Giants Extend Bochy, Sabean Through 2013

C'mon. You know this was coming. And, frankly, I always said if they won a World Series, I could live with them both for the next couple of decades. From the press release:

San Francisco Giants President and incoming CEO Larry Baer today announced that the team has extended the contracts for Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Sabean and Field Manager Bruce Bochy through the 2013 season with club options for 2014. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

"Brian and Bruce are certainly two of the finest professionals at their respective positions in all of baseball. They have effectively built and fostered a winning tradition at all levels of our organization. I have no doubt that they will achieve continued success for the Giants in the coming years and beyond," said Baer.

Part of me wants a new regime. Like, a really, really big part. I've had to analyze a Sabean-built team for well over a decade -- at the very least, I just want a new style to nitpick. Another part of me knows that even if the Giants get some sabermetrically savvy and scouting-adept whiz-kid to stat up the place, that doesn't always work out. Change isn't always good. Just interesting.

You can use five players to evaluate Sabean and represent his good and bad qualities:

Ellis Burks - An example of an undervalued veteran who wasn't in high demand. Darryl Hamilton, Omar Vizquel, Pat Burrell, Aubrey Huff, and Randy Winn would also work here. For all of the grief Sabean gets for his veteranophilia and the freaky veteran websites you might find in the browser cache of his Tandy 1000, he has had some big hits with the strategy.

Jose Guillen - An example of a pretty terrible player who shouldn't have been or wasn't in high demand. Willie Bloomquist would go here, as would Neifi Perez. Let's just call this the The Royals Liked Them Too! category. And, oh god, Orlando Cabrera. Was he ever on the Royals? I'll guess he was.

Aaron Rowand - The big-ticket item. Gary Matthews, Jr. and Juan Pierre would go here too as examples that Sabean has troubles telling the difference between a $2 million player and a $12 million player. He'll get a partial pass on Zito because that probably came from ownership.

Tim Lincecum - A pitcher drafted and developed under Sabean who is eleven kinds of awesome. It's not like it was Sabean alone who brought him into the organization, but he had to employ and listen to the right people. He had to trust the people giving him advice, and he had to trust others to develop Lincecum properly. And he had to not trade him away for Alex Rios.

Jeremy Affeldt - An example of Sabean's belief that middle relief and the late innings are a huge part of every team, and that it should be budgeted for accordingly. Robb Nen and Armando Benitez might be good examples here because of how those contracts worked out, but Affeldt is good to show the depth of that conviction. Sabean doesn't mind spending $5 million of a limited budget on his fourth reliever out of the bullpen.

Good qualities and bad qualities, with the latter being really, really obvious and annoying. I mean, Orlando Cabrera and Jose Guillen in back-to-back years. He's probably underrated a bit by the hardcore stat-types -- meaning, he's not a complete and utter doofus all of the time -- and overrated by mainstream observers. He's Brian Sabean, Giants GM for eternity. Get used to it.

Bochy sticking around is also not a surprise. He has the potential to be here for decades, La Russa-style. Love the temperament, and I think he manages a pitching staff better than 90% of the people who would replace him, but I'll always hate his disdain of rookies with a passion. With each passing month, his reluctance to give Buster Posey more than a single start in 2009 -- and the job outright in 2010 -- looks more and more ridiculous.

It's not a problem for a team that's stacked with quality veterans and devoid of quality rookies -- heck, he'd be my #1 choice for a team that's set up like that. But for a team trying to work a player in like Brandon Belt or Posey, there might not be a worse manager than Bochy. Not a worse manager overall, but a worse manager in that situation. Young players will need to succeed in spite of Bochy; they'll never succeed because of him.

But every manager will drive you insane. Every manager makes awful decisions at awful times. Bochy drives me nuts, but he's easily my favorite manager since Roger Craig. It's a hard job with which to win a lot of fans.

So meet the new regime, same as the old regime. No, literally. Literally. It's not exciting. It's a little annoying. But it was expected, and now we just have to hope that the core that's in place -- that pretty enviable core of Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, Posey, and Sandoval -- will stick around for a long time, help minimize the effects of the bad decisions, and complement the good decisions.

Complain if you want, and I'm pretty sure you want, but the Giants are still set up well relative to other organizations. Keeping the same guys around isn't going to change that, even if they make you want to punch inanimate objects with surprising frequency. I mean, Orlando Cabrera.

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