THE San Francisco Giants Blog

When is “Better” Good Enough?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on January 23, 2018

“At least they’re better than last year.”

That seems to be the prevailing sentiment from everyone about these off season moves. Being content with what you aren’t anymore is not exactly a clear path to a championship. But there’s also nothing wrong with being better either….

I was definitely not in the camp that wanted a tear down. It worked for the Astros after years of last place finishes. It sorta worked for the 76ers who at least have decent players now.  But it was never a realistic outcome so why dream about it? If waiting around for half a decade for something to happen is your gig than I’m not going to dull your buzz. It’s just not for me.

Put the best team out there possible. I don’t want to lose 98 games again….

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38 Responses

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  1. Flavor said, on January 23, 2018 at 7:50 am

  2. willedav said, on January 23, 2018 at 8:15 am

    well, if AJ puts up .800+ OPS like he did last year (playing only part time), after 3 underwhelming years before that, Passan would be right. No one expects that, and even Evans says he is still looking for CF help.

    Btw, any of you that have Athletic, there was report on Yahoo that said Baggs was talking up Giants should be in on Darvish. I’m not opposed but what was reasoning behind blowing by the lux tax? I can understand Giants position, but really, I don’t see them being relevant to signing the big FAs next year and obviously ownership has money to burn.

  3. unca_chuck said, on January 23, 2018 at 8:40 am

    All the guys waiting for their big deals just went, oh shit.

    As has been said, yeah we are better. Better enough? Jackson is nice, but he hasn’t played a full season since 2014. Either they are really high on Duggar, or they are just really high.

    So they get another CF like John Jay? Back to the future with Rajai Davis?

  4. Irish Kevin said, on January 23, 2018 at 8:41 am

    So it looks like the Giants are going with veterans only to get back to the WS. I will go with this for now. Took the Giants a few years to go to a youth movement but they did and they won 3 WS with the young dudes. Hopefully they can develope some young bucks and not be trading for vets for the next 10 years

    • zumiee said, on January 23, 2018 at 8:53 am

      The oldish ’83 Phillies “Wheeze Kids” team made it to the World Series. 🙂

      • unca_chuck said, on January 23, 2018 at 9:05 am

        George Allen is smiling somewhere . . .

  5. unca_chuck said, on January 23, 2018 at 9:04 am

    Yeah, it’s kinda their only option short of the purge that Houston took 4 seasons to turn around.

    My thought is Crawfish has a better year after his awful personal issues, Bummie stops riding bikes, Cueto does his shit, Belt does his usual 20/80 and maybe a bit more, and the new guys give the team a lift.

    Make Pablo the bench coach. Or the bench . . .

  6. wilcojoe said, on January 23, 2018 at 9:20 am

    The acquisition of Longo and Cutch could turn out to be pretty brilliant in the end. Best case, they win 85-90 games and compete for a wild card. Worst case, they struggle and find themselves out of if it at the All Star Break but now have two very sought after trade pieces to deal at the deadline to restock the farm. A win-win as I see it.

    • willedav said, on January 23, 2018 at 10:57 am

      very true.
      Might not be your thing, but college b-ball in Texas is rolling. Last projection I saw had TCU Tech SMU Houston and A&M going to Tourney. Baylor and UT not bad either and play in probably toughest conference there is.
      so where do they get their kids? If they are home grown that is quite something.

      • wilcojoe said, on January 23, 2018 at 12:13 pm

        Yeah, I don’t follow college b-ball as closely as I do football but I do check in on the Horns from time to time. Rick Barnes really was the first Texas coach to focus on recruiting outside the state. Kevin Durant is the best example of that. Shaka Smart has continued in that manner as well. The Horns have a freshman big man Mo Bamba who is from Harlem. Decent chance he is a one and done, something I abhor about college bball.

    • gianthead said, on January 23, 2018 at 12:23 pm

      I agree and if things do turn South…they better see what they can get for Cueto and Smardaramjam and then commit to total rebuild…

  7. unca_chuck said, on January 23, 2018 at 9:24 am

    They did the same with Pat the Bat, Huff, Morse, and others to pad out a semi-limp lineup.

    The big worry now is the pen. O’Crap and O’Shit give me that sinking feeling.

  8. xoot said, on January 23, 2018 at 9:36 am

    “Those in the know tell me that the Giants signed Jackson to serve as a depth piece at all three outfield spots, reprising the successful role he held with the Cleveland Indians last year.” Baggarly.

    That makes sense.

    • gianthead said, on January 23, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      Good timing with your comment xoot…do you think Duggar is the answer though???

      • xoot said, on January 23, 2018 at 1:04 pm

        No I don’t think there’s an answer yet. But what’s the hurry now? The player market is at rock bottom price and the FO remembers 2014 as clearly as we do. The team staggered through 2Bs until Panik finally rose, and they went into the PS with only one good OFielder and one good SP.

  9. unca_chuck said, on January 23, 2018 at 9:53 am

    Come on down Rajai Davis . . .

    • zumiee said, on January 23, 2018 at 12:05 pm

  10. gianthead said, on January 23, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    Interesting to note some of the post Austin Jackson signing emanating from the front office suggesting that Duggar is going to get playing time in center and yhat Austin Jackson may be considered a 4th OF seems very surprising. What have they seen to suggest Duggar is ready as a go to starter. Is he going to be a legit leadoff threat??? I think there is a lot of smoke blowing…lets see how a year at AAA does first….

    • dirtnrocksnomo said, on January 23, 2018 at 1:12 pm

      Maybe they’re viewing him with the same eye as Crawford and Panik who spent little to no time in AAA and many thought wouldn’t amount to much. With Jackson signed and Gorkys in camp this spring, Duggar gets a look and maybe seizes the moment. I don’t have a problem with that.

  11. willedav said, on January 23, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    I think xoot’s1:04 is spot on and remember Loo’s comment from years ago about Sabean taking off season into the midseason. Given how little return guys like Verlander and JD went for last year, it’s probably OK to go to ST with what you have and see how OF and pitching plays out.

  12. unca_chuck said, on January 23, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Heh heh. Thing is, if they are talking a platoon then they need to do more than Jackson and Duggar.

  13. unca_chuck said, on January 23, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    And Gorkys . . . (urk)

  14. dirtnrocksnomo said, on January 23, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    I don’t really think so, Chuck. They’ve added more power and better balance to the LU with improved D in CF-
    hopefully all around the OF with the realignment but we’ll see. What they need is better starting pitching and BP performance.

    With all the talk about the team aging I went and looked at the 40 man roster from 2010. Average age of the position players was 29 with Pitchers at 27. Main difference compared to now is that the core of the rotation was 20-24. If that club of cast offs and misfit position players can get it done I am good with what’s on paper heading into spring training. The pitching staff? That’s another question.

  15. zumiee said, on January 23, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Duggar will not be in the starting lineup on opening day vs. the Dodgers and Kershaw. Jackson for sure has that start.

  16. zumiee said, on January 23, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    The Giants have a decently tough opening month schedule.
    Dodgers: 10 games. I kid you not.
    D-Backs: 6 games
    Padres: 4 games
    Nationals: 3 games
    Angels: 3 games
    Mariners: 2 games

  17. Flavor said, on January 23, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    swimming in cash…

    • snarkk said, on January 23, 2018 at 6:10 pm

      Simple, but telling stat.
      Giants have big payroll, but relative to revenues, they’re below MLB average and looks like below the median. They don’t even have the mortgage stroke anymore, so their OpEx % of Revenues has no cash infrastructure component (mortgage or rent paid), but does have a fixed asset depreciation (paper) expense, which reduces taxable income. Giants ownership is using the lux tax as a convenient excuse to keep the lid on expenses. IMO they won’t be players in the big FA free for all next year, so re-setting the lux tax to zero seems to me to have limited usefulness. Almost as much as Drumpf’s, I would luv luv to see the Giants LLC tax return, and see the K-1 allocations (profit share) to the various members/owners…

  18. James said, on January 23, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    “What they need is better starting pitching and BP performance.” SF gave up 776 runs last year. The last time an SF team scored more than 776 runs was 2004. The 2018 line up, with the new additions, would be doing amazingly well to score 776 runs, which is 58 more than the top scoring roster of the 2010-16 playoff years.

    Realistically, to have a decent chance at better than 500 ball, they need to allow at least 100 fewer runs in 2018. What factors might contribute to that reduction, other than the elimination of Moore? In diminishing order of likelihood:

    1. Better OF defense
    2. Full year of Bumgarner w/ fastball in low 90s
    3. Cueto showing his fastball can still reach 93-94
    4. Smarge’s ERA matches a WHIP as good as 2017’s
    5. Melancon, Dyson, Strickland, and Smith have a collective ERA under 3.75

    • zumiee said, on January 23, 2018 at 8:43 pm

      • James said, on January 23, 2018 at 9:07 pm

        Well, only if the brooding melancholy Cueto’s lack of compañeros brings doesn’t destroy the clubhouse’s newfound joy!

      • xoot said, on January 23, 2018 at 10:11 pm

        From a Baggarly piece, June 2, 2017:

        “When I was with Kansas City, it was a team, I think, it was a very happy bunch because we had a lot of players from the Dominican,” Cueto said through Spanish interpreter Erwin Higueros in April. “The same with Cincinnati. But here, it’s different. As Latins, we like to get together kind of loud, and be a happy bunch. But here, you look around and everyone is on their own, just sitting at their locker, very quiet, just by themselves. That’s just how they are.”

      • James said, on January 23, 2018 at 10:54 pm

        Surely Pablo is worth 2-3 . . . never mind. Hector is back. Gorkys may survive.

    • djloo27 said, on January 23, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    • willedav said, on January 23, 2018 at 9:24 pm

      Yes, critical component to contending. LA and AZ, for all their offensive prowess, last year allowed 580 and 659 runs. AZ had second best ERA in entire league playing in hitters yard. Giants get runs allowed down 100, look out.

      • Macdog said, on January 23, 2018 at 9:38 pm

        Yeah, D-Backs went from 890 runs allowed in 2016 to 659 last year, so it’s not impossible.

      • snarkk said, on January 23, 2018 at 10:31 pm

        With last year’s Pen, and the Pen in the last half of the prior season, you could have 3 Willie Mays in the the OF and they couldn’t run down the shots hit off that Pen. Better performing Pen is yuge for a big reduction in runs allowed in 2018…

      • James said, on January 23, 2018 at 10:43 pm

        Unfortunately, the starters were worse than the bullpen:

        https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/split.cgi?t=p&team=SFG&year=2017#sprel_extra::none

    • dirtnrocksnomo said, on January 24, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      So the club needs improved defense and better performances from the pitching staff? I guess we agree because that’s pretty much what I said…


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