Farmer John, I'm In Love with Your Daughter 

As we used to say growing up in West Maloburg, "The prettiest girls are always on the other side of the pasture."

That kind of thinking has increased apace as the Giants have slud down the sewer pipe in recent weeks: Better days ahead, just wait til the kids get here. Ortmeier, Ishikawa, Sanchez, Sanders, Richardson...all farmer's daughters, seen through the filmy gauze of loyalist longing and object of many a mythical musing...[cue dreamy la-la land music, fade in the growing hubbub, then roar, of a large sun-drenched crowd, a public address announcer splits the afternoon with a crackle]...Ladies and gentlemen, leading off and playing second base for your 2008 San Francisco Giants, Marcus Sanders!

Wake up. You've been moanin and groanin in your sleep agin. I 'spect you been dreamin them un-toward dreams.

I'm not accusing anyone of nocturnal emissions, per se, but in the mind of the fanatic, the untenability of one's affixation to the present must be reconciled by an overcompensated anticipation in the unspecified future. That'll be $120, please.

In other words, meine kinder, the horrid collapse of everyone on this side of the picket fence has caused the familiar to become the ugly. Last summer's honeymoon with Randy Winn has turned into drudgery now we know what he looks like when he wakes up every morning. (He looks like a leadoff man with no plate discipline and little power. Nice guy, though.)

Amidst all this kerfuffle about what new girls might be coming to the harvest dance this September, or even to the big township barnraising next spring -- mm, I can already taste the ginger snaps Grammy Malo bakes every year! -- Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus is here to play the tax collector, the guy who taps us on the shoulder and sadly shakes his head.

Goldstein is BP's resident prospect hound, and his last in-season report on the NL West was released today. It's premium shit ('ere!), so I can't let you bogart it, but I'll give you a little hit:

In the high minors, Goldstein gives shoutouts to Jonathan Sanchez -- no surprise -- Nate Schierholtz for his late season surge, and Billy Sadler, who's mowing down the AA Eastern League as Connecticut's closer. On the lower rungs, Goldstein's pessimism about the dearth of hitters ("How bad is the Giants organization when it comes to offensive prospects? 25-year-old first baseman Chad Santos, who started the year in Triple-A, has 14 home runs overall and that's good enough to lead the entire minor league system") is smoothed over a bit by his rave about Lincecum: "You get the feeling that some of the teams who picked before the Giants but stayed away from Lincecum because of his size are going to be sorry."

We can only hope. He notes a few more players, but there's nothing to make us think the Giant system will be any different from the past 10 years: all pitch, no hit.

Unless Sabean makes a series of brilliant free-agent moves, this team will rise and fall the next year or two with its young pitching, and given another saying we used to hear all the time -- Son, thar'nt such a thing whut's a pitchin prospect -- the winds may blow hard and cold for quite a while across this here rancho.


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