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Remember last week, when the Giants were still the plucky-little-team-that-could? They weren't even .500, but the fanbase was buzzing with feverish non-disgust. This was supposed to be the season from our nightmares -- a combination of running in place when trying to get away, making a speech in front of a large audience and forgetting your notes, and being eaten by a komodo dragon. It wasn't like that at first, though. Young hitters were doing okay with the at-bats they were given, the bullpen was fantastic, and the young aces were doing well. The team wasn't going to contend, of course, but it wasn't a one-way ticket to Firstpicksville either.

The dream interpretation book I bought from the Barnes & Noble bargain bin says that komodo dragons tend to represent "old, goateed, soap opera veterans ." Best $5.99 I ever spent.

Historians, though, will tell us that on May 19, 2008, the bloom fell off the rose, as it were. In a span of two minutes, Omar Vizquel popped out and Eugenio Velez was picked off. Old guy stinking, and young guy not being as good as we'd hoped. You could probably condense that last sentence into two Japanese characters and slap it on a pennant.

Annoyed reader: Wait, so Omar Vizquel, who has been fantastic since he returned, is indicative of a systematic failure because of one at-bat?

Indicative, no. A metaphor for the decline of the Giants, yes. The team gets a rare baserunner, there's a moment of excitement, and then you realize that the only people coming up are either old-n-busted or young-n-stunted. That's not Omar's fault -- if anything, he's the one veteran on the team who isn't really blocking an MLB-ready player -- but he's just one of the guys in the former group.

Other annoyed reader: Velez's inability to read major league pickoff moves somehow negates the positive things we've seen from guys like Fred Lewis, John Bowker, and Manny Burriss?

No. But it does make us realize that the whole "going younger thing" will have consequences. In a system filled with prospects who aren't blue-chippers, we'll have to wade through the Tony Perezchicas to find the Bill Muellers. That doesn't sound too painful in January, but it'll beat you down when you're in the middle of a six-game losing streak.

Yet another annoyed reader: What about the young pitching?

You mean Tim Lincecum and an inning-plus from Alex Hinshaw? Yeah, that's been superb. But neither Cain and Sanchez can stop walking hitters or giving up bombs, Merkin Valdez and Kevin Correia are hurt, and Brian Wilson will continue to alternate between dominating and frustrating. Flashes of brilliance from all, consistent performances from few.

Even annoyedier reader: So what? We knew what this season was going to be like. Are you just going to pout?

Kind of. This will be a season of bearable stretchs punctuated by extended periods of unbearable. We all knew that. It's just a kick in the scallops when it actually gets to that unbearable stretch.

Open Bemoaning Our Fate Thread. Woe is us! Woe, woe, woe!

what a world...what a world...