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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Mercury News: Sabean defends re-signing Bonds

“I wont resign before the struggle ends
So I’ll construct this sound defense”

Sabean may have hinted at his limited role when asked what he would say to critics in his own defense.

“In MY defense?’’ he said, his voice rising.

Sabean continued by making loose reference to his pursuit of outfielders Carlos Lee and Alfonso Soriano, as well as trade discussions for left fielder Manny Ramirez—all fruitless options to replace Bonds. “I think unfortunately, people missed out on our job at hand or action plan,’’ Sabean said. ``It was my job to be involved in as many areas as possible and be as creative as possible. Obviously, we dipped in with both feet to a lot of free-agent situations, including Barry’s, and a lot of trade discussions. At the end of the day, you still need a fourth hitter and you still need a lineup.

“So I’m not going to apologize for Barry being our fourth hitter.’‘

Repoz Posted: December 12, 2006 at 07:28 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: giants

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   1. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: December 12, 2006 at 08:14 AM (#2258679)
Why should he apologize for Bonds? If he is going to apologize, it should be for Feliz or the lack of a real 1Bman or for the farm system.
   2. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: December 12, 2006 at 08:53 AM (#2258681)
Re-signing Bonds (and Durham) is among Sabean's more defensible moves of this off-season.

Roberts, Molina, Aurilia have all been completely pointless. I'm agnostic on Feliz, as he has some utility because of his glove if they bat him in the lower third of the lineup. Meanwhile, he's made no real effort to build for the post-Bonds era.

The Giants will have at least three years of really bad baseball ahead of them (the cost of neglecting the farm system's position players for a decade). 2007 is going to more of the same that we saw in 2005-6. The sooner we start rebuilding the sooner we can look forward to a sustainable success. Every year that the Giants tread water pushes that another year away. Every bad multiyear contract makes it that much harder to compete once the team can start realistically plan to contend again. It's not rocket science.

I'd rather that Sabean was more honest about his motivations. He didn't re-sign Bonds because he thought it was the optimal strategy, he did so because it will help sell tickets for one last year and because he doesn't have any new ideas.

Brian Sabean is an idiot. Until this offseason I had some misplaced optimism that he could reinvent himself, but the past six weeks have disabused me of that hope. He needs to be replaced before the Giants can start to get better, or else he continue to preside over the Orioles of the West. Hopefully Safeway Pete figures that out before he completely bankrupts the farm system and ties up money to unmovable long-term contracts.
   3. Meatwad Posted: December 12, 2006 at 09:00 AM (#2258682)
signing bods was much better then signing molina, he can actually hit the ball
   4. Dash Carlyle Posted: December 12, 2006 at 10:07 AM (#2258687)
Obviously, we dipped in with both feet to a lot of free-agent situations, including Barry’s, and a lot of trade discussions. At the end of the day, you still need a fourth hitter and you still need a lineup.

So I’m not going to apologize for Barry being our fourth hitter.


A ringing endorsement!
   5. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: December 12, 2006 at 10:20 AM (#2258688)
Did you know: Barry Bonds was originally cast in the role of Sauron in Lord of the Rings but had to be replaced because Peter Jackson felt he was coming across as "too evil"?

True fact.
   6. Rafael Bellylard: The Grinch of Orlando. Posted: December 12, 2006 at 12:10 PM (#2258697)
Now that Bonds has resigned, the biggest issue is a replacement for Schmidt. Since it's the Giants, there's only one obvious choice.

Call for you on line 1, Mr. Wells (David or Kip, no difference).
   7. Russ Posted: December 12, 2006 at 12:58 PM (#2258706)
The Giants will have at least three years of really bad baseball ahead of them


THREE years? Poor, poor babies.

Sincerely,

A Pirates fan
   8. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: December 12, 2006 at 01:35 PM (#2258730)
You're on a roll, Voxter.
   9. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: December 12, 2006 at 03:28 PM (#2258827)
Call for you on line 1, Mr. Wells (David or Kip, no difference).


Kip Wells is much worse. Fortunately for the Giants, he is also way too young.

I am fairly certain that the Giants will get David Wells though. It may not even be a bad idea, because he has been a better-than-league-average starter even at his advanced age. And he probably will be a league-average or so starter until he collapses under his own weight and breaks his hip.
   10. esseff Posted: December 12, 2006 at 05:55 PM (#2259008)
Kip Wells is much worse. Fortunately for the Giants, he is also way too young.


More fortunately, he is also way too already signed by someone else.
   11. Ginger Nut Posted: December 12, 2006 at 06:55 PM (#2259081)
BSIAA (#2), I agree with the general point of your post, that Sabean is not doing a good job. However, I don't see what the contracts to Aurilia, Molina, et al have to do with that one way or another. Fact is, those probably were the best players he could get for next season. They are not signed to huge long term contracts, and they are not blocking any prospects (because the Giants don't have any). For this team to rebuild, they need to do two things: First, draft and develop good players. This will not start to pay off for 3-5 years, so these contracts he gave out this offseason have nothing to do with that. Yes, Magowan should fire Sabean and hire a GM who is good at drafting and developing young players; but signing Rich Aurilia has nothing to do with the whether the organization will be successful at that.

The sooner we start rebuilding the sooner we can look forward to a sustainable success. Every year that the Giants tread water pushes that another year away. Every bad multiyear contract makes it that much harder to compete once the team can start realistically plan to contend again. It's not rocket science.


Sorry, but to me this does seem to be "rocket science." I just don't see how adding/bringing back veterans on relatively short contracts, who are not blocking any prospects, is going to prevent the team from rebuilding, or push that "another year away." Of course, I agree with you that Sabean probably doesn't have a clue how to go about actually rebuilding. But would it be a bad idea to keep a 70 win team on the field, rather than a 100 loss team, as long as it doesn't prevent the team from developing young players at the same time? I think there's some long-term value to the franchise in that.

The second thing they need to do is: trade veterans for prospects during the season. Now they have a bunch of veterans on the roster who might have good seasons. Lets say half of them do. Okay, now you have some guys who might be attractive to a contender come July, this year or the next. Surely some contending team would be interested in adding a Ray Durham or Omar Vizquel. Next year someone might be looking to add a veteran major league catcher, or a speedy center fielder. Do I think Sabean is really planning on trading any of these guys for a prospect or two? No. But if he was smart, he could do that, and signing them doesn't hurt. Perhaps his successor will be able to use them this way.

He didn't re-sign Bonds because he thought it was the optimal strategy, he did so because it will help sell tickets for one last year and because he doesn't have any new ideas.


Selling tickets is part of an optimal strategy. The more money the team has, the more options they will have when it comes time to contend again. And how would not signing Barry Bonds help them become a contender 3 or 5 years from now? So that the Todd Linden era can finally begin? When you don't have any prospects, you don't have to worry about blocking your prospects!
   12. Steve Treder Posted: December 12, 2006 at 07:02 PM (#2259090)
Brilliantly put, Ginger Nut.
   13. Raskolnikov Posted: December 12, 2006 at 07:04 PM (#2259097)
I'm thankful that Sabean isn't going to be asking for Milledge and Pelfrey in a trade anytime soon. Otherwise, it's another month of Artist shaking his head going, "Mets fans are the best. They think Milledge and Pelfrey are worth way more than they are." So thank you, Sabean.
   14. Ginger Nut Posted: December 12, 2006 at 07:12 PM (#2259108)
Why, thank you. Although, to engage in a little critical self-reflection, the Giants are losing a 2nd and a 3rd round draft pick (I think) because of Aurilia and Molina. That kind of sucks, but they are also gaining two first rounders and two supplementals (for Alou and Schmidt), so overall they are coming out ahead. I guess one could say, though, that losing two draft picks is something they shouldn't be doing right now. However, I still view this as a more or less decent trade-off, since in my view having a 100 loss season or even a couple of them in a row would also have some serious long or at least medium term negative consequences for the organization. If they weren't gaining all the high round draft picks at the same time, I would be more concerned about it. If my understanding is right (correct me if I'm wrong), they'll have three first rounders and two supplementals in the next draft, so they should be able to have a strong draft. And the possibility of trading Aurilia and Molina in-season to a contender also has to be weighed against the loss of the draft picks.
   15. Rich Rifkin I Posted: December 12, 2006 at 09:01 PM (#2259224)
IMO, the Barry Bonds signing would make total sense, but for the fact that they are guaranteeing him $16 million. Barroid very well may be worth $16 million in 2007. But given his age and his recent history of injuries, I think a contract for $8 million guaranteed and $8 million more in endurance incentives would have been fairer for the Giants organization.

Nevertheless, I am happy to see Barry back with the Giants. I want Bonds to break Aaron's record. I want to see him do it in his hometown (well, not in San Mateo, but close), in front of his fans. I think it will be a great achievement by the greatest player I've ever seen play baseball. And sometime down the road, if an Alex Rodriguez or some other stud approaches Bonds's record, I will look forward to seeing that, too.

It's cliche to say that "records are meant to be broken." Of course they are. But it's especially exciting to see a truly great ballplayer -- one for the ages, so to speak -- break a hallowed record. If a Ryan Freel or a Juan Pierre were to break Chief Wilson's 96-year-old single-season record for triples (36), it would be nice and exciting. But neither Freel nor Pierre is an inner circle HOFer like Bonds will be. So the level of excitement, for me, would be less (not to mention the fact that no one cares about triples, the way people care about home runs).
   16. DCA Posted: December 12, 2006 at 09:36 PM (#2259254)
I would be much more excited to see some one (it would probably be Crawford or Reyes) break the triples record than see Bonds break Aaron's record. And I want to see Bonds break Aaron's record. It's just that triples are awesome. And I like when good players -- not great, but merely good -- hold these records. It adds to the mystique of the game, excellence in one aspect doesn't make you great, the true greats have to do many things well.
   17. Jose Canusee Posted: December 12, 2006 at 09:57 PM (#2259272)
And I like when good players -- not great, but merely good -- hold these records.

I'm watching Steve Kline climb the leaderboard for most pitching appearances currently held by The Great Orosco. 10 years, 728 apps, 636 IP. #59 overall, #16 active. You read it here first:
August 13, 2017, NYM at StL. Comes in to pitch to a LHB with a 1 run lead in the top of the 7th, runners on the corners, 1 out. First pitch is a slider, low. Commissioner Ripken stops the game and saves the ball for the HOF. Crowd gives standing ovation.
   18. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: December 12, 2006 at 10:18 PM (#2259282)
Hit the road in wander mode.

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