…. Raising Cain, Part II

I’d like to respond to the idea that I am saying that the Giants are wrong for not spending their money the way that I think they should. It’s not that I, (or E, for that matter) are pissed that they won’t spend their money the way we think they sho

uld. It’s that they do spend their money, they spend it in ways that are obviously and patently flawed from the start. They (Brian Sabean and company) go out and get mediocre players and pay them fortunes year after year. The Zito deal was an albatross the minute the ink was dry. The Rowand deal, the Dave Roberts contract, the Neifi Perez deal….

I have been saying for years now that Brian Sabean and whoever his team of analysts are, use statistically-based analysis that is rife with flaws. In fact, based on the players he goes out and gets, he has no statistically-based analysis at all. Sabean values major-league service time, which coincides with age and a lack of speed, defense and actual production. He ignores virtually all of the current statistical analysis tools, and for the most part, pays little attention to anything other than batting average. If a player has had the fortune to be on a championship team, regardless of contribution, Sabean will treat this player like a championship contributor, and by “treat him like a championship contributor,” I mean that he will pay him a lot more money than he is worth.

As for youth, if a player is young and unproven, Sabean will only play him regularly if forced to by injury. That is his strategy for handling young players in a nutshell.

The roster that the SF Giants have started the season with

each of the last ten seasons is described exactly by this analysis. Loaded with players past their prime (who are paid far more than their production warrants), seasons filled with disabled list management, and an appalling lack of offense and knowledge of how to generate it.

Every time I read an article about how we can’t afford to pay for a great player like Pujols, or Fielder, or Vladimir Guerrero, or Alex Rodriguez, great, championship-caliber players in their prime, I remember the vast amounts of money thrown away on players whose production was replaceable by major-league minimum dollars, and I am dismayed. Were it not for that mismanagement, the team could easily afford to pay for the one big bat they need to change everything. Now we are three seasons into having the fortune of championship-caliber pitching. We snuck into the playoffs in ’10, and won it all on the basis of that amazing pitching. Two seasons in a row thrown away with the worst offense in all of baseball, and we are looking at adding maybe 20 runs of offense with Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan. This, while two of the greatest first basemen of all time were there for the taking. First base, by the way, being a position in which the Giants have fielded league-worst offensive production for more than 20 years running.

Instead, once again, some other team gets better, while I read articles about how Brandon Belt needs more minor league at-bats, or how Gary Brown needs his .350/.450/.500 numbers in the minors need to be produced again before he is ready to replace all the guys who made 400 outs for us last year, while earning $4 or $6 or $10 million dollars.

I’m not telling anyone how to spend their money. But when they spend it like fools, I’m gonna write about it.

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