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No Nensense

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This post won't make a lick of sense unless you've read this article or this diary, so start there.

Benitez: Hi, I'm here to pick up my Jaguar.

Mechanic: Not ready.

Benitez: But you've had it for a week. And you were just supposed to do an alignment.

Mechanic: Not ready.

Benitez: This has happened about every other time I've brought it in here. I'm wondering if I should just find another mechanic.

Mechanic: Oh, okay wise guy. Why don't you put on the overalls and fix cars? Huh? You think this is easy? You think it's easy to fix cars? To have people constantly complain about the work you do, and demand the work is done right?

Benitez: Hey, there's something off with this analogy, but I can't put my finger on it.

Mechanic: I have no idea what you're talking about.

The mechanic tries to throw his oily rag on top of a pile of other oily rags, but misses by ten feet. It lands on another pile of oily rags.

Benitez: Well, I....

Both piles of oily rags spontaneously combust, and several other mechanics scramble to put out the fires.

Benitez: That's not exactly what I meant, but the point is well taken.

Mechanic: What point?

I've always hated the idea that because ballplayers make millions of dollars they owe us anything more than the obvious:

"Hey, I paid $40 for my ticket, and I own a set of Giants barbeque tongs that weren't cheap, buddy. So it's your duty to stick around after a long day and sign autographs for a bunch of man-children. And, if time allows, actual children. And you must be infallible and godlike on the baseball field at all times."

Baseball brings in billions of dollars, so it's only fair that the players are justly compensated. I don't resent the high salaries at all. But with the high salary comes a job description. Show up when you're asked. Try your hardest. And be prepared to hear criticism if you don't do well. That's about it.

Benitez might just be blowing off some steam, and that's normal. Man performs poorly, man is dissatisfied with his own performance, man has to deal with criticism on top of it all, and man lashes out. It's a simple and familiar story. It's impossible to blame the guy for being frustrated. However, what isn't acceptable is a woe-is-me-screw-them-I-ain't-their-trained-seal-ooooh-is-that-bacon?-attitude that can carry over and affect performance on top of the mechanical aspects of pitching. If turning his anger against fans or announcers is counterproductive in any way, it needs to stop. If flipping the bird to the region and media is the way he fires himself up, more power to him. Use both hands, if you'd like. But I don't think history backs that contention up. When Benitez starts to get picked on his performance suffers, and it really can't afford to suffer much more.

If a person pays top-dollar for a plastic surgeon, and the surgeon accidentally leaves a couple of shirt buttons in the reconstructed nose, there will be complaints. If a person pays top-dollar for a contractor, and the contractor misses a week of work because he swallowed his own hammer, there will be complaints. If a team pays top-dollar for a closer, and the closer can't go more than two batters without walking someone, there will be complaints.

Pitch better or deal with it? Yes, I believe that sums up 99% of the feelings out there about this article, and I'd have to think Jon Miller would have loved to say as much. Pitch better or deal with it. I don't think there is a Giants fan out there that wouldn't love to take back every bad word said about Benitez, should he live up to expectations for the remainder of the contract. I would enjoy every keystroke of a "'Mando make me look like a goof"-article. Until then...pitch better or deal with it.

And, please, choose the pitch better option.