Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why Brian Sabean is a dingbat

Readers of this blog may wonder -- did I get beat up by Brian Sabean as a kid? We are about the same age and I've bashed Sabean harder than anyone else. The answer is no, I've never met the man. But he's failed by most standards to do anything resembling a good job -- even though he gets to operate near the top tier of spending. It's not as if he has his hands tied by a cheap owner as in Oakland, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, San Diego or Florida.

I thought of this as I watched the first two games of the World Series between two teams that were assembled by competent GMs, who probably never took the idea of signing Barry Zito to a long term deal seriously. The always astute David Pinto at Baseball Musings has a fine take on all this. I was so impressed that I'm posting his entire post -- In the first two games, both the Yankees and Phillies showed they did a good job acquiring starting pitchers. Sabathia and Burnett, the big free agent pitchers, each went seven innings, allowing three runs combined. Burnett was the star in game two, allowing four hits, and two walks while striking out nine over seven innings. The two hits that led to the run were perfectly placed, missing being foul or out by inches.
The Phillies trotted out their two mid-season pickups, Cliff Lee and Pedro Martinez. They combined for 15 innings and four runs allowed, only three of them earned. Pedro did a great job tonight, but like Sabathia in game one, gave up two big home runs, and that’s all the Yankees needed.
Remember, all this great pitching is coming against the two teams that led their respective leagues in runs per game. Against the best these four pitchers have risen to the occasion and provided us with two good pitching duels. We’ll see if things change down in Philadelphia on Saturday when Andy Pettitte takes on Cole Hamels.


Blogger Sam said...

Is it surprising that the 2 teams that made the World Series are having success with the pickups they made? I think it's safe to say the Yankees have had their fair share of terrible signings over the past 8 years, something they can afford to do with a $201.5 million budget and a new stadium they didn't have to pay for. The Phillies budget is $113 million, $31 million a year more than the Giants. Just think that could buy us 5 more Freddy Sanchez's and we could have a full lineup of .290 hitters w/ .292 OBP... Which brings me to my point, there are better GMs out there than Sabean, but I'm bored with bad, vague criticisms of him. The Giants don't have a top tier budget, they're more or less middle of the pack, despite their horribly frustrating offense, it wasn't the worst in the league, again about middle of the pack in run production, and in 2 years the Giants went from being a team with little identity to one that has dominant young starting pitching and at least one solid young offensive threat with another top prospect coming in the next year or two. That's better than a whole bunch of teams. The Mets, Cubs, Tigers, Astros, Mariners, Braves, and White Sox all had worse records than the Giants and larger budgets. A guess there are a lot of bad GMs out there or maybe it's a difficult gig.

6:27 AM  
Blogger Big D said...

Sam -- thanks for your thoughtful post. I take issue with one point, which is describing the Giants' offense as "middle of the pack." It was 26th of 30th in runs scored in 2009 --

9:38 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

My fault, I thought I recently saw a stat that said felt like they never scored.


4:25 AM  

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