Of Tim Lincecum and Prince Fielder

Apologies, this was set to go up yesterday but a WordPress error wiped out the whole post before I could publish it…

Big Time TimmyJim is signed to a new deal, but it’s not for the length of time many people had been hoping for. The two-year deal will fill out Timmy’s arbitration years, but when it’s up he will be a (presumably) expensive free agent. Both sides are hedging their bets here; Lincecum gets set up for a huge payday and the Giants avoid another albatross contract should health or performance troubles creep up. More good news: Matt Cain is close to signing a five-year extension at a significant hometown discount. That should help to end the “pitchers don’t want to play behind this offense” nonsense.

If you’re a fan of huge contracts for huge players, the type of person who gripes that the Giants are too stingy with their payroll and don’t want to spend big, perhaps the Detroit Tigers are more your speed. With huge contract for Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera still drawing huge contracts, the team ponied up a massive nine-year contract for Prince Fielder. The Tigers are no-doubt hoping that Fielder’s lineage and star-power energizes fans much in the same way Barry Bonds did for the Giants in the 90s.

But Barry was a five-tool superstar who was in impeccable shape. Prince Fielder is still in his mid 20s and has already been relegated to the status of a lumbering cleanup hitter. At 27 years old, Fielder stands at 5-10 and is listed (generously) at 275 pounds.

To put it in perspective, Prince Fielder’s father (and noted MLB fatass) Cecil Fielder was listed at 240 pounds, and he was five inches taller than Prince. Pablo Sandoval is the same height as Prince and weighs 240 pounds. Even at the height of his “fat panda” days, Pablo was still 10-15 pounds lighter than what Fielder is *listed* as weighing. And Detroit has committed to paying him huge money for nearly a decade. Mind you, this is the same Detroit club that just two years ago was losing tens of millions of dollars because they overspent on the likes of Cabrera, Bonderman and Dontrelle Willis.

Losing money is not good for the owners or the fans. I know there’s a tendency to say “it’s not my money they’re spending,” but when the team is in the red because of a few huge contracts it means that other players get traded or released, free agents can’t be signed and young players have to be dealt before they reach a big arbitration figure.

It will no doubt be another five to ten years before we will know for sure whether the Tigers made a good decision with these huge contracts, but my money is on the Giants looking a lot smarter than Detroit when it’s all said and done.

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93 Responses to Of Tim Lincecum and Prince Fielder

  1. xoot says:

    Fielder’s bizarre temper tantrums after getting drilled, his disrespectful, if amusing antics (vs. the Giants after a HR, for example), and his weight are all factors that should have counseled teams to limit their offers to 3 or 4 years, max. A player with both a weak character and a fat body is a complex, ugly breakdown waiting to happen. He’ll be Andruw Jones without the contrition. Side note: Funniest thing I’ve seen in defense of the Fielder deal was someone from Detroit pointing to his OPS and ascribing it, in part, to his 5’10” or 11″ frame — i.e., the “small” strike zone he presents. Yeah, he’s regular Rickey up there.

  2. mailorderwife says:

    I’m thrilled by TImmy’s contract, to be honest. I want him here forever, but I’m going to buy his desire to stay hungry. This, of course, also means he’ll always get more than market value for the years when he needs a new contract. SMART guy.

    The Poohole and Fielder deals seem so bloody ridiculous to me. Xoot’s description of Fielder is so apt. What a pompous chunk of a marshmallow snowball. Barry Zito’s one great contribution as a Giant might have been when he pelted Fielder on the ass in spring training.

    Great article, btw. “Noted MLB fatass” is going to enter my lexicon along with the term “bipolar bitch,” which I learned while watching Mob Wives.

  3. DatsRight says:

    must admit I held out hope that Fielder would get pissed at the lack of respect and sign a 4 year F.U. deal for $100M giving him a chance at another big contract before he was done. A 4 year deal gave me hope the Giants might participate.

    Young fat guys scare me. Prince was motivated to put up numbers to land this deal but was still fat, if the hunger (uh, sorry) is gone he may eat himself out of the league (by the way this is my eventual fear with Pablo).

    TL signing may be a blessing. Anything beyong 5 years is a giant (uh, sorry again) risk for a pitcher. If it’s true that the offer was 2 years/$40M or 5yr/$100M shows the Giants didn’t really want him to take the 5 year deal.

    The park, the climate, the liberal population, the WS title the 2 CY are all good things about staying in SF.

    East Coast are generally dicks and will expect the 2 CY award winning pitcher for the huge money they’d pay. It gets hot in the summer and enough about the bad offense, is 20-10 with a 3.80 era more important than 15-8 with a 3.30 era? Only TL can say.

    Maybe Seatle, but if they still suck in 2014, why go?

    • lasttraintoyuma says:

      The whole “he still has a home in Seattle” argument is silly to me. How long is the flight? I’m sure he can afford to fly first class. Doubt the M’s suck in 2014, though. They have so many kickass up-and-coming hitters that I think they’ll be just hitting their stride by 2014.

  4. unca_chuck says:

    From the Benjamins, DR. The Pujols deal, for all the years, is really a short-term 3-4 year deal. He likely breaks down 5 years into this, but the Angels front office doesn’t care. They want to win now, and let the chips fall where they may later on. Same kind of thing with Fielder. Although he’s proven that he can hit at that weight, you’d have to think the drop off will be precipitous when it comes.

    • lasttraintoyuma says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more. Both teams are gunning for the World Series now – and those deals ensure that they’ll be one of eight teams standing when the season ends. The Tigers more so than the Angels, I think – but that’s because the Angels have a really stacked Rangers team to contend with.

  5. Chico says:

    I think this long term contract stuff is insane, didn’t it start with A-Rod? Anyways, when I think of Fielder I think about a particular play at the plate. We had just lost Buster due to a horrible injury, I mean a devastating injury to both the player and the Giants fan base; The Brew Crew comes to town and everyone knows that Prince likes to put hits on the catcher. He’s on second and someone hits a single– once that ball was on it’s way to the cutoff man I think we ALL kind of went “Oh Shit” as he hit third and rounded for home… He tries to knock Eli Whiteside’s head off and Eli STOOD HIM UP.. I remember that smile on Fielder’s face, it was the smile of *embarrassment* as he wobbled back to the dugout.
    That was a great night on the Splash, too bad they had to clear their servers over there, I used to go back to the old threads and read the comments as throughout the playoffs and the WS. Nail biting times but good times.

    As for the Giants being smarter than the Tigers, absolutely JDR, spot-on.

    • Chico says:

      Of course if we had Yankee money I would be singing a different tune 😉

      • 85Mattalac says:

        The Fielder deal will end up burying the Tigers. I thought they were WS bound last season. They played like shit in the LCS. Perhaps Tiger brass wanted to show their commitment to winning by making the splashy signing that the Splash doomers piss and moan for on a daily basis.

        • unca_chuck says:

          It very may well. Detroit isn’t on the greatest financial footing, and their fan base could evaporate pretty fast. A team like the Angels may fare better in the long run.

          Both those contracts are ludicrous though.

    • slats says:

      Why do baseball fans give a shit about the contract unless your team is trapped with bad contracts that prevent them from going out and signing players that you the fan would like. The Tigers are better now with Fielder than without, are they not? Fielder is a bad ass hitter. It’s not JDR’s money so why the hell would anybody rather see Huff standing out there over Fielder. There’s a reason the guy commanded a $200+ mil contract and Huff didn’t. Listen to Chris Lincecum’s remarks about the Giants shitty run support and think about what he’ll be doing in 2 years if this machine isn’t fixed.

      • Chico says:

        Err, Zito. That was very simple.

      • DatsRight says:

        agree with Chico

        Unless you are the Yankees, Sox, Angels and Philly long, bad contracts keep teams from signing other players

      • slats says:

        This is Prince Fielder, not Barry Zito.

      • JDR says:

        From my post, the one which you are replying to and have supposedly read…

        “Losing money is not good for the owners or the fans. I know there’s a tendency to say it’s not my money they’re spending, but when the team is in the red because of a few huge contracts it means that other players get traded or released, free agents can’t be signed and young players have to be dealt before they reach a big arbitration figure.”

        You’d think that an A’s fan, of all people, would understand this. How many guys did they have to deal or pass on in the “moneyball” years because Billy had a quarter of the payroll tied up in Chavez?

        • slats says:

          I don’t know, but I mentioned about what difference a couple of bad contract the Giants have which are going to be off the books in a couple of years. Besides, that’s a really silly topic because Rowand = Chavez in US currency. However, Chavez was a string of injuries, Rowand was just a bad baseball player. The current situation of the two even now should put to rest which was the worse personnel decision. Neither was a good signing, but the difference is that the A’s picked Chavez over Tejada and injuries are not a predictable factor while Sabean ran out and bought Rowand. Shall we agree to let this topic rest?

          Anyway, Giants fans recognize that this is a limited opportunity of brilliant pitching either through free agency or injury and not all big expensive contracts are stupid ones. The Angels can afford the back 5 of Pujol’s contract to get the front 5 now and Detroit has bought one bad ass baseball player who the Giants could have used now. Who gives a shit if he’s not so hot 6 years from now? Just because the Giants have had their asses kicked by some really bad signings is no reason to give up and hope that the patchwork and walking wounded can rescue the season. Free agency and injury are unpredictable factors that can change the dominant Giant pitching staff in an instant. All I was stating is what Tim Lincecum’s father talked about which is what the whispers have been and that is he’s going to get the best deal possible when his value his highest and anything else about him being a humanatarian not wanting the big contract now to keep his head clear is nonsense.

          • Chico says:

            “””””Why do baseball fans give a shit about the contract unless your team is trapped with bad contracts that prevent them from going out and signing players that you the fan would like.”””””

            I answered your question…

            • Chico says:

              “”””All I was stating is what Tim Lincecum’s father””””

              Anyone with an ANY knowledge about the Giants knows about TL’s dad. That is an old beaten topic.

              By the way, wasn’t it you who said that the Giants were barely breaking even and it would be a problem if fans don’t get their asses in the seats at the ballpark? I think you answered your own question regarding Prince Fielder as a Giant.

          • JDR says:

            Rowand is another good example. The point is that when you invest a significant portion of your budget on any player, you are taking a huge risk. Who gives a shit? The fans that have to sit through a shitty team a few years from now, for one. The Giants of the mid-00s, the Mariners, the Dodgers, the Blue Jays. All teams that have had to field mediocre to poor lineups because they had to eat a huge contract from a few years ago with little to show for it.

            • slats says:

              You know what’s really messed up? The Jays somehow dumped Vernon Wells and with his contract which is one of the worst ever the Angels who don’t even blink and sign Pujols and Wilson this off season. Why? A freaking $3 billion TV deal. The Dodgers’ is supposed to be worth $4 billion so that $1.3 billion price tag that was being scoffed at a few months ago I heard being talked about in the $1.5 billion range now and there are famous celebrities falling all over eachother trying to bid on them.

              • JDR says:

                That Dodgers deal only happens if Fox and Time Warner enter a bidding war for the TV rights. Both are also bidding on the team and if one does get an ownership stake that would settle the matter.

                • slats says:

                  Several of the groups have prominent rich athletes in the mix. Better that than a real estate developer.

                • JDR says:

                  According to Cuban, the TV rights are the driving factor. He withdrew his bid because he said the sale is less about the team than it is the media rights. That would lead you to believe that the broadcasters believe being part of a team that spends $1.5bn to buy the club is preferable to spending $3bn for the rights to broadcast the games.
                  Like I said, if Fox or Time Warner get the rights, or if the new owners launch their own network, that TV windfall vanishes. Then it becomes a matter of how much of the TV revenues the ownership group reaps will be reinvested in the team. Either way I expect the Dodgers to be a top 10 payroll team. The Giants will always be at a slight disadvantage when it comes to that, though not nearly as much as 10-15 years ago.

          • lasttraintoyuma says:

            Let me just say again that I really do appreciate that you’re here talking some smack, Slats. When this place is just a bunch of us agreeing with each other, it can be boring.

            Even so, you’re just wrong on this issue. Injuries are exactly why long term deals are so risky. You don’t see anything dangerous about a 9 year deal for a 5’11” 300 pounder? Especially after seeing what injuries did to Chavez?

            Every Giants fan would prefer to have Fielder over Huff, if that were the only choice. But it’s really the promise of Belt at or near league minimum salary for a few years over Fielder. Of course, you’d still rather have Fielder than just the promise of Belt, but if you’re the type of person who wants your team to be competitive not just for a 3 year span but for years; the type of person who has seen that even though your team may be overmatched offensively, anything can happen once you get to the playoffs; the type of person who knows that your team needs more than one hitter to become an offensive juggernaut, you prefer not to overpay for Fielder.

            I’m not sure how that’s so difficult to understand.

            • slats says:

              The reality of the game is that the really good players get long term deals for crazy money. Bonds’ contract seemed crazy big at time, but not so much any more. It’s relative and that’s what 10 years does to money. There are not a lot of guys in their prime floating around that can hit 30 HR to begin with and none right now that are willing to sign for 3 years but at the same time, less money is being thrown at lesser FAs. Damon had it in his head he wanted $39mil for 3 when he left the Yankees and we see where that ended up.. And yes, Belt is a nice prospect, but unproven at this point.

  6. lasttraintoyuma says:

    The Tigers have basically tied up $75M with 4 players (Verlander, Cabrera, Martinez, Fielder) for the next 3 years. Yikes.

    On the other hand, when you throw in Avila, Boesch, Peralta and Scherzer – all but Peralta are making virtually nothing – they’re probably a World Series contender for the next three years, barring injury.

    • DatsRight says:

      That is what I hope happens for the Giants. If 2/3 of the kids who might make it, make it that will allow the Giants to pay Posey, Cain, TL, Romo, MadBum while paying 4 position players < $1M/yr.

  7. slats says:

    That 2 year deal with Lincecum is no coup. His father, Chris, is frank about lack of run support and that Lincecum will be out there in 2 years getting the best deal offered that suits him. Nowhere does he say San Francisco is favored. Fortunately for those who see some light at the end of the tunnel for this, there is a lot of money coming off the books, but then again it’s going to cost a lot more to upgrade and keep paying those arbitration eligible players along the way. This interview is interesting becuause although Tim Lincecum doesn’t do a lot of talking, his dad doesn’t seem to mind.

    http://www.957thegame.com/topic/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=5657892

      • slats says:

        That’s what you got?

        • Chico says:

          I have no animosity towards you at all, you have been approachable in the past and the same can not be said for Mossback but you come on here with some snark, expect some snark back dude.

          “Look look, I have a link to a podcast with Papa Lincecum”.. Nobody fucking cares dude.

          • slats says:

            Snarky? It’s a podcast, I’m gonna guess a lot of Giants fans don’t know about becuase that station is primarily A’s and Raiders although they do quite a lot with San Francisco teams as well as obligatory nods to the W’s and Sharks. That interview was from today not from 5 years ago and it’s covering a relevant topic. Do you ever listen to that station?

            • Chico says:

              I listen to it from time to time, my point was your negativity towards the Giants and the subject manner of your post (on a private blog). Timmy is going to do what Timmy wants to do and none of us can change that. To be completely honest, I like the deal for the simple fact that I pay attention to the radar gun!

              • slats says:

                The Giants wanted to sign him for 2 years into FA at $100mil, or so the reports go. So getting arbitration out of the way was good in a sense, but apparantlhy not what the club wanted or what many fans are hoping for. Weather or not Chris has any influence is debateable, but I don’t know why he’d lie about what his son was saying and so those comments were very different than the PR crap about not wanting a long contract to mess with his head. That’s it. It’s between him and Sabean. The guy represents a lot of what the San Francisco Giants biggest success has ever been so regardless of what people project as what is too long or too big of a contract, it’s an uncertaintity that fans would rather avoid. Who knows, maybe he blew it and his arm is shot in 2014, but even then he’s had a $50 mil career.

                @Datsright everybody fights with their dad. Even crazy rich millionaire sons I suppose. But when you work that long and hard with a kid who accelerates at sport with which you’ve been involved, there’s probably always going to be some kind of bond or support system around certain things. Lincecum didn’t get to be a great pitcher in spite of his dad after all, but at least partially because of him.

    • DatsRight says:

      True about money coming off but much money owed to players demanding raises through FA and Arb.

      I’ve always felt players will leave for the money, they should. Ten million bucks may seem like a small difference on a $200M contract, until you stop and think about how much freakin money $10M is let alone $40M.

      Odds are TL will leave because he’ll get crazy money, and I will thank him & wish him well.

      I don’t buy the run support argument. Crappy offense still helped him to two CYs and a WS title. How did CC to NYY work out? Lee & Oswalt to Philly? Malone to the Lakers? There are no sure things which bring us back to money–the only sure thing.

      As far as TL’s dad, isn’t he the same dad TL cut lose two years ago for a while. Unless he’s blabbing no one cares about TL’s dad.

  8. xoot says:

    My kid has collected a lot of Lincecum related stuff over the years. The NYT syle magazine had an article about him (Lincecum) that included a long detailed description of a day at the Lincecum family aerie over Seattle. At one point, the dad went out to the balcony to clean up the dog poop. The author succeeded in portraying a relaxed unpretentious group of people. Who knows what was really going on. But I’ll tell you one thing — Lincecum’s father wasn’t hanging out in that Mission District apartment he (Lincecum) or his friends trashed before he moved out. Anyone who thinks Lincecum’s father is calling the shots for Tim is a dimwit.

  9. Chico says:

    Theriot, 32, hit .271/.321/.342 with 26 doubles. Solid utility infielder but from what I have read, he’s better defensively at 2nd. 1 year deal, not bad at all IMO.

  10. unca_chuck says:

    The cajun connection?

  11. mailorderwife says:

    When I was small, I was devastated that Ted Kwalick left the 49ers for more money. Over time, I learned not to become too attached to our sports heroes because of the money. I hope your kid gets to enjoy many more summers with Timmy.

    On that note, Timmy’s father should not speculate on the chances of his son staying in San Francisco.

  12. lasttraintoyuma says:

    It would really make me happy to see Timmy and Cain become Giant lifers. I didn’t listen to the podcast but I find Tim’s father to be a boor who thinks too highly of himself and is living vicariously through his son, although he’s a super smart guy. Whether he speaks on Tim’s behalf or not is debatable but I’m sure the Giants will shovel a pile of money his direction when he reaches free agency.

    I don’t even think it matters how well the Giants offense performs over the next few years – and I don’t think the offense will be as tragic as the doomers and haters hope it will be. By 2014, Zito’s buyout drops to $7M and Rowand / Huff will be a distant memory. There’s no reason the Giants can’t entice Timmy to stick around by making a nice FA acquisition (maybe even a splash) or two during the 2013 offseason. Until that time rolls around, anything Chris Lincecum says is just empty yapping.

    • lasttraintoyuma says:

      Instead of “next few years”, I meant “next two years”…

    • JDR says:

      I haven’t seen or listened to him much, but from what I gather Lincecum’s dad is a bit of a ham but is otherwise just a normal guy who is proud of his son and loves talking about baseball. He also recently-retired, so I imagine he has a ton of free time as well.

      • slats says:

        His dad is a normal guy in the sense he’s not a professional athlete or agent. But success in baseball is no accident of simply being blessed with speed or the ability to throw hard. It’s a far more complicated road than Football or Basketball for example where a college track sprinter can be recruited and be taught in a short time enough to play wide receiver in the NFL on the 49ers.

        Lincecum’s success is directly attributed to what his father contributed to him in terms of coaching and providing opportunity. Baseball at any position requires such fine skills that take years to develop. Mechanics and technique coupled with ability are keys to ascend in the shrinking pyramid of baseball partcipants from Little League through high school (and higher levels of summer/travel ball) into D1 or the pros.

        This takes constant admustments as well a certain amount of luck in avoiding injury the frequency of which is reduced significantly through proper coaching and some level of parental involvement. At some point, the coaching and financial decisons are beyond the means of many fathers who got their kid off to the right start although Chris Lincecum is known to have worked with Tim’s mechanics along with Giants pitching staff. Tim Lincecum has professional advice and coaching, but that doesn’t exclude family from discssion or even input into decisions and certainly Chris Lincecum has his own opinions that are based on his relationship with is son.

        • JDR says:

          At the MLB level, any work that needs to be done on a player’s mechanics or approach would be very minor. People really overestimate the role a hitting/pitching coach plays in the bigs. Rags’ job is as much about picking a guy up after a loss and telling him where to get a good steak on the road as it is adjusting his arm slot or pick-off move.

          Back to Chris Lincecum though, I really like his approach to pitching, and it’s in line with what a lot of other guys who study pitching mechanics say; size and strength are far less important than proper mechanics, particularly when it comes to health. He took a different approach to it, but he’s reached the same conclusion as a lot of researchers in that regard.

          Funny though, and Chris has acknowledged this himself, it’s actually what a lot of great pitchers were doing back in the 40, 50s and 60s before weight training got popular and scouts started looking for “prototype” builds; get the most out of your lower body with the windup and keep the arm relaxed so that the shoulder, arm, wrist and fingers are all able to apply force on the ball.

          • lasttraintoyuma says:

            I agree with both of the posts above. I’m a little surprised that the Giants haven’t explored finding a spot for Chris Lincecum in the organization somewhere. The fact that Tim has been so durable indicates that there might be something to the mechanics of how Chris taught him to pitch.

            At the very least, young pitchers should be seeking out Chris to see if they can glean something from him. The main concern I would have is that in interviews, Chris frequently talks about how it was easy to figure out a way to teach Tim a low-stress pitching method because their body types are so similar. It makes me wonder if his approach can be tailored to other players.

            • lasttraintoyuma says:

              With that said, Tim’s dad still does come off as a boor and a know-it-all, if you ask me. In the interviews I’ve heard on KNBR, I’ve found his personality to be annoying.

  13. For a great read on the snark which pervades the internet, read Megan Daum’s essay in the latest edition of “The Believer” magazine.

    http://www.believermag.com/issues/201201/?read=article_daum

    We have all, at one time or another been guilty of such behavior…I have been as quick to overreact as the next person, so during the reading of this letter I felt chagrin and culpability regarding what has become not a trend but the status quo.

    I’ll try again to be civil…but don’t know how long I can resist the urge to respond in ‘snarky-kind’ to personal attacks on my virtual friends or me…

    • Chico says:

      That’s called sticking up for your brothers man, and there is no shame in that; its commendable if you ask me. Shit got a little out of hand that night and I take some, if not all of the responsibility. JDR wasn’t speaking to you directly, he was speaking to all of us– to cool our collective jets. I was always taught to be true to yourself, be loyal to the people that are loyal to you. Its human instinct. [Those that stand for nothing will fall for anything]… I live by that shit bro. You and I will always be friends, a persons heart and soul trumps whatever sports team they root for.

      I don’t speak for JDR but I’m pretty sure he’ll agree, slats and anyone else who would like to talk baseball or football, or sports in general is welcome here. Now instead of lurking, sign your asses up and feel the freedom of a private blog without Canadian moderators! Yuma was right IMO, we could use a little diversity here.

      • JDR says:

        Correct. I just wanted to get everyone to take a deep breath and cool off a bit. We’re all adults here, and when we take a second to keep everything in perspective we usually get along just fine.

  14. Chico says:

    Aldon Smith busted for DUI in Miami *facepalm*

    • JDR says:

      At 9:30 AM no less. Kid needs to learn that just because you woke up the next morning doesn’t mean you’re sober. Thankfully he didn’t hurt anyone.

    • slats says:

      I give him a “pass” on that one. He was at least seemingly trying to do the right thing. Much different than leaving the club at 2 AM. Shit happens.

      Now Rolando McClain is a different story. Leaves town in the middle of the week to go back to Alabama for his grandfathers funeral and finds himself back in the mix of some stupid drive by shit from an earlier visit. He then gets arrested and accused of putting a loaded gun to some guy he had an earlier dispute with and actually discharging the thing.

  15. xoot says:

    I know I tend to raise this issue a lot, but I’m a single-minded sort, I guess. Remember Lincecum’s court appearance in Washington, after the pot bust? Neukom — one of the most famous lawyers in the U.S. (not just the Microsoft in-house counsel stuff, but immediate past-Pres. of the ABA) — was there, in that backwater country courtroom to demonstrate his support for Tim. Larry Baer’s smiling presence wouldn’t’ve matter one iota; Neukom’s presence was, potentially, huge. The team was behind Lincecum, all the way. I know it’s a business. But the business people running the team right now seem to be retreating from Neukom’s approach of, I would call it, intelligent aggression. Would Lincecum have signed a longer-termed deal if Neukom had been there with Sabean to present it? Who knows. But I think it would’ve been more likely.

    • JDR says:

      If Neukom were there, I’m not sure the rest of the owners would have given him the budget for a longer-term deal. People don’t like it when you spend their money without asking them. That was Neuk’s problem.

      • That wasn’t his ”problem,” bags…I mean, didn’t they win their sole WS title under his stewardship?

        • JDR says:

          It cost him his share of the team. I’d call that a problem. And I have a hard time believing Peter Magowan or Larry Baer would have blocked a Cody Ross waiver claim or Tim Lincecum WS start. I don’t see much evidence to credit that title to Neukom.

          Edit- I meant Ross instead of Ransom. I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t fall back asleep, the fuck you expect?

          • You actually prove my point, bags…

            By raising payroll to competitive levels, The Nuke brought enough components together to win a WS after three previous appearances with, arguably, better personnel. There are ‘other’ issues which led to the ‘de-Nuking’ of the SFG’s

            Try Ambien or Scotch Whisky, Brudduh…

            • Chico says:

              My stress levels have been off the charts too, sleep has been a problem lately.

              My washing machine breaks down on the same day my garbage disposal decides to pass away, got a jury duty notice and a DMW license renewal notice in one day. My son might have an infection so we see the pediatrician @ 3:40 today, my mother in law goes in for surgery tomorrow for a lumpectomy and a removal of a lymph node….

              As the old California politician John Burton said on the daily show:

              “It’s fucked up!” That’s my phrase of the week.

              • 85Mattalac says:

                Sorry to hear about your stresses, Chico. I hate it when shit snowballs like that. Dr. Mary Jane hasent helped alleviateyour insomnia at all? Thanks for the kind words to my new Splash username. I wanted to be discreteabout it at first. I got tired of having to defend my blogging/fandom to Slats.

              • lasttraintoyuma says:

                Sounds like a heck of a rough time, Chico. Best of luck to you with your son and mother-in-law…

                • 85Mattalac says:

                  Yuma, no worries at all friend. As I stated, Im tired of the harassment from the A’s trolls. I figured it would extend the life span of my user name if I switched it up from Mattalac and posed as a new user. I appreciate the invitation to JDR.

                • lasttraintoyuma says:

                  I figure that any intelligent new folks who show up over at the Splash should be invited to come over here. Let the Splash rot.

                • Chico says:

                  Thanks. She’ll beat this, she already went through 4 months of STRONG chemo. She’s a fighter.

      • xoot says:

        We heard a few excuses for Neukom’s firiing. Maybe he dumped Rowand and signed Beltran without consulting the investors, and that got them riled. Maybe there’s more (including the approach to the San Jose territory fight). We’ll probably never have the full facts. But when I compare Neukom to Baer, and see who survived, I conclude he survived because he caved, while Neukom didn’t. But that provisional conclusion’s based on few facts, so who knows.

        • slats says:

          The succient management of payroll at $130mil is proof enough for me as to their motivation and some could speculate the TR vs Athletics might come down to working with somebody say a little more amiable. They did send Neukom to the last owners meeting though. The Giants are profitable based on what they’ve had and expect at the gate. They made it clear there would be no big FA signings and there are no big suprises on the roster. I’m curious what the franchise nets this season and if they keep spending the money currently committed to some bad contracts.

          • lasttraintoyuma says:

            I’m not convinced that a big FA signing was warranted this offseason since the team needs more than one hitter to take their offense to the top 15. Plus, it’s not like Pujols (back problems) and Fielder (weight problems) are locks to produce over a long term deal. Can you even imagine what a healthy, 25 year old Alex Rodriguez would have made as a FA in this environment?

            I think the Giants are going to see what develops with Posey/Sandoval/Belt – a promising core – and will add a player or two over the next couple of years as their needs become more evident. The closer the Giants get to being Zito/Rowand/Huff/stadium service debt-free, the more likely they will be to sign a bigger FA or two. I REALLY would have liked to see them take a run at Cuddyer, though.

            • slats says:

              Cuddyer over Beltran? Either is very good. It was interesting how that all worked out. I think the Twins scored big with Willingham for 3 @ $21mil replacing Cuddyer and obviously the Rockies got the better player. I have no idea why Willingham didn’t get more money but maybe his bad achilles and OF skills were a detraction. I thought the Giants would make a run at him because he was going to be cheaper than a lot of other names out there and he didn’t have any problem hitting in the Coli.

              • lasttraintoyuma says:

                Yes, I would have preferred Beltran over Cuddyer. Willingham was on my wishlist, too. I don’t ordinarily spend much time getting angry with the Giants for personnel decisions because I don’t have the inside track on these players. But not even taking a shot at Cuddyer, Beltran or Willingham seemed irresponsible on their part.

        • Nipper says:

          Yeah speculation is a poor substitute for facts.

  16. DatsRight says:

    Actually I like the Theriot signing. He’s cheap, playing for a better contract, possible trade piece and, as a vet, they are not stunting his growth if he sits 5 games a week. Burriss is odd man out as his biggest contribution is that he clan play some OF too, on a team with 15 OFs not such a need.

    If you look at the top 50 MLB FA at the end of 2012, it seems 3/4 are pitchers. The Giants do not have to overpay for pitching at this point.

    If Crawford, Belt/Pill and Brown can stick by 2013, the Giants will be stealing money from 3/8ths of their starters leaving money (plus Rowand & last Zito $) to sign a missing bat or sign TL/Cain/MadBum to longer deals.

    Sandoval, Nate, Posey will still be undervalued and three players hungry for a contract (Cabrera, Huff & Pagan) in 2012.

    A 3B back up is my concern, Sandoval but then Font? Wonder if they considered resting Posey at 3B vs 1B since they have a ton of first basemen. If they do rest Posey, would prefer Hector to Whiteside as a back up, but only if Hector gets 300+ ABs, if not let him hit every day in the minors.

    Is the Runzler as a starter experiment over? Don’t get how he struggles, so.

    My hope is that the BP shines early and the Giants are able to move Wilson for a missing offensive piece. Wilson is the name and rep that could bring back a short term answer, especially a team with weak middle relief in the playoff hunt and looking for a closer. Don’t hate Wilson, but a year too early for a bat is better than a year too late.

    • JDR says:

      If they’re going to move anyone, Wilson would make the most sense baseball-wise. But he’s also a huge draw for the fans and a marketing dream. Also, if they’re trading their All-Star closer to a contender in the middle of the season it would be because they were out of the race, in which case they would look to get prospects back. Much like the Giants with Wilson, no team currently in contention is going to trade a mid-order hitter.

      Maybe they could work out an offseason deal with a team that has a glut of young hitting, but the only one that comes to mind is Arizona, and there’s no way Sabean would trade Wilson to a division rival.

    • lasttraintoyuma says:

      Hadn’t thought about the backup 3B issue. Dang, they don’t have squat there, do they. I don’t see Posey going anywhere but 1B but what do I know – Miguel Cabrera’s allegedly going to play the hot corner this year, so all bets are off.

      I’ve been advocating for a Wilson trade for a while. Despite his injuries, his stock is high and the Giants could get a nice player in return while saving on his $8.5M salary this year (who knows what he’ll get in arbitration next year). Romo’s the best pitcher in the pen, anyway, and the gap between him and Wilson isn’t even close. I think the Giants trade Wilson before he hits free agency after 2013. The real dependency is what they think of Hembree – if he has a good spring, I bet Wilson gets moved at the deadline.

  17. 85Mattalac says:

    Runzler as a starter is as problematic as Runzler as a closer. The guy has great stuff but has displayed the same maddening lack of control that plagued Sanchez. I remember Runzler’s start last season against the Astros, he didn’t make it out of the second inning. I could be wrong but arn’t closers predominantly righties? I agree that it might be time trade Wilson while his value is still high. If Hembree doesn’t pan out they could still use Casilla or Romo as a bridge to Hembree or any other younger pitchers they were grooming for the role. Then again, I like Romo in the 8th inning. Geez remember the days of Matt Herges as the Giants closer? Let’s not even talk about Benitez. I would imagine the relatively short shelf life of a closer has much to do with the wear&tear that specialty pitches like sliders and curves puts on a closer’s arm, especially when he’s giving it his all with the game on the line. Mariano Rivera has lasted as long as he does because he really only throws a cutter, right?

  18. xoot says:

    Chico: Hang in, man. You’ve got a lot of bad stuff to deal with, but you’re the kind of guy who can deal with it.

  19. unca_chuck says:

    I haven’t heard anything about Wilson;s health. And that’ worrisome. He’s already had one TJ surgery, and elbow problems aren’t good. Again, I have no idea if he’s good to go or not, but I haven;t heard a word either way.

  20. xoot says:

    I can’t believe Hembree’s close to being ready. I think he has done nothing but close in the minors, and not for long. His FB’s hot, his control good, but who knows about his durability. So I hope to hell Wilson is healthy. I haven’t heard anything either, and I was wondering. Maybe someone needs to tweet Henry S. That seems to be his primary mode of communication. It’s like greasy salty snack food, I suppose.

  21. unca_chuck says:

    He’s close to pitching in the bigs, but a closer? Not yet, but he could certainly fall into a reliever spot if needed. But there’s no way he’s ready to be the full time closer.

    • JDR says:

      Romo has to be the next in line to be a closer. He is as nasty as anyone when he’s on, but when he hangs that slider it always seems to get hit a long way (or perhaps that’s just the memory of Rick Ankiel’s splash hit influencing my judgement.) The problem with dealing Wilson is that every other position in the bullpen gets weaker. Romo moves to closer, and you get weaker in your setup spots, then Mota moves to setup and you’re short at long relief, then Casilla gets a new role and now you need to find a situational righty. When it’s all said and done, trading the closer significantly weakens the entire bullpen.

      To make up for that, you need a mid-order hitter who will make up for the 2-3 games a weaker bullpen will cost you and then some. And in this day and age, how many teams are going to hand over that type of player to upgrade the closer position?
      I think Wilson is the odd man out when it comes to free agency, but I don’t see the team trading him at least until his final contract year.

      • lasttraintoyuma says:

        All of this discussion is moot if the Giants fall out of contention early. Wilson will be shopped in that case. If they’re in contention, I wouldn’t expect Wilson to necessarily go anywhere.

      • DatsRight says:

        My concern with Romo is a closer who can’t throw hard. I agree he makes most look foolish, except for that guy who “get’s it” and seems to tee off on his pitch.

        8th inning means the closer can clean up his mess allowing Romo to not have to throw strikes to get swings because he may or may not care if he walks you–if he has to throw strikes he seems feast or famine. Getting 1 out is not the same as having to get 3-5 outs.

        Wilson is actually worth more than his talent because he gives a team immediate identity (and thousands in t-shirt & beard sales). Agreed trading him could mean the Giants are out of it, which means prospects, or perhaps they find a team a reliever away with excess hitting like the Angels (Hunter, Morales, Trumbo, Aybar).

        I’m no Wilson hater, he is a top reliever, but when he falls it will be ugly because of his “persona” why not get something if it makes sense, not a fire sale.

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