The party's officially over
With elimination becoming more of a certainty throughout the 4-1 vic, it was nice to see the Orange and Black play well behind Brad Penny, who looks like a genius pickup. I loved hearing the "bong" when Eli Whiteside's homer in the 4th hit the foul pole.
Managing partner Bill Neukom tells Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle that he'd like to sign Penny -- and that was about the only player who got singled out. Neukom also says the payroll's probably going up in 2010.
And I still believe that the only way this team will make it to the postseason is to fire the General Manager -- a fairly unlikely scenario at this point in the rosy afterglow of the first winning season in five years. As a Giants fan for 52 seasons, though, it rankles me that this sort of incompetence is tolerated year after year in the name of good old boy loyalty. I have posted dozens of times about how frustrating it is that the team had the worst offense in MLB last year and reacted to that scenario by putting together a team that was just as bad in terms of run-scoring. Exceptional years from Lincecum, Cain, Sandoval, Affeldt and Penny -- plus the obvious decision to start playing Uribe full time -- prevented the season from being a full-blown fiasco.
I can't help but reflect that it's the first time in five years that the Giants still had a shot during the last week of the season. Look back at that fateful elimination game in 2004 at Chavez Latrine and see who was in the lineup that day. Michael Tucker, Pierzitsky, Edgardo Alfonzo, Cody Ransom, Deivi Cruz, Wayne Franklin...
My point is -- it's been obvious for years that Sabean can't evaluate MLB talent. He lucked out by having Barry Bonds for 11 seasons. Last season's team scored 640 runs; with tonight's win, it's scored 639 with four games left, even with the addition of a full season of Sandoval and the subtraction of Jose Castillo. There's no other word for that but incompetence.