It's not over
One Saturday in 1975, I got in my Rambler and drove 100 miles to San Francisco to see the Giants play the Cubs. I was doing my first real job and didn't have a girlfriend, so the Giants were often my weekend recreation. That was a truly horrific Giants team. I believe I managed to attend both a 15-0 blowout by the Pirates (Richie Zisk hit for the cycle) and a 17-2 beatdown by the Cards that year.
There appeared to be more of the same that day. In the fifth inning, the Cubs were up 7-0. I forget how but the Giants then rallied for eight in the bottom of the 5th and held on to win. I went home elated and thinking, "Well, maybe that was the turning point." Obviously, it wasn't. That was back when the lineup went something like this -- Garry Maddox, Derrel Thomas, Gary Thomasson, Bobby Murcer (batting cleanup!), Gary Matthews, Chris Speier, Steve Ontiveros and Dave Rader. Jim Barr was probably the best starting pitcher. Ed Halicki threw a no-hitter that year.
That's the beauty of getting to be middle-aged -- you accumulate enough to good times to blot out the bad.
Still -- we've hit a new low with Blownitez. Ray Ratto of the Chronicle put it very well in the Splash blog today in a post titled The Doghouse Times 100 --
To call someone "a cancer" is to spoil for a fight, even if it's just a clever way to say, "This guy is hurting my favorite team." There's no takebacks from that one.
And yet, Armando Benitez has now maneuevered himself into such a place with the Giants that his very appearance throwing the bullpen gives off toxic vibes that cannot help but foul the atmosphere around him. He is, we daresay, in as low a place as he ever has been with the Mets, the team with which he first knew the sting of city-wide hatred.
Sunday's blown save, his seventh, was not particularly any ghastlier than any of the other six, but it was his third in barely a week, and second against a last-place team. As a result, the Giants return home to a fan base ready for blood, and a specific type at that -- AB, as in you know who. It makes a fellow wonder just how the people in Kansas City really feel about Ambiorix Burgos, or Milwaukee's relationship to Derrick Turnbow.
But the Royals and Brewers are dreaming, while the Giants are allowed by the profound mediocrity of the NL West and its wild card race to continue to dream. Why, if it weren't for Benitez, unfounded optimism would reign supreme.
Actually, now that we think about it, maybe he's doing them a favor. We just doubt that they see it that way, not with the glare from those torches and that gallows being assembled at the O'Doul Gate.
There were 18 posts in response, most of them complaining -- a la Glenn Dickey -- about the need to trade EVERYONE. However, one guy named SFGPAPA nailed it perfectly --
Benitez' performance has been awful, but what's worse is his attitude. If he was a man about it and said, "I let down my teammates, I didn't get the job of a closer done, and I failed at the worst time," fans would feel differently.