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The Likable Unwatchables

It's taken six months, but I finally figured out what's bugging me about the 2007 Giants:

Guys who have struggled, but whom I still like:

Rich Aurilia
Dave Roberts
Omar Vizquel
Ray Durham
Jack Taschner
Barry Zito
Russ Ortiz
Pedro Feliz

Guys who struggled, and who kind of bug me

Armando Benitez (excised)
Matt Morris (excised)

The Giants needed to pick Shea Hillenbrand off waivers just for the villain quotient. This team is jam-packed with lovable losers. Ray Durham finally did something that resembled anything, and it became apparent how long I've been waiting to cheer for the guy. He's been a Giant since the 100-win season of 2003. He was a smart signing that paid off, at least for the first contract. And he's a pretty danged likable guy who happens to have been terrible upon terrible this season.

Pedro Feliz works hard and has been with the team for six years. After Dan Ortmeier's home run, Feliz was the first person to personally congratulate him after the mob dissipated. Feliz had a genuine look of excitement and glee as he slapped hands with Ortmeier. It's obvious that Feliz wants the Giants to win, and that he wants to contribute to those wins. It's just that he can't contribute as much as any of us would like.

Rich Aurilia had a fantastic year for the Reds last year, and he'll always be remembered as a good Giant. So it made sense when Sabean brought him back to be the Giants' jack-of-all-trades; he was a fan favorite who could mash lefties and play any infield position. Good idea, but "could" is in the past tense, and "play" is a relative term. Still can't hate the guy. The list goes on and on. Good guys, bad results.

Long story short: I think I miss Armando.

Congrats, Ray. You deserved a moment in the sun. Sometimes I wish you or one of your teammates was a known cat juggler, or something, so we could project our anger onto someone. Of course, there's no anger to be found after taking a series against the Dodgers. So maybe in ten years, when I choose to think about this season again, instead of thinking about Ray Durham: bad individual season in a bad team season, I'll remember Ray Durham: likable guy who made the Dodgers miss the playoffs by one game after launching an 0-2 pitch into the stands.

That kind of thing is the only thing we can hope for at this point. And I'll take it.