Thursday, August 14, 2008

It's Official: Neukom KominK In-K

It was pretty much a foregone conclusion, but the MLB uninanimously and officially voted Bill Neukom into that 30-man fraternity known as the "Owners" of an MLB club, it was announced on sfgiants.com today.

Thank You Peter!

I will forever be thankful to Peter Magowan for getting the Giants this far as a franchise:
  • Keeping the Giants in SF
  • Building that beautiful park by the Bay despite decades of inertia in the SF political scene
  • Making it possible to keep the Giants in SF for the indefinite future, with no future potential move hanging over the franchise for many years to come
  • 8 straight years of winning baseball, the longest stretch for the Giants since the 14 straight years of winning baseball from their first season in SF to basically when I became a fan (a coincidence, I assure you :^), the longest stretch of winning in the past 36 years (next longest is 5 years from 86-90), which means that in the last 36 years, only 13 were in stretches of sustained good performances, 23 years were either losing or winning just one season before losing again
  • Bringing the pride in the franchise back again
  • Bringing Barry Bonds (and by extension, Bobby Bonds) back home, where he belonged
  • Making the Willies (Mays and McCovey) a big part of the Giants scene, as well as a lot of other past Giants, great, loved, or both

When It's Time to Change, You Got to Re-arrange

But it was time for a change.

As I've been writing since the 2003 season, the Giants could either dream big by spending extra money to shore up the team by getting Bonds' replacement (Vlad, Ordonez, Beltran, for examples), or they could pinch pennies and buy a bunch of mediocre players. Peter Magowan chose the latter path, leading to our current, long losing seasonal streak. As managing partner, he could have either brought in new investors to boost the cash flow to sustain such an expanded spending during those critical years or convince the current owners to pony up more money. He was unable or unwilling to do either.

Lucky for us, Sabean has been able to cobble together an excellent pitching rotation and closer, plus promising pieces in the bullpen and lineup (basically many of the rookies and near-rookies who have seen some playing time this season), while fulfilling the general order from ownership to buy the best vets available within the budget we had. In addition, there are a number of promising players now in the farm system who should be arriving starting in 2010 (and perhaps as early as late 2009), starting with Bumgarner, Alderson, Posey, Sosa, Villalona, Noonan, Gillaspie, and Rodriguez.

If these pieces were not in place already, I would be on board with changing GM today, but I'm not willing to jeopardize this re-build - and risk having the new GM trade away Cain or Lincecum, as many fans today irrationally feared - by making a change today. But we need to see progress each year still or then we risk losing our star pitchers to free agency before we start winning. If we do not progress each year, I would be OK with a GM change.

Long Live the Neukom!

I've already liked the stances and his messages thus far, which I'm paraphrasing. "We will do what we need to do in order to win, winning is the prime directive. " Which to me says if we need money to do what we need to do, he will bring it in, somehow. "Build the Farm." Which we all know is the right way to build a club. I am sure there are others, but these two come to mind fastest.

In this latest opportunity to send his message to the public, he added another nuance, which is something I've complained about and asked for over the years: add more coaches. Here is the quote: "That means we've got to keep building our farm system and our coaches, because those are the people who teach so the kids can play the game in the Major Leagues at the highest level." (italic bold emphasis is mine).

Invest in Coaches and Other Services

In today's world where the team spends literally $100M on the MLB payroll plus tens of millions on the draft bonuses plus on top of that the expenses for the farm system, why aren't there more coaches at each and every level, helping each team. I don't mean rovers, but actual coaches on every team. Heck, you can probably hire and assign someone to focus on and mentor our top prospects.

For example, we should have RHP and LHP on call who can come out and pitch extra batting practice when hitters need or want it. If it is something Barry Bonds (he had a LHP pitch to him at home and on the road), who is arguably one of the best hitters ever in MLB history, felt would improve his performances, it might help those lesser mortals, like Dan Ortmeier or any of our lefty hitters, to get more practice against LHP and perhaps not be labeled platoon potential starters. Likewise, have a RHP on call for the right-handed hitters, just for repetition. That's not coddling, that's ensuring your investments mature and develop and get the practice they need.

In addition, something I've touched on over the years is expanded medical care. There should be no excuse for Eyre not realizing that he needed drugs to help him with his ADD or countless other hitters who we suddenly discovered that he needed glasses to help him see the pitched ball. Our doctors should be catching such things and taking care of them proactively, not reactively.

And how much would that cost per season? I'll bet no more than $3-5M per year. Which is a small insurance policy amount to help ensure that we get the most out of our players. Overall, the team is probably spending at least $150M with regards to players and their development and care. That much extra per year is a pittance to the benefits those services can bring the team.

I was going to go over this in one of my segments in my Hey Series, but this was a good time to get it out there, given that the changing of the guard is now official. Hopefully, Neukom is both a man of his words and a man of action, and put all his directives into motion. But he probably wouldn't have been selected to head the powerful American Bar Association (I still think of a pub when I hear that :^) for a two year period if he weren't either of those. I believe that the Giants are in good hands and that he will bring needed changes to the culture and philosophy of the club.

5 comments:

  1. This comment is not really related to your current post, but on the "Giants Splash" blog over at sfgate.com, Henry Schulman writes that as of 9:30PM on August 14th, "two major-league sources have told me today it is categorically untrue that a) a deal with Posey was done, either verbally or on paper, and b) the Giants were prepared to give Posey $7.5 million."

    This news is very worrisome. I guess we will all know how things turn out in less than 24 hours.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the update, wayne!

    I guess Andy Baggarly isn't God then! :^)

    Yeah, I realized soon after posting that his article didn't actually say "signed" yet, so I started worrying then, but just left it alone, hoping that it would be announced soon enough.

    Well, somebody got it wrong, and we'll find out soon who has the better sources. And it could be neither of them! :^)

    Thanks again, very important information, much appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
  3. According to a BP post, just soon before your catch of Schulman's comments: Crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s on a deal. Money figures have been agreed upon. Big league deal worth north of $7M.

    Of course, they could just be reporting Baggarly's scoop.

    However, for both Alvarez and Hosmer, they said "This should still get done" whereas for Posey they noted the above.

    Here is the linky: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=988

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think I just read the article you referred to Wayne: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/14/SP6S12B9CS.DTL&feed=rss.giants

    It is one of the Giants Notes column by Schulman.

    Here is the quote from there from Bobby Evans, Director of Player Personnel: "There is no deal. Negotiations are ongoing," Evans said Thursday night. Although Evans would not divulge details, he termed the $7.5 million figure as "too high." Two other major-league sources said they understood no deal was done, one adding that the player taken one slot ahead of Posey, University of San Diego pitcher Brian Matusz, is expected to sign for less than $7.5 million.

    The fly in that ointment is that quote on the end about Matusz: how is that relevent? Last year, Weiters got a larger bonus than any, ANY of the picks ahead of him. Which makes me think that this "major-league source" doesn't know squat about the major leagues.

    About Evans quote, I would say that he's taking Sabean lessons. The quote does not refute the Baggarly scoop: Baggarly says that Posey is on the cusp, which means that there is no deal, negotiations are ongoing, however, it could be that most of the major parameters of the deal are done and they are finalizing things; Schulman's Notes does not refute that.

    The only true divergent bit of information is him saying that the $7.5M figure is too high. That would suggest that Baggarly's industry source is probably somehow related to Posey's agent, trying to do a last minute public negotiation. Though, thinking again, it could also be the Giants side, trying to make themselves look like heroes by signing Posey to a lesser amount. But that seems too devious for Giants management to try to do, Sabean, at least, has always kept everything hush-hush on the Giants end and appears to have kept most of his minions from spreading "tips". Sabean's general policy appears to be "no news leaked out" and thus spreading a false rumor would go against that policy, plus Baggarly would let his buddies know that this source was bad and take what that person says with a grain of salt in the future. I guess we'll never know...

    OK, found your splash news, my bad: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=22&entry_id=29141

    Schulman there basically said what I wrote about Matusz. He better get on his editor for cutting out stuff like that, the editor didn't do Hank any favors because most people will read that Notes article, but not this splash blog, and perhaps come to the same conclusion.

    The language is even stronger there on Posey: "two major-league sources have told me today it is categorically untrue that a) a deal with Posey was done, either verbally or on paper, and b) the Giants were prepared to give Posey $7.5 million."

    Still, on the cusp still means that a deal was not done, either verbally or on paper, but that the major parameters have all been hashed out and now they are getting to the nitty-gritty of the details, so again, not divergent other than the $7.5M figure.

    Really makes it seem like the $7.5M quote is from the agent side of the negotiations.

    All I know, is that I'll be happy he signs, happier if it is an amount that can be justified based on past parameters so that it don't look so outrageous. $7.5M is high, but within the ballpark, based on what I've analyzed before. Lower than that would be even better, I'm all for the Giants saving money. Maybe it'll help fund the coaches that Neukom wants to see (bringing the story full circle to this post :^).

    ReplyDelete
  5. Looks like Posey signed for $6.2 million bonus. Not a major league contract. Reported on Baggarly's blog on the SJ Mercury website. What a relief! I think $6.2 mil is fair for both sides. Posey gets slightly more that what Wieters got last year and more than what Tim Beckham got this year. Giants pay significantly less than the inflated $7.5 million figure. Also, Giants don't have to worry about putting Posey on the 40 man roster right away and possibly using up his options.

    ReplyDelete

Labels

1984 Draft (1) 2007 Draft (14) 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 (38) 2013 season (5) 2014 Giants (19) 2014 season (8) 25 man roster (7) 3B (1) 40 Man Roster (4) 6-man rotation (1) 89 Quake (1) 89 World Series (1) A's (6) A-Ball (1) A-Rod (3) AA-Ball (1) Aaron Rowand (25) accomplishments (1) Adalberto Mejia (4) Adam Duvall (1) AFL (4) Alex Hinshaw (3) All-Star Game (1) almost perfect game (1) Amphetamine (2) analysis (3) Andre Torres (14) Andres Torres (2) Andrew Susac (4) Andy Baggerly (1) Andy Sisco (1) Angel Joseph (1) Angel Pagan (9) Angel Villalona (29) Anniversary (1) appendicitis (1) Arbitration (12) Armando Benitez (5) Armando Gallaraga (1) art of failure (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 (12) 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 (1) Blog Philosophy (2) Bob Howry (2) Bob Mariano (1) Bobby Evans (1) Brad Hennessey (5) Brad Penny (2) Brandon Bednar (1) Brandon Belt (36) Brandon Crawford (17) 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 (40) Brian Wilson (14) Bruce Bochy (22) Bucky Showalter (1) bulllpen (1) Bullpen (20) Bumgarner (1) Business Plan (13) Buster Posey (89) Byung-Hyun Kim (1) Cained (4) call-ups (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 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) 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 (6) Deferred Money (1) deleted comment (1) Derek Law (4) Detroit Tigers (1) DFA (3) DH (2) Dick Tidrow (1) Dirty (1) DL (1) dodgers (2) Donald Snelten (1) Draft (1) Draft Analysis (7) Draft Bonus (7) draft signing (2) Draft Strategy (11) Draft Study (2) Draft Success (2) drafting (1) Dres (16) Edgar Renteria (13) Edwin Escobar (4) Ehire Adrianza (12) 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 (3) Fielding Stats (3) 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 blogs (1) Giants Chat (2) 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 (11) 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 (6) Hector Correa (1) Hector Sanchez (8) Henry Sosa (8) HGH (1) high expectations (1) high school focus in draft (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 (17) Hunter Strickland (1) Idea (4) improvement (1) Indictment (1) injury (1) 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) Japanese Starters (1) Jarrett Parker (5) Jason Stoffel (1) Javier Lopez (5) JC Gutierrez (2) Jeff Kent (1) Jeff Suppan (1) Jeremy Affeldt (9) Jeremy Shelley (1) Jerome Williams (1) Jesse English (2) Jesse Foppert (1) Jesus Guzman (4) Joaquin Arias (7) Joe Panik (9) 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 (29) 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 (107) Mailbox (1) Malcolm Gladwell (1) management change (3) management issues (5) managerial value (2) Manny (1) Marc Kroon (2) Marco Scutaro (10) Mark DeRosa (8) Martin Agosta (6) Marvin Miller (1) Masahiro Tanaka (1) Mason McVay (1) Matsuzaka (1) Matt Cain (107) 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 (9) Mediots (3) Melk-Gone (1) Melky Cabrera (14) 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 Kickham (8) Mike Matheny (1) Mike Morse (5) milestone (1) minor league contract (1) minors (10) mismanagement (1) mistakes (2) MLB (2) MLB stupidity (2) MLB Success (6) MLB Trade Rumors (1) MLBAM (1) MLBTR (1) MLE (1) Mock Draft analysis (3) MVP (1) Natanael Javier (1) Nate Schierholtz (45) Nathanael Javier (1) Naysayers (1) Negotiations (1) Nick Noonan (25) Nick Pereira (1) Nick Vander Tuig (2) NL Champions (2) NL West (21) NL West Division Title (15) 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 (84) Panda (5) 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) Pitching (14) Pitching Rotation (50) pitching staff (1) plate discipline (1) Play Ball (1) player budget (2) player development (2) playoff (2) playoff hopes (23) playoff roster (1) playoff rotation (3) Playoff Success (18) Playoffs (26) postmortem (1) PQS (53) press conference (1) pressure (2) priorities (1) Projected Record (3) 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) 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) 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 (52) 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 (40) 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 (4) Tim Lincecum (143) 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 (39) turning point (1) Ty Blach (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 (6) Zack Wheeler (9)