Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Yes! Yes! Yes!

I think this photo (my birthday present, thanks Nance) is from this game.

Can't stop thinking about that incredible post-season.

It's a great time to be a Giants fan.


p.s. RIP Ray Sadecki. He was a good pitcher who had the misfortune of being on the wrong side of the Cepeda trade. I think the Giants, as Sabes said after 2010, have buried those bones. The lefty was from KC and also pitched for the Royals in the mid-70s after leaving SF.


Brother Bob said...

One could write quite a long essay r/t the history of bad trades made by the Giants. The recent close encounter with AJ Pierzinski (I don't care if I spelled it right-fuck him) brought back bad memories.
I think it was Larry Kruger on the radio yesterday who was making the point that the current version of the Giants can afford to make colossal personnel blunders, e.g.. Barry Zito, Aaron Rowand, Dave Roberts, etc. mainly because PhoneCo Park is such a monstrous cash cow.
So basically I think the consensus r/t Sandoval is probably, "Fuck it, give him what he wants."

Zo said...

Bob, EVERY team has bad trades in their history. Ask the Red Sox about that. The Cardinals got the better of the Ray Sadecki trade, but then after 1971 traded away Steve Carlton just before the first of his 4 Cy Youngs and 14 years with the Phillies. Oh, who did the Cards get? The immortal Rick Wise.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Agreed. Trades are risky, some work and some don't. Ideally both teams gain from a transaction. If you have a GM afraid to pull the trigger due to fear of failure you have the wrong guy at the helm.

Lots of teams have bad contracts on their books--the Mets are still paying Bobby Bonilla, for example. They will probably be tough next year despite that. And Rowand and Zito both made contributions to championship clubs so the contracts ultimately paid off. With all the money flowing into clubs these days from TV and all the cheap talent available through the draft and international free agency teams can overcome earlier poor decisions by stocking up on young players.

Sure, wealthier teams can live with mistakes easier than the rest, but teams like BAL, KC, and OAK have proven you can win without mega-payrolls.

I want to see Sandoval back with the team but the Giants don't strike me as a "fuck it" kind of franchise. Sure, they pay a premium some teams won't, but Baer & Co. are not spendthrifts.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Every team has a bad trades, but the Giants seem to have historic ones, like Frisch to the Cards in the 20's, McGraw costed us a dynasty by getting into bad relationship with Frisch and having to trade him to Cards, who won some with him.

And the Cards seem to be on the better end of these trades more often, Lou Brock was another good one, and they got Clark for a player to be named later :^).

Or how about Wainwright?

Roberts was not a colossal mistake. DeRosa I would go there, but not Roberts, Bochy sat him to play Lewis, it happens.

And Krueger got it wrong (again, he made me cringe when he ran Sportsphone at night, always getting some fact or opinion wrong), it was not the cash cow that overcame those mistakes, it was draft jackpots of Cain, Lincecum, Bumgarner, Posey, Belt, Crawford, Wilson, Romo, and now Panik (and IFA like Sandoval and Hanchez) that enabled them to overcome mistakes.

Moneyed teams might buy their way into playoffs (cough, Yanks), but they can't buy championships (well, 2009, so not regularly). Their 1990's dynasty was built on the players that Sabean and gang picked up for them: Jeter, Pettitte, Rivera, Posada, Williams, and other young players who contributed by being traded.

Also, Sabean countered blunders (to be fair, both Zito and Rowand were most likely Magowan deals; at minimum, Zito was outed by Baggarly as a Magowan driven deal; SI recently noted Rowand too) by getting a lot of significant players off the scrapheap: Torres, Uribe, Casilla, Huff, Burrell, Blanco, Arias, Stewart, Scutaro, Petit, Ishikawa.

I think fans focus too much on the bad deals without balancing the good deals that came out of the shuffling as well. I still see people complaining about Hillenbrand and others. As MC notes astutely, you don't want a GM who is afraid to pull the trigger. You have to accept mistakes, sometimes ones that look really bad (Rivera). You gotta kiss some frogs sometime. But the proof is in the pudding on the field, how are they doing? As MC posted the other day, those three caps are pretty good pudding.

I would add the Rays and Pirates to the list, Indians too, of winners without mega-payrolls. Common denominator? They finally figured out how to draft well (well, OAK hasn't, but the others have)

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Frankly, I don't want Sandoval back at 5 years, $90M. At this point, I'm hoping the rumors that the Giants are not really into the bidding and that Sandoval don't really want to come back are true.

All the facts countering the rumors make sense from an agent not wanting to poison the waters for his client. He has to make nice publicly, he needs bidders frothing up the waters. But I've seen no denial that Sandoval has already decided against the Giants (and it would be so easy to say that the rumor is false). He only denied that the rumor that the Giants were not pursuing Sandoval is not true.

It also makes sense for the Giants too. Let the other teams bid against a rumor and raise their bids. Sandoval wants big money, maybe the Giants by playing along ensures that he signs and soon, netting them a draft pick. Better than him sitting out the early season waiting for a good deal, like Morales and others, and we get no pick.

And that rumor was so wacky and specific: 90% sure he's going to Boston.

I don't see the Giants as a spendthrift org either, that is why I wonder if the rumor of 5 years and $90M is accurate, or some smoke the Giants wanted to release. Or maybe it's true and the agent released it to inform other teams through the press, so that he can honestly say that he's not shopping the Giants offer to other teams.

My brain gets all wound up and loopy trying to think about all this. I'm just hoping the rumors that Sandoval wants to end this soon is true, so we get an answer soon, instead of dragging it out into the new year.

nomisnala said...

Unless you have a definite replacement for Pablo, I do want him back. For the 90 million 5 years, just think of all they will make back in merchandise. I remember the Cepeda for Sadecki Trade. I even remember going to a few games that Sadecki pitched for the giants. He was not a bad hitting pitcher. Getting rid of the baby bull was crazy. At the time some said that he did not get along with Mays. Find that hard to believe on any level that would cause a trade for Sadecki. The trade for Kent ended up being an OK trade for the giants, but it was a gamble and Sabean lucked out. The Joe Nathan trade was idiotic. I thought so at the time, and still do. The Gaylord Perry trade for Sudden Sam Mcdowall turned out to be a horrible trade, but I did not think so at the time, because in those days fans had no idea that McDowall was a washed up, allegedly, alcoholic. For those who want to get rid of Pablo, what do you propose? Panik at third, and Scutaro or one of our utility guys at second?

M.C. O'Connor said...

Panda is only 28 so a five year commitment is not crazy. Yeah, he is a frustrating player and his hitting numbers have steadily dropped but he is a unique athlete (much like Timmy) and has that "you just never know" thing (like Timmy!). And the marketing department I'm sure will have a say. Teams can't just make baseball decisions--they have to make turnstile and merchandise decisions, too.

If the Giants lose Panda I think they will be able to patch the hole with the youngsters--I think Panik proved that the system is deeper than people think. Both you guys--Shankbone and OGC--have consistently documented that. Giants actually had a good offense last year, the park effects really do suppress the numbers so they lineup could take a hit and be OK.

I want to see Panda back and I think Baer & Co. are pretty savvy and will not hurt the payroll flexibility regardless of the deal they make. I'm trusting in Bobby Evans here! I'm emotionally invested in the Panda and it would be weird and sad to see him in another uniform--let's hope it's an AL team--but I also think the Giants will cope without him. His fielding was really strong in 2014 and made a big impact. Giants defense overall was great and a big part of the team's success.

Speaking of success, the more the club has the less I fret about the off-season and the personnel decisions. Sabes, Boch, and the staff are smart and always planning ahead. I have faith they'll keep a competitive team out there. They won a World Series without Cain and Pagan, or Scutaro, and only a token role for Lincecum. That's amazing!

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Yes, totally amazing. I don't have a real problem with giving Panda a 5 year contract. I have a real problem giving him the $90M that apparently has been offered by the Giants (and rumored to be beat by the Red Sox by $5M more).

I think that is way too much to give to him, based on what he has done for us in the past few years. If there was a weight clause, I would feel much better, but apparently the CBA does not allow that.

I agree with your sentiments about losing Panda. It would be totally weird. But I lived through Bobby Bonds and Willie McCovey wearing another uniform (Mays was basically washed up when I started following baseball), so I think I can handle this.

And the thing for me is that having him around in the current lineup is gilding the lily. We have Belt, Posey, Pence, 3, 4, 5. Pagan and Panik, 1, 2. Crawford I think, can handle batting 6th. Average 6th hitter in NL in 2014 hit .696 OPS. Crawford hit .713. Average 7th hit around the same, so if we can get a LF who can hit like Crawford or better, he can bat 6th and BCraw 7th. And most teams have a bad hitter 8th anyway, so we can experiment there with Duffy and Adrianza.

And here's my extreme idea for 2015, speaking of trusting our youth: how about moving Belt to LF, and having Posey/Susac share starting at C and 1B? Either that or have Ishikawa be the starting 1B to share 1B (I'm actually thinking Posey/Susac in 2015, and give Susac 2015 in AAA to work on becoming better at catching).

JC Parsons said...

Lots of different ideas above, here's my take on a few (in no particular order):

I'm in favor of giving a good effort to sign Pablo. He would seem to be easily worth the $90 million discussed and I bet he gets offered more. Too much is made of his weight ( my wife thinks he will leave solely because of how poorly we treated him ). His defense alone last year makes him a solid purchase and I hear he's pretty good in the post season. Is that worth anything?

I don't think comparisons with Lincecum are a good idea. Tims contract is looking pretty horrible right now as he hasn't just declined but become the worst starter in the league (arguably, but he is in the running for sure) for THREE YEARS IN A ROW. He played himself off a thin rotation and then was BURIED in the playoffs with there never being any intent to use him in a meaningful way. Hell, we may have burned up Strickland just to AVOID using Tim. All that is left on his current trajectory is some kind of relief chance and then release/unload. Believe me, this makes me sad. But it is sadder to see him pitch. Yes, he put together 6 really good weeks last year and there is always reason to hope. But we are talking THREE YEARS of this.

I do agree that is seems less pressing to make big moves and improvements in light of our recent amazing accomplishment. In some ways we proved that less outside moves and more internal solutions were the way to go (Travis Ishikawa!) You know my general thought anyway: load up on PITCHERS and get by with some sort of offense. We need a couple more starters and lots of help if we lose Romo (which I am hoping we don't).

I'm not feeling any love for Morse in terms of resigning him. Too much Panda talk I guess. No way do I want him for another year (although he makes a great Dh for our WS run). He sure came back from that late injury well. That is something you don't see all the time. Left fielders are not too hard to find and it is amazing who you can hide out there (Travis Ishikawa!). But I don't think the Belt move to left is wise. Leave Brandon at first and let's watch him hit. I sense that Belt hasn't come close to his offensive potential.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Cain should be back and healthy for next year and that 1-2 punch with MadBum is as good as any in the league. 3-4-5 guys don't need to be great, just average, and Hudson will fit the bill. I think the team expects Lincecum to be one of those spots and I think he'll be fine channeling his inner Barry Zito. Seriously, I believe in Timmy and I believe in Rags and Gardner and we will get quality starts and some superstar moments from our mercurial hurler.

The fifth guy could be Vogie or more likely Petit and I expect a full-on battle royal from every prospect in the system for 6th man/spot starter. Plus Sabes will stock up on discards and make sure the depth is there. I hold out hope that Kickham or someone like him can find his mojo at the big-league level, too.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

I love Belt and agree that there is more greatness to come. I think it is not out of the picture for him to be Votto-ish.

However, at some point, Posey is moving off of catcher. Luckily, Susac looks like he'll be ready within a year or so. Posey is a genius at framing and seems to want to catch. Having him and Susac share C/1B would allow him to get a taste of catching while giving him the rest he needs to be MVPosey and not the Pose-ur he was during these playoffs. If he can hit like he can, he would make up for whatever we lose with Sandoval moving on, should he decide Boston (he did make a big show of pal-ing up with Ortiz.

So why wait? Just pull the trigger now and move him so he can learn to be the best he can there.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Kent trade was not luck. It was genius. I was mad as anyone afterward. I felt Matty was robbed of a decent shot at Babe Ruth's 60 (appropriate for his impression) because of the strike year. I wanted to see him do it here.

But I looked at the numbers. Kent's main problem seemed to be that nobody gave him a starting job. He had great numbers playing partial seasons. Plus we got a starting SS plus a promising pitching prospect. All for great savings in salary.

And if it were the only one, then yeah, I might buy luck, but then he got Schmidt. And in recent years, while not as good as those, Torres, Uribe, Casilla, Burrell, Blanco, Petit, added together is pretty significant.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

In a recent SI interview, Lincecum revealed that he has not worked with his dad on his mechanics since 2009. That is five years! He has decided that enough was enough (plus, like Pablo, realized that it is his free agent year) and will be working with his dad this off season.

Thus, I think that, while much older and having lost velocity, he can be as good as he was during that six week period, and really, I think he was mostly good from May to that save appearance, because his dad will be helping him tweak his mechanics and keep them sharp, instead of Tim going willy nilly at the worse times. Assuming whatever kept him from helping his son the past five years do not recur again.

Brother Bob said...

When Lincecum was brand new and setting the world on fire I always had it in the back of my mind, "Great, but how long can he keep it up? He's just an itty-bitty little man."

M.C. O'Connor said...

Pedro Martinez was a "little guy" and he was awesome for years despite having physical issues and missing starts. It's all in the head, man. Pedro was a scientist and studied hitters and his own patterns and was always trying to get ahead of the league before it caught up with him. Timmy's problems are mental, not physical. My pet theory is that he never had to work hard to be a stud at any sport and never experienced failure until the bigs and thus did not have the mental tools to cope with his lack of success. I'm counting on him being more mature and wiser and seeing the "end of the line" and deciding how he goes out and how he wants to be remembered. I have faith that he will figure it out and be a better pitcher in 2015. He has too much talent, he just needs to adapt so he can harness it.