Streaking Giants Didn't Pay Dearly To Fix What's Not Broken

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Streaking Giants Didn't Pay Dearly To Fix What's Not Broken

The are people who refuse to acknowledge reality and continue to insist that the San Francisco Giants needed to make a blockbuster deal before the trade deadline passed.

The Giants did exactly what they should've done. They gave up a minor leaguer for a veteran right-handed relief pitcher. Then, they traded two players with big league experience, but not much success, for a left-hander for the bullpen.

How anyone who has been paying attention to the club and its competitors since the All-Star break ended can think the Giants did anything but the right thing is baffling.

The Giants are scorching hot and just one and a half games behind the San Diego Padres in the NL West. They've managed stirring back-to-back wins that push the Los Angeles Dodgers further off the pace and put more room between San Francisco and the Colorado Rockies in the division.

The Giants are building a nice, little lead in a wild-card race where only the Philadelphia Phillies seem particularly imposing. The Cincinnati Reds are two games back and the Phillies three and a half. After that, there's a log-jam that includes the Dodgers and Colorado Rockies between five and a half and six and a half games behind the wild-card race leaders.

The Giants didn't need a journeyman hitter. Fans and media types who insist they should've landed someone like Washington slugger Adam Dunn ignore that the Nationals were asking for pitcher Madison Bumgarner.

So. lefty Javier Lopez comes from Pittsburgh for two popular Giants who just didn't perform in fairly extended opportunities to do so at the big league level. Pitcher Joe Martinez and outfielder-first baseman John Bowker are Pirates now.

Bowker is a fringe big leaguer and a Triple-A all-star. Martinez is a right-handed starting pitcher who didn't pitch well in the big leagues for a team that doesn't need starting pitching to begin with. Love those guys? Well, they'll get a chance to prove in Pittsburgh that they didn't really get a chance in San Francisco.

Right-hander Ramon Ramirez comes from the Boston Red Sox for a kid pitcher named Daniel Turpen. 

There are going to be spouting the numbers that Lopez and Ramirez have put up in 2010. They'll say that the two won't help the Giants bullpen at all. They'll be ignoring that the Giants have gone on a 15-4 streak that includes an 8-2 run without a lefty in the bullpen and without Brian Wilson to close in their last two victories.

At some point soon, somebody's going to complain that Ramirez isn't any better than the reliever the Giants send to Triple-A to make room for him. Before that somebody shouts the praises of, say, Santiago Casilla, consider that Ramirez has 31-16 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 42 innings pitched this season.

So, yes, many of the same people who've complained that Giants relievers don't throw enough strikes will complain that they traded a minor leaguer for a strike-thrower and sent a notoriously inconsistent pitcher to the minors.

Incredible, isn't it?

People are still lining up to moan that general manager Brian Sabean just can't build a winner.

The Giants are winning with free agent acquisitions Aubrey Huff, Pat Burrell and Juan Uribe playing very well.

If Sabean gets the blame for Aaron Rowand's contract, he deserves all the credit in the world for Huff, Burrell and Uribe.

And, boy, are Sabean's detractors hoping that no one mentions that Andres Torres was a 31-year-old career minor leaguer when Sabean invited him to spring training in 2009 and is paying the mercurial lead-off hitter $426,000 to play all three outfield positions, hit .286 and lead the league in doubles.

Yep. The boys in the Giants front office are responsible for Torres being in San Francisco.

Fans are going to whine that Sabean and the Giants didn't add a big-time run-producer as they completely ignore the fact that catcher Buster Posey was added to the big league roster in May. Posey has had more impact on San Francisco's lineup than any hitter who was traded in the last two weeks will have on his new team's lineup.

Fans who've noticed that the Giants are playing the best baseball in the National League are pleased to know that the Giants didn't try to fix what isn't broken.

Ted Sillanpaa is a Northern California sports writer and columnist. Reach Ted at tsillanpaa1956@gmail.com

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