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Archive for the 'Rumor Mill' Category


…. 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.



…. Bitch and moan

Not to belittle the accomplishments of our venerated commissioner of baseball, but the news from Milwaukee –the Brewers are planning to erect a statue of Selig– is really disturbing.

First off, is there anyone who doubts that this idea could only have come from the team’s “owner,” who just happens to be his daughter. I mean, who else is gonna come up with a horrible idea like this? It certainly isn’t the fans, who have watched as the Selig family has gotten rich beyond their wildest dreams –mostly due to the tens of millions of dollars the team receives through revenue sharing, money that Selig has refused to spend on the team for as long as revenue sharing has been going on– and the increase in revenue due to a taxpayer-funded new ballpark.

Now there’s an accomplishment worthy of a statue, mooch millions upon millions of dollars off of the other teams in baseball, and off your fans and your local community, and then refuse invest in the team for decades.

But, besides some of these obvious issues, you put up statues for the great players in your franchise’s history, as opposed to filthy rich guys who charge ten dollars for a Miller Lite; the idea is off-putting for a variety of lesser concerns.

Selig’s legacy is stained by his complicity in the steroids issue. He cannot distance himself from what happened on his watch, whether you think it was a true scandal, or simply an overblown media creation. He was there, as commissioner, when Sosa and McGwire “saved” baseball, and there were people in his office that were whispering in his ear that there was a problem. He knew, and he did nothing, well, if by nothing, you mean, ignore the issue.

He’s handled several other issues rather poorly as well, don’t you think?

He tried to contract teams out of existence. That didn’t go so well, you might remember.

You could say I’m being unkind. OK, forget, for a moment, all of the things he did poorly. What has he done well?

Really, what has he accomplished that you could say is remarkable? What would you say is Bud Selig’s legacy?

Owners and players making lots of money?
Revenue sharing?
Inter-League play?
The Pete Rose fiasco? Yeah, he handled that one well.

How about shunning Bonds and McGwire for alleged PED use while standing behind David Ortiz? Yeah, very well though-out.

You do remember that he was the commissioner when the players went on strike, just about killing the game.

Oh, and he was commissioner when the owners colluded against the players, resulting in a hundreds of millions of dollars lawsuit that the league lost.

These are just a few of the reasons the idea is terrible. The most obvious one I haven’t even mentioned:

He’s still alive. His “legacy” could hardly be a known commodity, even now, towards the end of his career. You wanna honor the guy when he retires, throw a parade. Have a big dinner, and give him a car. A bronze statue? When he finally brings the team a championship you might want to consider a statue, maybe. It’s quite a bit early in the story of his life to build him a bronze statue.

Only in a sports town so bereft of real baseball heroes and champions could the idea of a statue of Seligula be given consideration.



…. Lincecum stories

Courtesy of a Baseball Musings link to link, you can see that the bullshit stream generated by Giants –and propagated by the hacks that cover the team– never stops:

…. We all know that Magowan’s replacement, Bill Neukom, has positioned himself for a major battle over preventing MLB from overturning the Giants’ claim to the South Bay. Last year, the Giants even bought a portion of the Single-A club in town. (And have you noticed the San Jose Giants are even switching uniforms to look more like the parent club next season?) The Giants have been murkily tied to efforts from the San Francisco City Attorney’s office and a local coalition in San Jose to prevent the A’s from relocating, too.

The reasons for the bunker mentality are well known. The Giants attract a significant percentage of their corporate sponsorships, season-ticket and suite sales, ballpark advertising revenue, etc., from companies in Silicon Valley. Their ownership group is a who’s’ who of the tech sector. It’s part of their identity as well as their bottom line. They simply cannot afford to let the A’s cut into their interests in Santa Clara County.

And what’s the only way their territorial rights can be overturned? A three-quarters vote of the 30 major league owners, who’ll basically do whatever Commissioner Bud Selig tells them to do.

How does Lincecum and his arbitration status enter the equation? It’s simple. The No.1 way to tick off baseball’s owners is to establish a new salary threshhold. And Lincecum has a very good chance to clear Ryan Howard’s $10 million bar for a first-year arbitration player.

Yeah, right.

What a crock. We’re supposed to believe that the reason the Giants are jerking Lincecum around is so the other owners won’t vote to end the Giants territorial rights? Andrew Baggardly should be ashamed of himself for swallowing such a complete line of bullshit, and then regurgitating it all over his fucking computer.

It would be embarrassing if it weren’t so predictable, so completely in line with the standard operating practices demonstrated by this team for the last seven years. If I were Lincecum, I wouldn’t sign a long-term deal with this team under any circumstances. Lies and media manipulation are the foundation operating systems of an ownership and management group that lives in a world a fear and scarcity, a world of false promises and laughable “plans,” a world of failure masquerading as progress; a world where accountability is a catch-phrase.

Your San Francisco Giants.



…. Keep it continuous

And so the absurdity continues:

…. Ryan Garko and the Mariners agreed to a $550,000, one-year contract Monday as Seattle tried to address its need for a right-handed hitter.

Terms of the contract obtained by the Associated Press show the 29-year-old first baseman and designated hitter could nearly double his salary, to $1,075,000, if he becomes a regular for Seattle with 600 plate appearances.

Travis Ishikawa 2009: 9 HR 39 RBI .261/.329/.387 .726 OPS 2010 base salary $410,000
Ryan Garko 2009: 13 HR 51 RBI 268/.344/.421 .765 OPS 2010 base salary $550,000
Aubrey Huff 2009: 15 HR 85 RBI .241/.310/.384 .694 OPS 2010 base salary $3,000,000

So, to recap, last year –just before the trade deadline– we traded top-four Giants’ prospect Scott Barnes (doh!) for Ryan Garko, so that he could replace Travis Ishikawa, then we benched Garko and played Ishikawa anyway. That wasn’t ridiculous enough for Sabean. No, he had to follow up that laughable failure by allowing Garko to walk –meaning we traded Barnes (doh!) for nothing, by the way– and then we went out and gave $3 million dollars to Aubrey Huff to replace Garko, who then went out and signed with the Mariners for a half a million dollars.

Yeah, that was well-thought out.



…. Information deficit

Another ex-Giant goes to a team that exists in the real world, and discovers just how wrong Brian Sabean can be:

…. The 35-year-old (Randy) Winn, who hit .262 with two homers and 51 RBI in 149 games for the Giants last season, fits snugly into the Yankees’ budget. His deal is worth $2 million, according to a baseball official with knowledge of the contract, and will become official after a physical today. While signing Winn means Damon is out, it does not preclude the Yankees from adding another cheap, experienced outfielder, a team insider said.

So Winn goes from making $10 million with the Giants to making $2 million with the Yanks. Yeah, that sounds about right. At least he’s not walking straight out of the Giants clubhouse and into the broadcast booth like Dave Roberts, Ray Durham, Steve Finley, and so many players over the last five years.



…. Front-page

Grant over at McCovey Chronicles wrote a simply outstanding article about the McGwire situation, and the whole steroids and baseball issue, and comes away with a doozy of a piece:

…. This isn’t to imply that it was just fine that a large percentage of the players were using. It’s not something that’s inconsequential, and it isn’t something that can be laughed off because a lot of players were using. But, good gravy, please stop the good vs. evil, hobbits vs. orcs, black and white discussion. Stop the false dichotomy of players from THE STEROID ERA vs. the OLD-TIMERS who did things the right way and who, if offered a way to extend their careers and improve their numbers with some chemicals, would have said “No way! I’m an old-timer who does things the right way!” I’m not sure if Rod Carew, Robin Yount, or Paul Molitor would have used steroids if they played in an era saturated in chemical enhancements, but the odds are that one of them would have. I say we kick them all out using the “Fallibility of Man” clause, just to be sure.

So when I hear or read that McGwire shouldn’t get in the Hall of Fame because he didn’t apologize the right way, it makes me stabby. Apologize to whom? To me? I had an idea he was using at the time, and I didn’t really care.

Makes me stabby? Nice. Very nice.

Go over there, and read the whole thing.



…. Same old, same old

Another laughable contract, for another laughable retread of a mediocrity. I would say that it’s unbelievable, but it’s not. It’s predictable, it’s embarrassing, it’s what make us a laughingstock of a baseball team, run by one of the worst organizations in all of sports.

…. For several years, Mark DeRosa daydreamed of eventually playing in San Francisco. He enjoys the city’s vibe and atmosphere, from walking to the ballpark to trying out top restaurants.

“I felt like it would be a cool place to play and an interesting place to bring my family,” he said.

For several years, the Giants pictured DeRosa’s powerful bat contributing in the middle of their lineup.

Of course he’s wanted to play in San Francisco forever. It’s one of the few places in all of baseball where your value isn’t measured by productivity, or winning, or being one of the best in the world at what you do. It’s measured by how old you are. And DeRosa sure is old.

So, once again Giants fans are treated to a mediocre, flawed, old player that Sabean has spent years –years– trying to acquire. Once again, Giants fans are treated to a player that no other team –in all of baseball– thought was worthy of a starters salary. Once again, Giants fans are reminded that Brian Sabean is the worst general manager in baseball today.

Brian Sabean works in the Bay Area, a place filled with some of the highest level technologically advanced corporations, organizations and companies; and he runs his team like he is living in the 1950′s. Brian Sabean is a fool, a rube, and so is Bill Neukom. They are made for each other.

Here is the message Brian Sabean has for Giants fans like me and you:

FUCK YOU AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON. I KNOW THINGS YOU DON’T, AND, EVEN THOUGH I HAVE NEVER, EVER BUILT A TEAM THAT HAS WON A CHAMPIONSHIP, I AM NOT THE LEAST BIT INTERESTED IN CHANGING ONE SINGLE THING I DO, I AM NOT INTERESTED IN LEARNING, OR BEING BETTER THIS YEAR THAN I WAS LAST.

AND LAST, BUT NOT LEAST, I COULD CARE LESS THAT THERE IS A COORDINATED, THOUGHTFUL CRITICISM OF ME AND MY APPROACH; ORGANIZED BY THOUGHTFUL, CARING FANS THAT HAVE NEVER, EVER, EVEN ONE TIME, SEEN A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM PLAY IN THEIR CITY.

This is a “Fuck you” to you and me, so here’s my response:

Dear Brian Sabean,

Fuck you, too. You are a joke, a laughingstock, an anachronism; a man living in the past, woefully under-prepared for the demands of the modern baseball world. You should be ashamed of yourself for foisting another piece of horseshit player on the people who pay your salary.

Another injured, 35-year old, has-been of a player? Are you out of your fucking mind?

My greatest sadness is that there are enough people who still believe in you, who still fill PacBell, who still show up to support this retirement home, Island of the Misfits team you trot out there year after year; that the owners of the Giants fail to recognize your worthlessness; because, you should be fired, today, right now.

After over 45 years of watching other teams celebrate championships (including teams that didn’t even exist when the Giants moved to San Francisco), other teams draft, develop and support championship-level players while you throw away draft choices and go out of your way to acquire one bum after another…. you should be ashamed of yourself. You and the San Francisco Giants ownership group, –every single one of you– should hang your heads in shame, as you go through the motions, pretending to be interested in ending a drought that has lasted the entire time the team has been in this city.

Your team is a disgrace, and your efforts are a disgrace, and your excuses are a disgrace.

To the Giants fans who come here, I say to you that these are your San Francisco Giants:

An ownership group betraying a legion of loyal fans with year after year of half-assed efforts to field a competitive baseball team. A general manager who thumbs his nose at objective analysis, state of the art statistical knowledge, and thoughtful attempts to properly and efficiently allocate precious resources. And a baseball team managed by a man who thinks effort and professionalism can be brought to bear only by players who are the same age as me.

Support this team at your own risk.



…. Repeater

Joe Sheehan, as usual, says it better than I do:

…. I keep coming back to the trend line of the last few offseasons. The industry is getting smarter, valuing things that matter—expected on-field performance, applied skills, proper evaluation—over a knee-jerk preference for experience. Teams are coming around to the idea, first expressed by Bill James in the 1980s, that talent in baseball is not normally distributed, that for every great player there are multiple above-average ones, and for every above-average one many average ones. There’s no reason to pay extra money for average performance, and the vast majority of players are at that level or below.

The majority of baseball players, even major leaguers, are fungible. If you pay $4 million each for three players who will produce $2 million worth of value, you’ve wasted six million that could be better spent on high-impact players. The key mistake that continues to be made—and we’ve seen it with Kendall and the Royals, Ivan Rodriguez and the Nationals, Brandon Lyon and the Astros—is money wasted in dribs and drabs on players who are fungible by teams that have no reason to chase wins.

Or, as in the case of the Giants, you pay $9 or $10 million each for three or four players who will produce $2 million worth of value, in which case; you are mired in the bottom of the standings, and your franchise is completely hamstrung in it’s efforts to acquire true top-tier talent. To make matters worse, Giants fans get to watch a team run by a man who thinks this kind of worthless babbling matters in the day to day operations of running a baseball team:

DL: Earlier today, Peter Gammons told me that you do a good job of handling a bullpen. Why do you think he feels that way?

BB: Well, I’m fortunate that I have a good bullpen, and I’ll say this: A good bullpen makes a manager look a lot smarter, because when you’re making moves and taking pitchers out, if they don’t get the job done, then it looks like it was a horrible move. But if they do, then they make you look good. To have [Brian] Wilson as my closer, and to have Jeremy Affeldt and Bobby Howry, [Brandon] Medders—those guys did a great job. My job is to manage the bullpen, and not just for a game, but through the season. So if people believe that, great, because it’s an important part of the game. But it still always comes down to the personnel getting it done for you.

Good job of handling the pen? Really? This is a manager who thinks its perfectly OK to use four relievers to get two outs in a four run game. Sure, his moves looked good this season, his pitchers were lights out. But he walked out to that mound as often as anyone in baseball, often chasing the tiniest percentage; and more often than not, taking out a pitcher who was cruising along. Bcohy’s at least honest in his answer, it’s all on the players to make him look good.

DL: What the Giants need more than anything is a couple of players at the top of the batting order who can get on base. True or false?

BB: Yeah, I’d say true. You know, our leadoff hitter, [Eugenio] Velez, there’s no question we’d like to have a little higher on-base percentage between him and [Andres] Torres. That’s an area that we’re looking at.

DL: Can a team win in today’s game without power?

BB: Yeah, it’s been done, and I think today they can, although they are going to have to throw the ball awfully well, and they’re going to have to catch the ball, and they’re going to have to play the game of baseball. What I mean by that is they have to execute sound, fundamental baseball.

Um, no, it hasn’t been done. Not in today’s game, not for a very long time. There have been but a handful of teams in baseball history that have won a championship without an offense in –at least– the top third of the league power production. A handful. Forget about the 1985 Cardinals. The 1985 Cardinals were second to last in home runs (just 87), but they led the league in triples, with 59, were fourth in doubles (245), and were 6th in slugging percentage, just 11 points behind the league leaders. Oh, and they led the league in runs scored, by the way.

You have to go all the way back to the 1965 Dodgers to find a team that won a title with an offense as bad as the Giants. Just to get to the Serious, Koufax and Drysdale threw 640 innings between them, with 15 combined shutouts and just shy of 600 combined strikeouts (Koufax had 382!). And then it took them seven games to win that Series. They lost the first two games to the Twins, but finished the Series off with Koufax throwing two complete game shutouts in games 5 and 7.

In other words, even with a shutout by Claude Osteen, it took their best pitcher throwing 18 shutout innings in three days (after a season in which he had already thrown 320 innings) to win a single series in seven games. How many more pitches do you think Koufax had left in him after that? Because back then, all a team needed to do was win one series. The ’65 Dodgers were lucky to beat the Twins at all, coming back from an 0-2 deficit. You think Lincecum can do that three series in a row? You think he can do it once?

In today’s game, a last place offense would never be able to accumulate the 11 wins (most likely 12 starting next year) needed to grab a title. There’s too much pressure on the pitching staff, against too good a level of competition. This team needs power, it needs guys on base.

It needs to play Posey, at the least. It really does need Holliday, even if the cost does seem prohibitive. I mean, how can you justify paying Randy Winn $10 million per these last four seasons, and then balk at paying a hitter like Holliday $16 per? It doesn’t make sense, but then again, trading one of the top pitchers in your minor league system for 115 at bats from a career backup doesn’t make too much sense either.



…. Sabean

I was backtalking about Sabean, but I think I want everyone to read this idea…..

Brain Sabean has a blind spot, and we’ve been banging around for years now trying to understand what the hell it is, what the hell he’s thinking. I think I might have stumbled on to an explanation that makes some sense.

It’s like he looks at something a player has done, even if it’s only once, and he believes that that is what the player can do, or actually is. Neifi Perez had a .350 batting average once (in Colorado, of course), and he won a Gold Glove, and so, to Sabean, he is a .350 hitter with a great glove; it doesn’t matter that he hasn’t done any of those things in four or five years, or that he did it in an runs created context that outrageously inflated his numbers, or that he simply was never that good. To Sabean, once he sees a player a certain way, he always sees that player in that way.

Dave Roberts made one key play in his entire baseball life, and Sabean decided that Dave Roberts makes key plays.

Sabean is the absurd conclusion, the perfect example of the old adage that a player can get five years in the game off of one good season, or even one great month, or just one singular accomplishment, because people will always try and see if he can do it again. To Sabean, the player is that accomplishment, that season. Think about it, I mean, you could do this with every guy on the team, and it works.

Freddie Sanchez is a batting champion.

Randy Winn is the guy who had 50 hits that September, so let’s give him $50 million dollars, and more to the point, let’s play him every day in 2009, even though he has nothing left as a hitter at all. Randy Winn is 50 hits in a month, and to Sabean, he always will be.

Aaron Rowand is on Sportscenter every night, he must be great, so let’s give him $50 million dollars. Aaron Rowand is a human highlight reel, a “gamer,” and no matter how little evidence there is to support that, Brian Sabean will never see him as anything else, ever.

Bengie Molina hit a home run batting cleanup one day, so he is a cleanup hitter.

Juan Uribe is a backup infielder, so fuck him, he’s expendable.

Edgar Renteria is a World Series winning shortstop.

Barry Zito is a Cy Young Award winner.

You can go back in time, and it still works.

Sabean didn’t need to put Edgaro Alfonzo through a physical, because Alfonzo was a 25 home run hitting, Gold Glove winning second baseman.

He didn’t care that Moises Alou was 39 years old, because Alou was a good hitter.

He saw Livan Hernandez as an Ace, because he saw him strike out 13 guys in an NL playoff game once, and no matter how hard Livan tried to prove that he was anything but an inning-eater, Sabean never saw him any differently.

I could go on and on. On. And. On.

It also explains, perfectly, why he has so much resistance to playing rookies and young players. They haven’t done anything yet. Until he can see something that they have done; they aren’t players, they aren’t anything to him. So, on the Giants, rookies have about two weeks to prove themselves, unless somebody gets hurt, of course. And even then, after playing well for months, (like, say, Fred Lewis) a player on the Giants can still find that Sabean is ignoring whatever success they’ve had, because he sees them as they were, not as they are.

That’s also why he can’t forecast, because he sees things as if they were set in stone. There’s no room in his tiny brain for things like upside, or decline, or aging, or injuries. Players are what they are, and statistics are for the other guys. So he has a 22-year old shortstop who hit .240, which, for people who study baseball, is nothing to sneeze at. A 22-year old rookie who has any success at all at the major league level is a valuable commodity; but not to Brian Sabean. All he sees is a .240 hitter. He simply cannot see upside, or progress, or anything like it. He only sees that first thing. He is a first impression kind of guy, but taken to it’s absurd conclusion. He’s a first impression guy to a degree that would be laughable, if it wasn’t destroying the team.

Buster Posey is a rookie, he can’t possibly be expected to do what a “gamer” like Bengie Molina does, because Brian Sabean hasn’t seen him do it. And so he goes on TV telling everyone how worthless Posey is.

And, of course, once he decides a player isn’t a “gamer” there is nothing they (or anyone, for that matter) can do to change his mind. It’s why he had to trade for Double PLay AJ, even though he had Torrealba. He had decided that Torrealba couldn’t hit, or wasn’t “veteran” enough, or couldn’t call a game, or whatever bullshit he was telling himself, and there was no argument, nothing that could be done to alter that assessment. He had to have Mike Matheny, because he heard someone say that Matheny’s defense saved the team 100 runs a season, and he thinks saving a hundred runs a year is a real ability, and that only he sees the value in having a guy that can do that.

He saw JT Snow save a couple of runs in a game once, and he said to himself, “Wow, over the course of 162 games, that must translate into hundreds of runs being saved.” So JT Snow’s black hole offense was allowed to kill the team for 8 fucking years, and Sabean didn’t even notice. All he saw was a human vacuum cleaner at first base.

Listen, we all do this, in some way or another. It’s a way to simplify the complex. Think about a player, and immediately, one thing comes to mind. Cal Ripken? Games played streak. Hank Aaron? Home runs. There is nothing wrong with it. It’s when you are trying to evaluate players according to your team’s needs and the players values that parsing details becomes important. Sure Ripken plays every day, but he’s 35 years old. How many days is he really gonna be worth something at that age? How many 0 for 4′s can you handle?

Sure Edgar Renteria was on a champion, and that counts for something; but is he still playing at a championship level today? You need to be flexible in your view of a player to even ask that question. Sabean is not. He thinks he just signed a championship-level shortstop, even though Renteria’s championship was over ten years ago.

It’s OK to form a picture when you first consider a player, but a GM has to fill in the blanks, add some depth and some color to the image, step back and get a more clear view. He can’t just decide that Freddie Sanchez is great, and then keep trying to acquire him for five fucking years; with no concern for any parts of his game that may have changed since the first time you decided you liked him. That’s what fans do. For that matter, that’s what kids do. A general manager has to go way beyond that.

This is Brian Sabean’s blind spot, in a nutshell; and he’s given no indication that he will ever change. And maybe that’s why he sees people this way. Maybe he sees people as set in stone, because he is.



…. Again and again

Nothing is likely to happen at all. Sabean is not likely to sign anybody worth a shit.

UPDATE: Seems like the realities of the free agent market may actually force Sabean make the right decision:

…. the Nationals’ signing of Ivan Rodriguez to a two-year, $6 million deal to be a backup might have helped drive the market higher for catchers, perhaps making it tougher to find short-term quality.

“The Pudge signing is not going to help our situation,” general manager Brian Sabean said.

Asked if the contract surprised him, Sabean said, “Yes – how he’s going to be used against the money. I don’t think he’s going to be catching 100 games.”

Sabean remains adamant about not signing a catcher for two years, and he said he has no intention of pursuing Molina again: “That ship has sailed. That’s not going to be a fallback position for us.” While manager Bruce Bochy spoke publicly about his fondness for two other free-agent catchers, Miguel Olivo, who played for Bochy in San Diego, and Yorvit Torrealba, Sabean said he’s willing to “revisit Posey.”

Likewise, if the Giants don’t find a suitable No. 5 starter for one year to replace Brad Penny, now a Cardinal, Bumgarner could round out the rotation.

“If it ends up being Bumgarner as the fifth starter, he’s one of the best alternatives in all of baseball,” Sabean said. “If Posey ends up being the catcher, he’s the minor-league player of the year. We have some alternatives that other people don’t have in place right now. … You have to feel good about that.”

So, even though he is too stubborn, or ill-informed, Sabean still might end up doing the best thing for the team anyway, which is nothing. There is nobody in this season’s free agent pool who is really worth it, even if you love Holliday or Bay, they’re gonna be uber-expensive, and both have some holes in their games (mostly age-related). Posey and Bumgardner are the team’s two best options for those slots, young, inexpensive, with tons of upside. Also mentioned in the piece was the rethinking on Uribe. Good. Sign him for a year or two at $2 million per or something like that, and plug him in as the fill-in for the old and injury-prone Sanchez and Renteria.

I still think the team whiffed on Penny, but who knows, maybe his month here was an illusion. He’s still essentially a league-average pitcher. Bumgardner has to be able to match Penny’s production:

30 starts 173 innings 191 hits 94 earned runs 109 strikeouts 51 walks 4.88 ERA

I mean, if Bumgarder can’t do that, he’s not worth very much anyway, and we might as well find out now.

We all know that Posey can’t be worse than rally-killer.



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