So, Giants fans, is this what you wanted? Armando Benitez has been lighting it up in the Cactus League, and while spring is spring, it would be certainly easier to stoke the anti-Benitez fire if he was being, well, typical, Armando.
Instead, he has left observers wondering if perhaps there is still a little bit of usefulness left in him. In which case, the case to deal him becomes all the more difficult to make, because if you read between the lines in another Andrew Baggarly story, it’s clear the Giants aren’t ready to trust the job to Brian Wilson. That said, the case to not trade him is just as difficult to make, because Benitez’s value may not be higher than it is right now. And the longer the Giants keep him, the more the chance he’ll slip into the patterns of the old Armando.
Makes me wonder if Brian Sabean doesn’t wake up cursing his job every now and then.
Anyway, while we’re on the subject, good column by colleague Gary Peterson today, and I must say, impressive job by Benitez if he already ranks a spot on the Giants’ all-hated team. Growing up rooting for the Bay Area’s other team, I still find it hard to believe that Johnny LeMaster inspired so much ill-will. I mean, if you’re gonna waste all that time and energy disliking somebody, wouldn’t you do it on a guy who actually had some skill?
Also was kind of surprised that Al Oliver was not mentioned in the column. I didn’t attend Giants games when I was growing up, but I do know that my buddy Buzz, the biggest Giants fan I know, had mentioned on numerous occasions that Oliver was the only Giant he ever booed. Something about a lack of even pretending he cared.