Notes: Alou makes return to Bay Area
Ex-Giants slugger feels team could have accomplished more
SAN FRANCISCO -- During Moises Alou's two-year tenure with the San Francisco Giants, he made the National League All-Star team and enjoyed the privilege of playing for his father, former manager Felipe Alou.But those highlights don't obscure the inescapable fact that the Giants didn't reach the playoffs in either of Alou's pair of seasons with them. Thus, when he looks back on his 16-year career, his experience with the Giants ranks close to the bottom among the seven teams for whom he has played. "To me, it was a disappointment," said Moises Alou, who started in left field for the New York Mets in their series opener Monday night against the Giants. "We didn't do the things I expected. I wasn't healthy; I didn't play; me and Barry [Bonds] didn't play long enough together in the lineup." Alou's feelings are understandable, as an item-by-item review of his points indicates. The Giants were 75-87 in 2005, despite his .321 average that helped him earn his sixth All-Star berth, and 76-85 last season. Injuries limited him to 123 games in 2005 and 98 games a year ago. Finally, he and Bonds played only 74 games together in the two seasons. The Giants' record in those games was a mere 37-37. Alou, 40, signed with the Giants as a free agent before the 2005 season partly to receive the chance to play with Bonds. Now, Bonds is healthier than he ever was during Alou's stay with San Francisco.
"I'm happy for [Bonds] to do well," said Alou, who rejoined the Mets' lineup after missing three games with a mild tear in his left meniscus.Having bounced around the NL, Alou insisted he felt no extra motivation upon facing the Giants.
"I've played on seven teams. Everywhere I go is my former team," he said, adding that he was looking forward to re-establishing contact with shortstop Omar Vizquel, the current Giant he keeps up with the most.Alou wasn't surprised by the Giants' offseason spree of free-agent signings: "In this game you have to spend money if you want to win."
The Mets also employed this logic, signing Alou to a one-year, $8.5 million deal with an option for 2008. He has delivered a nice return on that investment so far, ranking eighth in the NL with a .348 average entering Monday."I wanted to come here," Alou said, citing the Mets' heavy Dominican influence. "It's a good bunch of guys." Alou added pointedly, "It's nice to play on a good team." Roberts sits: Concerned about Dave Roberts' tender left elbow, manager Bruce Bochy kept the center fielder out of the lineup for the second game in a row. Bochy said that Roberts probably would return to the lineup Tuesday. Ortiz throws: Russ Ortiz tested his right elbow for the first time since he went on the disabled list last week, making about 40 throws from flat ground at a distance of 60-75 feet. Ortiz is eligible to be activated May 17. Hit club: Three of the top five active leaders in hits were eligible participants in Monday's game: Bonds (2,866), the Mets' Julio Franco (2,569), and Omar Vizquel (2,500), who became the 83rd player to reach that milestone. Absent were Houston's Craig Biggio (2,960) and Colorado's Steve Finley (2,541). Official announcement: The Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates officially announced that last month's pair of rainouts will be made up as a twi-night doubleheader Monday, Aug. 13, at PNC Park, beginning at 2:05 p.m. PT. To ease the stress of travel, the Giants will move up the starting time of their series finale against the Pirates on Sunday, Aug. 12, to 12:05 p.m. PT. The date of the makeup games had been known for a while, but not the times. He looks familiar: A sure-handed fan sitting behind home plate adroitly snagged a second-inning foul ball. He happened to be Rickey Henderson, the former Met who grew up in the Bay Area. Coming up: The Giants and Mets will continue their series Tuesday at AT&T Park at 7:15 p.m. PT. Starters featuring contrasting styles will clash: New York left-hander Tom Glavine (3-1), the finesse artist, and Giants right-hander Matt Cain (1-2), the budding power pitcher.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.