Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It Had to be Hunter Pence

Remember when it was only photoshopped?
Today, I'm a changed fan. Hunter Pence is now part of the San Francisco Giants, and I don't have a problem with that. I haven't mentioned him on this blog yet, and I'd only said a few things about him on twitter during the season. But if you would have asked me about him while the Giants were playing the Phillies, I'd grumble about how damn annoying he was, but otherwise with the unconventional swings, the awkward gait, and his enthusiasm for swinging at pitches outside of the zone, he was often pretty entertaining to watch against other teams. 

Wait. Unconventional swing? Awkward gait? Enthusiasm for swinging at pitches outside of the zone? I should have known--he was destined for the Giants. Except that he was part of the hated Phillies, and he had been batting .329/.366/.566 with 3 doubles and 5 home runs at AT&T Park. Of course, logic dictates that he accumulated part of those numbers as an Astro, but it felt like all of those extra base hits happened during high leverage situations while he was a Philly. I could look it up, but, well, now the point is moot.

In what will surely become the Hunter Pence controversy, the Phillies received Tommy Joseph, Nate Schierholtz, and Seth Rosin. If the Giants win the World Series in 2012 or 2013 (while Pence is under contract), this controversy will not emerge. Odds are it won't if they get to the playoffs.

However, this is baseball, so things don't always go smoothly, and there will be fans who always remember Tommy Joseph, who will probably turn up in the majors in the next few years. He might even rake at first base, and if you were against trading for Carlos Beltran (due to the price of Zack Wheeler), and then you fixated on Joseph because you felt that Brett Pill never got his chance thanks to that other awkward guy (hell, maybe you were on Twitter demanding that the move Nate the Great to first!), this trade will be the perfect storm of bitterness. You're going to flame Hank Schulman for a few weeks, and troll over at McCovey Chronicles, and then you'll probably slump off and start rooting for the Oakland Athletics because they're a prospect bonanza. They collect and horde. Have fun.

And you probably won't read this blog ever again, since I think it was bound to happen. Maybe not Pence for Joseph (and those other guys), but with Buster Posey and Hector Sanchez on the roster, and Joseph and Andrew Susac, one of the prospects was going to get traded. I will take Pence any day over the likes of Shane Victorino (who goes from the once hated Phillies to the F%&#ing Dodgers), or Scott Hairston. Pence is a better player, he'll be around longer, and...the potential for GIFs is probably endless.

While I'm at it, one more thing. If things turn around and the Giants get hot, we're all going to have a good laugh at Panda/Pence batting back-to-back. Opposing pitchers are going to have to throw three feet off the plate if they want to get a pitch past those two. But these two would then be bright lights on a team of guys who can't stop hacking. It's nice to see Marco Scutaro join Posey and Melky Cabrera (and Brandon Belt when he's not slumping) on the small group of Giants with plate discipline.

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