Monday, December 23, 2002

Yes, it's time for another baseball post
...but don't worry, the amount of actual baseball in this one is not that great.

Despite the fact that the Giants have undergone huge offseason renovations to a team that just barely missed capturing the World Series, I've found it hard to get worked up over many of the moves made. I think that's because a lot of the people who have departed were people I alternately loved and hated: Dusty Baker, Jeff Kent, and even Russ Ortiz all fall into that category. Sure, I loved that Baker was able to hold together a fractious clubhouse and consistently coax maximal effort from his players, but I hated that he couldn't make a good tactical move to save his life and consistently played washed-up has-beens over players who at least had a chance to be good. I loved Kent when he was knocking in astronomical numbers of runs, but I hated him when he was swinging a weak bat and allowing pitchers to walk Barry a record number of times. And Ortiz, I loved him when he practically single-handedly won the Braves series and pitched like a true #1 starter, but I hated him on those days when he couldn't find the strike zone to save his life and when he was banished to the bullpen in 2000. So, while seeing them go (especially Ortiz, who is the only good pitcher the Giants have developed in my lifetime) was hard, it also brings hope that maybe their successors won't infuriate me in quite the same way (of course, also fear that their successors won't be able to fill their shoes).

The arrivals...well, Marquis Grissom certainly elicited quite the string of profanities from me (Neifi Perez I found it hard to get worked up about, since I didn't think the Giants were serious about him, and fortunately I was proven right when they non-tendered him), but the rest, while solid signings, are essentially replacements for the personnel they're losing. So it's hard to get too worked up about them; none of them is really a superstar, so while I can hope that they'll do a better job than those they replaced, it's not like their signings guarantees the team's improvement, either.

Of course, maybe all of this is just my defense mechanism at work again, not letting myself hope for too much.

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