NOW Javier Lopez, TIM LINCECUM and 'MORE MONEY BALL' - SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS COUGH IT UP AGAIN
Just in - Thirty-six year old Javier Lopez signing for $13.5 million for three years. Based on his 40 innings of work last season (which translates to about 10 pitches an inning or 400) means that JAVIER IS GETTING $10,000 PER PITCH ! Yes, like most of the Giants, his numbers seem to get better- as he gets older -hmmm! - one has to question another overpayment by the Giants. Unless he's on something , which is very possible being a Giant - one cannot expect a 36 year old pitcher to continue posting a 1.50 ERA. Unlike other pitchers who have to stay out there and field and hitters who have to field, Javier usually only has to come in for a batter or two and that's it! What a job! Of course Javier and others return to the Giants in glowing terms because, when you pin them down, nobody offered naively higher salaries.
The Giants seem incapable of going out and getting decent, prime of career, non-using players so they continue to hang on to their aging players until they finally - PEDs or not - backfire on the team; think Huff,
Rowand, Tejada among others. GM Sabean, the man of the 'band-aid cures' for the team. Sure, the Giants finally won the two World Series - as they will remind you- but only because of PEDs,, namely Melky Cabrera and, indirectly, Jose Guillen as previously mentioned - and a number of other 'suspicious' players we've talked about in the past... Even with the extra 'help' the Giants didn't come close this year. Now they have a couple over paid , aging pitchers in Lopez and Tim Hudson, plus , for that matter, Tim Lincecum. Why not add Vogelsong to that list, though he only got one year, amazingly.
It looks like it's all about marketing for the San Francisco Giants. Frankly, the only thing thats going to give Tim Lincecum a semblance of the greatness he had in his early years is if he gets 'help' from an outside source, if you know what we mean. And, that may be what GM Sabean and President Baer -long known for espousing ' win at any cost ' - are counting on in signing their popular , thin , right hander to a $35 million, two year contract. Lincecum will be the second highest paid Giant, yet with one of the worst records. For the early part of the season and last year he had the worst ERA in the league among regular starters. So, he improved the latter half of 2013 for whatever reasons. Is that still enough to throw $17 million a year at him? . We never believed he would ever have been brought back to the Giants after two years in a row of below 4.00 ERA baseball. Remember how greatful local fans were when the Giants didn't have to pick up that 5 year 200 million contract? Lincecum's overall performance the past two years isn't even mediocre. Except for games, against the weak Western division teams like Houston (now in the American League) , Lincecum got lit up. He gave up 44 homers this year . Even Barry Zito had a better record than Lincecum last year - and Zito is 35 years old.
So we have this new contract after Thin Tim comes off his third losing season in a row with a mediocre 4.36 ERA. Yeah, he had a no-hitter in which he threw 144 pitches -against the weakest link, Houston Astros -which is just one reason to suspect that he might be getting that needed 'help.' He also raised his velocity back up to 91, which is also interesting, indicative that he already started getting 'help.' But help or not, you can't expect Lincecum to do any better as he gets older than what he did this year. You've got only so much to work with. Perhaps the Giants don't mind over-paying since they got a good deal in Lincecum's early years.
If the Giants will be happy with a third or fourth man starter losing more games than he wins, that's what they'll be getting in Lincecum- even with that 'help.' (You can't make a superstar out of a now average player, even with 'help.' ) Perhaps they feel Lincecum - a likable yet flaky guy - is the 'face of the franchise ' to whom local fans can relate in the most liberal city of San Francisco - the only place where the smell of marijuana permeates the stadium during World Series games. Of course, Lincecum is a known marijuana user, himself. And so what if it were found out he was using PEDs to bring up his velocity and game; the fans had no problem , in fact, they loved Barry Bonds for a decade - and still do, even after he admitted to using steroids and having perjured himself in court. Not to mention the band of other Gaint Taints as in Melky, Mota, Guillen and going back to Rich Aurillia, Matt Williams, Bonds - over 20 INDICTED players (Mitchell Report and recent suspensions) many of whom gave the Giants very unfair advantages in regular season and resulting in Playoffs and World Series. Take away just two of those guys , Cabrera and Guillen, and the Giants would never even have been in the the only two World Series victories they've seen in 60 years. Only in San Francisco.
The Giants have similarly hung on to players like Pablo 'Panda' Sandoval, whom other teams would have dismissed long ago, after numerous issues (from poor performance to continually being overweight to even being involved in a sex scandal). Only in San Francisco.
One wonders, however, why the Giants ever let Brian Wilson go to the Dodgers. Wilson had 'San Francisco' written all over him, with the beard and his eccentricities. Fans loved him. Yet when he was gone
it didn't seem to really bother the fans that much. (Wilson, at this point, would seem to have much more value to the team than Lincecum, what with his sub 1.00 ERA this year. ) Wilson, no doubt, wasn't the 'yes man' on which the Giants depend. He didn't want to have to come back to ATT for a public party - that would show 'how great' the Giants treated him - just to get his World Series ring. Similarly, there are reasons that announcer Hank Greenwald, owner Bill Neucomb , trainer Stan Conte and others quietly - or not-so-quiety- walked away from the Giants. And, if Lincecum were not re-signed, the fans would probably quickly forget and still be back for whatever it is that Baer and Co. put in their drink that lures them to the ATT ballpark. Half price tickets? Players with cute names like Panda and Giraffe? . Un-natural, win-at -all-costs (well, not always) PED baseball? The Giants management are the Obamas of baseball, pulling the wool over the eyes, purportedly giving people what they want - until something happens.
Leave it to Baer and company to do whatever it takes to win. And, if they can't win, at least they got their so-called 150+ sell outs. And lots and lots of MONEY.
TIM LINCECUM and 'MORE MONEY BALL' - SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS COUGH IT UP AGAIN