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The Eternal Struggle....

Moderator: Welcome to the roundtable. The topic today is the offseason for the San Francisco Giants. Our debaters are very familiar with each other: They're two halves of the same brain. This should be interesting, so let's jump right in.

Half-Full Grant: There's no giving up now. There's still a chance this club could compete. Look, if you sign Craig Wilson to play first, overpay J.D. Drew for a three-year deal....

Half-Empty Grant: Oh, ye gods. Another crank with a mock roster.

Half-Full Grant: So what would you have me do until March? Stop following baseball? The mock roster is the sacred tradition of the baseball nerd, and....

Half-Empty Grant: It doesn't matter! Shuffle the free-agents all you want, but the Giants aren't going to be competitive. Concoct some scenario where the Giants get the top ten remaining free agents -- it. doesn't. matter.

Half-Full Grant: Man, that kind of pessimism is too much even for Giants fans. There's still an interesting pitching staff in place. If Bonds comes back, that's a good start. Now if the Giants could just trade Brad Hennessey and Nate Schi...

Half-Empty Grant: Stop. Please. There's nothing to trade, and the few free agents that are on the market aren't very good. Not to mention, they're all going to get paid as if they were a 21-year-old Mel Ott. It's not worth it, so the Giants should just bow out and focus on the farm system.

Half-Full Grant: Do what with the farm system?

Half-Empty Grant: You know. Focus on it.

Half-Full Grant: Focus on it how?

Half-Empty Grant: You know, put the free agent money into the farm system.

Half-Full Grant: So, no free agents. Just, what, increase meal allowances for all of the prospects?

Half-Empty Grant: (mumble mumble mumble) international scouting (mumble mumble mumble)

Half-Full Grant: I agree. More international scouting is a good thing. But it isn't as if the Giants will just put $60M in some crazy Scrooge McDuck vault if they don't spend it this year. There will be free agents. We can only hope they're quality, and that they aren't messing up the budget three, four, or five years down the road.

Half-Empty Grant: That's fair. But I'm still angry. I'm still angry that this wasn't something that was planned for. No minor league signing of franchise players still in their prime when they did become available... what did they think was going to happen at the end of Bonds's career?

Half-Full Grant: Those are all good points. But Sabean's had a great run; I trust him. He's made a few questionable moves, but he's kept this team in contention since 1997. You can't argue with results.

Results: You leave me out of this! Haven't you ever been embarrassed about someone you dated?

Half-Empty Grant: Results. Pffft. More like he had Bonds for one of the greatest stretches in baseball history.

Results: My god, I had blood thrown on me when I went into that Planned Parenthood in October of 2002. I think I've been through enough.

Moderator: It seems we can all agree on this solution: Spend or overspend for short contracts. Two years; three years at most. Understand that a productive farm system is the best way to compete. Hope to get lucky in the meantime.

That concludes our roundtable forum for today. Tune in next time, as the topic will be "Half-Full and Half-Empty Grant: A cheap, bootleg version of Point/Counterpoint?" Good day, everybody.