My hobby for the past few days had been having fun at Giants fans’ expense. Giant Schadenfreude, if you will. I posted the fact that there’s a 1200+ post thread on McCovey Chronicles entitled "Why the Jose Guillen trade makes me sad". Shortly therafter, TTG challenged me to write one here for GLB entitled just the opposite: "Why the Jose Guillen trade makes me happy."
At first, I didn’t want to. I didn’t know much at all about the guy, except from what I saw from this weekend’s games. On top of that, it seemed like a lot of work. I almost blew it off.
But then again, I’d have to do some ACTUAL writing for the novel I’m working on. And since I really want to procrastinate on that front more than this one, screw it, let’s give it a whack.
My research begins (and sort of ends, really) in the MCC thread linked above. Here are a few quotes:
The reason for the overreaction, though, is simple. Jose Guillen isn’t good at baseball compared with the rest of the other players in the majors. Did you happen to watch him stretch a triple into a double yesterday? It was pretty impressive. He doesn’t have any range, he doesn’t run well, he doesn’t hit for average, and he doesn’t work the count or take walks. He’s already 34, so he isn’t going to suddenly figure this stuff out, either. His lone skill is that, on average, he can hit about two more home runs every month than Aaron Rowand or Travis Ishikawa would if they were given the same number of at-bats.
I hope Guillen does well. I hope this post is something worth mocking five months from now. It just seems like the Giants didn’t learn from the poor offenses they built in the post-Bonds era. That’s why the Jose Guillen trade hurts, even if it isn’t likely to make a big difference.
Giants In-House Sabermetrician:
I seriously don’t understand why he still has a job. The overwhelming evidence states that he’s an "old-school baseball" GM who, at this point, it’s safe to say blatantly ignores the emerging sabermetric consensus.
I’m not saying it’s the be all and end all, but shit, it would be great if he demonstrated some kind of understanding that there is a new, powerful way to evaluate baseball players that doesn’t revolve around batting average, RBIs and a fierce combination of grit and gamer-ness.
There seems to be a recurring theme here. The Giants fans are less than happy with their GM, and the reason for it is that they think he’s an old hat who doesn’t know how baseball is played these days.
And after thinking about it, I completely and wholeheartedly agree.
Bill Simmons once wrote that there are three types of actors: ones who bring something to the table, ones who bring nothing to the table, and ones who take things off the table. Guillen is one of the latter.
I watched this guy take EIGHT seconds to cover the thirty yard dash from second to third, with a running start. For a little reference, I am the slowest player on my rugby team, yet I can run the FORTY yard dash in under seven seconds, from a standing start. Now, if this guy was a DH or a first baseman, we wouldn’t have too much of a problem. But, having already gotten a hold of Aubrey Huff, they start this guy in right field.
Sorry, but I have to let it sink in:
Go check the WAR numbers by team over on Fangraphs. The Padres, the team that the Giants GM is trying to beat, isn’t spectacular with the bat, but their impeccable defense is carrying the day. That’s because Gwynn Jr. Is the best defender in the majors, and Venable and S. Hairston are no slouches. (Let’s imagine that Denorfia’s gaffes last week never happened…)
There’s such a thing as defense. It matters. Baseball is not a game played solely between the batter and the pitcher. They used to have a game like that, and they stopped playing it 160 @#$%ing years ago!
And, there’s a barrel load of other problems, but you know them already. He’ll strike out a lot. He’s got a bad clubhouse reputation. So on and so forth.
It’s enough to make you think. Why would the Giants GM think these things are good ideas? Does he actually watch baseball?
You know, this is the part where I have to make some assumptions. After all, I don’t know the guy or what he’s thinking. It’s quite likely that I have no ground to stand on, being a struggling author who seems to think he’s better than a professional with years of experience. So, here’s a grain of salt to take the next part with, but still...take it all the same.
We live in a world where it seems that it’s completely okay to do a bad job. Bank managers dig themselves into a huge hole, and still get their seven- or eight-figure bonuses. Government officials seem to have no clue what’s going on, yet continue to be re-elected every year.
John @#$%ing Morosi.
Now, we all read the websites, play fantasy baseball, and think we can do a better job than these guys. In truth, we probably can’t.
Except…we just might be able to.
How often have you screamed at the screen for Budbot to take the starter out? Or when he puts Mujica in there in a one-run game? The fact of the matter is, the world of baseball, and even the world writ-large, has its share of incompetent people getting paid to do their jobs.
(And despite that paragraph, I still say Budbot deserves the Manager of the Year Award.)
Sabean just proved this. There are people in this world who are paid to do a job they have no business doing. It’s a fact of life, and it’s not a good thing. But, it’s not an entirely bad thing either.
We get to have a lot of fun with this stuff. If we replaced a few specific people ourselves, we KNOW we could do a better job. Hell, put me in for Norv Turner this year. Trust me, I guarantee that I can get us the AFC divisional round at least.
This kind of stuff makes me smile. It’s unfortunate that not all of us are properly rewarded for our skills where others are rewarded for the lack thereof. It’s a shame that we have a phrase called "failing upward." But, sometimes we get to have the last laugh, for sometimes we’re blessed: our guys are nowhere near as dumb as the other team’s guys.
So, take that Giants fans. Good luck with the wild card race. Because with your new right fielder, that’s all you’ve got.