Sunday, July 9, 2017

Giants Suck

There, I said it.  I expect Mark (we're at the end of 6 innings) or Jon to post, but neither hasn't done it yet, so here is a rant.

The Giants have not played .400 baseball in 1 year.  They went into the All Star Break last year with the best record in baseball.  Coming out, they sucked.  Their post ASB record was 30 - 42.  They had a pretty good spring training, going 20 - 16, but then sucked again once the season started, going 34 - 56 up to now.  Today's game was a good example.  The Giants did some good things.  They came back from a 7 - 3 deficit by scoring 2 in the 8th and 2 in the 9th.  But then blew chow in the 11th and lost, just like so many times before. 

This is the same fucking team that compiled the best record in baseball up to 1 year ago.  Here is a list of the guys who have not been a disappointment:

Buster Posey.

That's it. Maybe Blach, only because the expectations were so low.   I don't have a solution.  No one does.  If there was one, it would have been implemented by now.  Maybe it is a little bit of every damn thing every lazy sportswriter has copied from somebody else.   Whatever.  It is clearly not one thing.  So here is a list, in order, of the things that suck from most to somewhat less, in my opinion, without stats to back them up:

1. Relief pitching
2. Batting
3. Starting pitching
4. Fielding

And you know what makes it worse?  Up to a couple days ago, trading Johnny Cueto (and then maybe signing him next year) seemed like a good idea.  Today, what could we get for him?  Who would want him?  Some contending team with a MIDDLE OF THE ROTATION AT BEST pitcher who just got hurt - maybe.  What would we get?  Maybe a prospect.  Johnny might be good next year, but here's the thing.  If he picks it up and pitches great - he opts out.  If he doesn't, he doesn't opt out and the Giants are stuck with his contract.  Great deal, huh?  Trading Nunez?  He's hurt - he's worth nada.

So if management decides to blow this team up, and I mean BLOW THIS TEAM UP, I'm OK with that.   Well, not Buster, that would be baseball suicide.  But ANYONE and EVERYONE ELSE.  I have a totally irrational hope.  Last year, the Giants were winning like crazy up to the ASB.  There was 1 blip, when they dropped 3 of 4 to the A's at the end of June.  This year, they had a blip - it was their 6 game winning streak.  So my irrational hope is that they come out of the break and inexplicably win just like they inexplicably lost for the past year.  Wacky, right?  Totally.  That just shows what kind of voodoo this fucking team has wrought. 


JC Parsons said...

Thanks for jumping in with your rant. Writing posts this year is agony and I couldn't bear to deal with it last night so I'm over joyed to see your work.
I have little or nothing to add. Actually I'm not even impressed with Buster this year. His average is fine, but meaningless. His impact on our team is on defense and almost nonexistent on offense. I'll bet that his .325 with be about .300 or less by the time his legs give out. Which is in about a month. So the one positive that everyone points to is actually rather lame. The entire team is remarkably lame. We are playing as well as we can and we just got swept at home by a very mediocre team. Oh well, I thought this kind of collapse wasn't possible on this team. At this point I feel NO ONE is untouchable. Not MadBum, not BCraw, not Posey. And everyone else is fodder. And if we don't play close to .500 ball the rest of the way, Bochy and Righetti get early retirement. Changes are coming

M.C. O'Connor said...

This is the worst team ever. Mostly because of expectations. We've seen some crappy goddamn teams over the years, but they were expected to be lousy. This team should be better, that's what makes this season so horrible.

But let's not get hysterical. Buster Posey is great. Let's appreciate him while he's with us. One guy can't make up for 24 other guys, the game just doesn't work like that. No way the Giants trade Posey. It would be nuts. You don't ship out your cornerstone player in a fit of pique over a lost season. That's why fans don't run teams.

And unless there are medical reasons otherwise I expect (and demand) that Bochy be on the dugout steps next year. He's the best manager in SFG history. Repeat that a few times, like a mantra. You'll feel the soothing power of those words. I think the FO knows that firing the manager is what panicky teams do. I hate panicking. I like thoughtful decision-making. Yes, the Giants have a whole lot of hard decisions to make. They don't have to make one on Boch, which is good, as they have enough on their plate.

I was hoping for the second half to be auditions for 2018, but half of the youngsters are hurt and we won't see them. That sucks. And there's not a lot of trade material out there right now, as we've said before even Cueto is looking less and less desirable. Even if some playoff club wants starting pitching insurance he won't fetch the return he could have if he was pitching like last year.

But the flip side is that things change fast in today's game. Last-to-first and first-to-last don't take a decade any more. They happen overnight. So I think the Giants will bounce back. In fact, this is where you get to really measure a team and an organization--how they deal with crisis and failure. They kept the band together longer than they should have and now they are paying the price. A heavier price than expected, but one we knew would come eventually. Should be interesting going forward.

I was planning a 5th inning post for the Break.

Ron said...

I won't go on-&-on right now, but here's the short version:

- Bochy (& Righetti) should be done at the end of this Season. I appreciate (but don't overvalue now) that he had the most success of any previous Giants' Manager. He is old, in poor health, & seems to even be a bit out-of-step with the times. The Giants have 2 logical replacements on-staff, & they should give one of them a chance. Otherwise, we could see the dawn of the decades-long Jose Alguacil Era in Anaheim or somewhere. This is not a panic move; this is considered move to keep an organization moving forward. A panic move would have been firing him last September, when we had collapsed.

- Posey should be untouchable. No one else should be.

- We are not paying the price for keeping the band together too long. We are paying the price for being cheap-skates in the FA Market, especially the Foreign FA Market, despite raking in mega-bucks off of the backs of the fans & TV viewers.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Well we'll just have to agree to disagree on Bochy. I'd let him decide how much longer to go. I'm sure he knows his time (he's 62) is coming. I'll bet the wife will be The Decider anyway, she probably knows his health/fitness/mental state better than anyone. I did see that Terry Francona, another excellent manager (and four years younger than Bochy), is out of the ASG with heart trouble. It's a stressful job, I get that. And there's a new breed out there, younger guys, different approaches. I've said before that I think Alguacil is The Anointed One, we agree on that, but I've really no idea what the guy brings to the table. Sabean and Baer play things close to the vest. Just to add another point, Tampa Bay looks pretty stupid dumping Joe Maddon (after nine years and four playoff appearances) don't you think? He's a year older than Boch.

I would add Bumgarner to the untouchable list. At least for two more seasons. At $12M/yr there's no way to replace him. He'll be 28 soon, he's got a lot left, he may not even have hit his peak. I think as well he feels he has something to prove especially after his colossal fuckup. Once they free up some money (Cain, Pence, Span) I expect a long-term franchise player type of deal. I hope so.

Giants are what, fifth-highest in payroll? I can't complain about them not spending. They spent a shitload and it didn't work. Could they spend at LA Dodgers level? The franchise is probably rich enough. Maybe not. It's hard to say, those guys play it even closer to the vest! But I can't bitch about the payroll, they've been up in the top-tier for a long time. I guess they could always reach for top-tier of the top-tier. If you want to pass the Dodgers I suppose you have to out-spend them!

Ron said...

It's also about spending wisely, not just spending a lot. Some smarter decisions & the overall payroll could absorb a splashy superstar-type contract.

The Span deal was a terrible deal - even if he were performing better, that was a lot of money to drop on an aging CF who has never put up particularly great numbers. The Samardzija deal was marginal. Melancon looked like a relatively good deal - then, kablooie. Now, Dyson, at no cost, is our Closer.

And, as I said, the Giants have not gone out into the Foreign market with the gusto that others have. Lucius Fox? Really? Jae-gyun Hwang? Maybe. But, neither of these deals were for a clear difference-maker.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Span's best season was age 30, but I agree it was a risk to sign an older guy, altho $11M/yr is cheap in FA terms. Samardzija has given the Giants exactly what they signed for, a workhorse above-average pitcher. He's doing fine actually (2.3 fWAR already), and did fine last year (2.6 fWAR). I have no regrets there. He's a very solid #3 starter, and has improved his game this year. I was happy with the Melancon signing at the time, so I won't bitch about it now. Closers are useless on bad teams. It was supposed to be a good team, and he was a key missing piece. Obviously he's had physical issues, too. The Pence and Cain contracts are the biggest albatrosses.

Free agency is expensive. Current estimates are approx $10M/WAR! The best way to build value is with young players under team control. The rookies and phenoms have to deliver. Those super youngsters from the draft (Cain, Lincecum, Bum, Posey, etc) that the team built championships around have to be replaced by new youngsters.

El said...

The best way to build value is with young players under team control.

Farm system is the base around which the roster revolves.
It has to supply the big club with above average major league players to plug holes or trade for needed pieces. FA is a crapshoot with way more expensive misses than hits - for the Giants, and everyone else.

BTW.... Righetti has had a hand in turning Dyson (sss) from a punching bag to a ML pitcher again.

Zo said...

I can't get the dramatic nature of the Giants fall off out of my head. I wonder if it is an example of a "tipping point" to borrow the phrase from popular author Malcolm Gladwell. The Giants team era is 4.68 thus far in 2017. For MLB it is 4.35. The Giants have scored 3.93 runs per game in 2017, and MLB has scored 4.67. Note that, although home runs may be up, scoring is not dramatically higher, although it is up over the last couple of years. In the 2000's, there have been 3 other years with the runs per game in the 4.6's, 1 year with a runs per game greater than 4.7 and 2 years in the 4.8's. In 1999 and 2000, runs per game were greater than 5. Here is a list comparing the Giants with MLB for the last couple years:

2017 SF Giants 4.68 era 3.93 rpg MLB 4.35 era 4.67 rpg
2016 SF 3.65 era 4.41 rpg MLB 4.19 era 4.48 rpg
2015 SF 3.72 era 4.30 rpg MLB 3.96 era 4.25 rpg
2014 SF 3.79 era 4.10 rpg MLB 3.74 era 4.07 rpg

2017 isn't over yet, and the Giants run production has picked up, so maybe it won't end at a sub-4.00 level. But look at that era. It is nearly a full point worse than last year. Last year the era was significantly below the MLB average - like 54 points below, whereas rpg was just slightly below - probably a good reason why the Giants were in the playoffs. Also interesting is 2014 - which we think of as a great pitching year, the season era was slightly worse than the leagues's.

So my point here is that, seeing as how baseball is a subtle game, a few less runs and a few more allowed adds up to a lot of losses. But is it enough to account for the awfulness of this season's record? What do others think?

nomisnala said...

Righetti still seems to be a decent p;tching coach. Not sure about the hitting philosophy though. This team that does not have awesome power should not be afraid to take their walks, Cannot tell you how many times they have taken a swing at Ball 4, and either have K's or hit a weak ground out, or infield pop. It is amazing that Belt and Crawford could be hitting so much lower than Posey, but Posey trails both of them in RBI. I hope that Bumgarner's return can keep this team from 100 losses. Yes. Bochy had been one of the best managers in the majors for a long time. He still could be, but he cannot seem to motivate this team appropriately and his hunch's seem to continually backfire this year. Cain was once a very good pitcher, and so was Jonathan Sanchez, but time moved on, Perhaps Bochy should retire before he starts to further embarrass himself. The giants now seem to be an emotional team that seems to panic and fall apart as soon as the other team threatens. they also seem to be slow to get started. If Belt or Crawford makes a rare error, you know it will be at a crucial point in a close game and the team will find a way to fall apart.

Zo said...

An interview with Brian Sabean about this mess.