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The Giants have immediate needs in the outfield, at second base, and (maybe most urgently) on the bench. What I would rather have them do is begin to address these needs in a coherent, long-term way rather than with calculated PR moves like signing Dan Uggla.
The Giants front office has demonstrated they can't multitask solutions-- everything is linear and geared to keep the fan base happy.
There's no doubt that San Francisco can't fix all of these issues at the 2014 non-waiver trade deadline. But at least start the process, because if they don't, the team will be haunted with these same problems in 2015.
I addressed specifically what they should do a couple of blogs ago, in "Giants Have a Window to Begin Rebooting for 2015".
As far as Pablo Sandoval, either sign him to a multi-year extension or trade him before he hits free agency at the end of this season. I think they should extend Sandoval because he's one of the best hitters in the National League, but either way ownership needs to be proactive.
I've also written several separate articles about the fact that the Giants have the wealthiest ownership group in the Majors, bank millions in MLB revenue each season, and yet still try to present themselves as a "small market" team with budget constraints.
3 days, 4 hours ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/
@JohnOrfanides @RDyer @Sabean Wannabe @Donner Party
"McCarthyism" is a term that describes making accusations of
disloyalty, subversion, or treason without evidence or proof.
It also describes the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair
investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or
The term has its origins in the period in the United States known as the "red scare" lasting roughly from 1950 to 1956 and characterized by a campaign of fear that spread paranoia throughout American institutions.
Originally coined to criticize the fake anti-communist rants of Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin,
"McCarthyism" soon took on a broader meaning, describing the excesses
of similar efforts to create fear for political gain.
The term is now generically used to describe
reckless, unsubstantiated accusations, as well as racist and demagogic attacks on the character or patriotism of political adversaries.
Sure, McCarthy was right.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/injuries-finally-find-giants-but-give-bochy-an-assist.html
That lack of depth is the theme I've been pounding since Spring Training.
Two things that make this extra frustrating: first, the people running the Giants are smart and have a recent track record of success. How do they start the season with a team constructed like this?
Second, San Francisco has the wealthiest ownership in baseball, and they have millions in revenue coming in each year. It's probably time to stop making jokes about the money other franchises are spending to both build up their minor league systems and put winning big league teams on the field.
Each season the San Francisco front office creates an artificial player salaries "budget", and tells the media and the fans that they just can't go above that number. And, for some reason, everyone buys that fairytale.
4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/lack-of-depth-highlights-the-giants-current-tailspin.html
@Robert Haymond @TomGreybalt @RDyer
As someone who is not totally unfamiliar with writing some wet analysis, I know how hard it is sometimes to separate enthusiastic support for the Giants and also do reality checks about what's really happening.
I'm guessing Robert, Maxwell, Tom and I have the bond of being devoted fans of the San Francisco Giants. And there is no one approved way for every Giants fan to express their feelings for and commitment to the team.
For me the idea is to balance respect for the bond and respect for differing opinions and disagreement.
Great catch serfdog! The correction has been made. And I now have gotten a grip!
TG, you are either making up numbers or unclear how to get the stats. Because the Giants' slash line for the 1-8 losing stretch was actually .289/.337/.400. (Although you did get the ESPN 2014-to-date stats correct.)
It's easy to isolate any designated games to get this information. So the real numbers better support your argument (above), but that argument entirely misses the point.
As modern baseball metrics have demonstrated, batting average ("hitting better") doesn't equal winning more ballgames. The ability to score runs often does not equate with a higher team batting average, as we saw clearly during San Francisco's recent 1 and 8 losing stretch.
Glad you think that line-up construction doesn't matter and shows baseball ignorance. So that leaves me in the company of people like Tony La Russa, Bill James, and Bruce Bochy-- all of whom think that line-up construction is extremely important. You and I will also disagree on the critical importance of a Major League bench (because it's really important).
As for the "Giants anti-fans", I am continually amazed why some people feel they have to repeatedly declare that they are the real, true Giants fan. And other so-called Giants fans aren't (so let's get 'em!).
And it's so easy to spot those fake Giants fans: they question, they honestly analyze, they discuss. Anyone with an opinion contrary to the mindless Orange Party line can't possibly be a true fan. Because real fans don't need to think, they're fan robots.
Like those fake Giants fans Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow!
It's true! I've heard them criticize the Giants on radio and TV! I have also heard them say even more traitorous things, like Yasiel Puig is the most exciting young player in the National League, or the Dodgers new ownership has done great things for LA fans.
Can you believe that! And I thought they were real SF Giants fans. You know, like you.
1 month ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/lack-of-depth-highlights-the-giants-current-tailspin.html
I'm glad you brought up "ill informed". Turns out the Giants actually didn't hit "BETTER" during their recent 1-8 slide.
In the 64 games the Giants played prior to the 1 and 8 tumble, they scored 278 runs-- that's an average of 4.34 runs scored per game.
In the 9 games referenced in my blog they scored 35 runs-- an average of 3.88 runs per game.
If you take those 9 games (with the Nats, Rockies, and White Sox) and add the last four games (three against Arizona and one against the Padres), that's 46 runs scored in the last 13 games-- an average of 3.54 runs per game.
All of which is the opposite of "better".
It's amazing to me how Giant fans have bought into ownership's party line that Pablo Sandoval's weight is a problem that has to be solved before they sign him to another long term contract.
Sandoval put up his powerful offensive career numbers in the six seasons prior to 2014-- when his weight was supposed to be a problem holding him back. And those are the numbers that will earn him a big contract in 2014.
And I actually respect the right of Giant's ownership to be tough negotiators. They're not in the business of giving money away, and this is a savvy and smart organization. But that doesn't mean we have to buy into their attempts to bring Sandoval's price down.
A week ago, Tom Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors rated Pablo Sandoval at #5 in his "Top Ten 2015 Free Agent Power Rankings". Let's hope the Giants sign him before that happens.
The Giants don't need former Microsoft CEO and billionaire Steve Ballmer in their ownership group.
The Giants already have the wealthiest ownership in all of baseball. According to Forbes.com, lead owner Charles Johnson is listed as the 167th wealthiest man in the world, worth $8.1 billion. The rest of San Francisco's ownership group are multi-millionaires. They could buy and sell the Dodgers' ownership group in between courses of caviar at lunch.
Having money is not the issue for the Giants' owners group. Spending it is.
1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/lack-of-depth-highlights-the-giants-current-tailspin.html
@Sabean Wannabe @RDyer @SheaONeal
Answer: As I said in an earlier response in this stream, I think at times the Yankees have been the historic poster team for player overspending. Having said that, pretty soon a number of teams will pass the $300 and $350 million payroll mark. Because MLB average and top payrolls only go in one direction-- up.
And that's because, as local sports talk show host Marty Laurie has famously said many times, baseball owners are printing money. Team franchise revenues have never been better-- and not just for certain teams, but for all teams.
I think we agree that blank checks don't automatically create winning teams (and for that matter, blank checks can't instantly create the kind of team cohesiveness and strength we saw in 2010 and 2012).
But high revenue, high value teams have a responsibility to their fans to field competitive teams and not just take the money and run.
2 months ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/injuries-finally-find-giants-but-give-bochy-an-assist.html
@Sabean Wannabe @RDyer @Donner Party
I have to disagree with you SW, and if you look at the comments you'll understand what I'm saying.
I only object to personal attacks when a commenter personally attacks me (or another commenter). See the "About the Giants Cove" section to see the parameters of this blog.
Any number of commenters have disagreed with me, argued against my brilliant pronouncements, or come up with a better argument. And that's cool.
Talking baseball is what this is about.
But when a commenter has to support their point of view by calling someone an idiot (or being personally disrespectful in any way), then, as Danny Glover said in the film "Silverado", "That ain't right".
I'm also enjoying that other refuge of the inadequate debater, accusing me (or anyone else) of being a Dodger fan, or a [fill-in-the-team] fan.
Classic 8th grade playground bullying.
It's like McCarthyism in the 1950s-- disagree with what I believe, and I'm callin' you a dirty commie!
More blogisphere bashing as a substitute for cogent discussion and exchange of opinions.
I am at "the shallow end of the IQ pool", my perspective is described as "your foolishness." And once again, apparently the worst thing you can say to another Giants fan is to accuse them of secretly being a Dodgers fan (cuz that'll really put 'em in their place!).
Wow. Go Giants.
As I noted above, I urge you to try this just once: give your opinions without feeling that your
opinions are so weak that they need the additional help of you personally trashing
those with opposing opinions.
Having said that...
Shea O'Neal, Yes! You are correct! I was equivocal in my comments about the sports media picking the Giants to make the playoffs. "A number" of national baseball analysts did pick the 2014 Giants to make the playoffs.
There. I said it. [And that was a nice catch, dude.]
As for my growing audience waiting breathlessly for my tomes... you all shall be rewarded as I continue to shower you with my brilliantly crafted words!
@JoeCalabria So true. We've seen the proof of that statement with a number of New York Yankee teams over the past ten+ years. Most recently the LA Angels and Texas Rangers have tried signing a group of high end players who just never seemed to get it together, both individually and as a team.
I think the new LA Dodger ownership group came in with a mandate to immediately upgrade the Major League club and their poor minor league system. And they've done that-- they made the playoffs last season and the Dodgers' farm system is greatly improved.
But the final proof of what ownership and the front office does is results.
Look at the Giants in 2010 and 2012-- they had some of the best pitching in the Majors but they also came together as a team in each of those years to tear through the playoffs and win two World Series.
Simply throwing big money at a bunch of high end ballplayers does not create a winning team. At the same time big revenue teams like the Giants and the Cubs have a responsibility to field winning/competitive teams. The Giants did not do that in 2013, but look at 2014: the addition of two moderately-priced free agents (Tim Hudson and Michael Morse) has fired up this franchise and created a winning culture in the clubhouse.
And I know we're just past the one quarter mark of the season but the 2014 Giants are a real team-- a team that could have the legs to play in October.
@Donner Party Wonderful. Back to that tired school yard posturing and personal attacks.
Try this just once: give your opinions without feeling that your opinions are so weak that they need the additional help of you trashing the other person.
We're back to the "I'm a better Giants fan than you are" level of talking baseball. Better yet, "I'm the best Giants fan and you, you're... you're... a Dodgers' fan!"
Wow, that'll show me.
So since I have a different opinion, the above commenter also "hates" me. But, and this is the part I really like, he has discovered another way that will allow him to hate me even more. How cool is that!
One thing we both agree on: for your own well-being, you definitely need to consider staying clear of my writing. (But I still hope that you don't give up.)
Once again I urge commentors to actually read the blogs they're commenting
First, I didn't say that the Giants didn't "miss" Angel Pagan when
he went on the DL last season. Of course they missed him. What I actually said
was his loss, a) didn't cause, and b) isn't an excuse for the team finishing
16 games out of first place in with a 76-86 record.
Every winning team has
injuries (some to key players) and that's why front offices build their teams deep enough to continue winning.
The Giants' approach the past several years is to not be deep, so when players
are injured there's no effective replacements ready to step in.
Actually your comment about "few analysts" picking the Giants is
incorrect. A good number of sports media people picked the Giants to make the post season
not only this season, but also last season. Better review the picks made by ESPN,
FoxSports.com, SI.com, MLBTV.
It's always good to check before we write.
As far as the "big money, no heart" approach of the LA Dodgers,
the San Francisco Giants have the richest ownership group in Major League
Baseball. Giants Principal owner Charles Johnson is the 74th richest person in
America ($3.5 billion), and he could buy and sell the entire Dodger ownership
group in one afternoon.
The difference between the Dodgers and Giants is the
Dodgers spend their money and the Giants don't.
And I always say this about the business of baseball: MLB franchise
owners get to decide how they spend their money-- it's their money. But the game is now very
big business-- the San Francisco Giants have the fifth most valuable franchise
in baseball, worth over $1 billion; I just think they need to stop pretending to be small market.
Finally, MLB managers get to be criticized like anyone else in pro sports. Doesn't mean they're bad managers, it just means they're capable of making mistakes. And when they do they can be called on them.
And, no, you don't have to work in Major League Baseball to write and talk about the game. And you don't have to be in the film industry to criticize movies. In the real world virtually nothing works like that.
@Sabean Wannabe @Robert Haymond@Daniel_Stern
SW-- I appreciate your participation in the The Giants Cove blog. Without opposing and different viewpoints things can sometimes get stale.
But having said that, let's stick to a coherent discussion of baseball and the Giants, etc. and skip the personal attacks. Your reaction to someone disagreeing with you is to personally attack them (like accusing me of lying to my readers, or using another name to post comments on my own blog). [Sorry about that, Robert. You deserve to be accused of something much better than being me.]
And let's say what we have to say and move on. We all get it. You hate sabermetrics, for some reason you believe no one has the slightest clue whether or not the Giants talked to Masahiro Tanaka, and so on.
I want you to keep posting, but let's be respectful, and skip the caps as a way to show that you're really right and everyone else is really wrong, Your opinions and ideas stand on their own and don't need any of that.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/uncategorized/giants-braintrust-ponders-rearrangement-of-deck-chairs.html
@Sabean Wannabe @RDyerWhy do these discussions always have to go to the "You're not a real Giants fan like I am" stuff? It's so tired.
Opposing viewpoints and opinions are what these forums are about, not proving who is or isn't a real fan. So if you disagree with me, that means my opinions are lies ("give your readers full disclosure") and no good. Wow.
The "accumulation of statistics" isn't remotely the definition of "sabermetrician". But I get it-- you really don't like sabermetrics. Cool. I still think you're a good Giants fan.
As far as St. Louis, they're one of the best run, top MLB franchises and have been for a long time. I'll tell Daniel Descalso to immediately return his World Series ring.
Again, we'll have to respectfully agree to disagree about St. Louis.
2 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/uncategorized/giants-braintrust-ponders-rearrangement-of-deck-chairs.html
@Sabean Wannabe @Robert Haymond
All the teams that showed initial and ongoing interest in Tanaka were well publicized. The final three teams were the subject of a number of articles and postings.
As MLBTradeRumors.com shows, there's a lot of competition among national baseball journalists to get that kind of news and put it out. They have many inside contacts.
The Giants were not involved at all in the Tanaka bidding and did not make an offer. As I wrote at the time, Tanaka would have been a franchise changer for San Francisco.
@Sabean WannabeSW, what I am is pro offense. Offense for a team that has been at or near the bottom of the MLB offense barrel the past twelve years.
understand it's easier to downgrade Sandoval now because of his current
slump, but a team like the Giants can't casually toss one of their few
offensive pieces into the trash and expect to score runs.
also another thing. We can't keep thinking in a linear way-- that it's
either one thing or another (Sandoval or Dominguez).
makes the Oakland A's and St. Louis top franchises is they have
legitimate back-ups when players get injured or slump badly. I would
like to see the Giants bench and their minor league system start
providing quality depth behind the starting eight.
@maxwell623 @RDyer@Daniel_Stern@Robert Haymond
The cost for extending or signing established MLB players goes in only one direction: higher.
The Hunter Pence signing was a great example of that. Pence is a slightly above average "established" outfielder. The Giants kept him with a 5 year/$90 million extension.
So the going price for a slightly above average established outfielder in 2013 was about $18 million a year.
Sandoval's career average per 162 game numbers are a little better than Pence's (Sandoval has a .817 OPS, Pence a .813 OPS). Third base is a more important position to fill than right field (more fielding skills are required, there are less third basemen than outfielders available).
Sandoval also has the flexibility to play first base, which broadens his value even more. [Maybe I shouldn't have used "broadens".]
So $20 million a year for Sandoval is about right in 2014. If he becomes a free agent, expect him to get a little more. Again, he achieved his current value while being "overweight", so to all of a sudden think of his weight as a major problem seems strange.
Here's my feeling: the Giants absolutely need to sign Sandoval. He is their #1 offensive player, he plays a position that is hard to fill on the free agent market, and San Francisco has no talented offensive players with power moving through its minor league system.
Lose Sandoval and you lose a big piece of what little offense the Giants have had the past five years.
@maxwell623 @Daniel_Stern@Robert Haymond
Hey everyone. Great discussion stream on several interesting subjects. I just wanted to chime in about Pablo Sandoval.
I guessing I'm in the minority in thinking that Sandoval's weight issue is simply a PR ploy by the Giants to:
a) drive down Sandoval's potential contract extension; and/or,
b) give the Giants faithful a reason to be OK about it when the front office doesn't sign Sandoval to an extension and just cuts him loose into the free agent market in October.
Either way the team saves money. The weight issue is one the team has been straw dogging for a couple of years and I think it's simply a deliberate distraction.
I linked this excellent article by Tracy Ringolsby before, but here it is again:http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/sf/tracy-ringolsby-giants-have-year-to-negotiate-with-pablo-sandoval?ymd=20140226&content_id=68385228
Basically it points out that Sandoval is by far the biggest offensive piece the Giants have had for years-- bigger than Buster Posey. And Sandoval put up all those numbers with his so-called weight issues.
I agree he should be fit, if not for baseball for his own health. But there is no evidence that it has diminished his capacity for producing runs. (Despite his slow start this season.)
@Daniel_Stern There are two questions here.
First, I write what interests me about the San Francisco Giants. I am not interested in the usual sports blog mindlessness, like "Sabean's a bum, he should be fired"; or, "Wow, did you see Hicks' home run yesterday... !" And so on.
I am interested in analytically discussing the team and the franchise-- where they've been historically, where they are right now, and where they're going.
I am also interested in baseball's advanced metrics and how they're changing the game; which teams are on the cutting edge and which teams are still living in the 1960s. (Hint: you and I are fans of one of those teams.)
You ask about "page views" like it's something nasty. I'm guessing everyone who has a website or posts a blog would like as many "page views" as possible. That specifically is why people post their material on the internet instead of keeping it under their pillow-- so as many people as possible can view the pages.
Going against my attorney's advice, I plead "guilty" to the charge of wanting people to read my blog.
As far as Dominguez. Panik, etc. the Giants are in a unique position. Half their starting position players are older and they currently have a non-contributing bench. San Francisco also has a poorly built farm system with a handful of promising pitchers and even fewer promising position players.
The team can get value from someone like Dominguez by not waiting for September and bringing him up now. Not only could that help refocus the bench into being an offensive asset, the Giants will also be able to determine if one or two of their young Triple A position players might actually develop value as a starter or as trade material.
There are a number of Giants' minor league players at the Triple A and Double A level who are about to get "Gary Brown-ed." Players who start out as promising, don't get developed, then simply get older and fade away.
3 months ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/uncategorized/giants-braintrust-ponders-rearrangement-of-deck-chairs.html
@nilyd Sorry about being so down on the 2014 team. I can tell you it's been distracting to me-- I want a team of substance that I can believe in. Not a slapped together 25 man roster where you cross your fingers and hope substandard players accidentally have a good year.
As far as first place, in 2013 the Giants were in first place as late as May 26th (you know, when they ended up finishing third, 16 games out of first place). In 2011 they were in first place as late as August 9th. So being in first place on April 27th in 2014 is meaningless (although, better the Giants than any other team!).
As far as Santiago Casilla and Hector Sanchez falling out of favor, I was reporting what a Comcast sports guy recently mentioned sidebar in a tweet about another subject.
Apparently Giants' management is not happy with Hector Sanchez performance, especially behind the plate. And I'm thinking Santiago Casilla probably thinks he should be closing instead of Sergio Romo.
Not that San Francisco would get any real front line players for either Sanchez or Santiago, but if one or both of them could pull in several decent minor league prospects it would be worth it.
@paulfromturlock @Robert HaymondI agree that some number of other "unbalanced" teams (i.e., teams with either dominant pitching and poor run-scoring, or dominant run scoring and sub par pitching) have won the World Series.But the majority of teams getting to the World Series over the past 100 or so years did so because they had talented, well-constructed 25 man rosters. The idea that "all you have to do is somehow get into the playoffs, then anything can happen" is something teams tell their fans to keep selling tickets, jerseys and beer.
I also think the Giants' 2010 and 2012 World Series teams were different. The 2012 team had a better offense and scored more runs throughout the season. The 2010 team squeaked into the playoffs with a win over San Diego on the final day of the season.
But I agree, both the 2010 and 2012 teams had outstanding starting and bullpen pitching-- which made all the difference.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Giant Fans Down to Two Choices: Swallow the Kool-Aid or Hit the Panic Button
@Robert HaymondTotally agree.
The Giants organization has the business and entertainment parts of the equation down. The ownership group and management are smart, talented, and creative-- in the top tier of the most successful pro sports franchises in the nation.
I look forward to the baseball side of the equation catching up. Not with incremental successes, like the 2010 and 2012 World Championships, but as part of the organization's foundational DNA. The Giants can (and I hope will) rehabilitate their minor league system and field a dominant winning team every season.
3 months, 4 weeks ago on Giant Fans Down to Two Choices: Swallow the Kool-Aid or Hit the Panic Button
@Acme1 FinastNo doubt the Dodgers have to play and execute this season. The NL West is more competitive than it's been in a long time.To your points:> Alexander Guerrero has been a star shortstop with power for five seasons in the Cuban leagues and the transition to 2nd base will be a challenge. But he'll make that transition (as I wrote above, as long as he does it by the All Star break).> Don't know what two Dodger starters "have won 6 games in three years". Here are the Dodgers' 2014 starters and their win total over last three years: -- Clayton Kershaw 51 wins; -- Zack Greinke 46 wins; -- Dan Haren 38 wins; -- Hyun-Jin Ryu, 34 wins. 14 wins in with the Dodgers in 2013, 20 wins in 2011 & 2012 with Hanwa, South Korean leagues;-- Josh Beckett 20 wins;-- Chad Billingsley 11 wins.
> The Giants don't have "5 starters who average 14 wins per season." They have three, including Tim Hudson.Here are the the career win-loss averages for all five Giant starters:-- Matt Cain - 9 years 12-11;-- Madison Bumgarner - 5 years 14-11;-- Tim Lincecum - 7 years 14-11;-- Ryan Vogelsong - 9 years 9-11;-- Tim Husdon - 15 years 16-9.
> Dodger catcher AJ Ellis did hit .238 in 2013 (with 10 HRs and 52 RBI). You can isolate one season of any number of MLB players to try and make them not look good (like the Giants' Brandon Crawford batting .248 in 2013).
Besides, we know a player's batting average is not the most important measure of their offensive worth. But back to Ellis:
1) A J Ellis expertly handles one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. That's worth a lot.
2) In 2012 Ellis had a .786 OPS (and a .270 average); in 2011 he had a .769 OPS (and a .271 average).
3) Ellis had a .682 OPS in 2013-- which is not League-leading, but it's pretty good.
The Giants are my team and I hope they do well in 2014. But I also follow all of Major League Baseball and my enthusiasm for San Francisco doesn't mean I have to pretend the Dodgers, or any other team, is a bad team.
5 months, 1 week ago on The 2014 National League West Deconstructed (Some Assembly Required)
@covechatter@RDyerMy favorite image from your comment: you celebrating and enjoying the moment when the Giants make the 2014 postseason, while I sit whining, dejected and still upset with the organization.
It's a great personal topper to your arguments: you, happy. Me, sad.
You believe the Giants have done great things with their farm system, and you also provide the front office with a specious excuse to cover them when they have poorly drafted and developed players.
I simply disagree. I respect your energy and knowledge, I know you're a great fan. I also don't wish you to be whining and miserable no matter what happens.
5 months, 4 weeks ago on SF Giants Elect to Spend Good Will, Save Money
"Tell that to the two banners hanging on the flag pole at the stadium."
That illustrates one of my points-- the Giants organization is thrilled to have their fans still jumping up and down about 2010 and 2012. It's all about looking back because there's not much to look forward to. Other than pretending this team will be competitive in 2014.
"The core of this team is still built around homegrown players. What more do you want?"
I want the Giants to conduct competent first year amateur drafts that don't end up with the 26th rated minor league system in the Majors for the past ten years.
Wasted time on mediocre home grown players like Brett Pill who can't make it at the Major League level are what has smothered this team. Instead of spending money, management's solution is to roll the dice and hope that mediocre draft picks and veteran players might get the job done.
Draft some "home grown" players with actual talent and develop them-- that's what more I want.
"Money can't buy you everything..."
Here's where we agree: "As far as spending $438 million, many other successful teams have shown
that you don't need to spend anywhere near that much to achieve success.
But you do have to commit some significant amount of money and
resources to get the job done."
So the Giants exchanged Michael Morse for Andres Torres and Tim Hudson for Barry Zito, and that's what's going to turn 2014 around? The bench is terrible, the starting pitching and front line hitting is thin-- there's no depth or back-up plan. The Giants haven't spent nearly what they should to build a winning team.
Covechatter, I am guessing you and I both want the exact same thing-- winning baseball from the Giants and to make the playoffs every year. But because they won two World Series the past four season, because they proved they could be a championship franchise I also expect management and the front office to build a championship organization that will continue to win.
6 months ago on SF Giants Elect to Spend Good Will, Save Money
It may sometimes feel like articles over the past year or so repeat or overlap, but it's actually a variation on a number of themes that illustrate the overall organizational decline of the San Francisco Giants.
Since the franchise isn't failing in only one or two areas, there is an array of subjects to analyze and compare to each other. Often the same bad approaches or philosophies are common to any number of the team's problems, so they start sounding somewhat familiar.
But one aspect of your comment is a good reminder to anyone who writes about pro sports franchises (or any other subject): you can only catalog so much negativity before it gets to be too one note.
The same goes for the unbelievable number of sports blogs that simply say, "The Giants are awesome, and I'm the best Giants fan ever!" over and over again without any interesting critical thought or comment.
Having said that, for me where the Giants are and what they're doing determines what gets written. It is important to chronicle the demise of a baseball franchise that shouldn't be in decline, that should be excelling.
I want the Giants to to well in 2014, but I disagree with the decisions ownership and management has made this off-season.
am also disappointed with how the overall franchise has evolved over
the past fifteen years. The Giants are a non-analytical, old school,
shoot-from-the-hip organization with outdated approaches to player
drafting, trading, and development, as well as understanding how to
build a 25 man roster that fills the roles required to support a winning
162 game campaign.
The idea that you get a couple of good
hitters, then one or two guys to hit extra base hits, then complete the
everyday line-up by slotting three or four non-run producing batters
right before the pitcher is both out-dated and uncreative.
Then you hope that you win one-dimensionally with pitching.
So true. When I was a player/manager on a local softball league team I tinkered with various line-up schemes for several years.
The one that seemed to be particularly productive was replicating the linear line-up twice within the same batting order. That is, batting the three best OBP hitters 1-3 followed by the best power hitter on the team at #4. Then, three more good OBP batters follow at 5-7, capped off by the second best power bat on the team in the #8 slot.
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Major League Baseball Line-up Revolution: The Mobius Theory
@KobraColaGreat analysis, clear and on point. [I will concede, as you did, that you also have done "a bit" of research and know "a bit" about sabermetrics.]
Two points. First, there is no handicap inherent in the Mobius Strip line-up at the start of the 1st inning.
In the 1st inning, teams using a Mobius line-up are guaranteed to have the three best hitters in their line-up come to the plate. As opposed to the linear line-up where, if the lead-off and #2 hitters make outs, potentially only one of the team's best three hitters gets an AB in the 1st inning (many teams bat their best hitters 3-4-5).
And I have no problem starting every game of the season that way.
Think about it. Pretty much by definition, the top three hitters on any MLB team will likely have the best on-base percentage numbers on the team. The Giants traditional lead-off hitter, Angel Pagan, had a .338 OBP in 2012, and a .334 OBP in 2013. But in those same years Marco Scutaro went .385/.357, Buster Posey .408/.371, and Pablo Sandoval .342/.341. So nothing is lost in terms of ABs and OBP by not having the traditional linear lead-off hitter batting first in the line-up.
In fact, Mobius provides an improvement to the customary linear line-up in the very first inning.
As far as pitcher ABs in the 7th spot of the order with Mobius there are two factors.
First, it's rare for a pitcher to have even three (and often two) ABs in a game unless they're pitching extremely well. Last season in 30 GS Matt Cain had 52 ABs-- 1.733 ABs per game; Bumgarner had 56 ABs in 29 GS-- 1.93 ABs per game; and Barry Zito had 34 ABs in 29 GS-- 1.172 per game.
So the #7 slot in a Mobius line-up (just like the #9 slot in a traditional line-up) is not filled by a pitcher the entire game. With the bullpen revolution over the past twenty-five years and starter pitch counts, pinch hitters abound and complete games have disappeared faster than Dennis Rodman's integrity.
Second, the point of a Mobius line-up is to configure a team's batting line-up to maximize runs forward. Which takes suspending and questioning what we've accepted over the years. I think the long-accepted "rules" of the traditional MLB line-up are a barrier to exploiting run production and won't stand up to being vetted against new ideas.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on Major League Baseball Line-up Revolution: The Mobius Theory
In looking at the Mobius model it's helpful to forget player names-- this is more about constructing a hitting attack that surrounds a team's most productive two hitters on a team with the team's third, fourth and fifth best hitters.
On most teams the so-called "best" hitter is in the third slot. The Giants can't do that because only two players (Posey and Sandoval) have consistent power, so Posey hits 4th and Sandoval 5th. In a better constructed line-up Posey would bat third.
Look at the traditional linear line-up: in the first inning the #3 hitter has just two batters ahead of him. But for almost the rest of the game the worst hitter in the line-up, the pitcher batting 9th, is only two batters away from the #3 batter. And the second worst hitter in the line-up, the 8th place hitter, is only three batters away from the #3 batter.
One of the ideas central to Mobius is to get the two most unproductive hitters in the line-up as far away as possible from the most productive hitters in the line-up, for as many innings as possible.
So in the Mobius model, the best hitter, batting in the #2 slot, now has three of the team's best hitters in front of him throughout the rest of the game (or until late in the game when pinch hitters might be used).
On the back side, the best hitter now has the second best hitter in the line-up batting behind him at #3, followed by two potential run-producing hitters at #4 and #5. Then the weakest hitter and the pitcher bat, and the cycle starts again.
The central point here is to give the best run-producing hitters in a team's line-up the most opportunities to create runs by insulating them as much as possible in the batting order from hitters more likely to consistently make outs.
[I'm going to drop a sentence from this into the blog-- your on-point comment prodded me to explain the goal more clearly.]
Noah-- The Mobius line-up doesn't require a wide difference between the batters. Certainly the player roles for offensive-rich teams like Detroit, the Dodgers, St. Louis or Boston are more clearly identified. But that same reasoning applies to the traditional line-up format.
Even in a haphazardly constructed hitting line-up like the Giants have, I think there's plenty of difference between, say, Buster Posey and every other hitter. He is by far their best offensive piece.
For precise line-up teams like Oakland and Tampa Bay, Mobius should make their approach even more productive.
And Sandoval and Belt are pretty far apart as players-- Belt tending to a higher OBP and lots of walks while Sandoval is more of a free swinger. Plus, Sandoval has the second best power bat on the team after Posey (something the Giants can't squander in their line-ups).
To your point about maybe putting different players in different slots than I did in my Mobius/Giants example-- I agree. Pagan could bat 8th, and Belt and Pence could switch. But the odd thing is, I think the Mobius line-up works just as well for poor run producing teams like San Francisco as well as it does for the big run producing teams I listed above.
CC- You're not offensive at all. But I think you missed my point here. You said "...I'd expect you to look a little deeper than run support and W/L record."
My whole piece was about the importance of not paying attention to a starting pitcher's W/L record. The majority of fans, players, and MLB front offices still look at that obsolete stat as the ultimate measure of a starting pitcher.
Also, reread my first three paragraphs-- my point was that run support is not "a new concept", it's just a concept that is routinely ignored by most of the MLB establishment.
The breakthrough came in 2010 when Seattle's Felix Hernandez won the AL Cy Young Award with a 13-12 record. But the majority of the MLB establishment still believes in the traditional numbers-- they don't get that Mike Trout was the real AL MVP the past two seasons (not Detroit's Miguel Cabrera).
Awareness of isolating and evaluating individual player performance is slowly making headway in the game. But only slowly.
Two more points.
You can pick out four, five, or six bad starts by every starting pitcher in the game each season to rationalize that, without those starts, they would have had a "great" season. But you know what? Those starts count-- just like the good ones.
In 2012 Zack Greinke of the Dodgers started 34 games (last season Cain started 30). Greinke had six games in which he gave up 32 earned runs. So for 28 starts Greinke pitched great.
Greinke's 1.20 WHIP is slightly higher than Cain's 2013 number, but Greinke went 15-5 in 2012. Which demonstrates what run support can add to the equation.
And Matt Cain didn't get poor run support and sub-par defense in just his four worst starts of 2013-- he, and virtually every other Giants' starter, got terrible run support all season long. It's the #1 reason the Giants finished 16 games out of 1st place last season.
[For the record, Matt Cain's career quality start rate is 66%-- 175 QS, 265 GS].
6 months, 3 weeks ago on Case Solved: Why Matt Cain Went 8-10 in 2013
Two things to add to the discussion.
First, Brian Kenny of MLBTV's "Clubhouse Confidential" did a long term study of high end, "big" MLB contracts-- more than 5 years, contracts worth tens of millions of dollars.
Kenny did this to develop a five point template to judge if any potential high end contract is likely to be good or bad for the team buying.
In doing the research Kenny found that about 50% of those big contracts work out very well for the clubs involved, and about 50% don't work out well for the clubs involved.
So for every anecdotal list of "bad" large contracts, there's an equal number that worked out great. Miguel Cabrera (8 yrs/$152.3m), Felix Hernandez (7 yr/$175m), Buster Posey (9 yrs/$167m), Adrian Gonzalez (7 yrs/$154m) and so on.
Second, it's nice to be concerned about how much the Giants are able to spend on player contracts, and I'm sure they really appreciate it when anyone on the outside says the team can't (and shouldn't) spend more money.
But there's no need to worry about the Giants' so-called "budget" and how much profit the ownership group gets to split up every year. They're doing just great and they don't need anyone to watch out for them.
Giants primary owner Charles Johnson could buy and sell the LA Dodgers ownership group in one afternoon. Johnson is listed in Forbes.com as the 74th richest person in America-- worth a cool $5.4 billion. Various other members of the ownership group also have seriously deep pockets.
The decision to spend or not to spend money by the Giants organization has nothing to do with available money, and everything to do with revenues being higher than expenditures every year. Because that means even more profits.
7 months ago on Michael Morse and the World of SF Giants GM Brian Sabean
Your points are well taken. Part of the process of analyzing the organizational process and viability of the San Francisco Giants involves being critical. Not necessarily negative, just critical.
I have laid out my criticisms of how Giants' management and ownership have underrepresented their financial resources and responsibilities, how the organization is run the way MLB franchises were run in the 1980s, and joined others (BaseballAmerica,FanGraphs, etc.) in pointing out how badly the team's minor league system has been the past 10 years.
But... it's a drag to continually wallow in negatives and doing that frankly doesn't jibe with my experience as a baseball fan/analyst and as a Giants fan/analyst. I want the team to do well, I celebrate when they do. I want the baseball side and the business side to work. For ownership, for fans, for the players.
So every now and then I reset my compass and express hope for a more positive future and some trust in the Giants organization to get there.
I don't see that as a "failing" more just wanting to keep in touch with the positive side of things.
8 months ago on The Giants' 2013 Hot Stove Can Still Sizzle
@Sabean Wannabe @RDyer @LoneStarGiantFan
"Richard, lay out some examples for us? Who do you want the Giants to
spend their money on? Remember, any impact player is likely to cause
the Giants to lose the 14th pick in the draft. That means you can't
turn around and complain in a few years about the Giants weak farm
Sorry Sabean Wannabe, I'm not going to republish a blog I wrote on November 12, 2013 (just scroll down to read it) in which I already laid out:1. The three players the Giants should consider signing.2. The issue of signing a player like Shin-Soo Choo and losing their first draft pick in 2014. But here is the "draft pick" sentence in that Nov 12th posting:"Whoever signs Choo will have to give up their top draft pick in 2014,
but there's always a price to pay for quality.
"And the potential worth
of a 2014 draft pick five years from now doesn't compare to what
Shin-Soo Choo would bring to San Francisco over those same five years."
On your last point, "That means you can't
turn around and complain in a few years about the Giants weak farm
Again, I completely disagree. You need to review the Giants draft picks over the past 10 years. They stink.
Which is why you should also check out Fangraphs and BaseballAmerica, both of whom have rated the Giants farm system in the bottom 5 or 6 of all 30 MLB teams for years.
That didn't happen because the Giants gave up a first round pick here or there, it happened because the people that do San Francisco's draft research have done a poor job.
(And please don't mention the 5 or 6 players who came up through the Giants system to the big club over the past 10 years-- that's out of 460+ drafted players, a terrible average.)
That's why teams like the Red Sox, St. Louis, and Tampa, who have routinely finished high in the standings over the past 10 seasons (and therefore only qualify for lower draft picks) have outstanding minor league systems that produce ten times the number of MLB-level players the Giants have.
If the Giants don't sign a player like Shin-Soo Choo because they're worried about one draft pick, that further illustrates how inept the organization has become.
Again, Giants management has spent 20 years portraying themselves as a so-called small market team that can't afford to spend like the so-called big market teams.
Here's a citation for you.
On November 16, 2013, SF Chronicle sports writer John Shea talked about how the Giants have "spent freely" and that they are a "big-market, high-revenue" team able to sign a big ticket free agent (SF Chron 11-16-13):
"General manager Brian Sabean said the pitching depth needs
to keep up with the Dodgers' and other playoff teams', including the
pennant-winning Cardinals'. After spending freely on Tim Lincecum and Hunter Pence, the Giants have little reason
for getting outbid for the top pitcher on the market Masahiro Tanaka.
"He'll cost more than $100 million including the posting fee and contract,
each likely to surpass $60 million. For the big-market, high-revenue Giants,
it's doable, especially with the arrival of their generous holiday gift package
- the new national TV deals."
8 months ago on SF Giants On a Spending Spree? Not So Far
I love your tenacity and knowledge LoneStar. So as a holiday gift for you...Yes, the Giants are currently on a pace to spend $150M+.
In 2013 CBS Sports reported the Giants were 6th overall in team payroll at $140.2 million. Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia, the Dodgers, and the Yankees were ahead of them.So if San Francisco ends up at $150+ then their payroll would have gone up about $10 million (depending, as you point out, what they do about another pitcher and an outfielder).
And they're probably going to still be about 6th overall in 2014 payroll.
Brian Sabean has been GM for 17 years, with 2 World Series wins. That Sabean formula he uses each season-- start each season with less and count on rebuilding at the halfway point-- is old school 1970s baseball. That's what an actual small market team used to do out of necessity.
Which is not the Giants. Sure, it worked twice in 17 years but I am definitely not a fan of that tired formula.
As for the blog, I generally dislike rules. But I like treating contributors with respect.
I just think we can have passionate discussions, even huge disagreements, without the immature school yard name calling and the "see, I'm smarter than you" posturing.
It's one of the reasons MLB (and other sports) blogs aren't taken seriously.
@tzill @RDyer @maxwell623
tzill dude--Apparently, unlike you, I respect the fact that you disagree with me. And I respect your opinion. I assume, like me, you are a Giants fan, and ultimately we both want our team to achieve success.
Because you disagree with me I don't think that makes you a "whiney lunatic fringer", or that what you say is "drivel", or "stupid", or "ridiculous". To me, it's an opinion I just don't happen to agree with.
Why is it when we disagree with someone, it's not enough to state your opinion and your take on things and leave it at that. Apparently it's also really important to state that the person you disagree with is somehow "stupid", or their opinion is bullshit.
It is critical that I tell you that I know more than you, which means you're an idiot.
For me you get a pass, because I am assuming you are just a passionate Giants fan who has (temporarily) forgotten to be civil. (And believe me, I have also been a dick at times. It happens.)
In response to the other aspects of your post, the answer is "no". I am not satisfied with the Giants simply going forward with the same team that finished 16 games out of 1st place in 2013, plus the addition of a couple of older starters that other teams didn't want.
Marco Scutaro is very likely no longer a full-time player, so at some point the Giants will have to deal with the second base problem (hopefully better than they dealt with left field problem last season).
And I am happy that Matt Cain had some good years. Last season he was 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA and 158 SO in 184.1 IP. Hopefully, he will bounce back to form.
@tzill @RDyer @LoneStarGiantFan
tzill--Again, thanks for joining the dialogue. Because of your posts, I'm going to stop obfuscating because my elbows and knees are starting to hurt like hell.
The Giants ownership group must be wildly happy with your comments-- millionaires getting support in the blogisphere in support of them pocketing profits instead of reinvesting that money into their Major League baseball team.
That's their dream.
And you are absolutely wrong. Everything the team does that generates revenue exists only because they own an MLB franchise-- that's who they are.
So the $30 million mortgage payments for AT&T Park that will end in a few years, the big money land deals with their parking lots, the increase in season tickets, and all the media revenue each year-- all of that only happens because they own a Major League baseball team called the San Francisco Giants.
They are not random businessmen making investments in "startups". They are the owners of the Giants making money off the Giants.
But you are right about one thing: they do not have an obligation to put their massive profits into the team's payroll. They can distribute that money as profit to the investors each year.
Also, I'm the one who noted that I averaged the contract information from Cots-- it was a deliberate decision, not "just plain lazy".
Just plain lazy is using the words "obfuscating" and "meme" way too many times.
@maxwell623 @RDyer Max--That's a tough one. It's like picking between Thanksgiving day watching football with chips and dip, or Thanksgiving day watching football with Pepperidge Farm goldfish.
It's decision that no real American should ever be asked to make.
Having said that, the San Francisco Giants can more than afford to sign both a front line starter and a front line outfielder.
If they choose just one of those, then they're hoping that Giant fans drink the Kool-Aid, and be happily stupid.
"Yeah, you know, the Giants have that, you know, budget thing, and they just don't have the, you know, money to do both... ".
If the Giants don't sign either a top starter or outfielder, then we know the San Francisco Giants front office has decided to live off of the 2010 and 2012 World Series for yet another year. And now they'll have even more profits to be distributed to the ownership group in October of 2014.
So I can't choose signing one over the other when signing both are what a first class, winning franchise would do. Like St. Louis, like the Yankees, like Boston, like (gulp!) the Dodgers.
(Having said that, I totally agree with you-- I'll take Dan Haren in a heartbeat over Bronson Arroyo.)
Hey maxwell, thanks for posting.
I completely agree that San Francisco needs a front line, run-producing outfielder or we can kiss 2014 off.
We can also kiss 2014 off if Giants management really thinks all the starting pitching staff still needs is a #5 starter. We already have two low rotation pitchers in Tim Hudson and Tim Lincecum. Cain has never been a #1 guy and regressed to a #3 starter last season.
This team needs a top starting pitcher who is at least a #2 guy on a legitimate contending team. Otherwise we can look forward to finishing in 3rd place behind the Dodgers and Arizona. Again.
Thanks LSGF and tzill for weighing in on this subject! You bring up a number of relevant points regarding the Giants 2014 payroll. (But here comes the huge "However...")However, I actually did mention that the Giants still have arbitration (Brandon Belt) and other unfinished salary business to get done before the 2014 season starts. I was making a larger point without getting into each and every potential salary increase or decrease. (For example, the team will likely have several base-MLB salary players on the 2014 40 and 25 man rosters.)
Also I noted that I rounded off a couple of multi-year contracts for simplicity sake. Hunter Pence isn't actually making $18 million next season, he's making $16-- but he is getting $90 million over 5 years, an average of $18 million per.
I didn't get into the increases in additional revenue the Giants will get in 2014 and beyond, because then the whole thing becomes a mass of numbers and, again, misses my immediate point.
If you want to talk "other Giants revenue", you actually dramatically underestimated the increases San Francisco will get in revenues in 2014 and beyond.
Not only has the national TV contract increased by $25 million a year-- the Giants will get that $25 million every year for the next 8 years. Which directly supports the kind of high cost multi-year player signings the team should be pursuing.
Also the team is working on the land development deals that will turn their parking lots into revenue generating residential and commercial property. That investment money is coming in now. And the team is also going to lose their annual $30 million loan payment on AT&T Park in a couple of years. That's $30 million in additional revenue each year which could be directly applied to signing major impact players with multi-year contracts. Right now.
Other revenues increasing are ticket sales-- the annual ticket costs for 28,000 season ticket holders goes up each year anywhere from 2% to 8%. MLB teams also get revenue sharing money from Major League Baseball, and on and on.
We can't even fully know the true annual revenue figures for the Giants. But we do know this: they are substantial and they only increase each year. Meanwhile San Francisco's ownership/management is saying they will only increase the 2014 payroll by $10 million?
While I agree there is probably little chance that Giants management will sign the impact player(s) they need to fully compete in 2014, that doesn't mean they can't or shouldn't.
Just last Sunday yet other another SF Chronicle sports writer referred to the Giants' mythical "payroll budget" that the reporter felt would prevent any high end free agent signing.
Which is a load of bovine excrement. That Kool-Aid went stale about five years ago.
The Giants could sign Shin-Soo Choo or Masahiro Tanaka if they wanted to-- but bottom line profits for the ownership group just wouldn't be as high when the books are closed next September. And while pro sports franchise ownership is a business, and needs to be conducted like a business, there remains the additional dimension of boldness and brand integrity that continues to elude Giants ownership.
8 months, 1 week ago on Giants Sign Tim Hudson: The Price is Right, What About the Arm?
@Robert Haymond What the Giants haven't completely found is that balance between being successful on the business side of the game and at the same time building an exceptional and successful baseball organization.
They unquestionably excel at the business end of things, but at times the team still resorts to smoke, mirrors, and simply crossing their fingers on the baseball diamond side of the equation.
I'm smelling a full out blog on this subject... more to come.
9 months ago on Giants Plan So Far: Bring Back the 2013 Losing Team
@sunzoom Great question, sz.
I haven't read anything about Alderson's views on the Oakland A's moving to San Jose but I'm guessing he would be in support of the A's staying in Oakland because of his long history with the franchise in Oakland.
But there are elements in play here that prevent any Baseball Commissioner going along with whatever the current A's ownership may want to do.
Major League Baseball gave the Giants a written agreement that guarantees them specific territorial rights from San Francisco down to San Jose. That's why Bud Selig has not given the green light for Oakland to move to San Jose-- the Giants own the "rights" to the SF Peninsula down to San Jose and Santa Clara.
And there is no amount of money that the A's can give the Giants that would remotely make up for the future revenue they would lose by giving up those territorial rights. You're talking wealthy areas like Atherton, Mountain View, Portola Valley, and the Silicon Valley.
San Jose is the largest city in the Bay Area-- if you're the Giants, how could you let that go?
I think Major League Baseball is hoping the A's ownership group simply ends up selling the team to a local group that will keep the team in Oakland and find the funding for a new ballpark.
9 months, 1 week ago on Problem Solved: Meet the Next Commissioner of Baseball
Hey Siwasher, thanks so much for taking the time to respond to the piece. Relatively new Giants fans are always welcome at The Cove. I get turned off by fans who can't stop talking about how many years they've been fans, how dedicated they are, how they are the best [team name] fan, and on and on.
Don't get me wrong-- they're great people, but there are a lot of "greatest fans in the world" out there with passion and dedication to their favorite team. Including many new fans.
However, I do have one tiny suggestion. You might want to get to know the correct spelling of your favorite team's players, especially the really good players. Just a thought.
There are a number of great sites that evaluate the minor league systems and player talent of MLB teams. They frequently publish lists that rate the the best and the worst farm system talent for each franchise.
BaseballAmerica.com is among the best.
In Baseball America's 2013 preseason MLB organization talent ratings, the San Francisco Giants were rated 28th out of 30 MLB teams. For the past ten+ years the Giants have been in the bottom third or fourth of most minor league rankings.
You mentioned six Giants players drafted since 2008 to suggest
the Giants have produced some talent. You are certainly right about Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval. But Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford, despite being on the 2012 Championship team, are not yet above average MLB players. I do agree that Crawford, and especially Belt, still have the potential to be great players.
Hector Sanchez is a back-up catcher with a three year MLB OPS of .670.
And, sorry, Brett Pill is "completely awful". Brett Pill represents the reason why the Giants minor league system talent is so poor. Marginal players brought up from the minors and given way too much big league playing time. Why? Because the talent pool is so thin there's no one else who can be brought up. Think about the numbers here. In the nine First Year Player drafts between 2004 and 2012 (with about 45-50
players drafted each year) the Giants drafted about 420 players. You can count on two hands the number of exceptional players those drafts produced.
Sure, not every player drafted is good, and damn few make the big league team. But, what, 5 or 6 exceptional pitchers and 4 or 5 position players out of 420 drafted in 9 years? That's 2% of those drafted, which makes it the definition of terrible.
There are winning MLB franchises that rarely get top 10 draft picks who still have built outstanding minor league systems, like St. Louis, Texas, Boston, Cincinnati, and the Yankees.
And remember, exceptional minor league talent can also be used to make trades to get the Major League players you need right now to win.
9 months, 3 weeks ago on Why Giants Fans Should Root for the Dodgers in the 2013 Postseason
@MattMcComb The Giants may rank 6th overall in MLB payroll but the drop-off from the top four teams to where San Francisco sits is steep. Detroit is 5th with 6.5% more payroll money than SF, but Boston is 4th with 7.4% more (that's over $10 million).
That $10m plus the $3m the team absolutely wasted on signing Andres Torres before the 2013 season could have gotten a real live run producing left fielder (like Nick Swisher).The payroll gap widens from there. The Phillies with the 3rd highest MLB payroll, is a whopping 18% higher than the Giants (+$25 million), and the Dodgers at $216.5 million are 54% higher than SF (over $76 million).
The Yankees top out at #1 with $228.8 million.
Bottom line: the Giants front office is still trying to pretend to be a "small market" team to the fans and the media to keep their payroll in check. When you look at the revenue the Giants take in every year it's obvious they are perfectly able to write paychecks with Boston or Philadelphia (and beyond).
We both agree on this caveat: it doesn't matter how much you spend on players if you don't spend smart.
Robert--No manager has ever tried this approach to assembling a batting line-up (and I think it's unlikely it ever will be tried out). An updated version of my Mobius Strip Theory will be coming out here in in October 2013.
9 months, 3 weeks ago on Designing a Mathematically High-Tech Batting Order Part 2: The Mobius Strip Theory | April
@MattMcCombYou make some very good points, Matt. The average team payroll is changing every year.
But one thing sticks in my craw (wherever that may be, anatomically speaking): the realities of MLB free agency.
Free agent hitters do not look to sign with teams that have a "hitters" ballpark. And free agent pitchers do not look to sign with teams that have a "pitchers" ballpark.
That is one of the great myths about free agency.
If that myth was remotely true, then no free agent pitchers would ever sign with the Red Sox, the Cubs, or Philadelphia, etc. And yet they do all the time.
And no free agent hitters would ever sign with the LA Angels, the Dodgers, the Mets, or the Texas Rangers, etc. And yet they do all the time.
For (I truly hope) the very last time: free agent MLB players sign with the team that pays them the most money for the most years! Virtually 98% of the time!
And it doesn't matter a damn about the ballpark being "hitter friendly" or "pitcher friendly".
Hunter Pence, like every other free agent player in history, stated he "wanted to stay" in San Francisco because he "loves it there" [or St. Louis, or Oakland, or Baltimore, or Cleveland, or Seattle, etc.]. It's what their agents tell them to say, because it's good PR.
And the Giants overpaid for Pence by two years and at least $1 million per year. That's how they got him-- not because "he loves San Francisco".
And that doesn't make Pence a bad guy (or mean that he doesn't actually "like" San Francisco)-- it's just a reality check about money.