Remember those halcyon days of 2005 when it became apparent the Giants season was not going to go as expected and everyone on the team started in with the kvetching? Well, it's happening again. First up to start in with the kvetching is the Giants' closer, Armando Benitez. Benitez complained to a writer about the negative vibes in the clubhouse, boos from the stands, negative comments from the broadcasters, and disrespect from the manager. Other than that, he's doing fine.

The trouble started last week, after Jason Schmidt's 16K throw-down. When Schmidt put the first two runners on base, Felipe didn't have his designated closer warm up, that being Benitez, but instead had Jeremy Accardo warm up. Thus the dis. Armando met with Felipe yesterday to go over everything and afterwards, Felipe announced to everyone that Benitez is not just his closer, but the organization's closer, which is manager-speak for "we ain't paying this dude nine million to scratch his balls and spit sun-flower seeds all game." His whining, however, has brought forth the ole "smallest violin" joke from writers, bloggers, and fans.

Now here's why statistics can often be such a sticky widget. Benitez's numbers are really good but anyone who has watched him come in can attest to the fact his appearance brings with him nothing but agita and angst and much gnashing of teeth. His performance against the Mets, in which he gave up two solo home runs in the 10th inning, one to a guy named Lastings Milledge, was just hooorible.

We can't actually recall watching Benitez come into a game and not screw it up. Even when he does get the save, he usually teeters on the brink of screwing it up. But then again, we can't actually recall him coming into many games. Wherein lies one of the problems-- you need to have the lead to bring in the closer and the Giants' haven't had much in the way of leads. Closers do better the more they pitch and Benitez ain't pitching. It should also be said that Felipe uses, abuses, and throws away his relievers like pieces of kleenex drunken frat boys use at the Lusty Lady.

Eh, sorry for the image there-- we're a little hungover.

Of course, there's one easy solution to fix all of these problems-- the bad vibes, the lack of use, the booing-- just, win, baby. Which, sadly, seems to be a problem these days.