Thursday, January 31, 2008


Just say no to Joe. Crede, that is.

Check out two fine posts at Bay City and Stankeye.

Trade Rumors has the skinny.

Just say NO.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tell me something I don't know!

Writer and renowned stat-head Rich Lederer has a feature called BASEBALL BEAT on his excellent website Baseball Analysts. His latest posting is called 2007 Payroll Efficiency. Waaaalllllll, I wonder who-all comes up lookin' lousy in this-here department? Yep: Petey Mac, The Sabester, and the SFGs. We were 9th in payroll and managed only 71 wins. Let's all hear a big fat "Bleah!" OK, again: "Bleah!" Of course, we knew this already. There is a link in the article to some more detailed analysis. I'll save you the surfing time: only the Baltimore Orioles were worse than us in terms of wins per dollars spent (that's an oversimplification, of course). Just what you wanted to hear, eh?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pete is Happy!

Pedro signs with Philadelphia (according to Jayson Stark).
Does this mean Kevin Frandsen is our new 3B?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Boch & Sabes, Act II, Scene II (Finale)

Top of the Mark: pre-season banquet for Giants bigwigs and families. End of the evening; Sabes still resplendent in tux, silver mane immaculately coiffed. Boch in a rumpled earth-tone Pat Riley-edition Armani suit, collar and tie loosened. Cloth-covered table center stage with party residue--plates, glasses, silverware.

Sabes: (pacing SR) Meddling sonsofbitches.
Boch: (seated SL, beer in hand) Huh?
Sabes: (snappish) Nothing!
Boch: (belches) Loosen up, Bri, have a beer.
Sabes: Oh, just drink, eh? That's good, Bru, real good.
Boch: Hell, it's free! (downs drink, raises and waggles empty, looking offstage for a waiter)
Sabes: (fidgeting, rambling) . . . that Burns witch . . . Baer's wife and her brats . . . Magowan's pile of punks . . . the hell with them . . .
Boch: Hey! 'Nother beer here!
Sabes: (bitter) What do they know anyway? All their help. All their advice. I wouldn't make one of their moves if even it was a good one! Who the hell do they think they are?
Boch: Lighten' up, Bri. They're owners. S'what they do.
Sabes: (ignores him, continues fretting) I'll show them . . . first it was the bloggers, goddamn geeks! Then the reporters. Smart alecks--not one of 'em ever worked in baseball--telling me what I should do! This is the last straw . . . damn wives and kids think they can run the damn club!
Boch: (fresh beer in hand, burps loudly, takes a drink, burps again). Aaaaah, now that's mighty tasty!
Sabes: Is that all you can think about? Beer?
Boch: It's a party!
Sabes: For you, Bru. Yeah, for you. Oh, but not for me. No, not for me.
Boch: (glassy eyed, head wobbling) C'mon, Bri. Have a goldurned drink. Unhook that cummerbund. Them things give ya gas. (burps again)
Sabes: (whips off coat, frantically works on bow tie) You want loose? Huh? Well, Bru, my drunken comrade, you just wait!
Boch: (alarmed) What's got stuck up yer bunghole, amigo? Yer gonna pop a nut!
Sabes: (viciously rolling up sleeves of shirt) They want action! Oh, that's what they think! Just wait, they'll see some goddamned action from their goddamned GM!
Boch: (dazed, but concerned) Uh, Bri? Y'alright, there?
Sabes: (now pacing the whole stage maniacally) They ALL want a piece of me. Well, I'll give it to them! Yeah! Right now! (leaps on to table)
Boch: Easy, boy!
Sabes: (grabs plate, flings it off stage) Take that! (crashing sounds and hubub) And that! (throws glass)
Boch: I'll git 'im! (lurches out of seat and falls)
Sabes: I'm not kissing your asses any more, you bastards! (continues heaving objects)
Boch: (on floor, hands over head) Look out!
Sabes: (now punting the flower arrangements) Hah! Haha! Hahahahahah! Wheeeeee!
Boch: I seen 'im like this before! Duck!
Sabes: (turns around, drops trousers and moons audience) Whooooooooooo! Yeeeeeeee-hawwwwwww!
Boch: (crawling) Git out! He's crazy!
Sabes: (slapping butt with hands) Yeah! Kiss my patootie! Up yours! Up mine! Hahahahahahahahahah!
Boch: (looking up) It's the cops, Bri! Somebody called the cops!
Sabes: Chickenshits! (removes rest of clothes, dances naked on table) Pussies! Can't take me, huh? Had to call the cops! Wusses! Girls! (cavorts madly) Aaaaaaaaaghhhhhh!
POLICE: (offstage megaphone voice) Put your hands up! Stay where you are!
Boch: (prone, hands shooting up) Don't shoot!
Sabes: Come and get me, coppers! (waves arms wildly) I'm armed! Hahahahahahaha! (thrusts pelvis) And dangerous! Whooooooooooo!
Boch: Bri, git down! Yer wigglin' yer whacker like a damn pervert!
POLICE: Mr. Sabean! We'll give you one more chance! Get down! Stop right now!
Sabes: Down! Down? Down?! I'm on top of the world! You'll never take me down! (starts heaving plates again) You hear me? Top of the world!

Policemen flood the stage as Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries blasts out amid the crashing and hollering.

Lights out. Curtain.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sabre-Rowand & the Sabes-ster

ZiPS projections and discussion for Aaron Rowand here.

FanGraphs Rowand analysis here. Click on the tab labeled "graphs" for comparison to the league and other players.

I'm willing to admit I may be wrong about Sabes. Maybe he has a plan, and maybe he can build a good team without Barry Bonds being the Greatest Player of All Time. I'd love to be wrong, actually. A winning SFG team is more important than my "record" of being consistent, intelligent, articulate or accurate. But Sabes strikes me as a Rowand kind of guy: solid MLB pro but nothing fancy. My problem is: I want fancy. It think Sabes should hire some "assistant" GMs to do the real work of player evaluation and talent scouting. He can drift into the background and "oversee" the smart, young bucks. How about that Kim Ng from LA?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Just staying on top of the blog-o-sphere is a full-time task. I wonder how Sabes & The Brain Trust do it. Oh yeah, I forgot. They don't.

Check out Bay City Ball for a long analysis of Beezy and promises of more to come on the rest of the ro'. The crux of the post is the PITCH/fx data that the stat-heads are creaming over.

Giants Win has a post referencing a Give 'em Some Stankeye! note called Terror at 6'8" about the Giants interest in--you guessed it, another aging vet--Tony Clark. Bleah.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

In Defense of Sabean

or: WTF is this guy smoking?

Hillary or Obama, Mitt or McCain, Patriots or Giants, buy or sell? It seems no one can agree on much of anything these days, except for one thing. Brian Sabean is universally regarded as an idiot. So, in the spirit of contrary thinking, I would like to present several reasons why Brian Sabean is not the world's worst baseball GM.

First, some good things Brian has done for the Giants (for those of you who can't think of any): Kent, Schmidt, Nen, Roberto Hernandez, Wilson Alvarez, Andres Galaraga, Randy Winn. These were all trades that went on to help the Giants, some of a patented end-of-season sort that provided a push to get the Giants into the playoffs sort. That we didn't win the world series as a result is hardly Sabean's fault. Then too: Mattheny, Zito, Matt Morris. Now some may take exception to adding Zito and Morris to a good things done list. But the fact is that Sabean went out and got the two best free agent pitchers two years in a row for the Giants. Some may argue that we overpaid, but that arguement can't really be validated until a contract is over, and in context with what comparable pitchers are being paid by the end of the contract. Remember how excited we (at least we at RMC) were at these acquisitions? Yes, we thought they were good things.

Now, to be fair: Joe Nathan. This was a horrible trade, and made worse by the fact that Pierzynsky was such an flaming asshole to compliment with his total suckiness as a player. But seriously, if Rob Nen had been able to come back, would we be whining about this now? No, it would have gone down in history as a poor trade, not a terrible one. And that brings us to last year. According to the Giants, Sabean chased Soriano, but came up empty. It seems like Aurilia and Durham were less than inspired signings, but they also underperformed what would be a reasonable expectation (although, to be fair, they would have had to overperform a reasonable expectation to make the Giants competitive).

Now, this year. Aaron Rowland. Have we overpaid? Perhaps not, if you review the contract values of free agents this year. Do we need more? Yes. Have we pissed away our best young pitchers for dubious, aging talent? No. Not yet, anway, in spite of everyone's expectation that this will happen any minute. This alone should get a few folks to lighten up on Sabean, except that, well, it won't.

And another thing, on personality. Would you really rather have a GM who tells everybody what he is going to do all the time? Doesn't seem like a very good strategy to me, sort of like Warren Buffett telling everyone what he will be buying and selling this year. Look at what Brian Sabean does, not what he says. The big moves, historically, have been largely un-heralded before they were made. There has been much discussion of whether Bonds' presence on the Giants in 2007 was the result of Sabean or ownership. We may never know the answer to this, but as a sage observer said back about 2006, "It's all about Barry."

Were I a GM, I think I would hire the best computer people I could find, and then make statements to the press about how I made these trades because the players were hard-nosed and scrappy. I would not refer to any stats other than era and batting average and wins when talking to the press. I would talk about how I need to look into a player's eyes to see his drive and desire, and I would use the phrase, "Knows how to win" a lot. I'm not saying that Brian Sabean is a genius, only that the Giants have been a pretty good team to watch for most of the last decade. I don't think the worst GM in the universe could have achieved that.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Boch & Sabes, Act II, Scene I

Spring Training: Boch in uniform; Sabes in shades, Panama hat, polo shirt, and ban-roll waistband slacks.

Boch: (hollering to SL) Attaboy!
Sabes: Who's he?
Boch: Frandsen
Sabes: Who?
Boch: Frandsen
Sabes: What's he play?
Boch: Second base.
Sabes: Durham's on second.
Boch: Not today.
Sabes: Let me get this straight . . . I-don't-know-who's on second.
Boch: Yep.
Sabes: (pointing) That's Richie!
Boch: Yep.
Sabes: He's on third.
Boch: Today.
Sabes: Not tomorrow?
Boch: Not tomorrow.
Sabes: Today.
Boch. Today.
Sabes: Who's tomorrow?
Boch: Frandsen.
Sabes: Who?
Boch: Frandsen.
Sabes: You mean I-don't-know-who?
Boch: I do.
Sabes: (angrily) Just answer the question!
Boch: Yep.
Sabes: Yep what?
Boch: Yep, you-don't-know-who's on third.
Sabes: Third?
Boch: Tomorrow.
Sabes: Tomorrow?
Boch: Yep.
Sabes: And today?
Boch: Second.
Sabes: (pointing) What's his name?
Boch: (cupping ear) What?
Sabes: Don't get smart! (gestures emphatically) Him!
Boch: Ortmeier.
Sabes: Oh, yeah.
Boch: First base.
Sabes: I can see that! (cell phone rings, he answers) OK. (snaps phone shut and re-holsters) That's Baer.
Boch: Who?
Sabes: Baer!
Boch: Oh, yeah.
Sabes: My boss!
Boch: Yep.
Sabes: Yours, too.
Boch: Yep.
Sabes: (furtively) We got a deal cookin'.
Boch: (brightens) A power hitter!
Sabes: (aghast) Dammit, Bru, we TALKED about this! Pitching! Defense! Speed! That's how you win in the NL West!
Boch: (crestfallen) But were gonna need some homers.

Crack of the bat offstage. Boch and Sabes watch the flight of the longball, eyes fixed, heads arcing in unison.

Boch: Attaboy!
Sabes: Who was that?
Boch: (grinning) I-don't-know-who.
Sabes: (mouth open, shocked speechless)


Friday, January 18, 2008

Rubbin' the Lamp . . .

You've been there. An accidental encounter with a magic lamp in a mysterious, guano-infested cave. A genie appears. He's a douchebag, but he IS a genie. He grants you one wish. You, naturally, use that wish on the Giants. You insist on a World Series Championship. He says, "uh, sorry dude, but that is like a whole bunch of wishes rolled in to one." He gives you another shot. You ask him if you can call out a stat line for ONE player on the 2008 Giants. He says, "that's cool, dawg."

You say:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Stat Geeks

On the Fan Graphs site, two different sets of player projections for 2008 are available, one called CHONE and the other MARCEL. You can look at hitting (no point) and pitching (now we're talkin'). The lists can be sorted by any of the stats--some are sabremetrically weird, but there is a glossary. The BEST thing to do is click on the player name and it gives you his career record and the two projections plus one from Bill James (normally you have to pay for the BJ stuff, and they aren't available for everyone). If you need to waste part of your work day, check out our boy:


Bill James obviously projects better things for Matt than the other two systems, and I think it is because he likes to extrapolate, that is, actually "project" improvement or decline. The other systems. I think, are more like fancy averages of past performance. Thus Matt's 2008 looks a lot like his 2007. I think we will see a big leap forward by M.C. this year: more IP, more K, fewer BB, fewer HA/9, lower ERA, all that.

AND MORE WINS!!!! (And, the best part, he is only 23!)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Memo to Sabes: turn off microphone

But, as Giants general manager Brian Sabean said appreciatively of Frandsen last month, "He's a baseball player."

Goddamn, I been wonderin' what the GM thought of our youngster, AND NOW I KNOW!!!!!!

Frankly, I'm relieved. I was beginnin' t'think he'd forgotten poor, young Kevin. But now that I know that he knows that Frandsen plays baseball (and not the fookin' pan flute, fer chrissakes), I can rest easy.

Friday, January 11, 2008

E-note to I-Ron: Mazel Tov, amigo!

Just had to get personal for a bit here, gang, and say congrats to our boy. RMC will be well-represented at the wedding this summer in Oaxaca--we hope! Now, if we could just get I-Ron to start posting . . .

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Isn't this strange?

"The Giants have become accustomed to excellence at first base, but this year they'll settle for mere competence." "[Outside of signing Aaron Rowland]...they've made no moves to strengthen the offense, which ranked at or near the bottom of most significant statistical categories." Sounds like the lunatic fringe, right? Actually, it is from the Giants website, Both snippets are by Chris Haft, a writer from These posts are not terribly complimentary of the Giants, even if true. Settle for mere competence? Offense ranked at or near the bottom of most significant statistical categories? Surprisingly, these articles both appear on the Giants website,, or more precisely:
Why would the Giants have such critical articles on their own website? Isn't the number one rule on any team that you can't criticise your teammates, management, fans or opponents (which is one reason we get, "yes, thanks to my teammates and the good lord above, I was lucky tonight and sound as intelligent as a rock"). Can it be that they can't even control their own website content anymore? It was clear a couple of years ago when mlb took over all the team websites (making them much less interesting to visit) that they were being standardized and homogenized. And, I guess, marginalized, in that you can find much more interesting and insightful content on dozens of websites and blogs that can pick up on news almost as fast as the Giants can. Nevertheless, I find this just a little weird, that the Giants have SO little control over their own website content. What the hell is the point of having a website if not to post YOUR spin on stuff, not some other hack's? I guess Darth Selig has made it illegal for teams to have websites, maybe he is afraid it would spur fan interest. Maybe they would post MOC's vignettes there.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Boch & Sabes, Act I, Scene II

Setting: Sabes' office. Sabes at his desk, headphones on, iPod in hand, bumpin' to the tunes.

Sabes: (singing along in a falsetto voice) B-b-b-bayybee you just AIN'T seen n-n-n-nuthin' yet! (air guitar gesture)
Boch: (entering) Happy New Year, Bri.
Sabes: (startled, whips off 'phones) You're late.
Boch: (sitting, wiping his forehead) Lotta traffic out there.
Sabes: Lotta traffic in here, too. (points at his desk computer)
Boch: Where's that fancy little one?
Sabes: (embarrassed) I, uh, spilled a latté on it.
Boch: (surprised) That'll break 'em?
Sabes: (dumfounded, unable to speak)
Boch: (chuckling) I remember spillin' coffee on one of my lineup cards. Sure was embarrassin' when I brought it out. Froemming still gives it to me about that one!
Sabes: Hello? Can we get to work here?
Boch: Sure, Bri. (clears throat) We forgot Winn.
Sabes: Damn right we're here to win--that's why we come to work each and every day!
Boch: No, uh, I mean Winn. Not, you know, win.
Sabes: Look, Bru. If you aren't committed, if you can't give 110%, I can can your ass!
Boch: (gleeful) You said can-can! You said can-can!
Boch: (taken aback) Whoa, Bri. I wanna win, too, amigo. Hold yer horses, I meant that feller RANDY Winn.
Sabes: (calm) He's our rightfielder.
Boch: Yeah, well, we gotta get him in the lineup.
Sabes: He's our rightfielder.
Boch: Uh, yeah. OK, I'm hitting him 2nd or 3rd.
Sabes: (exasperated) Fine. Hit 'em where you want, Bru, that's your job.
Boch: (points at computer) You gettin' me a thirdbaseman in there?
Sabes: (snarky) Oh, so you think I can just conjure him up? Punch a few keys? Presto? Thirdbaseman?
Boch: Uh . . .
Sabes: It takes work, Bru. Brains! Strategy! Deal-making! Cojones!
Boch: You betcha, Bri, I wouldn't want your job.
Sabes: Damn right. Those Fringers don't understand. The pressure. The high-stakes. (grabs commemorative baseball off desk, rubs it frantically) They're all against me! The bloggers! The media! The beer guys!
Boch: (soothingly) I reckon they just don't understand how tough it is to git a guy to come and play third for us.
Sabes: That's right! That's right!! (rubs ball, giggles maniacally)
Boch: How 'bout that feller we had? Pedro Fleas.
Sabes: Puh-leaze, Bru.
Boch: Yeah, that's him, Pedro Police.
Sabes: Look, Bru, I love the kid. Love him. Saves us almost as many runs as Omar with that glove. And how am I expected to replace 20 HRs and 80 RBIs, huh?
Boch: Yeah?
Sabes: (whispers) Can't do it.
Boch: Huh? (leans closer)
Sabes: Can't do it. (starts to weep) Just like Armando Benitez--I'll be crucifed over this guy. They--the Lunatics--they've left messages. (looks around furtively) Threats. Angry voice mails. I, I--can't handle it anymore!
Boch: (quickly changing the subject) Well, I sure do like our pitching staff.
Sabes: (leaps out of chair, fuming) Ooooooh, suuuuure!!! Oh, yeah, sure, Bru! Oh, everyone likes our pitchers!! They ALL want them! (grabs ball, rubs it) But they're mine, Bru. MINE! (goes into a wind-up)
Boch: (startled, gets out of chair, scuttles toward door) Whoa, there, ace!
Sabes: MIIIIIIINNNNNNE!!!!!!!! (throws pitch toward the door)
Boch: I'm outta here! (ball narrowly misses his head)
Sabes: (leaping, arms raised) STRIKE THREE! AND SPEZIO STRIKES OUT! WHAT A PITCH!! (makes roaring crowd noises, prances around room with arms raised in triumph)

Curtain. Intermission.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Matt or Tim: Part Two - The Stats

You may recall that a couple of weeks ago I set out to answer the simple question: who's better, Lincecum or Cain? Back then there was a cloud of trade talk (remember Rios for Tim?) that has thankfully evaporated. However the question still lingers. Who's the bigger stud?

In part one, my completely irrational take gave the advantage to young Tim. I felt the intangibles were slightly in his favor. Mostly because I don't automatically assume he has a higher injury risk than the sturdy Cain. In this part I will try to be a little more analytical and fact based. I don't promise much...facts and I don't always get along.

Why should we care? They are both hopefully going to be truly great, so big deal which one is better? I feel it is essential that we all pick a side, early on during their glorious careers. (It is no fair later to claim that Tim's World Series MVP out weighs Matt's pair of Cy Youngs.) Face it, the next couple years are going to be LEAN. What better way to stay positive and keep focused on a good future?

So, on to Part Two: The Stats

Well, I suck at looking up stats. I guess I don't have the patience. I did find a little bit of stuff in other peoples blogs ( So even though I can't provide a detailed statistical break down comparing our two studs, I can give you my educated opinion, backed up with a couple numbers. Perhaps, MOC and the Mystic Zo can dig up a few more stats to throw into this stew.

My general opinion: I can truthfully say I was surprised to see a such a clear winner. I thought the numbers would be as close as the intangibles, after all both guys do seem destined for great things. However, Matt Cain clearly wins the stat war. It is hard to believe that he lost more than about 7 games last year! After Peavy and Webb, Matt was the MAN. Tim has great numbers too, but not as good. Check out a sampling of info:

10th in ERA, Cain, 3.65
Seventh in Opponent BA, Cain, .235
Fourth in Pitches Per Start, Cain, 104.7
Sixth in Quality Starts, Cain, 22
Sixth in Opponent SLG, Cain, .366
Sixth in Opponent OPS, .678
Eighth in HR per Nine IP, Cain, 0.63
Second in Fastest Average Fastball, Cain, 93.2
Second in Total Pitches 95+, Lincecum, 647
Fifth in Hits Per 9 IP, Cain, 7.79

Too bad Tim doesn't qualify for some of those categories because he got shut down early. After next year we will have a much better data base to utilize. But for right now, and without really even trying to look up Tim's numbers (I'm on vacation), I am going with MATT CAIN.

My Overall Winner: After putting this all down and mulling it over for the last couple weeks, I do feel like I have a favorite now. I really thought it was going to be The Enchanter, but it was not meant to be. My heart belongs to Matt. After what he endured last year, I see truly great things ahead. Karma.

Well, what's your take? Any important numbers that I clearly missed?
Who's better? Matt or Tim??

Friday, January 4, 2008

What If?

Everyone come through the storm OK? Good. Let's play what if, shall we? What if Brian Sabean hasn't just been sitting around guzzling lattes, but actually has a deal in the works. What if the deal involves a team like the Yankees, who would trade a Hideki Matsui, who would consent to play first base, for a Noah Lowry, and maybe a Jonathan Sanchez or some other reliever, or maybe even a couple players including a Matsui for three Giants, but what if the Yankees didn't want to pull the trigger on that deal because they were waiting to see if they could get their hands on another player like maybe a Johan Santana but because the Twins weren't through dicking around, the Yankees didn't want to make a trade for a Lowry because a Lowry would be their second choice? What if that were the reason for the great silence emanating from the Giants organization and not Sabean's inability do to something besides hope a Rich Aurilia comes up with something better than pithy quotes? What if somebody somewhere has to make a deal before either that same somebody or somebody else will make a deal with Brian Sabean, because a Noah Lowry is neither somebody's nor somebody else's first choice? What if dust bunnies were dollar bills?