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Community Projection: Rich Aurilia

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Here's thing about real baseball: people get hurt. It's easy to forget that after five months of mock roster foofarah without any real games. I pulled up the Chronicle today and read a story with a headline that starts, "Aurilia among 3 hurt in loss." None of the injuries were serious, but it gets the brain working. This team, which is a juggernaut of mediocrity when fully healthy and used wisely, has more than a few injury- prone players in the lineup. Klesko, Aurilia, Bonds, and Durham have a sordid past of ouchies. Roberts, Winn, Vizquel, and Molina are all aging. Aging doesn't correlate perfectly with injury, but it does correlate.

Don't worry about Pedro Feliz. He'll be just fine.

I can't explain why it took a random headline on March 22 for this moment of clarity, but up until now the worst part of the Giants' advanced age had to do with the batch of stupid jokes. And - trust me - I know I'm a black belt in stupid joke-kwan-do, so there is a bit of glass house rock-throwing here. But really. The next internet commenter who uses "AARP" in a Giants-related punch line will have his e-mail address turned over to the authorities. And by "authorities", I mean eager spammers. If you like male enhancement drugs, BUSTY FARMERS DAGHTERS, and random batches of Korean characters...go ahead, make my day, and all that.

Now I get it, though. Aurilia's trick groin might continue to act up, Klesko could have a freak oblique tweak each week, and Vizquel is due to have a retina detach from his left eye when he looks at one of his own suits. Then you have Kevin Frandsen in the four-hole, Chad Santos at short, AND THE WHOLE PLAN HAS GONE DOWN THE TUBES!!!!!!

Ahem.

Obviously, this is a community projection on Rich Aurilia.

Rich Aurilia

AB: 397
BA: .276
OBP: .334
SLG: .470
HR: 15

It's hard to believe this guy was on the fringes of baseball not too long ago. The change in ballparks is going to hurt, but he should still be a productive player.

Is there anyone out there who thinks the Richie of '06 is the one that's going to show up? I'm willing to listen, even if you're just trying to convince yourself. It's March. Delusions are beautiful.