Brian Sabean brought up a common refrain after yesterday's dismal finale to the Giants 3-7 homestand. Speaking about the poor performance of almost everyone not named Bonds, Sabean had this to say:
Their track records are too strong. If anything, some of the new guys are trying to make a name for themselves and obviously they're pressing. The fortunate thing is that it's only April and we have time to smooth this thing out. The will is there, the effort is there, the professionalism is there, and certainly from that standpoint, we feel the talent is there.
Um, Brian, no. Track records are available for us non-GM's to look at too, so let's. Here's what the 2001-2003 stats are for the Giants starters:
Edgardo Alfonzo .270/.350/.418 OPS .768 Per Season 15 HR 63 RBI 68 Runs
Ray Durham .279/.358/.454 OPS .812 Per Season 14 HR 66 RBI 93 Runs
Marquis Grissom .269/.298/.458 OPS .756 Per Season 19 HR 68 RBI 67 Runs
Neifi Perez .258/.285/.350 OPS .635 Per Season 6 HR 42 RBI 60 Runs
AJ Pierzynski .301/.340./449 OPS .789 Per Season 8 HR 59 RBI 57 Runs
JT Snow .255/.365/.384 OPS .749 Per Season 7 HR 43 RBI 43 Runs
Michael Tucker .254/.328/.419 OPS .747 Per Season 12 HR 57 RBI 63 Runs
I'm not bothering with Bonds, his stats are here often enough. I included Grissom, because it's important to remember that last season wasn't a fluke, it's pretty much in line with what you can expect, although he's way ahead
of last season, I don't expect him to outperform it by too much.
Simply put, that lineup is a joke. Not one of those players averaged much less than 130 or so games played over the last three seasons, so there's no hole in the counting stats. The percentage stats tell us that there's no percentage in playing these stiffs, (that's a pun).
And I don't have the time to run the pitchers, although I will tell you that once again, Sabean bet the wrong horse. When he decided to trade Ortiz and give Rueter the cash, he followed the same script that allowed JT Snow (4 years, $24 million) to earn a million dollars per home run over the four years of his deal, that saw Marvin Benard (3 years, $10 million) absolutely destroy the teams' salary structure over the life of his deal, that is paying Robb Nen close to $20 million dollars for not throwing a single pitch (I think it's safe to assume he will never reach his pre-surgery form again, wouldn't you say)…. I mean, these are big deals for the Giants. And they have all gone bad.
As for Rueter, let's look at Ortiz's and Rueter's last season and a half:
Kirk Rueter 10-7 167 IP 44 K 86 ER 16 HR's allowed
Russ Ortiz 22-9 228 IP 162K 98 ER 20 HR's allowed
That doesn't look too even, does it? If there's a method to Sabean's madness, it is hidden to this writer. Here's what I wrote way back when:
I look at this Rueter extension (2 years, $12 million), and I see a choice made by the Giants brass. They chose Rueter over Ortiz, and frankly, they did so in the face of what appears to me to be overwhelming evidence that they should have gone the other way. I'm not saying Woody isn't a terrific player to have on your team. I'm just saying that I would take Ortiz over him, not by a ton, but it wouldn't be too hard to pick the younger, bigger, stronger guy; who gives me more innings, strikes out more hitters, gives up fewer home runs, and who won as many or more games each of the last four seasons.
I guess I'm looking pretty good on that one right about now.