Brian Sabean is scheduled to do a chat with Giants fans at 1:00 PT today. I've mocked these Sabean chats in the past, Lefty has already beautifully mocked this upcoming one, and there's a guy on the Most Valuable Network who has a pretty good handle on doing GM chats AOL-style, so maybe it's time for me to ask some serious questions:
- I, and everyone else in the free world, can understand the idea behind a win-now philosophy before Bonds retires. However, is there anything close to a plan for when he does leave? The best position players in the farm system will be mostly relegated to corner outfield spots or first base if they ever arrive, leaving a huge portion of the lineup to fill with little help from the minors. Are there players in future free agent classes who give you confidence that the Giants will be able to reload almost exclusively through free agency?
- It seems like the circumstances surrounding Felix Rodriguez and LaTroy Hawkins were very similar when they were traded from the Giants and Cubs, respectively. What were the circumstances surrounding the deals that made the Giants receive much less for Rodriguez than they gave up for Hawkins?
- Wouldn't a reasonable expectation of any farm system include the ability to produce a backup shortstop that would be cheaper and more talented than Jose Vizcaino?
- Tyler Walker, Jeremy Accardo, and Scott Munter were big surprises for you last year. Doug Henry, John Johnstone, Dustin Hermanson, Steve Reed, Felix Rodriguez, Alan Embree, Rich Rodriguez, Joe Nathan, and Scott Eyre were among the many relievers who have provided the Giants with cheap and effective bullpen innings. However, it seems like the Giants have brought in expensive reinforcements to mixed results. Robb Nen is the ultimate best-case scenario, and Roberto Hernandez did well down the stretch, but Jose Mesa and LaTroy Hawkins were disappointing at best. There is a lot more time for Armando Benitez to contribute, but his first season was definitely one to forget. How do you evaluate relievers, and how do you go about building a bullpen? Is it difficult to do, as they generally pitch less than 100 innings each season?
- It is pretty clear you do not subscribe to the new orthodoxy of statistical analysis. Do you use any statistics in your evaluation of players? For example, home runs, RBI, runs scored, ERA, etc...? If so, what are the basic things you look for in a statistic?