Ratto: Giants' hurts, A's woes signal The Reaper

Ratto: Giants' hurts, A's woes signal The Reaper
June 13, 2011, 4:34 pm
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Ray Ratto
CSNBayArea.com

It was another big week for The Reaper in these parts, our lock for Comeback Player of the Year.Or do we need to re-introduce you to Bob Gerens crumpled resume and Freddy Sanchezs accordioned shoulder?If 2010 was The Year Nothing Went Wrong on both sides of the Bay, 2011 is The Year Of Duck! Watch Your Step! Uh-oh! Medic! Last year The Reaper was LeBron James in the fourth quarter. This year, It hasnt missed an inning, or even a spring training workout.We take no joy in offering this, but facts are facts. The Reaper is kicking some serious hinder this year.
The As got shredded early, losing most of their bullpen in March and 60 percent of their starting rotation in the first two months. They also decided to use bats brought from the Amish country, and rank a proud 28th in runs scored and near the bottom in most of the other important categories. Cant stay healthy, cant hit, field indifferently, and to cap it all off, Geren couldnt distract anyone from seeing the shortcomings while he tried to figure out solutions. You can determine your own date when he should have been fired, even going back to never should have been hired, but you cant say he deserved to survive this.GUTIERREZ: Geren doomed from the start
But that was reaping in bulk, indiscriminate swings from the heel -- an approach more like shopping at Costco than boutique-ing. How the Giants were reaped was more a triumph of selectivity and target selection.Pablo Sandoval? Need him to have a big year, need him trim and re-motivated -- so he is trim and re-motivated, and he gets hurt.Buster Posey? Team icon, the one indispensable figure, the one who couldnt be replaced -- so he gets his leg broken so spectacularly that the whole organization is called into disrepute because of its hysterical reaction.RELATED: Giants videoAnd now Sanchez, at the zenith of his powers and acceptance, blows up his shoulder, and blows it up bad.But even more precise, and more diabolical, is the way Jonathan Sanchez has lost the beat, and how Tim Lincecum is having his second straight poor August -- only this August is in June.In short, The Reaper is screwing with the Giants in a way than It did the As. It knew that the As needed a carpet-bomb approach so that the budding enthusiasm for the team needed to be beaten down quickly. But given the Giants fetish for the tedious torture clich, The Reaper decided to show them what torture really is. Pick a different spot each time, while keeping them involved in the divisional race.So what comes next? For the As, the only possibilities left are Gio Gonzalez, Kurt Suzuki and Josh Willingham. If The Reaper maintains his stance regarding them, at least two of those three will go down before the end of the year. I mean, if youre going to blow something up, blow it all up -- the dam, the electric plant, City Hall, the high school, everything.For the Giants, in keeping with targeted strikes, a bit off the bullpen seems the likeliest way for The Reaper to go -- Brian Wilson, Javier Lopez, Sergio Romo or a combination thereof. I mean, a sure All-Star and two potential ones -- now thats vicious.That might also be perceived as The Reaper overplaying Its hand, being too malicious by half. I mean, Wilson would almost be too obvious, while Lopez or Romo would be simply mean-spirited for the sake of being mean-spirited.Still, if The Reaper is going to keep having the season It has had so far, mean-spirited cant enter into it. The decision to carpet-bomb the As has paid off (remember, The Reaper thrives on failures), but the surgical strikes in San Francisco are designed to break the local will before finishing the job on the field. Its a longer and more painful process, but its The Reaper taking what the franchise will give it.And a good Reaper will do that.Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com