Armando Benitez had a great spring opener, as he's already coming with the strikeouts and 90MPH+ fastball. He came to camp with the body of a Greek god1, a passion to make more money, and a mirror to put in the dugout so he can remind himself that, doggone it, people like him. In the five stages of Armando grief, Giants fans are still at "bargaining." So what if the past two seasons have been financial and performance disasters from our lead dog in the bullpen. We'll now take just one good season from the ornery fellow. Just one good season out of the life of the contract, that isn't too much to ask, right? I remember the same plea toward the end of Edgardo Alfonzo's decomposition. Just because you wish it hard enough doesn't mean it will come true.
Last year's prediction was a mess. It was like a ray of sunshine rubbing up against you in a subway car. What an awful mess of a season. People who don't follow the Giants will never understand, either. "What's the big deal, you whiny dorks? Benitez wasn't perfect, but he still had an ERA under 4.00." Oh, how ERA doesn't tell the entire story in this case. Here are some other stats that tell the rest of the story:
Blown saves: 45
I'm on a train right now, so I don't have an internet connection, but I'm pretty sure those stats are 100% accurate. It wasn't just the pile of blown saves, it was also the timing. Dodger games, games that would have prevented a sweep, games that would have clinched a sweep, games when the Giants were still above .500, games when the Giants' hopes were long gone. And yet the blown save for which Benitez is most famous is a game against the Giants in a game the Giants didn't even win. How is that fair?
But I'm an obvious idiot, because I'm again going to project something better than a complete meltdown.
Food or weight jokes in this thread alone: 38
I'll take the contract year as the motivating factor, even though I usually find that theory to be completely bogus and simplistic. Note that if the Giants somehow make the playoffs, Benitez will ruin the entire season. It might make sense to pick the Giants to win the division just so Benitez can ruin the entire season. You have to know it would feel oh-so-right.
1 Criscokis, god of partially hydrogenated oils.