Thursday, July 26, 2007

Giants Schadenfreude

No, not Fahrvergnügen. Schadenfreude. Witness's piece, headlined "Foggy bottom: With or without Bonds, Giants are simply a bad team"

SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy has so much power, it's almost comical. His Giants are in last place in the NL West, yet with seven small words spoken in his slow drawl, he can take the air out of the entire room:

"Barry won't be in the lineup tonight."

And with that, 98 percent of the sporting world ceased to care about the third game of the Giants-Braves four-game set. Because without Barry Bonds -- stuck on career home run No. 753 for the sixth straight game -- the Giants are exposed for what they are: a bad team.

On days Bonds plays, the world hangs on every pitch. On days he doesn't, the electricity is sucked out of the foggy air like a deflating hot-air balloon. What's left is a team with the third-worst record in baseball at 42-57, 12½ games behind the division-leading Dodgers.

With Bonds in the lineup, the Giants are an unremarkable 36-44. Without him, they're just as bad at 6-13. They're 25th or worse in the majors in virtually every offensive category, including home runs, total bases, RBIs and slugging percentage -- and that includes Bonds' offensive output.

There's more fun and games, just follow the link above.

Jon Weisman recently posted a very balanced, thoughtful, and mature retrospective on the McCourt era of the Dodgers, which, at this stage, we could never do. As you know we at SoSG think Team McCourt has shown us a C+ performance at best, from parking mishaps to poorly-timed firings to fleece blankets with the wrong championship dates. (Rob over at 6-4-2 shares our distaste for the punch-and-hide owner, as he had to bite his tongue during the McCourt Q&A session). But admittedly, it's hard to knock the fact that Frankie took time out to meet with avid Dodger fans last week, and at least receive some questions, particularly when considering the disastrous organization that Sabean has built (eroded?) up north. Dodger fans should be thankful, at the very least, that we have the lesser of two evils.

But we can always hope for more, I assume. Bring us back a World Championship, and I'll be a bit more positive.


Rob said...

The Giants haven't been relevant now for two and a half years, and that's with Bonds in the lineup. Their collapse was fairly predictable given Sabean's love for old players, and his even bigger love for trading pieces like Joe Nathan and Francisco Liriano away for a one-year rental A.J. Pierzynski, or even half-year rentals like Sidney Ponson. In Sabean's defense, the trio he let go for Ponson (Kurt Ainsworth, Damian Moss, and Ryan Hannaman) haven't turned out to be all that useful, but he consistently eschews the first-round draft pick. That eventually will bite you.