yours wouldn't align with the guy who is eventually going to be hired. Nitpicking about isolated instances will always be a futile endeavor when evaluating a manager. Felipe's faults in my ledger -- his bizarre bullpen usage, mainly -- could have been overlooked if his players were willing to eat glass for him. That was never the feeling out of the Giants clubhouse. Muted praise, maybe. Begrudged acknowledgement of the chain of command, at times. There was never a sense, however, that Alou was in charge of a ship full of rabid partisans, all fired up for each and every contest.

I never disliked Felipe, he just drove me up the wall with his questionable strategy. I'm excited about the possibility of a new and fresh leader, but I can't throw my weight behind any single candidate because I honestly have no idea how they'll manage. Maybe in June, we'll talk about Ron "150-Pitch" Wotus, or Dave "Niekro in Right Field, Batting Leadoff" Righetti, or Bud "Emotionally Abusive and Willing to Break a Beer Bottle Over the Head of Anyone Who Deserves It Bec...Hey, You Want a Piece? Huh? You Want a Piece?" Black. All of the names are interesting, but there are just too many unknowns with all of them to pick a horse. Dave Flemming risked an FCC fine by adding intelligent discussion to sports-talk radio when he was filling in for Tom Tolbert, and said the first question should be something like:

We have Cain, Lowry, Sanchez and Lincecum. Have you seen any of these pitchers? This is what we're going to build around, so what is your philosophy with young pitching? Should they all be lined up in the rotation? Would you want to bring Sanchez and Lincecum along slowly, having them do some time in the bullpen? Would you keep them in the minors?
That's not an exact quote, but I do know that Flemming proactively plagiarized me, as that's exactly what I was going to write. The search starts with those questions. The only thing going for the Giants right now is what appears to be a surplus of young pitching. Getting some arm-grinding bunt fetishist isn't going to help anything. I have no idea who would fit that description, though.

And good luck, Felipe. Catch some big ones. But don't waste your time switching the bait every five minutes.

Comment starter: What would your first question be? Or, if it was similar to Flemming's, what would the next question be?