Sunday, June 3, 2007


When the San Francisco Giants first signed Armando Benitez there was elation. Finally the Giants went out and got a top notch reliever. It was thought this was the move that would elevate the orange and black Giants into the upper echelon of competitive teams. This was going to get them into the playoffs and there was no telling how far they would go once they made it into the post season.

But almost immediately Benitez got on the Giants' fans' bad side. He showed up to training camp looking like he could've been a float in the Thanksgiving Day parade. And with the extra girth he got injured covering first base on a ball hit toward the first baseman.

When he came back, and to his credit he came back sooner than expected, he just didn't deliver.
KNBR 680 -the Sports Leader- talk show host- Ralph "Razor" Barbieri made it a daily habit to besmirch Benitez every chance he got. He made no excuses for Benitez and openly admitted that he thought Benitez was a bum. And who could disagree with Barbieri, all that he said was fact and I think many fans were tuning into KNBR680 just to hear the Razor lambaste the big goon that was Armando Benitez.

Then when he would do poorly it always seemed like he had some excuse. Manager Felipe Alou told him he had to be held accountable. Armando didn't like that and his performance suffered because of the dislike between Armando and manager Felipe Alou.

This year, when the season began, new manager, Bruce Bochy made it a point to welcome Armando Benitez and to let bygones be bygones. Newly acquired catcher Benji Molina bluntly stated while on an interview after a game that Armando and Felipe did not get along and that Armando likes being here with Bochy at the helm.
And for a while it was working. But then Armando would get hit and he'd point his finger at someone else not doing their job. The pointing of fingers at others is something that is unacceptable in all walks of life. And I'm sure Bochy and some of the guys didn't like the way Armando handled things when they weren't going well.

Finally, on May 29th, Armando Benitez imploded. He walked the leadoff batter. Balked him to second. The batter bunted him over to third. Got the next batter to pop up to shallow centerfield for the second out of the ninth inning. He needed only one out to win the game and he balks in the runner from third base. Two pitches later, Carlos Delgado hits a walk-off homer and it's adios Armando Benitez.

Some may say Armando Benitez was the worst Giant of all-time and those people would be wrong.
Personally, I think the worst Giant of all-time is Ricky Ledee. He was decent with the Phillies, horrible wearing the orange and black and then got signed by the dreaded Los Angeles Dodgers and did okay with them.
If you stink as a Giant and do better for the Dodgers, you are truly a bum! Ricky Ledee as a Giant, was a bum.

kevin marquez