Saturday, June 2, 2007

Balk-Off Benitez Balked Out of Town

The Giants' "closer" Armando Benitez had one of the most bizarre and stupid ways of blowing a save and the game the other night against the Mets. Taking the mound to save a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the 12th, Benitez walked the leadoff hitter, balked him to second, the Mets sacrificed him to third, then in a play that is always tried in Little League, but never seems to work even there, the runner danced off third base in a feeble attempt to distract Benitez. But his attempt wasn't so feeble after all.

He got Benitez to flinch into a balk, and the tying run trotted home. Carlos Delgato, who was up at the time, promptly deposited a subsequent pitch into the night for the walk-off homer. Two balks in one inning? During the post-game show, the Giants radio announcers reported that the Shea stadium security guards saw Benitez leave without getting on the team bus for Philly. A few minutes later a rumor of his being traded surfaced. Later that evening it was confirmed.

Good-bye Armando. It's not been fun. In fact, it has really sucked. Brian Sabean pulled off a miracle by getting something in return for him, when peace of mind would have worked just fine.

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