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Knowledge sucks the fun out of everything. Imagine if scientists came out and said that The Bloop was just an ocean current or some other natural phenomenon. No monster squid, no aqua-Yeti – nothing. That wouldn’t be fun.

Imagine if you were still expecting a fat, bearded man to come down your chimney and leave behind Colecovision games every year. Some sort of benevolent magician? What kind of gift-leaving wizardry is this? And every year you waited for him, and every year he came. That would be awesome. Well, good ol’ knowledge and logic sure screwed that up for us. Knowledge sucks the fun out of everything.

This offseason, every player the Giants might have interest in is a defensive abomination. Wow, Adam Dunn can hit 40 homers with an on-base percentage over .400, and…oh. He plays defense as if he were in a one-legged sack race with that guy who fell into the toxic waste in Robocop. But hey, Pat Burrell is still available, and he’s from the Bay Area, and…oh. He has the defensive range of two turtles making slow, despondent love on top of a broken washing machine as they suffer from the kind of lingering malaise that makes it hard even to get out of bed. Every player the Giants might have interest in – Edwin Encarnacion, Jorge Cantu, Ty Wigginton – awful, awful, awful. They might have a little pop, but they give most of the runs back with their shoddy fielding.

I yearn for simpler times. When the Giants signed Darryl Hamilton to a three-year contract, the internet baseball world guffawed and snorted, myself included. The Giants got some .340 OBP, over-30 guy for three years? Guffaw. Snort. In retrospect, Hamilton played silly-good defense at a crucial defensive position, and his above-average OBP was just cherry gravy on the turkey sundae. He was over 30, but he was a mighty fine player. Nowadays, when the main return for a valuable trade chip is a glove man without any idea how to get on base, the blognoscenti are on board. As they should be, mind you, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it. It used to be that you could look at a player’s on-base percentage and quickly determine if you were smarter than baseball executives. No more.

It’s a brave new world. The Orioles signed Cesar Izturis – a no-hit, all-glove demon – and the responses in Oriole-land are…reasonable expectations and acknowledgments of intrinsic defensive value? What the… What happened to the days of crazy, pitchfork-wielding on-base percentage zealots?

Defense killed the offense star. In 1997, I would have crossed my fingers and hoped for an Adam Dunn Christmas, a Ty Wigginton Hanukah, and a Pat Burrell Festivus. That troika would probably help get the Giants up over 700 runs next season. Now we have a much better idea of how to account for defense, and we know those players would play defense so poorly that Tim Lincecum’s ERA would skyrocket over 3.00. Maybe even 3.10. The horror. Randy Winn, when considering defense, is probably much better than either Dunn or Burrell. Where’s the fun in that?

I don’t have a point. I’m just pining for the fjords of ignorance.