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Archive for the 'Free Agents' Category


OOOOOO—-Ribe!!!

He’s gone, bolting for the Dodgers.

…. After losing postseason hero Juan Uribe to the Dodgers despite offering him a three-year, $20 million deal, the Giants have agreed to a one-year contract with Miguel Tejada with plans to make him their everyday shortstop, sources confirmed.

Tejada told ESPN Deportes the value is $6.5 million. He still needs to pass a physical.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I am happy Sabean didn’t sign Uribe to a three year deal worth $20 million, because that is simply too much and too long. And Tejada is essentially the same player, perhaps a little less likely to hit a home run, but also a bit less likely to strike out.

On the other hand, Uribe certainly had a flair for the dramatic, and was a fan favorite. I liked him, even though he would swing for the fences virtually every time. I’ll wish him well, as long as he’s doing it against every team but the Giants.



…. Unsurprising

But still sad:

…. The Giants are negotiating with free-agent left fielder Pat Burrell on a Triple-A contract, I’ve been told, a no-risk deal that could bring the Bay Area product home.

Geoffrey brought this idea up on the 15th, and most everyone here cringed, so of course, the Giants are going to bring him home. More absurdity, another player puts on a Giants uniform minutes before riding off into the sunset.



…. Ass coverage

Here’s a question; why are so many of the Giants beat writers making excuses for the Giants? How is explaining to me that all free agent signings come with some risk part of Henry Schulman’s job?

…. The Giants’ position is this: Every signing carries some risk, whether the player had surgery or not, that is weighed against the potential reward.

If you want to look outside this organization, consider the Dodgers. They took a risk when they signed Jason Schmidt to a three-year, $47 million contract knowing he had shoulder issues but also knowing how he could carry a staff if he was right. For that money they got 10 starts and three wins. The A’s signed Ben Sheets for $10 million last winter after he missed a year with elbow surgery. Also, it was widely believed he has back issues. They took a risk. As of May 13, the reward remains uncertain.

The best a team can do is ask all the right questions and do all they can to determine how healthy the player is at the time he is signed. Did the Giants ask all the right questions with DeRosa? It’s hard to know for sure, because I wasn’t in the room.

Thanks, Henry. I was wondering if life’s risks apply to the Giants just like they apply to me.

But, if you really want to be helpful, why don’t you explain why the Giants shouldn’t get any heat from their fans? It’s not just the DeRosa signing. Freddie Sanchez is injured, too. In point of fact, because the team, because Sabean seems to think that the best players in baseball are old, the Giants have been dealing with this kind of wasted resources for a decade now. A decade of old, past their prime free agents and trade acquisitions. A. DECADE.

Who cares how much research the team’s medical staff did. GET YOUNG PLAYERS FOR A FUCKING CHANGE!

Old players get injured. Old players get injured. How can the Giants fail to recognize this? How can you, Henry Schulman, fail to recognize that this has happened again and again and again. How can you think we need you to cover Sabean’s ass again? Shit goes sideways? Really?

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SIGN OLD PLAYERS ALL THE TIME. THEY SPEND TIME ON THE DL.

You want to have some fucking credibility? Go after the owners. Go after the GM. Because they are failing.



…. Broom Hilda

Another sweep at the hands of the best record in the NL Padres. Another one-run loss, another offensive display of offense. Another bunch of bullshit excuses and explanations telling us how this shit just happens, it’s not our fault, everybody is trying real hard:

…. As for DeRosa’s signing, team sources said the Giants did an extraordinary amount of research. They consulted the doctor who performed DeRosa’s surgery and the medical staffs of his two 2009 teams, the Indians and Cardinals. When DeRosa and the Giants came to terms, he flew to San Francisco for a physical that included an examination by team hand specialist Dr. Gordon Brody, and X-rays and an MRI on the wrist.

At the time, the Giants believed the surgery worked.

“Anyone can get hurt in any game,” Groeschner said. “All the guys have a history of things. We’re aware of it. It’s something we research thoroughly. This is something than can happen when a guy plays baseball.”

The team’s position is that all signings carry risks that are weighed against a player’s potential benefit. The Giants understood the risk when they signed DeRosa. Right now, they are losing their bet. But in their view, the game is still on.

Yeah, right. Edgar Renteria, Freddie Sanchez, Edgardo Alfonzo, Moises Alou, Rich Aurilia (version 2.0), Randy Johnson, Ryan Klesko, Ray Durham (version 2.0) Mark DeRosa, I mean, come on. How about Dave Roberts or Mark Sweeney? Two guys that had never been everyday players signed to be everyday players for the Giants. How about Steve Finley? We only signed him about five years after he was washed up. Michael Tucker, anyone? How about signing Jeffrey Hammonds at 33 years old?

Here’s the line that Neifi Perez posted in 2002, .236/.260/.303 .563 OPS. Since Triple-A stats don’t mean anything, I’m guessing that major league stats must not make too much of an impression on Captain Queeg either, because the hitter that posted that line got a two-year deal for $14 million dollars, and a declaration from our estimable GM that Neifi was already penciled in as our starting shortstop and top of the lineup table setter.

The simple fact is that the Giants, that Brian Sabean decided that these guys, these washed up, has beens and never was’s had to be Giants, and he ignored, in fact, he flaunted his ignorance and his stubborn unwillingness to acknowledge what was known in baseball at the time; that old players tend to decline, that old, injured players tend to get injured, and that signing old and injured free agents to fill your entire roster has to be the worst possible way to do so. This is all on him. Brian Sabean built this team, has been building this team for going on fifteen years.

The number of acquisitions, trades and free agent signings that have worked out for the Giants can be counted on your fingers. The number that have been failures, not just so-so, but flat out colossal busts, is staggering. We’re talking millions, millions of dollars thrown on the ground as if there was no way to know what to expect with these players, as if we were still in the 1920′s, when all you had to go on was a game or two when your scout saw a player hit two home runs.

“…. team sources said the Giants did an extraordinary amount of research”

Yeah, well, that’s only part of your job. And, by the way, who’s getting fired for all the terrific “research” the baseball team has done with the last five or ten free agents we’ve signed?

Nobody. In the world of the Giants, it’s always bad luck. It’s always somebody else’s fault. There’s always a team that is chasing the superstar Brian Sabean wants, so he has to overbid, overpay to get them. There’s always a reason. And in the words of a fairly famous mentor of mine, “You either have reasons, or you have success. You can’t have both.”

Every time you read a Sabean quote, or hear him talk on the TV, he’s explaining how these things happen all the time, or he’s telling you how he doesn’t need statistics, or some other bullshit how he just has to be patient, that the hitters will come around. Here’s an idea: Go get some real baseball players, players who are young and good, and we won’t have to wait for them to finally get the rust out of their ancient bones, and we can stop hearing how unfortunate it is that another 35-year old is hurt again.

UPDATE: Just to be clear, I’m not blasting these players. These players are who they are. They are probably good guys. They work hard. They have integrity. It’s not their fault they are being asked to be the second, third and fourth best hitters on a team, instead of the sixth, seventh and eighth best. It’s Brian Sabean’s fault.

Buster Posey has now played essentially one full season in the minors. Here’s what he’s done so far:

158 Games 585 AB 120 Runs 194 H 46 2B 2 3B 24 HR 110 RBI 89 BB 92 SO .332/.425/.544 .968 OPS

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, those numbers are inflated, or better, will be depressed some 15%, maybe even 20%. That guy’s not ready? Really?

Bengie Molina, last season:

132 Games 491 AB 52 Runs 130 AB 25 2B 1 3B 20 HR 80 RBI 13 BB 68 SO .265/.285/.442 .727 OPS

Are you kidding somebody? How can anyone who knows anything about the game of baseball think that Posey couldn’t match that production? That Posey couldn’t have saved the team the $5 million we gave to the out-maker, and used it to land a real hitter?

Here’s the BP boys talking about Posey and Sabean:

…. Giants general manager Brian Sabean insists that Posey has work to do in the minors, but at least he doesn’t pretend any of that work involves his hitting. With last night’s outburst, he’s batting .355/.448/.579 for the Grizzlies. Instead, Sabean insists that Posey’s receiving skills still need work, despite the fact he’s played errorless ball so far, been charged with just one passed ball and nailed half of all stolen base attempts. Just admit you are managing his service time clock, Mr. Sabean, we’ll understand–kind of.

Well, first off, he is pretending that his offense is an issue, absolutely and constantly. And, even if he is only managing his service time clock, that is still pretty much inexcusable, given how poorly Sabean’s efforts to improve the offense went this off-season, highlighted –lowlighted?– by the fact that he brought back Molina to bat cleanup again.

This is a joke, that’s what that is. A joke.



…. Back to earth

Zito had his worst game of the year, pretty much at the worst possible time, in a first-place showdown with the surprising San Diego’s. Struggling to find his rhythm the whole game, Zito was embarrassed by his buffoon of a manager, who tried to take him out during the fifth inning after he had gone to 2-0 on Oscar Salazar, with the first ball a wild pitch. Of course, Righetti had just visited the mound prior to the at-bat, so Zito had to finish the hitter. It was a pretty ridiculous sight, really. Out pops Bochy, practically running to the mound, only to be sent back to the dugout by the second base umpire.

Of course, the Chronicle manages to make Bochy’s gaffe seem like it was planned:

…. Zito said his “timing was off tonight. I didn’t have any command of anything.”

That was particularly evident during Oscar Salazar’s fifth-inning at-bat. Zito air-mailed his first pitch to the screen, allowing Yorvit Torrealba to waltz to second. The next pitch was extremely high and outside.

After that pitch, Bochy headed to the mound to check on Zito, but because pitching coach Dave Righetti had conferred with Zito just before Salazar came to the plate, Bochy could not speak with the left-hander. Bochy had to return to the dugout.

“When he threw those two pitches, I was concerned about him,” Bochy said.

Yeah, right. Everyone in the ballpark saw Bochy signal for a relief pitcher. Then again, why not lie to cover up your embarrassing mistake? The GM gets away with it constantly, and the local sports reporters only seem to insist on the truth when they’re harassing the greatest player in baseball history:

…. “The surgery I had was a failure.”

In October, DeRosa had an operation to repair a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist, an injury he sustained soon after joining St. Louis in a trade from Cleveland on July 1.

On Tuesday, DeRosa was examined by Giants doctor Gordon Brody and had an MRI exam. The diagnosis, according to DeRosa: “It’s completely ruptured again.”

The article goes on to mention that the Giants are, laughably, hoping that rest will make it all better. Of course, nowhere in the piece is any mention of the criminally bad contract that Sabean so generously gave to the known to be injured DeRosa. Now the team has two $12 million dollar players who cannot play, and a GM who simply does not know what he’s doing:

…. Hot-hitting prospect Buster Posey remains at Triple-A Fresno because Giants officials are not convinced he is ready to catch in the major leagues yet, GM Brian Sabean said.
The longtime GM also stressed that the decision to promote Posey has nothing to do with service-time concerns, nor will it.

“Let me dispel all that, all right?” Sabean said. “When we think Posey’s ready, just like when we thought (Tim) Lincecum was ready, and this starts from ownership, he’ll be in the big leagues. I’ll speak to the Lincecum thing. If we don’t bring up Lincecum, how do you know he’s on his way to winning the two Cy Youngs or more so helping us win 88 games last year? Now, in other places where you don’t have a deeper or more consistent budget, I can buy the strict clock. But we can’t be on a strict clock. Shoot, we’re trying to get back to winning ways and get to the playoffs, and everybody understands it.”

…. Sabean said the 23-year-old is “still learning how to catch. Some of that is game calling. Some of that is the consistency that he’ll need as, we hope, an offensive catcher.”

Besides, Sabean said he doesn’t put much stock into Triple-A statistics.

“Triple-A baseball isn’t very good,” Sabean said. “I’m going to tell you that right now. Especially from a pitching standpoint. Anybody who can pitch is in the big leagues.”

How many ways is this man ridiculous? Posey needs to be more consistent as a hitter? This, from a man who re-signed a catcher who made 450 outs last year. No pitching in Triple-A? Triple-A stats aren’t worth much? Lincecum won two Cy Young Awards because Sabean waited as long as he did to bring him up?

Whatever. Once again, we have a bottom feeder offense, 142 runs scored, and only the dismal performance of the two worst teams in baseball –the barely better than Triple-A Astros and Pirates– keep the Giants from having the worst offense in the game once again.

So, when you hear Sabean talking about anything at all, remember that it’s all bullshit. He’s got one of the wort hitters in all of baseball at just about every position on the diamond, and we’re supposed to listen to him tell us that a guy throwing up a .343/.436/.525 line isn’t hitting enough. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He doesn’t have the slightest idea how to evaluate hitters. He has been selling Giants fans the same bullshit bill of goods for going on fifteen year now. I wrote this eight years ago:

…. Over the last 30 days the Giants offense is DEAD LAST in the National League, meaning it is dead last in all of baseball. This, while Barry Bonds is posting a .565 obp and a .900 slg. Do you have any idea what that means? That means the Giants are even worse than their stats.

I heard the Brian Sabean show yesterday, and he said that he intends to show patience and trust that his hitters are going to start hitting. You know what Ray, that’s the single stupidest thing I have ever heard Brian say. You’ve got Marvin Benard taking swings in the last of the 8th in a one run game, and you’re telling me that I am supposed to trust that he’s gonna come around? Shawon Dunston has a spot on our bench? Damon Minor? Reggie Sanders? Sanders’ lifetime BA is .263, last year he was about 30% more productive than in ANY YEAR OF HIS LIFE.

…. which is more than you could say about JT Snow. There is nothing masking the fact that he is one of the most unproductive major leaguers drawing a salary. He is an out-maker, simple as that, and he gives nothing back for all of the outs he eats. Don’t talk to me about how many games he saves with his glove, that’s pure hyperbole. Bill James and a whole slew of baseball analysts have done reams of research into run prevention, and JT’s defense is worth maybe five runs a year, let alone five wins.

Eight years later, and the Giants are still comprised of one good hitter and bunch of out-makers. They’re still old. They are still slow. They are still injury-prone. The GM has signed more ancient mariners to more bad contracts, and the team is still just as boring and still barely competitive.



…. Rebirth

Barry Zito started a season 4-0 for the first time in his career, after yesterday’s 5-2 win over the Rockies. The win pushed the Giants to 13-9, their best start in four years.

This team has enough pitching to win a championship, right now. This team, right now, needs one big bat. That’s all. One real hitter. RIGHT NOW.

Who is that hitter? I think you all know what player I would love to see the team make a behind-the-scenes, blockbuster, change the landscape of the entire National League play for:

…. I said it before, and I’ll say it again, Prince Fielder is the best young player in baseball. Today, he became the youngest player ever to reach 50 home runs in a season, supplanting Willie Mays, who did it in his age 24 season. Fielder is 23, and looks to be a superstar for a long time. If only the Giants had a player with anything even close to the kind of upside Fielder seems to have.

I wrote that three years ago. Can you imagine Fielder at first and Sandoval at third? That is a dream team at the corners for a decade. Fielder’s situation in Milwaukee appears probematic, mostly due to the outrageous $125 million dollar extension the Phillies gave to Ryan Howard. Even John Shea agrees with me:

…. first basemen Prince Fielder and Adrian Gonzalez will be free agents after the 2011 season and were long shots to re-sign with their teams even before Howard’s stunning deal.

Now that the bar is set far higher, the question is: When will Fielder and Gonzalez be traded? Before the July 31 deadline, with their trade value peaking? The offseason? The following July?

For the Giants, it’s worth monitoring. If it’s midseason, and they’re serious about advancing through the playoffs, and their offense is lagging, and Aubrey Huff isn’t proving to be a difference-maker, they’d be wise to enter the conversation.

Neither Fielder nor Gonzalez makes much in his current contract, relatively speaking. Fielder gets $6.5 million this year and is eligible for arbitration after the season. Gonzalez makes $4.75 million in 2010 with a $5.5 million club option for 2011.

Put either in the middle of the Giants’ lineup, and opponents suddenly would fear more than the pitching.

Madison Bumgardner and a handful of prospects might be enough to pry Fielder away from Milwaukee, right now. Now is when Sabean should be approaching Doug Melvin. Now, before the season moves forward, before Milwaukee knows whether they will contend. Strike while the iron is hot, says the old saw.

The Giants have the best pitching in baseball. Right now. Fortune favors the bold. Be bold, Brian Sabean, Bill Neukom and the rest of the managing partners.

Don’t tell me you’re thinking of buying the Golden State Warriors. What? If you have that kind of extra cash, spend it on your baseball team. Buy the best young hitter available. You got millions of dollars burning a hole in your pocket? Spend it on bringing a championship to San Francisco for the first time ever.

You put Fielder at first, Sandoval at third, and Posey behind the plate, and the roster of wanna be’s, never-wases and has-beens that Sabean is so fond of are suddenly palatable. Three dynamic, young stud hitters surrounded by some relatively inexpensive, league average hitters, and this team can win a title. This team can win multiple titles with a big three like that.

Be bold, Brian.

UPDATE: 14-9. Seriously. Make a move, Sabean. You cannot allow another season to roll by without taking advantage f this pitching staff.



…. Learning curve

In his post about Jeff Francouer, David Pinto does an outstanding job explaining what a batter’s value really boils down to:

…. Outs are the currency of baseball. Players who can buy more runs per out, or conversely, spend fewer outs per run, are richer hitters. An easy way to look at this, something you can do off any stat sheet or the back of a baseball card, is to use batting outs per run…

…. Since 2005, Francoeur’s first season, 163 players accumulated at least 2000 plate appearances. Among those, Albert Pujols spends the fewest outs per run, 3.14. Jason Kendall spends the most, 7.34. J.D. Drew ranks 26th, a run costing him 4.12 outs. Francoeur ranks 107th, a run costing him 5.33 outs. In other words, it costs Francoeur 121 more outs than Drew to produce 100 runs. That’s four and a half games of outs.

I’d say the majority of Giants hitter during that time land closer to Francouer than they do to Pujols. ;-)

I’d also like to see where Bonds ended up during his historic 2000-2004 run.

I’ll send him an email and ask him where the Giants hitters rank in his analysis.

UPDATE: David sent me the info. As I suspected, several Giants (and ex-Giants) rank among the very worst everyday players using David’s runs per outs standard.

Randy Winn ranks 145th (6.04 outs/run) out of the 164 players in the study (good luck, Yankee fans), just ahead of Double Play AJ (6.13). Juan Uribe ranks 139th (5.84), just behind our old friend Pedro Feliz (5.83). Freddie Sanchez ranks 136th (5.80), Bengie Molina 121st (5.57). Aaron Rowand 116th (5.48), and Edgar Renteria ranks 112th (5.42).

Interestingly enough, Aubrey Huff sits in 88th place (5.11), just 4 places behind new Yankee Curtis Granderson (5.08), while Mark DeRosa has the best ranking of any Giants player listed, 55th best (4.64), so maybe, just maybe, DeRosa and Huff will improve the offense as much as some people seem to think they will.

I will highlight, of course, that my personal pet peeve player, the one proverbial “One that got away” Adam Dunn, ranks 29th, using just 4.15 outs for every run he produces.

Using David’s spread sheet and formula, (yes, my friends, I, too, am not an idiot), I calculate that Pablo Sandoval uses 4.40 outs/run produced, which would rank him 40th on this list. Travis Ishikawa and Fred Lewis both come out poorly using this method, at 5.45 and 5.38 outs/run, respectively.

The overall list shows a fairly constant correlation between OBP and outs/runs produced, not exact, but close.

However, as much as it pains me to admit it, I may be wrong about the two newest guys, or at least I’ll say that I hope I’m wrong. Notwithstanding their potential declines and injury issues, over the last several years, Huff and DeRosa have managed to be modestly efficient offensive players. Freddie Sanchez has not. Pinto’s study demonstrates with brutal clarity exactly what we’ve been saying here all along, he is an empty batting average, and certainly not worth the money and prospects the Giants gave up to get him.

As I wrote at the time of the trade, he’s essentially the same as Juan Uribe:

Sanchez, 31 years old, is a career .300 hitter, but he’s never walked more than 32 times in a season, his career high in home runs is 11, and his career OBP is just .336. He’s ranked fifth among NL second basemen in just about every category, which is to say, we traded our top draft pick from 2007 for a league average second baseman. For an easy comparison, let’s look at Juan Uribe.

J. Uribe 72 G 222 AB 17 2B 4 HR 21 RBI 10 BB 47 SO .284/.313/.432 .745 OPS
Sanchez 86 G 355 AB 28 2B 6 HR 34 RBI 20 BB 60 SO .296/.334/.442 .776 OPS

I can’t for the life of me imagine how that kind of minimal upgrade would be worth one of the top forty prospects in all of baseball. Trading Alderson is fine, but WE NEEDED HOME RUNS AND WALKS!!!! Instead, we get two more 30-year old guys who are league average hitters. Can you see? This is systemic, because Brain Sabean does not know how to evaluate hitters, player value, or how to build a team.

Now we can add outs/runs produced:

J. Uribe 5.85 outs/runs produced
Sanchez 5.80 outs/runs produced

Yeah, that looks pretty good. ;-)

I also ran Bonds’ historic 2000-2004 run using David’s formula (outs per run is (AB-hits)/((Runs Scored + RBI)/2)). During that period of time, 5 years, Bonds had 2122 at bats, and, well, let’s just side by side him with Pujols:

Barry 2122 AB 1402 outs 1142 runs produced 2.24 outs/runs produced
Albert 3354 AB 1853 outs 1179 runs produced 3.14 outs/runs produced

Wow! Bonds, at his peak, was 70% more efficient than the best player alive today.

Hat tip, and then some, to my good friend, David Pinto.



…. Lies, lies, lies

This is starting to get ridiculous. Now, Andrew Baggarly tells us that the way the Giants handled Freddie Sanchez’s injury was part of some grand scheme that benefits the ball club:

…. The Giants made the decision to keep Sanchez’s surgery quiet because at the time, they were negotiating with Juan Uribe to bring him back as a reserve. They ended up signing Uribe to a $3 million contract, and when I spoke to his agent later on, he was proud of the fact that Uribe would be pretty much the best paid infield reserve in the big leagues.

Well, you’d better believe that news of Sanchez’s surgery would’ve impacted the Uribe negotiations. Uribe’s agent would’ve known he had more leverage and might have squeezed more money out of the club, or in the least, drawn out negotiations that would’ve prevented Giants officials from wrapping it up and concentrating on other business. So the hush-hush on Sanchez worked to the team’s advantage.

Yeah, right. If Uribe’s agent didn’t know that Sanchez was injured, something that pretty much everybody in baseball knew, he should be fired.

This is called spin doctoring. Just like the story we read about how the Giants were lowballing Lincecum because they didn’t want the other owners to get mad at them for overpaying such a young player.

Bullshit. That is pure, unadulterated bullshit. And so is this.

This isn’t a story about how Sabean and his crack team handled something well, some masterful tale of intrigue and espionage that worked out exactly the way they planned. This is a story of mistakes and errors. This is a story about Brian Sabean’s failure. Having decided four years ago that Freddie Sanchez was the kind of player he had to have, Brian Sabean finally got the Pirates to say yes; and even though Sanchez was older, injured and already declining as a player, Sabean pulled the trigger, trading one of the top pitching prospects in the organization for yet another old, broken down player.

Now, several months later, after Sanchez contributed exactly what any reasonable person could have expected to the Giants chase for the playoffs –nothing– and having gone into the winter even more injured and broken down than we were told, Sabean is trying to spin this story so it looks like he, Captain Queeg, knew all along what he was doing, that it was all part of the grand plan that only he is privy to, that only he can know.

It’s pretty sad, really. Sabean is trying to spin his way out of the results of last season’s trade deadline deals –only some of the worst deals any GM has ever made without losing his job, by the way– and in doing so, is making himself look even smaller.

Pitiful. Laughable. Embarrassing.

Your 2010 San Francisco Giants.



…. Franchise

Lincecum signs a two-year deal for $23 million.

First, this deal is a bargain, easily the best contract on the team. Second, it makes me wonder why the team didn’t pursue a four or five year deal in an effort to lock him up through his prime. At the end of this contract, he’ll be 28 years old, and if he performs anywhere as well as he has to this point, the Giants almost certainly won’t be able to afford him.

Doesn’t make sense to me, but most of what goes on in Giants land is outside my understanding.



…. Old news

I was browsing through the Baseball Analyst’s Bill James Baseball Abstracts pages, and came up with a couple of interesting tidbits from James:

1978

“When you acquire any player over 28, you are getting about 40% of a career–and that on the downhill slide. You can do that, perhaps, to fill a hole. But what happens when you try to build a whole team that way? Your replacement-rate goes out of sight. If you’ve got eight players on a downhill slide, two of them are going to slip and fall–either that, or you’re defying the law of averages.”

This is your San Francisco Giants. Run with a game plan that was known to be flawed over 30 years ago.

1983

A lot of the public, I think, has the idea that arbitration hearings are sort of bullshit sessions in which the agent tried to convince the arbitrator that Joaquin Andujar is Steve Carlton’s brother, and the club tries to convince him that he is Juan Berenguer’s niece. It’s not really like that. The first and foremost rule of an arbitration proceeding is that you never, ever, say anything which can be shown to be false.

The second rule of an arbitration case is that you don’t start any arguments that you can’t win. . .Stick to the facts. . .Tell the truth. It’s the only chance you’ve got.

How many of you think the Giants will be able to handle this situation with the delicacy and foresight needed to avoid getting their dicks caught in the zipper?

Additionally, I’d like to point out the flat-out absurdity of all of these articles and op-ed pieces talking about how the Giants are worried about signing Lincecum to along-term deal because of concerns about his long-term health. This is a lie, an absurdity, a ruse, a smoke screen. If the team is spreading crap like this, it is just one more indication of how unprofessional and poorly run it really is. If it’s not, Sabean should come right out and deny it.

It is ridiculous to suggest that it’s Lincecum that the team has to worry about. RIDICULOUS!!

Sabean wasn’t worried about being upside down on any of these old, broken down mediocrities he keeps shoveling money at? Sabean wasn’t worried about the possibility that he might be paying the 36-year old Dave Roberts to watch TV? He wasn’t worried about the two-year deal he gave to 35-year old Bengie Molina in 2007? Wasn’t concerned at all about the possibility that the 40-year old Omar Vizquel might not be able to live up to his contract? Not worried about the 34-year old Aubrey Huff, coming off an injury-plagued 2009 season? Really?

Nothing to see here when Sabean signs an already injured, 32-year old Freddie Sanchez to a contract extension he’s not even up for? No concerns at all about throwing $55 million dollars at He-Who-Runs-Into-Walls? No issue whatsoever at giving a declining Barry Zito the biggest contract in baseball history?

No, the player Sabean is gonna hold the line for is Tim Lincecum. REALLY!?!

This is where you’re gonna draw the line on cover-your-eyes bad contracts?! Tim Lincecum? TIM LINCECUM!?! He’s the guy the team is worried about? The 25-year old, two-time Cy Young Award winning, once in a generation pitcher, the ace of your staff? That’s the guy who’s gonna break the bank? After all these horrible fucking contracts, after all the money Sabean has literally THROWN ON THE GROUND!!!!! It’s Lincecum they have to worry about? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!!!! What a joke. What a bad, stupid joke.

The fact that the sportswriters who cover this team have the gall to parrot this absurdity is bad enough, but even decent bloggers are buying into the line. This would be laughable if it weren’t so sad.

Let me be the one to say what everyone should already know:

IF YOU ARE GOING TO GO BANKRUPT BECAUSE OF A BAD CONTRACT, LINCECUM IS THE GUY TO DO IT WITH

It is the equivalent of going all-in with pocket aces. If you’re gonna lose with aces, so be it.

1984

In Logic and Methods in Baseball Analysis, James states axioms, corollaries, and the known principles of sabermetrics in the following order:

Axiom I: A ballplayer’s purpose in playing ball is to do those things which create wins for his team, while avoiding those things which create losses for his team.

Axiom II: Wins result from runs scored. Losses result from runs allowed.

First Corollary to Axiom II: An offensive player’s job is to create runs for his team.

The Known Principles of Sabermetrics. Item 1: There are two essential elements of an offense: its ability to get people on base and its ability to advance runners.

Axiom III: All offense and all defense occurs within a context of outs.

The Known Principles of Sabermetrics. Item 2: Batting and pitching statistics never represent pure accomplishments, but are heavily colored by all kinds of illusions and extraneous effects. One of the most important of these is park effects.

The Known Principles of Sabermetrics. Item 3: There is a predictable relationship between the number of runs a team scores, the number they allow, and the number of games that they will win.

Ok, so here’s my two cents. Brian Sabean has no knowledge of these concepts. He can’t. Either he’s read Bill James and thinks he knows better, or he’s never read him. Either way, he’s obviously completely out if his mind.

He has been trying to build a team with old, soon to be out of baseball players, which is why, of course, the Giants never have any money for real players, because –as James illustrated 30 years ago– your replacement costs are gonna be sky-high, and you’re gonna be facing those costs every year.

And if you build an offense that consists of players who don’t get on base, and don’t have any power, you sure as hell will not be able to seriously compete, even if you have one of the most dominant pitching staffs of the last twenty years.

It just hurts my head to realize that I read this stuff 30 years ago, and the team I root for operates as if these simple concepts are still waiting to be discovered.



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