Ratto: Giants fans misguided in Belt hand-wringing

August 5, 2011, 11:35 pm
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Aug. 5, 2011

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The Giants are 0-1 without the ethereal presence of Brandon Kyle Belt, and have been outscored 3-0. In short, the Giants once again dont know what theyre doing, hate the youth of America, and need to fire several people with offices.Fine. You go with that. Three more misconceptions to go with all the others. Caused, we might add, by all the Belterrific hype the Giants inflicted upon us all last season and through this spring.Karma, she is a cruel old bat.Heres your simple, inescapable truth about B.K. Belt, in three parts. (A) He has not yet provided the compelling difference in performancecomfort level between him and Aubrey Huff that would get him regular playing time.
(B) He has multiple options left, which makes him an obvious choice to return to the minors for further seasonage, while Mark DeRosa had to be either released or recalled.(C) The Giants are in a pennant race, and therefore do not have to see what the kids are doing the same way the Pirates and Royals do.And that is why he went down. If you think its more complicated or nefarious than that, you like to sport a jaunty tinfoil hat.The Giants used to have a harsher view toward young players because they didnt have any of value. They didnt invest the kind of money that creates young future major leaguers, and their organizational philosophy was to build around Barry Bonds with veterans, not rejuvenate from below him. Thats why they spent the latter of half of the past decade as a steaming mediocrity.The franchise is different now, and there are young people who are getting time, and looks. Their patience with Nate Schierholtz has been extraordinary. Buster Posey hit the ground at a dead sprint. The pitching staff and the closer are home grown. Brandon Crawford is on the cusp.In short, they dont hate Brandon Belt.But they need bats now, and Belt hasnt convinced them in understandably few at-bats that he is ready to become the everyday player they still expect him to be.Plus, Huff makes 11 million. How much dead salary do you want on your bench? How many ways do you want to tempt veterans to become disgruntled? How much chemistry can you afford to throw away?The Giants dont have those answers, and neither do you. They are seeking the path of most runs and least resistance, and hoping Belt is ready isnt good enough yet.Is Bruce Bochy a guy who leans toward veterans? Yes. Most managers are. The ones who arent are with bad teams, with general managers who are trying to rebuild those bad teams. Besides, you were shrieking for Carlos Beltran a week ago when you could have been pining for Gary Brown, so you feel the same way too. In short, the Giants are a bad hitting team and theyll stay that way until some of the players who got hot last year get hot again. And that may be not at all; theres certainly little evidence to suggest otherwise. But until you can convince Bochy that Belt is an absolute, drop-dead, cant-miss-starting-today guy, and until you can then convince Brian Sabean that Aubrey Huff is done and worth angering in a clubhouse that feeds off its own joy and needs that as a weapon to overcome that steady diet of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 games, youre going to have live with the Giants as they are.And with B.K. Belt taking extra swings in 165-degree heat. Because, well, because thats the way it is.