It's hard to believe man-buzzard Steve Finley turned down a three-year contract with the Giants to take a two-year contract with the Angels. It's amazing any team, even the Giants, would even offer such a ludicrous contract. The saga on the surprising-to-obvious scale:
| Steve Finley is offered a three-year contract taking him past his age-42 season.
| Finley turns it down for a shorter deal from the the Angels Angels of Anaheim.
| Finley's play does not justify the contract.
It isn't as if the Giants would have moved to Tampa if Finley had taken the Giants offer, but it would have fouled things up with style. The idea of a three-year contract to Finley was Sabean's way of testing limits; his way of seeing if he could get one more marshmallow in his mouth, or spin the veteran wheel one more time without landing on Lose a Turn. Sabean was always more concerned with a win-now philosophy, but he didn't start lighting his cigars with 2007 until he started negotiating with Finley. It's a little-known....
This is an actual phone conversation with a fellow Giants obsessive, and it sums the trade up pretty well:
Me: What's wrong?
Friend: GGadgannnnnfffffffffff! The Giants traded for Steve Finley? I hate that guy. What the hell were they thinking? Yararrrrggggrrrrrggghahgrrr!!!!!! I hate Steve Finley!
Me: Yeah, the guy's pretty loathsome.
Friend: (At this point I think he was jumping on live pigeons in his rage, though it was hard to tell over the phone. I'll give my best attempt at jumping on pigeon sounds, just in case.) Stompa stompa ruffle sklorrrsh squooosh flappa stomp flappa stomp.
Me: He was one of my least-favorite players before he was on the Dodgers, and even before he knocked us out of the playoffs....
Friend: (Now he's just swearing loudly, and trying to kick a newspaper vending machine over into the street.)
Me: ...but he's a much better fit on this team than Alfonzo.
Friend: Yaryarggggffff....Wait, what?
Me: Alfonzo. We traded Alfonzo to get Finley.
Friend: Straight up?
Me: One for one.
Friend: Oh. Someone just sent me a text message reading, "Giants traded for Finley". That's all I knew.
Friend: Oh. That's a pretty good deal.
Not good, but it'd be a bigger offensive help than Alfonzo. Scouts say Finley can still field. The stats are bad enough to make grown men weep. I'll wait until I see him to judge, but I have a bad feeling about him taking up a lot of time in center.