Peace of Mind for Giants Fans in ‘05, Guaranteed

And so we begin with another new year, a rapidly approaching season of Giants baseball and another opportunity for Giants fans to have their hearts removed rectally. But in order to enjoy the 2005 San Francisco Giants, I urge you to adhere to the following four resolutions. I could have given you eighty but I settled on four. Bon Apetit.

Resolution #1: Don’t shake the right fielder’s hand.

Giant right fielders of late have had a rough go of it. Jose Cruz might as well have tried to catch that lazy fly ball in Game 3 of the ’03 NLDS in his cup. Last season in San Diego, Dustan Mohr decided to catch a foul ball with the winning run on third and immediately turned his leg into pulpy goo in the bullpen area (while losing the game, no less). I won’t even bring up Candy Maldonado in Game 6 of the ’87 NLCS. So maybe shaking the hand of new right fielder, Moises Alou, would be bad karma of sort.

Actually, bad luck transferring to me has nothing to do with it. The fact that Alou admittedly urinates on his hands to “toughen them up” has everything to do with it. Peeing. On hands. I truly hope the guy puts up the same numbers as he did with the Cubs last year, but making wee-wee on the fingers is sick. Funny, but sick.

Resolution #2: Don’t let Marquis Grissom turn you into Bobcat Goldthwait.

I scream. I foam. I wheeze. I convulse. I wretch. If you’ve seen any of the latter installments of the “Police Academy” franchise or “One Crazy Summer”, you know what I’m talking about. One on, one out and Grissom’s up. And wouldn’t you know it, it’s a two-hopper to short for a six… four… three double play. And that’s when I turn into Bobcat Goldthwait and make my wife leave the room in disgust/horror. Then there are the bright, sunshine-splashed day games and he’s patrolling centerfield. A high fly to straight away center, he flips the glasses down, raises his mitt and then spins away as the ball drops in for a double due to the fact that he lost the ball in the sun. Enter Bobcat. I can’t do that anymore.

Resolution #3: Don’t get into an argument with a Bonds-basher.

The guy is hated. People love Kobe, but Bonds is hated. Balco only made it easier for them. If you choose to defend Bonds, no amount of arguing is going to help. Of course prior to Balco, Bonds’ critics railed against him for everything from not running out every grounder to not projecting a friendly and corporate image (like that sad sack clubhouse cancer otherwise known as Sammy Sosa). As far as Bonds-haters go, they prefer to think that the “cream” and “clear” has impacted everything the man has ever accomplished. Let them think that. Just remind them that Marvin Benard allegedly used the same crap too and no one remembers him hitting .370. Just avoid Balco-related conversations altogether as they are, well, boring.

Resolution #4: Don’t invest what you can’t afford to lose.

This is the most important one. If you break the first three, you’re still looking good. Break this one, and you’re hosed.

This is a popular resolution amongst Cubs, Indians, White Sox and Giants fans but it’s one that resurfaces every year without fail in Northern California. (It’s funky not seeing the Red Sox in that list anymore, isn’t it?) Try as they might, Giants fans can’t help themselves by getting too excited when they shouldn’t and excited enough to have it sting whenever the likes of Felix Rodriguez, Dusty Baker, Jose Cruz, Jr., and an assortment of other Giant goons invariably ensconce their heads in their lower intestine at the worst possible moments. And face facts: Owner Pete Magowan proclaimed the day after the regular season concluded that they would NOT be pursuing a big ticket free agent, i.e., Carlos Beltran. Right there, every fan worth their weight in his/her salt should realize that expectations can’t be raised to a World Series level (again). Ninety wins, maybe a division crown and – Brian Sabean’s friggin’ favorite word – competitiveness is about all you can hope to get underneath your Festivus pole this year. How the front office brass that had its team come within 8 outs of public-nakedness-inducing hysteria can remain content with fielding just a “competitive” team is beyond me. Sure, Sabean and Co. are giving us Armando Benitez, Mike Matheny, Omar “At Least It Rhymes with Nomar” Vizquel and Moises Alou, but aren’t they more B-level than true impact players? So don’t get your hopes up unless you’re fully prepared to have your heart treated like that poor sap in the Temple of Doom. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Trust me, losing is a powerful teacher.

There. There you have it. Four isn’t too tough to handle. It’s all about managing your expectations. As long as you expect more of the same from those orange-and-black-clad characters, you’ll get through it all fine. There’s nothing wrong with having limited enthusiasm for a team who strives to remain “competitive” every year while others are building World-Series-or-bust type teams. It could be worse: you could be voluntarily urinating on those tough hands of yours.

Keith Larson writes for because he's lived and died with the Giants since 1972. He welcomes all words of praise and insult at, but mentioning anything having to do with Game 6 is to be done with extreme caution.

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