Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Benito

As Benito Santiago likes to say, Let me tell you something. Elbo found the following quote at the bottom of a Contra Costa Times story on the Pierzynski trade:

"The Giants are done with me," said Santiago by phone from his Miami home, adding that the Padres and Cubs have shown the most interest in him. "They had their chances. They called once and didn't make an offer. When they didn't play me the final game (NLDS), that was it for me. That was a stupid thing they did. I don't know whose idea that was.

"I made that team and I made those guys. They know. I made some money from the San Francisco Giants, but they were never fair with me (he signed a two-year, $3.75 million deal before the 2002 season). They were cheap. I did everything for them. I should be making more decent money. They'll probably end up paying that guy (Pierzynski) $6 (million) or $7 million. That's the way it goes. There were some very good people and good fans in San Francisco. That's what I'm going to miss. I can't beg people to take me back.

"They forgot what I did for them so fast and so quick. That's it. Not even a phone call. Nothing. I wish them a lot of luck. I want to go back there and beat them."

Luv ya, Benny, but sorry. You didn't make this team or these guys. This is bush league. You and Joe Angel can put that one in the loss column.

Speaking of Angel, I'm thrilled he won't be bringing me the lovely totals anymore. As I've written before, there were times when I could barely bring myself to listen to games last year. His replacement Greg Papa is a real slickster, but I've listened to him for many years on various Bay Area team broadcasts, and he's damn good. He won't give you the graceful turns of phrase and mischievous wit of Jon Miller, but he can broadcast with him, or with Kruk and Kuip, without coming off like a dullard.

I interviewed and met him this summer while writing a piece for the Oakland A's in-house mag (the one they sell at the ballpark for $5 or whatever). He was decent enough, talking to me from his cell phone on his way to the ballpark, then meeting me on the field during BP before an A's-Giants interleague game. (During which, I should report, I saw with my own eyes Barry Bonds fielding grounders at first base.) He had perfect broadcaster hair and tasseled loafers and was a bit distracted, looking for players and coaches from whom he gleans info before the game (he also spent a while talking to Krukow, trading dish on who's been hot/not/hurt/etc). But overall, Angel-for-Papa is about as good a trade the Giants have made in years.

The throw-in, Dave Fleming, was one of the young guys who made a few spot starts in 2003. He did an excellent job -- I think his first game was the Kevin Millwood no-hitter. He'll be fine.

The A's mag assignment, by the way, was to show how an A's TV broadcast works behind the scenes, from the morning preparation to the play-by-play to the post-game highlights. The story never saw the light of day because they found out I was a Giants fan.


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