Giants Bite the Bullet, Tejada and Rowand Out
The Giants have cut ties with their second highest paid player, Aaron Rowand, and finally admitted the center fielder never came close to fulfilling expectations the team had for him. ARow had a few clutch hits in his time as a Giant, the last 2 opening days stick out especially, but let's face it, he was never going to be a starting outfielder for this team again, and there's just no reason to keep him and his $13 million ego on the pine. I've heard teammates say a lot of good things about Aaron Rowand, but with my few dealings with him, I've never been a fan. I met him at a Giants event in '07 and he gave a real "brush off" type of attitude. Then there was his interview this year in Chicago which he praised Chicago, but declined to say a word about San Francisco and his teammates when asked in the interview (then had the audacity to call out Bruce Jenkins for reporting the story). But these aren't the reasons Rowand's DFA'd. The dude forgot how to hit a baseball and either failed to work on his game or simply declined at an amazing rate. Either way, a change of scenery will be best for all parties, but the only thorn left in the Giants side is the huge dollars they'll be committing to nobody in'12 ($13 million). I'm sure talk of Aaron Rowand on this blog isn't quite over yet, he'll pop up somewhere, but I must say, I'm happy I won't be forced into watching him and his bazaar, useless, uncomfortable batting stance that yields no results.
A lot of the stuff said about Rowand, can be said about Tejada, just on a smaller scale. The big difference with Miggy and Rowand though, is that the Giants aren't biting nearly as big of bullet by letting him walk. Tejada was on just a one year deal and was free after this season anyway, so the Giants are only out a month's pay on his contract. That to me was a no brainer, especially after Tejada made the whole organization look bad by 2nd guessing a bunt call, then actually calling timeout to argue with Tim Flannery about the call he just received. I think he forgot he was hitting .230 with zero pop and little run production, so I don't know exactly where that outburst of attitude came from, but I'll bet you it had a lot to do with his release Tuesday. I'm honestly surprised Tejada lasted this long to tell you the truth, cause he looked odd with this team, like he didn't fit in from day one.
So, the Giants are finally putting their foot down and with those two moves, they basically are telling guys, we don't care what we owe you, we don't care who you are or what you've done in the past, if you're not producing and are an anchor to this team, then your gone. I can't tell you how psyched I am to see Sabean and Co. starting to take that approach, just wish they would have done it about 2 weeks sooner and maybe we wouldn't have been in this mess. Now some fans are going to see these moves and take them as a sign of the team throwing in the towel, releasing veterans in favor of younger un-proven guys for the playoff run, but if you've watched those two play this year, you know how little of an impact these guys were actually having on the field. To me, it's not a white flag at all, it's a cry for help if anything. It's a message to the young guys that if they're doing their job in the minors, they'll get a look, and if they aren't at the ML level, then you'll be set aside. The two guys taking their spots are Pat Burrell and Brett Pill. Burrell returns from the DL and gives Boch his right-handed pinch hitting weapon back and, depending on how Burrell is swinging, another option in LF. Pill's a guy we talked a bunch about in this post, so check it out for more on him, but he'll play some 1st, 2nd and a little outfield I'd assume and must be thinking to himself, FINALLY! Pill has done as much as any minor leaguer with the Giants the last 3-4 years to not get a shot in the Bigs.