THE San Francisco Giants Blog

Building Future SF Teams–Does the Formula Need to Change?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on August 26, 2013

With the Giants winning a rare weekend series and the Dodgers losing one, it got me to thinking, what will Sabean have to do going forward to build a team that can compete year in and year out with the LA Art Dealers. After all, if you are competing against a team that cares not about a budget, it presents challenges to the builders of the teams trying to beat them.

Sabean built 2 World Series championship teams by putting together a rock solid pitching staff and making deft deadline (and pre-deadline) pickups along the way. Of course, both teams had to get hot in September and the playoffs and luckily, they did just that.

But does Sabes need a new plan? The payroll is already high, does it need to go higher? If the team gets younger, is Bochy the right man for the job? Or does Sabean just keep firing away on vet pick ups and hope for the best?

I don’t have the answer to any of these questions, maybe you guys do. And I’m praying Sabean does…..

49 Responses

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  1. zumiee said, on August 26, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I say stick with the same formula. On a year by year basis it will keep the Giants in the hunt. It failed this year, but it’s the right approach given the ballpark they play in, and their past success. The worst thing would be if the Giants start talking about changing the ballpark. Although…..if they want to make a change in the ballpark, there’s an EASY change to make. Just close off the “knot-hole gang” in rightfield. That open area has been proven to cause wind to blow back into rightfield. If closed off, rightfield will become more lively.
    The “knot-hole gang” was a nice concept, but it’s run its course anyway.

    • chipower9 said, on August 26, 2013 at 9:40 am

      I think it adds to the charm of the yard…it has been that way since day one…I would say don’t fuck with the “knot-hole.” Otherwise, I agree with sticking with the formula. Payroll may go up a bit, but I don’t see it going up, substantially. And I am totally against anything that changes the dimensions of the yard (moving in the walls, etc.).

  2. chipower9 said, on August 26, 2013 at 9:36 am

    The G-men actually split the series with the Buccos…but WTF…I’ll take a split against a quality opponent at this point.

    Not sure on any of those questions, either. But I think it all starts and ends with the pitching. The bullpen will need at least a couple of arms. Gaudin could be a key piece, but he will be a FA…no guarantee he will be back. Tim, I believe is stilll a wildcard (as to whether he will be back next year). If you sign Vogelsong, you potentially need two more starters (until you know what happens with Timmy Jim).

    On the other side, we know they need an OFer or two. If they sign Pence, I think they’ll go platoon on the other OF position (I think someone mentioned that on one of the recent threads). And I think they need an upgrade for the back-up catcher position.

  3. SanDawg said, on August 26, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Most of you guys have probably read this bit from Carl Steward at the Merc regarding Timmy. If not, check it out. I think he sums up the situation perfectly—and count me as one of those (bring him back–whatever the cost knuckleheads)

    Also—some great posts on the blog yesterday. I was at Disneyland with my daughter and you guys helped keep me entertained while waiting in those long lines!

    • chipower9 said, on August 26, 2013 at 11:34 am

      Not sure how, but I missed that one. Thanks for sharing. I’m with you…bring Tim back.

  4. Bozo said, on August 26, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I’m not sure how much the Dodger’s riches will translate into a winning formula. We’ve all seen the teams that spend on the big contracts, only to have them become huge mistakes. I’m with Zumiee, stick with the same formula we’ve used, I’m good with winning every other year.

  5. snarkk said, on August 26, 2013 at 10:41 am

    My formula:

    1. Stop drafting nothing but pitching pitching pitching. You can BUY pitching, because FA pitchers will come to a yard that gives up HRs like Yellowstone Park, and where 410 foot shots to right center get run down regularly.
    2. You cannot buy FA domiinant or even very good hitters with pop, they refuse to come to this park, particularly in their prime, because their stats will suffer for the next contract. So, start drafting more and more position players, particularly outfielders. Not just one pick out of the first 10, like this past draft. And ramp up the international scouting and signing program to get OFers from that source, too. The absolute dearth of major league quality OFers developed internally for two decades is no accident, it’s by design, and must be changed because it leaves too much to chance to field a major league quality OF.
    3. The success of the past half decade was predicated on historically dominant, not just really good, starting pitching. The 2010 run was fueled by elite starting pitching that hadn’t been seen since the late ’60s Orioles. That’s not going to happen again soon, so quit thinking it will, and manage your personnel and organization accordingly, for the future…

    • blade3colorado said, on August 26, 2013 at 10:49 am

      I agree for the most part snarkk. However, the Giants are WINNERS and that still counts for something, regardless of whether you are a pitcher or a position player. Additionally, this is where I would tweak the FA position player pursuit . . . Only go after the Crawfords, Pagans, Pedroias, etc., and stay away from the big boppers. There are plenty of “single, double and triples” players out there that would love to come here. Usually, this means they can also run as well, i.e., added bonus of steals.

    • chipower9 said, on August 26, 2013 at 11:37 am

      I would like to see more balance in the draft, but certainly not 180 degrees out (where you draft almost exclusively position players). Unless they bring in the fences, this will always be a pitchers park, and the G-men will need to have a stable of arms.

  6. Nipper said, on August 26, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Keep developing talent and look for foreign talent too. Spend a lot on scouting.

  7. eddacker said, on August 26, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    tonight’s game is the free one on Game time 01:40 BST

    Two of San Francisco’s greatest landmarks were closed for repairs this year: first the Giants and now the Bay Bridge. And I am agreeing with a tweak of the organisation per future teams. Build with great drafting, available prospects and build around the park.

    Go Gigantes!

  8. Irish Kevin said, on August 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I have not been around for the last week or so. Mom took a fall and fractured a vert in her lower back, 87 years old, could not do surgery, instead they went in and cememted the vertebra. Mom is doing okay. Morphine does bad things to old folks. I never saw my mom look so old as she has over the last week. She is in rehab now will see how that works out. I come out and read sometimes just not post. ah, yes the winning formula. I am of the school that produces talent internally. I forget who said it(someone on ESPN?) with steroids being the top of the news Pitching will rule the day. Until something new and undectable comes around. So keep developing those arms. With that said, the Giants, we fans, Kruk and Kuip, and all need to quit with the Giants need a power hitter. The Giants need hitters. not Home run hitters just hitters. If the Giants have some .300+ hitters in the farm system bring them up. So what is everyones opinion on converting Pill to Left Field?

    • Flavor said, on August 26, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      sorry to hear about your mom, Kev. Sounds like a lot of pressure on you, too. Hang in there.

    • chipower9 said, on August 26, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      Sorry to hear about your mom. Wishing her, you, and your family the best.

      Pill? LF?? Not no, but HELL NO. I would love to see Pill prove me wrong, but I just don’t see him ever being more than a AAAA player.

      I seriously thought that he would have been trade fodder back before the deadline, but Sabes and crew stood pat.

    • blade3colorado said, on August 26, 2013 at 1:33 pm


      I hope your mom recovers and gets out of the hospital. I went to see my aunt and uncle Saturday. Long drive to Coarse Gold, where they live. Fire in Yosemite is raging out of control near there too. My uncle is in the hospital and it isn’t looking good for him either. He is on morphine too. You are absolutely right about morphine . . . The pain has to be unbelievably bad for the doctors to prescribe that shit – either that or the person is dying and needs to have comfort and be relatively pain free in their last days or weeks here on Earth. Regardless, it’s tough on the children, relatives and friends.

      Along with a prayer for my uncle, I will say a prayer for your mom that she recovers well enough to go home. Take care, be strong, and hopefully, we’ll still see you at the Flap fest on the 7th.

  9. imyomamma2 said, on August 26, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Reblogged this on THE LIGHTER SIDE OF SPORTS and commented:
    Anybody have any thoughts on this?

  10. PawlieKokonuts said, on August 26, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Kevin, wishing the best for your mom. Tough challenges. My mom, 96, has not been the same since she got shingles in November. Nevertheless, we talked for 30-40 minutes last night and laughed and she can still be sharp and nimble mentally. i found out things about her I never knew.

    I don’t know what the strategy for the Giants should be. I was thinking about this after yesterday’s win. If they got hot in September, I was thinking, it would complicate matters. You’d have to ask, who are we? Fortunately, these decisions are not mine.

    I see on Twitter that Javier Lopez was put on waivers. That MAY mean nothing, as we know. Justin Mourneau was a few weeks ago, and stayed with the Twins. But that action may give you a hint of an answer of thinking for the future.

  11. chipower9 said, on August 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Yeah, just saw that about Lopez…that is a head-scratcher. I thought he would be one of the pieces of the bullpen that they would definitely try to bring back…

  12. zumiee said, on August 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    “The absolute dearth of major league quality OFers developed internally for two decades is no accident, it’s by design,”

    That seems overly harsh to me. Sure, we could say they SUCK at drafting and developing outfielders, but they’re not TRYING to suck at it. Wasn’t Brown a first round pick? They TRIED. It’s frustrating watching other teams pull good outfielders out of their butts, but the Giants first round picks of the last 10 years is, overall, very impressive.
    A few years ago we were bashing the Giants for not bringing any MLB-level position players through their system, and they’ve accomplished that lately with some infield players, so we’ve focused in on the outfield now. Sabean knows he’s been coming up snake-eyes on that. It sounds like he needs help scouting outfielders. What has Burrell been doing for the Giants? He’s supposed to be doing scouting of some sort. Isn’t Dallas Green on the Giants payroll, too? What’s he doing for the Giants? And the Giants have amped up their Latin America involvement, supposedly.

    • Irish Kevin said, on August 26, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      Well, if you ask me the Giants were developing their pitching staff only because Barry Bonds didn’t want some young buck stealing his thunder. Cain came up in 2005 and Tim in 2007, and then Madbum 3 years later?? So the outfield and the infield were horribly under looked at. I think their scouting was so Pitcher orientated that no one really paid much attention to position players.

  13. unca_chuck said, on August 26, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Sorry to hear that, Kevin. My mom went through much the same. She fell out of bed and broke her pelvis. They had been giving her steroids to help with her breathing (emphysema). Steroids helped with her breathing (and her appetite), but was terrible for her bones. So she was on calcium supplements. Which did things, which led to her taking other things. It was just crazy the amount of stuff she was prescribed.

    I’m sure they are hoping his price tag is too high, but why do this at all when they could have traded him for something?

    • chipower9 said, on August 26, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      If Lopez is claimed…it will be a trade situation. They will have 48 hours to work out a deal…and if no deal, he is back with the team.

  14. twinfan1 said, on August 26, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    1. Gregor Blanco (L) CF

    2. Marco Scutaro (R) 2B

    3. Brandon Belt (L) 1B

    4. Buster Posey (R) C

    5. Hunter Pence (R) RF

    6. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B

    7. Brandon Crawford (L) SS

    8. Francisco Peguero (R) LF

    9. Barry Zito (L) P

  15. Irish Kevin said, on August 26, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Thank you one and all for your stories and well wishes. much appreciated.


  16. twinfan1 said, on August 26, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    sabean is one of the longest ( if not the longest) tenured gms in the biz. despite mistakes , he’s also one of the most successful.- and for the beanheads, he’s spent the same amount per win as billy does. unlike billy, that’s also resulted in championships .like all successful people, he’s learned on the job. he was building the championship teams while many were calling for his head. and now, one year removed from a ws sweep, the same people who questioned his worth before are back at it. hey, i’ve got a barely used tony torcato voodoo doll- cheap…

    • chipower9 said, on August 26, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      Good luck…been trying to sell my Tony Torcato Voodoo Doll for years…can’t even get a sniff from Woodland, CA…

    • twinfan1 said, on August 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      btw, if the goal is competing with the bums, we should keep in mind that they’re not a team built thru the draft, i believe they have just 6 home grown players on the active roster. and of course, there’s no proof that their model is one that will produce postseason teams year in year out. the giants are a team who are now constructed with some of the most home grown talent in mlb, predomitably successful trades and free agent acquisitions and bargain basement steals- in short, sabean works all the angles and has the budget to succeed. a down year or two should not be the basis for changing his basking formula.
      night all.

  17. unca_chuck said, on August 26, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Sure. They take Tony Torcado and pass on Dustin Pedroia . . .

    • blade3colorado said, on August 26, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      In fairness Chuck, NO ONE thought Pedroia would amount to much . . . umm, except the Red Sox (and possibly they were thinking this was a “flyer” blue moon WTF pick).

    • twinfan1 said, on August 26, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      took posey and passed on kyle skipworth.

  18. Alleykat said, on August 26, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    Yeah well they took Wendell Fairley? ???
    And passed on Mike Stanton as well.

    • twinfan1 said, on August 26, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      that silly game can be played by every team. they took madbum and passed on *matt* dominguez.

      • blade3colorado said, on August 26, 2013 at 5:00 pm

        Silly is right. We should pray to the baseball Gods each night, thankful for Sabean steering the ship that brought us 2 World Series. How soon we seem to forget . . . sigh.

      • twinfan1 said, on August 26, 2013 at 6:08 pm

        even a late first round pick has a less than 50 percent chance of becoming a successful major league player. our recent sucess has resulted in picks like brown and arroyo. while brown was on some top 100 lists, he was never considered a sure fire mlb starter let alone a star. that’s not an indictment of the giants’ front office, it’s simply the way it is. timmy was the 10th in 2006- even those picked before him have met with spotty succuss. only 2 of the 9 picked before timmy have had real success in the bigs ( kershaw and longoria). the rest have been either busts or have had middling sucess at best. if pro football had minor league systems instead of using the colleges as such, we’d see a much greater failure rate among the nfl draft picks. pro ball is a tough game and the jump from a ball to even aa weeds out scores of players every year. and then there are the things all kids have to face- girls, drugs, likker, simply being young…add in injury curtailing injury and it’s a tough road. it’s also good to remember that scouts are watching these prospects against high school or college competion, for even the best scouts there’s stiil a great amount of guesswork as to how these guys will fare when facing a never ending parade of 90+ heaters and breaking pitches that actually break and not just spin…
        my in and out here depends on my hands and i’m also undergoing speech therapy, which believe it or not, is very physically demanding. bear with me, please.

  19. blade3colorado said, on August 26, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    I’ve always been a Sabean supporter, rarely criticizing him. I think every GM in MLB has their WTF picks and they’ve all passed on great players. What pisses me off are the GMs that continue to get jobs despite their dismal record. We have a guy in Colorado that has more tenure than anyone in MLB not named Sabean and Cashman. How does that fuck O’Dowd continue to keep his job? Simple . . . The owner is a cheap bastard and an idiot as well, e.g., as recently as last year he called Dan O’Dowd, “The smartest GM in baseball.” Say what?

  20. blade3colorado said, on August 26, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Whoops! If Helton is hitting them out, yer in trouble . . .

  21. blade3colorado said, on August 26, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Good post Twin (6:08pm). We can understand you.

  22. Flavor said, on August 26, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Zito having a tough time re-capturing that magic in Colorado. That shutout seems like it was 10 years ago.

    • blade3colorado said, on August 26, 2013 at 7:17 pm

      Are we the only ones here tonight? Like a ghost town when the Giants are playing lately, especially the bad teams. This one is really eating me up, since I dislike Colorado almost on a par with the Dodgers.

      • Macdog said, on August 26, 2013 at 7:46 pm

        I’ll chime in. I had the over/under on how long Zito would last at 3 1/3, so he exceeded my expectations.

      • blade3colorado said, on August 26, 2013 at 8:11 pm

        I didn’t know what to expect. The “park factor” here can go from one extreme to another – the altitude being constant, but the weather (humidity) playing a big part on whether the game is high scoring or not. I am surprised the Giants did not get to Nicasio. He has been absolutely putrid this year, rarely having a quality start.

  23. twinfan1 said, on August 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    i thought he’d pitch well, he often has in colorado. this isn’t turning out well for his last days as a giant. maybe they can find a new muscle he’s sprained, put him on the dl until the last week of the season and give him a last start at home.

    • Alleykat said, on August 26, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      I don’t want to see even another appearance out of the BP with Zito.Cut him and move on.

  24. Alleykat said, on August 26, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Interesting….Timmy,Pence and Lopez all claimed off waivers but expected to stay.
    Could be teams blocking other teams who knows?

    • twinfan1 said, on August 26, 2013 at 8:40 pm

      placing them on waivers may mean absolutely nothing.almost every player in the majors is run thru waivers in august.and even if a team offered a trade there’s no way they’d get more now than they would have at the 7/31 deadline. imo.

  25. Alleykat said, on August 26, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Lopez still makes sense to me on a trade.He is eligible for post-season as long as he is on a new team by Aug 31st.Lefty specialist for a playoff contender can be huge.What he did for us in 2 W/S runs shutting down every opponents big lefties is crucial.Sabes maybe hoping to raise the ante for him with higher prospects by the 31st.

  26. blade3colorado said, on August 26, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Lifeless. Pfffft!

  27. Macdog said, on August 26, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Damn, there goes a 90-win season.

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