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.

Jerry Crasnick

ESPN Senior Writer