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The Giants are only five games out of first! Some suggested moves to ponder:

Fred Lewis, Nate Schierholtz, and Brian Wilson for Todd Jones and Carlos Guillen.

Angel Villalona for Adrian Beltre

Pat Misch and Jack Taschner for…

Alright, so no one is advocating drastic moves like that…yet. If the Giants roll into the trading deadline only five games back, though, terror will rule the land. The team is still six games under .500, and they’re as close to the worst team in the league (the Nationals) as they are to a playoff spot. But if they’re five games back, there’s a chance that the "You’re Gonna Like These Kids (When They Fill In for Injured Veterans!)"-feel of the current team will be replaced with a go-round of "The Veteran-Stopgap Strategy Worked So Well in 2005, 2006, and 2007, We Thought That We’d Try It Again Without Our Best Hitter."

It’s still early. And, heck, if the Giants go into the trading deadline within a couple of games for a playoff spot, there’s no harm in being open-minded. But I’m a-feared. I’m a-feared that the Giants will give us another 2006. On July 22, 2006, the Giants were just above .500, but they had just vaulted into first place. Exciting times, to be sure. Then they lost their next eight games. But, technically, they were in the race. They weren’t exactly good enough to justify trading for reinforcements, but the Giants didn’t want to trade away the players with a lot of trade value, like Jason Schmidt. They stood pat. Then the bad team did bad team things, and they didn’t make the playoffs. Nothing was accomplished, and no progress was made toward building a good Giants team.

But I understood the logic behind keeping that team intact. Kind of. The hard part is making the playoffs, but  funny things can happen once a team is in. If a team gets to have that park full o’ bunting, their season is an unabashed success.

Long post short: I don’t want the trade-deadline decision to have any ambiguity behind it. I want the Giants to win 18 out of their next 20. I want the rest of the NL West to go on a 15-game losing streak. I want the rest of the NL West to go on a 15-game winning streak as the Giants putter around .500. I’m thrilled that the Giants aren’t the once-in-a-generation bad that I thought they’d be, but sometimes not-so-bad gets in the way of an honest rebuilding.

Give us a sign, o baseball deities! One that isn't riddled with injuries and losing, if you please. I’m pulling for that 18 out of 20 scenario, myself. But for the moment, the Giants are a job applicant with a box of mints to hide the alcohol breath, and a sports coat that hides the blood stains on the shirt underneath. They shouldn’t call us. We’ll call them.

Comment starter: How many games back at the deadline do the Giants have to be for the front office to consider trading Randy Winn, Ray Durham, and Bengie Molina? You don't have to agree with the answer. Put me down for a six. Four or five games back equals standing pat, and three or closer equals buy, buy, buy!