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It begins.

The first (that I've seen) mainstream "Giants need to blow this thing up" article. KNBR is aflame with folks pining for the days of Steve Scarsone, J.R. Phillips, and John Patterson. They don't really know that's what they're pining for - a lot of the callers are of the "Why don't the Giants trade Fred Lewis and Merkin Valdez for Dontrelle Willis?"-variety - but that's what we'd get: a whole lot of slop-siftin' in the hopes of finding a single Bill Mueller. It'd be ugly.

Even uglier: Staying the course. And everyone knows it. So I'd like to take this moment to thank Ray Durham, Omar Vizquel, Dave Roberts, and Pedro Feliz for not having a scorching hot first-half before playing to the levels at which they are currently playing. If all four of those players had a hot first-half, we'd still believe. Then we'd have our hearts ripped out again in August or September. I still think there's some good baseball left in a couple of those players, so they picked a fine time to slump. Closure is a good thing, especially in June.

It's time to start picking over the bones of the roster. Hands up if you think this team can put up a sustained streak that would vault them within four games of the division lead. There's one guy in the back, but it looks like he just has to go to the bathroom. We've all looked like that for a couple of months now. This diary asked a lot of the questions that will keep coming up for the next month. Who are we going to trade? What kind of return should we get? What teams will be interested? Who will be the Mark Lewis that blocks the one good major leaguer the team finds?

The first thing that has to be pointed out, though, is that Barry Bonds will not be traded. Zero-percent chance if he hasn't broken the home run record, .000001% chance if he has by the trading deadline. Maybe a team would take the public relations hit after 755 - flags fly forever, and all that - but can you imagine Bonds hitting 755 in an Angels uniform? Neither can the Angels.

With that out of the way: Open Fire Sale Thread. Comment starter: Do you think Randy Winn would waive his no-trade clause to go to a contender?