You know, you can probably skip this one. Especially if you're tired of McCovey Cynicals. I'm not a bitter guy, really! November 1, 2010! Tim Lincecum's two Cy Young's! Best ballpark in the game! Things could really, really be worse.
But for some reason, the Winter Meetings just annoyed the heck out of me. Here's a ranking of the ten most annoying quotes. Unless otherwise noted, they're all pulled from Extra Baggs.
"The guys have been good. They know what needs to be done. And the way it works out, there’s comfort in Cabrera and Pagan playing for a contract. Then you have Huff, who has an option in his contract, and Freddy is a free-agent-to-be."
Oh. Contract years. Dayn Perry found there was a slight increase of production of players in their walk years, so it's not as completely asinine as looking at spring training performances, but it's still a silly way to justify standing pat. The Giants are hoping that the players who were bad last year are less bad -- that's the whole strategy. Expecting it in part because of their contract status is more ex post facto reasoning than anything.
Sabean’s reponse: "I know what’s not percolating. We did not bid on the Japanese shortstop. Did not. N-O-T. Enough said."
Would have loved a "Nakajima" instead of "the Japanese shortstop." I'm not picky. Just a sign that Sabean kicked the right tires and did his due diligence instead of a, "Wait, they play baseball there? How adorable!" It's something that maybe came across in print differently than he meant it, but it was a deflating way to quash what had been the only exciting news of the week to that point.
"I think we’re pretty well set in the outfield, to be honest," Bochy said.
Is Melky Cabrera, Angel Pagan, and Nate Schierholtz the worst offensive outfield in baseball? I mean, none of them are especially horrible, but as a group not one of them is really a threat to escape the orbit of mediocre. Wait, I haven't looked at the Padres' proposed outfield. And I think the A's have Ryan Sweeney, and only Ryan Sweeney, playing in all three spots as of now. So it's not the worst.
But, brother, it could use an upgrade. Suppose it beats the Roberts/Rowand/Winn outfields of yore.
"We won the World Series," Torres said by phone from Puerto Rico. "How would I ever forget the Giants, the fans, all the people? I’ll always respect them and always thank them for everything. I always said I’ll put some part of the Giants in my heart."
This one's annoying because it chokes me up. MISS U ANDRES.
If you think Matsuzaka is precisely Zito's equal and that Zito will get a $75 million, five-year contract, Matsuzaka would cost the same with a $25 million posting fee and a $50 million, five-year contract.
That's a quote from a Hardball Times article from early in the 2006 offseason. I just stared at it for a while with my mouth open, remembering that's what people though Zito was going to get. Therefore, it makes the annoying power rankings.
First base could be a mix-and-match between Huff, Brett Pill and Brandon Belt. "It could play out in spring training," Sabean said.
Oh. Spring training. They give an award out, you know, to the young player with the best performance/attitude in spring training. No, really. It's called the Harry S. Jordan Award, and Belt won it last year. Then after two weeks of Belt struggling, the Giants ignored everything that happened in spring training because basing anything at all on spring training performance is luuuuuuudicrous.
Yay to the Giants for recognizing that. Boo to them for using it improperly to hose Brandon Belt early last year. Triple-boo to them for relying on spring-training battles year after year. Though we all remember how Joe Kmak really leveraged that spring award into a long career.
Anything about Brett Pill starting
Again, I'm rooting for Pill. Rooting for him just as hard as I rooted for Dan Ortmeier. Putting those two names in the same paragraph is not something I did by accident.
"How the hell can we not think we’re better than we were last year?" (Sabean) said. "From a health standpoint and a production standpoint, the law of averages will tell you we should be better in both areas."
Ayup. I understand the general sentiment -- the Giants were extraordinarily unlucky with runners in scoring position last season, which isn't something you'd expect to remain static. And Posey back will help. A lot.
But to see a GM completely defile "the law of averages" like that …. I don't know. It's like asking a movie director about Casablanca and having him say, "Never read it." Just feels like a part of a GM's job should be not to fall for Gambler's Fallacy.
"We’re hoping like hell that Burriss can turn into the player we all forecasted him to be," Sabean said. "He’s doing all he can to be versatile. He’s in great shape. I’ll say this, he’s taking this very serious. He knows he has an opportunity."
Utility infielders often have weird paths to the majors. Ryan Theriot was pretty awful in the minors, but he carved out a perfectly acceptable career in the majors. That could happen to Burriss. I hope it does -- he's one of the more likable guys in the organization.
I just don't want to think about him being something the Giants are counting on. Keep it to yourselves, people. The whole best-shape-of-his-life thing: insulting. He's a longshot's longshot. He's a 25th-man right now, but only if you squint -- a Velez with functioning synapses. He should be treated as such. Which is to say, brought up as much as Matt Downs was a couple of years ago.
"Being brutally honest, we pretty much got to the top of the budget," said Sabean, after a relatively inactive Wednesday at the winter meetings. "It’s down to Keppinger or Fontenot as the extra man."
This reminds me of the Michael-Tucker-or-draft-pick dilemma. Hey there, fellas, how about both? Slap a Giants' logo on some boxes of chocolates and have a fundraiser. I don't even want Keppinger back, and this quote annoys me. It's just so … final. It's like, how much more strict can the Giants get with their self-imposed salary cap? The answer is none. None more strict.
Came into the offseason hoping the Giants could re-sign Carlos Beltran, and now we're talking about Brett Pill, Manny Burriss, and not affording utility infielders. So it goes.