Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Sabean still in charge -- Freddy Sanchez signs
Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle's reporting that it's a $12 million deal. He also says the Giants have released Noah Lowry.
Best part of all this, I suppose -- Sanchez is certainly saying the right things: "I try to be as loyal a person as I can," said Sanchez, who insisted he's ahead of schedule in rehabilitating both his strained left shoulder, which put him on the disabled list in August, and the torn meniscus in his left knee, which required surgery earlier this month. "Being a part of this San Francisco Giants family, hopefully I can do what they traded for me to do."
This isn't an awful deal like Zito's, Aaron Rowand's and Edgar Renteria's -- especially if he has a year like 2006 when his line was .344/.378/.473 with 53 doubles and 89 RBIs.
UPDATE - John Perricone at Only Baseball Matters thinks that the Sanchez deal's quite lousy and suggest that the incompetence of the front office may explain why Juan Uribe doesn't seem that interested in coming back.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Why Brian Sabean is a dingbat
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.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Croix de Candlestick
Maybe I’m panicking needlessly. It’s completely possible that we’ll sign Matt Holliday and insert him into the middle of our lineup alongside Pablo Sandoval. Buster Posey might actually get more than 10 pinch-hit at-bats to prove his worth and Madison Bumgarner will regain his recently lost velocity and become our 5th starter. Wouldn’t all that just be peachy?
"A vicious smear campaign" in Dodgertown
The LA Times and TMZ are both going gangbusters on the story. Here's the top of the latest story from the Times: The reinstatement of Jamie McCourt as the Dodgers' chief executive officer would be "akin to throwing a bomb into a crowded room," lawyers for Frank McCourt argued in court papers filed Wednesday.On the day after Jamie McCourt filed for divorce, Frank McCourt said in his filing that he fired his estranged wife for having an affair with her driver and for repeatedly undermining the chain of command by not reporting directly to him.Dennis Mannion, the Dodgers' president, said in his filing that Jamie McCourt did not show up for work more than half the time, put her own image ahead of that of the team and "exhibited an almost disdainful disregard for the fundamental requirements of her job and workplace etiquette."The attorney for Jamie McCourt said her client is the victim of a "vicious smear campaign" and said she has lined up financing for a possible bid to buy out her husband and own the Dodgers outright.There were no rulings on Wednesday. The court set a Nov. 5 hearing on Jamie McCourt's demand for immediate reinstatement as CEO and a Dec. 1 hearing on spousal support and other issues pending trial.In Wednesday's filing, the lawyers for Frank McCourt not only alleged that Jamie McCourt had an affair with her driver -- his grounds for firing her included "an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate employee" -- but that she billed the Dodgers for the cost of a 2 1/2 -week trip to France with him, in the middle of baseball season.Fields admitted that Jamie McCourt is in a romantic relationship with the driver but said the relationship started after she separated from Frank McCourt. He said she did not bill the team for the France trip."What does that have to do with ownership of the Dodgers? Nothing," Fields said. "It's a vicious smear campaign."
Too bad, Yankees
No one knows the toll the rest of this World Series will take on Chase Utley and his undisclosed hurts. Only that rest has been a great friend to him this time of the year.A nine-pitch at-bat in the third. A home run. An 0-2 count in the sixth. Another home run, this one traveling about 20 rows into the rightfield bleachers. C.C. Sabathia had not allowed a home run to a lefthanded batter all season at Yankee Stadium until last night. No lefthanded batter but Babe Ruth had ever hit two home runs against a lefthander in the Yankees home park.
Dingbat Mark Ecko gets embarrassed further
This adds to the embarrassment of Ecko putting an asterisk on the ball that Barry Bonds hit for HR No. 756 after spending $750,000 to buy it, then donating it to the Hall of Fame -- and the shame on the Hall of Fame for accepting a defaced artifact.
What an idiot.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
"Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for the Roman Empire"
Adios, Bengie Molina
An ugly Dodger divorce
The McCourts purchased the club for $431 million in 2004, in a heavily leveraged deal that stirred concern among fans wondering whether the club could continue to afford to pay top dollar for top players. In her filing, Jamie McCourt alleges Frank McCourt has not provided her with information about what she calls "efforts to obtain new financing for the Dodgers."
"I am concerned about his financial mismanagement of the Dodgers," she claims.
Tmz.com has some nice details.Jamie demands her job back as CEO and Vice-Chairman of the Dodgers ... as well as the huge set of perks and benefits that go with owning the squad. Here are the benefits Jamie is requesting:
- travel by private jet
- 5 star hotel accommodations
- travel expenses - Unlimited
- business dinners 5 nights per week
- business lunches 5 days per week
- parking spots at Dodger Stadium
- flowers in the office
- making Dodger Legends available for events without charge
- provision of Dodger autographed items as requested for use in business and charitable activities
- hair and makeup for Dodger events
- access to team doctors for McCourt family members
- access to the owner's suite for Dodger home games and non-baseball events at the stadium
- Tickets to All-Star games and playoff games -- even if the Dodgers aren't playing
- a pass to all National League games
Then there's this: Jamie lists her monthly living expenses at $488,928 -- THAT'S PER MONTH!!!!!!!!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
AT&T Park Is Vastly Superior to Dodger Stadium.
This one just seems unfair. No one in their right mind would say Dodger Stadium is nicer than AT&T Park (Dodgers fans would, but no one in their right mind would be a Dodger fan to begin with). Dodger Stadium rests over the giant parking lot that smells of urine. On a hot day, the pungent smells of filth radiate off the asphalt, making Dodger Stadium one of the most unpleasant places to be in professional sports. Contrast that with AT&T Park: a shimmering example of American architectural achievement, AT&T Park rests over the beautiful San Francisco Bay, with stunning views of East Bay. There is little nicer than sitting at AT&T on a Saturday afternoon watching the Giants. But don't take my word for. I am obviously biased. When rating all MLB ballparks, Forbes magazine placed Dodger Stadium at number 20 while AT&T claimed the top spot. Dodger Stadium may have history, but that's about it.Have some garlic fries, Dodger fans. That will turn those frowns upside down.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
How the Yanks won (and why the Giants didn't)
So I looked up which team had the best OBP during the regular season. It was the Yanks by far at .362. Guess who was the worst -- by far -- of all 30 teams at .309, led by the immortal out-making icon named Bengie Molina at .285? I looked it up and saw that Bengie's career OBP is one point lower than the Giants was this year at .308. And it was the second lowest Molina OBP ever, below only the .274 figure in 2002, when he was an Angel.
What about runs, which are what really matter, anyhow? The Yankees were again the runaway leaders and the Giants were fourth from the bottom.
It's nothing short of disgraceful that the front office squandered a chance to go to the postseason when the Giants pitching was among the best in the MLB. Nothing says a front office doesn't know what it's doing like these offensive stats -- especially when it has dingbat "journalists" like the SF Chron's Bruce Jenkins getting on the Barry Bonds Hate Train (Worst. Teammate. Ever.) once more to obscure the fact that his buddy Brian Sabean is the worst GM in baseball.
Cain for Hanley Ramirez?
Sure Cain is good, young and under financial control for another year or two. But, he’s not that good. He’s not Lincecum good. He’s not Cliff Lee good. He’s not Chris Carpenter good. In other words, he’s not untradeable.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Bitter like a cold cup of day-old coffee
As Jamie McCourt vanished from the Dodgers' website, Frank McCourt charged his estranged wife with insubordination and inappropriate behavior in a letter firing her as the team's chief executive.The letter, signed by Frank McCourt on letterhead that identifies him as the Dodgers' owner, advises Jamie McCourt to contact team human relations personnel to arrange "a time and date to gather your personal belongings." The letter is dated Wednesday, the day the Dodgers were eliminated from the National League Championship Series in Philadelphia.Jamie McCourt, who considers herself a co-owner of the team, is expected to initiate legal proceedings next week. The grounds for dismissal, as set forth by Frank McCourt in his termination letter, could lay the groundwork for part of his defense, experts said.The letter charges Jamie McCourt with "insubordination, non-responsiveness, failure to follow procedures, and inappropriate behavior with a direct subordinate."
TMZ.com has the letter. It notes that it was sent two weeks before their 30th wedding anniversary. The letter begins, "Dear Jamie -- This is to inform you that your employment with and positions as Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairperson of Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, as well as any and all of the positions that you hold ... are hereby terminated effective immediately."
And here's a nice classy touch to the letter: "Because your employment is held at-will, the Organization is not required to have cause to terminate your employment and may do so for any reason or no reason at all."
Friday, October 23, 2009
Scary bad 2010 projections
For those looking for some positive developments on the Orange and Black, Chris Haft of MLB.com offers an upbeat assessment on No. 1 pick Zach Wheeler and outfielder Rafael Rodriguez. Let's hope these guys pan out. The Giants spent $3.3 million on Wheeler and $2.85 million on Rodriguez.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Where Did Our Love Go?
And the LA Times is reporting that Jamie's trying to line up investors. In other words, it's war at Chavez Latrine.
Affeldt gets recognition off the field
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Thanks very much, Phillies
So the forces of karma have perhaps ensured that the Phils went out and whomped the Dodgers, 10-4, putting the Blew Crew out of their misery for the second straight year following multiple gagging in the clutch by a wide array of offenders. Nice to see some of the most annoying players in the game such as Manny Ramirez and Fat Broxton come unraveled like cheap polyester suits. It should be an interesting offseason for the Dodgers, what with owners Frank and Jamie McCourt's divorce.
In the meantime, the Phils are looking like they are dialed in with a decent shot to be the first team since the 2000 Yanks to go back-to-back in the Series. And it's the first time since the 2001 Yanks that a team has won back-to-back pennants. Hardball Times has a great article simply listing the 15 franchises that have won back to back pennants and the last time they did it. The Giants last turned the trick in 1936 and 1937 (THT is off by one year -- the Cubbies won the 1938 NL pennant).
Finally, let me say it again -- William C. Rhoden of the New York Times, who insisted that what baseball really needed is a Yanks-Dodgers World Series, is a FOOL.
The Sporting News gets its right
A Giants Win hat tip to Raising (Matt) Cain for noting that one of the best bloggers around, David Pinto of Baseball Musings, has called for the Giants to make a 5-year $60 million deal for Tim.
Back to 1950
The Dodgers managed to post probably the most pathetic surrender to another team in the World Series when they were annihilated by the Orioles in 1966 and outscored 13-2.
The cost of Tim Lincecum
I think Tim's entitled to every dime, by the way.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
What's not to smile about?
Monday, October 19, 2009
Dodgers keep gagging
Here's why tonight was such a big loss for the Blew Crew -- Game 3 wasn't the game they had much hope of winning, what with Kuroda starting against Cliff Lee. This was the game they obviously expected to win, with Randy Wolf against the worst of the Phils starters, Joe Blanton.
So we were told all year by the LA Times and Dodger announcers that the Dodger pen was fabulous. It's now gagged away Game 1 and 4. Tasty!
Of course, this Dodger team could still win three in a row. It's got the guy who's hot -- Vincente Padilla -- pitching Game 5.
Not winning with Winn
He's a decent fielder and had a pretty good average with runners in scoring position but it's hard to believe that any other team would start this guy. The Giants "brain trust" decided to give him more ABs than anyone except Sandoval.
Posey, not Molina
Another look back at the 1989 quake
We accept it because it is home.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Tasty meal in Philly
I promise I'm not writing off the Dodgers. I remember the 1959 World Series, which started with the same 11-0 score as Ted Kluszewski homered twice for the Chisox -- who then lost four of the next five to the Dodgers. The losing pitcher in that game was future Giants manager Roger Craig. I also remember 1960 World Series vividly when the Yanks won 3 games by scores of 16-3 and 12-0 and 10-0, but the Pirates still won the Series.
How not to score Orange and Black runs
Brian Sabean had Barry Bonds for fifteen years, fifteen years of the best player in baseball, and managed to make it to the World Series one time. Now, without Bonds to cover his mistakes, the Giants haven’t had a player score 100 runs in a season in six years, since Bonds did it in 2004. In that span, 140 major league baseball players have scored 100 runs or more, and not one Giant has. In fact, no Giants player has even scored 90 runs during that stretch. In 2005, Pedro Feliz led the team with 69 runs scored. In 2006, Vizquel scored 88. In 2007 Bonds led the team with 75 runs scored. despite playing in only 126 games. In 2008, Winn scored 84. And this season, Sandoval led the team with 79 runs scored. You have to go all the way back to 2002 to find a Giants player other than Bonds who scored 100 runs, when Jeff Kent, another player who didn’t come up through the Giants system, scored 102. That’s the last 9 seasons, 9 seasons in a row in which no player drafted by and developed by the San Francisco Giants has scored 100 runs.
That is simply awful. And it isn’t Carney Lansford’s fault. It’s isn’t the hitters fault, either. It is a failure of philosophy. It is a failure of approach. It is a failure of an entire organization. And it is, more than anyone else, Brian Sabean’s failure. He has failed. His beliefs, his ideas on what it takes to be effective at the plate, on what it takes to be an effective major league baseball player, are wrong. As long as he’s running this team, this team will not win anything.
And it isn’t gonna change when they bring in a new batting coach.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Arizona Fall League already underway
The Richmond Flying Squirrels
It was 20 years ago today
"Those jets must have come really close," I told my sister, who's sometimes about 1,000 times smarter than me. "No, that was an earthquake," she said calmly. She even got interviewed by a reporter before we got to our seats. We waited about 15 minutes -- there was no P.A. -- and then the electricity came back on and we saw on the TV monitors in the "auxiliary press box" the iconic shot of the collapsed part of the Bay Bridge.
"I guess they're not playing tonight," I said, because I had a steel-trap mind back then.
John Shea of the SF Chron has a nice story with good quotes from Terry Kennedy, Al Rosem, Mark Letendre, Tony Phillips, Terry Steinbach, Craig Lefferts, Tony LaRussa. Bob Lurie, Hank Greenwald and several others. Jorge Costa, VP of operations, has a recollection that matches mine -- "Then there was the guy with the sign that said, 'If you think that was something, wait till the Giants come to bat.' "
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Jaramillo in the Orange and Black?
Rough day for the Dodgers
The Phils used the Earl Weaver approach to win -- getting two three-run homers, one from Raul Ibanez and the other from Carlos Ruiz. The Blew Crew got 14 hits but was 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position. As I often say, it's hard to play well when you've got both hands on your throat.
If any Dodger fans are reading this, don't waste your time sending me a taunting note about how the Giants once again are not in the postseason. I'm well aware that the Dodgers have the firepower to win their next 8 games in a row. That makes their choke tonight all the sweeter.
Fundamental reasons for Lansford's firing
My only comment on the situational hitting is the first thing I was told when I took the job is it was atrocious. Did we work on that? More than you’ll ever know. They just didn’t get it done. We had meetings, we talked about the thought process, we talked about what pitch to look for. I don’t know if anyone had to move more runners than I did, as much as I had to move Rickey (Henderson) all those years. But going out early and doing it against batting practice? Anybody can do that. It comes down to games, when guys are throwing 95 mph fastballs and curveballs when you don’t know they’re coming. You can emphasize the heck out of it, but at some point you just have to find a way to get it done. At some point, guys have to take responsibility for not doing that. That’s one thing I stressed to the guys – Step up and be responsible for yourself. Guys at the big league level, by the time they get there, should know how to do that stuff – move runners, get a guy home from third with less than two outs. If guys are learning that at the big league level, it’s too late. A major league player should not be as poor at it as we were in my two years. Do I take it personally? Of course I do. I know it cost us games.
"You can never have enough pitching"
I can only recall two Japanese players in the Orange and Black -- Masanori Murakami and Tsuyoshi Shinjo.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Hasta la vista, Carney
Bowker in 2007: 41 walks in 587 plate appearances. Bowker in 2008: 26 walks in 452 plate appearances. Bowker after working with Meulens in 2009: 78 walks in 523 plate appearances. Sold. Here’s a three-year deal, Hensley.
I don’t have any other ideas or suggestions for the spot, so I’ll be thrilled with Meulens. Can’t hurt. Heck, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen a Giants farmhand significantly improve his plate discipline.
Hasta la vista, Only Baseball Matters
I’m not gonna waste my time, my energy, and my love for baseball on this collection of fools. It’s not bad enough that Brian Sabean, fresh off of three years in a row of worst in baseball offense, still thinks he knows better than every other team in the game:
(Note -- this is excerpted from Henry Schulman's story in the SF Chronicle) ….At a time when younger, number-crunching GMs are in vogue, Neukom is placing his faith in a 53-year-old executive who has begun to embrace sabermetrics but still has a stronger scouting background. Indeed, when asked about the need for hitters with better on-base percentages, Sabean said almost dismissively, “I think we learned this year, as attested by winning 88 games, the most important thing is the final score, winning the game.”
Yeah, just like batting average is the best indicator of a hitters effectiveness, just like wins and losses are the best way to evaluate a pitcher. Is this guy for real? Talk about being stuck in 1985. What a jackass. And what a fool Neukom is for basing his decision to bring back the Idiot on something as worthless as a 16 game improvement over the year before, as opposed to the complete and utter failure of Sabean to maximize the team’s unforeseen opportunity to make the postseason for the first time in a five years, or the waste of two of the top four young pitching prospects in the system for a couple of absolutely worthless nobodies who contributed NOT ONE FUCKING THING AT ALL!!!!!!
Or maybe he could’ve seen what was predictably obvious to everyone in baseball; that the Giants coming into the season had to upgrade their offense significantly to be serious about contending; and Sabean –serious about contending the whole time– came up with the idea of signing Randy Johnson and Edgar Renteria as the answer to that issue. No, Neukom decided that winning a couple more games than everyone thought we would must be due to the great work of his GM and coach, as opposed to what was obvious to all of baseball; that it was his young pitchers carrying the team, and, in fact, his GM completely failed in his efforts to upgrade the team’s offense, which meant that the Giants would be watching the playoffs on television –again– despite the historic pitching performances of their pitching staff.
Sabean = dingbat
MY COMMENT -- WHAT A JERK. Here's a team that had a chance to go to the postseason but saw it slip away because the GM didn't bother to improve the offense....then wouldn't admit that maybe it was partly his fault. Way to stay classy, Brian.
The secret to Sabean's success
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Sabean, Bochy given extensions
Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury-News blogs that Sabean is the longest-tenured GM in baseball, despite a widespread consensus that he's among the most incompetent (see Barry Zito, Aaron Rowand, Armando Blownitez, Edgardo Alfonzo). The ability to hang on shows that he's still 1. reaping the benefits from Barry Bonds' extraordinary performance and 2. must be incredibly well-versed in shmoozing upwards.
Monday, October 12, 2009
RIP Larry Jansen
He had his greatest seasons in 1947, going 21-5 as a 26-year-old rookie, and in 1951 with a 23-11 record. He then lost two games in the World Series and was the last pitcher to face Joe DiMaggio, who doubled. In 1947, he finished 7th in the MVP voting behind Ralph Kiner and another rookie named Jackie Robinson. (Boston Braves third baseman Bob Elliot won although Ewell Blackwell and Johnny Mize look more deserving).
See ya, Rox
Hopefully, the Phils can knock the Dodgers out again just like last year -- even though the lame New York Times' columnist William Rhoden is sermonizing that what baseball really needs is a Dodgers-Yanks World Series. What a dingbat.
The New York Times embarrasses itself
Please spare us from this "we in New York know what's best" and "good of the game" nonsense. What would be nice is a Series that went seven games, like the ones in 2001 and 2002, instead of the 4-game affairs in 2004, 2005 and 2007 and last year's 5-gamer. And one of the best World Series on record came in 1997 when two teams outside the media centers -- the Marlins and the Tribe -- had an epic battle with the final run getting driven in the 11th by Edgar Renteria. The 1991 Series between the Twins and Braves was exceptional, too, with five of the seven games decided by one run.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Orange and Black free agents
Angels sweep Bosox
He went 5-for-9 with 4 walks and 4 runs scored in the three games against the Bosox.
The first Giant no-hitter in 33 years
Bonds pitches in for kids
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Upside for Torres
I think Lefty's right (ha ha) about Torres. He got 6 HRs and 23 RBIs in 152 ABs this season.
Friday, October 09, 2009
2009 in review
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Why Dodger Stadium sucks
From the desk of Brian Sabean
We all know that it is a difficult strategy to win and develop young players at the same time. Going into last season, we had many more questions than we did answers. I think the core of our team - one that is built around solid starting pitching and defense - certainly emerged as the season went on. The next step will be to conduct a thorough evaluation to define our critical needs that will put us in a stronger position for 2010 and beyond. Most pressing will be to identify ways to improve our offensive production and on base percentage and to create a more consistent one through five line up.
MY SNARKY RESPONSE -- How about not having an offense where your first baseman is batting 7th or 8th? How about not signing over-rated vets on the fade like Freddy Sanchez, Rowand and Renteria to longterm deals?
Why not aim a little higher?
Less than a week ago, the team had a mathematical chance at the postseason, despite the blundering of management for the last 5 years. The failure to fix the offense -- at first, shortstop and the three outfield slots -- meant that a year of stellar pitching was wasted. All it would have taken is as few as 2 or 3 more wins.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
No apology from Sabean for crappy offense
If Henry Schulman's recap in today's SF Chron is to be believed, Giants fans can look apparently forward in 2010 to another season of Freddy Sanchez languishing on the bench with some ailment and Bengie Molina racking up the MLB's lowest onbase percentage as a misplaced cleanup hitter.
Schulman also speculates that Carney Lansford may be fired at "hitting" coach, that Matt Cain probably won't be traded and that Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey will spend more time in the minors. Here's a comment that burns me up -- Sabean acknowledged the offense took on the free-swinging persona of Pablo Sandoval and Molina, and "you'd like to find somebody who's different from that, who can kind of calm things down or add to the middle of the order in a different way."
EARTH TO BRIAN SABEAN -- ISN'T THAT YOUR JOB? WHY DIDN'T YOU DO THAT BEFORE THIS SEASON?
Monday, October 05, 2009
Hasta la vista, Bengie
Here's the important verbiage at the end of the post -- Someone who gives his heart and soul for the team would make choices that enhance his team’s chance to win. A player who is unselfish might learn to take a pitch now and again. He might appreciate a chance to mentor a young catcher. He’s not being paid by the at bat. He’s not being paid by how many times he swings. Molina is an old, slow, selfish and undisciplined player, one who contributes virtually nothing in the context of what it takes to be a winning team. He is the embodiment of what is wrong with the San Francisco Giants, a symbol of the inefficient players that Brian Sabean values.
This comment from +mia is noteworthy -- Molina’s physical conditioning for a man of 35 was a disgrace. If he truly took pride in his team approach he would at least have shown enough courage to mix in a plate of broccoli once in a while. He is/was one of the most selfish hitters to ever disgrace a Giants uniform.
Geoffrey has a link to an excellent post by Joe Posnanski about the Bosox GM Theo Epstein and the value of NOT MAKING OUTS. Joe recapped a recent interview with Epstein, which has these salient points (boldface is mine) --
Sometimes you get stuck in the world of evaluating players through home runs and RBIs. And it’s not the way that I think most clubs do it these days. And if you look at underlying performance of a lot of our guys, they bring more to the table than just the counting stats. And J.D.’s certainly having another good year for us. He’s up around a .900 OPS right now, and he’s playing really good defense in right field, he deserves an awful lot of credit for that, he’s been pretty darned good for the three years that he’s been here if you look at the underlying performance.”
"Based on his skill set, he’s always going to have underwhelming RBI totals. I couldn’t care less. When you’re putting together a winning team, that honestly doesn’t matter. When you have a player who takes a ton of walks, who doesn’t put the ball in play at an above average rate, and is a certain type of hitter, he’s not going to drive in a lot of runs. Runs scored, you couldn’t be more wrong. If you look at a rate basis, J.D. scores a ton of runs. And the reason he scores a ton of runs is because he does the single most important thing you can do in baseball as an offensive player. And that’s NOT MAKE OUTS. He doesn’t make outs. He’s always among our team leaders in on-base percentage, usually among the league leaders in on-base percentage. And he’s a really good base runner. So when he doesn’t make outs, and he gets himself on base, he scores runs — and he has some good hitters hitting behind him. Look at his runs scored on a rate basis with the Red Sox or throughout his career. It’s outstanding. You guys can talk about RBIs if you want, I just … we ignore them in the front office … and I think we’ve built some pretty good offensive clubs. If you want to talk about RBIs at all, talk about it as a percentage of opportunity but it’s just simply not a way or something we use to evaluate offensive players.”
Sunday, October 04, 2009
The end of the season
Henry Schulman's game story notes that this could be the final MLB game for The Big Unit. And Scott Ostler has a nice short piece about how much he likes the Panda.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Off-season preview for the Orange and Black
The Giants are finishing a season in which they’ve scored fewer runs than just about every other team in baseball. Position by position, our team looks like this:
Catcher 27th in OBP 15th in OPS
First 26th in OBP 26th in OPS
Second 29th in OBP 29th in OPS
Third 5th in OBP 2nd in OPS
Short 18th in OBP 22 in OPS
Left 19th in OBP 20th in OPS
Center 22nd in OBP 20th in OPS
Right 29th in OBP 29th in OPS
So, for those of you not paying attention, we have a league average catcher, a top of the line third baseman, and nothing else. There are eight positions on the diamond, and we have one of them filled.
Here's what John suggests that Neukom do --
Here’s an idea…. Go out and “give” some money to a real baseball player. One who isn’t already past his prime, who isn’t injured, or out of shape, or a “savvy veteran.” Go out and get a good, young hitter, preferably an rightfielder, which will allow you to use Winn as a fourth outfielder. Send Fred Lewis to the winter league to learn how to play left, let Rowand play everyday in center. Sign Uribe for $3 or 4 million per and hope he has one more year in him. Sign Penny for about the same. Leave Sandoval at third base, play Velez at second and pray that he wasn’t an illusion the last two months, and platoon Garko and Ishikawa. Don’t throw another $25 million on the ground for Freddie Sanchez, who’s a marginal player at his best.
Neukom also told the SF Chronicle about the import of chemistry, which makes me gag. Here's what John says (boldface is mine) --
Fuck you and your “chemistry.” Grow up! Have a player who’s not the nicest guy in the world, but is actually good, on your roster. You sound like an old lady when you talk about chemistry. Winning breeds chemistry. Players who don’t fail all the time make good teammates. You think anyone on the Giants cares about the fact that they’re all good guys right now? Or maybe you think they wish they had that prick Bonds around to, oh, I don’t know, maybe hit a couple of home runs every once in a while?
Friday, October 02, 2009
Five in a row for the Orange and Black
Meanwhile, the Rox continue to torment the Dodgers as they squeezed out a 4-3 vic with Manny getting booed for striking out 4 times, according to the LA Times coverage. It occurs to me that both teams -- even though I've said I hope they get swept out of the playoffs by the Phils and Cards -- have excellent shots at going all the way this year. Teams west of the Mississippi always get under-rated by the Eastern sports media. So as much as I love seeing the Dodgers and their fans suffer, I'm under no illusion that the team's done for the year, unfortunately. It could be quite the opposite. In Los Angeles, Colletti has made several terrible signings (Jason Schmidt, Andruw Jones) but they have so much solid young talent (Ethier, Kemp, Loney, Kershaw, Broxton) that it doesn't matter that much. Fat Broxton, in particular, looks unhittable right now. They're strong enough that they can afford to have Juan Pierre sit on the bench most of the time despite his $45 million deal -- as opposed to the Giants, who insist on giving their free agent mistakes (Rowand, Winn and Renteria) as many at bats as possible.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
52-29 at home
-- 15th win for The Franchise, who had a no-hitter into the 5th
-- some serious hitting from Andres Torres, who hit the top of the right field foul pole and got a triple into the alley.
-- a Panda triple into the alley
--The Big Unit closing out the Dbacks in the 9th
--Rich Aurilia's last home game (though it sure sounded like he'd like to play somewhere next year, even with a dismal season this year)
-- Krukow and Kuiper noted that Mel Stottlemeyer Jr. took a bullet for Dan Haren after Haren began whining about balls and strikes. What a crybaby.
For those of you who haven't been reading this blog, here's what burns me up -- the Giants had a terrible offense last year and an equally bad one this season, even though the Giants were contending past the All-Star break. The response by Sabean was to go out and sign Edgar Renteria in the off-season to what was probably the single worst free agent contract this year and then trade away two top prospects (Barnes and Alderson) for two non-contributors in Ryan Garko and Freddy Sanchez.
Here's the bottom line -- the Giants have scored less runs than any teams this year except the Pirates, Padres and Mariners. Additionally, Bochy and Sabean kept Juan Uribe and Fred Lewis on the bench for far too much of the year and gave far too many at bats to Edgar Renteria and Randy Winn.