Tag Archives: aaron rowand

Caught Between Rock (Kepp) and a Hard Place (Font)

No offense to Jeff Keppinger and Mike Fontenot, because I’m sure they are both wonderful guys, but do you all know the phrase “between a rock and a hard place”?  The Giants were distinctly there last night, at the (not especially tender) non-tender deadline. 

Because San Fran is apparently really tight on cash these days, they could only keep one of the aforementioned guys and in the end, it was Fontenot.  Personally, I was more partial to Kepp, but I mean, really?  That’s not, er, the most fantastic pool to choose from right there.  In addition to which, they’re pretty much the two people on the roster who I always forgot about, so I’d be lying if I said this move was going to have a big impact on my life.

The other guy they let walk was Eli Whiteside, who I did actually have a bit of an affinity for.  I’m not sure if it was the grey hair or the occasional homerun, but I did like having him on the team.  Then again, you know how I feel about Chris Stewart, so if this means for playing time for him, then I’m happy.  Who knows, Whiteside could get a better gig somewhere else.  Looking for a catcher, Rangers?  I know you are.

Speaking of which, we have a bit of other news in the former-Giant vein!  Aaron Rowand signed a minor league with the (wait for it) Marlins yesterday.  I hope he has a good time in Miami and all but, well, they do have a lot, a lot of players.   I would guess that’s going to be the hardest team to make, out of spring team.   Seeing as they have an 80 man roster or so, what with the players they had before they went on the spending spree and the players they have now.   They’re going to need a couple of planes and buses to take the team anywhere!

And Travis Ishikawa signed a deal with the Brew Crew, which makes me inordinately happy.  Stop it with the Prince Fielder comparisons already, people. Trav (fab nickname, right?) was one of the best pinch hitters in the game in 2010 and I think Milwaukee is lucky to have him around.

Yes, I’m still mad about how the Giants (mis)treated him at the ring ceremony at the beginning of the season.  Take note, Milwaukee.  If you win a championship he needs to be there, uniform and all.  Please and thank you.


In other news, Oakland may soon be entirely team-less with the Warriors mulling a move that would put them side-by-side the Giants, the Raiders talking Santa Clara and the A’s, of course, pushing San Jose.  Nothing seems imminent and the city of Oakland is making their own push now (with a glitzy mock-up featuring a fantastic hotel, no less) but it’s a pretty feeble push on their part.

I’m a Giants fan and all, but it still seems pretty stubborn for the Giants to block the San Jose move so firmly.  Especially if they get the Warriors next door.  Share the love, folks.  There’s room for everybody.  And how much more revenue could they possibly lose?  They’re already too pressed for money to get Kepp and Font, both.

We have a strange train of events playing out here.  But welcome back, Mike Fontenot.  I’m sure I’ll stop forgetting about you when you completely over-perform in 2012.

Diamond Girl

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Eugenio Bitterness, Name Battles and a Little Joey News

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.

Diamond Girl

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In Which I Do Not Impersonate Brian Sabean, But I Do Give Him a Bit of Advice

If I were Brian Sabean right now (and you know how I love impersonating Sabes), I am honestly not sure what I would be doing right now.

I think I called the Giants a kaleidoscope kind of team way back when in 2010 but now all I see is a tangled, tangled spiderweb.

Frankly, the whole toxicity-of-Rowand-and-Tejada thing really weirded me out, because the idea for the past few years with this team has been that chemistry is a complete non-issue.  I think people start hinting darkly at things like that when the team is doing badly, mostly, but I also think this team isn’t exactly the good old brotherhood any more.  Some changes may (may?  Will.) need to be made and the ownership change only thickens the plot.

So Sabean’s first offseason move (oh, less than 48 hours after the Defending World Champions thing vaporized) was to resign Javier Lopez to a two year deal, worth 8.5 million and extend Jeremy Affeldt for one more year.

Interesting, I say, very interesting.

If I had a beard (which I most certainly do not, for the record), I would be stroking it right now.  I mean first of all, HE DIGS THE LEFTIES.  And second, yeah, he seems serious about the pitching and especially the bullpen.  Like, 8.5 million serious.  Very serious, that is.

Personally, I like it.  Because I specifically like both those guys, but also because I don’t think the Giants need a big, attractive move (hello, Prince Fielder).  Those never work, except when they do, and anyway we just want a contender, right?  If this pitching staff is set right and Aubrey Huff develops a tendency to hit balls, that could contend right there.  So I think sticking to the core is a smarter way to go and this makes me feel, perhaps incorrectly, but still, that Sabes might agree with me.

Or I might agree with Sabes.  But I prefer the former.  You know.

Diamond Girl

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How Brian Sabean Inspired Me

Sabean and I have our disagreements but yesterday, he seriously inspired me.  The Giants cut the cackle and cleaned house and I, well, did too.  Seriously, I did not recognize my room when I woke up this morning.  Most of my cleaning was in closets/drawers/under beds but the room actually felt sort of airy for the first time in a long, long time.

Which is why I empathized very closely with the feeling the Giants may have had when they took the field yesterday after the crazy morning.  And they capped the day off nicely, then, by winning 4-0.  It gave me an, Oh, so that’s how it feels to win! moment.  Rather wonderful.

Sabean’s moves at face value bothered me, though, because I felt like they were poorly timed and did not feel well thought out.  The DFA’ing of Rowand and Tejada combined with what he said to the press yesterday really left me feeling like he is just going with the flow.  And not in a good way. 

It felt like melodrama or instant gratification to me, frankly.  We’ve lived with Rowand’s contract ((yes, it was a mistake) for a long, long time and Tejada’s deal is just a year anyway.  I’m sure late-night sportstalk callers were screaming for this after those crushing losses against Chicago, but that doesn’t mean the GM should go out and do it.  In fact, it probably means he shouldn’t.  I think this was a serious case of stirring the pot for the sake of stirring the pot.

I also didn’t understand his comments afterwards.  If he thinks they’re contending still, then he should have released the people he wanted to release a long time ago (earlier this month, really) and pulled out all the stops.  If not, then call it a season and figure out how to utilize the next 30 days.  Either way, don’t admit you don’t know what’s going to happen or have any plan!

I would say something about the need for media training to General Managers, except you might stop reading right then.  I know I’ve said it before.  It just seems to be an issue an awful lot of the time.

All that said!  It wasn’t the actual moves as much as the way they were carried them out and the timing that bothered me.  Both contracts were mistakes and neither guy was playing any sort of useful role.  Owning up to mistakes and cleaning house is not a bad thing.

I am living proof of that.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  It’s September 1st!  I have lived through the summer!  Fog, come to my arms!

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Double Take Time

Although I’ve been surrounded by baseball this weekend, it’s been the under 5 feet tall kind.  So today I heard the end of a very nice win and a very goofy KNBR broadcast on the way home and just went to the NL West standings and checked them out.  Then I did a double take.

West                   W        L       GB      L10   

Arizona               29       24     -         9-1     

San Francisco    29       24     -         5-5

Colorado            25       27    3.5      2-8

Los Angles         24       30    5.5      4-6

San Diego          23       31    6.5       4-6     

I did not see Diamondback brilliance in my crystal ball at all.  And while I guess they’ve been pretty amazing for 10 games, I have only just taken real notice of it.  Move over, Mile High people.  The dessert is giving you a run for your money.   And then, of course, the Giants.  Who are showing signs of taking my advice (okay, everyone’s advice.  I admit it has nothing to do with me.) and heating up.  I’m not trying to jinx them or anything.  But they looked good today.

Especially Torres, who is officially the Cutest Player in the MLB.  He gives the Little Leaguers a run for their money with his adorableness.  I want to bottle up his good games and sprinkle them over depressing ones, to get the energy going.  Heck, sprinkle them over depressing moments of my life, to get the energy going.

Sometimes it takes those lows (read: being swept by Milwaukee) to get some highs and maybe, just maybe, this is the start of something good.  It kind of feels like it.  I never liked Kevin Towers anyway.

And do me a huge favor and tell me “hip contusion” actually means “he’s eating ice cream and watching corny romantic comedies on demand in his hotel room” in code, okay?  Because it would make my Memorial Day Monday a little better.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  If you’re looking for something  to see on demand on your hotel room (other than corny romantic comedies) I recommend Wall Street: The Money Never Sleeps.  The acting, the script, the story… me and my bowl of raisins/blue chips really enjoyed it for the second time last night.

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