After last season’s spirit-crushing, totally maddening season, Giants’ fans from around the Bay, like kids sitting on Santa’s lap, have all been screaming the same thing: “We want reliever! We want a shortstop! And we want a big-bopper to hit behind Barry!” Well, two out of three ain’t bad. After signing Omar Vizquel and Armando Benitez, the Giants made their next big free-agent move and signed…a catcher. And not only any catcher, but defensively stout, offensively deficient catcher Mike Matheny. Which means say buh-bye to A.J. Pierzynski, whose chattering demeanor and supposed lazy behavior made him the dreaded “clubhouse cancer.” It also means still no props for Yorvit Torrealba. Poor Yorvy keeps on waiting for his turn to be asked out to the dance, only to keep on watching as the Giants ask other, prettier catchers.

As for the big bopper everyone wants, including Barry himself, so far, nothing. In fact, now that the Giants have run out of 40 year old veterans they can sign for three-year contracts, they appear to be doing nothing but spinning their wheels, thinking that they don’t necessarily want someone who can hit, but someone who can catch. After all, pitching and defense may not be sexy, but it does win you games. Unfortunately, chicks dig the long ball (in light of everything else, maybe too well). And so do screaming fans who paid good money not to watch Barry stand there at the plate as the left-handed specialist walks him on four pitches not even close to the plate.