The actual season is upon us after this agonizingly long spring revue and the weird 25-man roster it engendered. I'm excited that we have a young first baseman. No one seems to think much of this guy, but I'll tell you what I like: he's a true Giant, signing right out of high school, and has logged 7 years in the system before getting his shot. Whatever else, Travis Ishikawa is a trouper--you have admire his persistence. I hope he mashes ML pitching! Across the diamond we have easily the most likeable and most talked about Giants prospect since, well, Tim Freakin' Lincecum. No one seems to know quite what to do with this kid, another true Giant, except to put a bat in his hands. A huge weight of expectations rests on Pablo Sandoval's rather large shoulders. Super-soph and true Giant Frederick Deshaun Lewis is my favorite position player, I'm really looking forward to watching his continuing maturity as a ballplayer. True Giant Emmanuel Burriss is the most interesting story, despite only 3 farm seasons (and a .684 OPS), he beat out the favorite for the 2nd base job. Who knew that "Manny-watch" meant this kid? That's FOUR, count 'em, FOUR farmhands, Giant signees all, in the lineup on Opening Day. That's pretty damn cool, eh? Two more make the list: true Giant Nate Schierholtz, my candidate for Most Screwed By The Old Guys Award, and Eugenio Velez (a 2005 Rule V guy), the winner of this years Weirdest Role Player Award. This isn't counting the pitchers, mind you, where young Giants are the stars. This club is, by degrees, transforming itself with youth and prospects. That's this year's story.
There's baggage of course, and the Giants Express will be burdened with this deadweight for a bit, well, some of it longer than a bit, but I'm going on a Lovecraftian "they shall not be named" jag in order to cope. I want nothing to spoil my fun watching The Youth Movement. Señor Slow (No. 1) will not be a Giant after this season, and maybe my prayers will be answered and he'll get shipped by the ASB. That Guy in RF (No. 2) is a fine fellow and a good ballplayer, so I can't work up the loathing I have for his CF neighbor. But fer chrissakes, can't we get Nate out there? Can't we move this guy? Rental (No. 16) serves as a daily reminder of the failure of our system to produce a major-league ready shortstop despite having one of the oldest players in the bigs man the position for THREE FULL SEASONS. What, we didn't see it coming? That one day even the beloved Omar Vizquel would get hurt and get that much closer to retirement? Did we think the guy would play into his 50s? Sheesh! I can hardly express the combination of fury and despair that accompanied the signing of Gomer (No. 33) for FIVE FREAKIN' YEARS. In fact, I can hardly write about it without an attack of the shakes. I cringe every time a ball is hit to center and every time he steps in the box. I cover my ears and close my eyes. I hum "me-me-me-me-me" real loud and run from the room. It's my nightmare and I'm stickin' to it!
Well, that's it, amigos. I'm stoked. Play ball.