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Scattered notes:

1. Sometimes, it's better to ignore the hype until you can see it with your own eyes. I watched Francisco Liriano last night on ESPN, expecting the second coming of Steve Carlton. Phhpppt. What a disappointment. First off, he has an 85-mph fastball that he can't locate. At all. When it did cross the plate, it was right down the middle.

Then he tried to throw his "breaking" stuff, which did nothing. His slider didn't make idiots of veteran major league hitters, and his changeup wasn't some freakish force of nature that had everyone out in front. And when he left the game, I think I saw him massaging his shoulder and wincing.

Good riddance. He wouldn't even crack the Fresno staff if he were still in the organization.

Of other interest in this manufactured reality, the Giants drafted Albert Pujols and Chase Utley. And people are able to keep raccoons as pets. And the raccoons can talk and water ski and stuff. Also, I'm rich.

Damn, that kid can pitch.

2. Reasonable analysis of the upcoming Athletics series:

The A's were playing well until they played a series in the fifth circle of hell known as Coors Field. Still, even with Rich Harden rumored to need Tommy John surgery, total reconstructive shoulder surgery, his elbow sawed off and replaced using bones from the leg of a mule a little bit more rest, the pitching has been strong. The offense...not so much, but the lineup is generally filled with productive hitters. Tough team at a tough time, but at least the Giants will be at home. Where they've kind of stunk for the past couple of years. So, maybe that's not a good thing.

Unreasonable analysis of the upcoming Athletics series:

The Giants are guaranteed to win two of three. The interleague series records against the A's:

1997 2-2
1998 2-2
1999 3-3
2000 3-3
2001 4-2
2002 2-4
2003 3-3
2004 3-3
2005 2-4

Breaking the truce in 2001 isn't something I'm especially proud of; it's kind of the Johnny Roseboro of my generation. But we paid our debt to society, losing four of six the next year, and have maintained the truce ever since. Last year the A's got greedy. Sure, they were a much better team, but that shouldn't be relevant. Greedy jackals.

If we actually did win two of three, that'd be outstanding, but we all still reserve the right to dwell on the one we did lose. The pitching match-ups (Schmidt/Blanton, Wright/Haren, and Captain Safety/Cain) are an even distribution of strengths and weaknesses, and the offenses are similar combinations of bland competence (Kotsay/Winn), frustrating ineffectiveness (Johnson/Giants 1B), veterans with low batting averages but good secondary averages (Thomas/Bonds), and occasional brilliance (Swisher/Alou).

No matter. The balance of the universe is at stake. Don't make us take five of six next year to even this out, Oakland.

3. Quick plugs: I'm a huge Warriors fan, and I'm assuming some of you out there are as well. I'm sorry. The draft is coming up, and it's worth it to spend some time at Golden State of Mind.

I didn't go to Oregon State University, but I did go to a school with Div. II NAIA status in football/basketball and no baseball team. Therefore, I've had to piggyback on any successes from OSU and U of O in NCAA sports. OSU is doing some cool things in the College World Series, and it's fun to check out what them Beavers are thinking at Building the Dam.

But if you're looking to talk Div. II NAIA trash, this is the place. For example, all y'all from Notre Dame de Namur have to be pretty humiliated. And don't act so smug, Albertson's of Idaho. There's always next year.