About a week ago, a guy was irritated enough to hassle this blog’s ridiculously outdated user verification procedures, get himself signed up so he could comment on "Baseball’s Most Puzzling GM". Well actually it wasn’t a comment on the article itself, but he used it as a point of reference to iterate non-responsive incantations and several of the tired and vacuous talking points SF Giants Managements has spun some folks in the media around on for the last several years. Silly excuse-making that obviously the Giants are still rebuilding, and that since all knowledgeable baseball people would know this, anybody that doesn’t subscribe to this hare-brained notion is a know-nothing.. Pretty insulting stuff actually.
Fans Are Called Fans Because They Are Fanatics – Loons, Stooges, Sycophants and Worse
At least I understand the motivation. Protect one’s idols at any cost. Say and peddle anything that comes to mind that supports the unsupportable failures of wrong-headed and mistake-driven thinking and unaccountability. Neville Chamberlain had his defenders, and rightfully so. Despite current public perception, Chamberlain was not a coward, nor inept. He was a distinguished man from a family with a long and noble history of public service. He was well thought of by the British people, his fellow members of the Conservative Party and even his successor, Winston Churchill. He simply got left behind by the times. Due to the complexities of the emerging global war, he was outmaneuvered by craftier men .
Shelf Life Of A Leader
Every leader has a shelf life. Churchill was ousted at the end of the War. The US changes presidents every 4 to 8 years. Even Branch Rickey went off into the sunset. And the Giants changed things up from time to time. Brian’s time has come. And as Charlie Goodnight remarked upon the end of Woodrow’s Call’s time in Streets of Laredo, "He had his time; and it was a long time." And it is time for the Giants to say to Brian Sabean: "Thanks for the memories –Job Well Done".
Sending Neukom on his way is a good beginning. A guy predisposed to personal affectations of clothing and hair style with almost unlimited access to other people’s cash in a business he knows just enough to be dangerous at was not a good sign to begin with. As Mussolini’s easy and unexpected early successes led to massive hubris, one has to surmise that it was Neukom’s decision making that got him into hot water so quickly with the Executive Committee, and led to his ouster after a little less than 3 years..
Hanging On To Old Junk Will Not Turn It Into An Antique
But here’s the rub. In 85 when the Giants lost 100 games, Lurie didn’t screw around, he brought in Al Rosen and Roger Craig. The team faltered again in 95-96 and Sabean was kicked upstairs where he has been ever since. The problem is the Giants have made the post-season in a weak division only once since 2003 and that was the fluke of last year when a bunch of dfa’s and has-beens got hot enough to bring the offense from the bottom to the 40th percentile. The young pitching stayed hot through the post-season and a few timely hits later, it was champagne time.
Well the pumpkin went home at New Year’s and the Giants vets were up to the same old ways that made them disposable last year and the organization reverted back to where they were starting in 2005. In case you missed it:
Commencing in 2005 the Giants have ranked 29, 24, 29, 29, 26, 17, 29 in runs scored. The last time they scored this few runs was 1985 when they lost 100 games. Even notorious cheapskate Lurie had enough, showing Davenport the door before season’s end. Enter Hmmmmm baby. And the rest as they say is history. But by 1992 it was clear Roger Craig was ready to move on, his contacts in the player world not what they once were. Then came Baker, a long overdue addition to the Managerial ranks after serving his apprenticeship in the Giants organization, at the end of his playing days.
Rebuilding? – Oh For Goodness Sakes; STOP!
There is this irrational stupid sounding idea that the Giants are still rebuilding. Which is of course how Arizona went from 97 losses to Division champs in one year. The Giants themselves went from 100 losses in 1985 to first place in 1987 by getting rid of Davenport and Haller and bringing in Craig and Al Rosen. The earth is not flat and hair spray doesn’t cause climate change. Putting out the worst offense in the history of the Giants for 6 out of the last 7 years is only considered rebuilding in the minds of people who have become separated from rational thought.
I would ask, nee implore, anybody who thinks that the Giants are legitimately "rebuilding" to ask themselves what the difference between the concept of 8 years of "rebuilding" and "wait til next year" is. Time’s up. There isn’t any. Its an excuse and a big pile of vaporous methane-producing crap.
Do you know what the average big league career duration is? Go look it up. And than have a good laugh at yourself if you believe the Giants are "rebuilding". Go read this. It lists Sabean’s major signings in the post Baker era. And that does not include any of his "marquee difference making pitchers", Zito, Matt Morris, Brett Tomko and Armando Benitez.
He Doesn’t Know Anybody Anymore
The simple fact of the matter is that Brian Sabean doesn’t have the same contacts he used to in the first five years. That all ended in 2002 with Baker’s departure. Do you understand that? That baseball deals are made by people and business associates and competitors and agents that are flesh and bone and not Excel spread-sheets. Sabremetrics is a nice tool for discovering undervalued players with credible track records and post-season evaluation going into contract negotiations.
Yesterday’s News In A What Have You Done To Me Lately World
But it is a business of people doing business with people they know, like and trust. It is that simple. Clearly the results under Sabean do nothing to support the premise that all the new guys in the front offices around MLB either know, like or trust Sabean.
Year In And Year Out – Shopping Carts Full of Over-priced Over-The Hill Has-Beens
His free agent signings and acquisitions virtually hit even the most average of Giants fans upside the head with their mediocrity and propensity for old has beens. Clearly the baseball world and baseball personnel have all changed and moved on. He’s been around longer than any GM. It does not mean he is stupid or got dumb. Le Contrare. If like any human with more experience, he has more knowledge, more insight than he probably ever did. He just does not have the contacts, wherewithal, relationships, determination and razor’s edge acumen that deteriorates with age.
And So Here We Lie, Gasping in The Death Throes of Failure Once Again
This is the same GM who after the 2002 season, told Kent in spite of his desire to come back, to look elsewhere. Enter Edgardo Alfonso and Ray Durham and the slide into offensive oblivion which will apparently reach its nadir this year. Afterall they trail only the Mariners in runs scored this year by 10 runs. They have 5 games left to accomplish this low honor.
Rebuild? Laughable, except its more pathetic than funny. This time it will be up to Baer to pull the plug on Sabean and move him laterally as they did with Felipe Alou, Jack Hiatt, and even Joe Lefevre. He has earned the gratitude of fans, and front office alike. Not to mention Scott Boras and various and other sundry agents who were the beneficiaries of Sabean’s largess.