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Nobody Loves Erick...

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Threets…at least no one baseball-related. I hope Threets’s mom or other family members love him no matter how shaky his fastball command. But the hard-throwing lefty who was out of options went unclaimed when the Giants cut him, and he’s now back in Fresno.

This is a minor detail about a player who was marginal to the Giants’ plans, even when he made the 25–man roster out of spring training, so why is this piece of news leading off today?

Two reasons: First, it tells us that our own assessment of Giants’ talent is often skewed. A big lefty who throws in the mid-90s should be attractive to someone, no? A valuable trade chip even if he’s not on the 25–man roster? All 30 teams had a shot at him, and he didn’t have to be placed on a major-league roster. In other words, a free no-risk pick-up of a guy with a great arm and still relatively young. Anyone?

<crickets. wind in the grass. somewhere, a lonely dog barks. not a creature is stirring, not even bavasi.>

I can only guess why not. No attitude problems ever surfaced, and he seemed healthy after elbow surgery a couple years ago. Perhaps teams have plenty of their own hard-throwing former-prospect projects to fix without taking on someone else’s. The devil you know, etc., etc.

So next time someone says, “Geez, why don’t the Giants just trade [marginal reliever X] to the Mariners for [interesting prospect Y],” remember Threets. Adjust for common human bias: the importance of things in front us is often magnified to the point of delusion. This is why I have a hard time throwing out my 20–year-old collection of tray liners from various Central European McDonalds. (Did you know “cheese” in Hungarian is “sajt,” which is pronounced “shite,” and which turns certain menu items into sajtburgers?) 

The second reason I bring up Threets is administrative. (Someone’s got to count the beans, pal.) Threets’s former spot on the 40–man roster lies empty, as does Eliezer Alfonzo’s. Alfonzo, aka Notgardo, recently finished a 50–day suspension for eating the naughty fertilizer. Perhaps as a further lesson to future fertilizer-eaters, Notgardo is now toiling away in low-A ball. From the majors to the Augusta GreenJackets. Ain’t that a kick in the cojones. Apparently he passed through waivers, too, as he’s no longer on the Giants’ 40–man roster.

I’ll try to muse more on the 40–man a bit later today, but right now the day job calls…

Erick Threets: Future major-leaguer? Otherwise lovable? Discuss.

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