From Bad to Worse
Ok so it’s been awhile. I’ve missed a lot of rejoice and heartbreak in the realm of Giants fandom, but probably more heartbreak. Lots has happened, so let’s recap.
First order of business, Bengie Molina is back, whether you like him or not. This man made more outs than any other regular in the Major Leagues last season. That mean’s he’s not a good hitter. He’s a 35 year-old overweight catcher with limited physical mobility. This means he’s also not a good defender. No matter what way you swing it, this was simply not a good move, especially when Buster Posey is perfectly capable of being an all-around better baseball player.
Second on the agenda is the fact that the organizational philosophy has taken a huge step backwards. The “sign old guys a couple years removed from career years to lucrative short term deals” philosophy harkens back to the late 90’s/early 00’s. We may have had winning records in those years, but the focus on veteran presence over younger, sometimes better players left the club hamstrung and out of the postseason from 2004 on.
I was OK with the Aubrey Huff signing because I thought it was an isolated incident. It was a low-risk/high-reward signing for a guy looking to rebound after a down year. But with Mark DeRosa, Aaron Rowand, Bengie Molina, and Edgar Renteria all penciled into the starting 9, it’s looking more and more likely that this team is bound for more another year of frustration centered around not working counts, hacking at balls in the dirt, and making fans like me hit their heads against hard surfaces.
In the midst of all this, I think the straw the broke the camel’s back is Bengie Molina (probably because he tried to climb onto the camel and was too heavy). It’s frustrating from a fan’s standpoint to see a club commit to a younger, better, cheaper option at a premium position, only to go back and bring back the guy who made the most outs of any regular in baseball. I’ll say it a third time for emphasis: he made the most outs of anyone in the game. On a team pinching pennies late in the offseason, it’s suddenly OK to spend $4.5 million on a player who simply isn’t a good hitter. Such a philosophy doesn’t make sense to me.
On top of all this, there’s a pretty good possibility that the newly re-signed Freddy Sanchez will miss the first half of the season with a bum shoulder. This was something discovered shortly after our crack medical team gave him the clean bill of health required to ink a contract. Another banner moment from our front office in an offseason that has yielded very little in terms of results.
Will this team be better next season? It’s hard to say. At this point, I expect more of the same to be perfectly honest. Which would be good, if every other team in the NL West minus the Padres wasn’t also committed to being a really good freaking team with a smart, well thought out game plan for how to build a roster.