The Two Penny Opera

September 7

                If I may throw in my two cents’ worth, Brad Penny is a red-ass.  He’s a mild-mannered country boy off the field, and he apparently pulls the ladies.  On the field, he’s a big dude with a 95 mile an hour fastball who will put on your seat if you look at him sideways. 

                San Francisco Giants fans were introduced to Penny The Red-Ass Monday at A-T and T Park.  He finally gave up his first run as a Giant in the 5th inning, meaning he tossed 12-plus innings before someone scored on him.  In the 6th, with the Giants leading 6-1, Adrian Gonzalez took him deep.

                Gonzalez appeared to pause for a moment to look at the ball in flight, but Penny saw it differently.  He thought the pause was a pose.  A day after Prince Fielder put on a home run celebration that had everything but the Fly Girls, the Giants were a bit sensitive.

                Whether or not Penny was in the right, he endeared himself to Giants fans who weren’t already sold on Penny after last week’s gem in Philadelphia.  Penny clearly likes to turn the tension knob up to eleven as a motivational tool, and that’s what he was doing Sunday as he woofed at Gonzales and the Padres dugout.  The umpires and Manager Bruce Bochy had to cool his jets.

                 They convinced him that instead of throwing punches, it was better to punch out Padres at the plate.  After he fanned Will Venable, he gestured wildly with his arms and bellowed as he walked off the mound.  The fans ate it up.

                 Like Prince Fielder, and Jeff Kent before him, Penny is a guy that’s easy to hate if you’re the opposition, but you love him when he’s on your side and he’s playing to his ability.  Penny has given the Giants two badly-needed wins, so Red-Asses rule.

                 Giants fans who had forgotten, are getting re-introduced to September baseball that matters.  If you think a Labor Day game against the Padres was chippy, just wait until Penny faces the Dodgers this weekend, or the Rockies come to town next week.

                 There could be numerous violations of the baseball Code by that time.

                 ***

                 Bad free agent signings by the Giants in recent years:

                 Aaron Rowand, Edgar Renteria, Dave Roberts, Ray Durham, Barry Zito.

                 Good free agent signings by the Giants in recent years:

                 Bengie Molina, Jeremy Affeldt, Matt Cain (locked up early), Juan Uribe, Brad Penny.

                 Farm products who are fixtures:

                 Cain, Tim Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez, Pablo Sandoval.

                  Farm products who are semi-fixtures:

                  Eugenio Velez, Nate Schierholtz, Sergio Romo.

                  Bill Neukom will have all that to consider and more when he ponders whether to re-sign Brian Sabean.

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