Yes, It's Another 'Fire Brian Sabean' Rant
Fans of this blog will know I'm no fan of Giants GM Brian Sabean. I've written about him at least 30 times based on a rough search of the archives, and ... well, none of those have been (in my recollection) anything favorable. No, more often than not these are posts like, "How To Politely Call Brian Sabean An Idiot," or "PLEASE FIRE BRIAN SABEAN NOW."
What can I say, subtlety isn't always my thing.
|He can use a computer? I'm genuinely shocked.|
There are, of course, many good reasons to keep him there. Posey is a catcher and that requires controlling the pitching staff, a complicated process that Posey is just learning.
For whatever reason, Sabean refuses to talk straight with the press or the fans, and incessantly lies about some of the worst decisions he's made. Read more, why don't you?
An example - years ago, Sabean signed Barry Zito to what - even with Zito's rise from the ashes this season - may still be the worst contract in baseball. By all reasonable accounts, he outbid himself and overpaid Zito by a factor that baseball still has yet to match. And, much like a former President of the United States, Sabean seemingly has an inability to admit a mistake. He was recently asked about the Zito signing and said:
“As much as people think we overpaid, there was another team, in the American League, that offered more.”This has been corroborated by absolutely nobody. Also ... does that make it right? (Answer: Hells to the no.)
This off-season, Sabean signed Mark DeRosa, who was coming off surgery that turns out not to have worked. He also signed Aubrey Huff, who nobody else wanted and has been capable. He re-signed Juan Uribe, who is leading the team in RBIs mainly because nobody else can hit.
And, yes, he re-signed Bengie Molina at catcher for $5,000,000.
|Posey: Not coming to a theater near you.|
- Posey simply isn't ready yet - he may be hitting, but he can't call a game.
- I have two major league ready catchers, and I'm overpaying one of them (Molina) - and the other, Eli Whiteside, has a really good thing going with pitcher Jonathan Sanchez. We're not sure we want to mess that up.
- I want to keep Posey in the minor leagues for a little while longer so that he doesn't become a free agent sooner than later.
Now, here's the thing -- Sabean really can't be this stupid. He has to know how idiotic this sounds. As any casual fan will tell you, at any given time there are some pretty GREAT pitchers in Triple-A. (Stephen Strasburg, Aroldis Chapman, Madison Bumgarner are just a few apparently awful pitchers toiling away there right now.) But obviously Sabean doesn't think we know this. He doesn't think we would dare to challenge his authority on this.
"Triple-A baseball isn't very good. ... I'm going to tell you that right now, especially from a pitching standpoint. Anybody who can pitch is in the big leagues."
In Sabean's defense (and no, I didn't think I'd ever write that phrase), he goes on to say that the 'real' prospects are in Double-A, and certainly a lot of clubs do bring those types of prospects up directly as often as they move them up to Triple-A. Well, that's at least how he starts trying to explain himself, only to fail miserably:
Most of the prospect arms, the stuff that really can neutralize hitters, are at Double-A. You look at what some of our (struggling hitting) prospects are doing there. So these guys (like Posey) are facing Four-A pitching, and you better have a lot of people see ‘em at different times and write their reports and almost have a straw poll of private ballots. Because I don’t know what it means anymore, in the PCL. It’s almost like years ago.
|The FLYING SQUIRRELS. Auce.|
But what he also doesn't care about is how offensive this is to the very players in his own organization. How, exactly, would you feel if you were Bumgarner, someone who almost made the team out of Spring Training? According to the guy who signs your checks, you aren't very good. You can't pitch, or you'd be in the big leagues.
Don't take my word on this, take a former minor leaguer from the Giants system named Garrett Broshuis, now writing an excellent blog called Life In The Minors. Here's his take:
I'm going to begin this by saying that I don't really know Brian Sabean very well. For this reason, I can't tell you whether or not he has an IQ above 75, or whether or not he has a thing for 80s rock and margaritas. I'd just be making that stuff up.As the kids say, "Word."
Sure I played in the minor leagues for 6 years in the Giants' organization, but I never had any contact with the general manager. Why would I? I was in the minor leagues. I was useless. [snip]
If Sabean had said that Triple A pitching, as a whole, on average, is not as good as big league pitching, I would have no problem with that. That's why it's Triple-A baseball and not the big leagues. If he'd said that offensive numbers are inflated in the PCL since it is a hitter-friendly league -- especially in the division that Fresno plays--I would have no problem with that. That's clearly true.
But instead Sabean decided to say that Triple-A baseball is just not good period, and especially the pitchers. He managed to not only belittle the performance of Posey, but to belittle the performance of all his minor league pitchers and catchers. He did this all in a couple of sentences. It's not easy to make that many people feel like crap in so short of a time span, but Sabean managed to do it. That takes real talent.
Look, Brian Sabean has painted this team into a corner by simply not being able to evaluate or sign offensive talent. Instead of doing something about it, he's just made the situation worse and worse. The list of mediocre veterans past their prime that Sabean has either signed or traded for and woefully overpaid is astonishing, horrifying and well documented. The current roster includes the following who match that description: Zito, Molina, Freddy Sanchez, Edgar Renteria, Aaron Rowand. If you include Mark DeRosa, which I just might, you are talking about $58.6 million dollars in salary this year - just under 60% of the total payroll. As Billy Crystal imitating Sammy Davis, Jr., might say -- "Ouch, babe."
In terms of offensive development, the current roster is led by Pablo Sandoval, who despite his struggles has outperformed expectations - while he was considered a good prospect, nobody imagined he would have an All-Star caliber season in 2009, and show the potential he has. Andres Torres, Nate Schierholz and John Bowker all have the potential to contribute, but it's not clear that any of them have more upside than being a solid player, not a great one.
|Fire me! I double dog dare you!|
I feel quite strongly that Brian Sabean needs to be fired. I'm not alone in this. But if that's not going to happen, at the very least he needs to learn some common manners and respect for the people that pay his salary.