Friday, April 22, 2011

The Tale of Two Rookies and Brandon Belt too

April 5, 2010

Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves prepares for his first major league at bat. He's been heralded by the national media as the next MLB Superstar comparing him to names like Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. In that first at-bat, Heyward pummels a pitch 414 feet for his first major league home run, and a legend was born.

Meanwhile, Buster Posey was with his team in Triple A Fresno gearing up for the start of his season there, while He waited for the Giants to call him up. He would have to wait awhile for his defining moment. The Giants finally called him up to the big league club on May 29, 2010. In his first game, Buster started at 1st Base with Bengie Molina still at catcher. Posey went 3 for 4 with 3 RBI's in a shellacking of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

By the end of the regular season, these rookies were poised to meet each other in the NLDS for the first round of the 2010 playoffs. You might remember that Heyward (the second coming of Hank Aaron) was only 2 for 16 in the NLDS with 8 strikeouts and a .125 Batting Average. Buster was 6 for 16 with 3 Runs and a dubious stolen base that ended up being the winning run.

In the end, the Baseball Writers of America chose Buster Posey as the NL Rookie of the year and Buster put it on his mantle next to the case displaying his World Series Ring.


Why do I bring this up again? Well because these two former rookies are meeting up today for the first time in 2011 since that memorable 2010 NLDS. In other news, I believe the Giants also may be presenting a world series ring to Brooks Conrad in a private ceremony (See NLDS Game 3).

The other reason is that a certain David Brown, a contributor of Big League Stew wrote a story regarding the Giants' demotion of Brandon Belt and that the Giants have now mishandled two of their prized rookies, including Buster Posey. I'm failing to see where he thinks the Giants failed in properly dealing with Posey or with Brandon for that matter.

The Giants called Posey up 2 months into the 2010 season with some seasoning at Triple A and he proceeded to scorch NL pitching along with becoming a fan favorite and handling our elite starting rotation like a seasoned veteran. The only knock on the Giants were that they didn't bring Posey up early enough, and that Bengie Molina shouldn't have been in the lineup at all on opening day.

So if that was the main criticism, the Giants this year decided to try to avoid that and bring up Brandon Belt immediately and get him some big league action as soon as possible, since there really was nothing left for him to do in the minors. Of course because he's struggled a bit, and we have a crowded clubhouse as it is, this is seen as a "horrible" move by the Giants who have abused their young sensitive first baseman of the future.

The kid is 23 years old... he'll get over it. Of course you can make the argument that it was too soon when you see Brandon struggle in the majors, but most every rookie struggles when they're brought up. Guys like Heyward and Posey are physical freaks, and there's a reason why they were in probably the best rookie class in the history of major league baseball. And to compare Belt's plight to that of Posey's who won the Rookie of the Year award along with a World Series Ring is moronic. I HOPE the Giants "mishandle" Belt exactly the same way they've "mishandled" Posey so our band of MISFITS can repeat our disastrous season of 2010.

If only we suffer the same torturous fate two years in a row...

Laws of the Day

Another mishandled rookie is starting today... remember that guy Madison Bumgarner who pitched 8 shutout innings in the world series at the tender age of 21?

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