Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Opportunity missed

Stupid Dodgers.

This kind of loss was avoidable, but at the same time, inevitable. The bullpen wasn't going to come through every time, and the Dodgers do have some good pitching. However, while I might be understanding as to why they lost, it is still the case that the Giants were in position to gain another game on the Padres and failed to do it.

San Diego's magic number is 21. Although I still don't think the Giants have much of a chance, I'm going to keep track of it on that thar sidebar.

The plot keeps thickening in regards to next season -- Brett Tomko just might be trying to save his job here. I said yesterday that Tomko would have to be lights out the rest of the year to have a chance, and he took a step towards that with yesterday's performance. He'll have about four or five more starts this season...I'm sure we can all agree that while he showed promise, Kevin Correia can't have locked a spot in the rotation for 2006 by any means.

We all know how much weight Brian Sabean puts on late-season performances:
  1. Matt Herges locked himself a spot on the team for about a season and a half by pitching great after being traded to the Giants in mid-season of 2003. He pitched horribly in 2004, but was still brought back for 2005 before being let go. Can anyone think of why he might've been brought back if not for that nice run in 2003 late in the season?
  2. Jason Christiansen is Herges' godfather, in a sense -- he locked himself a spot on the team for about three and a half seasons with the team by pitching well after being traded to the Giants in mid-season of 2001. He missed almost all of 2002, pitched poorly in 2003 and 2004, but was still brought back for 2005 before being let go. Can anyone think of why he might've been brought back if not for that nice run in 2001 late in the season? Is anyone getting a bit of deja vu?
  3. Dustan Mohr was having a pretty good year last season...that is, until a base-running gaffe and fielding gaffe in late August cost the Giants a game or two, and then there was the "he should've dropped it" ball against the Padres at the end of September. Can anyone think of why he might not have been brought back if not for those incidents in 2004 late in the season?
  4. Jose Cruz, Jr. was having a decent year in 2003...that is, until slipping in the field in game two of the NLDS against the Florida Marlins, then dropping a ball in extra innings in game three of the same series. Can anyone think of why...oh, you get the picture.
  5. J.T. Snow was having a fairly poor year last year -- in fact, it was possible that it would've been his last with the Giants, were it not for a ridiculously torrid 2nd half of the season where he was actually as good of a hitter as Barry Bonds (close enough, anyway). Well, here he is again, having a poor year, but in position to put on some heroics to secure himself a job next year as well...which is fine, because I really like J.T. Snow, but isn't fine, because Snow can't hit for power and plays a position where a power hitter should reside.

It's simple. If you come through in the last two months of a season while in a pennant race, you've got a spot on next year's Giants team if you want it, and for perhaps a year or two after that even if you suck. If you make a couple of late-season and/or playoff miscues, you will not have a spot on next year's Giants team regardless of whether you want it, and regardless of how good of a season you were having beforehand.

Not the worst policy in the world, but it's a bit...rigid, I think.


Andrew said...

In answer to your question regarding Dustan Mohr, the answer is no. Everything I'd heard is that he was a great B+/A- player waiting to happen. What's more important (for my money) is that he was admired and LIKED by his team. He stood the chance of becoming one of those unofficial team captain types, a role Grissom held for so long. I can't think of another player last year who grunted for performance more regularly than Mohr. he was always trying and you could always see that was giving it his best. Doesn't that count for anything...with so many other problems for the Giants?

The fans loved him -- if love of a player can be measured by the chatter and bleacher responses when he accomplished something even half-baked.

Oh, well, guess there's a good reason I'm not a front-office guy.

And hey, what about Jeremy Accardo? Daniel, I don't have your acumen for stats and numbers, and I'd like to understand where this kid stands and where he's going. I saw him in his debut earlier this year against the Nationals (May 7, a raging good time at the ball of those games where you scream a lot), and couldn't believe that F. Alou threw him to the lions for an embarrassing blown save. This kid has got to have the lowest self-esteem of any rookie, but here he is still playing in September. What's up with that?

Joe said...

Daniel, we all knew Snow was going to fall back to earth this year, but what were we going to get to replace him? Delgado was too expensive. Sexson definitely wasn't worth the money.

Snow's been better than Feliz this year and we didn't have Niekro at the start of the year. He's not making much money and he's only signed for this year. Bringing him back this year didn't hurt us. Not having Bonds hurt us more than any other transaction

Joe said...

Sorry, here's the rest of my thought.

In retrospect only Tony Clark was the only free agent that's a better option. Chris Shelton would've needed to be acquired in a trade and I think Travis Lee was signed too. The Giants didn't expect Snow to reproduce 2004 because they would've signed him for more if he did. Good move by Sabes if you ask me.

Daniel said...

Joe: I'm not really condemning one move or another (okay, I didn't like either of the moves with Herges and Christiansen), rather trying to show a pattern with Sabean's moves.

It isn't as though he had no reason to bring Snow back -- however, what I think is that Sabean has some of these things pre-planned, and simply looks for an excuse to do what he wants rather than what the statistics suggest.

The FA market for 1st basemen will sucks this offseason, too, generating a new excuse to bring Snow back -- but I'm going to get into that tomorrow.

Daniel said...


The only person that screwed up by not signing Tony Clark was Omar Minaya. I don't blame Sabean for not seeing that coming -- Clark hasn't been this good for a while, and the D-Backs have inflated the look of his numbers through platooning.

But Minaya could've seen Clark was a better, cheaper option than Doug Mientkiewicz.

Daniel said...

Andrew: the move Sabean made in response to Mohr not being brought back was Moises Alou -- so I can't really argue with that result. The other person in the mix was Michael Tucker, whose numbers were similar enough to Mohr's, except that Tucker was the left-handed outfield bat, so Mohr wasn't going to replace Tucker. But yes, I liked Mohr a lot, and still do. Now he hits .230 for the Rockies. Yippee.

As far as Accardo, I haven't looked enough at his minor league stats. As we get nearer to the end of the year and start analyzing next year's team, I will have to do that.