Give me the young guys

Some people have suggested that the Giants are playing the veterans in an effort to showcase them for a team that might need a seasoned vet for the stretch run. In this fans eyes it’s simply an inability to make a serious commitment to the young guys. Now granted, we’re not talking “can’t miss” level young players but the alternatives are:

A backup OF’er, at best, in Dave Roberts 

A VERY fragile average fielding second basemen in Ray Durham 

A utility IF’er in Rich Aurilia

A third basemen that couldn’t find a home in Pittsburgh AND was just released by the Marlins.

Does anyone REALLY believe that by allowing these guys to be your starters that you’re actually increasing their trade value?  My gut tells me the more opportunities they have to showcase their diminished talents the less likely they are to be traded.

I’ve backed the management group for years and I really do appreciate the fact that they built a stadium with private money since the city of SF and San Jose both shot down proposals to fund a ballpark for them. I really do appreciate the fact that current ownership essentially saved this team from moving to Tamp Bay at the 11th hour. I really do appreciate the fact that we’ve been competitive most years since 1997. I really do appreciate that this team has a major debt to pay each and every year for the ballpark.

There have been some signs in the last few years that it’s much more about the business side of things then it is the winning side of things.

Example #1-  The Michael Tucker signing 1 day BEFORE the deadline for which it costs you a draft pick. To borrow from an often used Allen Iverson rant ” We’re talkin about Michael Tucker, not a bona fide difference maker, we’re talkin about Michael Tucker. This is not an attack on Michael Tucker by any means. The reason given at the time as I recall was that they probably wouldn’t have been able to sign the player they were going to draft anyway.

Example #2- Fresh off the Marvin Benard fiasco, where we signed him long term after less than ONE full good year, we trade for and sign Randy Winn after 2 VERY good months. History would suggest that Randy was nowhere NEAR the player he showed when he first came over in the trade. Don’t get me wrong, Randy Winn is a good player, but 2-3 months does NOT justify tying up big bucks on him for years to come.

Example #3- Ray Durham re-signing. Ray Durham is a shadow of his old self in many ways. While he’s driven in more runs as he’s gotten older, mostly due to being moved into RBI spots in the batting order as opposed to when he used to lead off. Form 03 to 06 (06 being a contract year) Durham averaged 126 games played, averaged .287, averaged 16 HR and averaged 63 RBI. He had a very good 06 year going into free agency and was rewarded for it with a 7 Mil/Yr 2 year deal. This is a tough one because at this point Barry Bond was still with the team and the team was under pressure to surround Barry with some talent to try and win now and frankly Durham may have been the best choice. Obviously when he slid to .218 in 07 it made the signing seem obviously poor. Sometimes we’re ALL geniuses after the facts have come out.

Example #4- Dave Roberts- a career 260-ish hitter who has never played in more than 129 games in a season is given a 3 year deal worth 18 Million.  The duration AND the amount of this contract is absurd and beyond comprehension in my opinion.

Example #5- The inability to draft AND develop ONE offensive force in the last 10 years. This is in MY opinion the single biggest flaw in this organization, lack of player development. I’ve never understood the reasoning behind paying a AVERAGE player 3-8 Mil per year when you could draft a kid, develop them and have their services for the league minimum for year 1, a notch above for year 2, a VERY reasonable increase in years 3-4.  In MY opinion, with a young prospect comes excitement. It excites a fan base. It excites the other guys on the team, it shows the other teams that there’s more where that came from. It makes it MUCH easier to acquire that one player you need for the stretch run.

The handling of the whole Barry Bonds fiasco is for another day. 🙂

Here’s to hoping Cain can shut down the Dodgers tonight AND we can score a run so we can get to 1-1.


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