In theory, your best players should be the ones who make the most money. This is not true of the 2010 San Francisco Giants. Of our five outfielders,the highest paid is the worst player, and the lowest paid is the best player. Of our infielders, the highest paid is again the worst player--at least this was true until we brought up Manny Burriss. This could lead to personnel management issues. It hasn't, and I do think Bruce Bochy deserves some credit.
The other oddity with our team is that Aaron Rowand is essentially our fifth outfielder. He's a spare part, a right handed bat off the bench, a guy who plays occasionally against lefties, and when we double-switch. But when he does play, it's only in center field. Our best outfielder, offensively and defensively, is Andres Torres, but he's also the guy who switches around, plays left or right, as needed.
Now, there's no question that Torres is a better centerfielder than Rowand, and I don't doubt that Rowand could, if asked, play right or left. But he never does. Not that he can't, not that he won't, he's just never asked to. I think this is Bruce Bochy's way of showing some respect to a highly paid veteran player, heading off what could be a clubhouse problem. Torres seems fine with it, and it's a way of saying "Aaron, you're still our centerfielder. We stlll value you and respect you." And the practical difference between balls Torres might get to that Scott can't anymore is probably pretty negligible.
Same thing in the infield. Renteria makes the most money, and he's essentially our utility infielder. But he only plays shortstop. Uribe, a more valuable player, is the guy who moves around. I don't doubt that Renteria could play second if asked, but this seems to be Bochy's way of showing respect to a veteran player.
We're weird that way--our best players are the ones without a regular position, the guys who move around. Huff is having a brilliant season with the bat, and he's done it playing right, left and first. Posey's been superb, and he's done it while catching and playing first. Torres is brilliant, playing all three outfield spots--sometimes all three in the same game. But Huff is a guy who's so thrilled to finally be in a pennant race, he'll do whatever he's asked to. Torres is a guy who's finally getting a real chance to play in his thirties. Posey's a rookie. Meanwhile, Aaron Rowand's a guy who's paid a ton of money to be a fifth outfielder. As a starting centerfielder, he's mediocre. But he's probably one of the best fifth outfielders in baseball.
Suppose that at the place you work, the one guy making the money was also a guy who really just wanted to do one thing. He's not as good at his job as he used to be, but he has some skills, and there are younger cheaper workers who can do the other things you'd like him to do. Eventually you're going to have to fire him. But there's a big project that needs to get finished. He does contribute. So you manage him best you can.
Baseball players are human beings, and keeping them motivated and focused on the task at hand is an essential part of a manager's job. I think Bochy deserves some credit for personnel management
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