Let's face it. Brian Sabean is going to be the GM for the San Francisco Giants...at least for a couple of more years. Most smart Giants fans hate it, the Giants blogging nation refuses to believe it (but is trying to apparently), but unfortunately owner Bill Neukom doesn't seem to be any smarter than his predecessor Peter Magowan.
Oh well. Is it the worst thing in the world? No. It could be worse. Neukom could have fired Sabean and hired Bill Bavasi as his replacement. That would have been five...no...ten times worse than the situation we currently have now.
However, if Sabean is going to continue to be GM of the Giants, there are five things I want him to do in preparation for the 2010 Giants season. If he can accomplish these things or at least make an effort to accomplish them this offseason, then I will quit saying that the Giants resigning Sabean was the most retarded thing to happen this century since the Italians electing Mussolini to power.
1. Let Bengie Molina go, and let Buster Posey be the starting catcher
--Posey needs to be the catcher. Bottom line, no freaking questions asked. As great as it is that Bengie Molina hit 20 home runs this year, he is simply past his prime. For a team that needs to improve plate patience and OBP, Molina simply doesn't fit that mold. He can't lay off bad pitches, defensively he isn't what he used to, and manager Bruce Bochy has a mancrush on him that is worse than John Hinckley's obsession with Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver (e.g if Molina is back, not only is there no way Bochy will take him out of the lineup, but there is no way he will take him out of the cleanup hole).
Now I understand Posey is young. I understand he has been in professional baseball for barely a year. But this kid can play. He hit .321 with five home runs and 22 RBI in 35 games with Fresno, and .326 with 13 home runs and 58 RBI in Single-A San Jose. Furthermore, he only helps to the Giants miserable OBP stats as evidenced by his .391 and .428 OBP numbers in Fresno and San Jose respectively.
Molina has had a good run in San Francisco, and I can admit that he has been the Giants best catcher in the past decade. Yet time has run its course with Molina in San Francisco, and only keeping him around his going to delay the inevitable: the Buster Posey era in the Bay Area.
2. Don't trade for Milton Bradley
--It's tempting. Aaron Rowand for Milton Bradley straight up? When you combine Rowand's terrible season along with his miserable contract (three years remaining on his deal), I'm sure this deal sounds like music to many Giants fans' ears.
However, like I said in my article on Bleacher Report, Bradley would be more of a cancer than help for this Giants squad, even if he does have a pretty decent on-base percentage.
Milton Bradley + San Francisco Giants = Royal F'n Mess in 2010.
3. Get Rid of Edgar Renteria
--I would gain massive respect for Sabean if he pulled this off. Everyone knew this was a sketchy signing when it was first announced, and after Renteria's miserable first year in San Francisco, all the skeptics' fears were confirmed.
Renteria has a slow bat that can't hit an underhanded softball pitch, he's injury prone, he has no power (let alone enough to hit in a park like AT&T Park) and defensively, he just isn't an average fielding shortstop anymore (many people point out his fielding percentage improved from last year, but he also had a very good defensive first baseman in Travis Ishikawa this year as well).
Just look at the stats: .250 batting average, five home runs, .307 OBP, .328 slugging percentage. Pathetic. That is an absolute waste of money, especially when you have Juan Uribe on the team, who's a better fielding shortstop than Renteria, and had a much better offensive season (.293 average, 16 home runs, 54 RBI, .501 slugging) for a fraction of the cost (one million per year to Renteria's eight million per year).
I know it may not happen simply because at this point, because Renteria is untradeable. However, if Sabean can at least entertain some offers, that will at least show me he has admitted to his bonehead mistake and is looking to rectify his stupid signing in 2008.
That in my mind is worth at least 1/100 of the new contract he will receive from Neukom.
4. Lower Beer Prices at AT&T Park
--I know that this is probably out of his power, but I'm going to blame Sabean any way because I like using him as a scapegoat (I once said to a friend he was responsible for the usage of steroid in baseball...which if you really think about it, actually has some merit considering he overlooked everything Bonds did).
$8.75 = Way too F'n much for a freaking 16 oz beer.
I don't know what you have to do Sabes to stop this injustice. Raise ticket prices, get cheaper beer or trade Aaron Rowand or Randy Winn. Whatever the solution is, I don't care. Just get those beer prices down. Almost nine bucks for a Bud Light is borderline criminal.
5. Assemble a team that can beat the Dodgers next year
--That's what it all comes down to. If Sabean can assemble a squad that can be better than the Dodgers, that's all I can ask for. A World Series request is lofty, simply because of the high amount of luck and money that is required to build a World Series-caliber team.
But a team that can beat the Dodgers? I don't think that is asking too much from the guy, especially after he has been here for oh...13 years!
Hell, I beat Kim Ng can do it. She knows that Dodgers organization inside and out, including all their strengths and weaknesses. Hiring her as GM would be like the Vikings getting Brett Favre.
Alas though, that isn't going to happen.
Bill Neukom re-signs Brian Sabean to multi-year extension as Giants General Manager. You're 2009 San Francisco Giants Management!
Boy that never gets old.