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5.17.2004

When Neifi Met Derek 

Sorting through the stats this morning, I thought to myself, "Hmm, is Neifi Perez truly the worst hitter in the major leagues?"

Of the 189 position players listed in ESPN's sortable stats, Neifi indeed ranks last in OPS at .512. The second worst is Derek Jeter, at .528. Alex Gonzalez of the Marlins is next at .549. Two other regular shortstops follow quickly: Eckstein of Anaheim (.570) and Rich Aurilia (.588), who has only one more walk than Neifi.

Orlando Cabrera will be in high demand come July.

Meanwhile, everyone's clamoring for someone -- anyone -- to replace Neifi. Pedro Feliz is the best candidate, except Pedro really should be starting more at first base and third base, too.

It's easy to forget amidst the clamor and hubbub and enraged cries of "NEIFI, YOU MISERABLE FUCKING BASTARD, YOU'RE KILLING ME" coming from a certain seat in section 138, that the last best hope to inject offense into the Giants lineup at three different positions is one guy who really isn't that good. Sorry, Pedro fans. His is an empty .300 average, with home runs that come with the bases empty and nary a walk in sight. I feel like a member of a besieged populace holding out hope that any day now, the French Army will appear over the horizon and rescue our people from cruelty and misery.

Feliz will have his share of home runs because he is young and strapping and hits bad pitches well. But until he matures and learns the strike zone, he is every opposing manager's cool refreshing breeze. "Barry Bonds is up? But Feliz is on deck? Aaaahhh...much better."

Frankly, this team is beyond help.

I blame Brian Sabean.


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