Monday, November 19, 2007

The Dawn of the Same Era

A new beginning

Major League Baseball free agents can officially start entertaining and accepting offers this week. With the single most incompetent player development group in all of baseball, the Giants have no choice to build a team through free agency, meaning that this week is bigger than any other week. Obviously, this strategy has really paid off for them in recent years. In addition, you need look no farther than the 2007 Red Sox to understand how pointless it is to try to rely on the draft to win championships. Think if the Red Sox had had Roberts, Durham, Molina and Benitiez instead of Ellsbury, Pedroia, Veritek and Papelbon!! You know they would have swept the Indians! (Ok, maybe not). In all seriousness, free agency did play a big part in the Red Sox success so I feel like it is still important to write about it even though the Giants are doomed to lose until they produce one good position player from within the organization.

So with all the positive thinking I can muster (which isn’t much), I give you:

“What would RT do if he ran the Giants this off season?”

1) Fire Dick Tedrow
Who is that you ask? Well, he has been running the Player Development department for the Giants since they moved from Mesopatamia to Cairo during the Ice Age. Whatever happened to accountability!? The last consistent all-star position player the Giants drafted was Matt Williams. News Flash: THAT WAS A LONG TIME AGO!

(Mental Note #1: Calm Down)

(Mental Note #2: Screw Mental Note #1 we need to start winning before I stop using we when referring to the Giants)

2) Don’t Sign Any of the Available Centerfielders

Andruw Jones, Aaron Rowan, Mike Cameron and Torii Hunter are all nice players who should be making 7 to 10 million a year because they cannot hit. Rajai Davis deserves his shot to play center and he comes much cheaper and may turn out to be a pretty decent fielder. Young players cannot get any better unless they get a chance to play.

(Also, save me the Aaron Rowan hit 300 last year BS. My little brother hit .025 in tee ball with 20 strike outs and I know he could hit 200 with 10 bombs in that wind tunnel of a ball park)

3) Make a Big Trade (its better for business)

Last year, the Giants went for that big draw guy (Zito). Has anyone ever heard this conversation:

Giants Fan #1: “Do you want to go to the Giants game tonight?”
Giants Fan #2: “I don’t know, who's pitching?”
Giants Fan #1: “ZITO!”
Giants Fan #2: “Yes, we have to go to the game. I would pay double to see him pitch over anybody else”

I have never heard this conversation either

Anyone who thinks that baseball is run like a business all the time is dead wrong. The Zito signing might be the worst business decision any team has ever made. There is no reason to overpay for a guy that doesn’t sell tickets or significantly increase your teams chances of winning. (Sport Marketing 101: Winning is the best way to increase ticket sales)

As for a trade, there are multiple trades out there that make sense but I like the Miguel Cabrera trade the best. I love the critics on this guy. “Fat, doesn’t work hard, mediocre fielder, lazy …” Sure sounds a lot like the guy who plays left field for the Red Sox.

Try this on for size:

Giants get: Cabrera

Marlins get: Jonathan Sanchez, Fred Lewis, Noah Lowry, (fill in the blank prospect) and 5 million cash.

Reasons the Marlins should make the trade:

They get:
(1) A MLB proven pitcher (Lowry)
(2) Two B+ prospects (Lewis and Sanchez)
(3) One B rated prospect
(4) Cash
(5) Younger and potentially can make a run at the NL East in the near future with a discount payroll

Reason the Giants should make the trade:
(1) Cabrera is 24 and that makes him younger than any of the available free agents that are worth anything
(2) He comes cheap (given his talents) at ~10 million for the next two years
(3) He is as talented a young player as exists in the game today and comparing him to Manny Ramirez is not unfair because he is that good
(4) Unlike Zito, he gives people a reason to come to the game (not to mention buy a t-shirt)
(5) (Last but not least) The Giants can make this trade without giving up the untouchables: Cain and Lincecum

4) Play the Young Guys

With the exception of Molina and Vizquel (who are integral to keeping the young pitchers from hanging themselves), there is no point to playing older players. Lewis, Fransen, Davis, Ortmeier and Shierhotlz deserve their day in the sun (or fog). All these guys have shown varying degrees of potential and it is time to throw them against the wall and see which ones stick.

Here is the lineup
1) Rajai Davis - CF
2) Nate Shierholtz - RF
3) Miguel Cabrera – 3B

4) Fred Lewis – LF
5) Dan Ortmeier – 1B
6) Bengie Molina – C
7) Kevin Fransen – 2B
8) Omar Vizquel – SS
9) Matt Cain – P

This team will struggle at times but they will fight to the end and will not quit. They will also play some amazing defense that can only help the confidence of Cain and Lincecum. The Giants are going to finish last in the west next year no matter what they do so they might as well try to make some progress.

In Tedrow We Trust