More good news out of the Giants camp, as we learn that manager Bruce Bochy intends to let the Giants run and run:
…. “I would like to have our guys play their game,” Bochy said. “I don’t want to change the game because we do have Barry in the cleanup hole. You get to the point of diminishing returns sometime when you try to force the issue. If we think now is the time to run or hit-and-run, we’re going to play the game. You can’t sit back and wait on one guy or two guys.”
Since all I ever do is complain, let me just explain how happy I am to hear this. Fantastic news, really, especially since, with Bonds batting fourth; there will be already at least 70 games in which he won’t get to the plate in the first inning. Now we get the additional treat of advocating a reckless, proven to be virtually useless “speed” game, which will also provide the added treat of watching a) Bonds being intentionally walked with first base open an extra 20 times, and b) another ten or twenty first innings ending with Bonds in the on-deck circle as these old men get thrown out. Hooray.
Doesn’t anyone in the Giants organization read books? You know, baseball books, with information, research and analysis in them? Bochy, a grizzly, veteran-loving, old basball playing, tobacco-chewing, tough guy (who once famously intentionally walked Bonds in a meaningless situation after proclaiming how his team would never fear any one hitter), is now the second coming of Whitey Herzog. I’m telling you, I’m starting to have real thoughts of abandoning this team, as they continue down a path of baseball ignorance that I simply cannot stomach anymore.
And apparently, I’m not the only one:
…. Managing general partner Peter Magowan said he does not regret raising fans’ expectations by promising the Giants will get younger in 2007, but he is disappointed that the names of the free agents they tried to sign were leaked because, “The risk is, when we don’t get those players, we get an image of an organization that nobody wants to play for.”
Magowan said that was unfair, noting Carlos Lee picked Houston because he owns a ranch there and Gary Matthews Jr. went to Los Angeles because he has a son there.
“I can’t tell you how many conversations we had with excellent free-agent players during this offseason who did want to come here,” Magowan said. “We ended up with Ray Durham, but there were some excellent other second baseman who wanted to come here. This image that we’re going to go out and get players, and not be able to deliver on that, the public perception, I regret that.”
Yeah, well, regrets are like assholes, Peter. I regret that you are either blind to the failings of your GM, or are blind to your own; because at this point in time, your team is about tenth or twelth on he list of potential places to play for big-time free agents. Between the Bonds show, your systematic degradation of your major league team, your failure to effectively and accurately evaluate talent, and your neglect of your farm system; you’ve sent out a very clear message to any potential free agent: the inmates are running the asylum in San Francisco.
And let me further state that this problem goes all the way back to your failure to make a real effort to sign Vladimir Guererro. At the time of his free agency, he represented an EXACT fit for what your team needed; an immediate replacement for Kent’s bat, an All Star caliber outfielder with the best arm in the game to shore up your defense, and he was a younger superstar who would have been able to pick up the slack for Bonds as his career wound down. You and your GM low-balled him, (so that you could claim that you went after him, but still avoid actually paying him); and in the end, you came off as small-time. This franchise has never recovered from that miscalculation; just as it has never really recovered from Game Six.
Sabean (or you) haven’t made one significant move since then that could be considered to have worked, (other than perhaps the signing of Vizquel); and you’ve made about ten that have been abysmal. What’s really aggravating is that you guys spend all this time telling us about your financial limitations while throwing tens of millions of dollars on the ground. $18 million to Reuter when he was neither worth it or up for renewal, $27 million to Benitez, Alou, and now Dave Roberts; I mean, you could have signed Guerrero with no trouble at all if it hadn’t been for the ridiculous, albatross contracts you gave to virtually every mediocre “veteran” reaching the end of the line in baseball for the last decade.
Look in the mirror if you want to know why every free agent signs somewhere else; because it has nothing to do with where someone’s ranch is.