THE San Francisco Giants Blog

Back In…..Last Place

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 1, 2017

What’d we score in that series? 4 runs? Beating up on Old Man Dickey was fun but when faced with legitimate mlb competition we wilted quickly. Now we travel back east to be the antidote for what ails the Phillies. And then Milwaukee for what promises to be several bowling pin celebrations at home plate for the Brewers.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Evans and Sabean can or will sell off at the break. The Giants don’t have a lot of movable pieces—either the player sucks and is unmovable or the player makes too much money and is unmovable. I assume Sabean will get some shit offers coming his way that he will decline because he doesn’t think the value is there. But I’d rather him look at the value of a salary dump and not worry about player talent he gets in return.

Shed salary and go hire legitimate major league hitters on the open market. Nothing else is going to fix this embarrassment of an offense.

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  1. willedav said, on June 1, 2017 at 7:24 am

    mm disagree there aren’t movable parts—it’s just a matter of how creative they want to be.
    Like Loo and Dirt were talking about, I don’t see how any position player other than Posey/any pitcher outside Bum wouldn’t be made available to get what you want.

    Wilco’s idea of dangling Cueto to Stros for Marisnick and/or another top prospect sounds great. Giants shed $20 mil (or maybe pay off part of it) and get back a legit CF and more. OF has to be priority, and they need at least 2 new every day players going forward.

    And I’ll mention it again—there are AL teams that I’m sure would love to have Craw. He doesn’t make outrageous $$$ and I’d argue you are seeing downside of career, both offensively and defensively. The days when he hits 20 HRs for Giants appear over and costly errors, though certainly surrounded by great plays, seem to occur with greater frequency.

  2. sandog said, on June 1, 2017 at 7:32 am

    I agree with hiring major league hitters on the open market this off season—outfielders of course.
    I’m not down with gutting the team or shedding salary. I think a couple of outfielders who can hit paired up with this infield and pitching staff along with better luck with health can be a playoff team next year.
    Its pretty bad fortune that we came into this year with arguably the worst collection of outfield talent in MLB and Pence, Span, Parker, Williamson, and Upton have all been hurt. Last night I was wondering if a single one of our outfielders could even make the MLB roster for the Dodgers. Probably not. I think they have Trayce Thompson in the minors and he had double digit homers last year. If we had him, he’d be an everyday player and we’d be asking him if he’d rather hit 4th or 5th.
    Will Smith would have been nice to have as well.
    What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Its been a Brad Penny year, that’s for sure.

  3. wilcojoe said, on June 1, 2017 at 8:04 am

    I think the Yankees might be the only contending team with the need for a SS. I would be curious to see what they could get for Crawdad. Not sure any of the contenders need a 1b, though Belt would be an upgrade over Gurriel for Houston in my opinion.

    I for one give two shits about “faces of the franchise” or “good Giants” or any of that sentimental nonsense. That was important to me when I was a kid but not anymore. Free agency has changed all of that. To me it’s all about the name on the front of the jersey not the back. Unfortunately I think the front office is way too loyal to these homegrown players almost to a fault. Dirt made a great point about the Phillies sticking with their homegrown vets (and their bloated salaries) for too long. The Astros made the same mistake with the likes of Oswalt and Berkman among others. They suffered for a good six to seven years because of it. If the Giants aren’t careful, they could head down that same path.

  4. willedav said, on June 1, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Certainly the replacement level players brought in to handle LF and play a role on bench have been routinely awful including Gameface, a guy that I like.
    But you can’t deny that almost every regular has not been near as productive a hitter as Giants thought—Belt Panik Craw Nunez Span and Pence the heart of the offense and the guys that take up the most salary by far. These were the guys supposed to do the heavy lifting and it isn’t happening. I have zero problem cutting any of them loose—so the only ? who would bring most value back?

    I love the Giants IF defense, but in order to fix OF and other issues at the plate, someone has to go. That defense vs. lack of hitting has them tied with the Padres right now.
    Arroyo appears to be good enough with the glove to play almost anywhere outside of 1b. And Hwang is still in Sac. why? so you can watch Hill and Nunez?

    I was thinking this last night as the Calixte kid lined out to deep CF late in the game sandwiched around Ks by Craw and Panik. I’d rather watch the kids like him and a Slater or Jones try and learn/adjust to hit at this level than watch vets continue to suck.
    And Calixte is also the only guy with a couple legit rbis over entire last 2 ballgames.

  5. wilcojoe said, on June 1, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Another thing about the Giants offense is this. Is there one guy in the lineup who you love to watch hit? Where you will make sure you are in your chair and not taking a leak or grabbing something to drink when their at bat? I can’t think of one guy. Flav, jokes about never watching when Posey hits a home run and I laugh cause the same thing happens to me. Rarely does he hit a bomb in a tight situation with ducks on the pond, so I am usually not overly concerned with catching his AB’s.

    I actually take that back. There is one hitter I absolutely love to watch his every AB. Unfortunately a dirt bike accident has him on the shelf.

  6. wilcojoe said, on June 1, 2017 at 8:38 am

    The worst part is we had three of the most enjoyable to watch hitters over a span of nearly 30 years. Clark, Bonds and even Panda. Those were can’t miss AB’s every single time.

    • Lurker John said, on June 1, 2017 at 9:57 am

      Don’t forget Matty. He was as good as there was before the trade.

  7. Flavor said, on June 1, 2017 at 9:25 am

    more Cardinal please.

    • snarkk said, on June 1, 2017 at 9:27 am

      Can we hope that Gorkys is DFA’d?…

    • Lurker John said, on June 1, 2017 at 9:58 am

      Outstanding!

  8. snarkk said, on June 1, 2017 at 9:25 am

    This team suxx, we all know that. It’s going nowhere.
    Any other management faced with this situation will be major sellers, in order to re-stock. It’s OK, that’s what needs to be done. I don’t care who they sell, nobody is safe in my book, given the right return. I just don’t trust Sabean and Evans to get the best return. But, they have to try, since the minors look like a wasteland of readily useful talent. If Pence comes back and looks half alive as an OFer, I’d trade him ASAP, too. $18 million is a lot for a guy always on the DL, making vids, or being a barista…

    • alleykat69 said, on June 1, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Yeah but Snarkk 18 mil is a lot for the next GM to take on as well.Most of these GM’s aren’t stupid and would not do that unless the Giants eat probably 1/2 the cash đź’°.
      Shit most of the trades if they can pull one off would involve eating some dough to move players..

  9. dirtnrocksnomo said, on June 1, 2017 at 9:29 am

    I tend to agree that this team isn’t that far off from competing. Having Smith instead of Gearrin or Kontos would make the BP function much better, losing him was a big blow. Unfortunately what they’re also missing, a legit middle of the order presence, is a key component that can’t be acquired for what the Giants have to offer. The farm has turned out some nice complementary players but nothing that even comes close to replacing Pence while he’s off on his coffee making video adventures. The biggest problem with the team’s approach to evaluation is that no other team in the league appears to value the same things so why would they want to trade? The “do some damage” stat just isn’t real big in other front offices. I’d bet that Belt is going to be the one to go.

    There’s a lot of money coming off the books this winter. Harper already agreed to an extension for 2018 but it’s not like he would come here anyway. I think Tomas in AZ can opt out after this year. I could see SF making a play for him.

  10. snarkk said, on June 1, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Mr. Met gave Mets fans the finger last night, and the Mets aren’t near as bad as the Giants.
    I would luv to see LuSeal give Giants fans a middle flipper — it would show more action and energy than the team has shown in a week…

  11. zumiee said, on June 1, 2017 at 9:52 am

    The Astros scored over 40 runs in their series vs. the Twins. That’s kind of mindblowing.

    • alleykat69 said, on June 1, 2017 at 11:03 am

      Yeah I heard that set a franchise record in the massacre Zumie,which makes sense in a 3 game series. That’s 2 weeks are longer for the Giants to do to match that..

  12. Lurker John said, on June 1, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Go Warriors! LeBron is in serious need of a beatdown!

  13. willedav said, on June 1, 2017 at 10:51 am

    FA bats aren’t coming to ATT, lol no matter how much you offer them. Trading for a productive one or three (what they really need) is gonna hurt as in Cueto + picking up some of his salary..

    As far as potential landing spots for Craw, I’d suggest Balt in addition to Yanks. He’s definitely an upgrade over J J Hardy at bat and in the field. They are without Britton too—offer Craw and Strick see what they come up with.

    I thought Giants weren’t far off too and I like the SPS with Blach but I think that’s a serious misread of talent to think they can hang with Dodgers. Basically the entire LU sucks, not just the scrubinis. Look at the BA and OB/OPS of guys like Panik Craw Pence Nunez Span. Belt is at .237, 40/50 points below where he should be, for OPS too.
    How can you expect to trade for 5 guys compared to other teams prospects?

  14. dirtnrocksnomo said, on June 1, 2017 at 11:03 am

    I just don’t think Crawford would be moved. Same with Posey and Bumgarner. I don’t really understand the attachment to Panik but whatever. Everyone is available for the right price but I think Flavor is right that the club just doesn’t understand negotiating from a sellers position. Their super secret formula of metrics that nobody else values is part of what feeds that. Plus, Booby Evans is a nincompoop.

  15. gianthead said, on June 1, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Cueto is throne obvious piece that I believe brings in a good return…I am all for tanking and getting that 17 years old LA kid.

    • gianthead said, on June 1, 2017 at 11:21 am

      One obvious piece

      • gianthead said, on June 1, 2017 at 11:28 am

        I think Melancon is movable but won’t get much back…I like the Slater move and he Calixte should be in the lineup every day until the all-star break. If they can’t cut it…move on without them. Release Spam…

  16. wilcojoe said, on June 1, 2017 at 11:27 am

    The NBA playoffs are a joke, especially now with zero parity. You basically have two great teams and then a bunch of mediocre clubs. The Warriors have been off for what, 10 days? The Cavs 7? Why the hell couldnt they have started the finals two days after the Cavs series ended? ABC is into their summer programming already, which basically means re-run season, so it’s not like they have to worry about preemtping “must see TV.”

    • gianthead said, on June 1, 2017 at 11:29 am

      I agree wilco…ridiculous wait but I am fucking pumped for game 1

    • unca_chuck said, on June 1, 2017 at 11:35 am

      Do you remember when the Celtics and Lakers ruled the roost? Or Chicago? The NBA more than any of the big 3 sports has been about dynasties. The Celts won 10 titles in 12 years for God’s sake.

      The break is stupid though. It’s all about setting the lineup according to TV. TV is king (one of my favorite live bands)

  17. unca_chuck said, on June 1, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Bumgarner is obviously the biggest piece to negotiate with. Injury or no. His contract is a dream for the next couple years and there are certainly teams that would be interested. The hope is he’s back before the trade deadline.

    That being said, I still don’t think it happens. Despite what they think, this team is not playing like it is a couple pieces away. We are playing like we need all 3 OF spots, a couple relievers, and a bench guy or 3.

    • gianthead said, on June 1, 2017 at 11:39 am

      Only guy I never ever ever ever trade. Wanting him to retire as a Giant and think he has the best shot making the Hall of Fame…

      • unca_chuck said, on June 1, 2017 at 11:47 am

        $220 mill for 8 years? He’s gonna get something astronomical that will kill the team. If anything keep him here 2 more years and see what happens.

    • wilcojoe said, on June 1, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      I said this before he got hurt. Bum is the best trade piece in baseball right now. He is going to walk in two years anyway or we’re going to deliver him a ridiculous salary like Chuck mentioned which will handcuff us. Trade him now while his stock is at its peak (assuming he comes back at 100%). I would love, love to be able to follow the young studs he would bring in return for the next couple of years. I am all for sucktitude for two years (no more than that) if it means we can have another run at greatness.

      I just don’t see the front office doing that. I think their afraid attendance would plummet if they sold Bum to the highest bidder. I don’t think that’s the case. Attendance still looks pretty damn good to me despite how shitty they are playing. Granted I don’t think they are “selling out” every night but a beautiful ballpark in a perfect location with a strong economy is still a nice place to be.

  18. dirtnrocksnomo said, on June 1, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Don’t expect too much out of Calixte. He’s faster than Williamson/Parker and that’s about it.

    • willedav said, on June 1, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      OK, but it’s not like the guys before him have set the bar very high.

  19. zumiee said, on June 1, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    The problem isn’t that two teams are having dynasties in the NBA, the problem is the lack of competition during the earlier rounds of the playoffs. The Lakers and Celtics dominated the ’80s, but they had to grind through some tough earlier rounds to get there each year. I remember some classic battles between the Lakers and the Jazz, when Stockton and Malone were in their prime. And the Sixers, with the Doctor and the gang, had some memorable battles with the Celtics.

    • Macdog said, on June 1, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      I haven’t looked it up, but my memory is the Lakers mostly cruised through the West in the 80s. I think the Mavs took them to 7 in West finals one year, but that might have been the exception.

  20. unca_chuck said, on June 1, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Chicago, Boston, and the Lakers all had 15-1 runs through the playoffs. This isn’t really anything new.

    • zumiee said, on June 1, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      But not two teams the same year, if I remember correctly.
      Maybe this year is a one-off, but if this happens again next year, then the NBA has a problem. LeBron is still fairly young. And the Warriors are pretty young still.

      • zumiee said, on June 1, 2017 at 1:57 pm

        But your point is well-taken, Chuck. It’s been a league of dynasties over the years, going back to the Celts of the ’60s.

      • zumiee said, on June 1, 2017 at 2:01 pm

        Ironically, there weren’t dynasties in the ’70s, and the NBA viewership struggled in the ’70s. Some of the Finals games were shown on tape-delay at 11 PM. Mind-boggling.
        Magic and Bird, two dynasties, really revived the league.

  21. zumiee said, on June 1, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    The Dodgers lost; it’s already been a good day.

    • alleykat69 said, on June 1, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      Yeah can’t lose anymore ground with the Dodgers atleast..

  22. blade3colorado said, on June 1, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Maybe I’m insane, but this team is in the wilderness for at least 3-5 years. You get shit with shit. The front office delivered what everyone (yes, all Flappers too) thought was a playoff team and no one has performed, sans Posey and Blach (who wasn’t expected to be part of the team).

    Wilco is making sense, i.e., trade Bum and anyone else, while they still might have some semblance of value. What happened to the Yankees is likely to be our experience – shit seasons for the foreseeable future because of unmoveable contracts. Wilco’s example of the Astros is apt too. This team is past the “retooled” stage and needs a total “rebuild.” Not certain, but I think Loo has said what I’ve just said as well. I’ll let him agree or disagree for himself. Regardless, the FO bet on these guys to deliver and they’ve collectively face planted.

    • djloo27 said, on June 1, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      Actually, I prefer to have people speak for me. Makes me sound much smarter…

      • blade3colorado said, on June 1, 2017 at 7:12 pm

        If I was wrong, I’m sorry.

      • djloo27 said, on June 1, 2017 at 7:56 pm

        Hell no, Blade. Lately my friends help me finish my sentences rather than suffer through my stammering.
        I find it helpful. Where are we on the baby countdown? Two weeks?

      • blade3colorado said, on June 1, 2017 at 8:09 pm

        Tentatively, July 7th, but both Linh and I think it will be sooner.

    • zumiee said, on June 1, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      I would agree with those that have said the Giants won’t trade the three faces of the franchise anytime soon: Bum, Posey, or Craw. The Giants just won’t do a total rebuild, IMO.

      • blade3colorado said, on June 1, 2017 at 7:14 pm

        Than IMO, we’ve entered the wilderness years . . . 3 to 5 years of suctitude, maybe more.

      • zumiee said, on June 1, 2017 at 7:19 pm

        It could be. Clearly several teams in the division are better than us now. How are Sabean/Evans going to respond to that? Make some bold moves, or just tread water for a few years.

      • blade3colorado said, on June 1, 2017 at 7:26 pm

        By the by, I’m not saying you’re wrong, as I have said the same thing many times before, i.e., the front office is a sentimental bunch and moreover, is “penny wise, pound foolish.” I’m only saying what I think makes sense.

      • djloo27 said, on June 1, 2017 at 7:58 pm

        Unless they can pull off the miracle turnaround that the Red Sox did from 2012 to 2013…

  23. zumiee said, on June 1, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Love those Durant dunks.
    Thompson’s been a bricklayer so far.

  24. zumiee said, on June 1, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    The Warriors played some great defense in the 3rd quarter. It set up their fast breaks nicely.

  25. PaulinAsia Banh Bao said, on June 1, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Rebuild, retool, blow up, tweak, turn-around…. so many options. I seem to remember a certain GM coming to SF and turning a last-place team into a first-place team in just one year, and doing it sustainably, making the Giants nearly perennial playoff participants for the following 20 years. Of course, back then, being new to SF, he had no emotional ties to any players. We’ll see how much his longevity in SF has softened the necessary edge it will take to fix this.

    • djloo27 said, on June 1, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      One year they tried to “reconnoiter.”
      I think it was a failure…

    • PaulinAsia Banh Bao said, on June 1, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      I will always remember the Chron sports page lead headline when they clinched the division in ’97, with a joyous photo of Shooter and his arms raised to the sky: “Worst? No, First!” It can be done….. probably not this year, but maybe in time for 2018….

      • zumiee said, on June 1, 2017 at 8:53 pm

        I hope that Sabeans/Evans will give the fans some credit, that we’re able and willing to endure some rebuilding. We recognize that you have to tear it down to build it up sometimes. Sure, some of the bandwagon fans will jump off for a while, but they’ll jump back on when the team’s a playoff contender again.

  26. zumiee said, on June 1, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    The Warriors got it done in Game 1. The Cavs had a lot of trouble with Durant in the open court on those fast breaks. The Warriors really picked up their D in the second half and the Cavs lost all their rhythm on offense.
    Curry eventually got hot and looked like the MVP Curry.
    Very entertaining game.
    Long ways to go in the series.

  27. PaulinAsia Banh Bao said, on June 1, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    By the way, Tom, in thinking about a mini-Flooza first weekend in August… You were talking about how the Sunday game was an afternoon game, much preferable to the evening games on Friday or Saturday. Just checked the schedule, and they’ve changed that Sunday game to a 6:05 start, so…. still an evening game. I will probably have to fly back to Saigon on the Saturday anyway. A’s are at China Basin Thur. and Fri. eves. Even if a mini-Flooza doesn’t involve actually going to a game, it could just be a meet at a good pub….

  28. willedav said, on June 1, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Crawford is currently 30 yrs old and making $8mil this year, but…each of the next 4 he gets $15mil 200K. so that’s $61 mil over the next 4 yrs. F/G writer in preseason worried his defensive numbers would begin to drop as range lessens with age, and his arm has always been more erratic than other elite SS.

    Like many others he hasn’t been hitting (.701 OPS with 3 HRs) up to what he has done last couple years.
    Remember too it took him into his 5th season to get past .246 and .713 OPS.
    What kind of player will he be going forward?

  29. djloo27 said, on June 1, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    I’m pretty sure the Yanks are very happy with Didi at SS…

  30. unca_chuck said, on June 1, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    Bill Walsh was always about letting them go a year early rather than a year late. Sure baseball is different with these 10 year deals, but I can’t see keeping Bummie after the current deal runs its course. I don’t see them reworking it either. Looking at the Matt Cain deal they are under and going through the Zito /Rowand deals, the current deal with Crawford, and the Pence deal as well, not even mentioning Posey, they can’t afford Bummie.

    • blade3colorado said, on June 1, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      Outstanding point about Walsh Unca. Here’s the long version of what he said (sorry for the length):

      “Any good coach or manager has got to be responsible for phasing his people through the organization. It may be the most emotionally difficult part of the job. When you do it, you often end up as the most unpopular person in the organization. Yet it is part of the role that the leader must play. It has to be done and done continually. You have to be prepared to use your own professional judgment as to when and why it is time for one of your players to call it quits.

      As the head coach, I forced myself to deal with this process rather than turn my back on it or hand it off to the assistant coaches. In fact, in this area you can only listen to the assistant coaches so much because, typically, they would rather have veteran players on the team. It makes their coaching job easier. Subconsciously, I think assistant coaches feel much more comfortable with ten-year players than with the rookies. The coaches have become friends with the veterans, they have great faith in them, they understand each other. And the veterans already know what the coaches want done out on the field.

      In sports, there is an arc of utilization that describes most athletes’ careers. By that I mean a curve that a coach can use to project what a player can do now, next year, and ten years from now. A player may be a superstar this year, but with minor injuries nicking at him and starting to add up, he won’t be a superstar three years from now. And then in the next phase you have to begin thinking about replacing him.

      Most people don’t realize it, but the players who get all the attention are usually the ones on the downside of their careers. Ironically, the organization is often paying the most money to the team members who are on the descending curve as players. When players are starting to wind down their careers but are still playing effectively, you have to remind yourself how to use them. You have to gauge how they practice, what you ask them to do on the field, what kinds of situations you use them in, how much playing time they get. These are all factors that ultimately lead to the point where you judge that a younger player could do the job as well. That younger player is on an ascending curve on the arc. That is when you have to make your move.”

      • xoot said, on June 1, 2017 at 10:49 pm

        “an arc of utilization” ouch. the pro sports version of the labor theory of value

      • blade3colorado said, on June 1, 2017 at 11:10 pm

        In many ways, Walsh and perhaps, a couple of other elite GMs/coaches – play chess, while everyone else (NFL, MLB, etc) is playing checkers.


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