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A Giant Mistake
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 7/17/2007 9:34:00 AM
View more posts by this author

 

I知 not only the RotoWire beat writer for the San Francisco Giants, but I知 also a Giants fan (remember those terrible 的知 not just the president of the Hair Club for Men, I知 also a member commercials? I digress). When writing articles for this blog, I attempt to neither narrow my scope by talking specifically about a favorite team or whine. I値l be breaking both rules with the following.

Not only is Brian Sabean a poor fit for a team that has to begin focusing on the rebuilding process, but to reward mediocrity by re-signing the GM to a two-year contract extension sends a poor message throughout the franchise. Sabean had his uses, architecting three Giants teams that won division titles, including a pennant, between 1997 and 2003. However, San Francisco went 75-87 and 76-85 over the next two seasons and stood 38-48 at the All-Star break this year.

Hey, you can稚 be a winning team in major league baseball every season, but in this case, pointing to Sabean痴 decision-making reveals an awful lot of cause and effect. The A.J. Pierzynksi for Francisco Liriano, Joe Nathan and Boof Bonser deal has been dissected ad nauseam, but there痴 an argument there that it痴 the worst trade in the history of professional sports. Then he went and traded for Randy Winn (admittedly, Jesse Foppert didn稚 pan out) and proceeded to sign a right fielder with a career OPS of .764 to a $24 million contract. Last year, he sent an emerging young arm by the name of Jeremy Accardo to the Blue Jays for Shea Hillenbrand, who is not only terrible but also had just got into a fist fight with his manager something tells me Toronto shouldn稚 have had too much leverage in trade talks. Accardo, by the way, has a 2.63 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 37 innings this year while pitching in the AL East. Imagine what his numbers would look like pitching at AT&T Park. At least San Francisco doesn稚 need bullpen help.

The only reason Juan Pierre isn稚 wearing a Giants uniform is because the Dodgers only slightly outbid them. And do I even need to mention the Barry Zito deal? I admit, I thought they壇 at least get a couple of good years out of him, but all signs pointed to him being in decline (sinking K rate, rising BB rate), and the fact of the matter is that it was the richest contract ever handed out to a pitcher that was at least two-three years too long.

The theory behind trading the future for immediate returns wasn稚 necessarily wrong in fact, it made plenty of sense with Barry Bonds presenting a short window of opportunity to 努in-now but the execution of said theory has been an utter catastrophe. Actually, I知 not sure why Bonds presence and a team built around youth have to be mutually exclusive.

Until this year, the Giants signed mediocre player after mediocre player (Michael Tucker) to almost purposely avoid draft picks. And when they did have an early selection, they chose with signability (read: dollar signs) as the No. 1 priority (see: Hennessey, Brad).

The Giants say they will rebuild by striking a balance between younger position players, who are developed through the farm system or acquired in trade, and free agents. Fair enough, but the writing is also on the wall that Bonds won稚 return next season, and something tells me he値l be a nice scapegoat. Having Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain around gives at least a glimmer of hope for the future, but it really is a shame how the team wasted so many prime years from the greatest hitter to ever live. Bonds has come to the plate this year with 199 runners on base, good for 132nd in the league. I guess that痴 what happens when you sign Rich Aurilia (.286 OBP) to be your No. 3 hitter.

Sabean just doesn稚 seem like the right fit for a team that should be focusing on three years from now. Judging from a recent interview in which he proclaimed the Giants aren稚 out of it and are unlikely to be sellers at the trading deadline, I知 not optimistic.


Comments....

"a shame how the team wasted so many prime years with the greatest hitter to ever live."

I didn't know Babe Ruth played for the Giants.
Posted by cwitt at 7/17/2007 10:31:00 AM
 
I always thought Ted Williams played in Boston....

Seriously though, as RotoWire's Dodgers beat writer (and yes, I'm also a fan), I applaud the Giants for locking up Sabean and bringing....errr..."stability" to the franchise.

The Giants need to sell off as many pieces as they can this month - Durham, Vizquel, Morris, Hennessey, Winn, Felix. Heck, anyone not named Cain or Lincecum should go. This could go a long way in rebuilding a farm system that currently has a guy born in 19-freaking-90 as it's top prospect.
Posted by vtadave at 7/17/2007 2:07:00 PM
 
HaHa, I knew that Bonds comment would get to people. Whether you like the guy or not, it痴 pretty hard to argue against the numbers. Comparing generations is basically unfair, when it comes down to it. Ruth痴 competition was a joke compared to today痴. But that痴 not his fault just evolution (and race issues back then). I will say this, when comparing eras, Ruth was so much better than his counterparts at the time, he does have a good argument. But come on, would he make it out of the minors if he played today?
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 7/17/2007 7:08:00 PM
 

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