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    The Greg Maddux Watch: Stunning at 355

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    Baseball Told the Right Way
    In-depth Baseball analysis on various topics regarding the sport we all love!

      But they are old.
    Good news. The Giants plan more action on the bases. As in stealing bases. Overly peeved at being dead last in MLB with only 44 team steals, manager Felipe Alou has vowed that the Giants will be running a lot more this year.

    Only two problems:
    1.) Nobody on the Giants can steal bases.
    2.) Barry Bonds

    Check out the Giants lineup and how many steals they each had last season. (Yes Felipe Alou has said Snow will bat third. I know, I know. He sucks.)
    1. Ray Durham, 2B      10
    2. Omar Vizquel, SS 19
    3. J.T. Snow, 1B 4
    4. Barry Bonds, LF 6
    5. Moises Alou, RF 3
    6. Edgardo Alfonzo, 3B 1
    7. Marquis Grissom, CF 3
    8. Mike Matheny, C 0
    Durham and Grissom used to run, but are old and battle worn, and ought to do everything they can to avoid further injuries. Vizquel stole 19 bases, but he'll be lucky to replicate that at age 38. The Giants are just not a fast team. Why try to be something you're not? Shouldn't the Giants just come out and say they're going to try and play more bingo this year, or eat dinner really really early every night?

    And the larger problem is, of course, Barry Bonds. If you run in front of Barry Bonds you are effectively taking the bat out of your best hitters hands. Even if one of the geriatric Giants makes it to second, the opposing pitcher will just walk Bonds. What a waste.

    Let's look at this simply. Assume even in their late 30's Durham and Vizquel can still swipe a bag at a 75% success rate. Bonds moves them up to 2nd 60% of the time anyways, and 12% of the time he moves them past second with an extra-base hit. Even ignoring the times one of those 'speedy' top of the order types will be able to take third on a single, theres not much difference between the frequency Bonds will do the job at no risk to the oft injured hamstrings of Ray Durham. It's certainly not worth the invitation for the other team to walk Bonds.

    Stealing second by a team like the Giants is idiotic. It makes no sense. Teams should play to their strengths. The Giants are an old, slow, mediocre offense with one superstar in the middle of the lineup. Running into outs at second and taking the bat out of Bonds' hands is like a really really smart, but ugly as sin girl (hair on her back and everything) deciding to quit school and marry into money. You have to undertand your limitations.

    Why would people laugh if Luis Castillo (he of the career .354 slugging %) came out to say he was going hit more home runs this year? Or maybe its different, a home run is 400 feet away, while second base is only 90. It looks a lot more attainable, anyone can do it. Right?