Omar, Barry and me

For some, the San Francisco Giants‘ last homestand of 2007 is a sad affair. The team is closing out the season in last place, and many of the players won’t be back.

For me, though, I’m having the time of my life. I have an assignment from San Francisco magazine to write a story for next spring on the Giants’ 50th anniversary in The City.

I went to AT&T Park yesterday and had a chance to talk to some players, including Dave Roberts and Omar Vizquel, who couldn’t have been nicer. Barry Bonds appeared relaxed, but we did not connect; given his connection to Giants’ history, I would love to talk to him, but given that I’m a total stranger and he is fairly wary of the press, I’m not setting my hopes too high.

The Giants disappointed on the field, losing 4-2 to the Cincinnati Reds. Once again, they let down the great Matt Cain, who pitched well enough to win, yet lost. But once again, they showed signs that next year could be exciting, particularly with all of the good young players they have. I had my first taste of watching second baseman Eugenio Velez, and I was dazzled – he just flies around the bases, and even when he made an error, he did so by ranging well into right field, hustling constantly. I could live with a lineup of Velez, Rajai Davis and Nate Schierholtz joining veterans like Vizquel, Bengie Molina and Randy Winn and a pitching rotation that is the envy of the league.

And I’d like to offer one more morsel of food for thought: What if I suggested that what the Giants need is a player who can hit about .280, slug about 28 home runs (in only 337 at bats), and lead the league in on-base percentage? Of course, the Giants already have that player, but it sure seems that the sentiment is to let him go; and after getting our thrills watching all of his milestones, we’re ready to abandon him when he needs 65 more hits for 3,000. I’m not on board that bandwagon just yet.

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