I didn’t like Andres Torres, at first.
I saw him- perhaps a little irrationally- as Eugenio Velez’s rival and nothing more. Every game that Torres played was I game I wanted to see Velez in. After Rowand was hit by Padilla in Los Angeles (yes, I was there but no, I did not hear the cracking of his skull from where I was sitting) and Velez was slumping pretty impressively in his place, Torres got some more playing time and gradually, I started to fall in love with his game.
I still had a bit of lingering Eugenio-bitterness, but then things heated up and Andres became one of the big faces on the World Series winnin’ franchise and I basically forgot about the rest.
Just about every media source has said this, since the news of his trade last night: it’s hard not to fall in love with him and his game. He’s fun, magnetic and, sometimes, awfully good as well.
Then there’s Ramon Ramirez. Any buzz he might have created after his trade to the Giants from Sox Who Wear Red at the 2010 trade deadline was basically extinguished by SF’s other bullpen acquisition at the same time, Javi Lopez. Even though Ramirez ended that year with a- wait for it- .067 ERA and this year, his ERA was a respectable 2.62, he’s been largely anonymous to Giants fans. Partially, probably, because his hat sits low on his head so we can never see his face and partially because he’s just not a spotlight player. He threw me a ball at batting practice one day and struck out somebody I can’t stand, but that’s pretty much the extent of my distinct memories about him.
So that, to make a pretty long story pretty short, is why I met last night’s trade with mixed feelings. I don’t think Torres or Ramirez are extremely valuable to the Giants organization nor are they irreplaceable, but I’m not convinced Ángel Pagan is anything different. It seems ever so slightly pointless, a bit like Alderson and Sabes were either both played or both just going straight up, because I don’t think either side really got a whole lot. Except, of course, that New York filched a reliever along with a center fielder.
Then again, these are the mystical Winter Meetings where GMs are ninjas with secret superpowers, so maybe I have just missed the larger plan/magic at play here. Maybe it isn’t the moving-right-along-deal it appears to be.
I do have to say, though, that Pagan’s name probably tips out the scales in the Giants favor, as to who got the better end of the deal. It’ll be much more fun to say, “Ángel Pagan” in center field than “Andres Torres”. Sorry, Torres. I love you, just… Pagan has you beat in the name department.
Also! I have an admission to make: I have been sadly negligent in the whole monitoring-Joey-Martinez’s-career thing. I searched him last night and discovered that not only was he the MVP of the AAA championship this season, but he also signed a one year deal with the Diamondbacks yesterday.
The first part is very good news, the second part not so much. He now has joined the list of Pitchers I Like In Arizona, also including Armando Galarraga (last year- he’s a free agent now). This means he will be playing against the Giants far too much. Come on. Hands off my guys, Kevin Towers.