Giants fans are faced with a dilemma nowadays -- when the team unexpectedly wins, as it did tonight on a totally suprising offensive outburst in the 8th (3-run HR by Winn, 2-run HR by Feliz),
it actually slightly validates the moves made by Brian Sabean and delays his much-deserved firing. Even with a nice comeback from 2 runs down for an 8-5 win, I still say he's the worst GM in MLB, particularly given the fact that the Giants' payroll's in the top third of the league.
Paulie at Give Em Some Stankeye
has an excellent post called Infield of Screams talking about how lousy the Giants infield has been this year. Here are some of the key parts, starting with the batting average, OBP and slugging (the boldface is mine):
Ryan Klesko: .265/.349/.413,
Ray Durham: .217/.297/.346,
Omar Vizquel: .240/.300/.295,
Pedro Feliz: .249/.289/.414,
Rich Aurilia: .249/.301/.366,Okay, going into the season we all knew that the Giants' offense would probably stink and that Brian Sabean's loyalty to all things over 35 might come back to bite him in the ass, but to this extent? Look at those numbers again. That's astoundingly bad. That's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider/Armageddon double-feature bad. Forget the youth movement, why the hell are these guys getting at-bats over, like, 30-year old non-prospects like Justin Leone or Scott McClain at this point?Klesko's on-base ability still gives him some value, so he hasn't been a total disaster, but his total lack of power is unacceptable at a position where it just isn't that hard to find a slugger. As I've harped about again and again and again, Sabean has just demonstrated an utter lack of imagination in filling the chasm at first base the past few years.For example, Carlos Pena was DFA'd by the Yankees in the spring, and the Giants could have had him for basically nothing, even less than they're paying Klesko. Instead Sabean was asleep at the wheel. What has Pena done this year? Check for yourself.The only question, I guess, is what did Sabean expect when he brought Feliz back this offseason? That he'd magically turn into Matt Williams? We fans pretty much anticipated another year of Felizian helplessness at the plate, and we've been treated to exactly that. Aurilia has been hampered by injuries, but it's hard to really say how much they've affected his hitting. What I do know is that he wasn't much good in 2004, then he did well in a great hitters' park for the 2005 and 2006 seasons, and now he's back in a pitcher's park and he stinks.Not to beat a dead horse, but this infield ineptness is yet another shining example of Sabean's flawed "proven veterans" philosophy. It was certainly fair to assume that Vizquel, Durham, Klesko, and Aurilia wouldn't be nearly this bad, but when you're dealing with players over age 35 you have to realize that they could crap out at any minute. Some players age well, some don't. So it's totally foolish to rely on such an aged group of players to help a team win, when the risk of them falling apart is so high.