Thursday, December 08, 2005

Black and Orange Blues

The SF Giants have officially cut their ties with JT Snow, having not offered him arbitration. This is the end of an era. As a columnist in the SF Chronicle sports section wrote, it's the end of a Golden Age. Snow was far and away the best defensive first baseman in the game. His fielding percentage was a point higher than Derrick Lee's, who won the Gold Glove for some reason. He was a real pro, of the type that really makes up the majority of long time major leaguers; a veteran who showed other players how it's done.

He was my favorite player. I have a soft spot for defensive geniuses, and especially for great play at first base. I love good hitting, home runs, and so forth, but love it more when its combined with great play in the field, as though the batter has earned his at bats. Snow did that and more. Bonds is exciting. Omar Vizquel is astonishing. When he's on, Schmidt is an executioner on the mound, but the Giants without Snow will be much less than they were with him. This is nearly as bad, for different reasons, as the departure of Matt Williams in 1997.

I guess nothing lasts, but Snow's Era didn't have to end yet. One more year would've been enough. He could then have retired as a Giant. Once again the business end of major league baseball has intruded on the game like a big, stinking bag of trash spread across the diamond.

2 Comments:

Blogger Roy said...

I lost a lot of my enthusiasm for baseball because of the business end of it. Kansas City actually had a pretty good team for awhile, with some players who had that quality people talk about, but they're gone and I don't hardly follow it anymore.

This got me to thinking of Fogerty's "Centerfield." I always listen and listen, waiting for that sweet sound of the ball hitting the bat--when it abruptly changes direction and speeds past the infield and then floats out over centerfield.

7:04 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

"...waiting for that sweet sound of the ball hitting the bat--when it abruptly changes direction and speeds past the infield and then floats out over centerfield."

A very evocative statement. Yeah, I know the feeling extremely well.

Too bad about the Royals. They've become kind of like the Pirates. Always some talent lurking, but nothing ever happens, and by the All Star break, they're out of it. The Giants were like that through much of the 70s. A very dark era. I hope we're not entering another.

2:10 PM  

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