Don’t Panic, Tuesday Edition

When life gives you lemons...

He also had a device that looked rather like a largish electronic calculator. This had about a hundred tiny flat press buttons and a screen about four inches square on which any one of a million “pages” could be summoned at a moment’s notice. It looked insanely complicated, and this was one of the reasons why the snug plastic cover it fitted into had DON’T PANIC printed on it in large friendly letters.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. Edited for relevancy.

It would be a bit of an understatement to say that the first five games of the 2011 have been disappointing, especially after such a ridiculous spat of bloops, bleeps, clank-mitts, overthrows, and mistakes to our rivals, the hated Dodgres (pronounced Dodge-Rays).

Starting the season 1-4 sucks, especially with the honor of having our games being shown on ESPN and all, and the associated honor of game-times that prevent local fans from watching the beginning of the games.

I do know that this is a good team, and this is a long, long season. This is also why I love baseball, because we still have 97% of the season left. If this were football, a 1-4 team would be cutting its losses, playing for pride, and planning for next year. The last time a team started the season 1-4 in the NFL and made it to the playoffs was in 2002, with the Tennessee Titans.

The last time a baseball team started this badly and did well was 2011, because if ESPN has anything to say about it, the Red Sox have already won the pennant despite starting 0-4. The Giants are a good team, and they’ll work the kinks out.

I’m not worried about Brandon Belt. Despite what the national sports media peanut gallery may say, he deserves to stay in the majors for a long, long time. He went 0-for-4 today, but he’s routinely been one of the more patient, discerning hitters on the team, and he’s clearly shown he has the power we’ve been hearing about. As a cast member of Small Sample Size Theater, his .118 batting average brings up talk of the Mendoza Line, but tossing Babe Belt based on 21 plate appearances is not the way to build momentum as a team.

We also saw tonight that, under normal circumstances, the Wild Kingdom outfield is sufficient defensively, even in the untamed savannah that is Petco Park. Sunday’s game was pretty rough, but most games won’t see such a high volume of tough shots out to the corner outfield spots. Pat the Left Fielder and Huff Daddy were just fine tonight. They’re not going to make any flashy plays, but they’re not statues, and we need their bats in the lineup. The infield defense was also fully competent. Sandoval made a mental error during a rundown, but he made several flashy plays and great throws, and that strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play in the sixth inning was downright goofy.

Everything is going to be fine. There’s so, so much baseball left, and we still have a good team. Take a deep breath, get off the ledge, and remember why you love this team. Go. Giants.

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