Monday, August 15, 2005

Winn some, lose Woody

Congratulations to San Francisco Giants outfielder Randy Winn, who hit for the cycle tonight in the Gyros' 7-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

Winn becomes the first Giant to collect a single, double, triple, and home run in the same game since Jeff "I'm Not a Clubhouse Cancer" Kent accomplished the feat in May 1999, and only the 21st "cyclist" in the annals of Giants lore.

A pickup that didn't seem like much at the time, Winn has given the Giants' anemic season a shot in the arm since he came over from Seattle in a recent trade. Way to go, Randy!

On a less celebratory note, the Giants bid adios to the third-winningest pitcher in San Francisco history. Kirk "Woody" Rueter, so nicknamed because of his unmistakable resemblance to the cowboy doll in the Toy Story films, was designated for assignment by the team over the weekend. Only Hall of Famers Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry won more games wearing the San Francisco orange and black.

Woody, a junkball specialist who couldn't throw his way out of a wet hotdog wrapper, was often a frustrating figure on the mound these past couple of campaigns. He hadn't won a game since May 13, and he sported a 2-7 record for this season. But no one could question his competitiveness or his heart. He took the ball with courage every time manager Felipe Alou handed it to him, even after it was plain to everyone but Woody that he's left his best pitching days back up the trail.

Thanks for the 105 victories, Woody, and a lot of great baseball. See you around the old corral.

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