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9.27.2006

I'm Down With Nothing Else To Do 

A few sun-drenched lazy-day notes from the yard:

* So THIS is what spring training feels like. I've never been to Arizona in March, but today's day game -- lots of rooks on the field, plenty of sunshine, a backpack full of food, and wandering baseball chatter with my main man Elbo -- made the final score inconsequential. Just nice to hang out.

* Jonathan Sanchez: Not Ready For Prime Time. I'll concede that Sanchez was pretty good today. The D-Backs dunked a couple in, Frandsen played shoddy D, and Durham missed a catchable pop-up. But I still think Ol' Dirty Sanchez is going to have trouble next year in the bigs. He doesn't hold runners on, and he seems to get flustered easily. Great stuff, deceptive delivery, and according to reports, a good head on his shoulders, but from watching today and his last few outings, another year in the minors would serve him well.

* Fred Lewis: First Major League Start! Not once did he acknowledge the cries of "Freddie!" emanating from the 1-3-8. C'mon, kid, have some fun out there.

* Eric Byrnes: The only opposing OF'er I've ever seen win over the bleacher creatures. I've already advocated re-signing Mike Stanton. Here's my second free-agent recommendation: Byrnes. Why? Look at these numbers against LHP:

This year: .331/.387/.584
2003-2005: .298/.361/.524

Behold the Masher of Lefties. Those are Alouvian numbers. Limit his exposure to tough right-handers, and he becomes a plus asset. Wind him up, watch him go. Sign him for a year, maybe two, for what -- $3 mil a year? He'd be great insurance in case Bonds blows a gasket (yes, I'm assuming Barry will be back next year), or Linden blows his big opportunity, or Winn continues to generally blow.

Plus he's a fan favorite. Butts in seats, baby. And he grew up a Giants fan. He seems to know some of the Mays Field bleacher weirdos on a first-name basis, given all the hand signals and mouthed comments being relayed back and forth today (in a good way).

* Moises Alou: Fabulous running catch in right field, great hustle double in the fourth inning, very cool steal of home. Mo is the only one fired up out there. If we could only transplant Randy Winn's legs onto Mo's body, I'd re-sign him for five years. The man can still play.

* Eliezer Alfonzo: In addition to his two-run homer, Notgardo made two excellent defensive plays. On a short sacrifice bunt by Claudio Vargas he pounced and threw a bullet to second to start a double play. On another bunt by Vargas he cradled a foul pop and tried to let it drop fair to start another double play -- savvy -- but the umpire ruled it a foul ball. Very heads-up both times. Despite his slop-hacking, he's still a valuable offensive player slugging .466 from the 8th hole.

* Kevin Frandsen: I hope I'm wrong, but that bat just screams "Joe McEwing!" And the defense at shortstop doesn't help much, either. The Giants would be wise to pencil him in as the main utility infielder in '07, but not to hand him the keys to second base.

* Jack Taschner: Once my favorite guest hosts of Sprockets, Taschner-Munter is now the new axis of evil. Was ist los, meine Herren?

* One more game: See you at the yard Saturday. Cain't Stop the Music, anyone? Let's just hope Bruce Jenner doesn't show up.

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