November 2011

December 2016: The #SFGiants Changing of the Guard

Ask my lottery tickets, my fiance, my Vegas trips, my parents that watched me grow up: I am wrong a lot. A lot. Let me say that again so you can’t say I didn’t tell you so before: I will be wrong in predictions I make. But here’s where I think I’m saying something that makes a little sense: In December of 2016 will be the time when things will start to change on the mound for the San Francisco Giants. It has to change sometime and in December of 2016 is when I think it will happen. Let me show you my thoughts brought to you by Microsoft Excel:

I hope you can actually read that. My little disclaimer is Ryan Vogelsong won’t be the only one that lasts until 2016. He’ll last until 2015. I have faith in Vogelsong. That his change is real and will help the Giants for a couple years. After that he might play a smaller role. Or may still be the #5. Fact is the Giants will have so much money consumed in other people, they’ll need cheaper alternatives. I think he’ll make the choice to retire on his own and be at peace with that decision after the 2015 season. Or maybe I’m crazy.

Tim Lincecum will get his money, and it will be from the Giants. They will just be able to take it on for so long. I don’t think he ever gets traded to anybody, although the prospects he’d bring in would have to be nothing short of drop-dead amazing. I think he gets a 2/$40MM and a 3/$92MM extension that will undoubtedly make headlines. That extension will probably come in the middle of the 2013 season. After that, the Giants just won’t have the wallet to use 25-30% of their payroll on one player when they’ll have to choose between Buster, Pablo and Brandon and maybe even Gary Brown (who knows).

Matt Cain will get his extension this offseason. It will be for 4 years and somewhere around $80-85MM. Again, my guess, but an educated guess. Matty’s deal could actually be the best in terms of value between him and Timmy as we’ve seen Cainer get better through his years. He will probably always be in Timmy’s shadow but Giants fans know to never sell him short. Of the four I’m talking about, he’s a not-so-distant 2nd most likely to stay beyond 2016, but I wouldn’t be surprised if when Timmy walks, so does Matt. It’ll be his last chance to cash in on a huge deal at age 31 even though he’ll be set for life by then.

Madison Bumgarner, obviously the most likely of the four to stay beyond 2016, will get the money he deserves in one way or another as he’s under team control through 2016. Who’s to say after that he doesn’t want to test the market after being with a team that won’t buy him run support? Or that maybe he just wants to be closer to North Carolina? Then again maybe he stays.

I could’ve made this just Timmy, Matty and Madison, but I think Ryan is an important piece. What’s that, I missed Barry? Don’t worry, he’ll be stealing money from the organization’s wallets (legally) through 2014. This can all change if the offense of the Giants goes absolutely berserk with the aforementioned guys in Brown, Belt, Buster (OMG THE NEW KILLER B’S) and Panda. Four killer bats in one lineup? Yea, that’ll do. But what if the Giants need someone(s) and don’t respond? As long as Sabean and the current front office stays, I don’t see Rowand-esque contracts happening again with the money put into the pitching.

Maybe I’m wrong though. Maybe the guard will change before that. Maybe we’ll be blessed to watch these aces (if Ryan repeats his performance in 2012 I’ll call him an “ace” and people will probably laugh at me for doing so) for longer. Obviously we hope for the ultimate prize, but I hope so much we do it with these guys many times.

Larry, Brucey and Brian…y: Now Probably Thru 2014! #SFGiants

No doubt you’ve heard by now that Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean have been extended thru 2013 with a team option for 2014. Barring back-to-back 3rd place or lower seasons with relatively healthy rosters, they’ll be brought back for 2014. But how did their little conversation go in getting to be extended? I take a trip down speculation lane:

Larry: Brian, Bruce! Come on in, take a seat! Actually, let’s walk around the stadium. It’s a beautiful day.

Bruce: humrvphs. Yea, I could use a walk. Has been boring around here lately.

Brian: What’s on your mind, Larry?

Larry: Well, gentlemen, this whole ownership change has certainly been a different and difficult experience for all of us. I mean, can you imagine Bill wanted to spend money on the team?!?

Brian: I know right?? ROFLROFL. What does “ROFL” mean by the way? My kids always say it.

Larry: “Raise Our Fiscal Learning?” I have no idea. Anyway, I wanted to get your opinions on something.

Brian and Bruce: Ok.

Larry: I’m going to say something relating to our organization and I want you to say the first thing that comes to mind.

Brian and Bruce: humrph. Alright.

Larry: Barry Zito.

Brian and Bruce: Ugh.

Larry: Tim, Matt, Madison

Brian and Bruce: They better be here until at least 2016 or we won’t stand a chance **they actually say this in unison. Scary.**

Larry: Brand–

Brian and Bruce: Platoon guy.

Larry: –on Crawford.

Brian and Bruce: Oh. Starting SS.

Larry: I see we agree on just about everything. Why don’t we get you guys signed through 2013. How ’bout that for an early Christmas present, boys??

Brian and Bruce: Bitchin! **high fives**

Bruce: K, I’m gonna go fishin’ now. Get me a shark or something.

Brian: Gotta get ready for Dallas. I’m gonna watch Kenny Williams trade away his whole pitching staff but still have a 9-digit payroll. It’s gonna be awesome.

Something close to that, I bet. Hope you’re all happy with them because you don’t have a choice :)

My Favorite Player From Each Team: Because You Care

During the off-season what are you supposed to write about? Got a lot of things you can choose from but really you can let your imagination run wild. Right now in Florida they’re in day 150-something of trading for Gio Gonzalez and that’s all they have right now. I love talking about baseball and I thought I’d take a moment to write down my favorite players from each team. One per team. No more, no less.

Arizona Diamondbacks

This one was tough since I don’t really like the DBacks. I’m going to say Josh Collmenter because he’s so different. I now expect to get booed every time I go to Chase Field for not picking Justin Upton.

Atlanta Braves

Chipper Jones. Hard not to like this future HOFer and he has the same last name as me, which must mean we’re related and I’m entitled to part of his salary.

Baltimore Orioles

Adam Jones. Oh, you think I’m going with the “Jones” factor again, don’t you? Yea well, maybe. I also found it funny on ESPN’s Depth Charts “Mike Gonzalez” is listed as the setup man. Nice work, ESPN, as always.

Boston Red Sox

The Laser Show. Dustin Pedroia. An inspiring specimen he gives small guys like me hope that one day my short kid can make it because of the heart and the strong work ethic he has in him.

Chicago Cubs

Darwin Barney because he intrigues me. Starlin Castro is the big name and will very likely be the better player though.

Chicago White Sox

If Omar Vizquel were still on the team I’d say him. Next would be Mark Buerhle but you know he’s gone. Which I guess leaves me with Adam Dunn. I do love me some HRs so I hope he turns it around next year.

Cincinnati Reds

Joey Votto. Any Reds official who wants to trade him or even listen to an offer for him is nuts, in my opinion.

Cleveland Indians

Carlos Santana because I think of good music on the radio.

Colorado Rockies

I went to Long Beach State for my undergrad and I’m very proud of that and fond of those times there. Therefore, it’s easy for me to choose Troy Tulowitzki. Stud.

Detroit Tigers

Justin Verlander. I don’t care if he comes off as a little arrogant, but I guess I love that he throws fast and does not give the sport a bad image.

Houston Astros

Jose Altuve because really when Brett Myers is your ace and Carlos Lee is your best player who am I left with to choose?

Kansas City Royals

Sorry, Dirty. Sorry, Bruce Chen. Eric Hosmer. The dude just excites me with what is possible for him.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw. I love watching him pitch except the 4-5 times a year it happens to be against the Giants. Well deserving of that Cy Young award he got this year.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Jared Weaver. Long Beach State. Although I’ve heard he’s a bit of a jerk, but that’s just things I’ve heard from living in Long Beach.

Miami Marlins

Mike Stanton. I hope he gets traded to the Giants for Darren Ford, Eli Whiteside and Cody Ross or something.

Milwaukee Brewers

Ryan Braun. Stud.

Minnesota Twins

It was not so long ago that Joe Mauer was taken seriously. Now when you say his name people cringe a little bit because they’re scared of what’s gonna happen. Still my favorite though.

New York Mets

David Wright. I’m sorry that Matt Cain’s fastball hit you. I really, really am. I still don’t know why Matty flipped his cap as he left the field to a cascade of boos.

New York Yankees

Mariano Rivera. This guy is timeless and if I can be athletic when I’m 50 like he is, well my life will be a good life.

Oakland Athletics

Like Darwin Barney of the Cubs, Jemile Weeks intrigues me.

Philadelphia Phillies

Vance Worley came from Long Beach State. Ryan Howard was a close 2nd for all the NLCS reasons.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Andrew McCutchen because I love playmakers.

San Diego Padres

Mat Latos. Just kidding, that guy’s a jerk. Jesus Guzman.

San Francisco Giants

Buster Posey, although it is really a tough choice.

Seattle Mariners

Ichiro Suzuki. Blame it on my Japanese-American side or my year living in Japan in 2006 and I know his 2011 may not be what we’re used to seeing out of him but still my fave.

St. Louis Cardinals

Lance Lynn. Or was it Jason Motte? Nah, neither of them. Chris Carpenter.

Tampa Bay Rays

Evan Longoria and his crazy team-friendly contract. Long Beach State.

Texas Rangers

Ian Kinsler but now that the nation’s been exposed to him a lot in the past couple seasons, I don’t think I need to give reasons why.

Toronto Blue Jays

Jose Bautista. They call me J-J-Joey-Joey Bats. This ball-this ball-this ball is GONE.

Washington Nationals

Ryan Zimmerman. Say what you want about Stephen Strasburg but for now, it’s Zims for me.

So there it is. All 30 teams covered. Happy Saturday.

Your Guide to the 2012 Promotions as of 11/25/2011: @Athletics versus @SFGiants

Only 3 of the 5 baseball teams in California have posted their promotion and giveaway days so far with the 2 Bay Area teams and the Doyers of the South. While I was hoping to do a grander article with this type of thing, I thought I’d look at the quality of the two franchise’s giveaways because hey, some of the Bay Area are A’s fans and most of the Bay Area are Giants fans and rightfully so. We’ll go month-by-month and then decide at the end who the overall winner is in the better promotions. Let the record show though that both franchises will probably add on some promotions (the Giants tend to add cultural heritage nights or community member nights).

April

A’s: 1972 40th Anniversary Celebration, Rollie Fingers Bobblehead, Little League Day

Giants: Calendars, Fireworks, Welcome Mats, Magnet Schedules, Orange Knit Hats, Messenger Bag, Timmy Wall Sticker

Opening Day for all teams is exciting and it always should be that way so, so far so good for both sides, although the A’s don’t have anything written down yet for that day. Maybe they don’t plan on playing much at home this year? That may be better for their players to play in front of fans, so I say good strategy by the Athletics FO! Both teams are celebrating anniversaries of some sort in 2012 — the A’s of 1972 where 6 of the 7 games were decided by 1 run and the Giants 2002 where something happened. Don’t know. Hopefully the A’s start rolling out more stuff though because that’s not right to the fans.

Mat

I hope they're this nice!

May

A’s: Fleece Blanket, Youth Sports and Family Night, (Monthly) Fireworks, Pet Calendar

Giants: Texting Gloves, Romo Bobblehead, Rope Necklace (for kids), Brian Wilson Gnome

I look at the month of May for both teams and kind of scratch my head: “texting gloves?” “gnome?” “pet calendar?” “family night?” Really what is a pet calendar? This?:

Pet

May 26th versus the Yankees! PET CALENDAR!

But you gotta have some sort of promotion and I hope May is where they spice is up a little bit, especially if the NBA actually comes back. You’ll need to bring people in to distract them from how utterly boring and ridiculous professional basketball is even in the playoffs. “Where Amazing Happens?” Please. Game 6, 2011 World Series. Check it.

June

A’s: Kids Baseball Socks, Gio Gonzalez Bobblehead, Jewish Heritage Night

Giants: Turn Back the Clock Game, Super Hero Cape (kids), Giants Cap, 2002 Player Bobbleheads

Months like June for the A’s really show me they’re a low budget team where for the Giants, it shows me that they’re saving for that rainy day fund I hear about so often. The Gio Gonzalez Bobblehead is a good giveaway until he gets traded in July and the baseball socks hopefully are as big of a hit as the orange and black ones were in SF last season. I actually like old uni-days but again with the 2002? What is this? What’s with the cape? Is there a Panda on it? Or a Posey? And is that cap fitted? No? Aw.

1912 Unis!

July

A’s: Dog Day at the Park

Giants: 2002 Team Reunion, Giants Player T-Shirt, Madison Bumgarner Bobblehead, Trading Cards, Snap Watch (kids)

Besides those fireworks, that’s all the A’s have. I know there’s the All Star Game but come on, Oakland. Your fans deserve better. The Giants probably have their best giveaway month going here in the midst of the Mid-Summer Classic. Obviously I don’t love the snap watch, but if I were a parent I would. It would quiet your kid for 3 hours, right? The trading cards used to be a tradition of my family’s but died sometime in the 2000s and the battle of the biggest giveaway day between MadBum and Panda will be discussed at length starting on July 15th when MadBum’s is given away to the first 25,000 in line that wait for 2-9 hours.

Madbum

I do wish I owned one of these

August

A’s: Italian Heritage Night, Filipino Heritage Night, 20th Consecutive Victory Scott Hatteberg Bobblehead, 20th Consecutive Victory T-Shirt

Giants: Virgin America Day, Giants Gym Bag (kids), Dog Days of Summer, Pablo Sandoval Bobblehead

This is definitely the Athletics’ best month for giveaways but a little much on the 20 straight wins? Or a little late? Ah, whatevs, Oakland. You did it and it was a remarkable feat. So far the A’s have celebrated Jewish, Italian and Filipino cultures. I feel like there are more cultures out there, but I don’t know. I’m sure they’re working hard with their undermanned promotions department. Not a bad month for the Giants either as even the kid’s giveaway is a good one. Panda bobblehead is something I’m already dreaming of putting next to my MadBum and Buster Posey bobbleheads. Nice.

SH

This guy gets his own bobblehead. Just because he was so good in "Moneyball"

September

A’s: Breast Cancer Awareness Day

Giants: Gigantes Player T-Shirt, Fan Appreciation Day

Yup, that’s it. But when it’s September baseball and your team is in it do you really need to give those fans something for showing up? Yea the Giants will be fine. But what about Oakland? Yes, these teams will add more stuff, but if you’re going to announce a schedule should you get more out there? I think for the Gigantes Player Shirt we should take bets on who we think it’s going to be. I say Sandoval is too easy and convenient a choice. Why not go with the Melk Man! “Gigantes” on the front, “Cabrera” on the back. Calling it.

Overall

I’m sure the A’s have had reunions with the 1972 teams tons of times but hey another wouldn’t hurt would it? Seriously, if your team isn’t winning bring back one that did. I’m sure more heritage nights will come out for both teams and maybe even some more clothing items to give out and trinkets and treasures and the whole kabootle. So for right now, the winner of the Bay Area Promotions: Your San Francisco Giants. Hopefully the A’s will make this a more fun debate by the time the season begins. I won’t count on it though.

Today’s Bottle of Whine: @SFGiants Ticket Prices Make Me Sad

ATT

Hey fan, you wanna come in? Oh, you brought your family that's awesome! That'll be $200... what, wait! Where you going??

The “Black and Orange” Ticket Party began today at 10:00am and I was excited. Stoked! 2012 San Francisco Giants baseball with Timmy, Matty Cain, MadBum, Vogey, Posey, Panda, yea!! Alright, let’s do this! The promotions don’t look too bad let’s find me a game where I can get something in addition to sitting in the most beautiful park in the land, oh here we go!: Madison Bumgarner Bobblehead Night! First 25,000 fans, score! I can do that! Now let’s see how much ticket prices will be hopefully I won’t have to go through StubHub like I did last season for Tim Lincecum Bobblehead Night…

Oh, holy crap. Oh, no. Man, I don’t even have a job and I can’t imagine everyone that goes to 1 or 2 games a season does either. Man, this doesn’t look good. Might as well look at StubHub and see if people are already getting their seller on…

Could be worse, I suppose. Last year I sat in Sec 304, Row 2 for $40 on Timmy Night vs. the Astros when the game ended on a walk off hit in extras. Good game, and getting my Timmy Bobblehead made me the happiest little boy in the stadium. But these ticket prices are outrageous for me. Baseball at AT&T Park is very much becoming a luxury item and that makes me sad. Not that they won’t have their $8 Dynamic Deals or $10 tickets here and there. They will, but for an out-of-towner, those games are impossible to make. They’ll still sell out the vast majority if not all their games this year so I realize the problem is mine and not theirs.

#MathIsHard but let’s look at the projected ticket revenue

We are currently nowhere near setting the level of money we will be dolling out to our players this year. Still lots to do. Let’s say our payroll is $130MM for the sake of argument. We’ve heard reports they need to sell 3.2MM tickets to break even. I don’t have access to their books so this is just going to be me kicking around numbers with my best guesses.

So, let’s remember: 81 home games, 2 exhibition games. As of now, 27 promotional nights, 16 other games versus “Contenders,” 17 games versus other divisional opponents, 1 other game vs. A’s, and 20 games versus everybody else. The math I’m going to do breaks down as such: number of games multiplied by what the average ticket price will probably be and then by 39,506 because 3.2 million divided by 81 is 39,506 fans.

Exhibition Games: 2 x $20 x 30,000 = $1.2MM

Promotional Nights: 27 x $65 x 39,506 = $69.33303MM

Contenders: 16 x $65 x 39,506 = $41.06MM

Divisional Games + A’s: 18 x $55 x 39,506 = $39.11MM

Others: 20 x $45 x 39,506 = $35.555MM

Total in Projected Ticket Sales: $186.25MM

Total in Projected Ticket Sales for 41,000 fans/night (3.321MM fans): $193.285MM

I’m not a businessman. I do not know what it costs to run a business. If the Giants told me that it costs them $55-60MM to operate their franchise I’d probably believe them mostly because I’m a little gullible and I know I don’t know squat about that kinda stuff. My numbers in terms of average ticket price may be off by a little bit or a lotta bit. This doesn’t even consider the concessions, merchandise, random donations that the organization brings in as well, so there’s more from where that came from and could make up for the mathematical errors I made in overestimating what they bring in.

So take what you will from this, all I know is it wouldn’t hurt for the Giants to have an “Unemployed Night” where fans can get in for $5 or something and mingle with people like Aaron Rowand, although he’ll probably be in Chicago. Not playing, just because he loves Chicago.

State of the Sport: Baseball Now and Later

I had a conversation with a good friend of mine recently who’s a big football fan and a sports fan in general. His shortcomings include rooting for the Atlanta Braves and Florida State for no good reason but whatever. We talked about the future of baseball and I thoroughly enjoyed it. With the new Collective Bargaining Agreement announced today that was signed by BOTH MLB and the MLB Players Association (some people forget the latter is involved and want to blame Selig for everything), we get a better picture for the immediate future and the immediate future includes 5 years of baseball guaranteed.

The MLB Draft 

This was the area that took the biggest hit and I’ll let Bill Shaikin give you a quick rundown:

That’s a pretty big deal to me. A lot of people (especially the Kevin Goldstein’s of the world) talk about how you would not see kids like Bubba Starling of the Cubs and Zach Lee of the Dodgers on a baseball team but roaming the gridiron of the football fields. One of Baseball America’s scours, Aaron Fitt thinks it’ll strengthen the collegiate baseball programs and I can’t disagree that it won’t, but I just worry how many of these multi-sport athletes we lose to football or basketball? This is something can could legitimately affect franchises for a decade, maybe even two, and to me that’s a problem. I want the best athletes that can play baseball in baseball. Not football. Not basketball. Lots of writers have talked about how the majority of the teams went over slot recommendations in the 2011 Draft (approximately 20 of the 30 teams). Kids still want to see the money, and by baseball owners not willing to shell it out, they take a gamble on the popularity of their own business.

Oh by the way, with the new “Super 2″ ruling, players can become Free Agents faster. Good for them, bad for the fans.

Technology

Remember when the NFL and its fans were all scared of instant replay? Well Baseball is finally catching on, now saying they’ll review fair/foul and trapped balls. MLB needs to keep up with the technology and maybe Fox will even let them use their thermal imaging camera. Don’t be afraid of technology, baseball… there will still be a human element to the game. I mean shoot, we’ve had A Machine win the World Series two years in a row!

HGH Testing and Tobacco Usage

These were issues pushed by the players and I think it’s great. They want to have a clean image free from steroids and just an overall positive image from the public because let’s face it: most celebrities are not like you and me. They’re really good at something that pays a lot of money, and I’m really good at something that pays only a little bit of money. There might be other differences in there. Baseball needs to continue to be ahead of the curve when it comes to public perception of a dishonest game. You can tell steroids are mostly out of the game by the numbers and despite the lack of HR records being set, there are still people coming out and tuning in to watch a ballgame. If baseball has a scandal on the horizon though, they need to make sure it gets addressed and not try to sweep it under the rug.

It’ll be interesting to see what’s done re: Social Media policy. This is probably going to be better known as the “Logan Morrison Rule.”

All-Star Games

The “Derek Jeter Rule.” I get athletes want time with their families and such but you’re in the entertainment business whether you like it or not. So dance for me, monkey! The way things were, you couldn’t blame someone for taking time off — the season’s grueling and everyone’s hurting by May, and it gets worse as the months go on. The fans vote on the position players they want to see, whether they’re right in voting a player in or not so don’t the fans deserve to watch who they voted in? I say yes. This was a good move in my opinion.

Expanded Playoffs and the Houston Astros

It’s gonna happen. The only question is for the expanded playoffs: “when?” 2012 or 2013? It’ll be a one-game playoff for the right to participate in the AL/NLDS. It will be fun for baseball fans and probably 9 innings and plenty days of suffering for the two 1-game playoff teams. Don’t be surprised to see this kind of thing expanded to another team so that there are four one-game playoffs in the distant future. Don’t ask me how it’d work, I just think it’ll happen.

The Houston Astros in 2013 will be in the AL West to soak up the cellar there for a little bit and will finally rid the Giants of their season-ruining ways with their AA lineup. This of course makes for interleague all-season long. No more “The Cardinals and Rangers have only played 3 times” dialogue but will be more like “The Giants took 3 of 4 from the Royals this year, how will that change the gameplans of both teams?” My take on it: it may not be as bad as everyone thinks it will be, but I do like the old way better. What it hopefully does is decrease the amount of divisional games and expose fans to more teams, more ballparks, more players and more great minds out there in the game.

Baseball needs the competitive balance to keep working towards maintaining the competitive balance in the sport. And expanding the playoffs might do just that. But check out this little nugget I found on the summary of the CBA on mlb.com:

One team exceeded that $178MM and it was who else: the New York Yankees. The luxury tax limit goes up $11MM since for some reason the economy will get better and everyone can afford $4,000 season tickets in the nosebleed sections in LF thus giving teams the power to give players like Aubrey Huff 2 year/$30MM contracts to play the OF once he’s done in San Francisco. I like that 50% number. Anything that penalizes the Yankees makes me happy.

Replacing the Baby Boomers and Advanced Statistics

This part was not in the CBA. This was all inspired from that conversation I had. My friend noted that the Baby Boomers are going to die off sooner or later and with that will die off a significant number of baseball fans, thus leaving baseball to rely on its younger crowd now to make sure the fanbase stays. I said to my friend that every sport, especially baseball in its more than a century of existence has had to deal with the challenges of marketing to its fans. The future will be no different and they need to ensure that baseball is an accessible game for all and this is being done with newer baseball stadiums, their MLB Network and even the encouraging of the use of social media to be connected with the game. Fans of the game want to be a part of the game in some fashion. This is one way.

The other way is through advanced statistics. Baseball isn’t just for the middle-class Joe, it’s for freakin’ everyone. Short people, tall people, skinny people, David Wells, stupid people and definitely smart people. The people that have brought us different advanced statistics show us new ways to think about the game, and it’s beautiful. They challenge us to not rely on the common stats of AVG, HR, RBI but maybe consider other things such as OBP, wOBA and wRC+ for a hitter. That’s awesome.

Baseball needs to stay connected with its fans and do its best not to alienate them. With the newest CBA, I’m not convinced they had that in mind to the highest degree as a lot seems to be focused on money for the owners and for the players. Baseball is still a business. But it is still our pastime.

Nick Swisher: Still Makes Sense to Me #SFGiants #Yankees

Nick Swisher

Should Sabes deal for Nick, he would overtake Nate in RF

I feel like I’m alone on a boat with my flippy-floppys on this one: I would love for the Giants to trade for Nick Swisher. Before I looked up his stats I was like just about everyone else though thinking, “Nick Swisher? That one guy who hit .220 with the White Sox? Let’s see how bad this is.” So I looked at how bad it was and this is what I found:

2009: 150 G,  607 PA, 29 HR, 16.0 BB%, 20.8 K%, .272 BABIP, .371 OBP, 124 wRC+, -3.0 UZR/150

2010: 150 G, 635 PA, 29 HR, 9.1 BB%, 21.9 K%, .335 BABIP, .359 OBP, 132 wRC+, 0.9 UZR/150

2011: 150 G, 635 PA, 23 HR, 15.0 BB%, 19.7 K%, .295 BABIP, .374 OBP, 122 wRC+, 8.8 UZR/150

Not the big bottle of disappointment I was expecting to open. The man will celebrate turning 31 in 5 days and let’s address the elephant in the room: Yes, being on the Yankees will help your stats because you’re protected all around by some excellent hitters. If he came to the Giants would he have that protection? He also only started batting 1 game in the 4 spot last year, doing most of his work from the 5 or 6 hole (37, 78 G respectively). Should he come AT&T-side, there might be a push to put him in the 4-spot right away and after playing under the bright lights in New York, you’d hope he can handle the pressure that comes with being the clean-up guy.

Some people are wondering though: Hey, why not Carlos Beltran? He’s pretty good and some of his stats were better than Swisher’s! You would be correct in that thought but in my opinion he is a higher (injury) risk and would require a bigger commitment (more than the one year left on Nick’s contract). They probably will get paid around the same with Swisher’s $10.25MM option getting picked up by the Yankees for 2012. I’ll take the guy with the track record for playing the whole season.

The question becomes who would the Giants trade for Swisher? And that’s where it gets ugly for the G’s in my opinion. You just traded Wheeler for Beltran and you’re going to trade AGAIN for a short-term OF? While adding a bat NOW would be great for the short-term, how much do you mortgage the long-term with trading for Swisher? That is the question the front office is considering while wondering how they can keep payroll below the $130MM we have heard they would prefer to stay away from.

Bud Selig Wants to Talk About San Jose #As #SFGiants

Bud Selig

Commissioner Bud Selig and I sit down for a talk

Hey how’s it goin’ everybody hope you haven’t missed me. So Bud Selig, Commissioner of the great national pastime that is our Base of ball wants to talk to the San Francisco Giants about the territorial rights that involve the great(est) city of San Jose. I grew up in San Jose so maybe that last statement is a little biased. The Oakland A’s have already acquired some land in the area they’d like to build a ballpark and I believe have communications open with the City of San Jose to purchase the last parcels of land should the deal get approved. BUT the one big issue with San Jose? They’re in World Champion territory. Let me be very clear about this: San Jose produces winners. Like Pat Burrell (Bellarmine High), Dave Righetti (Pioneer High), the San Jose Sharks in the Regular Season only and Norman Mineta. You can Wikipedia other famous people like I did but really let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I wrote this blog post at a little before 11pm fresh from a party where there may or may not have been consuming of beverages out of love for my city.

So I asked myself, “What would  a conversation between Bud and I look like about San Jose to the A’s?” That got me fired up. So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen I present to you the dialogue I’ll call… oh who cares what I call it:

Bud: Stuart, thanks for joining me today. As you know, Major League Baseb—

Me: Yea yea yea, thanks Bud. I’m a big fan of your sport. Live and die by it pretty much. Hey how bout those Texas Rangers? Can’t catch a break huh?

Bud:… yes, tough breaks. Anyway, I was hoping we could talk about the territorial rights to San Jose.

Me: I love my city. This is San Francisco Giants territory. When Buster Posey speaks, the city stops what it’s doing to listen.

Bud: Right, well what do you think about us giving you some kind of… I don’t know… 9 figure deal to give the rights to San Jose to the Oakland Athletics?

Me: Nope.

Bud: 10 figures?

Me: Nope.

Bud: Really. Ten figures won’t buy San Jose for the A’s. What will?

Me: Bud, San Jose has a Minor Leauge high-A franchise. As you know, they’re the “San Jose Giants.” Not the “San Jose A’s,” because Bud, we want winners here. We don’t want Brad Pitt to come pretend to be one of our guys or Jonah Hill pretending to have scouted 40-something people. San Jose is Giants territory. But you can still give me the 10 figures though because we need a couple bats.

Bud: Ok, well I can give you 9 figures.

Me: Deal.

And that’s how the San Francisco Giants bought contracts for expensive athletes and thus contended and won for multiple World Series trophies. I love stories with happy endings.

 

It’s Possible: SS Clint Barmes, IF Jamey Carroll

Word is there’s a team that’s offered Jamey Carroll a multi-year deal and we’ll find out who it is sometime in the next 24 hours I’m guessing. With that said, this article is only going to be good for a short amount of time before we either accept Jamey Carroll or turn our full attention to Clint Barmes. Since the Giants were reported to have gone after Willie Bloomquist for a multi-year deal, we know Sabes and Co. is shopping for an infielder on the cheap. Someone that we think Bochy will platoon with Brandon Crawford but will only really play and start whomever’s signed more often and then we’ll have to live through all the fan banter of “Bochy loves veterans” again.

Let’s look at the guy who will get off the market quicker: Jamey Carroll. The man is going to be 38 in February and has not hit a HR since 2009. However, in his last two seasons he’s averaged better than a .290 BA, about a .370 OBP, a 99 OPS+ and a 104 wRC+. With all these stats he just SOUNDS like a Brian Sabean type of guy. Jamey Carroll won’t get the type of money other SS Free Agents will get because he doesn’t steal 40 a season (he’s got 12, 10 in 2010, 2011, respectively), has no power and oh by the way, thanks to the RBI stat being relevant to some people is probably what will cost him most. He has 40 RBI in the last 2 seasons. For someone with more than 900 PA, that just sounds odd. But whatever, we’ll get past that. Interesting to note that his UZR is worse at 2B in 2011 (-3.2) than it was at SS (-1.9). The guy’s 5’9″ and 168 lbs. Plays his little heart out, but he’s going to be 38.

The next guy is the one that the bloggersphere would be satisfied with landing and that is Clint Barmes who was with the Astros last year. Immediately you’re thinking, “The Astros? Hey, they had lots of offensive players on their team last year,” or “How did we lose a season series against those guys,” or “Didn’t they move to Montreal or something?” and I commend you for your baseball knowledge there. Because the Giants tried to take everyone who was an Astro before 2011 or in 2011, this seems like the perfect fit for Barmes. The lad will be 33 in March and only played the SS position last year for the team that will get the No. 1 Draft pick in June and put forth an Orlando Cabrerian .244 BA… and that’s where the comparisons stop between him and TDaddyNeal’s trade partner. Here’s where people start to settle: 12 HR last year, 12 HR last year and 12 HR last year. At the SS position. His wRC+ was at 94 and OPS+ at 93 in case you were curious. And so what if his OBP was right near Panda’s BA at .312, I hear you but his UZR was at a positive 7.9 last year. So, without watching any video (because really, who watched the Astros last year), I can tell you that Clint Barmes plays amazing defense, although will make the occasional 12 errors (there’s that “12″ again) like he did in 2011.

So who’s gonna get the 2 year/$8MM package that Sabean will inevitably roll out for one of these two guys? Will it be the guy with no power, or the guy with power? To echo my sentiments in July, I’d rather have Jamey Carroll, but I understand the push for Barmes and would settle for him. If these guys sign though they have to remember to not slump because if they do, it’d be like having Brandon Crawford out there, and while I love watching the kid play on the field, he can’t hit a lick. And then we’d just all call Sabean mean names for signing an over-the-hill veteran and that song gets old after a while.

No, I will not have any CoCo with my Melky

MC

This guy!

Before the news of the trade came in, I was actually thinking about where I was when the news of the Carlos Beltran trade happened. Oh, those were different times. And then the Royals twitter page or some affiliate drops the bombshell that you’re all aware of. Like the Freddy Sanchez trade of 2009, I was facepalm-ing, freaking out, and texting my friends to get their pitchforks ready. I’ve calmed down though. I’ve had a chance to look at some of his stats:

2010: 509 PA, 4 HR, 7 SB, 8.3 BB%, 12.6 K%, .317 OBP, 79 wRC+, -1.0 WAR

2011: 706 PA, 18 HR, 20 SB, 5.0 BB%, 13.3 K%, .339 OBP, 118 wRC+, 4.2 WAR

Let’s just make this clear now: sucks at defense. I don’t want to give anyone the impression I think he’s going to be as defensively sound as Torres or faceplant Rowand. Just imagine if Beltran is out there with him! AND if Burrell was out there too! It’d be so water buffalo, you’d start to hear jokes about the Flintstones.

WB

2 of the 3 Giants OFers?

Defense aside, let’s look at what else this trade changes:

Gary Brown: With Melky’s team control ending after the 2012 season, as long as GBizzle from CSU Fullerton is ready to go, he’ll be the starting CF in 2013 and Andres Torres will be there as his mentor. No Melky blocking him! Unless Melky goes nuts again then Melky will get moved to a corner spot. That’s for another year though.

The Lineup: As of right now if Bochy had to roll something out it’d be: CF Cabrera, 2B Sanchez, 3B Panda, C Posey, LF Belt, 1B Huff, RF Nate, SS Crawford, 9 spot.

The Rotation: Timmy, Matty, MadBum, Vogey, Barry McHighSocks. Give Surkamp a season in AAA.

The Team Salary: Reports are that we’ll have saved $1MM dollars when all is said and done for 2012. Yes, I see you putting your pinky to your mouth a la Dr. Evil. But we also have saved probably around $13MM on the CF position just from not signing Coco Crisp. Whom could that “saved money” be used for? Hmmm….

CB

Hey guyz! I heard you got a leadoff bat!

The Royals: I’ve heard they can use a kid named “Lorenzo Cain” who is obviously related to our own Matt Cain in CF now. Jonathan Sanchez would be their #3 guy, I’ve heard. Other than that, whatever.

CF Sweepstakes: If your name is Grady Sizemore, Coco Crisp, Yoenis Cespedes, I’m sorry but we will not be overpaying for you this winter. Check back next year though and maybe we’ll have a spot for you.

Cody Ross/Andres Torres: Sounds like they’re going to non-tender Andres and try to sign him on the cheap. That would mean Cody Ross is just about done as a San Francisco Giant. It’s OK, Cody: I still do your little home run skip just about everywhere I go, especially when I go down the stairs.

Apparently Melky has found the key to success has been staying in shape. That’s good. Bochy says Melky’s good because he “crosses the plate and we need that.” Oh, Bruce. It must be the jetlag. I bet even Sabean was all “WTF, BB!” In the end, this was a trade that had to happen with one of the pitchers and it happened to be Sanchez. We’ll hope we get the copy of the 2011 Melky and then we’ll go from there. There are splits I could dive into last year but reading is hard. We’ve got all winter to dive into splits.

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