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8.05.2005

Wrap Your Heel in Bones of Steel 

More communication breakdown, another theme of this Giant frustration of a season: Brett Tomko is wearing an orthopedic boot on his right foot to protect a bruise he sustained two weeks ago.

Apparently the injury keeps him from running full-speed, and it became a game-deciding issue the other night when he couldn't get to first base in time and the batter reached on an infield hit.

Did Giants brass know? If not, why not? If so, why didn't Tomko skip a turn in the rotation to heal the bruise? (To make sure he was viable trade bait before the deadline, perhaps?)

Ultimately it has little import for this season. Whether Tomko or Rueter or Fassero started Tuesday night against the Rockies doesn't matter. But it got me thinking about the deeper symbolic Meaning of Tomko, something I've done far too much of this year.

Talented pitcher blessed with good health and great arm comes to Giants, shows flashes of brilliance, but in the end drives fans crazy with inability to put it all together. Where have we heard that one before?

There are differences in each case, of course, but the larger point is that Tomko is wearing out his welcome just as Estes and Hernandez did. When Tomko is not resigned this winter, no one in S.F. will be sad to see him go. The question is, will he harness his talent elsewhere, a la Livan, or will he continue his bouncy trajectory from city to city, bumping along with a 4.75 ERA and 4 measly K's per 9 innings pitched despite a 95 mile-an-hour fastball?

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