Friday, December 31, 2010

10 Best Giants Moments of 2010

It is the end of the year so it sees fitting to look back on the best moments of 2010. First a few honorable mentions because narrowing it down to just 10 is simply too hard after such a magical season.

Honorable Mention:

Barry Zito's April, it seems like it was forever ago but Zito had a simply dominate stretch to start the season going 4-0 with a 1.53 ERA. It was nice to see Zito pitch at his best and too bad it didn't last all season.

Freddy Sanchez's reaction to Aubrey Huff's game 4 home run, the face and reaction was priceless. Huff hit a moonshot and Sanchez reacted like every one else, just watching in pure amazement.

Madison Bumgarner's World Series Game 4, another moment from game 4. Bumgarner was pitching on the biggest stage as a 21 year old rookie and handled it like a veteran who had done this numerous times. I still remember him breaking down the swing of Vlad Guererro over and over to the tune of 3 Ks.

Cody Ross turns into early 00's Barry Bonds for the Playoffs, in the playoffs he hit .294/ .390/ .686 and was a pitchers worst nightmare.

The Rally Thong, Aubrey Huff sported a red thong that proved to be magical as it propelled the Giants into first place and then to the city's first ever World Series championship.

The World Series Parade, an absolutely fabulous day. A perfect November day in San Francisco, throngs of people crowding the parade route and City Center plaza to catch a glimpse of the hero's of the city.

The Top 10 Moments:

10. The San Diego Invasion of Giants fans: The scene, September 9-12 an important 4 game road series in San Diego against the division leading Padres. The Giants fans prove why they are the best in baseball and travel down in droves to support the team. They outnumber and overpower the Padres fans in the stadium and help propel the team to taking 3 out of 4 and demoralizing the Padres.

9. The Giants pitchers historic September: The Giants were a pitching dominated team and showed that they had a historic caliber staff. In September the team went 18 straight games of allowing 3 runs or less and 23 games giving up 4 or less runs. In 26 September games the pitchers gave up just 50 runs or 1.92 runs per game as the Giants went 18 and 8 and pitched themselves into the playoffs.

8. Matt Cain's 0.00 ERA in the playoffs: Cain often in his career has had to play second fiddle to Tim Lincecum but in this years playoffs he let the baseball world know that he too is a top tier pitcher. Cain pitched 21and a third innings of scoreless baseball earning 2 wins and getting robbed of a third.

7. Buster Posey's 21 game hitting streak: Posey the rookie of the year put together an impressive July which included a 21 game hitting streak, the longest ever for a Giants rookie. In that month he also was the best hitter in all of baseball, not just the best rookie but the best hitter period. In 27 games he reached base in 26 of those games, hitting .417/ .466/ .699 with 7 home runs.

6. Pat Burrell's homer to beat the Dodgers: July 31st, bottom of the 8th inning the Dodgers leading 1-0, 2 outs, a runner on base, a full count and the Dodger's All-Star closer in the game. The tension and excitement in the stadium was palpable. The pitch came in a hard fastball, Burrell took a good rip, he got solid wood on it, a line drive toward straight away left, did it have enough to get over the fence? the left fielder turns and watches, everyone is on their feet annnnnd it is out of here.

The crowd erupted with euphoria. The loudest BEAT LA chants I have ever heard rained down and the Giants pulled out a shocking 2-1 win.

5. Juan Uribe's clutch hits against the Phillies: Uribe with 2 swings of his bat won 2 games for the Giants in the NLCS against the heavily favored Phillies. The first came in game 4 where he hit an improbable sac fly against Roy Oswalt to drive in the winning run for the Giants. The second came in the deciding game 6 where he hit an opposite field home run to break a 2-2 tie. The homerun was amazing because it was the first time this season that Uribe hit a home run to the opposite field.

4. Brain Wilson's slider to end the NLCS: Wilson has a habit of making things a little more exciting then most of us would like and getting the final 3 outs of the NLCS was no exception. Wilson walked 2 batters to put the tying run in scoring position and up stepped Ryan Howard. Howard worked the count full and then Wilson threw what is arguably the best pitch of his career, a sharp slider/cutter that froze Howard as the umpire raised his fist to signal the Giants had won the pennant.

3. Tim Lincecum's 2 hit 14 strikeout shutout of the Braves: If it had not been for Roy Halladay's no hitter this would have been the most dominate start of the playoffs and even with that it might still have been. Tim went all nine innings striking out 14, walking one and giving up 2 doubles. He got an incredible 28 swings and misses and made the Braves hitters look foolish all night. On top of everything he did this while having no margin for error, the offense managed just 1 run and even that was with a gift in the form of a missed call and a bleeder that made it through the 5.5 whole.

This was one of the most amazing pitching outings I have had the pleasure to watch.

2. Buster Posey's 3 hit, 3 RBI debut: The first impression of what would turn into a magical season. Posey came up with the highest of expectations after tearing up AAA and immediately lived up to them. Posey followed up the next day with another 3 hits and this time 2 of those went for doubles. It may not have been a home run in his first at bat like Will Clark but it is still a game that will go down in Giants lore.

1. Edgar Renteria's game winning 3-run homer: There is no other moment that could possibly be number 1, Renteria's home run to give the Giants a 3-0 lead that they would never look back from was the feather in the cap of a magical season. Renteria had been a bust in the eyes of fans after 2 injury plagued years and a big money contract but all was forgiven with this one swing of the bat against the not so invincible Cliff Le.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Really Early MLB Projections have Red Sox, Phillies as favorites

It is a slow week transaction and rumor wise so let's spice things up by taking a look at some far too early projections of the final standings of 2011. The early returns show that the defending champion Giants have a 30.6% chance of making the playoffs.

Replacement Level Yankees using the Cairo projection system that is there creation along with the MLB Depth Charts simulated the 2011 season 10,000 times the NL West looks like a crap shoot with Colorado the early favorites followed by the Giants, Dodgers and Padres.

Here is the full standings:

Date 12/28/2010
Iterations 10000
American League
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Red Sox98.1 63.9 856 690 54.6% 15.6% 70.2% 9.1 38 -54
Yankees89.1 72.9 835 740 23.2% 21.7% 44.9% -5.9 -24 47
Rays87.1 74.9 707 640 17.9% 18.7% 36.6% -8.9 -95 -9
Blue Jays74.1 87.9 693 737 2.6% 5.8% 8.4% -10.9 -62 9
Orioles70.1 91.9 723 813 1.8% 2.9% 4.7% 4.1 110 28
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Twins85.7 76.3 752 715 33.3% 6.2% 39.5% -8.3 -29 44
White Sox84.5 77.5 735 711 28.4% 6.2% 34.5% -3.5 -17 7
Tigers84.0 78.0 727 712 27.5% 4.6% 32.0% 3.0 -24 -31
Indians73.9 88.1 728 802 8.2% 2.7% 10.8% 4.9 82 50
Royals66.9 95.1 678 815 2.8% 1.1% 3.9% -0.1 2 -30
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Rangers89.2 72.8 746 673 50.1% 4.5% 54.6% -0.8 -41 -14
Athletics82.1 79.9 678 667 26.1% 4.3% 30.4% 1.1 15 41
Angels77.9 84.1 665 690 15.5% 3.2% 18.7% -2.1 -16 -12
Mariners72.2 89.8 635 703 8.4% 2.5% 10.9% 11.2 122 5
National League
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Phillies96.1 65.9 754 618 54.5% 11.0% 65.5% -0.9 -18 -22
Braves88.5 73.5 754 690 26.6% 13.3% 39.9% -2.5 16 61
Mets76.6 85.4 675 702 7.1% 4.5% 11.6% -2.4 19 50
Marlins77.3 84.7 679 708 8.7% 5.0% 13.7% -2.7 -40 -9
Nationals72.4 89.6 659 733 3.2% 2.0% 5.2% 13.4 -51 -141
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Cardinals90.2 71.8 746 676 35.0% 12.0% 47.0% 4.2 10 35
Brewers87.2 74.8 698 650 27.9% 8.9% 36.7% 10.2 -52 -154
Reds85.5 76.5 723 689 23.5% 8.2% 31.7% -5.5 -67 4
Cubs79.3 82.7 742 761 10.5% 6.3% 16.8% 4.3 57 -6
Pirates67.7 94.3 671 808 2.1% 1.2% 3.3% -6.3 28 38
Astros65.8 96.2 604 732 1.1% 1.0% 2.1% 3.8 -32 -36
TM W L RS RA Div WC PL W+/- RS+/- RA+/-
Rockies85.9 76.1 768 732 31.7% 5.9% 37.6% 2.9 -2 15
Giants84.2 77.8 699 667 24.1% 6.6% 30.6% -7.8 2 84
Dodgers83.3 78.7 677 659 20.3% 7.2% 27.5% 3.3 10 -33
Padres81.2 80.8 647 652 17.7% 5.0% 22.6% -8.8 -18 71
Diamondbacks73.8 88.2 690 757 6.4% 1.9% 8.3% 3.8 -30 -25

W: Projected 2011 wins
L: Projected 2011 losses
RS: Projected 2011 runs scored
RA: Projected 2011 runs allowed
Div: Division win percentage
WC: Wild card win percentage
PL: Playoff percentage (Div + WC)
W+/-: 2011 projected wins minus 2010 actual wins
RS+/-: 2011 projected runs scored minus 2010 actual runs scored (positive means they are projected to score more)
RA+/-: 2011 projected runs allowed minus 2010 actual runs allowed (negative means they are projected to allow fewer)

The calendar has not flipped to 2011, rosters are not set, there are still free agents to sign, pitchers and catchers are yet to report but it is never too early to think about the pennant race.

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The Giants-Rockies Humidor Saga

Over at Y! Sports Big League Stew blog they are going over their favorite stories of the year and there is one that involves the Giants calling out the Rockies questionable humidor chain of command.

The Rockies are known for the late season surges and crazy from behind victories and this caused some with the Giants (most noticeably Jon Miller) to wonder aloud if the Rockies were introducing juiced balls when the team needed to score some runs.
For those not completely familiar with the situation, the seeds were planted back on Aug. 24, 2009. On that evening, Colorado overcame a three-run deficit in the 14th inning — capped by an opposite field Ryan Spilborghs grand slam -- to defeat San Francisco 6-4. That loss proved to be a back breaker for Bruce Bochy's squad, while Colorado used the win as a springboard to their second wild-card berth in three seasons.
Fast forward to July 3, 2010, when the Rockies mounted another comeback against San Francisco. This time they trailed Barry Zito 7-1 in the early innings. They eventually took the lead, taking starter Ubaldo Jimenez off the hook, before dropping an 11-8 decision.
Three days later, Colorado rallied for nine runs in the ninth inning to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals. The following day, Giants broadcaster Jon Miller made an appearance on KNBR radio. During the interview, Miller suggested the Rockies could be dropping non-humidor stored baseballs into the rotation when their offense needed a boost, and encouraged the league to look into the procedure.
The stink made by the Giants caused the Rockies to change the way that the balls are stored during the game and now will be overseen by an official from MLB instead of being watched over by just the Rockies themselves.

Tim Lincecum thought that he was getting a non-humidor ball and let it be known in typical Lincecum fashion.


Nothing was proven but the collapse after the Giants brought it up does make one wonder if there was some truth to the juiced ball theory.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hall of Fame Discussion, Curt Schilling and Kevin Brown

I was inspired to look into this a little further by a post by Reza at 8th Inning Weirdness who said if voters plan to cast a Hall of Fame ballot for Curt Schilling when he is eligible, they should do the same for Kevin Brown this year.

This caused quite a stir on twitter with some even questioning the candidacy of either being included. Before look into it further I had a general feeling that Curt Schilling was deserving and after digging deeper I think that Brown has a case as well.

The career numbers of both are remarkably similar with both pitching about 3,250 innings over 2 decades with an ERA+ that is nearly 30% better then average. Both had 6 all-star appearances and just missed on Cy Young awards.

Schilling peaked from 1997 to 2004 where he averaged a WAR of 5.8 and had an ERA+ of 142. Brown peaked from 1995 to 2000 where he averaged a WAR of 6.4 and had an ERA+ 159.

Curt Schilling:
20 Seasons 216 146 .597 3.46 569 436 83 20 3261.0 2998 1253 347 711 3116 128 1.137 8.3 1.0 2.0 8.6 4.38
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 12/28/2010.

WAR 69.7, WAR/Season: 3.49, Best Seasons 7.3, 6.8, 6.4, 6.0, 6.0

Awards: Cy Young runner up 3 times with one additional top 5 finish. 6 All-Star appearances.

Kevin Brown:
19 Seasons 211 144 .594 3.28 486 476 72 17 3256.1 3079 1185 208 901 2397 127 1.222 8.5 0.6 2.5 6.6 2.66
Generated 12/28/2010.

WAR: 64.8, WAR/Season: 3.41, Best Season 8.4, 7.5, 6.5, 6.4, 5.8

Awards: Cy Young runner up 1 time with one additional top 5 finish and 3 top 10 finishes (all at #6). 6 All-Star appearances.

After looking everything over the only thing that really sets these two players apart is that Schilling had 133 excellent post-season innings while Brown had 78 good innings and 3 really bad ones while playing in New York.

I remember the seasons that both of these pitchers played in the NL West and I have to say that I worried much more about Brown then Schilling. Brown was a nasty pitcher while Schilling was the second banana to Randy Johnson.

I think that is probably a key here, Schilling excelled in two large East Coast markets, Boston and Philadelphia. Brown had his best years on the West Coast and with the small time Florida Marlins and had 2 rather unimpressive seasons at the twilight of his career in New York where he made big time money but didn't live up to it.

To me both are deserving to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame but I doubt that Brown gets the call because the impression that he left on the East Coast media was one of a pitcher past his prime.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

The Giants Unknown Number Cruncher

When you think of MLB teams that are the most stat savvy names like Boston with Bill James or Oakland and their Moneyball fame come to mind.

The San Francisco Giants are not exactly know for their acceptance of sabermetrics and are more often then not thought of as still living in a world before the sabermetric revolution.

However that commonly held notion is a mischaracterization; their unknown number cruncher was pivotal in bringing the key guys from the 2010 World Series run.

Yeshayah Goldfarb a native of Berkley and former pitcher at U.C. San Diego who started as an intern with the team in 2001 has worked his way up to the Giants’ director of minor league operations/quantitative analysis.

He is one of the four closet advisors to Brian Sabean along with VP of player personnel Dick Tidrow, VP of baseball operations Bobby Evans, and analysts Jeremy Shelley. Goldfarb has a hand in helping to shape every decision from the amateur draft to trades to free-agent deals.

He’s the leader of the team that takes the mounds of data available on players on the Giants radar and boils it down into things that have meaning. They collect scouting reports, statistics, video and any other available data to find the bargains and castoffs that proved to put the Giants over the top.

J Weekly talked with Goldfarb who described the process:
Take Huff as an example. From 2006 to 2009, he played for four different teams, then found himself without a contract only two months before 2010 spring training. If no teams wanted to sign him, why would the Giants?
“There were a few things in his statistical background, the scouting reports and intangibles we knew about him that made us think he could bounce back from a relatively, for him, poor 2009 season,” Goldfarb said.
In January, the Giants signed Huff for what proved to be a bargain, $3 million for one season (he had made $8 million in 2009). All the 33-year-old first baseman did was go on to lead the team with 26 home runs and 86 RBIs, while also adding leadership and clubhouse chemistry.
Goldfarb and his cohorts in analytics also were instrumental in re-signing Uribe before the season, trading for two relief pitchers in midseason (including lefty specialist Javier Lopez) and going after mid-season discards Burrell and Ross. He also helped convince officials to draft college stars Lincecum (2006) and Posey (2008).
You may not hear about the guys like Goldfarb who toil out of the limelight but when word of their work emerges it is easy to see their fingerprints on the moves to bring in guys that some would have given up on.

One of the strengths of Brian Sabean has been his trust in his lieutenants and now that it is known that there is stats guy with his ear some of the moves make more sense and you see that Sabean isn't just a caveman in the modern world throwing darts at lists of players.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Miguel Tejada and Aubrey Huff's Market Value

What is the best way to determine the Market Value of the Giants free agent signings? Probably not this.
The average shortstop salary for this years free agents is $6.41 million. Miguel Tejada received a one-year $6.5 million contract from the Giants. Which means GM Brian Sabean was on his game with this contract.

Now the first base position is a different story. The average free agent signing thus far at first base has signed for $6.53 million. The Giants re-signed Aubrey Huff for a two year $22 million contract. Huff will make $10 million in 2011 and 2012 (2013 club option or $2 million buyout).
I saw this from the King of Cali at and to me it leaves something to be desired. Looking at the average salary misses out on a quite a bit, a better measure would be looking at the marginal value of each of these players. What do we say we dig a little deeper.

This offseason has seen some inflation in the salaries of free agents especially in the big money deals of guys like Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth and Cliff Lee. The marginal value of a win has increased from about $4.5 million to just under $5 million.

With this as our baseline we can look at what the market value was for the Giants free agent signings.

Aubrey Huff, two year $22 million deal

Miguel Tejada, one year $6.5 million deal

Mike Fontenot, one year $1 million deal

Pat Burrell, a one year $1 million deal
Guillermo Mota minor league contract

For Huff I would expect that he comes down from his career year last year and produces at around 2 to 3 wins above replacement, lets call it 2.5 WAR over 2 years. That gives him a market value of $12.5 million so the Giants paid full price but didn't really overpay.
For Tejada I would expect around 1 WAR but if he stays healthy and doesn't do horrible on defense he could easily get into the 1.5 to possibly 2 WAR range. With my projection he has a market value $5 million but if he plays a full season and does a half decent job could be worth $7.5 to $10 million. This is a bit of an overpay but not horrendously.

Fontenot is going to be the back up infielder and with the limited playing time will be in the 0-0.5 WAR range giving him a market value of about $1.25 million so again this is right in line with what is expected.

Burrell is very easily a huge bargain. In his 96 games for the Giants last season he was worth 2.7 WAR so even if you expect that he has half as good of a season he is a 1.5 WAR player and worth $7.5 million on the open market. So the Giants got a huge hometown discount from Pat the Bat.

Bringing back Mota on a minor league contract again looks like a smart move. Mota was a decent guy in the pen and could be again next year. However he is pretty close to replacement level and was given a contract that reflects that.

Overall it looks like the Giants didn't have any bad overpays and maybe got a good deal for Burrell.

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Brian Wilson's Beard is a Leading Man

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 16: MLB player Brian  Wilson attends an evening with Chrysler and Fiat held at Chrysler Motor Village on November 16, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Chrysler)
The Giants are a cast of characters, and there video game counterparts are getting an update to match that.

Brain Wilson and the rest of the World Champion Giants are getting a digital makeover for Sony's MLB 11: The Show.

The game includes Wilson's full on crazy man beard, his arm cross tribute to his father for the end of the game, fuller more lushes hair for Tim Lincecum and more jolliness from Pablo Sandoval.

From Brian Wilson crossing his arms into an X and pointing to the sky in celebration after a save to the way Tim Lincecum's hippie hair flaps in the wind to Pablo Sandoval's quirky walk-up animation to the cyber kayakers in McCovey Cove, the Giants received an overhaul worthy of their new status as diamond kings.

Only thing missing is a cheat code to unlock The Machine.
There is some bugs to be worked out it looks like (unless the Giants have some news forthcoming):

New Branding for the Giants? Or San Diego prank?
 Read more about MLB the Show here.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Jonathan Sanchez the King of Upside

Jonathan Sanchez is a special type of pitcher that doesn't come around often.

He is the type of talent that is rare that even if he were to wash out of the majors in the next couple of years he would still get calls and minor league contracts because a lefty who misses bats is so highly coveted.

When I say that Sanchez misses bats that is exactly what he does, from 2008 to 2010 he is third in all of baseball in whiffs behind only 2 time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum and Ryan Dempster.

Sanchez gets batters to swing and miss at nearly 25% of all his pitches. Of the 67 pitchers in the sample the average was 18.6%, Sanchez's mark was over 30% better then the league average.

This type of swing and miss stuff is pretty rare especially from a left handed pitcher, the thing that has always killed Sanchez is a lack of control.

The tantalizing part of all of this is thinking about what if Sanchez cut he walks down to the 3 to 3.5 per nine inning range and maintain the strikeouts in the 9 to 9.5 per nine range. With that he would go from a good pitcher to an elite pitcher.

Maybe this is just the eggnog talking but maybe Santa will bring Sanchez control for Christmas and he will blossom like Randy Johnson did in his late 20's.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Was Edgar Renteria Disrespected by the Giants?

Edgar Renteria says that he feels like he was disrespected by the Giants.

Renteria told ESPN Deportes, "That offer from the Giants was a lack of respect. A total disrespect. To play for a million dollars, I'd rather stay with my private business and share more time with my family," he said. "Thank God I'm well off financially and my money is well invested."

So did the World Series MVP deserve more?

Ehh, maybe.

wOBA for Tejada and Renteria
If you look at Miguel Tejada who the Giants just signed to a 1 year $6.5 million deal you could perhaps make a case that he was offered below market pricing. The two have had similar careers over roughly the same time periods, Tejada has been the more consistent player while Renteria has had higher peaks and lower valleys.

Renteria has rated much better defensively at short stop coming and league average or better for nearly every season of his career, Tejada on the other hand, not so much. Tejada has been at best an average defensive shortstop and now is more of a third baseman.

Comparing WAR over their careers Tejada again is superior he has averaged 3.14 WAR over his 14 year career with a high of 6.5 and a low of -0.3 in his first big league season. Renteria has averaged 2.5 WAR with a high of 6.6 and a low 0.3 in 2009.

The other things that you need to take into account is that Tejada has been a healthy and reliable guy while Renteria has battled injuries the last two seasons. Tejada is 2 years older but is still safer injury wise.

When you take all of this into account a $1 million dollar deal may have been a little low, perhaps $1.5 or $2 million could have been justified but the Giants just got done vastly overpaying him so really going in low doesn't bug me.

So Edgar Renteria can feel disrespected but when you look at everything he didn't warrant a deal near what Tejada got (he may not have either) and it is too bad things didn't work out.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dodgers Throw a Tantrum

Never gets old to post this
ESPN and Major League Baseball are trying to move the Giants' 2011 opener from LA to San Francisco to allow for the ring presentation and flag raising to be nationally televised.

This move has caused the Dodgers to throw a fit. The Dodgers blog run by the LA Times summed up the displeasure nicely.

Memo to the San Francisco Giants:

Celebrate on your own time. Pat yourselves on the back as scheduled. Don’t suddenly look south to your arch enemies and expect applause.

Hey, you won the World Series. Congratulations, you earned it. Be proud and all. I’m just so happy for you.

Only don’t expect the baseball schedule and the Dodgers to bow in ceremony...

I don’t think so. Exactly what is in it for the Dodgers? Outside of an extra chartered flight and hotel stay in San Francisco? Hasn’t anyone heard the Dodgers are carefully watching their expenses these days?

Look I understand the not wanting the schedule to change but this isn't like moving a game in the middle of a season. The season is still over 100 days away and things at this point are not set in stone.

The Dodgers money is a little tight and they don't want to help out their superiors to the north but MLB should really just step in and make this right.

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End of Season Review: Edgar Renteria

San Francisco Giants Edgar Renteria hits a three-run homerun in the seventh inning of game 5 of the World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas on November 1, 2010.  UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via Newscom

With one swing of the bat Edgar Renteria planted himself in Giants lore forever. He had just enough magic left and with that beautiful arcing home run earned every penny of his injury plagued 2 year contract.

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 12/15/2010.

Renteria was not always appreciated by the Giants fans and I can't really blame them for it. Renteria was signed before the 2009 season and it was pretty much regarded as another Brian Sabean old vet style move that would blow up in our faces.

In 2009 that is exactly what it looked like. Renteria looked like he nothing left in the tank while putting up a triple slash line of .250/ .307/ .328 with an OPS+ of 67.

To a certain extent I think that a lot of people let 2009 cloud their judgment about Renteria, because this season he wasn't really that bad. He was the 15th best shortstop in major league baseball by wOBA, in his limited playing time was still good enough to accumulate a WAR of 1.3. Basically Renteria was still a league average shortstop and not a black hole of suckitude.

There is mutual interest to bring back Renteria as a backup and I think that I can get on board with that especially if the money ends up like what is being rumored ($1 million range). Renteria still has flashes of his former glory but at this point is not anywhere near an everyday player.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Phillies Signed Cliff Lee, So What

The Phillies blew every ones mind with the sneaky signing of Cliff Lee. The mystery team that only seems to exist in agents minds was actually real and made the big splash.

With the signing comes the overreaction. The Phillies are going to be unstoppable and all that. Well it is just talk, remember that they lost Jayson Werth who was a big part of their offense and are looking to shop Joe Blanton now.

Dave Cameron of fangraphs put it together and figured out how good the 2011 Phillies should be. Here is what he came up with. He figured +21 wins for the starting pitching another +4 wins for the bullpen and the following for the lineup:

Carlos Ruiz: +2.5 WAR
Ryan Howard: +3.0 WAR
Chase Utley: +6.0 WAR
Jimmy Rollins: +3.5 WAR
Placido Polanco: +2.5 WAR
Raul Ibanez: +1.5 WAR
Shane Victorino: +3.0 WAR
Domonic Brown: +2.0 WAR

Throw in another win off the bench and you get +25 from the pitchers and +25 for the lineup and when added to the replacement base of 48 wins it is a 98 win team.
Now before you crawl into your hole never to be seen again let's check the Giants.

First up is the pichers:

Tim Lincecum: +6.5 WAR
Matt Cain: +4.5 WAR
Jonathan Sanchez: +3.5 WAR
Madison Bumgarner: +3.5 WAR
Barry Zito: +2 (Very Expensive) WAR
Bullpen (which one of the best in baseball and last year was worth 6.2 WAR) +5 WAR

Now the lineup:

Buster Posey: +5.5 WAR
Aubrey Huff: +3 WAR
Freddy Sanchez: +2 WAR
Pablo Sandoval: +3.5 WAR
Miguel Tejada: +1.5 WAR
Pat Burrell: +1.5 WAR
Andres Torres: +4 WAR
Cody Ross: +2 WAR
Bench: +2 WAR

If you add it all together and you get the same 50 WAR added to the 48 of the replacement level and the Giants have the same potential to get to 98 wins next year too.

The east coast media are salivating over this deal but the National League title will still have to come through San Francisco.

If your on Twitter you should definitely follow the The Crazy Crabbers. If you're not you should really consider joining, lots of good stuff going on there.

End of Season Review: Juan Uribe

Sep 4, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Juan Uribe (5) follows through on a two-run home run in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Photo via Newscom

Of all of the end of season reviews this has been the one that I have been looking forward to least. Now that the drama surrounding his exit to the Dodgers has come to light the great memories of Juan Uribe in Giants uniform are at the very least tainted.

Now that a little bit of time has passed by and the emotions of the deal are past me I can say that I can separate what he did as a Giants the last two seasons and what is coming with him as a Dodger.

2010 148 575 521 64 129 24 2 24 85 1 45 92 .248 .310 .440 .749 99
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 12/11/2010.

Juan was an exciting player to put it lightly, he had some of the biggest hits and plays in 2010 and gave us all some really great memories.

The jazz hands, the full monies worth swing and the rocket arm. The home run he hit in Dodger stadium where the Giants absolutely stole a game from the Dodgers who were about to go down in flames. The sac fly he hit off of Roy Oswalt (Where I was in the middle of class and had my phone die just before it happened still haunts me). The still to this day unbelievable opposite field home run in game 6.

These are memories that will never be forgotten but until you switch to a different uniform or hang up the spikes won't be spoken of in the same way.

If your on Twitter you should definitely follow the The Crazy Crabbers. If you're not you should really consider joining, lots of good stuff going on there.