Friday, December 7, 2012

Blogger's Note

You may have noticed that I removed Giants Nirvana from the linked sites over on the left.  Julian announced he is closing the site and is now writing for Bay City Ball which is now linked.  Best wishes to Julian and Bay City Ball.


  1. why dont you and obsessive merge blogs?

    you both have the send mindset

    increase readership and maybe start grabbing serious minded folk from macchron

    then figure out a way to monetize

    ps, hope you all catch scoots comments post physical....honestly, i believe the giants are the 21st century version of the gas house gang

    send the girls to grad school

    bacci...always looking out for the hardcore

    1. I like that idea Bacci. Looking out for the hardcore. It would save me a lot of time going back and forth.

      The Gints as the 21st century Gas House... This is an interesting concept. Pagan apparently is in love with SF - going to buy a house in the city. Look up Scutaro's quote on moving to SF, it'll make you chuckle. I couldn't be happier with these two.

      The beats confirmed both players left a little on the table as soon as the Gints went the extra year. One more time I applaud Bobby Evans for looking for the value and getting the deals done.

      Leaving the LF and RP positions open is wise. You don't know what will turn up in Jan/Feb/March. And given the last 4 years success with those type of turnips...

    2. Good idea Bacci, but I rather like having my own blog, and I'm guessing ogc feels the same way about his. I'm absolutely not in it for the money. When I first started, I was so fed up with the Giants site message board and with MCC I honestly didn't care if nobody visited this site. I just wanted a chance to write my own point of view without being ridiculed and threatened. Wanna keep it that way.

      Don't get me wrong, though. I am absolutely gratified and thrilled that so many people visit this site every day and take the trouble to comment. Motivates me to work even harder to put up stuff that is worthwhile for people to spend their precious time reading.

    3. Wow, I'm amazed! Thank you, always an honor to be mentioned with DrB!

      That's a huge compliment, but like DrB, not in it for the money, just wanted a place to share my point of view with people who appreciate my mindset. And I don't publish that often, and I'm usually here saying the same stuff I say on my site, so no need to go back and forth, other than for my PQS stuff. I know I blab on sometimes, just have to do things my way.

      As my high school teacher astutely wrote in her gift thesaurus to me, she quote Thoreau, "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."

      I'm grateful for my audience who thinks I have something interesting to say, as I've noted before, I write mainly because I didn't find anybody who were answering the questions that were coming up for me, so if I'm going to go and research all that, I wanted to share my newfound knowledge with like-minded Giants fans. Well, initially, I wanted to "save" everyone, but now, I'm more accepting of like-minded, as haters are haters, it seems, and nothing will change their minds, not one championship, first in 52 years, not even two championships in three years. I now know that I've been foolishly banging my head against the concrete to no avail.

      It won't mean I won't bash my head again sometime soon, old habits die hard, but I think two championships in three years 1) leaves me feeling satisfied that yeah, to one Naysayer's harsh comment to me, yeah, I was not only right one year, I was pretty much right period, and 2) means I am too happy to care anymore, what more evidence do they need, if they can't still see it, then se la vie.

      Yes, applause for Bobby Evans!

      Instead of turnips, I would call them magic beans, as you don't know what will grow out of the ground.

  2. DrB and OGC, however their noms de plume may rhyme, and however harmonized their tunes--their two voices, and so their two blogs, strike me as quite different. lt's my sense that blogs are best when there's one voice launching them: lefty malo, Grant Brisbee, to a lesser extent the conjoined twins (in temperament) who produce raisingmattcain, and pre-eminently this blog and ogc's. That voice attracts those who want to speak with or to it. For me Bay City Ball has declined as Chris Quick has taken on more co-authors; and the compromised individuality of the journalists' blogs--Pavlovic's, Baggarly's, Schulman's--helps account, perhaps, for the general dumbness, narcissism, and quality of pronunciamento that pervades the comments that follow their stories. (Why else is there such a sediment of duncedom building up around those blogs, but so rarely around this one or, despite its often grating quirks, MCC?) DrB sets a tone that establishes a readership and raises the general quality of the comments on this site; ditto, ogc's. I look forward (and I'm guessing that Shankbone does too) to the time I spend going back and forth.

    1. Excellent take. I consider ogc a soul brother in Giants fandom, but I think our journey's to similar conclusions were quite different while at the same time quite similar. Somewhere along the way, something just clicked for both of us(I think I have to give credit to ogc for figuring it out before I did) that hey, this Brian Sabean guy is not nearly as bad as people are saying. In fact, he really seems to be in the right track and is building something really special here. Strangely, that message of hope for beaten down Giants fans was not well received in the usual hangouts and that's what started our two blogs.

      I completely agree with you on the take that blogs with multiple writers lose their edge. You just see it over and over. Maybe Fangraphs makes it work, but even there you have to wade trough a lot of fluff and outright garbage to get to the good stuff. What's nice about Fangraphs, they put out so much volume that you can completely ignore 90% of it and still get more than enough to read out of the other 10%.

      So, I encourage everybody here to visit ogc's excellent blog Obssessive Giants Compulsive and comment there. It's linked over to the left. I also encourage visiting other Giants and baseball blogs. As with everything else in life, it's always important to hear multiple viewpoints. There is a fine line between having a like-minded community and an echo chamber. You have to venture out of the community on a regular basis to gauge how much acoustic dampers to put in your own crib.

    2. Right on Campanari. Its worth a couple more clicks on the computer. I do enjoy the different voices, even if there are similar themes at times. I consider Lefty Malo, OGC and Grant's blogs the 3 originals. DrB's is a great edition, the prospects and summaries are absolutely excellent. As I participate a lot more than I used to, I completely understand DrB's stance on wanting to be left alone to be able to put down his opinions in peace. I do think its important to have different opinions voiced, as long as its polite. I think its a very nice balance here. OGC called his shot, and although that road was rough, look at how right it turned out? Personally, I just saw something different going on around 2008-9, and I changed my tune, which was frankly pretty negative towards the Giants. Every once in a while I can't help a lunatic fringe flashback, but for the most part I'm very happy with where the Giants are, especially the baseball ops guys.

      Hey, you always have bacci to shake the tree once in a while! I always enjoy the bacci/DrB interchanges a bunch.

      Fangraphs has about 3 guys I respect at this point, and a lot of fluff. Unfortunately I think Dave Cameron might actively encourage some of the ridicule by churning too much content and not enough research. In a similar vein, the hilarious prose of Grant is diluted at times by having to constantly crank out material. I find he hits on something much less than he used to. Like OGC I find him too pessimistic at times, but I also think he gets lumped in with his readership too much of the time. And that readership is a diverse wild bunch, many of whom do post on here as well.

      Overall, great time to be a Giants fan. I flirted with starting a blog, but we have too many already. Like Campanari, I participate across the spectrum, and I am grateful for those opportunities provided by DrB, OGC, Lefty Malo and MCC. And those raisingmattcain fools. I like them too.

    3. Doc, I remember you preaching the gospel on the Giants boards years ago. The posters were really acerbic and catty. (I wouldn't know how it is now. I haven't been there in forever.) Some of the posters had some amusing takes on the tone of the board. One joke post during the free agency period around 2008 went something along the lines of "Sabean signs Jesus, 5 years $108 million. Fans furious." But, that was really the mentality over there. Most everyone had an angry bitch.

      The thing I remember you talking about was the value of a player with an OPS over .800. (At least I hope that was you!) That really gave me a very concise stat regarding player value. That is still the first thing I look at today when reviewing a player's stats. It's the first real non-baseball-card stat that I started using. And I always appreciated your pointing it out.

    4. Kelly,

      Yeah, I vaguely remember writing a post over on the Giants Message Board in response to a question about what is a poor, average, good and great OPS, so that was probably me. Thanks for remembering.

    5. Shankbone,

      I think the optimal content rate is around 1 post per day, 2 at the most. More than that and it gets cluttered and folks can't keep up. If you go too long between posts, folks lose interest and stop checking regularly. I try to put up something every day as long as I have something to say.

      When I first started the blog, I made a vow to myself and my daughter, who helped me set it up, that I would put up at least 1 post per day for 1 year, then re-assess where I was with it. I've taken a few short breaks due to mental and physical exhaustion(I have a full time career I'm keeping up at the same time), but have mostly tried to keep it up.

      The result has been most gratifying and a truly amazing experience mainly due to readers like you, Kelly, ogc, Bacci, and many others. I truly appreciate every one, even most of the Anons! I remember one stretch where Bacci was about the only one commenting. He's been my unique sounding board for a very long time, going all the way back to the early Giants Message Board days before it got hijacked by the haters.

    6. Looking forward to the prospect lists!

    7. Well, if Grant can't have it both ways. If he wants to talk seriously about the Giants, he should not be kowtowing to the masses if he really believes that Sabean is doing things right. And he has his serious side, when he went crazy over Sabean picking Posey over Smoak. If he just wants to be a jokester, jokes goes both ways, yet ALL of his jokes are decidedly one sided, against Sabean.

      And if you read his quote in the BP article and his recent "More on Brian Sabean", he clearly thinks that Sabean should be fired still (who would want to keep a GM who he thinks is a moron?), meaning he has not changed his stance at all. If he wants to continue to stand on the wrong side of Giants history, that's on him.

    8. I basically agree, ogc. Grant tries for a humorous style of writing, but he also definitely drives the prevailing attitude over there. His mea culpas on Sabean have been much more along the lines of "well, you can't argue with success, but I'm still right." than any true admission that he had it wrong.

    9. I will amend my statement. The hilarious prose of Grant is diluted by the fact the Sabean as an idiot jokes well has dried up. I think that underneath the goofy "I don't understand stats" persona there is a cold ruthless saber guy who is as bitter as Dave Cameron that success is coming to a guy who doesn't do things the. right. way. So I'll give you that.

    10. Sorry, couldn't comment much, was wedding anniversary weekend.

      I agree with DrB's statements starting with "soul brothers". I don't know when DrB's path towards "Sabean is not an Moron" started, but for me it started with my study of the draft back in mid-2004 ( where I first compared Sabean to other teams noted to be good with the draft. I, like most people, thought that Sabean was lousy and I was going to write on that. But I was surprised by what the data showed me, which was that most of the teams noted to be good didn't have an appreciably different draft results than Sabean. That led me to research the draft to discover that the draft is a crapshoot than people think (

      After that, my stance was that someone who can identify talent so well that his trades work out so well could not be that bad with regards to draftees, and this draft crapshoot is why. And while I was encouraged by what I had found, throughout the 2000's, my position was that Sabean seems smart enough to give him another 2 years when the extensions came in, because his results were encouraging and I wanted to see where they went before we go and potentially fire the golden goose.

      As DrB noted, instead of at least considering that maybe the tide has turned, most people didn't think we were right and told us so, and as I've noted, many were unkind to me.

      However, my blog started as I transitioned from writing regularly for, I think the community used to be called Fanhome, but now it is I joined, frankly, because my content was posted on, and that gave me a kick. However, I found that people just wanted to take potshots at me. Like with my draft analysis, instead of inviting me to engage in a discussion about my results, they just posted it and whacked away. And this is a relatively well known - and I thought well respected - baseball water cooler spot (Baseball Primer), which I thought would be interested in my results. I know I'm too blunt with my messages - I got a similar reaction regarding the Giants 2012 draft, right Shankbone? - but I thought something like that would at least elicit some interest, but instead BP published their draft study a while afterward (they had interns helping them) and that was that, official stance by saber community.

      That was basically my last post for that site, though the main reason I left was because the prior owner of the site gave the site to the person who used my dead father to denigrate me and my opinions. But I had also tired of the bashing. Plus, blogging was still relatively new back then and, not really being that young anymore :^), I thought I should try out blogging and see how it goes. I think I still mention it in my profile on my site, why I started.

    11. I especially agree with DrB's statement that we should take in a broad view in reading other opinions about the Giants. I question my views constantly, thought partly that is a part of who I am, honestly, I grew up with low self-esteem, and while I am in a very good spot now, a part of me is still that little boy.

      I basically used the other places as sounding boards for my views, which helps shape my opinion, which I then posted to my blogs, early on. Gets a lot of the sharp edges out. But for me, after a while, I found that the commentary was more Naysaying and nothing really constructive or additive to what I was doing, so I stopped commenting for the most part at MCC at that point, and, except for here, I mainly post to get my opinion out there and don't bother looking at the replies, as they were not worth my time.

      I post when I can, I can't promise to do it daily, just too hard with my job, but by this point, I got regulars who wait for when I do publish, and that is good enough for me.

    12. Hey ogc,

      Just keep up the good work.

    13. ogc,

      I started to see a ray of light when the Giants drafted Tim Lincecum, but have to admit I didn't really catch on until Madison Bumgarner proved me wrong by blowing away the Sally League and then the Giants drafted Buster Posey. That's when I knew Sabean was serious about building a homegrown core. I know that is kind of the opposite of the notion of the draft being a crapshoot but at least we arrived at the same overall conclusion: That the Giants were as well positioned for the future as any team in baseball. Whew! I wore myself and everybody else out with that line but it was true and still is.

    14. DrB, looks like we turned positive at about the same time. That is about when I went from wait and see about Sabean to positive - in that while the crapshoot draft (and to be clear, that referred to when the team was in the back third of the draft and beyond, not drafting in the first 10 spots, like we did with Lincecum, Bumgarner, Posey) explained why Sabean was doing poorly, it did not mean that he was better than other GMs, other than what I noted, that he got the better of others in trades it seemed. I needed to see how he did once he got good picks, starting with the 2007 tenth pick overall.

      Once he selected Lincecum to go with Cain, that was the 1-2 punch I was looking for back then (at that point, my theory was basically based on how the Dodgers did it in the 1960's, with Koufax and Drysdale, and Lincecum/Cain gave me that) But, to pinpoint that further, I would say it was when Lincecum had his breakout minor league stint and great start to his MLB career that was the true inflection point for me, which is basically about the same time as you, as you note, don't really matter when exactly, just that we did and were on the same path.

      I am just honored to be mentioned in your company, period, I had read and admired your writing and content when you were commenting on MCC and was sad when you stopped. I didn't know that it was simply a matter of an ID problem, that's funny, I had a similar thing happen, Grant wouldn't fix it for me (this was long before our tiff), so I just created a new ID with my first name on it. I did notice eventually that you posted on the MLB Giants board, but it was hard to keep up and there were a lot of Naysayers, even worse (to me) than the ones at MCC, so I did check it out occasionally just to check out your comments during the draft, but otherwise rarely made it over there.

      The angry hordes at MCC was what led me to start calling the Giants "The Team of the 2010 Decade" in some of my comments, it was my way of being in their face, the same way they were being in my face to me. And my way of saying what you said above, that they were well positioned. I would continually explain myself over and over again, so that motto became my short cut way of explaining what I meant and the implications of the Giants improvement. Not that it helped them understand, but oh well.

      That is also why I would jump in, in the past, any time Sabean got an extension, and I would throw in my comment about how happy I was. It was like blood in the water, got them going good, it felt good to get them dancing around like that. I just realized today that the last two Sabean extensions, I didn't even bother to go there, it just wasn't worth it, the Giants got their championships, bad on them if they continue to refuse to acknowledge Sabean and Bochy.

      I'm just glad you started your great blog here where we all can hang and share our similar and different thoughts about the Giants, you are much better at diplomatically handling the dissenters, I greatly admire your skill at that. And because of that, you have created a great environment here for good discussions about the future directions for the Giants, I love it here!

    15. Addendum/correction: I needed to see how Sabean did with good draft picks because he didn't do so well with his first and only one up to then, the Grilli pick.

      With how hard the draft was, it seemed like finding Cain, Lowry, and the Big Three of Ainsworth, Williams, and Foppert, was just about right around where Sabean would be given the low odds and many years of drafts. Unfortunately, when the success rate is that low anyway, you need a lot of actual draft picks to statistically see if he was just lucky or actually good. And not that he now has enough to statistically say that he is good, but after a three year run of Lincecum, Bumgarner, Posey, I don't see how anyone can say that he's bad at it either. And after the success we have experienced at the MLB level starting in 2009, I think we can subjectively say that he was very good in selecting prospects in the draft, even if statistically it is probably still sketchy.

      And to the Naysayers retort that it is John Barr and not Sabean, if we are going to go there, really, no GM is ever just himself in terms of success in finding players, you need to build up an organization, find the right scouts to deliver the information to you in the way that the GM likes, in order to make good decisions. Sabean's organization has found a way to supply the Giants with the right players that his hand-picked manager, Bochy, has gotten a lot of them. (Sabean inherited Baker, and Felipe feels too much like a move made by Magowan/Baer, but I'm open on this, this thought just came to me).

    16. And thank you DrB, I will try to keep up the good work.

    17. I know I've been through this line of thought before, in fact, I wrote a whole post on it. It's hard to see it when things are going bad, but when people were saying that Sabean just had a run of good luck in the draft, they forget that he had run of monumentally bad luck with AFW. Ironically, though, it was the failure of AFW that allowed him to be in position to draft Timmy, Bummy and Buster. Giants might still be a perennial 85-88 win team if AFW had panned out.

    18. I always check back for comments on "dead" threads, because sometimes you get some gems. Thanks to you both for sharing these thoughts.

      For me, I took 2003 almost harder than 2002. 2004 brought new hope, as always, and that was pretty crushing. I was a bit haggard 2005-6, but the drafting and then amazing instant success of Timmy - who's nickname for me is always The Franchise - gave me hope, like OGC said, of a possible 2 Aces like in CLE or the Doyers. Frankly, as much as I admired his play, I got really sick of the Barry Bonds circus. It just dragged on, a lot of it not his fault in the least, but the story was just old. And we really had the door slammed shut by that Finley game.

      So I admit some pretty bad lunatic fringe activity, (Tucker/Vlad/draft picks and ex-Mets whipping boys mainly) but I realize some of it wasn't necessarily on Sabean. So I left it open to give him a chance, to build a team without Bonds. And it just started to build. Sure, its not always pretty, but 2009 was an awesome exciting time. So I remained patient through Timmy and the 07-08 drafts, and then got pretty excited. I really viewed 2009 as a preview, and even 2010 that way.

      And as soon as 2009 came around, I was reminded of the good days, 97-02 in my mind was great. Sabean built a great infield core around Bonds, and I didn't know what WAR was, and life was good. So I figured it might just come around again. And it has. In spades.

      I didn't ever think about participating. Frankly, part of my participation is I have young children and I'm housebound more. And then I found out I liked sharing opinions, ideas and the like. So thanks to you both, I've really enjoyed myself.

    19. And OGC, congrats on the wedding anniversary. Many happy returns.

    20. Thanks for the congrats and thanks right back at you, I know we don't always agree, but as DrB noted, that is good for us, and I love sharing opinions, ideas and so forth. So I've really enjoyed myself as well, discussing everything Giants.

      Funny, that is my evolution too, my kids were young and I was housebound more as well, then I found the internet...

  3. John Shea keeps hinting at a 6 year minor league FA signing. Here's his latest: Getting LF platoon expected later rather than sooner for #SFGiants, prefer RH version of Blanco, possible 6-year minor league FA.

    I'm trying to guess who it might be. Here's my best guess: Jose Alberto Martinez
    ChiSox org, 6 year vet, VZ (aren’t they all these days?), Age: 24, Arm: Superior, Ranked prospect (7, 15, 29, 25 on BA list 2007-11), RH bat, he is 6’5 170 per BA but I doubt that anymore. Contact hitter with great bat speed. Really is more of a gap hitter. Has major league bloodlines, Dad is Carlos Martinez. Knee injury slowed him down.

    I was thinking it might be Conor Jackson, but he got signed.

    Giants also signed up lefty Carlos Teller. Released by the Pirates in March ’09, lefty Carlos Teller hasn't pitched in affiliated ball in three years, though he has made winter-ball appearances in Mexico in ’10 and Venezuela in ’11. The Giants signed him on the heels of his showing with Nicaragua in the World Baseball Classic qualifier, in which Teller worked one inning, allowing one hit and striking out one. (Source: BA)

    1. Jose Martinez is a good guess. He's playing in the VWL and the Giants have a history of scouting that league pretty carefully.