Monday, October 20, 2014

Thank You Brian Sabean!

I posted this on MCC, but wanted to share it here, just in case it got censored in some way.  I also realized that I had left in some grammar errors, so this fixes some of them



ogc thoughts

Thank you for this era, the era I've been calling "The Giants: Team of the 2010 Decade". By out playing the Cards, now the Giants can make a stronger case - three World Series in five years - than the Cards - four straight NLCS but only one World Series in five years of the 2010 Decade.
Thank you for all the fine players your team of experts drafted and developed, usually confounding the draft experts. Cain was suppose to be a mid-supplement round pick, but you made him a first rounder. Lincecum, Tidrow loved so much that he told Sabean not to go to any of his games, in order to not tip their interest in him; meanwhile, except for the Royals, who eventually chose to a deal with the Devil (cough, Boras), and the Rays, who had a pre-draft deal with him but then Longoria fell in their laps, none of the other teams thought he was that good, and the Giants grabbed him.   As contrasted to Wheeler, who reportedly humped it up to 97 when you were in attendance.  Then there were those who wanted to trade him for Rios (Cain too, because they thought he was a loser, but he proved them wrong in the playoffs).

Bumgarner, some here famously did not like his selection and the experts had him going later, but Sabean and Tidrow, interviewed moments later, said that they expected him to make the majors in two years, and darn if he didn't. Even Posey, the most obvious pick, was shunned by many here, who would have rather had Justin Smoak instead. Panik almost every expert (except for John Sickels) thought that the Giants made a mistake on, though would have been OK swapping Crick and Panik's positions (KLaw said that he's at best a utility MI). Belt, only the Giants believed in, but once he started hitting, every expert and fan seemed to think they knew him better than the Giants. After a few years of Belt fighting off the Giants recommendations, he finally adds the final one, the grip, and starts hitting like everyone had been hoping. Crawford, Susac, both fell in the draft, and the Giants plucked them up.  So far, so good.
Thank you for finding all the valuable relatively free players: Uribe, Torres, Casilla, Huff, Burrell, Ross, Blanco, Arias, Vogelsong, Petit, Ishikawa, Strickland.  Sure, there were free agent mistakes (Rowand, Renteria, Zito; but the latter two eventually helped us win a World Championship each), but this steady stream of cheap production helped greatly to cancel all that out.  And really, if bad free agent signings is a fireable offense, then every GM would be fired at some point, it's inevitable.  In any case, I don't want a GM who does not take some risks, I understand that they will make mistakes, as long as the overall product, which is all I care about, is pretty good.
Thank you for the four World Series (I am including 2002) and any future ones this fine group of players may get into. And I think there will be more. We may not win them all, but the ache is gone, and I can enjoy each and every run as just great baseball drama that I can just enjoy as a baseball fan, whether it was Bumgarner throwing that ball away, that flyball going over Ishikawa's head, or Ishikawa, who I have followed closely for a long time because of a stupid on-line argument that spiraled into a hateful joke about my dead father, hitting one of the most consequential home runs ever in San Francisco Giants history (how's that for you Kevin BS? Still think we should have DFAed Travis for NOTHING in A-ball?  Still think Vericker is better?).
Thanks especially for hiring Bochy.  Wow, he is good in so many ways.  One study found that veteran hitters have hit better with him as manager, worked out to 2-3 wins per season.  Another study found that his management of the bullpen added a win or two as well, on average, to the team.  My study of one-run games found that he is statistically significantly above .500 in one-run games, and so far he has average 4 wins above .500 in one-run games, turning two losses to two wins, on average.  You add that all up, it makes a lot of sense that you would lead your teams to the World Series so often once you got talented teams under your wing and not traded away.
Lastly, thank you for sticking it out as GM of the Giants. You are not an idiot. I can only imagine how it is to put up with such an unsupportive fanbase. Thankless fans who thinks this is all luck. A Lunatic Fringe that still won't thank you for all this bountiful harvest. Thank you for signing each two-year extension that I have applauded loudly for, and sticking it out to see how your "baby" worked out, you could have left a number of times, you were a free agent, but you stuck it out and signed an extension. And thank you for the two shiny World Series trophies we fans get to enjoy, even if it should turn out that there are no more to add to them (but I think this group has at least one more to add, if not two), it has been a great, great ride, better than I could ever had imagined.

1 comment:

  1. Great article on Brian Sabean, acknowledging his role in creating the Yankees Dynasty of the late 1990's with Jeter and others (which, ahem, I covered long ago in a blog post on my old site, Biased Giants Fanatic)

    http://www.mercurynews.com/giants/ci_26763311/brian-sabeans-formula-giants-tough-gritty-determined

    Great quote from Hudson about the art of what Sabean does:

    "Maybe because he was a scout, it comes from his history of seeing and evaluating players and not only seeing their physical tools, but their mental side," said pitcher Tim Hudson. "Those are the things that general managers can't put a stat on -- how tough somebody is, how much guts they have, what kind of chemistry they can bring.

    "Too many people nowadays are getting wrapped up in the sabermetrics and the stats," Hudson continued. "I'm willing to bet almost every one of those people never stepped in a locker room, put on a jock and took the field, and understands those intangibles that help you win."

    Intangibles is what a lot of sabers never get. So I'll end with this quote from Sabean:

    "We've got a lot of high character people, and these guys are tough, tough guys. They're men in every sense of the word, but they play this game with the passion and respect of Little Leaguers. All that's contagious, and that's kind of been the culture we've been able to develop over the years."

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