Friday, March 1, 2019

The Outfield

The Giants made a push for outfielder Bryce Harper that ultimately came up short. According to Andrew Baggarly's article on The Athletic (behind a paywall), it was Farhan Zaidi who led the charge and not Larry Baer & the Ownership Group. All that tells me is FZ is willing to go after talent, be it Rule V draftees or free agency. Guess what? That's good! You want your ballclub to be ready to sign the players they need, don't you? I'm willing to give our new PoBO (he's not a GM, but a President of Baseball Operations) a fair chance and that means I'm not going to judge him after a mere four months or so on the job. I expected the Giants NOT to pursue high-dollar free agents (I note they stayed away from Manny Machado) so the fact that they took a chance on Harper means I don't really know what their roster-building strategy is. And I'm OK with that. I also think it means I was right and they have heaps o'money and they'll cough up the big bucks when they think they need to.

So, where do we stand? The outfield is still a big question mark. I know they really want Steven Duggar to shine and take over CF and the leadoff spot. But they are hedging their bets by signing Cameron Maybin. I could see a platoon there, but I also think Maybin has his sights on a full-time job. The Giants generally treat players well and I imagine that the veterans on minor-league deals will be traded if they don't make the 25-man roster (or don't get assurances about playing time). Gerardo Parra is in the same situation as Maybin, he probably expects to win a corner OF job since he's competing with borderline candidates. Mac Williamson is at that fish-or-cut-bait point in his career, and with no options left I suppose he'll be traded or DFA'd if he doesn't make the grade. The Giants would love to see him swing a major-league power bat and I hope he can do that. Rule V man Drew Ferguson would seem to have an inside track as a fifth outfielder, but that's only because they'd have to give him back to the Astros if he fails to make the big-league team. But I don't know--maybe they are willing to eat that cost.

Chris Shaw and Austin Slater have options left, as do NRIs John Andreoli, Mike Gerber, and Anthony Garcia. Henry Ramos, the older brother of hot prospect Heliot Ramos, was signed as a free agent, as was Craig Gentry. I'm not sure anyone else in camp has a legitimate shot to open the season with the big club. That leads me to believe a trade is coming. The list of remaining free agent OFs is not too encouraging. With the surplus of relief pitchers--some of whom are established late-inning guys--it seems almost too obvious that's who will get moved. Then again I did not see the Harper push coming so it's anybody's guess what our PoBO has up his sleeve.

Madison Bumgarner has his second spring start this afternoon. Both Chris Stratton and Jeff Samardzija threw well in their recent outings--all positive starting pitcher news is good news as far as I'm concerned! I'm wondering when we get to see Drew Pomeranz again, he pitched two innings on Monday.


p.s. Melissa Lockard at The Athletic says to keep an eye on Jacob Heyward (Jason's younger brother), Aaron Bond, and Malique Ziegler as up-and-comers in the Giants system. All are OFs and projected for A, A+, or AA this season.

p.p.s. The game is tonight, and televised (NBC-Bay Area).

p.p.p.s. Ugly shit about Larry Baer ( just popped up in the Twitter feed.


M.C. O'Connor said...

Tweet from Baggs

Statement from Pam and Larry Baer

Regrettably today we had a heated argument in public over a family matter. We are deeply embarrassed by the situation and have resolved the issue.

M.C. O'Connor said...

MLBTR has this quote:

Both of the Baers commented on the situation to the Chronicle. Pam Baer described the incident as, “We were having a family fight about someone in my family and that’s it.” Larry Baer went into slightly more detail, saying “My wife and I had an unfortunate public argument related to a family member and she had an injured foot and she fell off her chair in the course of the argument. The matter is resolved. It was a squabble over a cell phone. Obviously, it’s embarrassing.”

M.C. O'Connor said...

Pam Baer released this statement

". . . Larry and I always have been and still are happily married."

M.C. O'Connor said...

Larry Baer said more later:

"I am truly sorry for the pain that I have brought to my wife, children and to the organization. It is not reflective of the kind of a person that I aspire to be but it happened and I will do whatever it takes to make sure that I never behave in such an inappropriate manner again.”

M.C. O'Connor said...

I don't know what to think. The video is not very revealing, but Larry Baer does come across like a douchebag. It's ugly, even if it is ultimately nothing.

The thing is we don't and probably won't ever know the nature of the Baer's relationship. Larry's carefully maintained, publicly cool, on-top-of-it-all persona has been revealed to be just that, a well-crafted persona. He obviously is capable of bursts of temper. Although it does not appear that he battered his wife, his rage and worse his apparent indifference are dismaying and disappointing. To be fair, his walking away may be an anger management technique, avoiding further inflaming of a volatile moment. Maybe he knows he's a hot-head and is trying to "step away" and cool off. I don't know, I don't think any of us do.

Pam Baer is probably luckier than most women in that she has access to powerful and influential people. If she is indeed a battered woman than I suspect she could have the entire Bay Area listen to her if she felt the need to speak out. Many women in abusive relationships have no options--I suspect Pam Baer does. I'm not saying she's a battered wife or she's in an abusive relationship, just that her situation is different than say a working-class housewife. If Pam Baer needs help (legal, emotional, etc.) she can get it even if Larry Baer is a bigshot.

In the end, short of any new information, we are left with very little. Larry Baer is an ambitious and successful man and probably used to being the cock-of-the-walk around the house. Pam Baer is probably an intelligent and accomplished woman and well aware of her husband's failings and weaknesses. But again, I'm speculating.

Generally I don't look to newsy events to wag my finger, cast blame, or tsk-tsk others' behaviors. In fact I try very hard to "love the sinner and hate the sin" because I hold forgiveness as among the highest of virtues (you can thank my Catholic upbringing). Since I don't really know anything, I've let the Baer's public statements be the source of information. And I scrupulously avoid politicizing such things as the nattering nabobs will happily provide plenty of socio-cultural analyses that will unfortunately reflect the analysts' biases more than offer us any insight.

Do you believe in redemption? Can a person be bad and good at the same time? "Yes" to both. John Lennon admitted to abusing, verbally and physically, his first wife, and he was infamously indifferent, even neglectful to their son Julian. Yet most fans believe he was a good man who tried to grow and be a better person. Was he? I don't know, and you don't either. But I believe that growth and change are more important than a catalog of mistakes and mis-deeds.

And that's all I have to say about that. (Unless of course y'all chime in!)

M.C. O'Connor said...

Seems like this was inevitable.