I haven't posted much during spring training because I've sworn that I won't be lured into drawing what we philosophy professors call hasty generalizations (not that I haven't done that before...). This whole resolution will, in any case, be broken when I get around to writing a post about Gregor Blanco, the prime candidate for fourth outfielder (which is now here).
But I don't really want to talk numbers right now. I want to read things into things the management says. Things about Brandon Belt and the 25 man roster. As reported by Rael Enteen at CSN, Bruce Bochy was fielding more of those pesky questions about Belt getting time playing in the outfield, when he tipped his cards (that, folks, is a mixed metaphor, and it's not going anywhere):
“[Belt’s] doing fine,” Bochy said. “He’s done OK. He played a little more right in his younger years so I think he’s a little more comfortable there. I just want to take a look at him there but more likely he’ll be going back to left, particularly at our ballpark. Melky will probably be the one going to right field. But I just want to take a look at it. Huff will play some outfield, too. We’ll have to make that decision, which way we think is the best way to go.”
See? He said our ballpark. Now, Bruce Bochy is the manager of the San Francisco Giants, who play at AT&T Park, not the manager of the Fresno Grizzlies, who don't play home games at AT&T. The reference to Huff makes it clear that we're talking about 2012, and not 2013, when Huff will not be part of the team and it should be obvious that Belt, barring any number of things that can happen during a season, would be starting at first base.
Our ballpark...Brandon Belt...25 man roster, 2012. We'd prefer him starting at first, but whatever gives him regular playing time.
We've cracked the code. Now if only we could figure out the algorithm for Sabean-metrics. But we made it this far. We're a step ahead of the Pill and Huff factions.
Not convinced yet? Yeah, me neither. We're going to have to wait a few more weeks before this whole Belt/Huff/Pill issue is resolved. In fact, I get the funny feeling that the fate of Gregor Blanco, the prime long-shot candidate to make the 25 man team, is intertwined with the battle of first base.
Back to reading the tea leaves.