First off, Stapes and OZ, thanks for the regular updates.
I am very, Very, VERY glad that I was out of the country, unable to witness the Armando Benitez Chernobyl incident. I don't know what I would have done. I'm thinking my barbecue would have been launched over my balcony. I may be out of line here, but rather than being traded, I was hoping Benitez would somehow run his car off of the Golden Gate Bridge, manage to survive the fiery crash and catastrophic collision with the bay, only to get eaten by great white sharks. But maybe that's just me.
Fortunately, I returned just in time to watch Jack Taschner snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by gift wrapping a turd burger and handing it to Ryan Howard with the game in the balance. Nice work Tasch. But I don't want to be too hard on the lefty. I mean, he's only allowed 10 runs in 15 innings (6.00 ERA), allowed as many walks as strikeouts (an alarming 11), given up 23 baserunners in his 15 innings, and generally pitched like shit at every opportunity. My point is that I don't understand why he is A) on the roster and B) pitching in important situations. It could have something to do with the fact that Steve Kline is the only lefty alternative, bringing us to a common theme: The bullpen still sucks and is still dead to me.
Back to Taschner, I think he needs to hitch a ride with Benitez or catch the next train to Whocaresjustnothere. In 70 career games, Taschner has a 5.05 ERA while allowing 89 baserunners in 59 innings. If that doesn't scream "SHITTY," then I don't know what does. And it's not as if Taschner is a prospect, given that he is 29.
In case you're wondering and/or care, the best lefty reliever in Fresno is Patrick Misch. Misch has followed up his strong Spring in Scottsdale by pitching well for the Grizzlies: 2-2, 2.52 ERA, 39.1 innings, 41 K's, 0.99 WHIP, .209 BAA. Look, I'm not saying Misch is a savior, but I'm Taschnered out.
Were it not for Brian Sabean, I would hereby designate Jack Taschner the new "whipping boy" (by the way, the transcript from Sabean's conference call with reporters after the trade of Benitez was pure comedy. Was Sabes serious, or was he just fucking with everybody? It's hard to tell.). What Sabean is failing to recognize is that He is the new "whipping boy." Unless he finds a way to draft 5 Tim Lincecums in this Thursday's draft, Sabean will soon go the way of the Benitez.