...comes the uplifting story of a tough as nails general manager who overcame the hardship of having the greatest baseball player to ever live on his squad, and went on to lead his franchise to three consecutive seasons of between 70 and 77 wins.SABEAN
Catch it now in ballparks across America. Currently starring Brian Bocock, Jose Castillo and Jack Taschner.
Lowell Cohn, the man who thinks David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez suck balls, believes Brian Sabean is a great GM -- better than Billy Beane. Incredible, I know. But we have evidence
. He wrote it down himself and put it on the Internet, which I like to call "the world's refrigerator post-it note":Sabean makes GM moves; Beane runs a clearinghouse
My kid and I write a blog together. I know
. Boy, do I ever know. But this is your PRO-fessional stuff. I'm sure it's top-notch, not like those riff-raffy blogs out there.In our latest offering, we argued who's a better general manager, Brian Sabean or Billy Beane, and I chose Sabean, although Beane is very good.
Wow. Wow. Je-whoa. Ber-splurgh.
There you have it.
BEANE = VERY GOOD
SABEAN > BEANE
so by the transitive property of general manager excellentitude,
SABEAN = SCRUMTRILESCENTABULOUS!I'm lucky no one caught up with me in person, because I would have been stoned to death for proposing such an unpopular --
-- and wrong. Don't forget wrong --opinion....Sabean got the Giants to the World Series in 2002, and Beane never got the A's to the World Series, and never will.
Never is an exceedingly long time, Mr. Cohn. It's longer than forever. I think it goes never > forever > Lowell Cohn's age > eon > era > epoch. MATHEMATICAL INEQUALITY ZING!
In Billy Beane's first two years as GM, the A's finished last in their division. In the following eight years, the team finished 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, and 1st. In the last two years, we've seen the Rockies go to the World Series and the mother-f-ing Cardinals win the damn thing. You're going to say with 100% confidence that the A's will never even get there with Beane at the helm?I don't think Beane even cares about the Series.
] Yes. Yes, I do think you're right. He's a rather detached chap, isn't he? Hasn't the foggiest inclination toward winning 'tall. Hates to win. Likes to be buggered.
We're talking about Tony Blair, right? [end British accent
]He wants to do pretty well, wants to keep up appearances, wants to claim he's a poor small-market GM and, gee, not arriving at the ultimate destination -- the Series -- isn't his fault even though he's brilliant. So please don't blame him or expect too much of him. He has a built-in excuse.
I have to say, accusing Beane of actually wanting
to lose in the playoffs is a new one for me. Lowell Cohn is claiming such an intimate knowledge of Billy Beane's psyche here it's just retar-diculous. And fun. It's a lot of fun. Thanks, Lowell.
And hey, you know if the A's got to the World Series and lost, people would pillory Beane for "building a team just good enough to lose in the big moments." Can't wait for that one.
Now hold on. This is where it gets good.
Sabean made the daring, unpopular trade of Matt Williams for Jeff Kent, which set up the Giants for years. Beane never makes trades like that.
Except for --One reader pointed to Beane's Mark Mulder for Dan Haren, Daric Barton and Kiko Calero trade as proof Beane can deal like Sabean.
A fantastic trade. As the Germans say, wunderbar. As the Chinese-high-school-students-taking-German say, wunderbar.Please. Haren already is gone.
For six -- six! -- minor leaguers! So for one Mark Mulder (who, since the trade, has posted one good season, one terrible half-season, and one even terribler twentieth-of-a-season), Billy Beane ultimately received eight
minor leaguers and three solid-to-outstanding years from Dan Haren.
You're right. Sabean's better.All Beane's good young guys already are gone -- Tim Hudson, Nick Swisher, Miguel Tejada. I could go on.
I bet he wanted to keep some or all of these guys, but there's that small payroll thing -- the thing that you apparently think is some sort of Billy Beane hallucination that makes him enjoy losing in the playoffs.The A's aren't a baseball team. They're a baseball clearing house. In and out. In and out.
SEX JOKE SEX JOKE SEX JOKEAs far as Daric Barton goes, well, in the first place, who the heck is Daric Barton?
Daric Barton was one of the most highly-touted prospects in the nation. He placed 32nd and then 28th on Baseball America's list of top 100 prospects. In five minor league seasons, at ages ranging from 17 to 21, he had an OBP of .414.
(angry): Throw him back. Bring me the corpse of Ryan Klesko!
Back to Cohn.That's how I feel.
Thank you. It's good to share. Particularly in an article about baseball GMing. Your feelings are especially important in that context.But, I can't ignore reality -- no one defends Sabean, his reputation is in the dumper. It's in the dumper even though he was under orders from up above, I believe, to patch together a team around the grumpy power-hitting left fielder because while the grumpy power-hitting left fielder was here, fans would not accept young players and rebuilding.
This is Lowell Cohn's only semi-legitimate argument. If, indeed, he was handcuffed by ownership, then yes, he was fucked from Day One.
But note, also, that this is pure speculation on Cohn's part.
You can question his guts -- interesting because his persona is Mr. Tough Guy. He could have fought back or even quit -- people do quit. He didn't show mondo guts allowing the Barry Bonds cronies and that one drug dealer to lurk in the clubhouse. Those are strikes against him.
Fun game: keep track of how many strikes Lowell Cohn launches against Brian Sabean in this article -- an article written to praise Sabean for being better than the "very good" (Cohn's words, remember) Billy Beane.Sabean has other strikes against him, lots of crummy free-agent signings -- Armando Benitez, Edgardo Alfonzo, Ray Durham, and yes, Barry Zito.
So many strikes!
And Zito -- Jesus. Not enough strikes is more like it! Thank you.
He is notorious for one stinker of a lousy trade -- Joe Nathan, a terrific closer, and two other players for -- hold your nose -- A.J. Pierzynski.
More strikes! A strike that's also a stinker! This one is up there as one of the worst trades of the baby millennium. Those anonymous "two other players," by the way, Lowell, were Francisco Liriano (was pretty good in 2006, remember?) and sort of serviceable Boof Bonser.After Dusty Baker left, Sabean hired Felipe Alou, who was too old, a guy the players couldn't stand. And now he has Bruce Bochy, who's shown no aptitude to rebuild a team that desperately needs rebuilding.
Strike strike strike strike strike strike strike. We're playing the "Strikes Against Brian Sabean in an Article Supporting Brian Sabean" Drinking Game, and everyone here has died of alcohol poisoning, had their ghosts rise from the dead and resume playing the game, and then had their ghosts die of alcohol poisoning.
The Giants' farm system has been a joke, nothing like the A's -- this is a positive Billy point here. The only productive player the Giants' farm system produced in the current century was Pedro Feliz, and he wasn't all that productive.
Aaaaaaaaannnnnnd there's another strike.Sure, these are lots of bad marks against Sabean.
You have to love his restraint here.
Any team that depends heavily on Durham, Dave Roberts, Rich Aurilia and even Omar Vizquel is a team going nowhere.
But -- but -- this is the team built by the guy you're defending. Lowell? Lowell? Oh god, he got into the bushes again. Get out of there! (Gets umbrella, beats bushes) Out!He needs to find out if his young guys can play. Amend that. He'd better pray his young guys can play -- Eugenio Velez, Dan Ortmeier, Brian Bocock, Fred Lewis and Rajai Davis. Aside from Velez, I don't feel confident about any of those guys. Do you?
Well, let's see here. Ortmeier OPSed .683 and .763 in the hitter-friendly PCL at ages 25 and 26. Bocock slugged .328 in A+ ball last year. Lewis and Davis have passable minor league résumés, but yeah. This is rough
Brian Sabean for Mayor!To his credit, Sabean has strong starting pitching --
Hurray! [cue YouTube video of parade that KT posted the other day]strong, not great.
Cancel embedding of YouTube video. Cancel it now.He has reasonable relief pitching.
"Reasonable Relief Pitching," the Brian Sabean Saga. An inspirational tale of love and loss, of Keiichi Yabus and Brad Hennesseys.The batting order does not have power. It is a single/doubles club, not a home-run club, and that needs to change.
I think of it as more of an outs/more outs club. Is that a thing? Is that, maybe, what Sabean was going for? You're the guy who can read people's minds, Lowell. Please tell me that's what Sabean was going for.Now that he is free -- finally free -- to make a real team, Sabean has to show he has a vision for his club and knows how to bring that vision to life -- not this year, but certainly in 2009 and after. I have defended Sabean, but now it's up to him.
I have defended him nobly! In this article where I outline, in exhaustive detail, the fourteen different ways in which he has utterly failed his team, his owners, and the city of San Francisco, I have defended him well. I defended him by mentioning Zito. I defended him by mentioning Bocock. I defended him by mentioning Pierzynski.
The defense rests, your honor.He has to defend himself.
From you, Mr. Cohn. At this point, you're like the defense attorney half of Colin Ferguson
and Sabean is the defendant half. You (Cohn/defense attorney Ferguson) are hurting your (Sabean/defendant Ferguson) own case.
But yeah, you're right. I'm convinced. Billy Beane blows.
Labels: billy beane, brian sabean, colin ferguson, lowell cohn