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@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.
3 weeks 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.
1 month, 1 week 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.
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.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on SF Giants Elect to Spend Good Will, Save Money
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.
1 month, 4 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.
2 months 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].
2 months, 1 week 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.
2 months, 2 weeks 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.
3 months, 2 weeks 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."
3 months, 2 weeks 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.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Giants Sign Tim Hudson: The Price is Right, What About the Arm?