Brian Sabean Deserves ... What?
The following article was forwarded to me by a buddy of mine I'll call "Colorado Mike." Colorado Mike is actually from the Bay Area, but now lives in the second most beautiful state in the land instead of the first and keeps up-to-date with the Giants as well as anyone I know.
Here's a little snippet from this article:
[Brian] Sabean has earned the right to see youngsters such as [Madison] Bumgarner and [Buster] Posey in San Francisco, whenever those days come. They represent Sabean's handiwork, they're highly touted and eagerly anticipated. Wouldn't it be a shame to brush him aside now and deliver this to a new G.M.?
A shame? For him, sure. But for the Giants, really who gives a flying fart?
This is not how you run a business, folks. (Or, at least, not the way you should.) No one has ever accused Sabean of not being able to fill the system with pitching prospects - Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum are just the tip of this iceberg. (Of course, that iceberg is a bit shallower after the Garko and Sanchez trades.)
The basic premise of the article is that Sabean spent the first decade with the Giants trying to surround Barry Bonds with veteran hitters in an honest attempt to win a World Series, something they came quite close to doing in 2002, of course. That's a valid point, but even though Bonds only left the team two seasons ago, it's been years since it was clear that the team needed to start rebuilding.
Quick, name an offensive player the Giants developed who is thriving on the roster? OK, now name someone who isn't named Pablo Sandoval.
I don't doubt that there are other good hitters in the Giants organization, but there aren't nearly enough. And worse yet, in the midst of this sudden sea change of perspective that writer Monte Poole talks about, Sabean signed over the hill veterans like Edgar Renteria, Aaron Rowand and even Randy Winn, while ignoring guys who could genuinely help the team, like Adam Dunn.
All evidence points to the fact that Sabean got lucky with Pablo Sandoval, and that he rarely, if ever, takes advantage of the market.
Since joining the Giants in 1997, under Sabean's watch the team is (as of this writing) 1092-958 for a 53.2% winning percentage. That's not bad, but it sure ain't great either. But wait, it gets ... worse.
Since 2004, the team is just 354-401, for a 46.9% winning percentage. That's truly awful. And isn't that enough time to right the ship?
Look, the team is currently 12 games above .500. Things are looking good and there are bright signs in the future. But to give Brian Sabean credit for all of this is truly the mark of the insane, or at least an ass-kissing columnist. Whether or not he gets an extension - and my guess is that he will, because the world conspires to make me crazy - it's not because he "deserves" anything. He's made his money, he has one of the greatest jobs in the world and he isn't all that great at it. Let's all agree to deal with this, and move on, shall we?