Friday, October 06, 2006
The War of Words Between Bonds and Giants Management
It all began with Bonds telling the media that he won't "ever ever ever ever" accept a contract with incentives in it. Ever. He would rather retire, see ya! He don't need to work, he's tired, he loves his family, he can retire. Meanwhile, Sabean is talking about getting younger and healthier and getting the Giants back on the winning track in 2007 with the same payroll as this season, and how the Giants are probably not going to sign anyone to a big contract, that they need to spread the wealth among the 11 positions opening up this off-season. Then Bonds noted that Clemens didn't accept any paycut, why should he.
Magowan followed that one up with a statement that even if Bonds was resigned, he would no longer be the centerpiece of the team, that he would be part of the equation of returning the Giants to their prior winning ways. Last we left the story, Bonds calls Magowan's statement "dirty".
Bonds Brought This Upon Himself
I love and respect Bonds as much as anybody but, not to sound juvenile, he started negotiating through the media, not the Giants; the Giants had asked that everything be kept private and that is Sabean's style, he doesn't like to reveal much to the public, as I have mentioned many times before in my posts. Even in interviews where he is suppose to be revealing things about the Giants future plans, he hedges everything just so. He tells without telling that much and circles around the question without fully answering it. He is a master at this.
So the Giants were left with bad options. Either they take the high road but get public opinion about the team being shaped by someone who is no longer an employee and potentially gone, or they strike back. Neither way is palatable, but I think they took the route that they had to take, they need to make sure the public understand where they stand in the whole thing.
My Take On Magowan's Centerpiece Statement
Here is how I took Magowan's statements. All he said is that Bonds will no longer be the centerpiece of the Giants going forward. And that's realistic to all but those still wearing Bonds-colored glasses.
Bonds is at the end of his line. Bonds will be playing probably one more year, maybe two if he wants 3000 hits. The Giants took the stance that they are now looking at the next 4-5 years of the Giants, not just year to year like they had been doing the past few years. Hence the Alou "amicable" parting and the search for a manager for the next 4-5 seasons. And hence the statement Bonds is no longer the centerpiece, which fits in with this new management strategy/philosophy that started with Felipe being not re-signed.
Magowan is as media savvy as owners go and there is a huge image problem if the public thinks that the Giants signed Bonds because of the potential for 755. His statements reinforce the marketing message that Sabean has been regurgitating for a while now: Giants are working to bring a winner in 2007, they will have the same payroll budget, they will be competitive. And to win, they need to get younger and healthier, with personnel who they think will be around 4-5 years, not 1-2 like the past few years.
But the Giants management is thinking fans will be thinking that there's no way the Giants can field a winning team if Bonds expects to get the same salary, because the Giants didn't in 2006 with Bonds at a lower or same salary, and are probably losing key players like Alou and Schmidt. How can they sell fans that they are serious about winning if they just bend over for Bonds and hand over even more money plus, say, have Sanchez replacing Schmidt and Linden replacing Alou. That's a negative sum equation in all Giants fans heads, that's an equation for a losing team proposition going into next season. And Giants fans (as well as other fans) have shown that they don't show up for losing teams, no matter what the attraction (they sometimes don't even show up for a winning team).
So to cut off that thinking at the pass, they make it clear that the decision on Bonds will rest on whether the Giants can win with Bonds, at the salary they sign him to, and not at all costs and not for the marketing plus of the home run chase. A side benefit, is that now they can say in negotiations with Bonds that 755 is nice, but we want to win, we are not paying much for your record. Therefore Bonds cannot leverage the Giants as much with his homerun career chase and the Giants will offer less, because now the value equation is how many games we can reasonably expect Bonds to play and to perform well in and not mainly centered on some personal individual goal on his part.
Magowan Not Dirty, Bonds Was
Bonds called Magowan's statement dirty, but really, Magowan didn't say that Bonds would not be a significant producer on the team, nor even the most important player on the team, but that the Giants centerpiece going forward will be someone else, looking at the long term. And implied that the Giants will not outbid anyone to potentially get the record breaking homerun at the expense of a winning season. Sometimes, impression is everything and the Giants don't want fans to have the impression that management will sacrifice winning just to get Bonds back.
If anything, Bonds is the one who was being dirty. First he explains that he would never ever ever ever ever accept incentives in a contract. Which, of course, is a lie because his last contract had an incentives clause that vested the team's option for 2006 if he met Plate Appearance targets, both for 2005 and for 2003-2005. That makes it harder for a team to justify signing him because he's one bad Fred Sanford "heart attack" ("my elbow! my elbow! my knee! my knee!) from costing the team the full contract amount with no production - think the Astro's wouldn't have caught the Cardinals if they had the insurance payment for Bagwell's injury funding acquisitions instead of a useless Bagwell? - which will sink the Giants again in 2007, for its third consecutive losing season.
Then he makes the outrageous statement that Clemens got more, why not Bonds? Well, Barry, it's because Clemens missed the first half of the season, which for a pitcher is good, he can then start all his starts for the rest of the season, but Houston prorated Clemens salary for the games he missed and so he didn't get paid for the games he missed in the first half of the season. If Bonds was willing to prorate his full-season salary based on the games he actually played then that would be the same as Clemens contract, but, oh wait, Barry wants to be paid for all the games he misses too.
The Company Line is "To Win"
So if Bonds being called part of the package to win is "dirty" to him, then perhaps it is time to part company with him. I wasn't too happy with him taking the day off on the last Saturday, if you cannot game up for a game against the Dodgers that could put them out of the players, when can you game up? I want him back but not at the cost of the team winning, if that is what he insists, then his goals are not my goals, are not any Giants' fans goal, which is to win, and to go on and win the World Series.
It would be hard enough even with him on the team, but if he costs an elbow and a knee, it would be even harder. And we are already suffering from the lost of the money for Matheny and Benitez. Plus perhaps Lowry, Morris and Winn, depending on how they recover from their injuries over the off-season and show which was the real player, the one in 2006 or the one they were before. Overpaying Bonds for the privilege of seeing him break the homerun record (and even that is a maybe, he might still need 2008) would not make good business sense, it will cost us a winning season.
So the Giants have a new centerpiece going forward, why is that a big deal, he must have known it would happen someday. And at an age when most players of his ilk are hoping to get enough votes to continue to stay on the HOF ballot, he's still playing well, just not at either of his peaks, of the 2000's or the 1990's, he's just part of the puzzle now. That's life, deal with it, accept that he's not the centerpiece.
And the Next Centerpiece of the Giants Is...
And who will be the centerpiece? My guess at who that would be is that it will be the pitching, headlined by Cain and Lowry plus perhaps Lincecum. Unless the Giants are able to trade for some young great hitter, like Miguel Cabrera, that is what they will have to go with. Or perhaps if they can sign Aramis Ramirez if he opts out of his option with Chicago, but even then the pitching will be one of the key strengths of the team going forward.
But the odds of the Giants getting any young stud appears slim to none unless one of these centerpice starting pitchers are traded because the Giants have said that they probably are not paying any player a large, Bonds-sized salary because they need to spread the wealth and fill 11 positions in total, and probably keep anywhere from 3 to 6 of our free agents because of the dearth of better alternatives on the free agent market. So Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez are pipe dreams unless Sabean can backfill most of the other positions with cheap vets who are nonetheless productive, like Vizquel, only younger.
1984 Draft (1) 2007 Draft (15) 2007 Giants (52) 2008 Draft (22) 2008 Giants (53) 2008 season (6) 2009 Draft (18) 2009 Giants (87) 2009 season (24) 2010 Decade (10) 2010 Draft (11) 2010 Giants (137) 2010 NL ROY award (1) 2010 season (19) 2010's (3) 2011 Draft (9) 2011 Giants (84) 2011 season (8) 2012 Draft (11) 2012 Giants (93) 2012 season (11) 2013 Draft (3) 2013 Giants (39) 2013 season (5) 2014 (1) 2014 draft (5) 2014 Giants (48) 2014 season (13) 2015 season (1) 25 man roster (7) 3B (1) 40 Man Roster (4) 49ers (1) 6-man rotation (1) 89 Quake (1) 89 World Series (1) A's (6) A-Ball (1) A-Gon (1) A-Rod (3) AA-Ball (1) Aaron Rowand (25) accomplishments (1) Adalberto Mejia (4) Adam Duvall (2) AFL (4) Alex Hinshaw (3) All-Star Game (1) almost perfect game (1) Amphetamine (2) analysis (5) Andre Torres (14) Andres Torres (2) Andrew Susac (5) Andy Baggerly (2) Andy Sisco (1) Angel Joseph (1) Angel Pagan (10) Angel Villalona (29) Anniversary (1) appendicitis (1) Aramis Garcia (1) Arbitration (12) Armando Benitez (5) Armando Gallaraga (1) art of failure (1) At the Rate They Are Going (1) ATT Park (1) Aubrey Huff (20) Award (4) BABIP (2) Barry Bonds (28) Barry Zito (77) Baseball America (2) Baseball Prospectus (2) Baseball Prospectus Bias Against Giants (3) baseball strategy (5) Baseball Study (14) baserunning (2) batting peripherals (1) batting stance analysis (1) batting title champion (1) Beat LA (6) bench players (1) Bengie Molina (14) Benjamin Snyder (1) Bert Blyleven (1) Beyond the Box Score (1) Bias Against Giants (1) Big 6 (7) Bill Hall (1) Bill James Handbook (2) Bill Neukom (21) Billy Beane (2) Blog Philosophy (2) Bob Howry (2) Bob Mariano (1) Bobby Evans (1) Brad Hennessey (5) Brad Penny (2) Brandon Bednar (1) Brandon Belt (38) Brandon Crawford (18) Brandon Hicks (1) Braves (5) breakout (1) Brett Bochy (2) Brett Pill (9) Brian Anderson (1) Brian Bocock (2) Brian Cooper (1) Brian Horwitz (3) Brian Ragira (2) Brian Sabean (41) Brian Wilson (14) Bridegrooms (2) Bruce Bochy (22) Bucky Showalter (1) bulllpen (1) Bullpen (21) Bumgarner (1) Business Plan (13) Buster Posey (91) Byung-Hyun Kim (1) Cained (4) call-ups (1) Candlestick Park (1) Cards (8) Career Prospects (3) Carl Hubbell (1) Carlos Beltran (4) Carlos Gomez (1) Carney Lansford (2) Carter Jurica (1) catcher injury (4) catching (1) CC Sabathia (1) censorship (2) CEO (2) Chad Gaudin (5) Charles Culberson (5) Charlie Culberson (3) Chase Johnson (2) Chillax (1) Chris Brown (1) Chris Gloor (1) Chris Heston (2) Chris Lincecum (1) Chris O'Leary (1) Chris Ray (4) Chris Stewart (4) Chris Stratton (8) Christian Arroyo (3) Christmas (1) Christopher Dominguez (3) Christy Mathewson (1) Chuckie Jones (2) Clay Hensley (3) Clayton Blackburn (5) Clayton Tanner (3) Closer (7) closer by committee (3) Coaches (3) Cody Hall (1) Cody Ross (8) Col (1) Comeback Award (1) Commissioner (1) competitiveness (1) Conor Gillaspie (22) contender (1) contract negotiations (1) contract signing (4) Cory Hart (1) Craig Whitaker (2) cuts (1) Cy Young Award (5) D-backs (14) D-gers (31) D-Rocks (3) D-Rox (16) Dallas McPherson (1) Dan Ortmeier (11) Dan Otero (2) Dan Runzler (6) Dan Uggla (1) Daniel Slania (2) Darren Ford (1) Dave Roberts (11) David Aardsma (1) David Huff (2) David Loewenstein (1) Decade of the Giants (10) decline (1) Defense (8) Deferred Money (1) deleted comment (1) Derek Law (4) Detroit Tigers (1) DFA (3) DH (2) Dick Tidrow (1) Dirty (1) DL (1) dodgers (6) Donald Snelten (1) Draft (3) Draft Analysis (8) Draft Bonus (7) draft list (1) draft signing (3) Draft Strategy (11) Draft Study (2) Draft Success (2) drafting (1) Dres (16) DRS (1) Edgar Renteria (13) Edwin Escobar (5) Ehire Adrianza (14) Eli Whiteside (4) Elimination game (1) EME (2) Emmanuel Burriss (18) epic season (6) Eric Byrnes (1) Eric Surkamp (6) Eugenio Velez (12) extension (6) fanfest (1) Fielding (4) Fielding Stats (4) finger injury (1) first post-season press conference (2) Francisco Peguero (4) Fred Lewis (3) Freddie Lewis (17) Freddie Sanchez (4) Freddy Sanchez (7) Free Agency (3) Free agent possibilities (17) Free agent signing (4) Free agent signings (21) gamer-tude (1) Gary Brown (22) Geno Espinelli (1) George Kontos (3) Ghosts of Giants Drafts (1) Giants (1) Giants blogs (2) Giants Chat (3) Giants Draft (7) Giants Drafts (2) Giants Farm System (29) Giants Franchise record (2) Giants Future (62) Giants GM (4) Giants Greats (2) Giants hitting manual (1) Giants No-Hitter (4) Giants Offense (21) Giants Offseason (21) Giants Strategy (34) GiDar (1) Gino Espinelli (1) glossary (1) good will (1) Graphical Player (1) Gregor Blanco (12) Gregor Moscoso (1) Guillermo Moscoso (2) Guillermo Mota (2) Gustavo Cabrera (3) Hall of Fame (7) Hall of Shame (3) Hank Aaron (5) Happy Holidays (2) Hate mail (1) heart-warming (1) Heath Hembree (8) Hector Correa (1) Hector Sanchez (9) Henry Sosa (8) HGH (1) high expectations (1) high school focus in draft (1) Hitter's League (1) Hitting (15) Hitting Coach (1) hitting mechanics (3) hitting pitchers (2) hitting streak (1) Hitting; (1) Home Run Career Record (7) Home Run Hitting Contest (1) Hunter Pence (19) Hunter Strickland (1) Idea (4) improvement (1) Indictment (1) injury (2) instant replay (2) instructor (1) Interesting Question (1) International Free Agent Pursuits (3) International Signings (5) interview (3) Investment (1) Ivan Ochoa (2) Jack Taschner (4) Jackson Williams (2) Jacob Dunnington (1) Jacob McCasland (1) Jake Dunning (1) Jake Peavy (2) Japanese Starters (1) Jarrett Parker (5) Jason Heyward (1) Jason Stoffel (1) Javier Lopez (5) JC Gutierrez (2) Jeff Kent (1) Jeff Suppan (1) Jeremy Affeldt (10) Jeremy Shelley (1) Jerome Williams (1) Jesse English (2) Jesse Foppert (1) Jesus Guzman (4) Joaquin Arias (9) Joe Panik (10) Joe Torre (1) Joey Martinez (2) Johan Santana (1) John Bowker (22) Johneshwy Fargas (2) Johnny Bench (1) Johnny Monell (1) Johnny Rucker (1) Jonah Arenado (1) Jonathan Mayo (1) Jonathan Sanchez (48) Jose Canseco (1) Jose Casilla (1) Jose Guillen (3) Jose Mijares (3) Jose Uribe (2) Josh Osich (3) JT Snow (1) Juan Perez (4) Juan Uribe (9) Juggling Monkey (1) Just Say No (1) Kendry Flores (1) Keury Mella (1) Kevin Correia (2) Kevin Frandsen (22) Kevin Pucetas (10) Kung Fu Panda (30) Kyle Crick (10) Larry Baer (2) Larry Ellison (1) Lead-off (2) left-handed (1) Lew Wolff (1) LHP (1) Lineup (17) lineup construction (1) Lineup position (1) Long-Term Contract (21) long-term planning (3) luck (1) Luis Angel Mateo (2) Mac Williamson (5) Madison Bumgarner (122) Mailbox (1) Malcolm Gladwell (1) management change (3) management issues (5) managerial value (2) Manny (1) Marc Kroon (2) Marco Scutaro (11) Mark DeRosa (8) Martin Agosta (6) Marvin Miller (1) Masahiro Tanaka (1) Mason McVay (1) Matsuzaka (1) Matt Cain (123) Matt Downs (2) Matt Graham (1) Matt Holliday (1) Matt Morris (2) Mechanics (4) Media (15) Media Bias (17) Media Trade Idea (3) Medical (1) Mediocy (10) Mediots (4) Melk-Gone (1) Melky Cabrera (14) memories (1) mental (1) Merkin Valdez (8) Message in a Bottle (1) Michael Main (1) Michael Trout (1) Miguel Cabrera (2) Miguel Tejada (5) Mike Fontenot (3) Mike Ivie (1) Mike Kickham (8) Mike Matheny (1) Mike Morse (6) milestone (1) minor league (1) minor league contract (1) minors (11) mismanagement (1) misnomer (1) mistakes (2) MLB (2) MLB stupidity (2) MLB Success (6) MLB Trade Rumors (1) MLBAM (1) MLBTR (1) MLE (1) Mock Draft analysis (4) MVP (1) Natanael Javier (1) Nate Schierholtz (45) Nathanael Javier (1) Naysayers (1) Negotiations (1) Nick Noonan (26) Nick Pereira (1) Nick Vander Tuig (2) NL Champions (2) NL West (21) NL West Division Title (16) NL West Future (1) NLCS (15) NLCS MVP (1) NLDS (7) Noah Lowry (14) non-roster invitees (1) non-tenders (1) NPB (1) Oakland A's (4) OBP (1) oddities (1) Offense (3) offensive era (1) Omar Vizquel (3) one-run games (1) Opening Day (4) opening day pitcher (1) opening day roster (3) Optimism (1) Osiris Matos (2) Outfield (1) Ownership (7) Pablo Sandoval (87) Panda (6) Pandoval (1) passing (1) Pat Burrell (15) Pat Misch (5) Payroll (8) Pedro Feliz (12) PEDS (10) Perfect Game (2) perjury trial (1) Personal Reminiscence (2) Pessimism (1) Pete Rose (3) Peter Magowan (2) Phillies (7) Phoenix Theory of Rebuilding (1) Pitch Count (3) pitch value (1) Pitchers League (1) Pitching (14) Pitching Rotation (54) pitching staff (1) plate discipline (1) Play Ball (1) player budget (2) player development (2) playoff (2) playoff hopes (25) playoff roster (1) playoff rotation (3) Playoff Success (18) Playoffs (26) postmortem (1) PQS (66) press conference (1) pressure (2) priorities (1) Projected Record (4) projection (2) promotion (1) prospect (2) prospect analysis (1) Prospect of Note (3) prospect study (1) Prospects (42) questions (1) Rafael Rodriquez (8) Rajai Davis (2) Ralph Barbieri (1) Ramon Ramirez (3) Randy Johnson (9) Randy Messenger (2) Randy Winn (14) Rangers (5) Ranking (4) raspberry (1) Ray Durham (5) re-sign (2) Rebuilding (4) Rebuilding Myths series (1) rebuttal (1) Reds (5) Relocation Concession (2) Research (2) resource scarcity (1) Retired (3) Retirement (1) return (1) RHP (1) Rich Aurilia (7) Rick Peterson (1) Rickie Weeks (1) Ricky Oropesa (3) right-handed (1) risk mitigation (2) risk profile (1) Rod Beck (1) Roger Kieschnick (13) Roger Metzger (1) Ron Shandler (2) Rookie of the Year (1) Roster (4) ROY (2) Rule 5 Draft Pick (3) rumors (9) runs support (1) Russ Ortiz (11) Ryan Garko (2) Ryan Klesko (4) Ryan Rohlinger (2) Ryan Theriot (3) Ryan Vogelsong (66) Ryder Jones (2) Sabean Naysayers (4) Sabermetric Thoughts (5) sabermetrics (3) Salary speculation (3) SALLY (1) San Jose Giants (1) San Jose Relocation (3) Sandy Rosario (1) Santiago Casilla (8) Scott McClain (2) Scott Shuman (1) Scouting (1) Sergio Romo (13) SF Giants (2) Shilo McCall (1) Shooter (1) shutouts (1) Signature Song (1) signing (12) Silly-Ball (3) South Atlantic League (1) South Bay Rights (1) Spring Training (15) standings (1) starting lineup (14) starting pitching (49) statistics (2) STATS (1) Steroids (5) Steve Edlefsen (4) Steve Johnson (3) Steve Okert (1) Sue Burns (1) sunk costs (1) superstition (1) Team Speed (1) Team Support (1) The Giants Way (1) The Hey Series (15) Thomas Joseph (3) Thomas Neal (9) Tigers (4) Tim Alderson (17) Tim Hudson (18) Tim Lincecum (159) Todd Linden (3) Todd Wellemeyer (6) Tommy Joseph (3) top prospect list (4) Trade (9) Trade Analysis (15) Trade Idea (7) Trade PTBNL (2) Trade Rumors (28) trading (1) training staff (2) Training Tool (1) Travis Blackley (1) Travis Ishikawa (40) turning point (1) Ty Blach (2) Tyler Beede (2) Tyler Horan (1) Tyler Rogers (1) Tyler Walker (2) umpire mistake (3) Umpires (3) USA Today (1) Voros McCracken (1) Waldis Joaquin (5) walks (1) WAR (1) Warrior Spirit (1) Wendell Fairley (10) What-If Scenario (3) wild card (1) wild card race (1) Will Clark (1) Willie Mac Award (1) Willie Mays (1) Winter League (1) World Series (18) World Series Champions (10) WS Ring Bling (1) Yusmeiro Petit (20) Zack Wheeler (9)