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9.22.2006

Pacific Stanton Time 

The first personnel move the Giants should make this winter is counterintuitive to the youth movement everyone is advocating: re-sign Mike Stanton. Hell, do it now before the season ends.

Hold on, pal. The last thing we need is more 40-year-olds. Didn't you learn the lesson of the past two years? Old guys are slow and injured and expensive and block the progress of young guys. Old guys are boring. Old guys are old.

Actually, no. OK, sort of. In some cases yes, in some cases no. Before you go more bananas (that's "b-a-n-a-n-a-s"), raise your right hand, place the left one on your Holy Omar Bobblehead, and swear that you're comfortable with this statement: "Two down, two on, bottom of the eighth, Giants up by one. Now batting for the Rockies, Todd Helton. Now pitching for the Giants, Jack Taschner."

Having a little trouble with that one? I thought so.

With Stanton on board next year, the Giants have a lefty set-up guy in case Taschner continues his oxymoronic backward progress. With Stanton, the Giants have an emergency closer in case the guy with the hair gel and untucked striped shirt knocking back saketinis at Momo's on any given night can't pitch as well as Armando Benitez. With William Michael Stanton, you have a guy who looks like he would serve an honest drink at an honest price and give quiet counsel at a place called O'Flaherty's just around the corner. With Stanton, you have a fairly dependable LOOGY you can trade for a 19-year-old at the July 31 deadline.

Of course the contract should start with a low base salary -- $1 million is reasonable, as that's what Stanton earned this year. But to sweeten the pot in case Stanton gets better offers or hankers for the East Coast, pile on incentives for saves. It can't hurt.

But...but...he's going to turn 40!

So will Omar Vizquel. How about replacing him next year with Tomas De La Rosa, who's eleven years younger?

The key is in the dollars. Don't overpay, and Stanton will be worth it even if the Giants have to dump him a la Fassero in mid-May. Just having him all winter lets Sabean make other bullpen moves with a fall-back position.

Do it, Brian. Bring back Stanton.

P.S. I also wouldn't mind the Giants going after Daisuke Matsuzaka, if only to help bridge the language chasm between the English- and Japanese-speaking peoples. (Link props to The Soxaholix.)

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