Ratto: What if the Giants don't make a deal?

July 7, 2011, 5:16 pm
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Ray Ratto

Hey, heres an idea. What if the Giants dont get the shortstop and the second baseman and the catcher they desperately need to finish the season? What if Brian Sabean doesnt throw the roster up in the air? What if he does nothing at all, just to spite you?All for it. In fact, the position here in this squalid little corner of your favorite web site is that Sabean shouldnt do anything at all, and show the panic freaks his hand.Not necessarily because improving the side would be a bad idea, mind you. Who among the Giant fan base wouldnt want a more reliable option at second base until Freddy Sanchez (a player most of you hated for a good long time, by the way) returns?No, our position is that the fan base needs to be dead wrong again, as it was a year ago, as it was when it screamed that Bruce Bochy was a terrible idea as a manager, as it seems to be every time the boys either win two games in a row or lose two games in a row.
Put another way, Nate Schierholtz was regarded as a disaster two days ago. Today, he is considered Roberto Clemente. And both times, those analyses are wrong.URBAN: Nate makes it worth the wait
The Giants, you see, have built a profoundly loyal but decidedly schizophrenic fan base since moving to the Thing on King. They leap back and forth from conclusion to new conclusion with a speed and alacrity that shames even Red Sox fans, and they hate and love the same players with almost preposterous fervor, and often at the very same time.Or do we have to wave Barry Zito in your faces again?What seems to be missing in the We Gotta Get A Fill In The Blank discussion is, as always, what the Giants have to attract that blank. And the answer is too much. Way too much.First, understand that what the Giants have is pitching. Second, understand that they dont have as much as you think they do, at least not for depth or dealing purposes. The market for Jonathan Sanchez is understandably depressed, the market for Zito does not and will not exist, and the Giants like Madison Bumgarner too much to give him up.In addition, Sabeans history not only suggests but veritably screams that he moves pitchers who do not thrive after being moved. Joe Nathan was moved in the A.J. Pierzynski deal because (a) the Giants had no catcher and (b) because Felipe Alou had lost all confidence in Nathan and vice versa. Next up -- Kevin Correia, who would on this staff be at best the fourth starter and more likely another fifth starter.For the most part, though, the Giants have made very few poor moves with pitchers (and we neednt go through who wanted Zito and how and why he was again, do we?). Sabean understands pitching value, whether you wish to acknowledge it or not, and he knows who can be moved and who should be moved.URBAN: Giants at midseason still hard to believe
Second, other general managers know what Sabean needs, and the price he is quoted is higher than most. Cincinnati doesnt want Zach Wheeler for Ramon Hernandez, Cincinnati wants Bumgarner or better. Are you doing that deal? Let me help you with that. No. San Diego doesnt want Brandon Belt for Orlando Hudson, San Diego wants Belt and Wheeler, or two other prospects. Are you doing that deal? Only if you have convinced your insurance company to cover your brain-for-turnip transplant.And third, and most important, these offense-deficient Giants are the Giants you have become accustomed to, and the notion of being the first team since 1968 to score fewer than 600 runs in a full season and make the postseason is an ideal metaphor for the least offensively potent season in nearly 30 years. The Giants are on a pace for 591, which I know you think seems too high for this offense.But this is who and what they are, and I as your guide and mentor can assure you that you, being suckers for sloganeering, want to replace Torture with a new battle cry -- like How The Hell Do They Do This?Bruce Bochy asks that question all the time. So does Sabean. So do the broadcasters and the players and the rest of the baseball and you and you and you. This is a team that defies all logic in a season that defies all known patterns, and you desperately want to tell all your non-believing pals, We lost our two best players and still kicked hinder, and we dont know why. We just accept what is true. What you got, Skippy?Dont forget, 2010 was not just about surprise for you, it was about We know things you dont, and the Bay Area loves to pretend it knows things the rest of the world doesnt. It plays to our vanity, and we are as vain as everyone else when it comes to our sports teams.Everything we see in this season suggests that the Giants know things everyone else doesnt -- again. So why not prove that theory by standing pat with a mutant offense, too many fifth starters, and holes at three most important interior positions? Why not stick your middle finger in the air to baseball convention?Trust me, however it plays out, youll be happier than if you wake up on August 1 with John Buck. I know how you are.Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com.