With Freddy Sanchez likely out for Opening Day, Sergio Romo’s elbow barking, the backs of Ryan Vogelsong, Brian Wilson and Aubrey Huff a bit balky, and Nate Schierholtz and Emmanuel Burriss among those nursing nagging injuries of their own, health is already a legitimate concern for the Giants with less than two weeks left in the Arizona-based portion of their preparation for the regular season.
For a team that doesn’t exactly boast luxurious depth, it has to be more uncomfortable than manager Bruce Bochy is letting on.
Oh, and that Buster Posey guy’s health is a pretty big deal, too.
But you know what? The Giants are doing all the right things. They’re trusting themselves more than their players, which is far more difficult than it sounds.
Most players will tell what they think are little white lies to maintain the aura of invincibility that’s required to succeed at a sport’s highest level.
Rub some dirt on it. I’m fine. No big deal.
To their credit, the Giants aren’t buying into any of it. They’re protecting the players from their own competitive instincts, and in the process they’re getting extended looks at the players — Brett Pill, Gregor Blanco, Brandon Belt, Eric Surkamp, etc. — to whom they might have to turn should any of the aforementioned injuries linger longer than even the medical staff suspects.
It lends itself to some understandable panic among fans, but ultimately it will make each individual healthier while giving the team as a whole a better understanding of what’s at its disposal this summer.
It’s not sexy by any means, but score one for the often-difficult-to-embrace precaution of patience.
POOR TASTE: The fans who booed Joe Lacob at Chris Mullin’s retirement ceremony this week weren’t wrong. They were taking advantage of a rare opportunity to directly address the owner and voice their opinion on what you have to assume was a variety of issues — from the Monta Ellis trade to the ill-fated playoff guarantee to decades of futility.
Opinions aren’t right or wrong, and paying customers have every right to voice them.
However, it absolutely was wrong to make the scene so uncomfortable that Mullin himself had to try to “save” his own night. It was wrong for Lacob to take the stage when he did, too, but the fans’ point could have been made with that first blast of vitriol. Once Mully stepped in, it should have died right there, and it didn’t.
A “Great Night Out”? No. It was flat-out awful. One can only hope it represented that darkest time just before the dawn of a new day for a franchise in desperate need to turn the page.
SPEED ROUND: Brilliant good-cop-bad-cop action by the Niners in the Peyton Manning-Alex Smith saga. Jim Harbaugh’s consistent public backing of Smith allows him to say, “Hey buddy, you know how I’ve always felt about you, but I do have bosses, so I had to go have a catch with a future Hall of Famer. I don’t blame you if you’re pissed on some level, but not at me, right? I mean, I’m the guy who insisted we get Randy Moss and Mario Manningham to help you out! Now let’s go get ‘em, pal.” Adorable. ... Can we knock it off with saying the A’s and Mariners have center stage in baseball with this trip to Japan? There is no center stage at 3 a.m. unless it’s at a place that sells watery drinks and half-naked women trying to hide their C-section
scars with plus-sized garter belts. ... NFL commish Roger Goodell’s punishment of the Saints for the bounty controversy were overboard, period. Pay-for-pulverization will continue in some form in perpetuity. But what, exactly, does an eight-game ban for a GENERAL MANAGER mean? Does he have to turn in his iPhone?