Rockies reunion in Giants' dugout

San Francisco's bench, a postseason liability last year, has been remade into Blake Street West.

Updated: October 1, 2003, 8:35 AM ET
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
When Oakland general manager Billy Beane wants to pick up a bat off the bench, he looks for guys who can draw a walk.

Across the Bay, San Francisco GM Brian Sabean expands the pool to include both patient hitters and free swingers. They don't have to walk -- they just have to arrive in San Francisco by way of the Denver International Airport.

The Giants' bench was a liability in the 2002 World Series loss to Anaheim. Former manager Dusty Baker's lack of options were never more evident than in Game 7, when he needed a big hit and prayed it would come from outfielder Tom Goodwin, who promptly whiffed to end a sixth-inning threat.

After losing All-Star second baseman Jeff Kent to free agency and trading starter Russ Ortiz to Atlanta for financial reasons, Sabean figured the best way to regroup was to construct a deeper, more versatile roster from the first through 25th spots. Along the way, he has turned his bench into Blake Street West.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Jerry Crasnick | email MLB Sr. Writer