A Weekend Parade Of Pain

May 24

Soon after the Sharks and Giants were swept on Sunday, I went out to play golf. I must be some kind of masochist.

I played 18 holes at San Ramon Golf Club with Mike (Scruffy ) Hohler, who didn’t have time to shave his playoff beard after the Sharks’ demise.

In my third round since the golf comeback, it happened. I started developing expectations, which led to frustration. I shot a 106, which included a birdie on a par 4, but I could only think about the wasted opportunities, what could have been. Now I know how the Sharks feel.

***

The best parts of the round : reaching the green with an approach shot out of a ditch, and another playing partner who came up with all possible combinations of five swear words when he hit a bad shot. More than once, Mike and I had to turn our backs, walk away, and muffle a laugh.

More than once, the poor guy fired a tee shot into a house next to a tee box. I’m sure the people who bought the house thought “oh, we’re next to the tee box. Nobody will EVER hit it here.”

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The guy hit power lines not once, but twice. On consecutive tee shots on consecutive holes. You’d get better odds on Lindsay Lohan becoming a nun.

On the first tee shot, the power lines were farther away and the ball just skimmed one. The second one, however, was a direct hit. That power line got every part of the ball. It was as if the line was ten feet thick. And yes, the fusillade of creative profanity continued.

At least he made more contact than the Giants did. ( rim shot. )

***

On Facebook, I received about 25 different suggestions on improving the Giants offense. They included “schedule the Astros every two weeks” and “fire Sabean.” I’m sure the Giants will go on a tear once Sabean goes …

***

There are no quick fixes for the Giants as they’re currently constituted. Without much power or speed, they will struggle to score runs until the pieces are changed. An infusion of Buster Posey this summer might help a bit, but short of a trade for a Ryan Braun or Prince Fielder, not much is going to change.

The 88 wins of last year were probably more than you could expect from that roster — and this team isn’t much different, barring a major deal. I would support giving up some pitching to get a bat. If the Giants don’t I’m afraid they will be hovering around .500 and not even in wild card contention this year.

Maybe it’s time to think about dealing Matt Cain or Jonathan Sanchez. I know there are some Giants fans who would be fine with that, and others who cringe at the thought of Sabean making another deal.

I have declared my baseball love for Adrian Gonzalez, but long-term, Pablo Sandoval will probably be the first baseman and a deal for A-Gon is highly unlikely. Look to third base or the outfield for your future bats, if the Giants make a deal. That’s where a Braun or Jayson Werth comes into play.

Or, get creative. Roy Oswalt is available and because of his contract it wouldn’t take much to get him. Assume his deal for at least this year, then turn around and trade one of the other starting pitchers for a bat. Hey, at least I’m trying.

***

And please, Giants fans, I don’t want to hear another word about the hitting coach. This season proves what I was saying last year — the hitting coach doesn’t make that much of a difference. What’s more important is the KIND of hitters you have, and whether the hitting coach works well with veterans.

All the talk about Hensley Muelens instilling a more patient approach is empty. Water is seeking its own level, and for the most part this group of hitters remains uncontrollably impatient, expect for Aubrey Huff, a newcomer.

***

The A’s reminded me of the Padres: they had a great scouting report on how to pitch to Giants hitters, they had a good mixture of young and veteran pitchers, they did the little things correctly, and they’re probably better than we thought.

***

Look for changes for the Sharks in the offseason. Not major ones — Patrick Marleau will probably be re-signed and Todd McClellan will remain coach — but Evgeni Nabokov is in question. He’s been good but not great — you need to be great in the playoffs. But he’s not the only problem.

It’s just a layman’s opinion, but it seems to me the Sharks need to get younger and more agile on defense, add some speed on the wings, and get a guy who can camp out in front of the net and disturb the goalie. Oh yes, and maybe they can kneecap Dustin Byfuglien, too.

It’s also fair to say the Sharks with a healthy Dany Heatley might have been a better team in this series. He was clearly slowed by injury.

Although this year represented a step forward the Sharks should not be happy, and I don’t think the front office will be.

***

Rim Shot Alley:

Steve Nash will face Manny Pacquaio this fall. It can’t be any worse than the beating he takes in the NBA playoffs and could be just as lucrative.

The Blackhawks’ Duncan Keith just got an endorsement deal with Chiclets.

( By the way, Keith had seven teeth knocked out by the shot from Patrick Marleau, but the net loss was only five. He says two of the teeth were fake. Quoting: “Hopefully I can get fum knife teef now. ” )

Dwayne Bowe, Facebook Flirt Of The Week.

( Nice job, Bowe, telling the story about importing women on road trips via Facebook — and telling it to ESPN the Magazine. You just outed all of your teammates plus got some innocent teammates in trouble with their wives. Now, I can’t ever by imported ANYTHING again. )

President Obama said he wants LeBron on the Bulls. NBA Commissioner David Stern prompty fined him 100-grand for tampering.

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