For all of the grumbling about the continued reliance on cagey-yet-awful veterans, I have faith that both Ray Durham and Rich Aurilia will not be on the active roster by September. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. So I propose a kind of "dead pool" -- who goes first? Rich Aurilia, in the conservatory, with an outright release? Ray Durham, in the kitchen, with a trade to a panicked contender? It's a tough call. Cases for each to be the first on the chopping block:
* The emergence of the left-handed John Bowker gives the Giants a true complement to either of the right-handed first basemen on the roster. Watching the Giants' front office try to rebuild is like watching a pigeon try to shave, but even the Giants would understand that keeping Dan Ortmeier makes more sense than keeping Rich Aurilia.
* Aurilia can't hit any more. Ray Durham has merely been dreadful; Aurilia would need about six straight extra-base hits to reach dreadful. That isn't likely, as Aurilia doesn't have an extra-base hit this season.
* Jose Castillo hasn't been a train wreck; he's more like a flat tire or a sticky in-flight magazine. Aurilia could have competed with a generic train wreck as the name-brand train wreck.
* Eugenio Velez hasn't exactly stolen Durham's job away, but Velez is as about exciting as a player can be with a .300 OBP. The fans have a fever, and the only prescription is more Eugenio. A well-stocked organization wouldn't have much use for a Eugenio. The Giants are like the homeless person accepting a chowderless bread bowl -- they're more than a little resentful, but danged if they can't use it.
The simile makes more sense in my mind. See, Velez is the bread bowl. Durham is the heroin addiction that caused the homelessness in the first place. Barry Bonds is the fantastic double album written on heroin that caused the Giants to keep trying to recapture the magic. Justin Upton would be creamy and delicious clam chowder. The person who gives away the bread bowl without a hint of self-awareness -- "They should be lucky they even get my bread bowl!" -- is a baseball god. With just one more, I can make sure this is the most ridiculous thing I've ever written, so allow me to present Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain as two sweet, sweet bottles of warming hooch.
You should get a Croix de Candlestick just for wading through that. Hey, it's free. And it's worth noting that Eugenio Velez can take over for Durham, which was my original point.
* Unlike Aurilia, Durham can only play one position poorly. Durham's defense used to be maligned unfairly. Things have evened out. If you are comparing Durham's fielding to that of anything with opposable thumbs, you are overrating Durham's defense. It'll get worse before it gets better.
* Durham's only ostensible use to a rebuilding team -- that he's a trade chip come July -- isn't helped by his slow start. If he follows April with a similar May, it would take a legendary June just to make him remotely palatable to a contending team.
Comment starter: Durham goes first, Aurilia goes first, or they both stay on the roster for the entire season?