Friday, December 17, 2004

In The Land Of the Blind, The One Eyed Man Is King...

All in all, its a been a pretty miserable week- what with Matheny .. and Matheny- and of course, Matheny. That being said, you can always count on the Dodgers to show you just how bad things could be. Mr Finley, also known as Scott Spezio redux ? Gone. Mr Beltre, who learns how to hit, plays the best defense in the NL at 3rd ? Gone. Suffice to say that I wholeheartedly extend my support to Mr McCourt, and hope for his continuation at the reigns of the Latrine for a long time to come. Now if only Mr Gagne decides to take a long vacation to give hockey a try....

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Suppose I was a fool, and suppose I was the Giants GM- but I repeat myself...

When the Giants signed Kirk Reuter, I promised myself that I could live with it, and Sabean's pronounciations of a "starter who knows how to win." When they signed Vizquel, I cursed but admitted it made some minimalistic sense to give a 38 year old a 3 year deal because you don't care beyond 2006.

This brings us to December 12, 2004- a day that will live in infamy (or Dodger glee).
Lets play "Name that player."

Player A:
2002: .244/.306/.317/VORP of 1.6/32nd........ in the NL.
2003: .252/.315/.356/VORP of 7.9/15th - highest ranking of the period- heady period.
2004: .247/.289/.348, and a VORP of -0.4 that ranked an impressive 32nd ... again.

More fun: He's 34 at a position which isnt known for its generousity to would-be AARP members. He's considered a defensive wizard, an observation that bears an uncanny inverse correlation with a player's hitting ability, often bearing little resemble to factuality (See Inge, Brandon)- but he's probably still pretty good and we lack the evidence (or access to FRAR from BP ) to prove otherwise.

Player B (in limited action):
2002: .279/.348/.397/VORP of 9.1/15th in the NL.
2003: .260/.308/.390/VORP of 5.6/16th in the NL, with about 1/3 of the playing time of player A.
2004: .227/.302/.407/VORP of 3.4/19th in the NL

The OBP in 2004 is a bit worrysome, but given a sample of 196 PA it can be reasonably considered a little fluky. As it is, this character is 26. His defense is considered decent if not great.

Given a decision between the 2, you make the follwing the choice: 1) Hype Player A as a potential All-star, given he's one of the better players at his position - and offer Player B a minor league contract 2) To give the full time job to Player B, signing Player A as a valuable defensive backup who can work with your younger pitchers 3) Sign Player A as a starter with a 1 year deal, with the understanding that Player B is the future and likely to get about equal AB.

Silly me- I must have missed the memo on option 4)- Sign Player B to a 3 year, $10.5 million contract, adding him to a lineup that would get group discounts on dentures (average age: 35.5), and pronounce that "
He also drove in 50 runs last year" as a show of his offensive potential. Tell player B you see him as a backup- and have him ask for a trade.

Today, many will wish that said GM's quest to become GM of the Boston Red Sox in 2002 (which included his campaining with the team while the Giants were involved in that pesky, World Series thing) had succeeded. Suffice to say that Syd Thrift has revealed that he is in fact Sabeans's father in a particularly Vader-esque way- and more is likely to come.

Monday, December 13, 2004

The More Things Change....

To start- I will once again ignore the lessons I set out for myself to begin with.
Start Rant:
I've had it with the Giants- Sabean may be the most frustrating executive I can think of. Simply put it, the damn team causes me too much pain to be worth it anymore. As such, I need a new team to root for. A few pre-requisites: Although Im not a Giants fan, I do maintain a few lessons I learnt- that teams like the Chavez Latrine inhabitants or Rally Monkey's are not groups I could ever bear to be associated with- the Yankees are more appealing than those 2.

Eliminated from consideration other than the 2 above:

Marlins- I cannot now or ever root for anything to do with Jefffery Loria. Baseball in Montreal was dying a death - but Loria was an executioner, and an unwanted one.

Braves- I remember 1993- those bastards. Screw you Salomon Torres - you share half the blame.

Mets- Uh, No.

Phillies- Im not sure I want to root for a team who's GM chooses to display his fetishes in the strangest of ways - Ed Wade's affinity for MR is shown best by his actions in consistently rewarding their mediocrity with 2 year, $6 million contracts.

Nationals- Any team that Bud Selig is the taskmaster for is a team I want nothing to do with.

Cubs - Dusty Baker, ever more fans who are happy losing, and a perception of greatness - and did I mention Dusty Baker ?

Astros - Ya, screw you Lance Berkman - goddamn HR against Hermanson. That game could have been useful. Also, I dont forget Larry Deirker's chickenhawk act in 2000.

Cardinals - Every time I think of St Louis, I think of the back-patting group that keeps calling themselves the best, classiest fans in baseball. Since class and me dont particularly mix, I'll pass.

Brewers- The Taint of Selig is still strong in this one.

Pirates- 4 years "living" and getting an "education" in Pittsburgh meant 4 years of watching the Pirates - reliving it again is not an option. Littlefield and Bonifay keep proving that every time something is idiot proof (rebuilding), the Pirates come up with a better idiot.

Reds - Marge Schott. Carl Lindener. A would be Nazi and a cheapskate. Combine that with a decline has-been superstar who was voted the player of the 90's primarily because he smiled a lot (over a slightly decent LF)

Latrine Inhabitants - See Above.

Diamondbacks - I curse that fact that this group of misfits fueled by junk accounting won the goddamn 2001 world series. I do root for the fiftyandahalfbacks, especially when they compete for last place.

Rockies- Shawon Chacon's gaspipe job against the Dodgers last year, compared with his riviera-esque performance against the Giants make them a non option. Also, they won 86 games in their second year, and brought Neifi to the world. That sin will not be forgiven easily.

Padres- Have had a useful ability of failing against the Giants, but they played a little too well in 2004. And Ray Krock and McDonalds- urgh.

Right, perhaps an AL team would be better suited to my needs anyway:

Yankees - No thank you. If I wanted to root for evil incarnate, I'd become a Dodgers fan.

Red Sox - I live in Boston and I did enjoy their title run, and they have always been a solid 2nd team for me. That being said, if I hear one more fan talk about how they are underdogs with a $128 M payroll ... well, not a good thing.

Blue Jays- To quote South Park- Blame Canada. And who am I to disagree with animated puppets ?

Orioles - Yeah right- Im giving up on the Giants because of their management- and I'd take the Orioles ? That's akin to swapping Jennifer Love Hewitt for Sally Field- assuming equivalent intellectual levels.

D-Rays: Expansion team, that seems more interested in tools than an actual ability to play baseball. Playing in a division with the 2 biggest payrolls in baseball. I'd like to leave myself some minimalistic vestige of hope in my new abode.

White Sox: See Orioles- and swap Sally Field for Margaret Thatcher.

Indians: Young improving team that seems to recognize how to build a organization. However, their loss to the Marlins in 1997 compelled Brian Sabean to think Livan Hernandez was any good - and I had to deal with 4 years of a pitcher who's greatest performance was blowing Game 7. Hell No.

Royals: The Neifi effect- if Allard Baird had persisted in his stupidity, they might have kept Neifi and I would not have been compelled to therapy for El Malo's tenure in San Francisco. No can do.

Twins: Carl Pohlad. Stealing Joe Nathan ,and dumping the human Double Play machine known as AJ Pryszenski on me last year. Has a manager who thinks all those new fangled statistics arent as good a measure as heart- I don't need Baker redux.

Tigers: A team has to have had a .500 season in the last 10 years for me to give a damn. They haven't- and signing Dean Palmer for 5 years and $35 million isnt going to change that.

A's: 1989 was the Giants team that could have won it all. they didnt. Guess who I blame.

Angels: Never. Fans who think beating sticks serves as entertainment. If I could back with a whimsical time traveler- Scott Spezio would get a visit from Tonya Harding. Bastards broke my heart- I have never been so close to happiness and yet had it taken away as 2002. The glass I shattered in my hand that day didnt hurt- I was numb already.

Rangers: Signed the best player in the AL to a contract, signed a big media deal as a result of it, and then bitched and moaned for 4 years that it was his fault they couldnt contend. Also prevent the Dodgers from re-signing Chan Ho Park.

Mariners: Meh. Its hard to be passionate about a team that seems to think choirboys are more important than players with any ability. Also, see Spezio, Scott.

Right, having eliminated those pesky alternatives- I leave myself with a wide variety of options for a new team. Why, we have the .... . well..... maybe the ......... or not. The only team left, and thus my team for the future: The Giants.


An Auspicous Start

Among the litany of bloggers on the net, there is a small minority devoted to an idiotic, inane passion involving grown men running around in archaic embarassing uniforms representing "teams"- all while having 40,000 drunks scream for blood. Among the teams, their is a variety, ranging from the god-awful to the great- and most of all mediocrity. Even amongst mediocrity however, there are those who aspire to the throngs of greatness, only to make a history of falling just a little short- akin to the Indian cricket team (another one of my lost causes), they have the unfailing ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Unquestionably the worst of these offenders is a misnamed team known as the San Francisco Giants - Giants perhaps only in relation to their minor league counterparts. It is this painful collection of misfits that I am indentured to, as a result of being a little too bored when visting the town, and having no interest as a typical 7 year old kid in joining my various gaggle of female relatives in a shopping expedition. That is my curse, and it is a painful one- I have sworn of the team more times than I can count, only to get drawn back in. Crack has nothing on the Giants.