Archive for October, 2009

…. Molina

One of the backtalkers feels that I’m being too harsh on Molina. Horseshit.

Molina finished the season with an OBP of .285. That is the worst on base percentage in the entire National League, and second to only Yuniesky Betancourt, who posted an astonishing .274. He made 400 outs, and scored 32 runs outside of his 20 home runs. 32 runs scored in over 500 plate appearances is absolutely horrible. Between never walking and being one of the slowest players in the game, he is the ultimate rally killer.

Gamer? Give me a fucking break. Played his heart out? How about not swinging at every pitch for a change? Game after game, at bat after at bat, Molina destroyed any chance for the Giants offense to be effective. And then, after being a fucking out machine of the absolute highest order all season long, he made sure, that when the team brought up Buster Posey, even though the team was essentially eliminated, the team wouldn’t get a chance to see the young hitter in action in the majors, thereby hindering his chances for next season.

And let’s not forget that, when he was coming back from injury earlier in the season, he bitched about being unappreciated, pressuring Bochy to replace the surprisingly effective Eli Whiteside.

Someone who gives his heart and soul for the team would make choices that enhance his team’s chance to win. A player who is unselfish might learn to take a pitch now and again. He might appreciate a chance to mentor a young catcher. He’s not being paid by the at bat. He’s not being paid by how many times he swings. Molina is an old, slow, selfish and undisciplined player, one who contributes virtually nothing in the context of what it takes to be a winning team.

He is the embodiment of what is wrong with the San Francisco Giants, a symbol of the inefficient players that Brian Sabean values.

…. Be afraid

Be very afraid:

…. managing general partner Bill Neukom said he expects the Giants’ active payroll to rise in 2010.

“I anticipate that in terms of actual dollars of people playing for the Giants between the lines, it should be an uptick from this year,” said Neukom, who did not divulge a specific amount. It is not expected to be dramatic.

…. Asked if that means the team would consider one of the few wildly expensive middle-of-the-order hitters expected to be free agents, he said without mentioning names such as Jason Bay or Matt Holliday, “I wouldn’t rule out anybody at this point.”

At the same time, Neukom said the Giants have a “finite amount” of money for payroll

…. No matter which players the Giants consider this winter, Neukom said, the same formula will apply in evaluating them – and here is the caveat on the big-money hitters:

“At the end of the day, the question is going to be, Would this person significantly help us and make us more likely to be a winning baseball team, competitive to contending?” Neukom said.

“What’s it going to cost us in money? We have a finite amount of money to spend on this. Can we afford the money? Can we afford to give up the talent we would give up to get this person in a trade situation? Does acquiring this person (place a) lid on some talent we have coming up? Finally, what does this addition to the roster mean to the chemistry of this team?”

Let’s take a look at these questions in the order that Neukom asked them:

Would this person significantly help us and make us more likely to be a winning team?

The Giants are finishing a season in which they’ve scored fewer runs than just about every other team in baseball. Position by position, our team looks like this:

Catcher 27th in OBP 15th in OPS
First 26th in OBP 26th in OPS
Second 29th in OBP 29th in OPS
Third 5th in OBP 2nd in OPS
Short 18th in OBP 22 in OPS
Left 19th in OBP 20th in OPS
Center 22nd in OBP 20th in OPS
Right 29th in OBP 29th in OPS

So, for those of you not paying attention, we have a league average catcher, a top of the line third baseman, and nothing else. There are eight positions on the diamond, and we have one of them filled. That pretty much means that Neukom is already posturing. He is already getting prepared to tell us that, for the team to be able to go out and sign players like Matt Holliday, if they are going to cost so much money, one must be able to prove that they will help the team win. I can hear him already, “Well, you know we won 87 games last year with Randy Winn –who is an All Star, by the way– in right, why should we spend $40 million to get a guy who’s only marginally better.”

Not to mention, our GM is too stupid to know the difference anyway. Last year, we went out and got Edgar Renteria and Randy Johnson, and Jeremy Affeldt. Brian Sabean went out and upgraded three of the 25 men on his roster because he thought that would translate into making the postseason. So, we already watched Sabean make moves that were never, ever, going to “significantly” improve the team’s chances, even though Brian Sabean thought they would, just one more reason he should be fired. He thought that signing Edgar Renteria, Jeremy Affeldt and Randy Johnson were significant, dramatic upgrades, upgrades that would propel the team to the playoffs, even though we knew those kinds of moves were absolutely provably wrong, and absolutely guaranteed to fail.

…. To suggest that Renteria would even be an improvement over the stack of cordwood the Giants have been trotting out to short the last couple of seasons is laughable.

The Giants ranked dead last in all of baseball in production from short, running out a horrific .228/.295/.281 .576 OPS line that actually understates how bad it really was. The Giants shortstops scored 51 runs, accumulated 156 total bases, hit 1 home run, and made something like 450 outs.

Renteria (.270/.318/.382 .699 OPS) scored 69 runs, accumulated 192 total bases, hit 10 home runs, and also made something like 450 outs. To oversimplify just a bit, virtually all of the difference between him and the Giants shortstops was in the extra 9 home runs he hit; which he will never hit in a Giants uniform.

Again, a team as far from contention as the Giants shouldn’t even consider paying a 33-year old that kind of money, regardless of how good he is; and Renteria just isn’t all that good anymore. He had a fluky .332 season two years ago, but other than that, he’s been a league average hitter with modest defensive skills, who will be 34-years old this season.

Here’s what the boys at Baseball Prospectus said about Renteria before last season:

…. This may come as a surprise given his recent production, but PECOTA is not a fan of Edgar Renteria heading into 2008. His forecast is just .279/.343/.393 with a Collapse Rate of 50 percent. Part of the reason why for that decline is easy to spot—his BABIP was .375 last season, which helped him hit .332 on the season. There’s a significant drop in his projected power production as well, stemming from a combination of his getting older and also switching from the better league for hitters. If we adjusted his line from last year just for his BABIP, he would be somewhere around .307/.365/.445; that high Collapse Rate is PECOTA’s way of saying he isn’t as good as his 2007.

And then he wasn’t as good as his projection. You think he’s gonna be better this season, a right-hander with little power playing half his games at PacBell? $9 million good?

I don’t.

He failed to even reach the low levels of his forecast, .279/.343/.393 .736 OPS, running out a dismal .250/.307/.328 .635 OPS line, including, just as I predicted, only 5 home runs and 40 missed games. He scored, by the way, 50 runs, accumulated 187 total bases, and made 345 outs in 124 games. I won’t bore you with rehashing my accurate prediction that Johnson would get his 300th win and then not play another game.

What’s it going to cost us in money? We have a finite amount of money to spend on this. Can we afford the money?

Well, yes, you can. You can afford the money. We know that you can, because you give it away like it’s covered in anthrax. You “gave” $18 million dollars to Dave Roberts, who went from the Giants to the retirement home. You “gave” $18 million to Edgar Renteria, who was worth exactly ten cents in the grand scheme of “help us win a championship,” horseshit you’re trotting out right now. You, and your crack team of baseball experts are already getting your selves ready to “give” something like $30 million to Freddie–I am not 100 years old–Sanchez.

Here’s an idea…. Go out and “give” some money to a real baseball player. One who isn’t already past his prime, who isn’t injured, or out of shape, or a “savvy veteran.” Go out and get a good, young hitter, preferably an rightfielder, which will allow you to use Winn as a fourth outfielder. Send Fred Lewis to the winter league to learn how to play left, let Rowand play everyday in center. Sign Uribe for $3 or 4 million per and hope he has one more year in him. Sign Penny for about the same. Leave Sandoval at third base, play Velez at second and pray that he wasn’t an illusion the last two months, and platoon Garko and Ishikawa. Don’t throw another $25 million on the ground for Freddie Sanchez, who’s a marginal player at his best.

Does acquiring this person (place a) lid on some talent we have coming up?


What does this addition to the roster mean to the chemistry of this team?

Fuck you and your “chemistry.” Grow up! Have a player who’s not the nicest guy in the world, but is actually good, on your roster. You sound like an old lady when you talk about chemistry. Winning breeds chemistry. Players who don’t fail all the time make good teammates. You think anyone on the Giants cares about the fact that they’re all good guys right now? Or maybe you think they wish they had that prick Bonds around to, oh, I don’t know, maybe hit a couple of home runs every once in a while?

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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
None of the opinions expressed should be construed as being endorsed by the
San Francisco Giants, Major League Baseball, or any other organization mentioned herein.

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