The San Francisco Giants are a befuddling team, led by a crew of professional befuddlers. At the end of a disappointing 2011 season in which they were the defending World Series Champions, the Giants organization had sacked their President and traded their top pitching prospect for two months (-ish) of Carlos Beltran, among other head-scratching developments. They scored the fewest runs in the majors and their offense was a legitimate laughing stock. As winter meetings opened, Giants fans were eager to see what would develop. Time to pick up some bats and rebuild, no?
The first big deal came even before the winter meetings, as the Giants traded away struggling starter Jonathan Sanchez for human question mark Melky Cabrera, whom the brass attempted to bluff would be the starting center fielder and leadoff hitter. A few weeks later, the Giants traded away the beloved Andres Torres and the tangible Ramon Ramirez for Angel Pagan, who is for realsies supposed to be the center fielder and leadoff man. Angel Pagan is not a terrible player, but he's essentially Andres Torres with a less comically-oversized bat.
And that was it.
The Giants didn't make an offer to Jimmy Rollins, Jose Reyes, or Prince Fielder. They also didn't make an offer to Cody Ross or Carlos Beltran, who were already on the team. Their last big decision to make before next year's roster is finalized is whether to keep Mike Fontenot or Jeff Keppinger. The difference between the two men is that Keppinger moves around like he has Fontenot sewn to him.
The Giants are throwing money at their pitching staff and speaking long and loud about how important it is to keep a dominant staff together now, while they have the chance. They seem completely unaware that Tim Lincecum lost approximately three dozen 1-0 games to Clayton Kershaw last year. They also seem unaware that fantastic pitching doesn't mean anything if you don't have something resembling at least a league-average offense.
It doesn't make any sense. At least, not until you remember the classic O. Henry tale, "The Gift of the Magi." If that reference is too literary for you, pretend that I said "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street." Remember that special? Bert and Ernie want to give each other Christmas gifts, but they don't have any money, since they're felt puppets and have no way of earning money ever. So Bert trades his priceless paper clip collection to Mr. Hooper to get Ernie a soap dish for Ernie's beloved Rubber Duckie. Ernie, meanwhile, has traded off said Duckie in order to get a cigar box Bert can use to store his paper clips. It's a touching display of true friendship.
So that's what I'm going on here. I'm hoping that Brian Sabean and the rest of the Giants front office is so overcome with the Christmas spirit that it's blinding their common sense. They're sending hitters away to give the pitchers more money. The pitchers, so fond of being in San Francisco, gleefully take the money and don't realize that -- oh no! -- we gave up all our run support to get this delicious money!
Hopefully, Mr. Hooper will show up before opening day with a box full of Beltrans and Rollinses and competent game plans and everything will turn out okay! That's...that's going to happen, right?
Merry Christmas, everybody! I got you all some one-run losses. Eat up, there's plenty to go around.
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