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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Saturday, January 10, 2004

San Francisco Giants

Signed P Brett Tomko to a 1-year contract, $1.5 million contract.

Good thing Brian Sabean didn’t waste $1.5 million on one of those evil, child-molesting draft picks when a player the caliber of Tomko can be acquired for the same price.  If Sabean’s really having trouble figuring out what to do with the saved draft pick money, I can think of better uses than Brett Tomko, such as hiring someone to dub the entire run of Mama’s Family into Mandarin Chinese.

Most mediocre pitchers are able to sneak above league-average once in a while, but Tomko’s proven devilishly skillful at avoiding that nasty fate since his rookie year, maxing out at an ERA+ of 97 in 1998.  Tomko has even proven impervious to ballpark effects, allowing 66 homers in the last 2 years playing at Qualcomm and Busch.

People say that ballplayers are spoiled nowadays, especially the stars.  Brian Sabean has decided to change that and has dedicated the 2004 season to making sure Barry Bonds knows what it feels like to be working in a waste treatment plant.

Tomko, Brett - 2004 ZiPS Projection
———————————————————————-
W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
———————————————————————-
9 11 31 30 196 208 102 29 58 113 4.68

Dan Szymborski Posted: January 10, 2004 at 06:41 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Cris E Posted: July 26, 2001 at 04:46 PM (#551569)
From the Rangers' point of view this might be about pre-filling the AA and AAA squads to get ready for the great White Flag Call Up of 01. They lose the geezers and bring up the kids at 3b, 2b, 1b and just start the schoolin' now. Anything they get for Andres is better than cutting him straightout both from a PR and financial standpoint.

From the Giants' angle I see nothing. The darkness is great...
   2. Cris E Posted: July 27, 2001 at 04:09 PM (#551572)
Won't garlic and sunshine keep Hayes at bay? Oh wait, that's vampires. How does the washed up 1b thing work?
   3. Danny Posted: December 14, 2001 at 12:07 AM (#552159)
I really don't see how losing Vanderwal makes the Giants SO bad. With Dunston, Benard, Murray and Rivera there was simply too much mediocre talent in the outfield. As bad a trade as Jiminez for Witasick was, that doesn't mean Witasick is waiver wire material. Check out DIPS and his K ratios. I think the Giants have a good chance of keeping Bonds if they want him, and will undoubtedly pick up a power-hitting outfielder if he signs elsewhere. With Estes to dangle and the money saved on Bonds, the Giants could add a CF and LF/RF. I know Aurilia's season was somewhat of a fluke, but he's gotta be considered the best hitting shortstop in the NL. Kent is near the top at 2B. Snow looked good after coming back late in the season, and is always good for 80 walks. Signing Santiago was obviously stupid, but not as dumb as trading Estalella. If Bonds comes back this is basically the same team that won 90 games last year. Obviously Bonds will regress some, but Hernandez and Rueter will undoubtedly improve. Signing Alou or trading for Giles or Sheff would put the Giants in a similar place as last year even if they lose Bonds. The Giants always seem to overachieve. How many of you wrote off Dunston as an out machine? Yet Dusty turns him into a league average outfielder. Feliz will improve, and the lineup will continue to be above league-average.
   4. Steve Treder Posted: December 14, 2001 at 12:09 AM (#552160)
Oracle, I agree that from a sufficiencies/shortages perspective, this one doesn't make sense for the Giants. They aren't strong at either RF or 1B (and if they do lose Bonds, LF too, duh), and they already are well stocked in righthanded setup men.

But you aren't accurate in saying "Jay Witasick is pure waiver-wire material." This guy struck out 106 in 79 innings last year, which is not your basic waiver-wire kind of stuff. There was a reason the Yankees were willing to part with Jiminez to get him; their acquisition of him just happened to coincide with the one big slump he had all year (I know this all too well because I had him on my fantasy team). He managed to get it pretty much straightened out by the last few weeks of the season. He can pitch.

I interpret this as pure economics for the Giants. Vander Waal will make $1 million more than Witasick, which is another $1 million they can now dangle in front of Mr. Bonds. They can now also probably part with Tim Worrell, who I suspect makes more than Witasick and doesn't have near the upside.
   5. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 14, 2001 at 01:48 AM (#552162)
VanderWal's defense is, to put it charitably, awful. The Yankees are stockpiling bats, but they're going to need to put some gloves with them, otherwise the pitching staff could head south.

The Witasick acquisition gives the Giants some flexibility in the bullpen, which might allow them to clear some salary for Bonds by moving Robb Nen (with Felix Rodriguez closing and Witasick taking FRod's spot).

-- MWE
   6. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 14, 2001 at 02:23 AM (#552163)
I think the issue of disagreement here is mainly that you guys seem to like Jay Witasick a lot more than I do. To me, I see a pitcher that has about as much command as Braxton Bragg despite good stuff.

The loss of Vanderwal, while not a killer in itself, is indicative of a franchise that has done nothing to address its weaknesses and, in fact, seems intent on eliminating any upside within their weaknesses. Vanderwal's not a star and he isn't good defensively, but he's one of the very few players on the Giants that could potentially hit even 350/500.

Bonds and Aurilia combined were in the range of *230* runs above replacement offensively last year. Aurilia just dropping to the level of Miguel Tejada loses 60 runs by itself. Even Aurilia staying the same with the lack of Bonds and replacing Bonds with the fictitious league average outfielder that the Giants have loses 100 runs and puts the Giants with the dregs of baseball offensively.

Let's assume that Witasick *does* a pretty good job in middle relief for the Giants. Is the difference between Jay Witasick and Robbie Crabtree worth letting *another* offensive position go unmanned in an offense which needed two MVP caliber performances just to be average?
   7. Danny Posted: December 14, 2001 at 03:33 AM (#552165)
"...in an offense which needed two MVP caliber performances just to be average?"
   8. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 14, 2001 at 05:07 AM (#552167)
Right, the Giants are only average because of Bonds and Aurilia and in 2000, because of Bonds and Kent. Replace them with league-average players and the Giants are easily a horrible offense.

Bonds was literally worth 110-120 runs more than the league-average leftfielder this year. Aurilia in the 60-70 range. The 2001 Giants had a *170-190* run head start on the rest of the league and to end up with an offense that was only 40-50 runs above average is truly pitiful. We're not talking a 190 run head start on replacement level either, even though the Giants showed with the rest of their positions that they're unable to find players that can hit above replacement level.

The Giants overall offensive rankings by position in the NL:

C: 10th
   9. Danny Posted: December 14, 2001 at 05:23 AM (#552168)
"Right, the Giants are only average because of Bonds and Aurilia and in 2000, because of Bonds and Kent."

How can you call the best offense in the league average?

You're also assuming that the Giants won't pick up a CF or corner outfielder if Bonds leaves, which I think is a poor assumption. Magowan and Sabean have done pretty well with free agents and trades, starting with Bonds in 1993 and Kent a few years later. They are poor at developing talent, but not evaluating (other than Santiago).

Also, wouldn't it be wise to assume that a healthy Snow will improve the 1B rating and Feliz will improve at 3B. As long as they haven't lost Bonds, the Giants should finish with the best NL offense for the third consecutive year. Without him, they will fall to the average team you keep mentioning.
   10. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 14, 2001 at 05:40 AM (#552169)
I didn't say they were an average offense; I said the Giants needed two MVP-caliber performances just to be average. Without those performances, they wouldn't have reached average. Either you misunderstood what I wrote or I simply worded it poorly, an exercise I'll leave to someone more capable a writer than I.
   11. Mark Donelson Posted: December 14, 2001 at 07:13 PM (#552170)
Re Spencer getting lots of playing time--there's a lot more righties than lefties out there, so I think we'll end up seeing much more of Vander Wal. At least until the defensive replacement innings come along...
   12. Danny Posted: December 17, 2001 at 03:24 PM (#552235)
The only way this deal makes sense for the Giants:
   13. Darren Posted: December 17, 2001 at 04:44 PM (#552226)
If you look at when Dreifort was signed, he was almost exactly the same pitcher that Chris Holt was. At the time, Holt was making about $1M.
   14. Toby Posted: December 17, 2001 at 05:37 PM (#552237)
This is a *great* deal for the Giants! Haven't you heard? Shinjo is the Japanese Luis Gonzalez.
   15. Chris Dial Posted: December 17, 2001 at 06:23 PM (#552238)
Relaford had a great season, swamping his historical numbers. Alfonzo had a terrible season. Relaford also had the luxury of a half-season of PAs. As the sample size grows, he regresses to his norm. To describe Relaford as the second-best hitter on the Mets last season is hedging heavily. He wasn't likely to be the second best this season, even without Alomar. Relaford isn't a good bet to outhit Ordonez.

This is a great trade for the Mets. They traded waiver wire material for a decent starter. I mean Deivi Cruz and Neifi Perez are as good as Relaford, and they're free.

Cedeno's VORP was above Lawton's. Sure the Mets do need another OF, but I think they *expect* to get one. It wouldn't surprise me if Estes is traded, or Rusch, or Chen, or Trachsel.

And I think the Giants were clearing salary for Bonds.
   16. Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2001 at 12:21 AM (#552244)
My favorite Estes story:

"Police say San Francisco Giants pitcher Shawn Estes took a
   17. Jim Furtado Posted: December 18, 2001 at 12:24 AM (#552245)
Oh, I had a few people excited when I said something positive about Houston's acquisition of Brian Hunter. I don't understand the dearth of criticism of the Cedeno contract.
   18. Floyd Thursby Posted: December 21, 2001 at 10:23 PM (#552351)
The Giants didn't trade for Rivera, they picked him up off waivers. Step one: Collect 5th outfielders.
   19. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 21, 2001 at 11:29 PM (#552352)
Nice one! I think I'll refer to Brian Sabean as the 5th-Outfielder Gnome for now on.
   20. Steve Treder Posted: December 22, 2001 at 03:17 AM (#552353)
Letting Boehringer go is no issue; he's just as inconsequential as the guy they traded for him, Bobby Estalella.

But allowing Rivera to go without a murmur puzzles me. Sure, I think Shinjo at the end of the day is probably preferable as my center fielder, but I'm not so positive about it that I wouldn't like to see a good old Spring Training battle to find out. Rivera's one of those guys who just might, someday, make some team real happy they latched on to him at the right instant. If I'm the team latching on to him at the current moment, I don't want to let go until I have to. I don't see how it was that the Giants had to right now.
   21. Steve Treder Posted: December 22, 2001 at 05:40 PM (#552355)
Tejada,

I'll take your point that it was a poor choice of words on my part to characterize Estalella as "inconsequential." You're correct that he demonstrated very intriguing power/walk potential, particularly in the first half of 2000.

But on the other hand, in the other 326 atbats of his career, he's come in at .212/.309/.417 (.726 OPS). Baseball Reference identifies the two most similar players to him as Tom Haller and Billy Bryan. At his still young age, Estalella has now been dismissed by two different organizations (deemed less useful than the likes of Chris Brock and Boehringer), and it's not apparent to me that the Yankees have any plans for him. I'm seeing more Billy Bryan than Tom Haller here. It'll be quite a story when this guy wins the MVP.

So, sure, he's not inconsequential, but what exactly is he? Something less than irreplaceable, I would think.

And, Tejada, if I'm "Brian Sabean's lapdog," why is the fundamental point of my post to question the wisdom of the Rivera non-tender?
   22. VegasRobb Posted: December 22, 2001 at 07:33 PM (#552356)
It's gotta say something that the Yankees signed Alberto Castillo as insurance after Posada's shoulder surgery instead of believing that Estalella could do the job and standing pat.
   23. Steve Treder Posted: December 24, 2001 at 07:03 PM (#552359)
Tejada,

No argument that the Giants' catching sucks.

And keep those knee-slappers coming. You're a regular laugh riot.
   24. JB Posted: January 06, 2002 at 08:57 PM (#552461)
Now why wouldn't a team with Bonds and Kent not try to dominate their lineup with high on-base guys? You can't pitch around Bonds as much with runners on, and Bonds' production would be even better. I don't get it.
   25. Robert Dudek Posted: January 07, 2002 at 03:33 PM (#552464)
"...but I'm sure Giants could get him for nothing and then an outfield of Bonds, Henderson, and Sanders would be much better than what it looked like they were going to trot out there a week ago."

Who would play CF? Bonds? Both Bonds and Henderson are leftfielders.
   26. Cris E Posted: January 07, 2002 at 05:00 PM (#552465)
According to Gammons, Rickey has been on the phone to SD and SEA trying to stir up some interest. I agree that SF wouldn't be a bad place for him to add to his list. I'd add BAL as well.

I think a lowball offer to Kenny Lofton might not be a bad idea. He fell off a cliff last year, but if they could get him for nothing and incentives he could turn out better than Benard. And if it's clear that he's got nothing left they can cut him and not be out anything. They're both on the far side of the hill, but at least Kenny has been useful in the recent past and might be line for his Mid-30s Blaze Of Glory Flameout Season (TM).
   27. RJ in TO Posted: January 08, 2002 at 01:30 AM (#552469)
How do they rank if you remove Bonds from that? It seems to me like his massive numbers cover for the OBP flaws in the rest of the team.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: January 08, 2002 at 04:35 PM (#552474)
video game anomalies... In Triple Play 2000, I managed the Cubs to 120-some wins. Lance Johnson led the league with about 180 stolen bases (in about 183 attempts) and I think I had 4 guys hitting over 400. In one game, against poor Eddie Taubansee, every player in the game, all my bench hitters, and even the pitcher stole a base (I think we had 25 steals total in the game).

But more amazing, in one season of Diamond Mind, Damon Buford actually put up an OPS over 950 as a full-time starter. Talk about your random variation.
   29. Floyd Thursby Posted: January 09, 2002 at 07:13 PM (#552478)
Sabean gets no credit for the offense. He inherited Bonds and Aurilia. He got lucky with Kent's development into a near HOF-second baseman (which we *all* saw coming). Every other hitter is bunk. He's going to go into the season with Shinjo, Feliz, Santiago, and Snow starting? And he deserves credit? Not when have your lineup can be out hit by Jason Tyner, Aubrey Huff, Toby Hall, and Steve Cox. If you start to have noticeably bigger holes than the D-Rays, you deserve no credit.

The only reason the Giants rank so well in EqA is that Bonds is a monster, their 2B hits like a RF, and their SS hits like a 1B. Sabean has the hard-to-find positions settled, but can't build the rest of the team with average hitters. No credit.
   30. Alan Posted: January 15, 2002 at 05:40 AM (#552654)
I find it hard to believe they couldn't have kept him for 4 or 5 years for much less money.
   31. Big Ed Posted: January 15, 2002 at 03:04 PM (#552655)
I don't. I think Bonds would have been perfectly willing to go through arbitration, and gotten the keys to the bank (I know, I know, as opposed to what?) and tried it again next year. He had a pretty hard year to attack in the arbitration process. The money is $13M in 2002, $13M in 2003, $16M in 2004, $20M in 2005, $18M in 2006, and a $10M signing bonus.
   32. Chris Dial Posted: January 15, 2002 at 03:26 PM (#552656)
I think this deal is perfect. Everybody overpays free agents, but I think this contract in this market is about right. Bonds is getting paid less than his value for a few years and then above his value for a few seasons, with a bonus. If the Mets had signed him to this contract, I would have considered it a steal. And the Giants got a bargain.
   33. Walt Davis Posted: January 15, 2002 at 08:19 PM (#552658)
Also $5 million per year is deferred until after the contract and the 5th year is voided if he doesn't get 500 PA in year 4 (or I think 1500 over years 2-4 with at least 400 in 4).
   34. Big Ed Posted: January 15, 2002 at 11:34 PM (#552662)
Elden,

That would be a 4-year, $72MM contract for arguably the best hitter in baseball. I think the likelihood of him completing the contract is well above 50-50; for the reason Chris just said; conditioning.
   35. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 19, 2002 at 12:29 AM (#552905)
Jason sez:

I really don't understand the consistent bashing of Sabean on these boards

Only partially tongue-in-cheek answer:

Sabean dares to build teams that win consistently in spite of his ignorance of sabermetric tenets. A team's not allowed to win consistently unless it does it the right way.
   36. Steve Treder Posted: January 19, 2002 at 01:11 AM (#552907)
Sabean's made plenty of moves that never made sense to me, but I think overall he's a lot closer to the best GMs than he is to the worst.

Sabean doesn't own the Giants; he's an employee of the owner, Peter Magowan. His boss has given him two (mutually incompatible) objectives: (1) field a playoff-contending team every year; no rebulding periods allowed, and (2) operate within the constraints of a mid-tier payroll. Sabean has consistently met both objectives, which I for one didn't expect he'd be able to do. I think this is pretty impressive. He's also making his boss rich(er) -- no wonder he's considered an attractive catch by other organizations.

If indeed the Giants go through the entire 2002 season with no other catchers in their lineup than Santiago, Service, and Edwards Guzman, the position will bring new meaning to the term "weakness." But I really doubt that's what will happen. Sabean will likely come up with some (cost-effective) help from somewhere. And, very likely, come September the Giants will be in the thick of the race.
   37. Steve Treder Posted: January 19, 2002 at 01:28 AM (#552908)
"... the Giants are going to keep claiming "poor" because Magowan paid for Pac Bell (which at least is a much more legit reason than other teams claim poverty)..."

IMHO, this is a BS reason for the Giants to claim "poor." The Giants are BETTER off financially for owning Pac Bell than they would otherwise be: if they were still renting Candlestick, they'd be paying rent rather than paying a mortgage, and the mortgage is a tax write-off that rent wouldn't be; since they own Pac Bell all the stadium advertising and concessions rentals become their revenue rather than the city's; and since they own Pac Bell it is an asset that continues to grow in value (tried to buy any commerical real estate in China Basin lately?), continuing to grow the owner's equity in addition to the otherwise-growing value of the baseball franchise.

Magowan COULD increase the team's payroll. He chooses not to. It's his money, and his team; he has the right to spend the money and operate his team as he pleases. But he gets no sympathy from me with his tired "the Pac Bell mortgage prevents me" line.
   38. Steve Treder Posted: January 19, 2002 at 01:53 AM (#552912)
OK, just one more thing on this and then I'll shut up ...

Tom, I think you're right regarding Estalella. The Giants were discreet about exactly what was going on, but it's apparent that they had some discipline issues with him.

It's in regard to things like this that I think sometimes it's easy for us out here to be armchair GMs and convince ourselves that if we were doing their jobs, we wouldn't be making these moves that make no sense on a spreadsheet. But real teams don't play their games on a spreadsheet, and real GMs have to contend with lots of issues that may not be visible to us.
   39. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 19, 2002 at 04:58 PM (#552913)
The Pirates signed the *other* Scott Service to a minor-league deal:

http://www.pittsburgh.com/shared/sports/ap/ap_story.html/Baseball/AP.V8611.AP-BBN-Pirates-Mov.html

-- MWE
   40. Steve Treder Posted: January 19, 2002 at 07:35 PM (#552914)
Vinay Kumar,

You may well be right regarding the tax implications to the team regarding rent vs. mortgage; I certainly profess no expertise in tax accounting. Nevertheless I remain convinced that ownership of Pac Bell Park is a net positive financial condition for the Giants, to a significant degree.
   41. Steve Treder Posted: January 22, 2002 at 12:02 AM (#552918)
There's every reason to believe that Baker has significant input into the Giants' roster moves. Baker was the manager before Sabean was the GM, he's a two-time NL Manager of the Year, and Sabean and Magowan know that if Baker isn't happy there'll be plenty of other teams eager to talk with him the next time his contract is up. Baker is one of the Giants' most precious assets. There's no way Sabean makes a roster move without at least Baker's consultation, if not his approval, and I'm sure that if Baker comes to Sabean with a suggestion or a request (as may well have been the case with Estalella), Sabean takes it very seriously.

Of course there are reasons to conclude that this is a suboptimal arrangement to have; if we think Sabean doesn't have much of a grasp of sabermetric basics, try Baker: he bats Dunston LEADOFF a lot of the time, for crying out loud. But I think this is another one of those times in which looking at a team through a narrow stat-focused lens can cause one to miss the larger picture. In the Giants' situation, Baker has complete, total, and legitimate authority. The players know they can't go behind his back or over his head to Sabean, because Sabean and Baker are on the same page. As the Estalella case showed, you try and defy Dusty's authority, the next thing you know you're in the International League.

This can only serve to foster an atmosphere in which every player who is on the roster is focused on doing the best he can. I think someone else made this point in another one of these threads: Sabean makes goofy acquisitions, but the players on the Giants' roster very rarely underperform, and there are many examples of players performing better than ever expected: Kent and Aurilia obviously, but also the likes of John Johnstone, Marvin Benard (at least for a couple of years), Felix Rodriguez, Ramon Martinez, Ellis Burks, and Armando Rios. And Bonds seems to be making an annual event of outperforming even high expectations.

None of this is to say, of course, that the team wouldn't be better off if Sabean and Baker had a bit of a clue regarding such subversive concepts as OPS. But I think it points to the fact that there just might be some factors influencing team success that a guy like Sabean might have a pretty good handle on.
   42. Steve Treder Posted: February 14, 2002 at 06:20 AM (#554452)
Gardner is a guy who squeezed a very creditable major league career out of very unremarkable natural tools. And he displayed a great amount of depth, poise, and maturity over the past few years, as he dealt with the life-threatening illness of his wife.

A class act.
   43. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 14, 2002 at 07:34 AM (#554453)
Damn. Only two more years and he'd have been old enough for the Orioles.
   44. Repoz Posted: February 14, 2002 at 12:12 PM (#554456)
Maybe Gardner will come out of retirement this season to try and get that elusive 100th win ala Early Wynn did to garner his 300th.

I trust he's aware he's sitting on 99 wins unlike Al Kaline,who when asked why he had retired with 399 career taters stated "How was I supposed to know how many I had".
   45. Repoz Posted: February 14, 2002 at 02:17 PM (#554457)
A further disquisition on Mark Gardners 99 career Wins. He now stands tied with such lumen as.

Mike Hampton - 99-66(active with Colo.but might stay at 99)
   46. Repoz Posted: February 14, 2002 at 09:30 PM (#554460)
Thanks Neal....I guess I glided when I shoulda gilded

Joey Jay is also the only 99 game winning/ex Little Leaguer to be placed in the Witness Protection Program.
   47. MattB Posted: February 15, 2002 at 04:05 PM (#554461)
Let's not forget Nixey Callahan (99-71).
   48. Repoz Posted: February 15, 2002 at 07:32 PM (#554462)
Matt...I should have clarified my listing,I was using pitchers post 1900..Along with Nixey Callahan's 99-71 was Charlie Fegguson's 99-64 who toiled from 1884 to 1887.

Also another hurler who won 99 games was George Suggs who went 99-91,but pitched his last 2 years in the Federal League with the Baltimore Terrapins.
   49. Greg Franklin Posted: March 03, 2002 at 12:53 AM (#555229)
Slow news day!? Inky went 2-for-2 today! San Diego had better sign-and-trade him to Montreal right quick....
   50. Barry Bonds Posted: March 03, 2002 at 01:59 AM (#555232)
Now Jeff should stop crying about me riding to work alone in a limo every day, and get one for himself.
   51. Aaron Gleeman Posted: March 03, 2002 at 02:29 AM (#555233)
In a few days are we gonna find out that Kent really injured it doing something else? Like karate fighting his kid brother or something?

When Mark Quinn first got injured, I read on ESPN.com that he injured himself after falling out of a chair. Then, a couple days later, the truth was revealed.

I wonder what Kent really hurt himself doing?

Barry Bonds sure is a lot more durable than Jeff Kent. I mean Bonds stayed healthy all year and he was carrying an entire team, whereas Kent hurts himself cleaning his truck!
   52. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 03, 2002 at 03:58 AM (#555234)
Remember the story on Dan Miceli's injury? Guess that mugger's off hanging out with the real killer of O.J.'s wife.
   53. Geoff Young Posted: March 03, 2002 at 05:19 AM (#555235)
Slow news day!? Inky went 2-for-2 today! San Diego had better sign-and-trade him to Montreal right quick....

Now that would be amusing. Isn't he the reason drafted players can't be traded within a calendar year of their being drafted? If memory serves, Incaviglia refused to report to the Expos when they drafted him out of college way back when, forcing them to trade him to Texas for Bob Sebra.
   54. Greg Franklin Posted: March 03, 2002 at 06:02 AM (#555237)
Geoff, I'm pretty sure you're right that Inky was the reason for that change; a return to Montreal should nicely cap his comeback.

The KNBR update guy called Kent's injury a "freak accident" and reported that Kent didn't think too much of it when it happened. Overnight swelling changed that opinion.

Off-hand the Giants should be covered defensively, putting Martinez in as the everyday 2B and letting Bell get a clean shot at 3B. ESPN.com seems to think Bell will move to 2B, but I don't see that happening.
   55. Alan Posted: March 03, 2002 at 08:03 AM (#555239)
They ought to give Relaford a shot. If he can come close to last year's .836 OPS, he's quite useful as a starter while Kent is out, and probably a lot better than Martinez.
   56. Dan 'The Boy' Werr Posted: March 03, 2002 at 08:20 AM (#555240)
Alan,

I'd agree wholeheartedly if the Giants hadn't traded Relaford to the Mariners for Bell (and I believe Pat Gillick did specify "no takebacks").

I'll believe Kent being ready on opening day when I see it (not that he should be out long enough to have too much effect).
   57. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: March 03, 2002 at 08:42 AM (#555241)
Why the ad hominem attack out of nowhere on David Nieporent? This is bizarre...
   58. Alan Posted: March 03, 2002 at 08:22 PM (#555244)
That above comment is from me :)
   59. Lujack Posted: March 04, 2002 at 03:08 PM (#555246)
I seem to remember a Cubs player about 10 years ago pulling something while trying to do a cartwheel.
   60. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: March 05, 2002 at 04:02 PM (#555249)
Well, what would you expect from a Robber Button...sorry, Rotten Borough...?
   61. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 06, 2002 at 03:39 PM (#555252)
If you're determined to stay busy, Tim Laker just got released.
   62. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: March 06, 2002 at 04:54 PM (#555253)
Edmund,

I just feel luckyluckyluckylucky...luckluckluckluckluckluck...

Perhaps we could negotiate with Pitt, The Even Younger, or Pitt, The Embryo...
   63. Steve Treder Posted: March 06, 2002 at 08:24 PM (#555256)
"Awesome. I've never gotten such good service at a car wash anywhere in the USA. Must be the Florida Work Ethic."

I take my cars to a car wash that provides exactly this kind of service, in Santa Clara, California. $8.95 including vacuum, wash & wax, all windows washed inside and out, wheel-brite on the wheels, and armor-all on the tires. I always give them a tip because they work so hard and so well. It's a terrific bargain.
   64. Steve Treder Posted: March 07, 2002 at 02:29 AM (#555259)
Olperfesser,

If the season doesn't start soon, we may start arguing over who is the all-time greatest dry cleaner ...

This weekend I'm heading down to Arizona for a week, where among other things I'll take in several Cactus League games. It'll be my third straight year going down there, and it really is a blast. "Seeing the game in a more humble setting tends to make one appreciate it even more." Absolutely true.
   65. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 07, 2002 at 02:44 AM (#555260)
Once, at a car wash, I had to take special care not to wash the mud off of my license plate. Why? I had forgotten to renew my car's registration and when I sent in the payment a few days before the deadline, I realized that the sticker wouldn't get there in time, so I made a bunch of natural-looking mud splatters on my back bumper, one of them conveniently concealing my year sticker.

Why didn't I wait to go to the car wash until I got my new sticker? A friend of mine threw up on my car, that's why.
   66. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 07, 2002 at 03:33 AM (#555262)
In Maryland, the registration fee is something like $75 and the fine for driving unregistered is $270. Being registered but not having the little card is $30.

Even my last speeding ticket (more than 2 years now!) was only $120 and it was in a double fine area.
   67. Big Ed Posted: March 07, 2002 at 04:07 PM (#555263)
Steve,
   68. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 07, 2002 at 07:05 PM (#555264)
I never wash mine. The mud holds it together.
   69. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: April 23, 2002 at 06:46 PM (#555981)
The Giants had to decide between Damon Minor (coming off the DL today) and Murray, who are both out of options. And there was no way to move Benard and his salary. According to Sabean, they wanted the lefthanded pop off the bench. He said it was one of the hardest decisions he ever had to make, and did his best to send Murray to his home state of Texas. But if Bonds' hammy really goes, they're in trouble...I mean, trouble spelled T-O-M G-O-O-D-W-I-N, who will be recalled...
   70. Steve Treder Posted: April 23, 2002 at 11:01 PM (#555984)
"I'm not convinced that Goodwin would be any worse than what they already have."

Well, let's see if this helps:

2001 BA/OBP/SLG

Shinjo 268/320/405
   71. Dan Szymborski Posted: April 24, 2002 at 01:17 AM (#555986)
Hmmm, that Shinjo comment really didn't make any logical sense. Too bad; I really like getting an opportunity to bash Shinjo, who makes Bret Boone seem humble.
   72. Shredder Posted: April 24, 2002 at 03:15 PM (#555988)
Traded OF Calvin Murray to the Texas Rangers for cash.

Something about that phrase just strikes me funny. Does that mean I've never really bought anything, I've just "traded" cash for goods? I mean, I guess technically that's true, but what's so bad about saying the Giants "sold" Murray to the Rangers?
   73. Bob T Posted: May 09, 2002 at 04:55 PM (#556401)
As a fan normally of the teams Dunston was playing against, I especially enjoyed watching Shawon try to play the outfield.

Ahh, but now Tommy Goodwin is back to fill the role of a fast left-handed hitter who can't get on base for the Giants.

It's always important to have one of those around.
   74. Sweet Posted: May 09, 2002 at 05:59 PM (#556402)
I too will miss Shuh-wan, and the hilarity of watching the suits along the first base line cower whenever the ball was hit to short.
   75. McCoy Posted: May 10, 2002 at 04:23 AM (#556407)
Dunston in 1986 was the greatest warning track power lead off hitter the world had ever seen. The man loved to fly out to the warning track. I remember when the movie Major League first came out. I thought for sure Dunston was going to take the moviemakers to court for stealing his likeness.
   76. jwb Posted: May 17, 2002 at 01:17 PM (#556409)
I'm sure I'm plagiarizing somebody here. Shawon was the perpetual toolsy rookie. As David Smyth and Pat Hobby said, when he came up, he was capable of of making fantastic plays. He would also use his rocket launcher arm when he had no chance of making a play, often resulting in throwing errors. I thought, "Well, he'll learn when to stick the ball in his pocket as he grows into his job..." He never did. He swung at pitches way off the plate and way over his chin when he was young. I thought, "Well, he'll learn plate discipline as he grows into his job..." He never did.

A joy and a frustration to watch.
   77. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 05, 2002 at 07:10 PM (#556930)
While we may believe that lineup order is unimportant, I'm pretty sure Dusty Baker does think it's important, so given that, it doesn't reflect well on him that Shawon Dunston was leading off.
   78. Klobedanz Posted: June 05, 2002 at 07:31 PM (#556931)
Well I was glad to see it because on Sunday he had Reggie Sanders leading off, and as the owner of Sanders in my fantasy league I did not want him to become the leadoff man versus batting behind the human .OBP. Dunston, Sanders leading off , man that's reachin'. He might try Benito next.
   79. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 06, 2002 at 02:36 PM (#556946)
It's funny, because I was wondering the same thing about the Pirates. If you think the Giants' supporting cast is bad, just check out this one (beyond Giles, of course):

Jason Kendall: 190 AB, .666 OPS, +4.9 RARP.
   80. Greg Franklin Posted: June 11, 2002 at 11:23 PM (#557069)
This move turned out to be the prelude to a big shakeup in the SD pitching staff. Fikac and Tankersley get demoted to AA, pitchers J.J. Trujillo and Oliver Perez get recalled from AA, and 1B Kevin Barker comes up from AAA.

Can we warm up the "R" word? The "MC" catch phrase?
   81. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 18, 2002 at 01:03 PM (#557209)
Sounds great, until you get to the part about the Giants not having anything the Phillies would want.
   82. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 18, 2002 at 02:43 PM (#557211)
Heh, I know someone that read the Kurt Abbott retirement announcement right before posting to this thread!

Brett had a White Sox trade idea awhile ago (for a package including Crede) that seemed pretty plausible considering the White Sox will apparently have to be forced at gunpoint to give Crede a shot.
   83. Danny Posted: June 18, 2002 at 07:59 PM (#557213)
Centerfield is their biggest weakness, with Minor finally taking Snow's AB's and Sanders likely to be league average. How about Ainsworth or Jensen for Cruz Jr?
   84. Bob T Posted: July 29, 2002 at 05:53 AM (#558018)
I think that Lofton may also be taking some ABs away from Tom Goodwin. That has to be a good thing too.
   85. Chris Reed Posted: July 29, 2002 at 06:19 AM (#558019)
Just a quick note on Felix Diaz... He is one a "victim" of AgeGate... He turned 22 yesterday (7/27)...

I liked Diaz much more last year (even had him rated over Foppert who I was high on...), but that was before I found he was 20/21 instead of 19/20 dominating the lower minors...

He does know how to keep the ball in the park, and could fit a similar statistical profile as Derek Lowe (Not high K's, solid K:BB, low HR allowed)
   86. Stevens Posted: July 29, 2002 at 02:13 PM (#558021)
I gotta agree with Andrew. This seems like a good trade for the Sox. I'd like to give Kenny Williams due credit, but this makes the Durham deal seem so much worse.
   87. Walt Davis Posted: July 29, 2002 at 02:20 PM (#558022)
I dunno, I think we can chalk this up as a winner for Williams. He got a few good months out of Lofton at a cheap price, giving Borchardt more time to develop. Now he flips Lofton for something resembling a prospect. And he sidestepped the media's rush to sign Lofton to a long-term contract after his hot start.

It may be a small victory but it's a victory.
   88. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 29, 2002 at 02:46 PM (#558023)
A victory for everyone but Aaron Rowand, that is. And what's wrong with giving pitchers to the Pirates, eh?
   89. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: July 29, 2002 at 03:34 PM (#558024)
How is this not a victory for Rowand? Now he gets to play.

This is exactly what you do with a player like Lofton. Sign him cheap, if he can have a decent year you may be able to get a couple of spare parts for him. Diaz might wind up as a back of the rotation guy at best, something the Sox have plenty of already, but at least this trade looks OK.

Sounds like Crede is coming up this week.
   90. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 29, 2002 at 06:42 PM (#558025)
I was referring to the decision to sign Lofton, not the decision to trade him. Rowand hit well in the minors last year, and had a decent cup of coffee. Instead of a shot at a regular job, he got another year at AAA, leavened by a few sporadic pinch-hitting opportunities with the big club. His part-time stats this year are ugly enough that he might not get a clean shot at a starting job, which would be a damn shame.

Even if the trade's a victory for Rowand, it might turn out to be a pyrrhic one.
   91. Greg Franklin Posted: July 29, 2002 at 07:40 PM (#558027)
Vlad, Rowand has been on the big league roster all year. From the box scores it seems his main job has been replacing Carlos Lee in LF late in games.

At that point I think it has to be the manager's responsibility, not the GM's, to evaluate whether Rowand is worthy of beating out the incumbents.
   92. Mike Emeigh Posted: November 17, 2002 at 04:35 AM (#559442)
Shinjo = Juan Pierre in 5 years.

-- MWE
   93. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 17, 2002 at 05:32 AM (#559443)
I object! Ruben Rivera has more walks and better longball potential, making him a much better bench bat than Shinjo, once you get past the whole sticky fingers thing. Marquis Grissom might be a better comp...
   94. John Posted: November 17, 2002 at 07:26 AM (#559444)
Shinjo is better than Grissom cause he at least can still shag down fly balls well. That said as hitter they're virtually identical, rough on lefties, and painful to watch vs. righties.
   95. Mike Piazza Posted: November 17, 2002 at 05:52 PM (#559445)
Hey, where did my buttplug go?
   96. TOLAXOR Posted: November 17, 2002 at 11:38 PM (#559446)
I CRY ORANGE TEARS
   97. SM in DC Posted: November 19, 2002 at 02:51 PM (#559450)
In other, positive news for lovers of actual baseball players -- the Royals have sent Neifi Perez to keep Shinjo! company in waiver-land.

Somewhere Rob is laughing and skipping...
   98. Floyd Thursby Posted: November 21, 2002 at 08:34 AM (#559649)
I don't get it. He'd better be best friends with Edgardo Alfonzo, or Cliff Floyd, or something.
   99. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 21, 2002 at 02:39 PM (#559650)
Maybe they're planning on trading Aurilia, or moving him to third or second?

Odd move, though. What's the risk that someone else would claim him, and what's the penalty if they do?
   100. fracas' hope springs eternal Posted: November 21, 2002 at 04:14 PM (#559653)
Damian Jackson's a free agent? Get him back in San Diego! (Hopefully as a backup to Marcus Giles.)
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