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6.07.2004

This Giant is a Mental Midget 

Not only is Neifi Perez by most measures the worst hitter in the major leagues, he is perhaps the daftest.

I'm listening to the Giants' afternoon game in Colorado. The weather is scorching, and balls are flying out of Coors Field more easily than usual. In fact, last inning, Jeromy Burnitz hit what everyone thought was a pop-up to center field: Michael Tucker acted as if he had it lined up; Burnitz tossed his bat in disgust; Dave Fleming had the reassuring "it's staying in the park" tone of voice.

It went out for a two-run homer to tie the game.

So, next inning, Shawn Estes walks leadoff hitter Tucker on four pitches. Showing that he was paying absolutely no attention in the on-deck circle, Neifi Perez swings at the first pitch he sees and dribbles it to third; Tucker is forced at second. Feliz is next and reaches on an error that should have been a double play grounder: the Rockies are practically begging the Giants to have another 6-run inning.

First and second, one out, Alfonzo at the plate with his .500 lifetime average against Estes. Mere pop-ups are leaving the yard. Estes is approaching 100 pitches. Neifi tries to steal third. The fans wait for another patented Estes meltdown; Alfonzo looks...

Wait a second. Did that just say, "Neifi tries to steal third"? No, it couldn't be. No way. No one's that stupid. Not with Charles Johnson, one of the best-throwing catchers in the game, behind the plate.

Greg Papa could only say: "Well, it's a good play if you make it." Neifi did not make it. (Alfonzo grounded out, inning over.)

If I ever meet Neifi Perez on the street, there's a good chance that I'll slap him upside the head and run really fast in the other direction.

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