After the Giants deposited 4 games between themselves and the Dodgers, one fan shares his rambling thoughts and observations.
Today is Potpourri Day.
I know, I know. To me, a potpourri column is a lot like those retrospective episodes in the final two seasons of "Family Ties" when the Keatons would sit on the couch, look at snapshots in the family photo album and subject us all to clip after clip after clip of previous episodes. It was the producer and writers' way of saying, "Man, I've got nothin'."
Well, I have more than that, but the Giants rattled off 5 wins in a row, saw Ray Durham return to the line-up and have enjoyed the friendly confines of home (for a change). Therefore, you already get the gist of how great last week was. In my defense, I can't shed any more light on the Giants finally playing good baseball, other than to say it's about freakin' time! Alas, you get Potpourri Day.
So let's begin….
Winning 5 in a row is great, but a sixth would have been better (especially against the Rockies who I relish watching get clubbed outside of Coors). It's like having a hot roll on the craps table for a good 15 minutes and then – BOOM – seven out, line away. Sure, you've built up a lovely row of chips, but a few more winning casts of the dice would have ensured a free dinner with you and your buddies at a Vegas steakhouse and unlimited fun at the exotic dance club. Last night, though, a lack of clutch hitting and plenty of Eyre/Nathan gaffes guaranteed Giants fans a night lacking prime rib and Champagne Room revelry.
Happy trails, Matt Williams. You had a tough time with the low and outside curve in your youth. In the twilight of your career, though, you don't have a prayer. Don't despair. As long as Dusty Baker is in the league, you'll have a job. Best of luck, Matty.
The 4-3, 13th inning loss that Marquis Grissom dropped on the Diamondbacks' heads last week could very well have been the death of the snakes for 2003. Trimming salaries like those of Kim and Williams (not to mention placing closer Matt Mantei on the DL yet again) could be the funeral procession. Jerry Colangelo proved he could build an instant winner, but he can't sustain one like Magowan, Baer and Sabean. Shea Hillenbrand is good, but he can't close nor make people forget that Randy Johnson is still at least a month away from throwing again.
Rod Beck made his triumphant return to the Majors by signing with the Padres on Monday. It just goes to show you that with unlimited funds for cases of Schlitz and cartons of Camels, you too can pitch in the Bigs.
Speaking of old Giants relievers, watching Scott Eyre and Joe Nathan last night reminded me of some from the past. Trust me, it wasn't a lovely stroll down memory lane. Jeff Brantley. Scott Garrelts. Mike LaCoss (who the Giants tried to use as their closer in '91). Bryan Hickerson (who my friends still refer to as " ‘L'-In-The-Column Hickerson"). If anyone knows where these guys are, pass it along to me. That way I'll know where to send a horse to put on their front lawns.
I looked at the stats for former SF shortstop, Royce Clayton, this morning. Currently, he's lighting up the league and Milwaukee fans' hearts with a .189 batting average. His best year was in 1999 when he hit .288 for the Rangers. His career batting average is .255. Former Giants GM, Al Rosen, once said, "People are going to call this kid, ‘Rolls.'" Unfortunately, those people turned out to be Frenchmen with speech impediments and not Chris Berman.
Manager Felipe Alou said, "I like interleague play. It gives you a little break." No, it doesn't Felipe. It is not a break. These games count. There is no break when you've got a Twins team with a four game losing streak coming into town. Otherwise, these next few weeks will turn out about as well as Apollo Creed's comeback against Ivan Drago. Bury these guys, Felipe. Don't start going all Dusty on me.
On May 28th, my father celebrated his 59th birthday and the Giants gave him a 10-2 thrashing of the Diamondbacks. The win was almost as satisfying, I'm sure, as the steak he and my mom barbecued and chased with some outstanding merlot. My 31st birthday is Friday, June 6th. I expect nothing less. If all I get is a cupcake, a 6 pack of Hamm's and 5-0 loss at the hands of Detroit, I swear I'll fling my pastry and beer at Felipe's televised mug for taking "a little break."
Keith Larson writes for SFDugout.com because he's lived and died with the Giants since 1972. He welcomes all words of praise and insult at email@example.com, but mentioning anything having to do with Game 6 is to be done with extreme caution.