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LA 8, SF 2-(Bengie) = :-)...???

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Do the freakin' math! I'm not sure what that means, but it's fun to say.

Am I being a bit too light-hearted after the most demoralizing rout since the 2002 mid-term elections? Well, I say, peep this. That's right. Bye-bye Big Money. Now catching for your San Francisco Giants, Buster Posey.

A few months, perhaps a year from now, we'll look back and say Bengie was a Good Giant (TM), not a great one, but a guy we'll recall with fondness. It's not his fault he was the cleanup hitter for three years. It's not his fault that it must be jelly 'cause jam don't shake like that.

The changing of the guard was inevitable, though a bit earlier than I predicted. And to be honest, I predicted something more of a gradual fade through July. But Bengie's obviously declining defense and anemic bat must have sealed the deal early, not to mention the once-in-a-lifetime chance to get in return Chris Ray, a guy who, um, uh, pitches. With his right arm. Yeesh. If Righetti can make a nasty set-up man out of Ray, I'll pay his holiday bonus. I'm not sure Ray will even join the big club. Don't be surprised if he goes to triple-A and Joe Martinez comes back to play long man. (Though he can't come back for ten days from his option last weekend, I think.)

Isn't this great? I've gotten this far into the post without mentioning today's game, a.k.a vomiting.

Let's assume Bochy is now forced to play Buster Posey behind the plate four out of every five games. Please note Buster's big slump has dropped his slash line down toward Bengiesque territory: .290 / .316 / .387, with a wOeful wOBA of .311. Bengie has been even worse this year (wOBA .284) but his career wOBA is, indeed, .311.

Nobody expects Buster to stay in the doldrums, but then again, nobody expected Aubrey Huff to be one of the top hitters in baseball in the first half of the year. I'll be happy if Posey ends the year with merely good numbers. An OPS in the high-.700s would put him squarely in the middle of major-league starting catchers, and if he's still blocking sliders in the dirt in October, I'll call that a damn fine start to his career. It would be an improvement over Bengie, too, but not nearly enough to make up for the Giants' many other offensive shortcomings.

There's tons of work to do. Get Panda back on track. Pray that Andres Torres keeps rolling on his Magical Mystery Tour. Explore those J. Sanchez for P. Fielder rumors. (Makes you stop and think a bit.) Get another bullpen arm. Beat Ubaldo Jimenez and Stephen Strasburg on the upcoming road trip. Ask Madison Bumgarner to be the stopper tomorrow in his first-ever appearance at Coors Field. Fix what's nagging Cain and Lincecum. Go into the All-Star Break with a smaller deficit than they have now, 5.5 games. I'd be OK being down three. Four or more makes me nervous. Got it? Good. Let's go get 'em.

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