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…. Talk talk

One of the excellent backtalkers posted a link to the full Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy interview that Andrew Baggardly did. I read it, and wanted to bring some of it to the front page:

Sabean: “The thing I do know about Bengie’s situation is going into free agency he’s going to be in pretty darn good stead. There’s going to be more than the Giants interested and there are going to be teams that may be able to offer more years or salary than we at the end of the day may be able to compete for. So it’s a complicated issue but he certainly did his part and he deserves due consideration.”

Translation: “we’re gonna overpay him on a two year deal.”

Sabean: “…. it’s safe to say we need some more power, quite frankly. The team is going to have to take on a little different personality. As Boch pointed out to me at the end of the year, which makes sense, a lot of times when you have players like Pablo and Bengie who are free swingers, sometimes, especially with a younger team, or a team challenged to score a lot of runs, they’ll take on that personality. In a selfish way you’d like to find somebody who’s different from them who can calm things down or act in the middle of the order in a different way.

Translation: “I failed to sign Adam Dunn or Bobby Abreau, and we were fucked all year long because of it.”

Bochy: “I thought as hitters that we weren’t aggressive enough in certain counts, especially ahead in the count. I want these guys to let the bats go. I thought we were late a lot on fastballs in hitter’s counts. We want to work on that too. That’s a big part of the game. Power comes from being aggressive.

Translation: “I don’t know what I am talking about.”

Bochy: …. “I don’t think we’ve seen the best of Edgar (Renteria). I really don’t. This guy is a pro and he had a down year, I think, because of how much that elbow was bothering him. It didn’t just bother him throwing. It bothered him hitting. And this game’s hard enough to play when you feel great, but when you’re hurting and you’re trying to hit major league pitching, it’s not that easy.”

Translation: “I don’t know what I am talking about.”

Sabean: “Our aim is to try to get something done with Freddy (Sanchez) and I expect that probably will happen.”

Translation: “I don’t know what I am talking about.”

Sabean: “The one thing that didn’t happen was, collectively as a group, we just couldn’t get marginally better. …. Whether it’s moving runners over or the bunting game, in some ways, we might have gotten caught in between. We were waiting for guys to hit three-run homers. We were waiting for guys to hit a double with the bases loaded. The more we found out we couldn’t do that, later in the year, we decided that we were going to have to do some other things — bunting guys over or running a little bit more.”

Translation: “I don’t know what I am talking about.”

Seriously, though, the comments from these two are especially revealing. First off, they show that they really do have significant flaws in how they evaluate players. On the one hand, they are saying that a player is who he is, as in the comment about Sandoval and Molina. But in the next minute, we hear how they didn’t seem to know that they had a power-less team of hackers, and that they were surprised that none of these bums couldn’t hit three-run home runs at will. Bochy wants us all to remember that Renteria is a pro and a gamer and all that, but he fails to even mention how he’s also gonna be 35-years old, and has been injured and on a decline for most of the last four seasons.

Just like Sabean wants us all to know that Sanchez is a gamer and a pro and he expects that he’ll do better than last season, even though he’s 32 years old, and injured, and right smack in the middle of his decline phase.

Additionally, they demonstrate that they either haven’t been paying attention, or are actually that clueless when it comes to knowing what is actually happening. Did Bochy actually say, “I thought as hitters that we weren’t aggressive enough in certain counts.”? Really? That’s not what I thought. It’s not what any close examination of the teams hitters shows. It’s not what any of us who watched the games saw.

And, finally, the piece de resistance:

Sabean: …. “I’ll mention this, not in any way of being defensive, but the (two-year, $18.5 million) Renteria situation: We made a management decision on all levels that we needed a veteran shortstop. Looking back, the choice internally would have been somebody like (Emmanuel) Burriss, which as we all know sitting here today, wouldn’t have been the right thing to do.

Secondarily, no matter what the contract threshhold ended up being, if you talk to Tony LaRussa, if you talk to Bobby Cox, if you talk to anybody around baseball who’s had this type of player and you listen to how Boch witnessed what he was able to do on and off the field, including or especially just with somebody like Pablo, who he took under his wing in Spring Training and carried that out through the season and let alone how he went out there most days not at 100 percent, probably 75 percent.

Yeah, right. Sandoval is who he is, but also, he wouldn’t have been shit if it wasn’t for Renteria? The Tigers threw Renteria away, he was such a great fucking teammate, (and they instantly improved by about fifteen games, by the way). The right thing to do is to put your team in a position to win, and to do that, after last season; you needed to acquire some real hitters. If you’re really interested in developing a championship team, you don’t surround your twenty-something superstar pitchers with a bunch of senior citizens, you surround them with good, young talent. If you’re interested in making sure you don’t lose too much, you sign cast-offs like Renteria and Molina and try to pass them off as valuable.

Letting Burriss run out there all season would have been $18 million dollars cheaper –money that could have, should have been spent on a home run hitter– and would’ve been just as productive, something that was obvious to anyone who spent any time looking at the track records of the players involved.

And let me say this; Freddie Sanchez will never hit enough to justify his contract as he enters the prime seasons of his decline phase. He will never be healthy enough to be an everyday player again, and his contract will be just one more albatross contract in the endless succession of albatross contracts that are the defining characteristic of Brian Sabean’s reign.

UPDATE: I wanted to also highlight this comment by Sabean:

…. “I don’t feel particularly good about a colleague of mine like Kevin Towers being let go the way he was, but that’s the business.”

Towers is another failure of a GM, a guy mired in the past, with little appreciation of how the game has changed. Of course, Sabean thinks it’s terrible that Towers was fired after 14 years of failing to deliver a championship. That’s what Sabean must think about as he watches Molina swing at one pitch after another and wonders how come he’s not hitting three-run home runs every time.


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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
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