Giants: The double deal-killer here is that the Giants can't compete financially for the ultra-elite hitters, and the sub-great hitters don't like the ballpark. Frankly, it scares them.
The right side of the outfield is too deep. The only way the Giants will ever sign a lefty power hitter in his prime is if they put Barry Bonds in a time machine.
The ballpark problem is fixable, but the current ownership won't hear of any dimension alteration.
-- Outlook grade: C-plus. As long as right-center is Acres of Outs, the Giants will be off-limits to free-agent lefty hitting stars, and some righties.
This is from Scott Ostler in today's Chronicle, and it's one of my pet peeves. Mays Field is not a huge pitcher's park. It's not even a pitcher's park -- it plays like an average ballpark in terms of runs scored, and it has for a while. This isn't a breaking story.
Now, Jayson Werth might not know this, so he might think, "Man, I would not want to play there!" But Werth's agent, who makes more money if Werth does, knows that right-handed hitters do just fine in San Francisco. That's an agent's job.
Free agent player: Hey, I don't want to play in San Francisco. My stats will suffer.
Agent: Nah. That's a myth. I can show you the studies if you want; AT&T Park is a pretty neutral park. It might cost you a couple of homers a year, but you'll also get more triples. If they have the best offer, take it.
Free agent player: Okay.
I don't expect the free agent to know if reporters, columnists, and radio personalities don't know this, but the agent knows. He conveys the point to the player in five seconds.
The park does affect left-handed home runs, though. So where the Giants are semi-hosed is with left-handed power hitters coming off a down year, who are looking to sign a short-term deal, hit the snot out of the ball for a year, and parlay that into a big-money deal. Like Adam LaRoche. Or Aubrey Huff. So let's make the power alleys 355 feet because we keep missing out on players like Aubrey Huff. Makes sense to me.
I like the people who suggest that the park should be changed, actually. They're very considerate. They let me know quickly that they are filled with nonsense, and that saves me the time of trying to figure that out on my own. Mays Field is perfect, and that's the last word on the subject.
PERFECT. Well, I could do without that stupid Chevron car hump that sticks out over the left-field fence, and even a good ballpark can't change the fact that hot dogs are usually made from roach droppings, old VHS tapes, and possum meat, but other than that, it's perfect.