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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Baseball America: Major League Executive Of The Year: Brian Sabean

They are not leprechauns, unicorns or the Easter Bunny. They really do exist, and their names are Jeremy Shelley and Yeshayah Goldfarb.

They are the quantitative analysts in the Giants front office, which if you believe the prevailing opinion among baseball’s Internet Illuminati, still gathers most of its information from gut feel and tobacco-spattered scouting reports.

The Giants, and Brian Sabean, the longest-tenured general manager in the game, have long been an easy mark for what acronym-inclined bloggers perceived as old-school methods. Now that the Giants are checking to see if their ring sizes have changed in 24 months, analysts, both recreational and professional, are trying to figure out how the heck the franchise they love to lampoon has pulled off the nearest thing to a dynasty by a National League club since the Big Red Machine.

There’s the pitching, of course. There’s a dash of serendipity. And a whole lot of Buster Posey doesn’t hurt, either.

But if the Giants’ World Series title in 2010 was a happy accident of sorts, won by a waiver-wire band of misfits, their second championship in three seasons had less ad-lib and more script. Those six elimination games against the Reds and Cardinals notwithstanding, this was by design.

Danny Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:15 PM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants

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   1. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4318062)
Those six elimination games against the Reds and Cardinals notwithstanding, this was by design.


A nice way to sweep under the mat the facts that belie your entire argument.
   2. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4318100)
Brian Sabean, the longest-tenured general manager in the game

Wow. Never would've guessed that.
   3. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4318106)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Major_League_Baseball_general_managers

   4. valuearbitrageur Posted: December 05, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4318209)
And a whole lot of Buster Posey doesn’t hurt, either


Nor does having a $130M payroll.
   5. Brian White Posted: December 05, 2012 at 07:32 PM (#4318241)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Major_League_Baseball_general_managers


So we've got four GMs who were hired in the 90's: Sabean, Billy Beane, Brian Cashman, and ... Dan O'Dowd?
   6. Squash Posted: December 05, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4318263)
So when exactly is Baseball America going to get over it?
   7. Spivey Posted: December 05, 2012 at 08:37 PM (#4318269)
Baseball America's writing is really good on college baseball and pretty good in most areas for minor league baseball. Their MLB writing sucks.
   8. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: December 05, 2012 at 08:43 PM (#4318270)
Who's the next GM fired? I'm thinking Jack Z. Dayton Moore should have already gotten the ax, and the new Dodgers owners wasted a good opportunity to get rid of Colletti, too.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:53 PM (#4318295)
They are the quantitative analysts in the Giants front office, which if you believe the prevailing opinion among baseball’s Internet Illuminati, still gathers most of its information from gut feel and tobacco-spattered scouting reports.

Now wait a second. It was the old school journalists writing all those "the Giants did it the old fashioned way, not the Moneyball way" articles and it was the Internet Illuminati who were pointing out the existence of Goldfarb.

Now I still make plenty of fun of Sabean but I'm a member of the Internet Stonecutters' Lodge not an Illuminati.

Of course I'd also say the 21st C Cards have a better claim to "first NL dynasty since the Reds". Also the 08-09 Phils with back-to-back pennants and 1 WS.

Not to mention a certain Braves team and their 37 straight division titles.

Anyway, no problem with Sabean as NL exec of the year although Jocketty and Rizzo deserve strong consideration.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:39 PM (#4318315)
Well deserved. Two championships with a team populated with shrewd draft picks like Buster Posey, Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, and Brandon Belt, and good trades like Melky Cabrera, Marco Scutaro, Angel Pagan and underrated freely available talent like Gregor Blanco and Santiago Casilla. Aside from Barry Zito they don't seem to blow their money on overpriced FA, instead using the money to retain the talent they find. Yea, he's not a saber guy, but there's more than one way to skin a cat.
   11. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4318318)
Aside from Barry Zito they don't seem to blow their money on overpriced FA, instead using the money to retain the talent they find. Yea, he's not a saber guy, but there's more than one way to skin a cat.

It's not like "Saber guys" are immune from the bad fa signing. If you're going to sign free agents consistently, you are going to get burned occasionally. It's the nature of the game.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: December 06, 2012 at 12:51 AM (#4318374)
Well, there was Aubrey Huff and Aaron Rowand and 3/$21 for Affeldt doesn't look efficient (although I think it's at least defensible). In fact, I'm not sure he's had a single good FA signing in the last 7 years or so. He did have enough sense to buy out Bumgarner and Sandoval and the Cain extension might work out.
   13. Sweatpants Posted: December 06, 2012 at 01:19 AM (#4318376)
In fact, I'm not sure he's had a single good FA signing in the last 7 years or so.
He signed Huff to a one-year deal for 2010. That was a great signing.
   14. MM1f Posted: December 06, 2012 at 02:27 AM (#4318386)
Baseball America's writing is really good on college baseball and pretty good in most areas for minor league baseball. Their MLB writing sucks.


They farm most of their MLB writing out to local MLB beat writers, like Andrew Baggerly, who wrote this piece, so you see a lot of pieces that looks like the stuff your local beat writer would spit out... because your local beat writer did, in fact, spit it out.

Their college and minor league stuff is handled in-house and, like you said, is pretty damn good.
   15. TomH Posted: December 06, 2012 at 08:21 AM (#4318425)
brafdlog is goldfarb spelled backwards!
   16. just plain joe Posted: December 06, 2012 at 09:50 AM (#4318482)
brafdlog is goldfarb spelled backwards!


Harry Caray would be proud!!!
   17. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: December 06, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4318492)
It seems to me that Sabean is very good at making adjustments on the fly during the season. Everyone makes mistakes, being willing to punt those mistakes and fix them is a separate challenge.
   18. GEB4000 Posted: December 06, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4319029)
Like 2010, he had a couple "lightning in a bottle" trades where the Giants got way more than they could have expected. Melky and Scutaro hitting over .345 is not going to happen again.

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