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The real problem with the Molina signing

Jan 20, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

Grant at McCovey Chronicles has a hilarious — though painful for Giants’ fans — takedown of the Bengie Molina signing that’s definitely worth a read.  But it’s something that he says after the phony press conference that I think gets at the basic problem with the signing:

I’m actually fine with the idea that Posey should be eased into the
starting job; he’s young, and catching is a heckuva strain on the body.
If Posey was really worn down after the Hawaiian League, spring
training, the minors for a full season, sitting on the bench in the
majors, and the Arizona Fall League, maybe it’s not a bad idea to let
him ease into the job.

Driving the Giants’ desire to bring in Molina — or some other veteran catcher — was their belief, based on Buster Posey’s less-than-thrilling performance in the Arizona Fall League, that Posey wasn’t ready to start. But as Grant notes, that stretch came after a long year for the guy. He caught a ton of games once you figure in the winter league in which he played. He had to have been gassed by the time he got to Arizona.

I find it troubling that the Giants would put that much on their young catcher’s odometer in the first instance — let the kid rest his knees for cryin’ out loud — but I find it more troubling that, in making the decision that Posey isn’t ready for a starting job in the majors, they’re giving his performance at the end of that marathon greater weight than what he accomplished when he was fresher last summer.

Maybe it doesn’t matter if the Giants have no chance this year. In such an instance saving your catcher for the future may not be a bad thing at all.  But the Giants do have a chance. They have excellent pitching, the Dodgers are likely going to slide back, and the division could be San Francisco’s for the taking.

But they’re going to start Bengie Molina every day, and will likely have him hitting way higher in the lineup than he has any right to be. It’s that kind of thing that costs teams playoff spots.

  1. Old Gator - Jan 20, 2010 at 8:41 AM

    Of course Posey was gassed. Look, these kids don’t have the same advantages that rookies had a only a few years ago. They can’t use steroids. They can’t take HGH. The Commissioner now seems aware of the dangerous side effects of lycopene, especially when night games go lots of extra innings on a full moon night, and it’s always a major even when the Commissioner seems aware of something. Some journalists are now beginning to study the performance enhancing effects of Acai berry, and over at Fox there’s a major revelation brewing about the insidious use of multivitamins and Geritol, especially among veterans and catchers. It’s only a matter of time before our indomitable Fourth Estate awakens to the performance enhancing properties of chicken soup, especially the Cuban kind with a squeeze of lime juice – sneaky way to get some vitamin C into a veteran catcher, isn’t it? Hell, this kid takes a leak and they know what he ate for breakfast. You watch, he’ll get busted for excessive levels of soluble fiber.
    So cut the kid a break, OK?

  2. Bruce - Jan 20, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    Well said Gator!

  3. Bruce - Jan 20, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    the real problem is speed….or lack of; I wonder if the giants are cutting costs by keeping Posey down another year…

  4. Caladan - Jan 20, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    Posey will be brought up by mid-season. If Molina slips at all, or tires, Posey will be ready to step in. As it is, Posey will slowly ease into the role by Sept 1st and Molina should accept it with a sigh as he must know Posey’s rise is inevitable. So he accepts that he is merely keeping the seat warm for Buster. Hopefully, he’ll mentor the kid in how to handle the pitchers, which Bengie does well. Also, he better not hit higher then 6th! Despite Bochy’s past history of always batting catchers in the cleanup slot.
    The Giants will battle the Rox for the division crown. LA will be there until mid-season when they begin a slow fade and end up fighting to stay ahead of an improved Arizona team for 3rd place. Of course, the Padres Petco field games will be where opponents go to rest their starters and let the backups get some playing time.

  5. Ryan - Jan 20, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    My theory: Tim Lincecum buys weed from Bengie Molina. It’s probably the really good stuff too because Lincecum was willing to only ask for $13 million in arbitration if the Giants would bring back Molina. :p

  6. john pileggi - Jan 20, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    Not sure how much the Mets had offered Molina, but hopefully it can be invested in pitching.

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