Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How the West Was Won: 2003

The wire-to-wire West winners got a new manager in 2003, thus proving the importance of managers in the grand scheme of things. The 100-61 Giants overperformed their Pythagorean record by SEVEN games (93-68) and crushed the 2nd-place Dodgers by 15-1/2 games. By league standards, it was a fairly pedestrian offense, only 755 RS, good for 6th place. The NL average was 747 or 4.61 R/G. I guess when your big bat fails to get an .800 SLG% you are in for some disappointment. The pitching, on the other hand, was superb with only 638 RA (2nd), good for a 113 ERA+ (tied for 3rd best). The 85-77 Dodgers had a tremendous staff, allowing only 556 runs (128 ERA+, league-best) and racking up 17 team shutouts. They scored only 574 though, worst in the league, but still overperformed their 83-79 projection. The 3rd-place Diamondbacks were 84-78, matching their projection exactly. They had excellent pitching (5th with 685 RA and 2nd with a 122 ERA+) but only managed 717 RS (10th).

The Florida Marlins (751 RS--8th, 692 RA--6th) won the Wild Card at 91-71, overperforming their 87-75 projection. The perennial playoff-losing Atlanta Braves scored 907 runs to lead the NL (the 2009 Yanks scored 915!), but allowed 740 (105 ERA+) to finish 9th. They overperformed by five games due to Bobby Cox' managerial wizardry.

Next up: 2004!


Ron said...

The master plot is to continually be marginal while selling tickets. This is only slightly more ambitious the master plot of the Pirates & the Royals. And, from a franchise that CAN afford to do more.

I AM SICK OF INCREMENTALISM. Look at our lineup - it is pathetic. DeRosa & Huff forming the anchors around Sandoval??? We have lost our bearings, or, more likely, we have no real intention to win.

And now, Posey, who has a chance to be really, really good, will just have to shut up & either go to AAA or sit a lot? He could go all J. D. Drew on us & threaten to sit out, unless we deal him somewhere where he is appreciated. We have to find out how good he is, & we have to find out now. Not next year - now!

M.C. O'Connor said...

The NL West seems ripe for the plucking. The Dodgers still have the best team overall, but it's not unreasonable to expect a drop-off, and their ownership situation could hurt them some. The D-Backs aren't as bad as they were last year, but they have some serious question marks. San Diego is, well, San Diego. I just don't see the depth of talent there. The Giants have a real shot in a weak division. But we refuse to stockpile weapons! We go into every season with NO ROOM FOR ERROR. We expect perfect pitching and old vets to recapture their hitting glory from years ago. It's not a good plan. It might, with luck, work. But it is a half-assed approach. Re-signing Bengie is just another piece of evidence that we have no real clue.

Zo said...

So, Ron and anyone else who hates the incremental approach because it doesn't make one's thighs tingle, which of our pitchers do you care to trade? If you can't answer this question, you are living in a fantasy land. See LaRoche, leaving $10 million dollars on the table. See Soriano, Matthews Jr. and who knows whom else who turned down rich offers from the Giants. What ya got?

Ron said...

Don't trade anyone. As was so astutely pointed out on a different blog, the combined amount we paid for the collection of mediocrity we acquired this off-season is far in excess of what we could have paid for an impact hitter (Bay or Holliday). Bay supposedly did not want to be on the Giants. Therefore, the questions are:

- For less overall expense, would we be better, more exciting, & have belief that the goal of the franchise is to succeed in 2010 with Holliday & more youngsters in the lineup?

- For less overall expense, would we be better, more exciting, & have belief that the goal of the franchise is to succeed in future years with Holliday & maturing youngsters in the lineup?

In my opinion, the answers are:

Better? "Yes".

More Exciting? An emphatic "Yes".

Convinced that the goal is to succeed? An emphatic "Yes".

M.C. O'Connor said...

Posey. Our best hitting prospect just got bumped in favor of a tired old hack. That's us in a nutshell. Sure, Posey could flop. But that's a risk worth taking. We KNOW what Molina is--there's no upside there.

Ultimately we are screwed by the Zito deal and to a lesser extent Rowand's. We have to find a way to get out from under them as 30% of our payroll is tied up there. The Giants are the 6th biggest market in the game, they COULD spend on top-tier guys like Holliday but they wont. Put it this way, if you are going to make a Zito deal, wouldn't Holliday be a better risk?

Huff is not much better than Ishikawa/Garko. Plus there's Brett Pill and Jesus Guzman. Money saved to spend. Second basemen come and go in the FA market--see Hudson, Orlando. Tying up $$ in FSanchez for 2 years? Why? I'm not a big Johnny Damon fan but I'll bet we could have him for one year and chump change. Whoops, already committed TWO years to DeRosa. (Is Fred Lewis really THAT bad?) We wasted money on Renteria--Juan Uribe was had for peanuts and could have played SS. We spend A LOT on marginal upgrades that could be filled by AAA guys and plucked off the FA scrap heap. Then we cry poor mouth and don't take a shot a real talent (Jason Bay signed a 4-year deal . . . weakenesses or not, he's a better risk than any of our stupid 2-year deals.)

Now we are nickel-and-diming Tim Lincecum. WTF?

In the end we will have to trade Cain because we can't afford to let him walk after 2011 without some return. Let's hope Tim Alderson can step up then. Oh, shit, I forgot.

At least we'll get to see what Nate Schierholz can do this season. Think about it, are you excited about waiting for every one of Sandoval's ABs while we cycle through Molina and Rowand and the rest of those grizzled old nobodies? Because that's what it will be in 2010. Hack, old-timer, Sandoval, mediocrity, hack, slop, over-the-hill, maybe a youngster, wait some more. Ugh.

I realize the Giants had some slim pickins these last few years. But I'll be damned if I'm going to be excited by the shit-ass lineups we are throwing out there. And they dug themselves in this hole with crap-ass management. Good thing we have the greatest pitcher in SFG history or we'd be arguing about 4th or 5th place.

Ron said...

You couldn't have said it any better, Mark. Having been born the year that the Giants moved to SF, I will be 52 in less than 2 months & without a Giants' World Series victory in my memory bank. Despite the wherewithall to do something about it, this regime is doing nothing to inspire me that a title is on the horizon or that they even care if one is on the horizon.