Armchair Manager #1: Backwards Baseball

They say you see something new every time you go the ballpark. Every season's a new season, they say. Every season begins a different way.

This season's off to an interesting start. Tom Glavine surrendered 5 runs in less than four innings in his first start as a Met. To date, Greg Maddux has only pitched 9 innings and given up 14 runs, 11 of which are earned. In his second start, easily the worst of his career, the Marlins teed off Maddux, slamming 3 home runs in one inning and collecting a total of 9 runs and 8 hits off the four-time Cy Young award winner. Speaking of Cy Youngs, Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling combined are 0-2, and in their four starts, the Diamondbacks have won a grand total of one game.

Standings? Yeah, they're a bit funky too. While it comes as no surprise the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics are holding the lead in their respective divisions, it may shock some of you to find the Kansas City Royals still undefeated and leading the AL Central. Yes, the same Royals that at one point during the offseason boasted a rotation in which no starter has won more than 5 major league games in his career. The National League is completely upside down. In the NL West, the Arizona Diamondbacks are in the cellar, followed closely by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Colorado is currently second, two games behind the undefeated San Francisco Giants. Get this: the Pittsburgh Pirates – with the additions of former Giants Reggie Sanders and Kenny Lofton – are leading the NL Central, and the Montreal Expos are top dog in the NL East.

But hey – it's the beginning of the year. No reason to worry yet… right?

Wrong. While the current standings are probably not a sign of things to come, the poor starts made by the Braves and Diamondbacks should be, at a minimum, a slight reason for concern. These are, after all, regular season games, and they count in the standings. In a tight divisional race like the NL West, the 1-5 start by Arizona could turn out to be crucial, especially since the Giants have yet to lose a game.

Then again, the season is barely a week old. Still, it never ceases to amaze when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays can overcome a 5 run deficit in the ninth inning to defeat the Boston Red Sox.

At least one thing's gone right, though: the Giants completed their sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers. Milwaukee has yet to win, and the Giants have yet to lose. The Giants have started the season 6-0 again, though this time on the road. And they did it without the man, the big guy – Barry Bonds.

Leading the Giants in homers is Benito Santiago with three round-trippers. Jose Cruz, Jr. has the most total bases, and he and leadoff hitter Ray Durham are tied for most hits. Bonds isn't even leading the team in walks; that accolade goes to Edgardo Alfonzo who has 7. Disregarding the number of plate appearances altogether, nine Giants have higher averages than Bonds: Yorvit Torrealba, Kirk Rueter, JT Snow, Ray Durham, Ryan Jensen, Benito Santiago, Jose Cruz, Rich Aurilia, and Andres Galarraga. Leading team regulars in average, RBI, and OBP is J.T. Snow. Long story short, the team has been doing it with nothing but Bonds's presence (which some may argue is a huge factor in itself). At any rate, it's good to know the Giants can still win without relying on Bonds.

Giants Farm Top Stories