July 16, 2006

Better Red Than Dead

aka Panic in the Streets of Rosslyn

When the early returns came in, it was fair to say that Jim Bowden hadn't met with this level of universal approval since being assaulted by his fiancee and tossed in the pokey in Miami Beach. Everyone (and I mean every one) was on board. From "The Big Foam Finger" himself to the normally useless bastards at Baseball Prospectus, from the talent scouts at Baseball America to our very own Farm Authority, the Bowden fete was in full swing. The big news even resurrected a few bloggers we'd left for dead.

Regrets, we had a few, but then again, too few to mention. The Triple Play crew mourned the untimely passing of Gary "Tex" Majewski and Bill "William" Bray, but more because they were our guys than anything else. Middle relievers and utility infielders are the most fungible players in baseball, and they made up 3/5 of our losses. If the return is two starting position players, (even a fragile, Wilkersonesque OF and an all-hit, no-field SS) then we owe Mr. Krivsky a dinner and cab fare home. Contrast this trade with last year's midseason acquisitions, Preston Wilson and Mike Stanton. Or don't, because someone already has.

But then our shiny new paper team took the field against the terrible, woeful, downright abyssmal Pittsburgh Pirates. And they lost two out of three. The new guys sucked wind, and the bullpen tanked, and all of sudden it was, "Hey, anybody seen our relief corps?" I'll admit, dredging up retreads like Micah Bowie, Kevin Gryboski and Roy Corcoran ain't exactly confidence inspiring. But really, if at any point this season the bullpen passes the rotation in the hierarchy or pitching concerns, Damian Jackson should be ritually sacrificed to Randy "Saint" Claire. (Esophageal spasms? Are you kidding? And on a team where they made fun of Ryan Church for breaking his f**kin' toe?)

Even if Felipe Lopez, or FLop, as I like to call him, goes 0 for his next 100 (don't laugh, you wanna bet me it's not possible?) he's still got more potential than Royce Clayton and Damian Jackson combined. And don't kid yourself, until the return of GUZMANIA '07, Clayton and Jackson were our choices. All 42 middle infielders on our 40-man roster could be stranded in the Andes and canibalized, and Frank would still have found a reason to use Brendan Harris a a utilityman.

So this is our team, folks, warts and all. At least until Trader Jim's next magical mystery deal. Which better damn well not involve trading Fonzie to the Angels for anyone not named Howie Kendrick.

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