A Place To Talk About Giants Baseball

Sorting Out the Back End of the Bench

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on January 28, 2012

It turns out that Mike Fontenot’s contract is NOT guaranteed. That surprised me, I thought that if the team chose to tender you a contract (arbitration or otherwise) what ever was ultimately agreed upon would be guaranteed. Not so. I’ve looked around the internet and can’t find much explaining the non-guaranteed side of these deals. Is this clause written into all contracts of players under 6 yrs of service who have agreed to a 1 year deal prior to the upcoming season? If any of you have info on it, please share……

So now we have 2 guys on non-guaranteed deals (Fontenot and Theriot) and one guy (Burriss) who is out of options who will fight it out for 2 spots.  Hello, cut-throat competition. The convention thought would be that The Bayou Boyfriends are in and  Burriss is out but I’m wondering if this might indirectly affect Brett Pill. Burriss plays many positions (including 1st base) and that flexibility (along with the fact that he’s a late inning stolen base threat and a switch hitter) might make him more valuable than Pill. I would disagree with this line of thinking. Burriss HAS played many positions but that doesn’t mean he’s played them well or that he’s played them with enough regularity to feel confident that he could play, say first base, competently in the late innings of a game. Plus, Pill has the one thing that our bench sorely lacks: right handed power.

We’ve added some speed to the team this year (in descending order, Pagan, Cabrera and Theriot). I’m not as worried as I was last year about having to go station to station all the time. What we still don’t have is power off the bench and I think that’s what makes Pill so valuable to our 2012 team….


Retro Game of the Day!

July 5th, 1986– One year LATER we trade for Kevin Mitchell, Dave Dravecky and Craig Lefferts. Today, we lost to the Cardinals 7-4 but we’re still in first place. Vida didn’t have it today, walking 6 in 6 innings.

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  1. Giant Head said, on January 28, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Looks like what side effect of not having to pay $20 mill this year and just $18 mill (just $18 mill sounds ironic) is they had a couple of mill left to play around with and picked up Theriot. But looks like his contract is not guaranteed.

    Odd thing is that I understand that Fontenot and Theriot are supposed to be pretty good friends. Should make fighting for one back-up spot pretty interesting. Burriss sounds like he is going to make the team regardless because of his speed option and they are planning on him backing up the OF, which I can’t see either Fontenot or Theriot doing.

    If I was Burriss, I would pick up a cathcher’s mask as well….

  2. DJLoo said, on January 28, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Alan Knicely hitting clean up for the defending NL Champs?
    I thought a contract is a contract in baseball. Where are you hearing this non-guaranteed stuff?
    Cot’s has a link to the Major League Rules about contracts. Maybe one of the legal minds here
    can take a whack at it.

  3. Bozo said, on January 28, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Does anyone remember Heidi? She worked the Hofbrau bar during 49er games and was in one of the micro-brew stands at the Stick when the Giants were there. She worked the bars in the Club section when the Giants moved to Pac Bell. Anyway, Heidi was my beertender for years and years. I had a bit of a heart scare once and told her about it at a game a few days after. Well she was worried about me, gave me a nitro tab to take if I had problems again (I didn’t). She was working a private party once and goes and tells Vida about me. Now you know Blue has had his own health/drug problems but he signed this ball for me (I don’t collect signed stuff but Heidi asked him for it). He signed it “John, Take care of yourself man. Vida Blue”. I fucking love this guy.

    • DJLoo said, on January 28, 2012 at 9:08 am

      I remember the Heidi Bowl…
      As you know, Bozo, when you don’t know the answer to a baseball trivia question, Vida Blue is very often a good guess…

      • Bozo said, on January 28, 2012 at 9:24 am

        Or the Alou brothers Loo. That comes up quite a bit. Speaking of the Alous, I’m still trying to find an old baseball card with the three of them (as Giants) for you. I did find a 1966 batting Leaders card with Matty (Pirates), Felipe (Braves) and Rico Carty, but it’s not as cool as the three brothers card.

    • PawlieKokonuts said, on January 28, 2012 at 7:59 pm

      Feel the same way. Friendly as can be, but, um, um, not friendly like that. Giants’ lockerroom, in Pittsburgh, 1978. He treated me like I was his long-lost brother. I mean, really, the most outgoing, gregarious personality. I was always rooting for him. Something in the back of my own blurry mind from that not-very-sober part of my life says I even sent him a note in prison. Vida had a larger-than-life presence, AND one of the greatest names in baseball history. Without even checking anywhere, I will declare right here and now he was from Mansfield, Louisiana. Shift him to my Top 5, right now.

  4. Bozo said, on January 28, 2012 at 8:07 am

    I didn’t know the Fontenot contract wasn’t guaranteed. Could the contract have language that the contract is only valid if he makes the team with a guarantee of a minor league salary if not? I wouldn’t think it possible for the Giants to cut him and not pay him something.

  5. Sarge said, on January 28, 2012 at 8:15 am

    They could cut him from the team and not have to pay the full contract. They would have to pay him something, though.

  6. Big flavor said, on January 28, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Shea says it’s not guaranteed. It’s something he “found out” whatever that means. Barbieri referred to it as guaranteed more than once yesterday but he’s often misinformed. I’m going with Shea on this

  7. PawlieKokonuts said, on January 28, 2012 at 9:26 am

    I saw Burriss make too many mental mistakes, none of which I can cite w/ date and time. He is indeed fast and exuberant and eager, but he has a few Eugenio genes in him on the base paths and in the field.

    New subject. I have no reference points for this at all, but I enjoyed this NYT bit on Kezar Stadium. Hope you all enjoy it too:


    The Times also said last week that this 49ers team inspired Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 92, he of the Beats and City Lights Books, to take an interest in football again (though he did brag we would win because our players and coach were “smarter”).

    • St said, on January 28, 2012 at 9:54 am

      Thanks, Pk. Saw the one on Ferlinghetti, but missed this one.

  8. twinfan1 said, on January 28, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I’m sure they got Theriot to play against LHs for Crawford. And Font is a second baseman. Burriss is most likely gone.

    • Alleykat said, on January 28, 2012 at 11:37 am

      Agree Twin….Theroit gives them the Experience that Fontenot added in 10.Just another hard working scrapper that Burriss isnt.Will add to the bench and like you said the LH starts for Crawford.

  9. St said, on January 28, 2012 at 10:16 am

    From Henry S:
    “Theriot’s deal is pending a physical and not guaranteed, which means the Giants could cut Theriot by March 18 and pay him $208,333, or $312,500 between March 18 and the start of the season.

    But here’s something I didn’t know until now: Fontenot’s $1.05 million is also non-guaranteed.”

    Pretty nice workers comp.

  10. Alleykat said, on January 28, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Yeah funny about the Steal for us trade with the Padres.My buddy and baseball teammate from Babe Ruth through High School was Keith Comstock, part of that trade that landed Kevin Mitchell.Keith was bummed at first to be traded,cause he is a.local guy growing up in San Carlos,but he told me atleast it’s not.the Dodgers.Gave him even more respect after that comment.

  11. DJLoo said, on January 28, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Last year the Giants hit 121 homers. This year? That could be a good pool. I didn’t realize Beltran actually hit 7. I only remember a couple of ’em. .

  12. Big flavor said, on January 28, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I think Burriss is gone too twin. But Baggs laid out a scenario on the radio yesterday that was basically “not so fast, it could be Pill.” outside of the SB I don’t see what burriss brings to the table.

  13. twinfan1 said, on January 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    I’m hardly sold on Pill, but like you and others have said, they need a RH bat off the the bench, the guy’s earned a look, for goodness sake.

  14. snarkk said, on January 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Hard to fathom an MLB ballclub is actually talking about a kid like Burriss being on the roster, even if lip service. This “kid” has been up and down for what, 3 seasons now? Unless he has had an epiphany this offseason on how to play all aspects of baseball, he is not a major leaguer….

    • PawlieKokonuts said, on January 28, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      a dose of Snarrk reality! [why am I playing Nipper today?]

      • DJLoo said, on January 28, 2012 at 2:15 pm

        Excellent impression, PK….

      • Flavor said, on January 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm

        agreed. You nailed it

      • Bozo said, on January 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm

        Grab a cold one Pawlie.

  15. snarkk said, on January 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Romo now being interviewed on 95.7 FM by Urban. Cool kid…

  16. twinfan1 said, on January 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I wouldn’t be that hard on Burrss. He had a fine rookie year, but never seemed to recover from two left foot fractures…

    • Nipper said, on January 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm

      Lets see…..Twin’s judgement v. Snarkk……I choose Twin.

      • snarkk said, on January 28, 2012 at 4:03 pm

        I am crestfallen…

      • twinfan1 said, on January 28, 2012 at 5:51 pm

        I didn’t reallly make a different fucking judgement, sorry. Just softened it with a fact about two serious injuries.

    • willieD said, on January 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      maybe, but I don’t think his feet are the problem.

      • Flavor said, on January 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm

        bball team won today 11-7. I went thru an entire practice emphasizing your defensive technique recommendations and I had one parent say to me after the game “110% better”. Thank you WILLIED!

      • twinfan1 said, on January 28, 2012 at 5:52 pm

        What is?

  17. stixwiz said, on January 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    It’s gotta be Burriss who gets the boot unless he totally surprises during ST. Not only does The Riot handle southpaws pretty well, he also represents a fairly decent stick off the bench. Fontenot is basic backup for Freddy, though if our W.S. second baseman is not fully recovered ~ as in being good for a 162-game grind ~ then i would expect Theriot to be the first go-to as a term replacement. So Ryan is kinduva double insurance policy for the middle infield and his Cajun buddy is more of a double backup.

    Pill should stick and maybe even get a weekly start at 1B, mainly to keep him from getting rusty. He is a disciplined hitter with pop. How can you not want a guy like that coming off the bench?

    • snarkk said, on January 28, 2012 at 5:40 pm

      Pill sorta surprised me with his professional ABs. Maybe I shouldn’t have been, he’s been in the minors long enough. The dude is disciplined. And a compact stroke for a large guy. Not the loopy loop like Damon Minor. I hope he contributes, I could get on board a good story a la McClain…

  18. twinfan1 said, on January 28, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    “I could get on board a good story a la McClain…” then hope he gets more than 88 ABs over 10 years..

  19. twinfan1 said, on January 28, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Pill will probably get a chance to prove he’s more than AAAA, and he deserves it. But let’s not be making judgements on 50 AB. Bochy would dance in a Chorus Line if Brett had as good a rookie year as…..wait for it….

  20. snarkk said, on January 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    I would like to see Pill get on the roster and get more than 88 ABs. We desperately need some RHd pop and disciplined ABs….

    • twinfan1 said, on January 28, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      He’s likely to get his chance. Whether he gives them that pop and discipline is what he getting the chance to prove.

    • twinfan1 said, on January 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm

      He yet has to show this discipline being spoken of- he doesn’t strike out but he’s hardly a disciplined hitter ,with low walk totals at every level- including his short stint here-2 walks in 50 AB.

  21. dirtnrocksnreno said, on January 28, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    The rationale is that Burris stays because he is out of options??? Is it really a concern that he wouldn’t clear waivers?

  22. twinfan1 said, on January 28, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    I haven’t seen any rationale that Burris would stay, certainly not since Theriot was signed. They’re not keeping 3 light hitiing reserve infielders PLUS Crawford.

  23. PawlieKokonuts said, on January 28, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Good night, girls. No blonde BB tomorrow, okay? How about a buxom redhead, maybe along the lines of a 1940s pinup babe? Tall order.

  24. twinfan1 said, on January 28, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    G’Night, Pawlie.

  25. willieD said, on January 28, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Kudos on the W, flav. you’re welcome…I was watching AZ-UW today which was on ESPN, with Knight as one of the color guys. Almost every comment he made was related to defensive mistakes, by not helping on drives soon enough, guys relaxing on the weakside, and not communicating properly on high screen and roll. Very insightful stuff.
    Twin, I just don’t think B has enough mlb level tools–he doesn’t have the hands to play good enough D on the middle IF, and doesn’t appear to have a mlb SS arm either. At the plate he is just overmatched by mlb pitching, no pop and low OB to match. We all know the numbers. He did have a decent first year (2009?), and as you point out hasn’t matched that since the injuries mounted.

    • twinfan1 said, on January 29, 2012 at 9:15 am

      I was hoping we wouldn’t get another “head case” theory. You left it with that impression. I know all about his assets and liabilities, which I’ve pointed out for years. Thanks for helping out some of the others, though..

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