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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

If you’re painting the Giants as some sort of anti-Moneyball team you’re delusional | HardballTalk

Read the whole article.

Jenkins then goes on about the way the Giants put together their two-time World Series championship team, claiming that it’s all about old school scouting and experience and grit and all of that stuff and how the people who employ advanced analytical tools to build baseball teams have it all wrong.

It’s bad enough on its own, but it’s much worse when one realizes that Jenkins simply has his facts wrong. Dreadfully wrong. Wrong to the point of basic journalistic malpractice.  Why? Because he doesn’t once mention the name Yeshayah Goldfarb. Who is Yeshayah Goldfarb? Glad you asked!

Jim Furtado Posted: October 30, 2012 at 02:49 PM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants, moneyball, sabermetrics, scouting

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   1. Mefisto Posted: October 30, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4288494)
Jim, the link to the Hardball Talk gives a 404.
   2. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: October 30, 2012 at 03:03 PM (#4288500)
Three somewhat key contributors for the Giants this season--Gregor Blanco, Ryan Vogelsong, and Joaquin Arias--were all acquired as minor league free agents.

Maybe that's just luck, but it seems like SOMEONE must have seen SOMETHING there.

(Of course, as some might remember, this was Vogelsong's second time with the organization...he was one of the prospects they sent to Pittsburgh a decade ago to acquire Jason Schmidt.)
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: October 30, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4288514)
Who is Yeshayah Goldfarb?


A nice Irish lad, I presume.

   4. Bob T Posted: October 30, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4288517)
Vogelsong asked for the invite and he pitched his way back on to the big league team. The Dodgers had offered Vogelsong an invite before the Giants, but he didn't want to pitch in L.A. He preferred to go back to the organization that he was familiar with.
   5. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: October 30, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4288521)
he was one of the prospects they sent to Pittsburgh a decade ago to acquire Jason Schmidt.


He was the only prospect. The other player the Pirates got was Armando Rios, who was almost 30, and was Armando Rios.
   6. Bhaakon Posted: October 30, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4288527)
Not sure about Arias, but Blanco was signed on the suggestion of the Giants's hitting coach, who saw Gregor in Venezuela and talked him out of signing with the Marlins. Vogelsong actually knocked on the Giant's door looking for a contract; he'd gotten a minor league contract offer from the Dodgers and wanted to make sure the Giants weren't interested before taking it (reportedly he liked working with Righetti, and contacted the Giants' pitching coach directly).

I'm not trying to take anything away from the team, but it certainly seems like personal relationships play a huge role in signing guys like this (which is only to be expected, I suppose, since the contents of the contract offers aren't going to differ much).
   7. Jim Furtado Posted: October 30, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4288529)
Mefisto, the link is working for me. Maybe they had a server hiccup.
   8. Mefisto Posted: October 30, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4288564)
Yep, worked this time. Thanks.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: October 30, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4288593)
Director of minor league operations/quantitative analysis? Does that mean he is director of ml operations AND director of quantitative analysis? Or does it mean he's director of quantitative analysis for their ml operations? I'd guess the latter but don't know. If he is director of minor league operations then (if that title means what I think it means) he'd be greatly responsible for the Giants' success (or luck! :-) and he'd be the boss of those grizzly scouts.

Anyway ... Arias? C'mon, this one has to be sheer luck. 270/304/389, 97 OPS+ this year. In his minimal ML career before that he'd hit 276/314/362 which is obviously close enough to what he did this year but that was only good for a 79 OPS+ (mostly Texas). That was good for -.3 WAR, this year he had 1 WAR in half a season. His career AAA line is 274/305/374, all in the PCL (Oklahoma mainly, I have no idea if that's one of the crazy PCL places to hit).
   10. TDF, situational idiot Posted: October 30, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4288690)
Not only was Vogelsong a minor-league FA who asked the Giants for a job, he was a 33 year old minor-league FA. I don't see how that's a win for the scouting dept.
   11. Dave Spiwak Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:20 PM (#4288854)
I'm not sure about the sum of Yeshayah Goldfarb's contributions to the Giants' success. But the sum of Calcaterra's confidence in him appears based on one rah-rah piece in a Jewish weekly from two years ago. Consequently, I'll have to maintain that Bruce Jenkins is a fool for reasons other than the particular article in question.
   12. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 09:38 PM (#4288870)
According to the Giants


Yeshayah Goldfarb enters his 12th season in the Giants baseball operationsdepartment. He helps run the minor league operations on a day-to-day basis andprovides analytical and statistical analysis for, but not limited to, player acquisition and development.

A former intern with the club in 2001, Goldfarb graduated from theUniversity of California, San Diego with a degree in History. A former pitcher,he played four seasons with the Tritons and earned most inspirational Player andthe John Roth Memorial Award (Charlie Hustle) in 2000.

Goldfarb and his wife, Miranda, have a daughter, Eliana, and a son, Ezra, and reside in Berkeley, CA
   13. PreservedFish Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:04 PM (#4288880)
Not only was Vogelsong a minor-league FA who asked the Giants for a job, he was a 33 year old minor-league FA. I don't see how that's a win for the scouting dept.


Why wouldn't it be? Scouts watch players over the age of 22.
   14. McCoy Posted: October 30, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4288882)
Perverts.
   15. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4288939)
Goldfarb and his wife, Miranda, have a daughter, Eliana, and a son, Ezra, and reside in Berkeley, CA

Why of course they do. I am sure Berkeley has the highest number of Goldfarbs in the continental USA.
   16.     Hey Gurl Posted: October 30, 2012 at 11:45 PM (#4288957)
* Barry Zito, 84 ERA+, 19M
* Tim Lincecum 67 ERA+, 18M
* Aaron Rowand, 0 PA, 13.6M
* Aubrey Huff, 95 PA, 10M
* Brian Wilson 2 IP, 8.5M
* Freddy Sanchez, 0 PA, 6M

75.1M spent on probably pretty close to 0 wins; more than 20M more than the A's entire payroll.

If moneyball is about operating efficiently and getting the most out of the least, that is indeed an anti-moneyball club.
   17. dr. scott Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4289191)
But Z and Timmy's wins came when it counted!!! Paying 20 million for a pitcher with a past good to great track record is not really Anti Moneyball, but it's not pro either. Rowand is the real anti Moneyball player there. 10 million for a closer injured or not is probably anti Moneyball too. Romo kind of proved that.
   18. Gazizza, my Dilznoofuses! Posted: October 31, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4289201)
Here's a question: does Aaron Rowand get a ring and/or Series share?
   19. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4289350)
Why is it even necessary to have this conversation?

We've reached a point where every major league team makes some use of quantitative analysis, and makes some use of qualitative analysis. Different teams value each in varying degrees - the key is finding a good balance for your unique set of circumstances. And Brian Sabean and the Giants' management team have done that very well, on balance.

-- MWE
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4289366)

We've reached a point where every major league team makes some use of quantitative analysis, and makes some use of qualitative analysis. Different teams value each in varying degrees - the key is finding a good balance for your unique set of circumstances. And Brian Sabean and the Giants' management team have done that very well, on balance.


This. I mean there'e a bit of description of how Goldfarb has helped the Giants, but we really don't have much of a clue if they're using his data or not. The Royals have a stats guy that they tout, but I certainly wouldn't call them a Moneyball club. It not necessarily the process, its the results that matter. Having a stats guy doesn't make you Moneyball, listening to him does.
   21. AROM Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4289380)
75.1M spent on probably pretty close to 0 wins; more than 20M more than the A's entire payroll.


It makes it all the more impressive that they were able to field a championship team spending so little on actual productive players. Outside of that dead weight, their richest position player was Melky at 6 million, who was equally irrelevant to the team that won the playoffs. Pagan and Panda combined for about 8 million. Belt, Crawford, Posey, and Blanco were under a million. Then they probably paid about 5-6 million for their portions of Scutaro and Pence.
   22. GregD Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4289385)
Why of course they do. I am sure Berkeley has the highest number of Goldfarbs in the continental USA.
White pages lists 8 in Berkeley and 100+ each in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Take that, West Coast!
   23. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: October 31, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4289386)
He was the only prospect. The other player the Pirates got was Armando Rios, who was almost 30, and was Armando Rios.


At the time he was Armando Rios, with a career statline of .279/.360/.500 in 292 games for the Giants.

But about three hours into his Pirates career, he suffered a catastrophic knee injury and from then on was The Artist Formerly Known As Armando Rios.

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