Saturday, August 25, 2012

Giants Win! Dodgers Make Crazy Trade!

So you have this creepy guy who moves in to the rental next door and he lets the lawn die and the weeds grow and the trash pile up, and he ties up a couple of scary looking pit bulls in the back who bark all the time. And he drives a huge diesel 4x4 pickup that rumbles and rattles every time he pulls in or out of your shared driveway, and since he's a crackhead he does that at least six times a day and late at night and early in the morning. And he's got this prison build, huge arms and neck that you can only get from 'roids or six-hour daily workouts, and he has skinhead tattoos on his face, too. Then his "friends" start coming over at all hours and they play death metal and yell a lot and get in fights. So you think maybe you'll get a shotgun and keep it around just in case, and you start thinking about a handgun and you even ask your deputy sheriff friend about how hard it might be to get a CCW permit. I mean, you're hella creeped out and and worried about when the dude might go off and inflict mayhem on you and the rest of your terrified neighborhood.

That's what this Dodger trade feels like. It's obvious they are the Richie Rich of the NL, and can just paper over holes in their lineup with humongous wads of cash and have absolutely no care at all about long term finances. It's now-now-now in LA-LA land. Three games out? No problem, just get a $100M first baseman. Pitcher might be hurt? Throw $50M at it. Guy on the DL at $20M/year? Just pencil him in for next season. Wow, George Steinbrenner lives. And he lives right down the road at Chavez LAtrine. The Dodgers want it all now, there's not a thought about next year's budget in this process. Hell, they probably don't even have a budget. It's "get 'er done" Hollywood-style. Look at the Washington Nationals: management want to shut down their ace in the middle of a pennant race because they are worried about his health. The Dodgers think management means "just get a new one."

It's irritating when the collection of billionaires who run the Giants won't fork over the big dough for the right guy. I mean, c'mon. You bought the Ferrari and it's got $1500 wiper blades--shut the fuck up and buy the goddamn things. But they are who they are--this team is going to stay within operational expense parameters, thank you very much. They aren't going to open their wallets. The revenue stream is going to pay for it or they will make do with what they've got. It ain't bad, mind you. The Giants are big spenders compared to most clubs. We've got a good thing going as fans of this outfit. But LA has upped the ante. Hell, the weight of their chips just broke the table! It's a brave new world, now. The West Coast Yankees just stumbled in the front door of your party with a fresh keg and then puked on the carpet.

Meanwhile, back at AT&T, pretty little ballpark of that quaint, well-mannered, thrifty Giants club, a baseball game was played last evening. The fans had a lovely time watching their upright, manly lads defeat the visiting squad. Both clubs were firm and resolute, displaying virtue and courage in the contest. Respectable organizations, these, with long histories and famed ancestral ballplayers. There were rumors, of course, of the new neighbors, but one doesn't rush to judgement in these circles, no, that would be ungentlemanly. But you can be sure their loins were being girded for the battles to come.
Then he caught up two strong spears edged with sharp bronze
and the brazen heads flashed far from him deep into heaven.
And Hera and Athene caused a crash of thunder about him,
doing honour to the lord of deep-golden Mykenai.*
Agamemnon and the lads had a bit of a fight on their hands with the Trojans, but they figured out a new angle at the end. Looks like the Giants might have to as well.


*Iliad, Book XI, 43-45, trans. Robert Fitzgerald


M.C. O'Connor said...

Chris Jaffe of THE HARDBALL TIMES sent me a link to his piece about Bruce Bochy.

Check it out--Ol' Boch is at .500 for his managing career. This season ought to push him over the top.

Zo said...

What is surprising is that, after years of "vetting" potential owners to make sure that the small and mid-market teams would not be priced out of the market, MLB has created a Bankees West franchise. How will that affect Milwaukee and those types of teams? Right now you have a perfect shit-storm of very expensive teams under-performing and jettisoning payroll in exchange for anything. Philadelphia and Boston. And LA willing to run up the tab whether they can pay it or not. How much you want to bet that they ask the taxpayers to fund a new stadium within a year and a half?

But please, whining about how the Giants owners are a bunch of cheapskates is really tired, and neither you nor I have any idea what kind of money they actually have to spend. Remember, it was San Franciscans like me who voted to have the Giants finance their own stadium (well, not people like me, because I voted in my selfish interest to fund the stadium). The conclusion, I suppose, is to do exactly what the smog-suckers have done, grasp at any possibility for a WIN NOW, even if we wind up like the Phillies and Boston by next year, trading away our aged, famous veterans as fans watch Belt, Posey, Bumgarner, Matt and Timmy, who we traded for those old guys, go one to HOF careers for other teams. Remember, "I'd rather lose with youth"? I mean, either bitch about how we don't like youngsters, or bitch about how we don't break the bank to get old guys, but don't do both. The doggers seem to have elected the boom or/and bust model.

It is scary, but not in the way you describe. It is scary like having Larry Ellison buy an entire county and then having him decide to build a four hundred foot fence that shades your entire property so that you can't grow vegetables that you need for survival, and then paints a giant and heavily retouched picture of himself on the fence.

On the bright side, however, is the fact that the Giants only have to play as well as the these guys do from here on out. If we split with them, that is 6 games in which they get nowhere. We also play Houston, Chicago, Colorado, Arizona and San Diego. All we have to do is keep pace with them and they finish 3 back. We still have better pitching. They arguably had better hitting before, but it was decisively shut down when it needed to be.

M.C. O'Connor said...

"We've got a good thing going as fans of this outfit." Yes, we do. I said it, I meant it. I may get irritated, but I'm not whining.

There's a new game in town, though, and the Giants will have to compete with Messrs. Moneybags and Their Minions. The Red Sox found out that to compete with the Yankees and win the World Series they had to spend a hell of a lot more money than they had in the past. The Giants have managed to win lately and have avoided Philly-like dollar commitments. They have not leveraged their future for the now-now-now. And I hope they don't. Nonetheless, the 800-pound Gorilla is here and wants a seat.

As far as 2012 goes, I agree. I think the schedule favors the Giants. I think they are still the favorites, esp. if Tim Lincecum and Hunter Pence can step up in September. I like our club, and have said so since pre-season.

But I'm not blind to the new arms race, either. The Dodgers deep, deep pockets means the rest of the West has to work harder to stay in the mix. The Giants will have to be creative and come up with new ways to neutralize the dollar disadvantage.

Shankbone said...

The Giants will have to be creative and come up with new ways to neutralize the dollar disadvantage.

Here is one way: don't cheap out on the draft and international development. Go big. Its small potatoes moneywise. This ownership group has a long history of sacrificing the farm for the product on the field.

I don't mind laying low in most cases, but they have to snag opportunities and step up - they did a good one with Pence, and I bet he will get hot pretty soon.

Gonzo is a very good hitter, and the gap between him and Loney is considerable. The Bums got better. It will hurt later, but for right now its a dog fight. Bonus points - get to root against Josh Beckett again!

Brother Bob said...

For some perspective consider the teams that are doing the dumping, the Phillies and The Red Sox. They are big payroll teams that have acquired lots of stars, and they are having crappy seasons. You can add the Angels to this discussion. Loading your roster doesn't guarantee anything.

nomisnala said...

The giants refused to sign Beltran in this off season. Perhaps with a Dodger team with a gargantuan payroll, the giants would have signed Beltran. It looks like their second half ace, Billingsley may be hurt again. The dodger lineup will now be quite strong. No let up for the oppositions pitchers. Perhaps this will make the giants take another look at Melky for next year. The question on Pence is, can he hit in a pitchers ballpark when the opposition is pitching him carefully? Too bad he did not make a big bang with the giants right away ala Randy Winn.