Fantasy Baseball Tip: When assessing your team for the final drive in the waning weeks of the season, rid yourself of all players wearing the orange-and-black of the San Francisco Giants.
Got Lincecum? Dump him. Thought Aubrey Huff would be the answer because he had an uncharacteristic mid-season power surge that turned out to be a mirage? Dump him. If the Giants really needed a schizophrenic bat and a player with no experience in games that really matter, they should have kept Randy Wynn.
Pablo Sandoval was a rookie sensation last year, but his sole contribution to the 2010 season is that he's gained even more weight during the hot summer grind and can barely waddle around the bases even when he manages to hit a ball over the fence. In fact, why is Sandoval still on the 40-man roster? So the Giants can sell more Panda hats to dimwits? (Overheard at AT&T Park on Saturday: "I don't understand the Panda hats." "I guess they'd be okay when you're hunting or something.")
Freddy Sanchez would never be a power hitter, of course, but the Giants curse has reduced this one-time batting champion into the Ray Oyler of the new millennium. I suppose you could keep Pat Burrell, if you get all enthusiastic for meaningless solo homers and bases-loaded strikeouts. And if you're ever looking for the always-exciting run-scoring bases-loaded double play, you might want to add Juan Uribe to your roster.
Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez are capable of striking out a lot of opposing batters, sure, but it takes them at least 120 pitches and several home runs to get through five innings.
On the other hand, the obvious silver lining of this month's Giants collapse is that it will be impossible to justify Brian Sabean's tenure as the Giants' GM after mid-season trades that demolished the "magic inside." Mike Fontenot turns out to have been the only player the Giants could have picked up that makes their fans yearn for Freddy Sanchez's return to the lineup. And the best we can hope for from Jose Guillen is that he'll be suspended for the season by the MLB for some reason and Bochy won't have to force him into the lineup every day.
Fans sensed the Giants brain trust was aware that 2010 would turn into the disaster it has become when the promotions department looked through the roster and concluded that a Bruce Bochy Bobblehead promotion might be a terrific idea.