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The Breaking Point

It was a big sports weekend in the Bay Area, and the Giants proved that they were the classiest franchise of them all. Heck, it's the Warriors' time to shine right now, and the draft is the only oasis of the football offseason. Carrying a long winning streak through yesterday would have been just rude, and I'm proud of the franchise for doing the right thing.

Another day, another close loss. It's a flawed team, and the flaws are exactly what we thought they'd be. If you don't want to crown them, then don't crown their ass. The top five areas the Giants need to address:

  1. Getting one more hitter
  2. Getting two more hitters
  3. Bullpen
  4. Getting another hitter
  5. Bullpen
In case you don't peek your head into the Minor Lines threads, here's what Tim Lincecum did yesterday:
6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 14 K, 0 HR
And here's what he's done for the season:
4-0, 0.29 ERA, 31.0 IP, 12 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 11 BB, 46 K, 0 HR
Tim Lincecum isn't going to hit home runs for the Giants, but he can take a rotation spot. The starter taken out of the rotation can be traded. Russ Ortiz can't be traded until June without his permission, so the traded player would have to be Morris or Lowry. Lowry would have more value, but he's a cost certainty with an upside: That's exactly what a pseudo-rebuilding team like the Giants will need.

The Giants really have no choice but to trade Matt Morris. If they're serious about winning this year, there isn't anything else that makes sense. The idea that Morris is untradeable because of his contract is soooo 2002. Go play your "Playstation 2" and listen to your Avril Lavigne "compact disc", nerd. Seriously, it isn't as if Morris would bring back Alex Gordon, but a ton of teams would want him even at his current salary. A quick attempt at a rundown: Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Houston, New York (AL), St. Louis, Texas, and Toronto. Trading him now when his ERA is a shiny 3.34 makes so, so, so much sense.

Bobby Abreu is slumping. The Yankees are spot-starting pitchers who wouldn't make the Fresno rotation. There has to be a match.

If Lowry can fetch something crazy -- say, if he's a big part of a Mark Teixera trade -- go for it. And maybe the Devil Rays would overpay for young pitchers like Lowry and Jonathan Sanchez, so maybe trading Lowry is the answer.

If Lincecum ends up with "Super Two" arbitration status -- I tried explaining it in less than two sentences before giving up, so look it up for yerself here -- it could cost the Giants a few million dollars down the road. Dontrelle Willis was a Super Two player, and he was paid $4M a season early. That risk doesn't have the destructive potential that standing pat in Bonds's last dominant season does.

Clear room for Lincecum. Get another hitter.

The thought of the Giants continuing to trot out this offense makes me write in that wacky sports writing cliché of one- or two-sentence paragraphs.

The Giants have more starters than rotation spots. They don't have a real third baseman or right fielder. The ostensible first baseman can also play third, which means the Giants can upgrade any of three lineup slots.

"These widgets have been working fine."

"Yeah, but we need to sell these widgets so we can buy sprockets. We don't need this many widgets, but we desperately need sprockets. We have other widgets in the storeroom, but no other sprockets. Makes perfect sense."

"But these widgets have been working so well, it'd be insane to give them up. We don't even know if the other widgets would work."

"They will probably work just as well, if not better."

"But there are no guarantees."

"If we don't get any sprockets, our product isn't going to work. The only way to get sprockets is to give up widgets. If we don't give up widgets, our product isn't going to work. We'll have a non-functioning product, but a bunch of working widgets that aren't helping anyone."

"I don't like half-baked analogies, and I fear change. Go away."

Now is the time during our state-of-the-team debate when we dance. Open trade-something-for-hitting thread. It's been about a week, so the time is right. This offense is driving me nuts.