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@snazzy ned 
Reminds me of just how important Madison Bumgarner is to the foundation of the Giants starting staff. And how much he means to this franchise.

It's so disappointing that the Giants organization didn't solidify the starting pitching foundations of their 2010 and 2012 World Series Championships-- by recreating the outstanding starting pitching that has defined this franchise. 

Instead all we've seen is a bunch of tired retro-signings of fan favorite, older and over the hill pitchers like Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong, and Jake Peavy.

I understand that Giants ownership values player branding over baseball-- it's been a cash cow for them. But please, at least try to built a championship team for 2015.

The next thing you'll hear is how player injuries are the excuse for not winning in 2015. 

Every team (even the top teams) in the game go through key injuries every season. Their organizations build a solid 40 man roster of talented players and have minor league systems that are constantly producing quality prospects.

Look at the Washington Nationals-- 2/3 of their outfield starters are out, as well as Anthony Rendon, their starting 3rd baseman.

Are they whining and making excuses?

One of the basic problems with the Giants the past three years is they are painfully one-dimensional. 

They have maybe three or four real hitters in the starting line-up; a terrible bench that provides zero back-up; and a farm system that can't produces any viable position players for the big team, or any prospects that are valued by other teams as trading chips.

And this from not only the richest ownership group in baseball, but one of the top 6 wealthiest ownership groups in all of professionals sports in America.

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Conversation @


@Robert Haymond 

Then I've failed you. And all my adoring fans (yes, I'm talking to you both you guys in Portland).

I will take a sabbatical, perhaps climb the Whitefish Mountains in northern Montana and find my way back to my inner writing center living in a small cabin with a few amenities.

Among those amenities shall be a number of Shafer Cabernets, preferably from the early oughts; fresh bread flown in daily from the Acme Bakery in Berkeley, CA; and at least two local cowgirls who know the difference between a bowline knot in a cattle rope and a hot rock.     

2 weeks, 6 days ago on Conversation @



Great stuff Robert. Thanks for the additional reference to "Percentage Baseball". That book is foundational to understanding how to look at traditional baseball in a different way. It was ahead of its time. 

4 weeks, 1 day ago on Major League Baseball Line-up Revolution: The Mobius Theory



After the quirky 2014 regular and post seasons, Giants fans have a skewed view of how baseball actually works. The 10th worst team in the playoffs rarely gets to a World Series, to say nothing of winning a Series.

Without Madison Bumgarner's singular performance in the 2014 playoffs, the Giants are are toast before they even get to the Nationals.

Unfortunately this season will be like the time you were told that Santa doesn't really exist. (Yes, I'm afraid it's true.)

This poorly put together team won't accidentally be winning enough games to make the Wild Card again. Just a Wild Guess. 

Here's what teams like the 2015 Giants try to do: get to .500.

1 month ago on Conversation @



I'll give Tim the benefit of the doubt-- I just think he's an enthusiastic and dedicated Giants fan. Like me.

But here's two things:

First, everything the Giants PR machine puts out is not an extra book in the Bible. Let's get real for a second. They're in the business of selling a product, which they wrap into a sports belief system and pound like hell to sell.

And by the way, there's nothing wrong with that. I respect the business of baseball and while I disagree with where the Giants front office has gone with this sacred franchise, I also admire their business success.

Having said that-- I happen to be a believer. I am a life-long Giants fan. But I draw the line when the organization wants me to believe what they say, instead of believing my lying eyes (and mind).

I'm sorry, Brandon Hicks is a home run hitting gold glove second baseman? Well, that's all we heard last March and April. Only it didn't pass the smell test-- from the very start.

And that's what some Giant fans are missing. Giant fans can be independent thinkers who bring their own experience and judgement to the game. 

Just because on March 1st you start hearing from the broadcasters that Justin Maxwell is going to be the next Giants home run hitting phenom-- use you eyes and do some research.

Being enthusiastic doesn't mean you can't also be smart.

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @


@timmyckennedy @buckreno 

Back to the middle school playground.

Why is it when some Giant fans disagree with other Giant fans, simply having a difference of opinion just isn't enough. Because if they disagree with you then its "you can't seriously call yourself a fan".

So when you disrespect another Giants fan and tell them "you should probably switch allegiances and follow the Yankees", what you're saying is that you don't really trust just putting your opinions out. You need extra added punch of immature name calling.

To your points:
"Not one single franchise signed three quality players this offseason."

That depends on what you mean by "quality" And you're also admitting that the Giants signings of Aoki and McGehee are "not quality". And you're right.

Boston signed Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, and Justin Masterson this off season. That's a lot of quality.

Multiple high end players usually come to teams in the off-season via both signings and trades (the Padres are a great example of that).

The Giants have zero trading chips, so any players they get they have to sign. They got what they paid for in Nori Aoki (as you will see this season).

"Not very many franchises can afford to sign three quality players in one offseason."

Totally not true. Major League Baseball pulled in over $9 billion in 2014-- that number will go much higher in 2015. There are no more "small market" teams-- the Arizona Diamondbacks just inked a $1.4 billion local TV deal. 

Under the new national TV deals, and with revenue sharing and a host of other income streams now every team makes a lot of money

It's not whether a baseball franchise can afford it-- it's whether or not they want to spend the money or divided it up among their owners in October.

If you read the numbers in this blog from Forbes, you understand what San Francisco's #1 richest ownership group in baseball is doing-- cashing in instead of building an actual championship team.   

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @



Again, we talk about how much revenue the Giants have obviously made over the past five years, but the reality is that even without winning any World Series Championships San Francisco would still have the wealthiest ownership group in baseball (and of virtually any pro sport franchise in America).

As I've said many times, the only difference between the Giants and MLB teams like the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Yankees is that, 1) the Giants have more money than all three of those clubs put together; and, 2) the Red Sox, Yankees, and LA invest in their payrolls commensurate with their revenue and the wealth of their ownership groups.

And their desire to build championship teams for their fan bases.

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @



Excellent catch by sdunsky! And thank you for being on top of it.

In this piece I originally wrote "Justin Masterson" instead of "Justin Maxwell". [Which, I believe, proves beyond any doubt that one should not be posting a blog while at the same time suffering from a severe cold, and hopped up on (perfectly legal) meds.]

But a great opportunity to talk briefly about the Boston Red Sox starting rotation (as of right now).

Everyone is waiting for Boston to pull the trigger on a deal with the Phillies to get Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels. The party line here is that Boston has four #2/#3 starters (Clay Buchholz, Wade Miley, Rick Porcello, and Joe Kelly).

Many analysts feel the Red Sox need a certified ace to lead the rotation. Like Hamels. 

Problem is, the Phillies are demanding Boston's #2 prospect (and one of the top prospects in all of baseball) catcher Blake Swihart.

But the Sox are (so far) refusing to give Swihart up. And they absolutely should not trade Swihart in any deal, including to the Phils for Hamels.

Justin Masterson was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2006 first year player draft, went to Cleveland in 2009, and had a great 2013 season where he put up a 1.202 WHIP in 29 starts with 195 SO in 193 IP; and had 14 wins.

Masterson spent a rocky 2014 with the Indians and St. Louis and was signed as a free agent by the Red Sox on 12/11/14 for $9.5 million. He will be in the Sox starting rotation.

Justin Masterson, 29, has a huge potential upside for Boston this season. Or, he could be on the downside of a bright start that is slowly fizzling out.

One of the great story lines of the 2015 MLB season!

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @



So far.

I understand Commissioner Rob Manfred is also thinking about other changes in the game, which, as he recently stated, "I can do because I'm the damn Commissioner."

They include changing official language of Major League Baseball from English to Swedish; that all MLB players under 25 years old are now 25; and appointing Pete Rose and Alex Rodriguez as MLB's "Special Ambassadors" to Syria.

I'm not so sure about the first two.

                                                                              [and thanks to W. Allen]

1 month, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @


And of course it's not one or the other. The idea is to build a professional, championship organization that also makes the playoffs and succeeds.

As far as starting pitching, just identifying a specific number of potential starting pitchers is meaningless. I'm sure the Colorado Rockies also have 5 or 6 potential starters identified.

What's important is exactly who those starters are.

Lincecum and Vogelsong are on the downsides of their careers. Matt Cain is coming off elbow surgery, Hudson is old and was out twice last season with injuries.

The positive spin is, Cain is healthy and will pitch all season (let's hope so); Lincecum and Vogelsong have enough left to go .500; Peavy and Tim Hudson have about 25 starts each. And of course Madison Bumgarner is his usual awesome.

Then there's hope. But that's a lot that needs to go very well.

2 months ago on Conversation @


@kwicwitd @RDyer 

That's better.

Now let's get back to the incisive answers many Giants fans give to the critical questions facing the 2015 San Francisco Giants:

-- There are questions marks about the entire Giants rotation (except for Madison Bumgarner), What will this team do if two or three starters don't work out?

"Three in five, three in five..."

-- This is an aging team on which a number of key players have a history of  injuries. Is there sufficient talent on the bench and Triple A Sacramento to fill in key starting spots?

"Three in five, three in five... "

-- How will the Giants score runs having lost the power bats of Pablo Sandoval and Michael Morse?

"Three in five, three in five... "

2 months ago on Conversation @


@kwicwitd @RDyer 

You mentioned the Giants farm system under "the farm system" and "the Giants franchise". 

When you say the farm system is "quietly productive" you're just a bit off the mark. "Terrible" would be a much better word to use.

Baseball Prospectus has been tracking MLB farm systems and producing team rankings for many years; they are considered the smartest and best researched appraisals of the MLB minor leagues.

In 2015 the Giants were rated #25 out of 30 MLB teams; in 2014, #22 out of 30 teams; in 2013, #26; in 2012, #25. released their top 100 prospects in baseball a few weeks ago-- the Giants had one player on the list (Kyle Crick RHP at #79). 

Baseball Prospectus recently released their top 101 prospects list-- the Giants had two players on that list (#86 Adalberto Mejia RHP, and #88 Crick).

Just anecdotally mentioning five or six players who've come up since 2008 and stuck with the big team doesn't remotely translate into the Giants having a good farm system.

Since 2008 (the Buster Posey draft) the Giants have drafted almost 325 players. Five or six players out of that number sticking in the Majors is a "terrible" percentage.

And the "gold standard" for the best farm systems for the past two years from BP? 

You're right, St. Louis is good but not in the recent top 5.

1. Cubs

2. Twins

3. Dodgers

4. Rangers

5. Mets

6. Boston

St. Louis comes in a #13 (which, as you pointed out, is still very good).


1. Twins

2. Cubs

3. Padres

4. Boston

5. Astros

6. St. Louis. A very good showing for the Cards.

As for me not being a idiot, I have to disagree with you. 

My close friends and running buddies will tell you that I have demonstrated on more than one occasion that I can be a complete idiot.

So take that back!

2 months ago on Conversation @


@kwicwitd @RDyer @Master Fnog 

I think that analogy is a bit off the mark. 

Miss America is a carbon-based creation of genetics. A baseball franchise team is deliberately constructed, and can potentially be reformatted and changed each season. (Except for the Giants.)

Maybe a better analogy is, "Your race car is a three-time Indy 500 winner, and you want OTHER PEOPLE to admire it?"

I added the question mark, which adds a touch more snark than just using the caps.

Well, yes. I want to win the Indy 500, but I also want my car and my pit crew, and my investors and sponsors, to be perceived as the top professionals in the business.

And to be admired for building one of the best race car franchises in America.

I know many Giant fans don't get into much baseball beyond all the local media happypap, but in the national baseball media and the baseball analytic world the Giants are considered somewhat embarrassing.

And I don't like that very much.

Sure, whenever any probing and intelligent questions are asked about the Giants franchise, their farm system or how little they spend, I could respond by saying, "Three in five, three in five..." over and over again.

But then I would look like an idiot.

2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @


@Master Fnog @RDyer 

Excellent point on Steve Ballmer. No doubt Ballmer will make the 2015 list of richest professional sports owners in America. 

Which, in theory, will bump Giants owner Charles Johnson all the way down to the 5th richest pro sports owner in all of America (unless he passes Micky Arison).

You said something in your comment that I thought really summed up what a lot of San Francisco Giants fans feel about their organization: "I'll willingly accept whatever they do if they bring  three championships in five years."

You hit what is for me is the critical point of departure about the Giants.

Every Thursday I meet my SFG season ticket seat partner for discussion and debate about baseball, life, and the world at large. We often get into exactly the same point you made about los Gigantes in your comment above.

Here's the thing: I am not willing to accept whatever the Giants do just because they have won some championships. For me, winning is great but it isn't everything.

That's not what the game is about, that's not what excellence and a real championship organization is about. So if you simply win, then everything else about your franchise is automatically OK?

In the words of John Wayne from the film "Big Jake"-- "Not hardly." 

There are many ways to win, but not all of them are admirable or brilliant, or reflect an outstanding organization. 

I want the Giants to not be what they've become: a franchise not getting the respect they deserve for their accomplishments because much of the baseball establishment believes it's a fluke. Specifically the 2014 win.

Besides winning, I want my team to also be admired for finding and signing (or trading for) outstanding players; for having one of the best farm systems in baseball; and for being on the cutting edge in the use of metrics to bring an additional dimension throughout their organization.

In essence, all the things the Giants are not.

Winning three Series in five years? Sure, that's awesome. I will forever love the experience of 2010, and the 2012 team was super talented and just amazing.

But being acknowledged as one of the top organizations in baseball means you're not a fluke, that whatever you achieve is achieved from excellence, not by sneaking in through the back door.

2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @


@Master Fnog 

See the "Posting Comments" section in the "About The Giants Cove" tab at the top of the page.

Calling a blog article, or someone's comment about an article, or calling an MLB manager or GM or player, or just about anything else "stupid" it the exact opposite of having a thoughtful discussion and expressing a rational opinion.

Normally I would just delete an 8th grade playground-type comment like "this is stupid" and give the commentator one more chance to be intelligent and respectful.

I didn't because (and don't ask me why) there's something about that "Master Fnog" handle that makes me think there's still hope.

So go back and re-read the piece, and you'll note that I said the following:

"And of course I’m not advocating for the San Francisco Giants to start spending frivolously, or to sign big price-tag players just because they can."

So it turns out that you and I are both totally against the Giants having a "philosophy of spending whatever we want".

The "whole premise" of the article is that Giants fans believe the team's ownership when they pretend they just don't have the kind of money the Dodgers or Yankees have, so they can't compete when it comes to signing top players, or fixing their mediocre farm system.

When the truth is, San Francisco has more money than the Dodgers and Yankees put together.

So when they sign sub par players like Casey McGehee and Nori Aoki, and continue to re-sign players whose talent has faded (like Tim Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong, and so many others) it is legitimate to point this out and ask "why".

The answer is obvious: the millions the Giants save in player salaries and ignoring their farm system goes to the owners group profits at the end of each season, and to the development projects the Giants are planning around AT&T Park over then next 10 years.

And as I also noted in this piece, you have to congratulate Giants ownership-- they've created a business model that is absolutely printing money, but not spending much of it on creating a championship-grade organization. 

And the best part is, they've gotten their fan base to totally buy into it!

2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @


@mike2691 @mark sutton @RDyer @maxwell623 

How the Giants deal with Tim Lincecum throughout the 2015 season will be interesting to watch.

The idea that, if Lincecum really starts crashing, the Giants have Vogelsong as a back-up is based on two fallacies: 1) that Vogelsong will pitch better than Lincecum and will therefore be a viable back-up; and, 2) that the team won't keep Lincecum in the starting rotation if he starts losing games.

First, I rate Lincecum higher than Vogelsong in virtually every pitching category. Ryan Vogelsong is declining faster than Lincecum, so he won't be the "back-up" plan for anyone.

Second, when Barry Zito went 10-17 in 2008, 9-14 in 2010, and 5-11 in 2013 the Giants didn't move him to the bullpen (other than short rehab stints). 

Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy gave Zito 32 starts in 2008, 33 starts in 2010, and 25 starts in 2013. 

Why did Zito continue to start? Because San Francisco was paying him $18-$20 million a year, and no team is going to have a middle relief pitcher making $18-$20 million out of the bullpen. 

The same goes for Lincecum's $18 million in 2015.  

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @


@tmcd76 @RDyer @mark sutton 

All right! After reading your last post on Matt Cain, I'll rescind my "#3 starter" tag on him, and drop it down to a "#2.5 starter". But that's as low as I can go.

Two things. 

First and most importantly you did the research to back up your points. Unfortunately for the majority of Giant fans that's a strange and seemingly unnecessary experience.

My focus on Cain was exploding the myth that fans are taught to hold sacred about him: that his 10 year career has been defined by lack of run support. And it has not.

And that his phantom, career-long lack of run support explains away his 95-95 career record.  And it does not.

I really like the work you did, and you're right: the deeper you get into Cain's actual pitching performance stats the better he looks.

But here's the thing. You can go through any starting pitcher's 30 or 34 starts in any given season and see the disconnect with wins and losses. And how much "better" he could have done if a few things had broken differently.

The stat I focused on in this discussion was "run support", not wins and losses. (Although I have to admit I like to pound on Cain's 95-95 career record because it astounds so many Giant fans; who, again, never look anything up).

Cain has also had several huge advantages that many starting pitchers don't have:

First, he pitches half of his starts at AT&T Park (one of the best "pitchers" ballparks in the Majors); and probably makes 25% of his "away" starts in other big, pitcher-friendly parks (San Diego, LA, etc).

Second, Manager Bruce Bochy has made having a strong bullpen the cornerstone in each of his Giants teams since 2007. Which further supports his starting pitchers.

So Matt Cain's numbers lean one way, but he has never been a dominant starter like Max Scherzer and Jon Lester are now, or Roy Halladay was during his career.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @


@mark sutton @RDyer 

A last comment on Matt Cain:
In 2010 when he had the 32nd best run support out of 150 MLB starters he went 13-11. So trying to justify his losses because of lack of run support goes both ways. 

Matt Cain is a good #3 starter, and that's all he's ever been.

The Giants spent $127.5 million on Cain for 6 years (2012-17). The rest is SF front office PR oatmeal to make him seem like a #1 or #2 starter.

Which he ain't.

I agree with you about the the Giants World Series wins. I think that 2010 was a fluke, but I give them credit for making it happen even though they had a average team. 2010 is when the Giants had to fight for it and earned it.

2012 was a flat out great team that earned everything they got-- they were indeed World Champions.

2014 was a totally accidental, back-door year. The 10th team out of 10 to make the playoffs, who only got to WS Game 7 because they had Madison Bumgarner and rode him hard and put him away wet.

If the 2014 season was replayed 100 times, the 2014 Giants wouldn't make the playoffs 95 times out of 100. Hey, but they did and they found a way to win.

They still weren't among the top five best teams in baseball in 2014, and accidentally winning the World Series unfortunately doesn't change that.

3 months ago on Conversation @


@mark sutton 

I always go back to player performance metrics, ballpark effects, and hitter strengths/weaknesses.

In discussing Casey McGehee, I'm not "right" or "wrong". The numbers he has put up over his career are what define his performance-- it's up to us to do the research and get those facts.

Too many Giant fans (and I'm not referring to you, Mark) have adopted a kind of "let's hope" attitude about the less expensive, marginal players the Giants often sign and their performance. Rather than simply looking up and quantifying the player's performance history.

One of the things we love about baseball is that it's a treasure trove of stats, metrics, and player histories.

But season after season, the Giants front office counts on their fans buying into thinking that marginal players like Nate Schierholtz, or John Bowker, or Brandon Hicks, or Nori Aoki, or Casey McGehee, (and on and on) might actually perform radically differently than they have over their entire careers.

Is it possible? Sure, winning the state lottery is possible. Is it something to intellectually expect? Of course not.

Re Matt Cain. 

There's no doubt Cain has had years where he did not receive strong run support. But like a lot of other myths the Giants put out about their players, Cain's 10 year career has not been defined or plagued by lack of run support.

Twice during his ten years Cain was in the top ten of all MLB starters in lack of run support: in 2007 when he was 1st in the Majors with a 3.16 RS, and 2008, when he was 2nd in the Majors with a 3.18 RS.

The majority of his career, Cain has had excellent to good run support: in 2012 he had the 31st best RS at 4.63; in 2010 he had the 32nd best RS in the Majors at 4.03; in 2009 Cain was 20th overall in RS with a 4.18.

As noted before, Matt Cain has a 95-95 career record, and maybe he could have had a few more wins. As with every starting pitcher, that stat evens out over a long career.

Madison Bumgarner had the 8th highest run support in the Majors in 2014-- so by that same thinking, his 18-10 win-loss record likely should have been much better.

3 months ago on Conversation @


@mark sutton 

Giants fans have to wonder why Sandoval took $95 million from the Red Sox instead of $100 million from the Giants. I don't think the green monster had anything to do with it. How badly he was treated by the Giants' front office had everything to do with it.

Nori Aoki's defense is good only if you compare it to how badly Michael Morse's defense was in the outfield.

Remember, during the World Series Kansas City Manager Ned Yost sat Aoki down in Games 2, 3, 4, and 5, and substituted for him late in Games 1 and 6. Lorenzo Cain played more innings in right field than Aoki because Aoki's defense is not very good.

I have to disagree with the idea that, because Casey McGehee is not a home run hitter, playing 81 games in AT&T Park will work out well for him.

The trouble is, Casey McGehee isn't an extra base hitter. He had a slugging % of .346 in 2011, .358 in 2012, and .357 in 2014.

The average slugging percentage for all MLB hitters in 2014 was .386.

Since the Giants PR machine and their broadcasters will be trying to paint McGehee as another Aubrey Huff, here's what Huff did for the Giants in 2010: .506 slugging %, .891 OPS, 35 doubles, 26 HR. No matter what you hear, McGehee is no Aubrey Huff, and AT&T Park will not help him at all.

I agree with you about Buster Posey. He should be moved to 3rd base or to first base (and move Brandon Belt to left field). Now that the Giants have lost their best run producer (Sandoval) and one of their best home run hitters (Morse), they can't survive with Buster Posey playing only 90% of the season.

Angel Pagan has been one of my favorite Giant players for several years. I would love to see him back at 100%, but it's probably not happening. (And I hope I am dead wrong.)

As for Matt Cain I fully expect that he's completely recovered and will get back to where he was. The issue with Cain is this is where he was: he has a life-time 7.5 SO/9 and 3.0 BB/9 and gives up an average of 20 home runs a year. His career record is 95-95. 

3 months ago on Conversation @


@maxwell623 @RDyer @maxwell623 

Believe me, for Ryan Vogelsong this was strictly a buyers market, and certainly not a sellers market.

He was lucky to have any interest in him-- he isn't even a 5th starter anymore. 

Word is he did not fully pass his medical with Houston and the Giants jumped in. Why? Because they are focused in paying off former players who (apparently) helped the team before. 

It's like the Giants have a pension program for current players who aren't functional any more. What a great way to spend what little money you are devoting to spend on player acquistition.

If the Giants had signed Jon Lester, Tim Lincecum would still have been in the starting rotation. If they had signed Lester, San Francisco probably wouldn't have spent the ridiculous $24 million they spent on Jake Peavy.

Lincecum is not going to the bullpen. Ain't gonna happen for a player making $18 million.

3 months ago on Conversation @



There is zero chance Lincecum starts 2015 in the bullpen because owners and general managers don't sign a pitcher for $35 million over two years and put him in the bullpen.

Even for the San Francisco Giants that would be humiliating.

Think about it, the highest paid closer in baseball is Jonathan Papelbon, who makes $13 million a year. Newly signed White Sox closer David Robertson just got a 4 year $46 million deal ($11.5 million a year avg.)-- so that's the marketplace for elite closers.

To put a wildly less talented pitcher like Lincecum into the middle of a bullpen when he will make $18 million in 2015 would make San Francisco's front office and ownership look like total idiots.

Lincecum would have to completely melt down to get moved from the starting rotation, but here's what will really happen-- Lincecum can have a bad year, maybe go 8-15, and still stay in the starting rotation. Because he won't be 8-15 until the end of September.

You can hide a bad and expensive starting pitcher's contract much better in the starting rotation.

3 months ago on Conversation @


@tmcd76 @RDyer 

A bold positive move would have been to sign Colby Rasmus, play him in center field and move Angel Pagan to left. 

That would have actually improved the offensive, immensely improved the defense in center and left, and created less wear and tear on Pagan's back and legs.

But under Giants GM Brian Sabean this franchise almost never makes bold moves. They do spend a lot of time and money, however, rewarding marginal players like Aubrey Huff, Travis Ishikawa, Andres Torres, Gregor Blanco, Ryan Vogelsong, and on and on.

Again, after the Giants lost out on Ben Zobrist, Chase Headley, Pablo Sandoval, Michael Morse, Jed Lowrie, Jon Lester, Ervin Santana, Yasmany Tomas (all of whom, and more, they actively went after) I think it's easy to say, "Whew, I am glad we didn't sign [fill in the blank]."

But if any of those players had been been signed, the Giants PR machine would have cranked out the usual positive oatmeal and Giants fans would be dutifully regurgitating that Headley or Zobrist or Lester or Sandoval, etc. was a great signing.

Forget for a second that San Francisco's ownership has an obligation to their fans to field a top and competitive 25 and 40 man roster every season. And to create legitimate buzz (not PR fake buzz) and excitement about the 2015 season. Forget all that. 

Except for a couple of star players, just think how completely dull and uninteresting this team looks.

3 months ago on Conversation @


tmcd-- excellent points! I disagree with a number of them but valid and very well expressed.

To your points:

1. Your are correct, McGehee will make a little more than his projected 2015 salary. And we both completely agree he's cheap. But for some strange reason that thrills you. 

I'm not thrilled at all with getting a cheap player like McGehee. His signing makes me wonder why a "championship" team like the Giants continues to sign inexpensive, throwaway players and make them starters.

2. You say you never knew they (the Giants) offered Pablo Sandoval more than the Boston Red Sox. 

They did, as reported by national MLB reporters (see my previous blogs for the specific references). 

Boston and the Giants both offered Sandoval $95 million for five years. Then the Giants offered to up it to $100 million. Panda said "no thanks" and took off for Boston for $95 million.

I have heard a lot of Giants fans make the following comments: "Thank god we didn't spend all that money for Sandoval [or for Jon Lester, or Chase Headley, and so on]".

But, as you well know, those same Giant fans would have happily celebrated if the team had signed Sandoval, or Lester, or Headley, etc. 

I know that's human nature, but it's also rationalizing and hypocrisy.

3. "At least he's [Aoki] cheap?" That's the best you can say about the Aoki signing and you're OK with that?


I totally agree with you about Colby Rasmus-- given the fact that the Giants let virtually every other talented outfielder be signed by other teams this off-season, Rasmus would have been an interesting signing. A center fielder with some power-- just what San Francisco needs.

I think your description of what the Giants have done the past five years as "winning, but boring" is really accurate. 

As cheap and accidental as it's been, the San Francisco Giants have been World Champions three times in recent years. 

But as a fan I am torn between the celebration of that and my disappointment in the cut-rate way the franchise operates, and the condescending way that Giants ownership treats their fans.

One last note. I am constantly trying to encourage Giants fans to actually look at stats and Giants team history before just repeating incorrect statements.

The "Sandoval is too fat" stories all came from the Giants front office to the media simply as a way to knock down the price of his contracts. Virtually all the excellent stats Sandoval put up that got him a $95 million contract came when the Giants were saying "he's too fat".

It was all PR bull, but for some reason many Giants fans still parrot that front office hype.

Regarding Barry Zito. Fans love to point to Zito as the reason you don't sign players to large contracts. You know, because of the Zito thing all large contracts are bad.

[We're back to being happy when the Giants' billionaire ownership group doesn't spend money-- they split it up as profit at the end of the season. Still happy?]

History lesson-- In 2012 Barry Zito went 15-8 with a 1.389 WHIP and was a key reason the Giants even made it to the 2012 post season.

Then Zito beat St. Louis in the NLCS (7.2 IP no runs), and then beat Detroit in Game 1 of the World Series, giving up one run in 5.2 IP.

Did Zito have some bad years? Sure. Was he worth it given his excellent performance in 2012? Hell yes! 




3 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @



Maxwell I grudgingly agree with you. But I'm always hoping the Giants will start to act like a championship franchise instead of a bunch of cheap, lucky losers who backed into a couple of World Series wins. 

And I will always be analytical and critical (i.e., "thoughtful") about the Giants and what they do on and off the field. 

Even though management's embarrassing branding/fan manipulation campaign appears to be working ("Hey, cool, we got Andres back!"), I will not give up hope that the fans will stop drinking the koolaid and start acting like they actually know baseball.

Why do you think the Giants are never part of serious discussions on the MLB Network, FoxSports, ESPN, etc.? Why do you think players don't want to sign with San Francisco unless the Giants overpay them? (And even then they're not signing with San Francisco.)

Happy to sign with San Francisco are the sub-par players no else wants. Milwaukee and Kansas City both dumped Nori Aoki; Miami couldn't wait to replace third baseman Casey McGehee, who no MLB team signed for the 2013 season.

But I will always reserve hope that the San Francisco Giants ownership and front office gets back to real baseball. And that they become the classy, World Champions they should be.

3 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @



I think you, me, and a lot of Giant fans hoped the front office would make a serious move for Zobrist. 

I understand that GM Brian Sabean holds on tight to the four or five exceptional prospects in San Francisco's entire farm system, but at some point you have to be proactive to move forward.

Again, picking up Ben Zobrist and either Cole Hamels or James Shields would have really turned the offseason around. But no go. Another great pick-up for Oakland.

I am still willing (and hoping) to be surprised before Opening Day 2015. 

3 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @


@paulfromturlock @RDyer 

Excellent. You have done well grasshopper.

I prodded you to do some actual research-- maybe I can get even more Giant fans to actually look stuff up, and get into the objective performance metrics that provide real information about players and teams.

The next important step would be for Giant fans to stop regurgitating the frequent nonsense that San Francisco's front office, and the local sports and broadcast media, put out about the players and the team.

Anyway, there is much to correct in your comments, but I want to tread lightly because you are making progress and I want to nourish that.

But two items have to be addressed.

First, I didn’t say that winning World Series teams don’t have individual players who perform well in the Series. That’s why they have a Series MVP award at the end.

Here’s what I actually said: “Teams that win a World Series don't just have a ‘small core of players playing well; and wouldn't be a top team if they only had ‘contributions from others players here and there’."

I agree with you that the 2014 Giants had only “small core of players” playing well. But virtually every other team from 2004-2014 had both high performing players as well as the kind of team play that made them a “top team” all season.

The full 162 game season determines which teams are one of the top performing teams in baseball. The teams I noted above were top teams in those years. 

And that’s what they brought into the playoffs and World Series.

I get the rest of your perspective: virtually everything that happens in baseball is an accident. You never expect the Giants to do well, and never expect Giant players to play championship baseball. 

When they do, you’re shocked and surprised. And that’s what separates our thinking.

See, I expect the Giants organization to put a winning team on the field every year. Now more than ever. And I expect the players who wear the Giant uniform to be the best at what they do.

I am not surprised when a winning team with top players succeeds and does great things during the season and in the playoffs.

Can you imagine Yankees fans, Cardinals fans, or Boston Red Sox fans not expecting their teams to excel, to reach the top, and to dominate? And being surprised when they do?

The current Giants franchise has a long way to go to achieve that.

3 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @


@paulfromturlock @RDyer @maxwell623 

This winter must be tough in Turlock because it seems your baseball judgement is a little bit frozen over.

To your first point about the Giants winning the 2014 World Series, and that it's "no more accidental than many other past winners."

That's simply not true.

When we make a statement like that it's always nice to actually quantify it, so it we can't be accused of pulling it out of thin air (or other places).

Let's look at the World Series winners from 2004 to 2014.

In that time almost every Series champion team was perceived as one of the best teams during the season, had quality pitching depth, and had potent hitters 1 through 8 in their lineups.

Examples of "non-accidental" teams winning the Series in that period include the Red Sox (who won three), St. Louis (who won two Series), the 2012 Giants, the 2009 Yankees, the 2008 Phillies, and the 2005 White Sox.

The 2010 Giants were second tier (and qualified for the playoffs on the last day the regular season), but they had great young pitching.

The 2014 Giants had none of these attributes, and managed to win. And that just doesn't happen much at all (thankfully).

Teams that win a World Series don't just have a "small core of players" playing well; and wouldn't be a top team if they only had "contributions from others players here and there."

Giant fans have been trained to want, and fully embrace, mediocre and marginal players who occasionally do something. 

And for some strange unknown reason, many Giants fans also love it when San Francisco's billionaire owners group doesn't spend money anywhere near commensurate with the team's revenue streams and overall worth.

4 months ago on Conversation @



Your comment perfectly illustrates the negative morass the country is suffering through because of mindless partisan politics. 

So everything (everything) is defined through the narrow and pejorative lens of right versus left, democrat versus republican, republican versus far right wackos.

The great thing is, when stuff like this is written down and put out in public, it's inherent lack of logic becomes crystal clear.

Here are the real reasons why professional athletes from MLB, the NFL, the NBA, and the NHL sign contracts with teams in various cities:

1. The money. 

And anyone who still really believes that players bond with home town fans, and as a result will then take $5 million, $10 million, or $20 million less to play there, needs some serious Jack Daniels therapy.

2. Special relationships with management.

The Jon Lester signing is a prime example. He bonded with Red Sox exec Theo Epstein when he moved from triple AAA to the Red Sox in 2006. The San Francisco Giants offered him the same (and maybe more) money. But the relationship was the decider.

3. Opportunity.

You may make a million or two more with one team, but another team offering you less may give you a spot in the starting rotation-- which you believe will eventually lead to #1 above.

Don't get me wrong. Giants' ownership has set up a "no baseball--adult funhouse" environment that is a turn off to serious athletes. But this is a team than can certainly buy mediocre players-- the latest example being signing Jake Peavy to a $24 million two year contract.

As far as the West Coast/San Francisco, if you're standing, please sit down because I'm guessing this will come as a shock.

New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, and a large number of other large cities in the north, east, south, southwest, and central parts of the country are tolerant, and liberal to moderate.

Certainly far from the imagined right wing environment you imagine pervades the country.

That environment, I'm guessing, includes everyone owning and using guns, cracking down on all those uppity minorities, and certain books being burned in the central square.

Now why would anyone not want to take their family to that kind of environment?

4 months ago on Conversation @


@MikeLyons2 @RDyer @alexizzle88 


I love your passion for the Giants! I respect the devotion you show to your team (to our team) but you have to understand that I also respect intelligent analysis and being thoughtful about what's really happening.

Let me address each of your several points:

1) "This is the most ridiculous article on baseball I have ever read."

Given the shear amount of ridiculous articles written in any given day/week/month/year/decade about baseball, I am honored.

As hard as it is to write something profound about baseball, to write anything that is the most "ever" in any category is truly an accomplishment. 

When do I receive the actual award?

2) "The Giants are the model for success. They are very much respected."

Wrong on both counts here, buddy.

The only other team in baseball that remotely matches the Giants in terms of branding over baseball is the Philadelphia Phillies.

Like Giants fans, Phillie fans are the only other fan base in baseball that bonds with players to the extent that their nicknames and cute back-stories mean more than their actual stats and performance.

Also, if you've been watching MLBTV, ESPN, and any other sport media, there is little respect for the Giants out there.

Like you, I don't like that, but it's well deserved.

And why have so many players refused to come to SF to play? (Read the blog, dude.)

3)  "Poor farm system? What about Joe Panik?"
Here's the bad news. Each team drafts about 60 players every year. Since 2010, that means the Giants drafted about 300 players.

Since the Giants have brought up and kept about ten players in that time, it gives you an idea of how badly they have drafted.

San Francisco is rated in the bottom 50% of MLB farm systems by Baseball America, and are rated lower by other analysts.

PS-- I love Joe Panik. No power, no speed, but great glove and a dead singles hitter. He is a keeper!

4) "Best ballpark in baseball."

Again, I love your loyalty, but fans in Pittsburgh, Seattle, Cincinnati, Chicago (Cubs), Boston, San Diego, and Baltimore also think their stadiums are "the best". And they're as right as you are.

5) Your final statement is the common, "Three in five, three in five, three in five" mantra that is starting to sound shallow.

Your are right-- dammit, the Giants have won three of the last five World Series!

But they have the richest ownership group in all of baseball-- much more money than the Dodgers or the Yankees combined. And they don't spend it, they divide it up as profit at the end of each season.

I think you and I agree that Giant fans deserve a true championship organization-- not just a series of cheap teams that barely make it into the post season every year.


4 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @


@maxwell623 @RDyer @maxwell623 

I also credit Manager Bruce Bochy and pitching coach Dave Righetti with doing a masterful job with the players they've been given. And I credit the players who have performed-- during the season and in the playoffs.

Even though I am not happy with the overall direction the franchise is headed, I also tip my cap to GM Brian Sabean for cobbling together teams that do just enough to win.

The question I wrestle with: is barely getting into the post season and (as many analysts are saying) accidentally winning the World Series good enough?

Well, yes and no.

Yes in that if you are a fan of a team you want that team to win and succeed.

No in that putting a solid winning team on the field each season, and fixing a broken minor league system, is what the best teams do. It's what high end professional organizations do.

Slapping together random groups of cheap players every year, around a small core of several outstanding players, isn't what i want.

4 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @



Every Giants fan has to be asking themselves what the hell happened this off-season. Either the front office is inept or there are reasons why players don't want to come to San Francisco.

I think it's both.

And the phenomenon of not being able to sign players isn't new. 

For a number of years quality ball players have kissed off coming to San Francisco-- unless the money was way above market value. The Giants PR machine has worked hard to convince fans that it's because AT&T is a "pitchers" ballpark. But that's not it.

And I know Giants fans will hold their hands over their ears whenever difficult questions are asked about how this team is run, and chant "Three in five, three in five, three in five." 

But even that starts to ring hollow.

What about signing so many cheap, mediocre players? "Three in five, three in five."

Why are the Giants, by far the richest franchise in baseball, refusing to spend money? "Three in five, three in five."

Quality players continue to refuse to sign with the Giants? "Three in five, three in five."

The current Giants ownership has turned the Giants franchise into Disney World. It's not about real baseball, it's all about fluff and branding over baseball. And, sadly, most Giants fans happily eat it up. 

Why would seriously talented baseball players want to play for that kind of organization?

4 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @



If you would have told me in October that San Diego would be picking up Wil Myers, Matt Kemp, and Justin Upton I would likely have required medical attention on the spot.

And the Pads are not done-- they still have several high quality outfielders to trade for even more assets.

I secretly wished that the Giants would go after Myers, who I think will develop into a dominant run producer in the National League. But it didn't happen.

With the hundreds of millions in revenue the Giants generate each season, with the richest ownership group in the Major Leagues, with the recent successes in the postseason-- how does this franchise not build an actual championship team for their fan base.

I think I know why.

The Giants have discovered their fans will buy into mediocre players if the front office brands those players with a nickname and a simple back story the fans can bond with. So when they read GM Brian Sabean or Ass't GM Bobby Evans tell reporters left field is not a priority, that Gregor Blanco and Juan Perez can handle it, what's the fan reaction? 

"Cool, Gregor's back. Now, can we get Vogey and Isshi back too?"

Actual baseball talent and production? Not important. And here's the best part: mediocre players are cheap, so the revenue distribution to the Giants' ownership group at the end of each season is sweet.

4 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @



Good catch. As you correctly point out, the Wednesday September 30, 2015 game with LA is not the Giants' final 2015 game with the Dodgers, nor is it the final game of the 2015 season.

The Giants actually play the Dodgers on Thursday October 1st, then have a three game series with the Rockies-- Friday October 2nd, Saturday October 3rd, and Sunday October 4th. 

That October 4th game against Colorado is actually the final game of the 2015 season. The odd thing is the Giants 2015 schedule, with the correct dates, is hyperlinked in the article.

Hopefully any future postings from TiqIQ will be better researched.

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @


@maxwell623 @RDyer @maxwell623 

For sure! Goodbye Romo and Morse, hello...   who?

6 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @



The Giants have a number of hard calls to make for 2015. 

The overall call is, do they continue with the following formula: slap together good pitching with a couple of real run producers, then fill the rest of the 25 man roster out with marginal, low-cost players.

Many Giant fans would say, "Hey, look where we are-- it works!". Which is music to the ears of Giants ownership and management, who have kept their payroll way below where it should be for being a high revenue team worth $1 billion.

To discuss your specific points, I don't think Scutaro will ever be a starter again. Since San Francisco's bench has been terrible the past several years having Scutaro on the bench would be a great plus.

Joe Panik is an excellent defender and a high average hitter. The Giants have to decide whether or not they can live with his lack of power every day at second base-- which likely means a sub-par OPS.

I have said all year that the Giants need to sign Pablo Sandoval to a multi-year deal close to his market price. He will command a 6 or 7 year deal at about $20 million and he is worth every penny.

The weight issue (your first post above) is, to me, irrelevant. The Giants front office has been pounding the weight "problem" in the media for the last two years simply as a way to drive down his value and sign him cheap.

Well that didn't work. And now San Francisco is about to lose their #1 offensive piece.

I would still like to see Buster Posey moved to 3rd base (and a signed Pablo moved to 1st base, with Brandon Belt in left), or Posey moved to first base (with Brandon Belt moved to left field and a signed Sandoval at 3rd).

The weight issue is a sham-- Sandoval produced all the great offensive numbers and excellent defense that will bring him a huge contract during his "weight problem" years.   

6 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @



There's a lot of conflicting issues for thinking Giants fans to deal with here.

I cherish and respect the 2010 and 2012 World Series Championships, but a winning franchise, a franchise committed to excellence doesn't continually rely on referencing its past glories.

All I've heard from the Giants and the Orange Party robots is-- "Hey, dude, we won two World Series in the past (three, four, and now) five years."So deal with it. Like, you know, yeah... ."

The Series wins in 2010 and 2012 are now history. Since then Giant ownership has cashed that check a thousand times and bled that history dry.

Here's what they have done: they have put together cheap teams with washed up veterans and over-the-hill players that they present as magically talented. The Brandon Hicks and Dan Uggla embarrassments are the 2014 versions of that.

Sadly, Giants ownership decided to grab as much revenue as possible in the 2011, 2013 and now 2014 seasons. Instead of moving forward and building a permanent winning franchise.

Here's the stale formula that Giants ownership and management believes works:

1. Continually reference 2010 and 2012 to shut down any criticism.

2. Bring washed up minor league players (Brett Pill, etc.), or fringe Major League players (Brandon Hicks, etc.) to the 25 man roster. 

Have the broadcasting team and local media put out the word that these players are a great find. They never are, but that buys time while you're paying those players the League minimum.

3. Use the broadcasters and front office to distribute the following idiotic propaganda to the fan base: "Hey, all we have to do is make the postseason, then, like, you know, anything can happen."

Right. Cheap, poorly put together teams often get into the postseason, and then frequently get to the World Series. If I hear that embarrassing phrase one more time I'm going to loose my garlic fries.

4. Even though the Giants ownership is the wealthiest in all of Major league Baseball and US pro sports, pretend you have a "player salary budget" each season that you can't exceed. 

At the same time have the local media make nasty comments about teams like the Dodgers, and how rich they are and how they spend so much money on players.

And you know what? So far it's working! The fan base is more concerned with hearing about the players' stories and finding out their nicknames than with demanding that a winning team be put on the field.

7 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @


See the blog above. I suspected that Giants ownership would let Sandoval go instead of paying him what he's worth, and Peter Gammons is unofficially confirming that.

And it's too bad.

Too bad because the Giants need more offense not less. Management is apparently satisfied with an everyday line-up that has only four front-line hitters. They're apparently also satisfied with a shortstop who has a .669 lifetime OPS, hits under .250 every year, and leads all MLB shortstops in errors.

What Giants ownership actively wants is to hold the line on payroll to keep the year-end bottom line as high as possible for the ownership group. (Which, by the way, they have every right to do. I just wish they wouldn't every now and then.)

And I always note the following (especially for those who sneer at the LA Dodgers big payroll): the San Francisco Giants have the richest ownership group in all of Major League Baseball, and in all of pro sports. Period.

So money, and that phantom "player salary budget" San Francisco trots out every year, ain't the problem.

And that means no Sandoval, no bench, and get as many marginal players (Blanco, Hector Sanchez, Travis Ishikawa) and as many low-paid rookies (Panik, Susac, Adam Duvall, Matt Duffy, Juan Perez) on the 25 man roster as possible.

The Giants continue to substitute player branding ("Timmy!, Vogey!, Huddy!, Ishi!") for a winning 25 man roster because that sells out AT&T Park and moves those garlic fries and brats.

7 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @



I basically agree with you. The Giants probably won't come near Melky Cabrera in the off-season. But they should.

San Francisco is wary of revisiting the negative public relations over Cabrera's use of PEDs in 2012, especially since the Giants are in the process of trying to carefully, slowly bring Barry Bonds back into the organization.

Having Melky Cabrera anywhere in the same general area as Bonds at any time is a non-starter.

And there's a lot at stake here. The Giants desperately need to sign an offensive left fielder with a good glove for 2015 and beyond. But Brian Sabean recently publicly stated he "is in love with" Michael Morse. Which probably means the Giants will likely overpay Morse in a three year deal and their offense will suffer.

7 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @


@2muchBS @RDyer 

The "truth" you're referring to is that all my posts are "BS". But you don't give any of your own opinions about the Giants, or present any alternative evidence to refute or counter my opinions. 

Other than the eloquent "2muchBS".

What I am guessing is that you are a fan of the San Francisco Giants. And I'm getting that you disagree with my opinions. But, of course, disagreeing with another fan is not enough-- there also has to be 8th grade school yard name-calling,

You know, because that really shows how right you are and how wrong the other person is.

The only thing that "hurts" when I get these kinds of comments is the disrespect some Giants fans dump on other Giant fans with whom they happen to disagree.

7 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @



A great combination: name calling with the valuable addition of no specific opinions or reasons detailing exactly why the above article is incorrect.

And the name on the posting is also interesting. "Too much BS". I guess the amount of BS put out by the Giants front office is OK, but any additional BS is "too much"?

All Giants fans should wake up and smell the following flowers: we have the richest ownership group not only in Major League Baseball, but in all of professional sports. Yet fans continue to buy into their player salary "budget restraints" fairy tales. 

So the team continually signs cheap retreads like Brandon Hicks and pretends they're talented; then wastes millions to re-sign fan favorites like Tim Lincecum. If that's the kind of franchise management you're happy with, congratulations because that's what you've got.

The San Francisco Giants management I want is one that invests and builds for the future, stops signing players simply because they're fan favorites, and puts a quality 25 man roster on the field every game.


7 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @


@Robert Haymond @3rdGenerationGiantsFan 

I think that Robert and 3rd Generation Giants Fan are on the same page.

The San Francisco Giants are my team, but after the 2012 season the franchise has been mishandled.

Because of the 2010 and 2012 World Series Championships, ownership assumed that whatever they do is OK-- as Giant fans our job is to simply to smile and fill AT&T Park.

I don't believe that Giant fans have the responsibility to somehow change the direction of ownership. I think Larry Baer and the ownership group are smart people who will see what's happened and make the necessary changes to make the San Francisco Giants a competitive MLB team again.

Because it's in their self-interest to do so.

8 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @


@WilliamWipperdink @paulfromturlock 

WW- several things you commented on were incorrect. Specifically those things between the first word of your comment and the last word.

1) Actually the Giants could care less about the A's. In point of fact, having an American League team in the same area profits both the A's and the Giants.

2) Only once in the history of Major League Baseball has the Baseball Commissioner's Office given a written confirmation of a team's "territorial rights".

That was in 1990, when then-Giants owner Bob Lurie wanted to move the Giants to San Jose. Oakland A's owner Walter Haas gave his consent to the Giants having "rights" to San Jose/Santa Clara County. Major League Baseball added that to their official constitution.

When Lurie’s deal collapsed, the Giants kept the rights to Santa Clara County.

3) There are no more "big markets" and "small markets" in Major League Baseball. So there's no reason for the Giants to somehow want the A's "to rot in a crummy stadium" in Oakland.

Today every MLB team receives millions in revenue each year from MLB for national media contracts, revenue sharing, and percentages when franchises are sold. If you own a Major League team (whether it's the Yankees or the Oakland A's) you get checks from MLB that total over $100 million just for owning that team.

The rest (selling tickets, local radio and TV contracts, concessions, parking, etc.) is all extra revenue each individual team generates.

As far as the A's "having a better team", it's true in 2014--  but the 2010 and 2012 World Series Championships demonstrate that which franchise is better at any given time is cyclical.

8 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @



The "fun and entertainment" trend at AT&T Park (and a growing trend in a number of other baseball stadiums) is starting to be an issue. The idea is, "Come to the ballpark and you'll have fun, whether or not the team wins or has the talent to play quality baseball."

One part of me thinks franchise owners are essentially saying the game is not enough-- that the fans need to be distracted with racing cable cars and "find the baseball" videos on the scoreboard, as well as a barrage of loud music and various other shiny objects flashing on the big screen.

But the business-of-the-game part of me understands that the idea is to attract as many fans as possible, keep them engaged, and give them an experience that will make them want to come back. 

Expanding your core demographic not only creates more revenue, it expands the scope of your revenue streams. So you're not just selling hot dogs, garlic fries and beer, you're also selling a great place to party and have a good time with friends and family.  

In that model, as management might argue, there's room for hardcore baseball fans and room for people who don't follow baseball but want to have fun. 

Besides, that's also how you create more hardcore baseball fans.

P from T, I do agree with you on this: it is somewhat disconcerting to be at AT&T Park with the Giants down 8-2 in the 7th inning and have people laughing and dancing in the stands like nothing was happening on the field.

9 months ago on Conversation @



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.

9 months ago on Conversation @


@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 political criticism.

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.

9 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @



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.

10 months ago on Conversation @


@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.

10 months ago on Conversation @



Great catch serfdog! The correction has been made. And I now have gotten a grip!

10 months ago on Conversation @


@TomGreybalt @RDyer 

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.

10 months ago on Conversation @