I really should be coming up with a rubric for the assignment I'm handing out today, but I've always been a procrastinator so I am typing this diary out, which is also a work of procrastination, instead.
I've been meaning to write this one for a while. But the limb that I am going out on didn't look very stable so I chickened out. It is getting gradually more and more stable, so I am committing myself. Here I go.
I think this off-season and, by extension, the moves made during the season will be a net positive. There are several reasons for this. Let me this them.
- Barry is gone. This is not a good thing. But it finally frees the Giants from the WIN NOW!!! at all costs (except for paying more than our pre-assigned budget) philosphy that led to things such as the Pierzynski trade and the Michael Tucker signing. Giants management knew that they had a closing window with Barry so their philosophy was to sacrifice the future to win now. It was just too bad that they were too cheap and too veteran happy to actually commit to winning then.
- We are a bad team again. When was the last time Sabean did something daring? Why it was in between the 96 and 97 seasons. The Giants were coming off a horrible season in 96. This was before the Giants got into their "we must WIN NOW, just don't spend too much" approach. They were in a "we are bad, we must improve" approach. The latter approach seems very helpful right now. In fact, I think that is the approach we are in again.
- I think (and I am speculating here, based off of the previous two reasons and based off comments from Sabean) that Giants management is committed to rebuilding. Unfortunately, I think it is likely that they are committed to rebuilding like they were committed to WINNING NOW. That is to say, not all the way, but just enough to make their strategy not completely effective.
- The lack of anything happening quick is a good thing. (That Vizquel signing kind of threw a wrench into all of this and was one of the reasons why I delayed writing this diary. But I throw that one into the pile of evidence that management is not going to completely commit to rebuilding.) Still, Sabean is not panicking. He's not looking like a man who has to prove himself. Even though he actually does have to prove himself. That's a good thing. It means he will only make trades and/or free-agent signings (hopefully not very many of these, if at all) that will work to improve the club for the long-term.
- Sabean does not believe completely in speed and defense. All those Cabrera rumors show that. The Andruw Jones rumors as well. Sabean understands that a team full of Winn's and Rajai Davis's and Fred Lewis's and Omar Vizquel's is not going to score any runs (and would score negative runs if that were allowed). That's why he's going after at least some power.
But those are enough to show why I think this off-season should be a positive one. Will all of Sabean's moves be guarenteed good ones? Probably not. The Vizquel signing is already not very good. But this is why I am going out on a limb instead of making a bold proclimation.
The main thing is that Sabean is viewing this as a rebuilding off-season and is planning for the future for a change. This an important change in mind-set. And it is why I am willing to see what he does.
I'm expecting positive things Brian. This is your last chance. (Hopefully)