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Updating the race for a protected draft pick

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Mike Stobe

Was going to do an "Oral History of Mallet Fingers," but a couple of my phone interviews stood me up. Probably because they had troubles dialing, what with the mallet fingers and all. As such, it's time to take a look at the race for a protected draft pick. Remember: If the Giants are going to have a protected draft pick for 2014, they'll need a pick in the top-10.

Team Wins Losses Winning % Games "back"
1. Houston 51 108 .321
2. Miami 59 100 .371 8
3. Chicago Sox 62 96 .392 11.5
4. Chicago Cubs 66 93 .415 15
5. Minnesota 66 92 .418 15.5
6. Seattle 70 89 .440 19
7. Milwaukee 71 87 .449 20.5
8. Colorado 72 87 .453 21
9. Toronto 72 86 .456 21.5
10. Philadelphia 72 86 .456 21.5
11. NY Mets 73 85 .462 22.5
12. San Francisco 73 85 .462 22.5
13. San Diego 74 84 .468 23.5
14. LA Angels 78 80 .494 27.5

Huh. And what happens if there's a tie, collective bargaining agreement?

If two or more Clubs are tied, the Clubs shall select in the reverse order of their winning percentages in the season prior to the recently completed season, with any remaining ties to be resolved based on preceding season winning percentages

Cool. Let's just see what the Giants did ... oh, right, the World Series. Also, the Astros have won exactly one game since I last did this on September 12, so if you think the Giants have been bad ... woof. The Giants have actually been pretty good since then. Way to turn it on when it actively hurts the future, fellas. No, seriously, we're proud of you.

At this point, I'm okay with any fourth-place finish that doesn't involve perfect games, five-homer nights from Yasiel Puig, or injuries, so if the Giants wanted to start Zito/Kickham/Zito against the Padres, I'd be cool with that.

But the Giants are going to need to lose at least two of their last four games, with two clubs going on a winning jag. This only matters if the team in question wants to sign a free agent who gets a qualifying offer -- basically the players that teams would be thrilled to have on a one year/$14 million contract if it kept them from free agency. The Giants haven't signed one of those players since Aaron Rowand, so this might be much ado about rainy-day funds.

My hopes, in order of importance:

1. That we don't have to hear FIRST-TO-WORST for the next 50 years.

2. That the Giants get a protected pick.

The first one is far more important to me. For I am a prideful fan. Lustful, wrathful, greedy, envious, lazy as all get out ... really you can tick off all seven in a hurry. But prideful, too. Last place would bug me far more than losing a draft pick in my Shin-Soo Choo rosterbation scenarios.

Besides, I'm thinking the Giants overpay for Pence, wildly overpay for Masahiro Tanaka, and add a left fielder via trade. No draft picks go away in that scenario.

Or, the Giants sign Bronson Arroyo and Nelson Cruz, who combine for four homers over the next two years. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.

It's time to scoreboard watch again. Go Blue Jays, go Phillies, go Mets! The Blue Jays play the Orioles once and the Rays three times, which is kind of dookie. The Phillies play the Brewers, which is cool, but the Mets play the Braves.

The Giants probably aren't going to have a protected pick.

Because Barry Zito won his last start.

Man, is that guy good at trolling.