Monday, December 27, 2004

Lost in some of the recent hoo-hah surrounding Bay Area baseball (Hudson, Mulder traded, BALCO, etc.) was the activity of the San Francisco Giants in the free agent market. By signing Moises Alou, Omar Vizquel, and Mike Matheny to an already aging and creaking roster, the Giants have announced in big, bold letters “2005 or bust!”. Their opening day lineup reads like an All-Star team… from 1996.

Ray Durham, 2B
Omar Vizquel, SS
Barry Bonds, LF
Moises Alou, RF
JT Snow, 1B
Marquis Grissom, CF
Edgardo Alfonzo, 3B
Mike Matheny, C

Only the pitching staff has any contributors under the age of thirty. Jason Schmidt will anchor the roster and be a Cy Young candidate. He will be followed by youngsters Noah Lowry, Jerome Williams, and Jesse Foppert, with Brett Tomko providing some “variance” and Kirk Rueter providing some mediocre consistency. Armando Benitez is the new closer, an improvement over the Herges/Hermanson fiasco last year.

The Dodgers will be worse this year, losing Beltre and Finley. The Dbacks will be, well, the Dbacks. The Rockies will be just as bad, meaning the Padres are the only team with the potential to threaten the Giants in the NL West. With St. Louis and Atlanta also looking stronger, the biggest battle in the NL may be for the Wildcard. Sad though, since it’s only December. Place your parlays now so you can collect in October, 2005.


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