Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Watch out Giants... don't become the Orioles

The Giants, much to my father's chagrin, are falling apart. They just lost all 6 games of their roadtrip, including three straight by my Red Soxand unless the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Padres all collapse, any hope for a meaningful 2007 is lost.

And any chance to get anything of value from their aging players is slipping away.

The Giants ad campaign might as well be "Hey! We're Bad... But We're Old!"

Actually the Giants don't have a problem selling tickets.
They have two things going for them.
Barry Bonds and beautiful AT&T Park.

And while they aren't going to the post season... Giant fans had a nice run. From 1997 to 2003 they made the playoffs 4 times are were eliminated on the last weekend 3 other times.

So they have a superstar chasing hallowed records, recent post season memories and an amazing stadium to go to.
What do they have to worry about?

The Giants need not look any further than the other team wearing black and orange for a scary Scrooge like look at the future.

The Orioles moved into Camden Yards... made back to back post seasons and filled the place with fans wanting to see the new park and wanting to cheer Cal Ripken.

And Camden Yards was filled, even when the team stopped making the playoffs.
And they kept veterans like Palmeiro, Brady Anderson and Will Clark too long when they could have begun a rebuilding process. Plus they let Mike Mussina walk to the Yankees instead of trading him in a losing 2000 season and getting something, ANYTHING, in return.

They never did rebuild. Ripken retired, and the Orioles slipped into irrelevance... and Camden Yards is stunningly empty these days.

It doesn't take a great deal of imagination to see AT&T Park (or whatever telecommunications company will claim the stadium) being a mausoleum after Barry Bonds has gone and the Randy Winns and Ray Durhams of the world have stuck around.

When Steve Finley's 9th inning grand slam on the second to last day of the season eliminated the Giants in 2004, I thought "They should start rebuilding this team now... they aren't getting back to the World Series."

When Bonds went down to injury and missed all but one month of 2005, they should have been playing nobody but kids and trading veterans for young every day players. Seriously, did they think they were winning WITHOUT Bonds?

Instead they hung on to the Mike Mathenys, the Ray Durhams, the Moises Alous and Jason Schmidts of the world and rode them to a 75-87 record.

They lost big and they lost with old players! That should have been year one of the rebuilding.
This would have been year three!
And imagine how nicely the wonderful pitchers they are developing (Lowry, Cain, Linecum) would fit in with some young position players...

But noooooooo! They went for veterans again and this is yet another lost year.

They can't go back and change the lost opportunites of 2005 and 2006... but they can make 2007 a "bring up every minor leaguer and see what we've got" season instead of another "we might win with Barry THIS time!" debacle.

Clean house of veterans right now... while some might have any value.
Or else suffer the consequences of the Orioles:
Empty seats and indifferent fans.

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