Monday, January 14, 2019

Dutch_Oven45

Giants re-sign Derek Holland. Holland was roughly a 2-WAR player last season and the lefty led the team with 171-1/3 IP. The deal, if the option for next season is picked up and all the performance incentives are met, maxes out at $15M. Figure they are on the hook for about $8M, not a bad risk for one year. He gives the team a predictable rotation piece as well as a potential mid-season trade chip.

--M.C.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

NYSE: ORCL

PhoneCo is no mo--Giants tap Big O. 

In the I'm-not-sure-it-matters-much Department, our ballpark will be getting a new name, it's fourth. PacBell Park morphed into SBC Park and then into AT&T Park. Next up: Oracle Park. Time for a nickname contest!

--M.C.


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas . . .

. . . and a Happy New Year.

I skied yesterday in a lovely snowstorm and when I was in the lodge I saw Santa. I went over and said "all I wanted for Christmas was snow, so thanks!" He shook my hand and said "no problem."

Of course what I really want for Christmas is for the 2019 Giants to be awesome! Am I right?

I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays.

--M.C.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Winter Meetings

The Giants Brain Trust and their twenty-nine counterparts will be meeting this coming Monday in Las Vegas for the annual MLB rite known of course as The Winter Meetings. Newly-installed President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi brought in some new people in advance of this. Long-time amateur scouting director John Barr has been replaced by Michael Holmes who worked in Oakland in a similar capacity. They also added Zack Minasian who was a special assistant in Milwaukee. He will oversee professional scouting. Former Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi is also supposedly joining the team as a special assistant. I suppose the organizational flowchart will be in flux for a while and we might not fully know who's-who and what's-what but I suspect it will come together at some point. The Giants are making changes just like they said they would. Perhaps by the end of the week we'll have some new bodies in Giants uniforms as well.

--M.C.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Opening Moves

The FZ Era of Giants baseball begins! The Giants declined arbitration with Hunter Strickland, Gorkys Hernandez, and Chase d'Arnaud making them free agents. Joe Panik, Sam Dyson, and Will Smith were all tendered contracts. Smith (Willie Mac Award winner) and Dyson both pitched very well last season while Strickland saw his numbers decline (not to mention his behavior issues) so the Giants kept the older, more expensive pitchers and obviously hope for similar performances next year. Joe Panik was injured and played well below expectations but his youth and low cost (plus a lack of an alternative) keep him in orange-and-black. You can't give up on first-round picks, but I get the sense this is a fish-or-cut-bait season for the lefty second baseman.

It isn't very exciting stuff and fairly predictable but it is Giants news and so I had to post. As far as the big stuff goes, I don't expect a Madison Bumgarner trade. He's too valuable to the team right now and I can't see them getting a decent enough return. If he has a good year then they can discuss an extension or make him a qualifying offer so they'll at least be compensated if he leaves. I think the odds are good he will stay healthy and pitch well in 2019 which is the best outcome to hope for. He is at a point in his career where he'll likely have to make big changes in his conditioning and preparation in order to remain an ace starter. Age catches up with everyone and the athletes who adjust continue to succeed. I'm curious if Bumgarner has the mental makeup of someone like Justin Verlander who seems able to reinvent himself and stay at an elite level.

The Winter Meetings are December 9-13 in Las Vegas. Maybe we'll get some action then. Meanwhile we had our first snowfall in town last night and this morning!

--M.C.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

It's Official

One way to improve your club is to poach talent from another club, in this case your long-time rivals. The Giants hired Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi to be their President of Baseball Operations.


“We set out to find one of the best minds in baseball and Farhan’s many accomplishments and expertise exceeded our expectations,” said Baer. “Farhan is widely viewed as one of the top executives in our industry and we are thrilled to have him lead the next chapter of Giants Baseball.”
Here's Mr. Z:
“I am delighted to return to the Bay Area and to join one of the most storied franchises in the game,” said Zaidi. “I have watched the Giants from afar and I have great respect for the organization’s culture and many accomplishments. I am excited about this new opportunity and I’m looking forward to getting right to work.”
Zaidi has a PhD from Cal and worked for the Athletics before going to LA. By all accounts he is a very smart and accomplished fellow so I am happy the Giants landed him. He has a five-year contract. Here's Baggs' take (this is before the announcement):
But the mere fact that Zaidi is their first choice should tell you something: they are no longer interested in a caretaker to prop up a fading roster. They are ready to do a 180 from a highly accomplished but flawed front office whose insular methods of roster creation have allowed them to fall behind their contemporaries.
The off-season just got very interesting!

--M.C.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

RIP Willie Mac

Willie McCovey passed away on Wednesday. Giants fans of my age group (I was born in 1959) got to see him at his best when we were young and impressionable. His greatest seasons were 1968-1970 and ballplayers seemed like mythical beings when we were that age. He really was something on the field and he came back to the Giants and flashed a little of the old magic for a few years before retiring in 1980. He was much beloved by fans, teammates, and the organization.

--M.C.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Been there, done that

Much was made of the how well the 2018 Boston Red Sox hit with runners in scoring position and two outs in the World Series. Seems like we know a team that did just about the same thing not long ago:

The chart is from Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs.

Yes, that 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants team is special for a lot of reasons. Slugging .895 with two outs and runners in scoring position is just another on the list!

--M.C.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Finis

The Boston Red Sox complete their remarkable 108-win season with a remarkable 3-loss post-season. They played three really good teams--the Yankees, the Astros, and the Dodgers--and lost only one game to each. That's, like I said, remarkable.

No more baseball in 2018, unless of course you are fans of the Japan Series. The Mystic Zo reports that the Carp have notched the first win of the best-of-seven finals. The Hiroshima Toyo Carp is the NPB team-of-choice here at RMC.

The Giants have tantalized us with talk of a new brain trust for 2019. I'm expecting they'll have to have people in place by the Winter Meetings. That means the month of November ought to be interesting.

Only 115 days until the first Spring Training game!

--M.C.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

114

The 114th version of the World Series is upon us. Game One is at Fenway on Tuesday. The 2018 AL champion Red Sox beat two 100-win teams, including last year's champs, to get to the Fall Classic. Early odds have Boston at -125. The LA Dodgers return as NL champions winning on the road in Milwaukee in the seventh game of the LCS. Naturally we here at RMC were rooting for the Brewers, but such is life. I have a lot of friends who are Dodgers fans so I know they'll be happy. The Red Sox are my mom's team and I know my east coast family members are happy.

Giants fans will have to wait until next year, of course. Perhaps we'll get some exciting changes this off-season. In the meantime, enjoy the ballgames.

--M.C.