Thursday, August 07, 2008

Talking 'bout Sabean

In the wake of the trading deadline period passing, I have read a lot of whining about Sabean and his inaction, his love of vets, his inability to value players, etc. Then with the improperly reported Sergio Romo waivering, there were a lot of people's true feelings about Sabean coming to the fore, as there were a lot of gnashing of teeth when they thought the Giants had - gasp - lost a reliever who hasn't really been that good in the majors, but by gosh, they are not going to let Sabean go with losing anyone who might have a smidgen of trade value, well, because, that's why. Of course, I think it is all baloney.

Love of Vets?

First off, his supposed love of vets. The big problem here is that people don't remember what Sabean did when he took over: he traded-for/signed a bunch of young guys. Kent, Hamilton, Snow, Nen, Livan, Estes, most of the guys were just entering their prime physical period. Also, young players like Aurilia (albeit took forever), Kirk Rueter, Russ Ortiz, Shawn Estes, got the call up from the minors to play, Sabean didn't just go out and buy the nearest vet who filled a need. Of course, another problem is that many of these "know-it-alls" weren't around when Sabean rebuilt the Giants, they only know AT&T/PacBell Park and some only know them from their 2002 World Series.

For these people, he only went with vets in recent years because the ownership mandate was to win with Barry. To optimize that, you get and start vets, you don't try out young guys because they sometimes, oftentimes, crap out, like LaRoche did in his brief trials with the Dodgers, even though he was one of the highly rated prospects for the past couple of seasons. Or Anthony Reyes for the Cardinals before they recently gave up on him and traded him away.

For another reason why they are full of hooey: look at our pitching staff, all young guys, he didn't just fill the staff with hired guns, he totally re-built that and did a great job with that thus far, which few seem to acknowledge. Only true vet there are Zito and Yabu, and Yabu is probably gone very soon, we have a nice group of young relievers in our system, and if Valdez proves to be healthy next season, Yabu would not have a place on the staff.

It's like people would prefer to have one nice hitter and one nice pitcher, but still scrapping along everywhere else, and be happy with that. Or they just have blinders on and just think "Sabean bad; no Sabean good." The WHOLE FREAKING PITCHING STAFF IS RE-BUILT, or at least all except for Zito, and he appears to finally start being of value as a pitcher - he has been greatly responsible for much of the Giants poor home record, as I noted previously. Most teams would KILL to have a pitching staff like ours. One lost soul actually called into Gary Radnich's radio show and complained about the pitching staff, and actually dismissed Matt Cain as being inconsistent and therefore not that good.

If you play young players, they are going to be inconsistent. They will be gloriously good one moment, maddingly bad the next. There are few who are like Pujols and come out hitting, most will have their high of highs and low of lows. They are prospects, they are the young players people are crying for, they need to realize that this is part and parcel with going young: inconsistency. The point is, how is Cain doing overall? He has been just fine, in fact, more than fine, he has been very good.

Inability to Value Players

Please, except for the Pierzynski trade and Accardo trade, Sabean has been pretty much winning most trade deals. When you are trying desperately to win - and that was the mandate from the owners - you have to pay top dollar to get the players you want on the open market, those contracts are almost by definition "over paying" because the market has been in an inflationary mode the past few years. Still, he often got the best players available on the market when he had the payroll - unfortunately, they were not always that good or healthy or both. If you want to call it him going down with his ship, so be it.

But that is not the same as being unable to value players, you can only take what the market will bear you in free agency and that was an ownership mandate. That has nothing to do with overvaluing a player, that only has to do with having the winning bid to get the player you need in order to complete your team.

People don't think about the consequences of not signing players, the alternative was having young unproven players like Feliz or Torrealba or Mohr taking significant roles on the team when you could have a vet. If you are betting $20M on Barry Bonds, you have to go all in with your bets, you have to try to maximize your chances of winning. And you don't do that giving positions to unproven players who never did much in the minors to convince even the prospect experts to think that they are any good.

And, in a trade, you can control it to a much greater degree because you need to sign off on the deal before it goes through. And most deals he has made have been to the Giants advantage. He just hasn't done as many blockbuster ones lately, but is that his fault, or because other GMs are leery of getting fleeced by him and thus avoid dealing with him? I think it is a mixture of both, nobody is perfect, nobody will have great deals all the time. And in total, his trades have been in the plus column significantly.

Agent Ned and A.J.

I still believe that Ned Colletti is responsible for the Pierzynski trade. I think I now have additional logic supporting that. In a recent column, a LA Times writer, who don't think much of Colletti and writes about this regularly, writes the following:
"Some of those are minor league deals and I had nothing to do with them,"
Colletti protests when I mention his trading track record, and while I find it
odd the Dodgers' GM doesn't have final approval of all deals, he adds, "The
player development people made five or six of those."
This is exactly the practice that Colletti praised when he was with the Giants and working under Brian plus in interviews just after getting hired by LA. He talked about how Sabean would give the people who work for him a lot of lattitute in doing things that a GM would normally do, such as making trades. It looks like he has reduplicated Sabean's policies in LA.

I think this is another piece of evidence supporting my assertion that it was Colletti who probably did the Pierzynski trade. Magawan long ago disavowed the trade, saying that he would have killed the deal if it had been brought to his attention. You would think that Sabean would know when to bring something to Magowan's attention or not; you wouldn't think that one of his underlings would, however.

And on the face of it, just from a talent basis, it was a steal, BP said as much in their annual after that trade, as relievers are considered fungible by a certain saber-crowd, and the prospects were suspects, and for that you get an All-Star young catcher you control for another three years.

That's a move a desk-bound fantasy baseball administrator like Ned would do, not a baseball trained scout like Sabean who should know the talents and personalities about most of the players in the majors because he has watched most of them make the leap from H.S. to maybe college to the lower minors, then upper minors, and finally the majors. He would have known from multiple reports from scouts that A.J. was a horse's behind and difficult to deal with, but Happy Ned didn't have that knowledge. He just saw "All-Star Catcher" and drooled and pulled the deal. That pattern has continued in LA with his deals to get Schmidt, Loaiza, Pierre, Andruw, and now Manny (LaRoche for 2 months of Manny?), for example.

And then to compound the problem, Ned, in the job he was suppose to do, horribly underbids A.J. in arbitration, costing the Giants precious payroll budget space. All the media reports had the figure at basically $3M, so even I knew that, but unfortunately Ned didn't read Sporting News, he didn't do his homework. The Giants offered only $2.25M so the arbitrator went with the figure he felt was more fair, A.J.'s $3.5M demand.

Of course, that was the one season that the Giants didn't really have much money in their budget for players, forcing them to do the Tucker draft pick move to save money, so not only was the trade made, but that took up a large portion of the money that was left in the budget, and then took up more because of his stupid mistake with the offer. Ned screwed the Giants all around on that one and escaped blame on that one, I believe.

Long History of Recognizing Talent

Sabean, on the other hand, has been recognizing talent since he was the draft coordinator and player development person for the Yankees in the early 90's. It was under him that the Yankee's acquired players like Derek Jeter, Mariano Duncan, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettite, players who led the Yankees to multiple World Series. He also picked up guys like JT Snow and others who were traded to help the Yankees return to greatness.

Then he showed it with the Giants. He picked up Rueter just before being named GM, then made the blockbuster Matt Williams trade that worked out well for the Giants, as they picked up Kent in that deal. He also picked up JT Snow for Alan Watson, who pretty quickly pitched his way out of baseball, and signed Hamilton, who he later traded to get Ellis Burk. He also traded for Nen and Livan for peanuts, then pulled his best trade, even better than the Williams trade, he got Jason Schmidt for next to nothing, at least the Indians got Williams for Kent.

People cry about Sabean's deals since the World Series, but:

1) you can't do many deals when everyone simplistically wants your best prospects, Cain, then Lincecum, then Sanchez, now Bumgarner and Alderson.

2) you can't do many deals when the roster gets old while ownership wants to "win one more time" with Bonds.

And most of all, they miss the most important detail: look at our pitching staff. If he cannot recognize talent, then how did he amass such a great load of pitching talent together and has even more coming up within the next couple of years in Bumgarner, Alderson, and Sosa. If he cannot recognize talent, he would not have been able to do that, the pitching staff would be in much the same shambles that the lineup is.

The thing is, it takes many years to rebuild, you cannot rebuild quickly unless you have cornerstone type players to bridge the two successful eras. We had a team full of vets whose time has come and soon to go and young pitchers who were not ready to shoulder that load. This is much like the Braves teams when they awoke from 6 seasons of losing hell, full of young pitchers and hitters coming to the fore, supplemented by veterans in the rotation and lineup. If you want to get mad at Sabean for not being able to rebuild without losing, then you would have to fire 99% of the GMs who have ever held the title - rebuilding without losing is not a reasonable expectation.

Rebuilding Nearly Done

The thing is that I believe the team is pretty much done rebuilding. As anyone can see, the pitching staff is pretty much complete, we have the starters who will lead the way for us over the next 4 seasons in hand, the closer who can dominate for the next 5 seasons, and a load of potentially good relievers - I believe that this can be settled within the next season or so, particularly if the Giants bring up Alderson or Bumgarner to take on relief roles initially before moving up to the starting rotation.

As I've shown in my "Hey" series, a pitching staff that can lead the NL in ERA don't really need a top offense to win games at a pennant winning level. Lewis is looking like the real thing each and every day. Rowand looks like he will be another good piece of the offensive puzzle. Schierholtz looks like he can be another good piece once he is given a chance. Hopefully the Giants can trade Winn at some point before next spring training - his recent hot streak should boost interest in him and perhaps a key injury or poor performance somewhere could convince a team to give us something decent for him plus take on his 2009 contract. Plus, Buster Posey could be another key offensive piece of the puzzle, perhaps the last piece if Schierholtz and he can produce offensively, as we hope, that would give us four good position players offensively.

Overall

Has Sabean been perfect? Not even close. But has he been good? I believe so. The Giants plan since the World Series has been basically buy the best available free agent that our payroll can afford for the positions of need in order to compete today with Barry Bonds in the lineup. This obviously did not work and I believe it didn't work because ownership wasn't willing to shell out the money to get Bonds' successor nor willing to accept greater financial losses during that key period.

I have seen some blame Sabean for not getting ownership to change the plan. There is only so much you can do before the question becomes: do you believe enough to quit your job? That's easy for most people to do, there are normally plenty of different options for the vast majority of people.

But there are only 30 major league GM positions, and it is normally not easy to just quit your job and move on to another GM job. For one, MLB team ownership is a pretty exclusive club, and if one owner decides to tell other teams that you were a horrible GM to deal with, your career is pretty much dead. For another, you might particularly enjoy your position and team, but the owners just don't see your point for whatever reason, it is an autocracy, ultimately.

For example, that has plagued any GM who has worked under Steinbrenner, the Yankees have won in spite of him, not because of him, as the glory of the late 1990's was built during the years Steinbrenner was forced out of baseball due to some illegal campaign contributions or something like that, and while he was out, the smart baseball men under him - which included Brian Sabean - obtained many of the key players who led those winning teams: as noted above, when Sabean was director of player development and scouting, the Yankees obtained Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Riviera, and Andy Pettitte, among others, cornerstones of the Yankees for the past dozen years or so.

The thing is that the Giants, while not winning the past 3, now 4, seasons, at least has been re-building at the same time. The rebuild is nearly complete, with all the major pieces necessary for a successful pitching staff in place plus major pieces probably coming down the pipeline. As I've been quoting frequently, research by Baseball Prospectus (and similar research done at The Hardball Times, I just recall) have found that the key way to add competitive advantage for the players is through pitching and defense.

Positionally, the key thing is that they did not commit long term to players while trying to win with Bonds; they will all be gone by the end of next season, during the final phase of the rebuild. Meanwhile, they have added Aaron Rowand long-term, a plus offensive and defensive CF. Plus Fred Lewis appears to be a good LF offensively and, according to data quoted by Bay City Ball's Chris, has been good overall defensively, though that is something I believe is a work in progress because he does not have a good defensive reputation and still makes egregious mistakes in the field, that fortunately his speed appears to mitigate. We need probably two more good offensive pieces to fill out the top spots in the lineup.

Defensively, that is still a work in progress, besides the above. The infield is in flux. Ochoa and Burriss look like a good double-play combo up the middle, but it is not established yet if they can do the job offensively, though they have had flashes of goodness thus far at the MLB level. Posey appears to be a huge upgrade defensively at catcher, but he'll have to sign first, then perform well. 1B and 3B are open positions, but currently Bowker and Castillo are offensively and defensively below average thus far, even if they return to their usual positions, plus Gillaspie is considered only average defensively at best. Frandsen, should he win a position, would probably not be a plus defender, though probably average. Villalona, however, should he make it, appears to be good defensively, as well as offensively.

In the outfield, Schierholtz appears to be our future RF, but his defense is considered below average. Velez at any position, whether OF or IF, is probably below average. Rowand however is very good and Lewis is improving. Bowker, should he return to the OF, would be below average. So fielding and offensive is a work in progress, but a number of good pieces thus far.

Still, I think we have a good start towards a team strong in pitching and defense, and getting there offensively, particularly if Schierholtz, Posey and, eventually, Villalona develop as hoped and projected. In addition, perhaps we can find a plus young player via free agency. And there is always the possibility of trading for an offensive piece at some point, Sanchez should be quite the trading chip over the off-season.

Sabean should be done re-building within a year or two, hence why I was happy he got a 2 year extension: that gave time to be able to see how his rebuild develops (pretty well so far, Lincecum, Sanchez, Lewis, and Wilson took huge leaps this season at major league level, Bumgarner and Alderson at the minor league) and to better assess where the team is in terms of its rebuild, allowing us to retain him during assessment, while if the rebuild wasn't going well, he could be gone soon enough and his salary would be a drop in the bucket to eat. So far, so good, I say.

9 comments:

  1. So let me understand this.....the few things that have gone right was Sabean at the helm and the multitude of bad decisions are Ned's, Peter's or someone else's doing?

    Hmmmmm.....interesting. I never considered that.

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  2. martin,

    that was the most long winded apology for sabean i have ever read. do you take huge morning dumps? cuz that was a big one.

    george bush should hire you as his new press secretary, cuz you spin better than all of them put together.

    btw, you lost it at your first statement...sabean didnt trade for kent...he was a throw in...sabean was forced to take him to get the deal done.

    and if we go by your assertions...for the past 12 years, sabean has been little more than a figure head, a puppet, a monkey...basically doing his master's bidding.

    well i and most of the fan base, aint buying it.

    oh, and nice of you to decide that neither romo nor matos did anything good while up here...their stats show differently....but i know, stats lie

    oh wait a sec...didnt sabean give rowand a huge fa contract based on his stats in hitter freindly philli? boy, that has worked out so well

    but im sure sabean really didnt want to get rowand...cuz he is just a puppet on a string

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  3. You guys forget that if you criticize Sabean, according to OGC, you have some anti-Sabean bias clouding your judgment.

    Interesting read, none-the-less.

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  4. The few things that are right? You are the ones blind if you cannot see the great pitching staff we have brewing.

    People worry too much about the 25th man on the roster or the last relievers in the bullpen. It is this over-reaction, knee-jerk reaction that bothers me. Sure it is not great, but the odds that Romo is going to be that great a player is slim. All I am looking for is a reaction that is commeasurate with the offense.

    Rowand has been doing what he could be expected to do: he is struggling at home relative to the road. Durham, Grissom and Alfonzo acknowledged that back when they had their first season here, that it takes much of their first season here to figure out how to hit here. Meanwhile, Rowand is hitting .817 on the road (career mark of .795, or 106 OPS+) which is what anyone would think he could do for us based on his past stats and which would put his OPS+ in the 110-115 range. As it is, it is still 105, which we get with gold glove defense in a premium spot like CF, and all for a salary that is not much about what the average CF is getting on the free agent market. It is not a bargain, but neither is it a weighted anchor, it is a fair deal.

    I certainly didn't think (and you can check my previous posts) he would duplicate what he did in Philly (and ChiSox for that matter), which is what you imply with your statement bacci, but I would take .817 OPS on the road for a CF who plays good defense. And Rowand I would credit to Sabean, ownership finally let him do things his way (probably a condition for Sabean signing an extension back on with the Giants), else all the rumors that Sabean Naysayers cried and moaned about, but never happened, like Tony Clark, Joe Crede, and others, would have happened. If the Giants were looking to win in 2008, they would have gotten at least a 1B/4th-OF position player in case Ortmeier failed and a 3B in case Frandsen failed (or in this case was lost for the season). They had the money for it, and probably could have dealt Sanchez for like Crede, but didn't.

    And where are you recreating history, bacci, Kent was not a throw-in, he was a large part of that deal, if you examine his past stats, he was a power source just looking for a regular gig in order to tap into that. He was the power source to replace Williams with, while getting a younger and cheaper player to replace Williams with, while adding a bunch of other players as well for a similar amount of money. But I will grant that I could be wrong as well, if you can provide me with a aource of your information.

    And speaking of spin, bacci, how about you, trying to twist my statements? Are you Republican, with your attack smears and making up stories?

    I've been very clear with my feelings on Sabean. I was full-on, unabashed admirer of what Sabean did up to the 2002 World Series, he re-made the Giants with the moves he made. It was after the 2003 season that I believe that things started changing. There were no massive free agent signings of mediocre talent prior to that, the signings were more additive and took what the market would bear in terms of talent. There was a great difference in how things were handled before and after the World Series.

    Well, it really doesn't matter if you all buy this, apparently the Giants ownership is buying it, as Magowan is suddenly more interested in his grandchildren while Neukom, who is basically the same age and has grandchildren as well, will be the new managing partner. The code in corporate America when an esteemed leader is forced out but on nice terms is that he is leaving the position for personal reasons.

    And I've been writing about this since 2003, I've seen saying that the Giants should pony up more money to get the players they need to compete, I've been saying that Magowan should get more money from the investors or even sell out to bigger money like Larry Ellison (and he's been looking for a sports investment), as much as I appreciate all his ownership group has done, they needed to step up the past 5 years and spend more money, and it wouldn't have been a lot, given their cumulative wealth, to spend an extra $10M per season, to get the offensive successor to Bonds.

    The main difference between me and other Giants complainers is that I realize that my voice is not going to change any of the bad stuff that I see and thus I don't feel the need to pout about it like a child in public when things don't go the way I think they should. In addition, I don't let the problems in certain areas of the Giants blind me to the good stuff that IS happening to the team.

    There are things to criticize about Sabean, whether it was allowing his desk-jockey lieutenants to be able to make big trades without his final approval, drafting Bumgarner over Heyward, waiting to give Aurilia and Ainsworth their chance on the team. The key is whether you can see the good from the bad, and many are blinded by their anti-Sabean bia. Else, how do you explain how so many of them fail to even see the good, nay, great stuff that is going on in the pitching staff, even as all the other stuff swirls around the team. Not all Sabean complainers have anti-Sabean bias, but I feel that they do if they don't acknowledge what I see as a good situation the Giants are currently in, in terms of re-building.

    You need to be able to discern the good from the bad, objectively, and I don't see that with most Sabean Naysayers. Maybe you are different, but this post is aimed at all those who don't see the good with the bad, those who are just negative, negative, negative.

    I've openly talked about what I saw as deficiencies in Sabean, that is what drove me to explain the draft, and analyze that situation, I and many others thought that Sabean was terrible in drafting and building up the farm system back in 2002-2003, but instead of sitting on my perception and accepting that, I went out and explore the draft and wrote what I've analyzed about the draft.

    I haven't said that he's a genius with the draft, though others easily call him an idiot. But I look at the results as they evolve, and I think it's pretty good - thus far. I'll save the labels for a few years out when we see what happens with Cain, Lincecum, Sanchez and gang, as Lowry shows, it can all go away relatively suddenly, that is why I coach what I say about the future and say that it is looking pretty good now, but we need time to assess what the situation is before you decide whether or not to fire Sabean.

    I've never said that that Sabean is safe from firing. All I've said is that given his successes with the pitching staff thus far - unattached to all the good and bad stuff that may or may not have happened under his watch in the past - we should keep him around to see what he can do with that, as it is a pretty damn good start for a rotation, and the bullpen likewise is starting to look pretty good too. All I've said is that he deserves some time to continue to develop what he started and make more progress - which he has this season with Sanchez, Wilson, Lewis, even Lincecum, plus nice pieces in the bullpen, and developments in the minors and major pieces added or soon to be added (Rodriguez, Posey).

    Let me put it this way, if it seems like I am a Sabean lover, it is only because I see all the Sabean Naysayers and been reacting to that. But if you go through my statements previously, I've never said that he's the leader we need for the future. I like what he has done with the pitching staff so far and thus deserves additional time to show what he can do with re-building the lineup, and that two years was good, we don't insult him for all the good things he had done previously when he first started, and neither are we committed to him long term either.

    I saw this behaviour at the firm I used to be at. It was a good situation, good pay where you got a lot of responsibility quickly if you did good work, there was opportunity you wouldn't have seen at larger companies, and more importantly, it made gobs of money, which my first job failed miserably at doing. All the young people who we hired failed to see and appreciate the positives of the situation (along with the negatives). It is about knowing the battles you can win and knowing what is really the key problems with the situation, and most of all, appreciating what you do have.

    And just to be out in the open about this, I'm a registered Republican, but am moderate in most ways and describe myself as a Republi-crat, and it was ol' Tricky Dick Nison who created the attack and negative spin tactics used in politics today, and which bacci used here.

    I see the bad and the good in most situations, I'm obsessive and compulsive in that way, it makes decision making harder but I wouldn't have it any other way. I prefer to know the whole situation as it is, warts and all, it is better than having blinders, whether it be the good or the bad.

    That's why I gave a hard time to the few Giants fans who lived in my neighborhood in the East Bay while growing up, they all thought the Giants were going to win, and I would let them know, "no, probably not" and tell them why. It would have been easier just to nod along but I would rather face up to the reality of the situation, than to be blind to the good or the bad of any situation.

    There is a lot of good going on with the Giants right now if people would open their eyes. There is also a lot of bad. That's what happens when you are rebuilding.

    I provide a measured view. I said first off in my conclusion "Has Sabean been perfect? Not even close." Likewise, neither has Sabean been all bad either, not even close. Yet, all the complainers here could not even fit in one word in praise of Sabean. That's what I see in comments in the boards, all this negativity when at minimum, you have to acknowledge that the Giants have a great beginning to a stellar pitching rotation and a nice player in LF now plus acquired a nice CF. That's why I hope to provide, to combat blinders, whether they are blind to the good or the bad of the situation.

    You can't rebuild a team overnight normally. It takes time and patience and most rebuilds take 5+ years of losing before you start seeing the turnaround. Screaming about how bad you think Sabean is won't change that.

    And in the corporate world, if Sabean is changed now, odds are is the new guy will come in and tear down the team and trade away all the good pieces in hopes for the future. Basically, they would be doing what Billy Beane is doing this season, you can kiss Cain and/or Lincecum away, probably Sanchez too, maybe Wilson if there is a good enough offer. The rebuild will start all over again, and we would have to go through another 4-6 years minimum of losing while the new GM tries to figure out how he wants to rebuild. You can kiss away any of the hope that our pitching rotation provides as that will be gone.

    That is the way it works in the corprate world, change is a sign to the new person that the old way didn't work and if you want to lose your new job, do the same thing as your predecessor did. We are close to finishing the rebuild and I'm glad the Giants are rolling the dice to see whether Sabean can finish the re-build or not. As I've written before, I've no idea whether he can do it or not, but keeping him is a better alternative to a new GM as that would give the new GM the impetus to trade away Cain and Lincecum and Sanchez and whoever else he (she?) feels like in re-making the Giants.

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  5. If this were the corporate world, Sabean would've gotten fired a long time ago......not gotten a 2 year extension for bringing this franchise to the brink of oblivion.

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  6. look martin,

    i dont want to go around and around with these issues...if you feel that sabean was taking a paycheck for the past 4 years and doing nothing...so be it.

    you want to give him a full two years to rebuild...so be it.

    can you admit one thing?

    his strategy of playing the vets till the break, in order to create trade value, didnt work.

    so 3/4 of this year were an absolute waste.

    now the org has 2 months to evaluate players...and 2 months is really not enough time to do that, especially when you have now shifted one of those players to a position that he has never played as a pro.

    and i guess that we will have to agree to disagree on rowand...dude is on pace to k over 100 times...guess ort couldnt do that...guess you have to be making over 6 mil per to do that...and way to play with stats...how are the dudes power numbers?

    and if a team who has overloaded pitching with 12years of drafts, cant finally put together a rotation of mostly home grown guys...then there is definitely something wrong.

    and lets discuss one of those guys...sanchez....sanchez was thrown back a full year in development when the org decided that he should work from the pen...then put him back in the rotation...then back to the pen, then finally back to the rotation.

    everyone knew this was a mistake right off the bat...but i guess that wasnt sabean's decision either.

    but please...dont scrub this article from your site...we all want to come revisit it next august

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  7. I removed a comment because of the name used. Here is his comment:

    Left out a few:
    Barry Zito
    Dave Roberts
    Matt Morris
    Edgardo Alfonzo
    #1 pick Tony Torcato
    Brett Tomko
    Neifi Perez
    to name a few

    My comment:

    If you think Zito was all Sabean, then I can't hellp you.

    If you criticize a GM for a lousy pick like Torcato, then no GM would ever pass your test.

    I agree about Neifi and wrote about that too, I was pretty disgusted. Still, he was pretty handy that first season because Durham was injured so often.

    Alfonzo was in high demand and we needed a 3B RBI guy (the alternative was Feliz and he took another 2 seasons to become acceptable before descending back to lousy) and he had performed well the season before and for much of his career. If you are claiming to be clairvoyant enough to know he was going to be a bust on the magnitude that he was, then you should be on your own private island somewhere, else you are wasting your talents.

    Roberts, we needed an OF unless you thought Bonds and Winn could man the OF by themselves. Lewis had shown nothing much up to then, again, if you "knew" Lewis was going to be so good, based on the mediocre stats he had compiled up to then, then you are wasting your talents.

    Morris, we needed a starter, badly, and that's what we got. He was a risk but when ownership mandates that you fill every position with vets in order to win with Barry, at least he got the best guy out there, he was at least better than Loaiza, who we could have ended up with instead.

    Tomko, we needed a starter and had no payroll because Barry's monster contract kicked in and so did other big contracts the season before. He at least was better than what would have come out of our farm system.

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  8. Boof, yes, in the real world, everything is black and white, corporate means that everything that happens in the corporate world must adhere or the universe will tilt out of control and doom us to a black hole existence.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That's the problem, bacci40, I don't consider adding Cain, Lincecum, Sanchez, Wilson, Hinshaw, Romo, Correia, Lewis, Bowker, Velez, Burriss, Noonan, Villalona, Rodriguez, Gillaspie, hopefully Posey, Bumgarner, Alderson, Sandoval, Sosa, Schierholtz, Rowand, Winn, to be doing nothing. I consider that to be pretty good additions. And that's just for the Giants today, any long list you or John Edwards (the commenter I deleted because of his bad language on his name but then included his comments so that it is not lost; I can only delete, not modify) want to compile, I know I can beat it with a better list of the players he has added who contributed greatly to the Giants winning from 1997 to 2004.

    And there's always going to be mistakes, you are mistaken if you think there is a perfect GM somewhere lurking, EVERYONE makes mistakes. And who really cares about mistakes made at the margin or with the #5 starter or 25th man on the roster, people only complain about those when they just want to complain about the GM and just need a reason. He had huge gains with Kent, Schmidt, Rueter, Snow, Hamilton, Burks, Nen, Livan, Estes, F-Rod, Worrell, Eyre, etc., that's what is most important. And his rebuild while being saddled with ownership's strategy to win with Bonds is pretty darn good too.

    I'll admit that the strategy of playing the vets until the break was the right strategy to do at the time, it just didn't work. I would rather he do the right strategy and it not work than the wrong strategy and have it work, because most times, doing the right strategy will be the better way to go.

    If you can't see that strategy finepoint, then, yeah, we would just go around and around and around like those two half-white half-black (down the middle) men in that classic Star Trek episode (the great Frank Gorshwin played one of them), well, like we have these past few years.

    If you don't like what I have to say but can only repeat what you have said the past couple of years, you aren't really adding much, are you? Just join all the Naysayers living it up on The McCronic and you all can have a jolly good time missing the great stuff that is happening with the Giants.

    I don't consider the 3/4 of the season to be a waste. Lincecucm, Sanchez, Wilson, and Lewis have all moved things up a giant notch, plus Hinshaw, Taschner, and Romo have made a mark too. If you really think that Bowker and Burriss had done enough to warrant more play, I would hate to follow any team you GM for.

    Burriss, for your information, since you apparently weren't paying attention, was already moved to 2B at the start of this season. He's also been pegged as a future 2B by most prospect experts. And it's not like teams haven't done this, like, forever. They put McGwire at 3B at the start of his rookie season, for heaven's sake, when he was a 1B, how's that for throwing a player into the fire? At least 2B is easier than SS, 3B requires a certain type and a lumbering 1B is not that type.

    Two months is more than good enough time to evaluate a player because they also had their time in the minors to add to their evaulation. And in baseball, if you have anything that people can exploit, they will figure it out pretty fast, long before two months are over.

    And, are you freaking kidding me about Rowand? You just about lost any of your remaining supporters on that one. "Oh no, 100 strikeouts" MOST OF THE BEST MLB HITTERS STRIKE OUT OVER 100 TIMES! Only the very best can hit well AND strikeout less than 100. If you knew anything about what makes up a successful hitter, you wouldn't have wrote that.

    OPS is one of the better indicators of a hitter's abilities, and there he is doing welll enough, particularly given the AT&T disadvantage. We didn't get him for his power, we got him for his overall offense and great defense, plus on top of that, leadership. Yes, he could do more on power, but given his OPS is good for a CF, I can live with growing pains, what with big contract, new team, new park, etc.

    Let's see, 80% of our rotation is homegrown guys, how is that not "a rotation of mostly home grown guys"? You are making it too easy for me to shoot you down.

    Wow, you are really making it easy for me (really, I'm not giving myself softballs like this to show off, I'm not bacci). Sanchez wasn't ready to start at the major league level the past two seasons. Do you know anything about how a pitcher can be successful? Or what constitutes a good pitcher?

    As a reliever, the number one rule is to throw strikes, and even with his stuff, he walked basically 5.0 BB/9 as a reliever. As a reliever you use your best stuff for short bursts and even then he couldn't get his BB/9 under 4.0, let alone the 3.0 that is the mark of a good pitcher. HIS BEST STUFF.

    The good news was his stuff was so good that he struck out a lot too, and thus he was ready for the majors, just not ready for starting (or even relieving). But as TINSTAAP notes, once a minor leaguer shows that he has the stuff to get MLB hitters out, it is wasteful of his arm to keep him in the minors, wearing out his joints and everything, you bring him up and hope he shapes up. It took him a couple of seasons plus a couple of months, but he finally figured some things out.

    So, no, it was not a mistake, no matter how you want to spin it, he wasn't ready.

    And, to be clear to those who are new to my blog, I've never scrubbed any article I've ever written, my writing is there for any potshot anybody wants to take, whether it is my work here or my previous life as Biased Giants Fanatic.

    I can accept that I'm not right all the time - and I know I'm not - but I think I bring up good points that nobody else does, and still do.

    If you still don't understand what it is to be a successful pitcher, then you are either not reading my posts or you have poor transfer from short-term memory to long-term or, worse, you just don't get it.

    I can't help with that other than suggest that you get a book like Baseball Forecaster (their new owner is having a big sale right now and selling them cheap), that's the book that helped me understand to a much greater depth how good players look statistically in a significant way.

    And if that is not enough, then I suggest taking some college classes on statistics and get a good base knowledge of what statistics is and what it means. That would help you understand the book.

    If that is still beyond you, then you really shouldn't be even reading my blog, I am statistically oriented and will make a lot of arguments based on statistics, as well as what I know about baseball in general. Just reading around my site anybody should have gotten that.

    You are just beating your head into the ground if you don't have a good basis in statistics and try to follow my arguments, because my logic will have stats at the heart of my arguments.

    And shame on me, I never made that clear in my blog description, I will be sure to rectify that.

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