THE San Francisco Giants Blog

How to Build a World Series Team Going Forward

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 2, 2013

It sure is nice to see so many Flappers have unquestioned faith in Brian Sabean. And far be it from me to do anything but honor the two world championships that his teams brought to us. But here’s the deal: 2010 and 2012 are over with. And in case some of you didn’t see it, there’s a new sheriff in town and his name is The Art Dealer. He doesn’t care what things cost. He spends wildly on his art hoping that one or two of them will turn out to be priceless works of art. And though it didn’t work out for him in 2013, this is the model he will adhere to until he wins. And if he keeps spending, he will win.

A decent argument against this model is, “Well, the Yankees spend money every year and they’ve only won a single world series in the 13 years that have passed since their dynasty.” So clearly, spending money doesn’t equal a guarantee of anything.

But what the Art Dealers are doing make the Yankees look like the a typical Houston Astro re-build year. Their payroll will be in the 230+ million in 2014 and they will likely go tens of millions above that in the coming seasons. They wipe their ass with the luxury tax receipt that they’ll be paying year in and year out while they reel off 2 or 3 world series championships in a row. The Yankees had a built in fatal flaw that the overrated Cashman didn’t have an answer for: they got too old. And at the same time they started freaking out about the luxury tax and have been trying to get under that while the rest of their team ages out of the league. This will never happen to the ‘Dealers. If some of their old guys get too old they’ll just release them or bench them and go trade for another 2 or 3 guys who are still productive but who are too expensive for their current team to hold on to. Everyone’s looking for salary relief. Except for the Art Dealers. From that stand point they’re really more like Drug Dealers. But I can only keep track of one nickname at a time so…..

What does that mean for the Giants? Of course I’m not suggesting that they can keep up with them from a payroll standpoint. But the model can’t be “The pitching is set and let’s just see what happens.” We are too thin across the board with our position players. Don’t believe me? What happens if Pagan goes down again next year? Hmmmm, I guess Sabes could slide good ‘ol Blanco over to CF and see what Torres is doing–maybe he’d come back and play left field for us. We have one of the worst outfield’s in baseball and if one of our “big 3″ go down who’s our back up plan? Gary Freaking Brown? Francisco Peguero? Oops, never mind. The Giants can’t continue to ignore their hitting by putting together the barest minimum line of of position players. If we do that we are guaranteed another “bad penny year” as Sabes likes to say when he gives up in early July…..

My point is that 2010 and 2012 are not anything to fall back on as *evidence* that our model will work in the new NL West. The Art Dealer’s have raised the bar. We have to raise ours……..

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  1. blade3colorado said, on December 2, 2013 at 6:54 am

    I’d like to think the Giants brain trust (Sabean especially) doesn’t make rash decisions . . .

    “Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.” Robert Schuller on “Patience.”

    • unca_chuck said, on December 2, 2013 at 9:09 am

      I need a Christmas tree, though . . .

    • snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 11:04 am

      Robert Schuller faked a pic of himself on the Great Wall of China in a fund raising letter months before he even went to China. Impatient to get the cash…

      • blade3colorado said, on December 2, 2013 at 11:07 am

        Snort. Good one. :-)

      • snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 11:37 am

        Mrs. Snarkk’s late grandparents lived down in SoCal during the Schuller glory days of the Crystal Cathedral. Grandma watched his money grab, uh TV show, “religiously”. I told her that story — she wasn’t pleased, but still unphased. Kept on watching. The spectacle, the grandiosity of it all was impressive. Plus, he was a good looking ol’ dude with a sexy, silky voice…

  2. ewisco said, on December 2, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Having been in NY when Bob Watson was putting together what became the NY dynasty, i think a few observations are in order. That team was mostly put together with home grown talent that Bob was able to draft, and far more importantly KEEP, when George was suspended. Bob and George constantly warred about how to build the roster, with george all for buying and Bob for building from within. It was so bad that Bob was always complaining about his stress level and ulitmately retired after george got back and handed the keys to the boy-wonder BC. BC wouldn’t fight as hard as Bob, though he fought more than most people realized. so George got his way, amazingly enough, and started buying again. But it wasn’t anyone he picked up that made them succussful, but that core of posada, rivera, bernie, jeter, petitt (sp?) etc. So no, I don’t think the Dodgers spending represents any real threat. they might get lucky but they probably won’t as you’re buying the back of the card, not the future. The cards are a much better indicator, as much as i hate them, for how to win consistently. But this is where snarkk’s comments apply: we suck at judging outfield talent. And until that’s fixed, it’s hard to build a core, though i don’t think the focus on pitching is entirely misplaced.

    • blade3colorado said, on December 2, 2013 at 7:24 am

      Guess who was the scout who “discovered and pushed” for Jeter and Rivera’s signing (also Bernie I think)?

      Sabean.

      • ewisco said, on December 2, 2013 at 9:12 am

        Watson doesn’t get near enough credit for what he pulled off. And all because they suspended George.

      • blade3colorado said, on December 2, 2013 at 9:58 am

        True.

  3. willedav said, on December 2, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Not sure what SF *should* be doing to keep up with LA…sign as many FAs to long term deals as possible? Um, last one didn’t go so well. Cano for $200 mil? ellsbury for $120mil? This fixes everything?
    Have $17 mil platoon OFs, a la Ethier? I’d rather have Uribe.
    I think what you can learn from 10 and 12, and for that matter 13, is that there is more to a team than what the numbers on paper, or the back of the baseball card, say. Who saw Boston winning it all in convincing fashion?
    Yes LA is formidable, but with decent pitching and D SF can take them down, and they handled division well last year. It was the Central and the chump teams that did them in, and to me that was more mental than physical. I think SF players feell they have a lot to prove and regs come back in *contract year* mode.

    • blade3colorado said, on December 2, 2013 at 7:34 am

      Willie and Ewisco – good posts. Want to know who they were actually worst against last season? The American League . . . 4-16 record.

    • blade3colorado said, on December 2, 2013 at 7:36 am

      After that, I think it was Cincy (can’t recall the record off hand though).

      • willedav said, on December 2, 2013 at 7:43 am

        ones that stuck in my mind were losing home series to teams like brewers cubs and Mets. Ugh.
        Sf used to wipe floor with teams like that, esp at home. And Sf wasn’t nearly as tough at home as usual. why?

  4. Chipower9 said, on December 2, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Good thread, Flavor, although I am not sure I fully agree. One of the WORST OFs in baseball? I beg to differ. Pence has put up consistent numbers, and is an ironman (dude is ready to play EVERY day), and he was the most sought after OFer at the end of the year last year. Pagan isn’t exactly chopped liver, either. Blanco and Perez are more than viable 4th/5th OFers. Supposedly, Sabes and crew have now focused on a LFer. If they add a “decent” guy who can be more or less an everyday guy (with an occasional platoon from Blanco or Perez), the IMO, that is not too shabby of an OF. Certainly not one of the worst.

    You are right in that they will never compete financially with the Bums. But money does not always translate to wins (your example of the YankMees is a prime example). And the Giants have no control over this (what the Bumbinos do), so worrying about it is a useless waste of time.

    I do feel that outside of LF, they need to strengthen the bench. Do they bring back Abreu and Arias as IF bench?

    Bum
    Cain
    Hudson
    Tim
    Vogey

    Affeldt
    Lopez
    Romo
    Casilla
    Petit
    Machi
    Escobar

    Buster
    Pablo
    Craw
    Scoots
    Belt
    Pagan
    Pence
    LFer

    Blanco
    Perez
    Sanchez
    Arias
    Abreu

    Here is how the 25 could look based on who is available on the 40 man, with the main hole to fill being the LFer.

    To me, this is not a terrible line-up, and with the typical caveat of “if they stay healthy” I think they can absolutely compete for the NL West.

    And I believe Sabean’s model should be stuck to going forward. Pitching has always got to be the priority. Second, solid D is a must. Everything else is gravy…outside of having a legit LFer with power (current need), I like this model. I agree that then need to improve in evaluating OF talent, but that is not a be all to end all need, IMO.

  5. Chipower9 said, on December 2, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I REALLY had wanted them to go a different direction than Vogey for the 5th starter spot. I know many didn’t like Arroyo for his propensity to give up the long ball, but the dude eats innings like nobodies business. I would have loved to seen him signed for the 5th spot (but only for two years max…and I think he may have been sniffing at 3). Anyway….I think Petit and Escobar could also be viable starting alternatives, and if they bring back the Groper, he fits the bill, too (although I like him better as long-relief).

  6. Bozo said, on December 2, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Last year’s team was pretty much the same squad that smoked Detroit in the WS in 2012. We had some injuries and players that didn’t play as well as expected last year and now Sabean has pretty much signed the same group. Is that arrogance, stupidity, or just the knowledge that this is a team more like 2012 than 2013? I don’t know, but I do feel we just need an everyday LFer and a stronger bench and that’s doable and Sabes will probably get that done before Spring Training. The Dodgers are a team of prima donnas, and yes they have money but will they be baseball smart with it? Will they open up the checkbook for HanRam or will they insult him with an offer? Is trading Kemp a great idea? Not letting him start would sure be a problem. Having Don Mattingly back as manager, may not have been the Magic Art Dealers brightest moment. I think the Red Sox proved that even rich teams can get ham strung with bad contracts. They were very lucky to find some idiots to take on those contracts so they (the Red Sox) could go win another championship. I’m not going to worry about the idiot team that took on those contracts. In my opinion, the Dodgers won last year because of the spark that Puig provided the team when Kemp went down. The Giants didn’t have that spark after Pagan went down. Yes, we had players having slumps, a bad spell for defense, pitchers getting blown up etc. But I still think that spark was the difference of the two teams. Yes, if Pagan or any of our starters goes down for a lengthy stretch, it’ll be problematic so I hope that doesn’t happen and that we have a stronger bench to carry us if it does.
    Sorry for the long rant.

    • ewisco said, on December 2, 2013 at 9:26 am

      what i distinctly remember from last year as i was watching the games was how horrific the defense could be and yet they weren’t counted as errors. I seem to remember a lot of balls dropping between fielders, double plays not being turned etc. and every time it seemed it led to a bunch of what should have been unearned runs. That absolutely must change this year. Maybe it was the hand injuries to craw and scooter and integrating the new outfield were responsible but with the thin pitching staff it was more than they could overcome.

  7. unca_chuck said, on December 2, 2013 at 9:22 am

    I beg to differ with some of this as well, but the point remains that they HAVE to get deeper in the bench area. Huddy and Vogie to fillout the back end of the rotation? Fine. It still comes down to the horses to right their shit. As in Timmy and Matty. Speaking of Boston/Yankmees, Boston didn’t get magically better by signing splashy FAs. they went the meat-and-potatoes route. AFTER their salary dump on the Fart Dealers. THe Yanks tried to squeeze life out of some dessicated corpses, and they fell apart and faded.

    I don;t know what or how they’ll get a LFer, but that is a big hole. If that is a hole, then back up OFer is another big hole. Blanco is what he is. a 4/5 guy. They need someone else. I think the Belt LF experience is off the table, as well as moving Posey. At least for the next couple seasons, so Sabes needs to address this accordingly. . .

  8. unca_chuck said, on December 2, 2013 at 9:24 am

    The point being, 2011 and 2013 were basically derailed by the injuries to Posey and Blanco. With some better bench guys, they wouldn’t have fallen as far.

    • Flavor said, on December 2, 2013 at 9:45 am

      this is basically the point I’m trying to make. You can’t just go bare bones with your 8 position players and have nothing on the bench. And all the guys Chi listed for our bench this year were the same shitty guys we had last year. The Mets signed Chris Young. The Mariners signed Willie Bloomquist. Neither guy is gonna make you jizz in your pants but they’re a hell of a lot more reliable than Arias or Perez or Abreu or any of that other jazz we had last year……..

      • Chipower9 said, on December 2, 2013 at 11:22 am

        They are the same shitty guys because it is early, and they have not made any changes. Hell, there could even be changes as late as Spring Training. I agree with many…it is too early to determine what they will do with their bench, but I think there will be some movement, there.

  9. salty said, on December 2, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Maybe I missed where Sabean said they were done. I expect we’ll see two new bats added. It’s still bleeping early.

  10. unca_chuck said, on December 2, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Yeah, Young would have been an easy get. I’m fine with Arias and Abreu, but we need more OFers.

    I’m wondering if the heretical thought of trading Buster is in the back of Sabean’s mind. Go with Hector and Susac.

    • Chipower9 said, on December 2, 2013 at 11:23 am

      Fuck no. I don’t see it at all. I owe you a drink and dinner if that happens before the start of the season. BOOK IT…that (trading Buster) will NOT happen.

  11. blade3colorado said, on December 2, 2013 at 10:26 am

    By the by, don’t write off non-tendered candidates . . . Anyone remember a guy named David Ortiz? Yep, he was non-tendered a contract and the Red Sox picked him up.

  12. dirtnrocksnomo said, on December 2, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I’m ambivalent about the Hudson signing. At best he gives you the good version of Vogelsong at worst he gives you…well, last years version of Vogelsong. If Hudson declines and Vogelsong continues to crater the club is SOL. That’s sun in Spanish. I can’t really say that I am surprised though. This is basically what Sabean said he would do and it is what he has done. Go figure. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed but I did used to negotiate multi-million dollar weapons systems with the DoD. I’d love to sit across the table from Sabean and push my wares. Dude is so predictable and easy to read.

    That being said I have stated my support for Sabean numerous times and agree that he has been a good GM. Not that the Giants have really missed out on much on the market thus far but my issue is that here he is again basically standing pat similar to 2011 and 2013.

    • Chipower9 said, on December 2, 2013 at 11:27 am

      It’s way to early to say he is “standing pat.” I liked the Hudson signing…only two years, and a guy who has thrown 200 innings in nine of his previous years (did so in 2010 and 2011), and would have done so last year were it not for the accident when he was covering 1B.

      • dirtnrocksnomo said, on December 2, 2013 at 11:33 am

        True, Sabean may still make a move but I don’t think it is very likely. The club as currently constructed is built to win now. Who can he really trade to bring anything of value back and not significantly weaken the team overall? I am not seeing it. It’ll be a deadline deal for the void in LF. The only thing I like about the Hudson signing is the duration.

  13. Chipower9 said, on December 2, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I was NOT suggesting that the Giants stay with their current bench. I was just pointing out that with 12 pitchers (I doubt the team carries less) and your eight starters, that leaves 5 bench positions between IF and OF. Arias has been a serviceable bench guy. I like the little I saw of Abreu last year (and he is a switch-hitter), but if they can upgrade there, I am down with that. And I think Blanco and Perez are decent enough 4th and 5th OFers, IF they sign a legit LFer.

    So, outside of your back-up catcher, you have FOUR positions. Would you keep ANY of those that I listed (that are currently on our 40 man), or would you look to completely clean-house?

    My point is that I totally disagree with the “one of the worst OFs” and I don’t think the team is that far off from competing again next year.

  14. Macdog said, on December 2, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Sorry Blade, but it sounds like the A’s are going to sign Kazmir.

    • snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 11:56 am

      He’s a risk with his past, but reports say just 2 years for $22M, so risk was taken into consideration in the length of the deal. Why couldn’t the Giants have done that deal? I’d take a flyer on him to really upgrade the rotation instead of re-upping a dicey Voggy for one year at $5M. Beer prices are going up, per BF; SF could afford it…

    • blade3colorado said, on December 2, 2013 at 12:06 pm

      Thanks Mac. Just saw this. Kazmir parlayed a comeback season into a deal that I think both him and the A’s are satisfied with. Interesting to see how that will turn out.

    • blade3colorado said, on December 2, 2013 at 12:08 pm

      Mac, the other thought that came to mind is Billy Bean. This is a GM that doesn’t do anything without the saber numbers lining up. I’m sort of gratified to see he saw what I saw. Grin. ;-)

  15. snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 11:32 am

    What did the Giants have in 2010 – 2012? Dominant pitching. Particularly, dominant starting pitching. With so-so offense. Here’s the 40,000 foot stats for the last 4 years in NL ranking in runs scored and ERA.

    697 in 2010 (9th), ERA 1st;
    570 in 2011 (last), ERA 2nd;
    718 in 2012 (6th), ERA 5th;
    629 in 2013 (10th), ERA 13th.

    I don’t think anybody here thinks this 2014 staff will be a similar, dominant pitching staff to the 2010-2012 period. The 2010 playoff pitching was a once in a generation performance of great starters and relievers. So, the offense needs to get back to at least middle of the road, and pitching back towards the top half of the league. To score more, this has to mean a better LF situation, and as BF says, a better bench. I do believe somehow, that the D will improve this coming year over 2013. Ewisco made the good point about how the defense was way worse than the error rate would show — lots of mental mistakes, double plays not made, cutoff throw screw ups, etc. Lincecum was a big victim of that. I believe bad D inflated the ERA a bit. That should improve, I assume Bochy will re-emphasize fielding in ST and through the season. As for pitching itself, Hudson will help, but you can see where the trending is going since 2010. Tim and Cain and Voggy/Petit/Whoever have to step it up to get the staff back towards middle of the pack. Affeldt, too. Nobody is getting younger on that staff, that’s a lot of ifs and arm mileage. IMO this staff will do well to end up in 2014 with a season ERA around 8th to 10th in the NL, unless they somehow add a young arm in ST or at the break…

    • snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 11:50 am

      Of course, it’s hardly ever repeatable exactly, but the 2012 year is the target for what I would hope for as a GM. Look at that balance. 6th in runs scored, 5th in ERA. If you have a team that is middle to a little better in the pack in scoring and pitching, you are going to be in the hunt. And, if your pitching catches fire in the playoffs, look out. In 2011, when Posey was hurt, great pitching still, but torture to score. Result, missed the playoffs. Crappy balance (2013) obviously ain’t goin’ to get it done…

      • blade3colorado said, on December 2, 2013 at 12:09 pm

        “. . . the 2012 year is the target for what I would hope for as a GM.”

        I hope the players got the memo.

      • James said, on December 2, 2013 at 12:18 pm

        Agree with this, except that when you play at ATT, being in the middle of the pack on offense means you are pretty good; conversely, it means you are not so good in the pitching department. The league adjusted ERA for 2012 was slightly below average. The ballpark you play in matters.

      • snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 12:36 pm

        James, where is the best place to find park-adjusted stats?

      • James said, on December 2, 2013 at 1:06 pm

        Snarkk, I just look at baseball-reference: OPS+ and ERA+. The calculations are complex, which raises my mistrust a bit, but the narratives behind them seem pretty logical. The numbers also don’t swing wildly from season to season like, e.g., the more esoteric defensive stats. Another index to look at is the ballpark factors. ATT has consistently been a park that suppresses scoring as much as any in baseball. It’s all on the main stat pages:

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/SFG/2013.shtml

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL/2013.shtml

  16. Chipower9 said, on December 2, 2013 at 11:59 am

    As I mentioned, pitching has to continue to be the focus, and I also said the D is the second most important ingredient. I agree…if they can be top 5 (or near it) in Runs and ERA/WHIP, AND play decent clean D, they’ll be fine.

  17. blade3colorado said, on December 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    There was an interesting article in the Sunday Denver Post about Dick Monfort releasing his annual financial budget for the Rockies. Most fans hate him with a passion and quite frankly, none of them bought what he was trying to sell yesterday. The article is here . . . http://www.denverpost.com/rockies/ci_24630592/rockies-owner-dick-monfort-provides-detailed-look-at-teams-budget-financial-structure

    I also posted two comments on this article, including this one. Similar to the Splash, they rate the comments as positive or negative and both of my comments were 100% positive. I thought I would get crucified. Ha.

    Postby blade3colorado on Yesterday, 2:32 pm #3241115

    I am a Giants fan living in Colorado and I feel sorry for the true Colorado Rockies fans. In my opinion, all of you have little recourse but to stay away from the games at Coors field until such time that Dick Monfort gets a clue on how to run a baseball franchise. His “best GM in all of major league baseball” has exactly 2 seasons of playoff baseball to show loyal Rockies fans since September 20, 1999 (when he was hired).

    Conversely, this is what Brian Sabean has accomplished during his tenure:

    The Giants have won two World Series (2010, 2012), three National League pennants (2002, 2010, 2012), five National League West Division flags (1997, 2000, 2003, 2010, and 2012), a National League Wild Card (2002), and forced a National League Wild Card tie-breaker game with Chicago in 1998. On two other occasions, the club was eliminated from post season contention on the last day of the season. He has guided the club to five post season berths, which is the clubs most in an 11-season span since 1915 through 25. posting a 1,392-1,198 (.537) mark during that 16-year span. This winning percentage is sixth overall in MLB, the third best in the National League and best in the NL West Division during Sabean’s tenure.

    When the Giants put putrid teams on the field (especially at Candlestick Park), they stayed away in droves. Frankly, this was the fan catalyst that drove the San Francisco Giants to build an outstanding stadium and put good teams on the field annually. Again, I would recommend that the great Colorado fans stay away from Coors, until Dick gets the message.

  18. unca_chuck said, on December 2, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Yeah, for all the woes of the offense and pitching, the defense was horrendous for way too many games.

    • Nipper said, on December 2, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      BLEEP!

    • James said, on December 2, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      The squishy defensive stats at Fangraphs actually rank the Giants as one of the best defensive teams in the league in terms of preventing hits. The team did have a low FP percentage, but the number of unearned runs scored against them, 48, was actually 3 below the league average of 51.

      • James said, on December 2, 2013 at 1:37 pm

        FP= fielding percentage.

      • snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 1:45 pm

        Well, if unearned runs is based on errors, then maybe that one stat has some validity. But, as most of us know, 2013 was a horrible defensive year for the Giants. SF was near the bottom of the NL in fielding % and defensive efficiency ratio (per MLB.com). It strains credulity and Bochy’s own observations that the 2013 Giants were one of the better defensive teams in the NL…

      • James said, on December 2, 2013 at 2:25 pm

        One of the composite Fangraphs stats is UZR; RngR ranks the Giants very high in preventing hits:

        http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=fld&lg=nl&qual=0&type=1&season=2013&month=0&season1=2013&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=21,d

        I think the defense was a minor part of the story. The Cardinals gave up about 40 unearned runs. The only dimension of the team that was unequivocally crappy last year was the pitching.

        BTW, just like baseball-reference via OPS+, Fangraphs claims that the Giants offense was not the problem last year, using the wRC+ stat BF once touted:

        http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=nl&qual=0&type=8&season=2013&month=0&season1=2013&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=16,d

      • unca_chuck said, on December 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm

        The problem with those stats (squishy is right) is that many misplays aren’t considered errors. You can’t assume the DP, misplayed popups, throwing to the wrong base, baserunning errors, etc. They played a lot of ugly games.

      • unca_chuck said, on December 2, 2013 at 2:27 pm

        Minor? Seriously? I think it was a very big problem considering from whence they came. They had one of the best defenses in 2012.

      • snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 2:46 pm

        2013 errors: Cards 75 (fewest in NL); Giants 107 (3rd most in NL)
        2013 DPs turned: Cards 177 (best in NL); Giants 128 (next to last in NL)
        Those are pretty good disparities. Plus, the Giants made more errors with the fewest number of fielding chances (putouts + assists + errors) in the NL (5986) with the Cards having the 5th most (6172).
        Cards also had something like a mind boggling .330 RISP average in the season, too, which disappeared in the WSeries…

      • James said, on December 2, 2013 at 2:46 pm

        All defensive plays are taken into account in the stats. You can quibble with them, but the fact that the Giants are ranked so high should at least give you pause. What is undeniable is that the number of unearned runs allowed was statistically insignificant as far as determining the Giants’ record.

      • snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 3:14 pm

        Nobody’s denying the official unearned runs were not a huge factor in the crap season. What Chuck and I and others are saying is that the stats alone, which are bad, don’t represent how bad the Giants D actually was. We saw/heard virtually all the games. We know the bad D caused a lot of problems. How many games were lost because of it, I can’t quantify. But, it was not insignificant to the cratering…

      • James said, on December 2, 2013 at 4:57 pm

        I saw all the games, too. What I’ve learned over the years is that perceptions are very often belied by quantitative data. I am hardly a big believer in UZR etc., but these stats do take into account all of the plays — missed DPs, balls that glance off of an OFers glove — and they attempt to create a norm for how many outs a defense should provide given where and how a ball is put into play. These stats are not totally flawed or irrational. They also become less variable from season to season when they measure an entire team as opposed to individual players. Here are the Giants’ rankings in the NL for the last 4 years:

        2010 — 1
        2011 — 6
        2012 — 4
        2013 — 3

      • snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 6:03 pm

        Sorry James. If this is UZR rankings, whatever. If the interpretation is that the Giants were the 3rd best NL defensive squad in 2013, then the NL was garbage, defensively…

  19. PawlieKokonuts said, on December 2, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    When I read Magnus’s original post, I got grumpy and morose. After reading the comments, a little less so. (Hey, maybe Magnus is wrong!) What is distressing is that there is little chance of a bright and shiny surprise showing up from within in ST. Who knows. I am never much good at any of this speculation.

    And I like Arias.

  20. unca_chuck said, on December 2, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Back to an earlier topic, Chi, I don’t see how they get any kind of decent LFer without trading someone. They have little to offer other than pitchers or Buster. I’m more certain that they don’t trade a pitcher than trading Buster.

    I really don’t think it’ll happen either, but you have to think he’d take an offer that was good enough. No one wanted Matt Williams to get traded. Buster cratered alarmingly last year after his hot start. I think he will regain his form, but there’s always the opportunity to get maximum value at the cost of future production.

    • Bozo said, on December 2, 2013 at 6:55 pm

      Unca, you are the only one in the world that is agreeing with me on this. I feel trading Buster would fill a few holes for years to come. But like Flav said, probably not a whole lot of teams who could afford that contract. I kept thinking Braves, Posey’s a Georgia guy and they have/had (I haven’t looked at their roster in awhile) extra OFers and starting pitching.

  21. unca_chuck said, on December 2, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    What I’m saying is they won’t trade anyone that will significantly diminish the position they currently play. So, Pablo, Belt, Pence, Pagan, and Crawfish stay. Scoots won’t get anything, and Posey is the only chip to bargain with.

    Fricking Sanchez hit better than Posey in the 2nd half with less than half the ABs if I recall correctly.

  22. Chipower9 said, on December 2, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    They will get a LFer and it will be via trade. And Buster Posey will NOT be a part of the trade. It very well may be some minor league arms (not any of the top guys). And you aren’t going to get any of the big sexy names for a LFer, either. Just my prediction…

  23. PawlieKokonuts said, on December 2, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    But would they trade someone who brings in huge marketing dollars? I think they’d trade Panda but not Posey, Panda hats notwithstanding. I read somewhere that Buster sells more shirts, etc. than anyone else in MLB, or close to it.

    (Hey, it was nice to see DJLoo throw a grenade over the transom the other day.)

  24. snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Buster is making LARGE dollars. For a catcher, really LARGE dollars; that’s hard to trade, even if they wanted to trade him. He’s the face and marketing future of the franchise. He’s going nowhere, except to another position in a year or two…

    • Flavor said, on December 2, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      exactly. Trading Buster would be trading away his gynormous deal. That’s what you get in return, not players of value. No one is going to take on 160 mil AND give you a bunch of talent. If it’s thought about that way it will become clear that even if the Giants wanted to trade Buster they wouldn’t because at best what they would get would be salary relief.

    • snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      I think one big reason why the Giants will move Buster to another position fairly soon is that paying a catcher huge money on an 8-year deal is really not smart. That position degrades the player physically quite quickly. So, you can expect his hitting production to really decline sooner than a similarly-paid 1st baseman or 3rd baseman who is an RBI and power guy. His decline at the plate in the last two months of 2013 has to be worrisome in that regard. If it happens again in 2014, I would not be surprised to see him moved in 2015 to another position. You can’t be paying huge money for a good, not great defensive catcher who provides 12 to 15 HRs a year, and declining production at that. You can possibly get something near that combination ultimately from Sanchez at about 1/10 Buster’s annual cost, while keeping Buster’s production higher by playing him somewhere less physically taxing…

  25. Alleykat said, on December 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Can we trade are entire bench?

    • snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      For what? A single A pitcher and a pack of Winstons?…

      • blade3colorado said, on December 2, 2013 at 4:13 pm

        Hold out for Marlboros.

      • snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 5:11 pm

        I just looked online at cig prices. Had no idea lung cancer cost so much. A carton of cigs is well over $100. Maybe our bench and Peguero for a single A pitcher and a CARTON of Winstons…

      • Flavor said, on December 2, 2013 at 5:21 pm

        I smoked for 8-10 years back in the late eighties till 1998. I think I was paying like 3 bucks a pack (not sure, that’s just what I recall). What does a pack cost now, lol?

      • snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 5:42 pm

        State by state cig costs. http://www.theawl.com/2012/06/pack-of-cigarettes-cost
        My $100/carton seems a little high in most places. CA looks like around $70 a carton for Marlboros. So, if you’re a two pack a day guy, you’re burning around $300 a month. Not to mention your clothes stink. Years ago I went out with a chick who smoked. First and last one of those. Not interested in getting it on with a smokestack, or hitching my wagon to a surefire cancer patient. My Dad smoked Camel regulars since he was about 13 until he was around 65. When in his truck, he’d smoke and open his window a crack while driving. The smoke wouldn’t go out the window. It would pour over to my seat like I was sitting in a designated Cone of Smoke. Sheezus. That put me off smoking forever. After he quit Camels, he changed to a pipe for 20+ years. Died at 89 of congestive heart failure. Essentially, of old age…

      • snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 5:52 pm

        Mrs. snarkk never smoked. Cigs, anyway. ;)
        She drinks Scotch and red wine.
        Now, that’s my kind of woman…

      • Flavor said, on December 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm

        Sounds like your dad beat the odds.
        I used to smoke in my car and in college we smoked in the house. I went to school in Portland Oregon so in the Winter we were pretty well locked up inside. When we would drive home for Summer I would open my suitcase and this disgusting stench of mildew and smoke would hit me like a baseball bat to the head. Still not sure how we put up with ourselves while at college.

      • Bozo said, on December 2, 2013 at 7:05 pm

        In North Carolina a carton of Camels is about 40 bucks (sometimes cheaper), in Connecticut a carton is about 80 bucks. I was around two packs a day until this June, the wife and I quit June 10th. There are times that I miss smoking, but not as often as I thought I would.

  26. Flavor said, on December 2, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    The Tigers got completely fleeced in that Fister deal. Two non-prospects and a shitty journeyman? Fister is a stud. It’s deals like this one that piss me off. Even Sabean could have come up with this one. In fact, this one woulda been one of his specialties in terms of loot offered…….

    • snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 8:14 pm

      I just looked at that deal online. What the FUCK is Sabean doing? He could have done something similar to that deal, easily. And Fister has two years left before FAgency. Instead of Fister, we get Voggy. That kind of deal just POs me to no end. And, the Nationals have nowhere near the revenue the Giants turn over. Has Sabes got his damn iPhone turned on?…

  27. blade3colorado said, on December 2, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Chicago Bulls just lost a 3 period OT heartbreaker game against the NO Pelicans. No idea why they trusted Mike Dunleavy to take a 3 pointer from the right wing, especially in lieu of his shitty play in the last 3 games. Deng or Hinrich would have been my preference.

  28. Irish Kevin said, on December 2, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Wow, great thread and great comments!! Yeah seems that it is a little early to worry about what the Gmen will look like come late February. Chi…uh, you need to remember the up roar over The Matt Williams trade. Every fan I knew just about shit bricks at the time. The year of the strike Matty was leading the league in Homers and then the next year I think the Giants traded him. So never say never!! Granted Matty didn’t take them to a WS but still.

  29. unca_chuck said, on December 2, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Yeah, I quit right about the same time. Dec 31st 1998. 20+ years of a pack a day. I think smokes were still about $1.50 s pack. You could get cartons at Costco for $10,.00. Dad quit when he was 53. Mom never really quite could quit, but both died at 81 of emphysema. Ya never know. Hitting 80 is barrowed time, eh? That’s how I always looked at it. Well, I never really thought I’d reach 30 to tell you the truth, but that’s a different story.

    Anyhow, Posey won’t be traded, and it’s the contract, but shit, they can’t do much but rely on the possible juice they can get from their prospects? They won’t get too much in return, so whatever.

  30. Flavor said, on December 2, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Beane just picked up Jim Johnson for Jemile Weeks. Some GM’s do shit, some sit on their hands and talk about “bad penny years”…..

    • snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      The more I look at this Fister deal, the more PO’d I get. Sabes is supposed to be the pitching guru, but this deal passes him by? How does that happen? He could give up Crick or Blackburn in that deal — who the fuck knows if ANY of these young Giants pitchers are going to actually pan out? But, Fister is a damn solid, proven 3 IMO. He’d be awesome at ATT. Fister + Hudson would be a huge combo to go up against the LA money machine. Sabes must have his thumb up his ass. He better have something good cooking for LF. Meanwhile, can we stop with the harkening back to the Matt Williams deal for proof of Sabes’ genius? That was friggin’ 16 years ago, he hasn’t done anything that ballsy since…

      • unca_chuck said, on December 2, 2013 at 9:13 pm

        My only point with that was the idea of trading a very popular player. Not that it was such a great deal.

      • Flavor said, on December 2, 2013 at 9:41 pm

        Ha, all excellent points. Why are you and I the lone wolves on this thing?

  31. Flavor said, on December 2, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    In SF Giants news, we tendered all 5 of our arb guys. Ya-fucking-hoo……..

  32. Flavor said, on December 2, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Clown– great to hear to quit. I smoked a pack+ a day, decided to quit on my sister’s birthday in ’98 (Aug 2nd) cause my girlfriend broke up with me. Boo hoo. I slapped a patch on for 3 days, tore it off and I was done with that shit. Missed smoking at the track for a few months, but that was about it. Best decision I ever made.

  33. Nipper said, on December 2, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Sabean for Mayor. You bet.

  34. Nipper said, on December 2, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    I’m glad this blog is a smoke free zone.

  35. snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    I’m heading off for a single finger of Scotch before this Fister thing pushes up my BP. Adios, folks…

    • blade3colorado said, on December 2, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      Paulinasia just gave me the keys to the kingdom (information about Ho Chi Minh city) . . . All thoughts of baseball have left my brain housing unit. ;-)

    • paulinasia said, on December 2, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      Ha… ok, you’s got the keys, but you’s got to pay to play, my friend… :-) Hope you have fun when you go. Hell, maybe I can even get away from China for a weekend when you’re there…

  36. unca_chuck said, on December 2, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    There’s plenty of time to either shit or get off the pot. We’ll see. More worrisome to me are the Seahawks. They beat the living shit out of NO without even breaking a sweat.

    • Flavor said, on December 2, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      Go take a look at Brees home/road QB rating splits. #breesismortal

  37. blade3colorado said, on December 2, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Natives (Flappers) are getting restless . . .

  38. James said, on December 2, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Unfortunately, it does seem like Sabes is done on the pitching front. That’s where they had the most to gain, a fact that even Jenkins, Sabe’s superannuated counterpart in the sportswriting world, recognized.

    I kinda wish the Ellis Island immigration officer had retained the “P” at the beginning of Fister.

  39. snarkk said, on December 2, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    More earthshaking news:
    Giants non-tendered Rosario and Peguero, too…

  40. blade3colorado said, on December 3, 2013 at 5:36 am

    Forget Rosario and Peguero. I’m curious about Chris Coghlan, a former ROY (non-tendered by the Marlins), who has put up a .242/.307/.352 batting line in four seasons since winning the award and has had trouble staying healthy. He might have to settle for a minor league deal this winter and the Giants should find out what’s up. Same thing with Garrett Jones. He’s officially a free agent now after being designated for assignment last week. Jones hit only .233/.289/.419 across 440 plate appearances in 2013, but he’s a career .271/.337/.489 hitter against right-handed pitching. He’ll be on someone’s Opening Day roster in 2014.

  41. blade3colorado said, on December 3, 2013 at 5:41 am

    Another dude we should look into is the Art Dealers non-tendered RHP Ronald Belisario. Per Roto,
    “It’s a surprise, as the Dodgers of all teams could have afforded to keep Belisario in his first year of arbitration. The 30-year-old has put up a 3.24 ERA over the last two seasons while striking out 118 across 139 frames. He won’t have trouble netting a middle relief gig somewhere.” Dude can pitch and we should look into him as well.


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