The old phrase "like shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic" doesn’t apply to the Giants anymore. The Giants won the World Series. Whenever there’s a minor move to be made now, it’s like, uh, man, I don’t know, adding a 4,372nd vocal track to "Bohemian Rhapsody." But it’s December! Don’t take away my sweet, sweet rosterbation just yet.
Today’s Mercury News article about Brandon Belt has me swooning. It’s ’83, and I’m a 12-year-old girl taping Scott Baio pictures to my wall. Oooh, man, that swing sounds sweet, and, unf, a little bit of patience will do this lineup some good. And every clip I’ve ever watched of Belt just adds to the premature legend. In the AFL All-Star Game, he worked a walk against a left-handed pitcher throwing 95 MPH on his hands, but when he did swing, they were always nice, level swings. He probably wouldn’t look like a junior varsity kid against Javier Lopez either.
So now that we’ve established that Belt is the new Will Clark, I’m eager to….wait, too much? It’s too much to assume he’s the new Will Clark when he hasn’t had an at-bat in the majors yet? You’re probably right. My bad. I’ll start over.
So now that we know that Belt is like Will Clark, but better and without any discernible flaws, I’m eager to see him in the Opening Day lineup. Brian Sabean has already said that a goal this offseason is to get more left-handed bats in the lineup, and unless Miguel Tejada learns how to switch-hit for his third 37th birthday, the Giants will only have Andres Torres and Pablo Sandoval as starters. On the bench is Nate Schierholtz…and that’s it, unless you think Travis Ishikawa has a chance to sneak onto a crowded roster. Belt would help the team get "more left-handed."
Actually, the goal probably should be to "get better hitters" rather than get "more left-handed", but I guess that’s implied.
So the options, as I see them:
- Start Belt at first, and Huff in left, with Burrell a spot-starter/pinch-hitter - After reading about Huff’s fielding non-prowess last offseason, I was surprised that his outfield defense was perfectly cromulent. Left field is filled with clompers like Carlos Lee, Ryan Braun, and Raul Ibanez, so it doesn’t take a lot to be an average fielder. Huff wouldn’t scare me any more than Burrell.
- Huff at first, Belt in left - Not a fan of this one. If Belt really is a plus defender at first, this option is kind of a waste.
- Belt in the minors, Burrell starting in left, Huff at first - Yeah, this is probably the prudent and correct answer until Belt proves he belongs in the majors, but it’s not fun at all.
- Lewis in left, Rowand in center, and Bowker in right - Just to show how far we’ve come.
Have at it. And I’m sure the Queen reference will probably ignite a music sub-thread or four. What songs or albums do you consider the gold standard for production? I’ll let you hash out the obvious and the obscure, but one of my favorites of all time is The Cardigans’ "Life." It sounds like it was produced for EMI on a million-dollar budget, but it was for Minty Fresh Records.