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Seriously, Billy. Who thought that was a good idea?

That might have been the last gasp of contention in the Bonds era. Absolutes are for suckers, as almost any non-Royals team is just a few flukes and fortuitous turns away from contending; however, Moises Alou, Jason Schmidt, and Ray Durham are likely gone, Bonds might not return, and the free-agent market is a pyrite tooth floating at the bottom of a latrine. This road trip could eventually be remembered as the beginning of the end -- like Joe Pesci's displeasure at a poorly-timed shinebox reference, or a musician committing a crime against humanity at the peak of their popularity.

After watching the Giants this year, I can't get the `97 Pirates out of my head for some reason. That team also hovered around the .500 mark for an entire season in a weak division before missing the newspaper on the floor. There was a huge difference in how the teams were portrayed, and the difference was one of expectations. The `97 Pirates weren't expected to win more than 65 games, so they were scratched behind the ears and given a cookie for even contending. The Giants missed the newspaper, had their noses rubbed in it, and then had to eat a bowl of food with a ringworm pill mixed in as if they weren't supposed to know the difference. There's no mistaking the tang of a ringworm pill, people. Cam Bonifay, one of the worst general managers of the past 25 years, won Executive of the Year after his season. Brian Sabean has a lot of `splaining to do for his. It isn't going to get easier.

The rest of the season is simple. Six games, no chance of contending, but there are still things to do:

  1. Todd Linden starts every game.
  2. Noah Lowry takes the rest of the season off. Jonathan Sanchez too.
  3. Tim Lincecum is called up, and the Giants audition him for the closer's role in 2007.
  4. That last one was a joke.
  5. Make sure the Dodgers don't make the playoffs.
Simple. The over/under on Linden starts, however, is one. Lowry will throw 99 pitches in four innings for his final start of the year. Jonathan Sanchez will be used in some weird long-relief capacity for a couple of games. Steve Finley will start every game. The only one that seems somewhat realistic is spoiling the Dodger season. And that would be nice, but far too bittersweet to really get excited about.

But still nice. I'll take nice at this point. They can't possibly roll over for the Dodgers. Gulp.