Thursday, September 13, 2007

I aimed far too high.

When the season started, I thought I was being realistic by giving the Giants a .500 record. I thought the acquisition of Ryan Klesko would be a significant improvement over the Niekro/Sweeney fiasco of the last two years. I was wrong. More about the record than about Klesko, who has done decently for a first baseman, though his hitting is sub par for the position.

The Giants have gone from a consistent winner to a train wreck, and our moves this past offseason did nothing to help us. The Giants of 2005 and 2006 struggled due more to poor hitting than poor pitching. The 2005 Giants were a punchless lineup that had Pedro Feliz lead the team with 20 home runs. The 2006 Giants had Barry Bonds, but not quite the same Barry we remembered.

The 2007 Giants added Barry Zito. An above-average pitcher being paid an ace's wage. And we didn't even need him. Without Zito, we'd still have a solid pitching staff. At the start of the season we would have had Cain, Morris, Lowry, Lincecum, Ortiz/Sanchez/Corriea. Not bad at all. If we had spent Zito's salary on a hitter, we'd probably have hit... that magic .500 number.

This is what the Giants need to do to get back on track for the upcoming years.

Keep our pitching staff pretty much in-tact. Cain and Lincecum are the start of something scary, something 1997 Braves scary. Those two, plus some other decent arms will be enough for our pitching. Our pitching is pretty much good enough for the next few years.

Replace Klesko, Feliz, Aurillia, and yes, even Vizquel. And of course, replace Bonds. Barry won't be playing by the time the Giants are competitive again. Durham might not either.

The following positions need to be fixed immeidately:
First Base
Third Base

The following positions are a couple years away from needing a quick replacement:
Second Base
Shortstop
Left Field
Center Field

The following positions do not suck that much:

Right Field
Catcher

We need to rebuild completely for our 2015 world series run. 2015. Yep.

1 comment:

Grizzlie Antagonist said...

A-Rod.

If the Giants can get him for $30 million a year -- should they?

My heart and my mind are running in two different directions.

My heart says that the Giants need a new superstar; my mind says that expending an extremely disproportionate share of the payroll on one superstar will not bring the rings any closer to reality.

I might sign A-Rod if he was so anxious to come to San Francisco that he would sign "only" for what Bonds was making -- about $17 million a year, instead of $30 mil.

But this is unlikely. In a country where the average two-earner family makes -- what? -- around 40 or 50 K a year? -- no ballplayer has ever yet said, "I don't need any more than $X million to make me happy".

I'd even re-sign Bonds for a Mike Sweeney role if he would take Mike Sweeney money. But again, no ballplayer has ever yet said...

Beyond that, I think that the Giants will have to rebuild from the bottom up and undergo some short to mid-term pain in the meantime, in order to build a solid winner for the future -- but they've never been inclined to do that.

They've always looked for the quick fix, and I don't expect them to behave differently, given the refusal to change general managers.