The world is different at 5:30 in the morning. A lingering smell of sulfur, people snacking on human cadavers in the open...it's the exact post-apocalyptic nightmare that I was expecting. Reality bends like light through a prism, but the colors that come out are just different shades of black. My god, was that a shotgun blast, or was that the sound of the earth opening up to swallow those whom light does not touch?
Warning: For the next few months, Tuesday and Thursday entries might be a strange. I have a 7:30 class in San Jose, which means that I have to be on a 6:00 train, which means.... It sounded like a good idea at the time.
But it's a perfect time to close my eyes and concoct the ultimate "What-if"-team. The rules:
- You get three moves to undo or invent in the Brian Sabean era.
- No touching the draft. Any team with a time machine on draft day would be the '27 Yankees.
- If you're going to trade for another team's prospect, make it realistic. The Twins might have traded Justin Morneau at one point, but they were never giving up Joe Mauer.
- No undoing the A. J. Pierzynski trade or signing Vlad. Those are the "R S T N L E" to this post's "Wheel of Fortune." They're givens. Unlike the "Wheel" letters, though, you ain't gettin' `em. They're just too danged obvious.
- A sneaky way to get two moves in one is to acquire someone who plays the same position as a wretched player. Re-signing Bill Mueller after 2002 gets rid of Edgardo Alfonzo too, even though I will ban anyone who claims they were pushing for this move at the time. Mueller was roster filler at that point. Alfonzo was a twenty-something coming off a .300/.391/.459 season, and he was two years removed from an MVP-caliber season. Alfonzo's bad back never put him on the disabled list here, so his detalenting happened for some other reason. Stop blaming the damn back.
- Sorry. That one always gets me.
- Re-sign Bill Mueller after the 2002 season, and don't sign Edgardo Alfonzo. This might not have pushed the Giants to a championship, but it wouldn't have hurt, and I just like Bill Mueller. The Giants would have done this in real life if they listened to me.
- Sign Greg Maddux to a five-year deal after the 2002 season.
- Trade Jesse Foppert and Ryan Hannaman to Florida for Derrek Lee before the 2003 season.
Your hindsight-aided team, if you would.