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What the SF Chronicle is saying about Mando

anotherrealfan

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Florida Marlins fans (all 173 of you), welcome to hell. OK, it's not that bad. An everlasting fire could be a step up from the place Armando Benitez routinely took Giants fans. The team traded their embattled closer to the Marlins late Thursday in exchange for RHP Randy Messenger.

SENT PACKING
Giants find a taker for shaky closer
Ray Ratto


And so ends the Armando Benitez Era. We mention this as quietly as possible so as not to negatively impact your hangovers.

The scorched-earth tactical and image problem that was Benitez is now gone, with the tip-off being Brian Sabean's pronouncement that the problem had finally reached critical mass. Usually the general manager doesn't telegraph somebody's doom so clearly.

Sabean said Thursday just before he ducked into Bruce Bochy's office at Shea Stadium before the Giants' 4-2 loss to the Mets, "This situation will be resolved within 24 hours." That meant it was already settled and the news needed merely to be disseminated to the responsible parties, namely Bochy and Benitez. He would be traded or he would be released, but he would almost surely never close, or even dress, for the Giants ever again. The Two-Balk Night was the last straw in a hay bale of evidence that showed that Benitez could never save himself in San Francisco.

But there was a trick, of course -- Sabean still had to find someone to take him, his considerable arm and his potato-chip psyche. That had not yet been revealed when he said "the situation will be resolved," but he knew there was one team in America that loved Benitez, because it was the one team whose collective heart he had never broken.

The Florida Marlins.

The Marlins had used him, Todd Jones and Joe Borowski in rent-a-closer deals in 2004, '05 and '06, but wanted to go more traditionally in 2007, with disastrous consequences. They had already tried Jorge Julio (acquired from Arizona at the end of spring training, profoundly awful, and traded to Colorado in early May), Henry Owens (decent, but shoulder went south) and Taylor Tankersley (not very long, not very good) before settling, temporarily, on former Angel Kevin Gregg.

Thus, Florida had a clear need, and the Marlins had good memories of Benitez, which is more than the rest of America can say. Plus, the Marlins were well-positioned to let the Giants pay the bulk of Benitez's salary, knowing as we all did that Sabean had seen enough. He had seen enough before, but chose not to show his temper and thus chase off a potential suck ... er, buyer. He gritted his teeth, got kicked around for not seeing what he saw, and then did the best deal he could with a pitcher who has now set fire to two coasts.

And the best deal is a straight-up deal for right-handed setup man Randy Messenger, who has had only one unsuccessful save opportunity in his career and whose salary (the minimum of $380,000) means the Giants will pay approximately $4.7 million of Benitez's remaining 2007 salary of nearly $5 million. A bargain for both teams, then -- Jeffrey Loria gets a pitcher for nearly nothing, and the Giants lose a pitcher who gave them nearly nothing. Unless, of course, you want to count Ralph Barbieri's voice in your ear demanding that Benitez be hurled from the business end of the stadium Coke bottle. This, we know, is torture, so for those of you who like the radio but can't afford elective cochlear implant surgery, the Benitez deal worked for you, too.

There had been other possible ports of relocation (Philadelphia came first to mind, given that the Phillies have already lost Tom Gordon and Brett Myers this year and were hoping for the best with Antonio Alfonseca, the six-fingered predecessor to Benitez), but Florida was the best hope, and ultimately the only one. Let that be a lesson to you future general managers -- never acquire a player until you have already identified a place you can ship him if you're wrong.

Truth is, though, Giant fans don't care where he goes as long as the active verb "go" is involved somewhere in the sentence.

Benitez came to San Francisco as dodgy goods, having resuscitated a damaged career in Florida, and because he had washed out so dramatically in New York he was greeted with skepticism; failure, after all, stands out louder in big cities than in Kansas City or Miami.

But he never won anyone over here, between his injury history (he injured a hamstring in '05 and missed most of the year), his results (his save conversion percentage was barely 75 percent) and his demeanor (he was, as they say, always there when he needed you to hear how well he'd done his job). He sailed past such notable kick-me signs as Greg Minton and Gary Lavelle (the team had better luck with, or not enough time to hate, Rod Beck and Steve Bedrosian) and now ranks as the Johnnie LeMaster of the new millennium -- in short, one of the least popular players in San Francisco history.

Or perhaps the proper verb is "ranked." You won't have him to kick about until the end of July when the Marlins come to town.

But while you search around for a new target of your ire, you'll need to thank someone for relief, it would be Bob Davidson, the notorious balkmaster who, along with Hunter Wendelstedt, doubled up on Benitez on Tuesday and rendered the rest of his Giants career impossible.

Plus, you have a new favorite player you'd never heard of until last night. Randy Messenger, the cure for what ailed you.
 

TheDon

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The last line of this article is the most entertaining line. Randy "The Cure" Messenger.


:lolup
 

CapeFish

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Now I know why the A's fans think the Giants fans are permanently out of their minds....the Gnats Propaganda Machine spews and spews.

Have fun in the China Basin watching your players collect Social Security checks this summer Gnats fans!
 

Beinfest4Prez

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I can't wait for them to be calling for Sabean's head when Messenger starts blowing games for them...
 

CapeFish

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Not for baseball attendance.
A city is larger than how many people come out to watch a ballgame. Metro South Florida has over 4 million people and Miami-Dade County alone has over 2 million people.
 

Madman81

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Not for baseball attendance.
A city is larger than how many people come out to watch a ballgame. Metro South Florida has over 4 million people and Miami-Dade County alone has over 2 million people.
The article is talking about a context of baseball...
 

canada-marlin24

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pshh miami is 10 times bigger than san fran already just wait till they are done developing downtown haha it will be like chicago or new york (nothin like new york though)...
 

CapeFish

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The article is talking about a context of baseball...
The article is talking about cities in general in that context. Miami and Kansas City are being called small cities, which is wrong. Miami is not a small city. Kansas City also should be talked down to because they are home to many historical baseball events and places....plus the Royals have actually won a World Series in the last 50 years.
 

OldSand

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They aren't thinking of making Messenger their closer I hope.
 

Mauer7

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They aren't thinking of making Messenger their closer I hope.
I hope they do...and it won't work out well for them.
 

Madman81

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The article is talking about a context of baseball...
The article is talking about cities in general in that context. Miami and Kansas City are being called small cities, which is wrong. Miami is not a small city. Kansas City also should be talked down to because they are home to many historical baseball events and places....plus the Royals have actually won a World Series in the last 50 years.
If you can't understand that the city size is implied in a baseball context, well, FSU it is.
 

Night Phantom

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Miami-Dade County: 2,402,208
San Francisco County: 744,041

Kansas City isn't a small area either. I know what he meant, but he needs to try and actually be able to write well in the future. Talk about markets and teams so people don't take it the wrong way.

And Giant fans are in for a big surprise with Mr. Messenger.
 

CapeFish

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If you can't understand that the city size is implied in a baseball context, well, FSU it is.
Baseball is not "small" in Kansas City, or Miami, for that matter. Both cities put out good amounts of talent and their teams have seen ups and downs.

Kansas City and Miami are not small cities. No MLB city is small.

Green Bay, Wisconsin is a small city. Kansas City, Missouri is not a small city.

By his definition, San Francisco was a small market until Pac Bell/SBC/AT&T Park opened and they started drawing.
 

JetsMania

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Miami-Dade County: 2,402,208
San Francisco County: 744,041

Kansas City isn't a small area either. I know what he meant, but he needs to try and actually be able to write well in the future. Talk about markets and teams so people don't take it the wrong way.

And Giant fans are in for a big surprise with Mr. Messenger.

However, the bay area has around 7 million people.
 

Madman81

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If you can't understand that the city size is implied in a baseball context, well, FSU it is.
Baseball is not "small" in Kansas City, or Miami, for that matter. Both cities put out good amounts of talent and their teams have seen ups and downs.

Kansas City and Miami are not small cities. No MLB city is small.

Green Bay, Wisconsin is a small city. Kansas City, Missouri is not a small city.
:banghead Good god. Once more: he's talking about in terms of a baseball city (see: baseball market). Shame on him for expecting anyone to pick up on the fact that a longtime columnist knows that Miami is not a small city in terms of population.
 

anotherrealfan

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Wow guys, this post turned fast from a Benitez thing to a semantics dispute on population. I just thought it is very good reading to read the hatred they have for Benitez and that they probably would have taken Jorge Julio if he was still here. It was so bad, in their position, that they are basically paying $5 million for Randy "there it goes" Messenger.
 

CapeFish

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:banghead Good god. Once more: he's talking about in terms of a baseball city (see: baseball market). Shame on him for expecting anyone to pick up on the fact that a longtime columnist knows that Miami is not a small city in terms of population.

Miami is not a "small" baseball market. Neither is Kansas City. There is no such thing as a "small" market. There are just huge markets like Boston and New York. I don't see a Green Bay Packers style team out there in MLB.

The Fish are only behind Boston in media market population and the Royals have one of the largest media footprints in Major League Baseball claiming all of Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, and parts of Missouri.

The writer barked up the wrong tree.

Also, the Marlins play division rivals in New York and Philadelphia frequently and those towns can pressure any kind of player around, esp. a visitor.
 

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