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@paulfromturlock 

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]

3 days, 21 hours ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2015-archives/new-baseball-commissioner-will-implement-rule-changes-in-2015-to-speed-up-the-game.html

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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.

1 week, 1 day ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2015-archives/a-study-in-the-business-of-giants-baseball.html

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@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... "

1 week, 3 days ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2015-archives/a-study-in-the-business-of-giants-baseball.html

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@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.

MLB.com 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.

2015
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).

2014

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!

1 week, 4 days ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2015-archives/a-study-in-the-business-of-giants-baseball.html

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@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.

1 week, 4 days ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2015-archives/a-study-in-the-business-of-giants-baseball.html

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@Master Fnog @RDyer 

Excellent point on Steve Ballmer. No doubt Ballmer will make the Forbes.com 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.

1 week, 5 days ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2015-archives/a-study-in-the-business-of-giants-baseball.html

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@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!

1 week, 6 days ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2015-archives/a-study-in-the-business-of-giants-baseball.html

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@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.  

3 weeks, 3 days ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2015-archives/cut-rate-replacements-at-third-base-and-left-field-save-giants-millions.html

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@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.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2015-archives/cut-rate-replacements-at-third-base-and-left-field-save-giants-millions.html

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@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.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2015-archives/cut-rate-replacements-at-third-base-and-left-field-save-giants-millions.html

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@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.

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2015-archives/cut-rate-replacements-at-third-base-and-left-field-save-giants-millions.html

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@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. 

1 month ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2015-archives/cut-rate-replacements-at-third-base-and-left-field-save-giants-millions.html

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@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.

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2015-archives/cut-rate-replacements-at-third-base-and-left-field-save-giants-millions.html

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@maxwell623 

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.

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2015-archives/cut-rate-replacements-at-third-base-and-left-field-save-giants-millions.html

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@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.

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2015-archives/cut-rate-replacements-at-third-base-and-left-field-save-giants-millions.html

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@tmcd76 
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?

Yikes.

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! 

   

 

   


1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2015-archives/cut-rate-replacements-at-third-base-and-left-field-save-giants-millions.html

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@maxwell623 

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.

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2015-archives/cut-rate-replacements-at-third-base-and-left-field-save-giants-millions.html

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@maxwell623 

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. 

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2015-archives/giants-2015-blueprint-save-money-manage-compliant-fan-base.html

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@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.

2 months ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/giants-off-season-a-nasty-mix-of-rejection-and-incompetance.html

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@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.


2 months ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/giants-off-season-a-nasty-mix-of-rejection-and-incompetance.html

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@ektrod 

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?

2 months ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/giants-off-season-a-nasty-mix-of-rejection-and-incompetance.html

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@MikeLyons2 @RDyer @alexizzle88 

Mike-- 

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.


 


2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/giants-off-season-a-nasty-mix-of-rejection-and-incompetance.html

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@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.

2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/giants-off-season-a-nasty-mix-of-rejection-and-incompetance.html

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@alexizzle88 

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?

2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/giants-off-season-a-nasty-mix-of-rejection-and-incompetance.html

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@maxwell623 

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.

2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/giants-off-season-a-nasty-mix-of-rejection-and-incompetance.html

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@mattC1012 

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.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/previewing-the-top-3-games-for-giants-tickets.html

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@maxwell623 @RDyer @maxwell623 

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

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/

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@maxwell623 

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.   

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/

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@maxwell623 

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.

5 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/dodgers-and-giants-meet-to-address-crunch-time.html

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@maxwell623 
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.

5 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/dodgers-and-giants-meet-to-address-crunch-time.html

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@maxwell623 

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.

5 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/

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@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.

6 months ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/

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@2muchBS 


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.

           

6 months ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/

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@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.

7 months ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/

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@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.

7 months ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/

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@paulfromturlock 

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.

7 months ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/

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@rgbarsanti 

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.

7 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/

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@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.

7 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/injuries-finally-find-giants-but-give-bochy-an-assist.html

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@paulfromturlock 

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.

8 months ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/lack-of-depth-highlights-the-giants-current-tailspin.html

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@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.

8 months ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/lack-of-depth-highlights-the-giants-current-tailspin.html

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@serfdog 

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

8 months ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/lack-of-depth-highlights-the-giants-current-tailspin.html

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@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.

8 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/lack-of-depth-highlights-the-giants-current-tailspin.html

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@TomGreybalt 

I'm glad you brought up "ill informed". Turns out the Giants actually didn't hit "BETTER" during their recent 1-8 slide.

In the 64 games the Giants played prior to the 1 and 8 tumble, they scored 278 runs-- that's an average of 4.34 runs scored per game.

In the 9 games referenced in my blog they scored 35 runs-- an average of 3.88 runs per game.

If you take those 9 games (with the Nats, Rockies, and White Sox) and add the last four games (three against Arizona and one against the Padres), that's 46 runs scored in the last 13 games-- an average of 3.54 runs per game.

All of which is the opposite of "better".
 

It's amazing to me how Giant fans have bought into ownership's party line that Pablo Sandoval's weight is a problem that has to be solved before they sign him to another long term contract.

Sandoval put up his powerful offensive career numbers in the six seasons prior to 2014-- when his weight was supposed to be a problem holding him back. And those are the numbers that will earn him a big contract in 2014.

And I actually respect the right of Giant's ownership to be tough negotiators. They're not in the business of giving money away, and this is a savvy and smart organization. But that doesn't mean we have to buy into their attempts to bring Sandoval's price down.

A week ago, Tom Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors rated Pablo Sandoval at #5 in his "Top Ten 2015 Free Agent Power Rankings". Let's hope the Giants sign him before that happens.

   

8 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/lack-of-depth-highlights-the-giants-current-tailspin.html

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@joedawealthmanager 

The Giants don't need former Microsoft CEO and billionaire Steve Ballmer in their ownership group.

The Giants already have the wealthiest ownership in all of baseball. According to Forbes.com, lead owner Charles Johnson is listed as the 167th wealthiest man in the world, worth $8.1 billion. The rest of San Francisco's ownership group are multi-millionaires. They could buy and sell the Dodgers' ownership group in between courses of caviar at lunch.

Having money is not the issue for the Giants' owners group. Spending it is.

8 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/lack-of-depth-highlights-the-giants-current-tailspin.html

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@Sabean Wannabe @RDyer @SheaONeal 

Answer: As I said in an earlier response in this stream, I think at times the Yankees have been the historic poster team for player overspending. Having said that, pretty soon a number of teams will pass the $300 and $350 million payroll mark. Because MLB average and top payrolls only go in one direction-- up.

And that's because, as local sports talk show host Marty Laurie has famously said many times, baseball owners are printing money. Team franchise revenues have never been better-- and not just for certain teams, but for all teams.

I think we agree that blank checks don't automatically create winning teams (and for that matter, blank checks can't instantly create the kind of team cohesiveness and strength we saw in 2010 and 2012).

But high revenue, high value teams have a responsibility to their fans to field competitive teams and not just take the money and run.

9 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/injuries-finally-find-giants-but-give-bochy-an-assist.html

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@Sabean Wannabe @RDyer @Donner Party 

I have to disagree with you SW, and if you look at the comments you'll understand what I'm saying.

I only object to personal attacks when a commenter personally attacks me (or another commenter). See the "About the Giants Cove" section to see the parameters of this blog.

Any number of commenters have disagreed with me, argued against my brilliant pronouncements, or come up with a better argument. And that's cool. 

Talking baseball is what this is about. 

But when a commenter has to support their point of view by calling someone an idiot (or being personally disrespectful in any way), then, as Danny Glover said in the film "Silverado", "That ain't right".

I'm also enjoying that other refuge of the inadequate debater, accusing me (or anyone else) of being a Dodger fan, or a [fill-in-the-team] fan. 

Classic 8th grade playground bullying.

It's like McCarthyism in the 1950s-- disagree with what I believe, and I'm callin' you a dirty commie!  

9 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/injuries-finally-find-giants-but-give-bochy-an-assist.html

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@SheaONeal 

More blogisphere bashing as a substitute for cogent discussion and exchange of opinions.

I am at "the shallow end of the IQ pool", my perspective is described as "your foolishness." And once again, apparently the worst thing you can say to another Giants fan is to accuse them of secretly being a Dodgers fan (cuz that'll really put 'em in their place!).

Wow. Go Giants.

As I noted above, I urge you to try this just once: give your opinions without feeling that your opinions are so weak that they need the additional help of you personally trashing those with opposing opinions.

Having said that... 

Shea O'Neal, Yes! You are correct! I was equivocal in my comments about the sports media picking the Giants to make the playoffs. "A number" of national baseball analysts did pick the 2014 Giants to make the playoffs.

There. I said it. [And that was a nice catch, dude.]

As for my growing audience waiting breathlessly for my tomes...  you all shall be rewarded as I continue to shower you with my brilliantly crafted words!

9 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/injuries-finally-find-giants-but-give-bochy-an-assist.html

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@JoeCalabria
 
So true. We've seen the proof of that statement with a number of New York Yankee teams over the past ten+ years. Most recently the LA Angels and Texas Rangers have tried signing a group of high end players who just never seemed to get it together, both individually and as a team.

I think the new LA Dodger ownership group came in with a mandate to immediately upgrade the Major League club and their poor minor league system. And they've done that-- they made the playoffs last season and the Dodgers' farm system is greatly improved.

But the final proof of what ownership and the front office does is results. 

Look at the Giants in 2010 and 2012-- they had some of the best pitching in the Majors but they also came together as a team in each of those years to tear through the playoffs and win two World Series.

Simply throwing big money at a bunch of high end ballplayers does not create a winning team. At the same time big revenue teams like the Giants and the Cubs have a responsibility to field winning/competitive teams. The Giants did not do that in 2013, but look at 2014: the addition of two moderately-priced free agents (Tim Hudson and Michael Morse) has fired up this franchise and created a winning culture in the clubhouse.

And I know we're just past the one quarter mark of the season but the 2014 Giants are a real team-- a team that could have the legs to play in October.

9 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/injuries-finally-find-giants-but-give-bochy-an-assist.html

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@Donner Party
 
Wonderful. Back to that tired school yard posturing and personal attacks. 

Try this just once: give your opinions without feeling that your opinions are so weak that they need the additional help of you trashing the other person.

We're back to the "I'm a better Giants fan than you are" level of talking baseball. Better yet, "I'm the best Giants fan and you, you're...  you're...  a Dodgers' fan!"

Wow, that'll show me.

So since I have a different opinion, the above commenter also "hates" me. But, and this is the part I really like, he has discovered another way that will allow him to hate me even more. How cool is that!

One thing we both agree on: for your own well-being, you definitely need to consider staying clear of my writing. (But I still hope that you don't give up.)

9 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/injuries-finally-find-giants-but-give-bochy-an-assist.html

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@SheaONeal 

Once again I urge commentors to actually read the blogs they're commenting on.

First, I didn't say that the Giants didn't "miss" Angel Pagan when he went on the DL last season. Of course they missed him. What I actually said was his loss, a) didn't cause, and b) isn't an excuse for the team finishing 16 games out of first place in with a 76-86 record.

Every winning team has injuries (some to key players) and that's why front offices build their teams deep enough to continue winning. The Giants' approach the past several years is to not be deep, so when players are injured there's no effective replacements ready to step in.

Actually your comment about "few analysts" picking the Giants is incorrect. A good number of sports media people picked the Giants to make the post season not only this season, but also last season. Better review the picks made by ESPN, FoxSports.com, SI.com, MLBTV. 

It's always good to check before we write.

As far as the "big money, no heart" approach of the LA Dodgers, the San Francisco Giants have the richest ownership group in Major League Baseball. Giants Principal owner Charles Johnson is the 74th richest person in America ($3.5 billion), and he could buy and sell the entire Dodger ownership group in one afternoon. 

The difference between the Dodgers and Giants is the Dodgers spend their money and the Giants don't.

And I always say this about the business of baseball: MLB franchise owners get to decide how they spend their money-- it's their money. But the game is now very big business-- the San Francisco Giants have the fifth most valuable franchise in baseball, worth over $1 billion; I just think they need to stop pretending to be small market.

Finally, MLB managers get to be criticized like anyone else in pro sports. Doesn't mean they're bad managers, it just means they're capable of making mistakes. And when they do they can be called on them. 

And, no, you don't have to work in Major League Baseball to write and talk about the game. And you don't have to be in the film industry to criticize movies. In the real world virtually nothing works like that.

9 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://thegiantscove.com/2014-articles/injuries-finally-find-giants-but-give-bochy-an-assist.html

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