To be fair, there’s a chance that Jose Guillen would have hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning if the home plate ump didn’t invent a new strike zone.
To be fair, there’s no excuse for Barry Zito walking two hitters to start an inning. That’s the kind of thing you expect from a 20-year-old rookie.
With those points out of the way, I’m pretty sure 95% of the right fielders in professional baseball could have caught Chad Billingsley’s line drive single. General rule: if it hits Jose Guillen in the glove, most right fielders could have caught it. Addendum to the general rule: if it hits Jose Guillen in the glove, there’s a good chance the anthropomorphic trash heap from "Fraggle Rock" could have caught it.
I’ll concede that maybe I’m being unfair. Maybe I have a dogmatic view of how a team should be built, and if a player falls outside of that view, I won’t give him a fair shake. Maybe. But here’s a post-game thread with a mission. I defy anyone -- anyone -- to explain how Jose Guillen is a better player than Cody Ross without referencing runs batted in.
Even if their defensive abilities were even, it’s not quite a fair fight. Both hitters are low-average, high-power, and oft-hacking types. Over the past three years, though, Ross has been the better power hitter, with 20+ home runs in a tough Florida park and plenty of doubles. It’s close, and Ross has some definite platoon splits that Guillen doesn’t have, but Ross has been the better hitter for a couple of years now.
Then you factor in that Ross runs well, and Guillen looks like he’s running with Saturn’s gravity. Then you factor in that Ross can field, Carlos Gonzalez’s broken-bat liner notwithstanding, and Guillen is lucky if he doesn’t swallow his mitt when he tries to catch a fly ball. How is Guillen worth playing over Ross?
One valid argument. That’s all I ask. Why is Guillen a better option to start over Jose Guillen? Throw me a bone. Maybe the game wouldn’t still be tied, but there’s a good chance it would be if anyone else were playing right field.
Zito was garbage, yes. The rest of the non-Posey offense was hot garbage, yes. But a team needs to play its best players. I don’t think Jose Guillen falls under that description, and I think it cost the Giants tonight.