December 2010

The Top 10 List of Non-Giants Who Should Be on Every Giants Fan’s Christmas Card List: No. 8, Bud Black

Bud Black was the National League manager of the year, and rightly so. He did a great job with the San Diego Padres this season.

More Splash Hits kept waiting all year for the Padres’ carriage to become a pumpkin, and it finally happened between Aug. 26 and Sept. 5, when the Padres went on a 10-game skid.
budblack.jpeg
It’s hard to pin the blame for that losing streak on one person, so we’ll stick it on the skipper … Bud Black.
On Aug. 25, the Padres led the second-place Giants by 6.5 games. By the time the skid was over, the Padres’ lead was down to one.

The Giants didn’t play particularly well at the start of the Padres’ slump, dropping three of four. Then they won 8 of 11 to share the lead with the Padres.

The Padres didn’t completely fold after that 10-game skid. But they drop 4 of 5 before beating the Giants in back-to-back game and forcing the Giants to clinch the NL West on the final day of the season.

Now, the Giants could have still reached the playoffs with the Padres’ slump. But it would have been as a wild card, not a division winner. So who knows what that would have meant for the Giants’ playoff run.

So thanks you Padres and Bud Black

Burrell back in the fold for 2011

Another piece of the Giants 2010 World Championship team is returning for 2011.

Pat Burrell has agreed to a one-year contract with the Giants on Wednesday. Value of the contract were not available, but More Splash Hits will guess it’s somewhere in the ballpark of $1 million or $2 million.

One the heels of the signing of Miguel Tejada, the Giants’ 2011 roster is beginning to take shape.

The next deadline to watch comes at 6 p.m. Thursday, when the Giants have to tender contract to arbitration eligible players. The Giants have eight players in that category. Five are a lock to be tendered: OF Cody Ross, OF Andres Torres, P Santiago Casilla, P Javier Lopez, P Jonathan Sanchez. P Ramon Ramirez is also candidate to be tendered, but More Splash Hits will still list him as a non-tender because the Giants have pitching depth. They could find a cheaper option. But they could also tender him, and then trade him by January. P Chris Ray and IF Mike Fontenot are good bets to be non-tendered.

With the Tejada and Burrell signings, the Giants payroll will likely rise above $110 million for 2011.

Uribe is full of hoooo-ribe

EDITOR’S NOTE: To San Francisco Giants fans with weak constitutions, we advise that you quickly avert your eyes from the below image and move quickly to the blog post below. Reader discretion is strongly advised.
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You know, for Christmas, what More Splash Hits really would like is for some free agent baseball player to come out at the press conference announcing his signing and say “You know, I really hoped I could re-sign with the team I’ve been playing with for the past couple of seasons, but this team here offered me WAY more money. So I took it. Woohoo!!”

I get so tired of players walking up to the mic and saying how their first choice was to sign with the team that just gave them a boatload of cash.

The press conference remarks from Juan Uribe after signing a three-year, $21 million deal with the Dodgers just about sent me through the roof.

“As far as leaving (the Giants), I have no control over the teams I play for,” Uribe said through a translator.

Huh-Who-What!?!?!?!

We can only assume BS doesn’t translate well from Spanish to English.

A story by San Francisco Chronicle writer Henry Schulman makes Uribe’s words sound even more hollow.

Schulman wrote that the Giants were willing to match the Dodgers’ initial offer of three years for $20 million. So the Giants let Uribe walk over $1 million? Not quite.

When the Giants said they’d match the Dodgers’ offer, the Uribe camp responded with a request of $27 million for three years. Uribe eventually came down to $25 million for three years.

The Giants declined those proposals, and Uribe signed with the Dodgers for $21 million.

So it appears that Uribe felt the Giants owed him more than what the Dodgers did, probably because of the production he gave them over the past two seasons while being paid $4.5 million.

Giants GM Brian Sabean said: “He obviously wanted to be a Dodger more than he wanted to be a Giant.”

For any Giants fans who were reluctant about booing Uribe when he shows up at AT&T Park in Dodger Blue, do you need to know anything else?

Giants turn to Miguel Tejada

One day after losing Jose Uribe to the Dodgers, the Giants filled their hole at shortstop by signing Miguel Tejada to a one-year, $6.5 million. The deal won’t become official until Tejada completes a physical.

More Splash Hits thinks this is a good deal for the Giants because they filled their hole at shortstop without making a trade.

More Splash Hits thinks this deal is not so hot because it came a bit early. But like with Aubrey Huff, the Giants are spending money to get a deal done early.

Tejada basically had a worse year in 2010 (15 HR, 71 BI, .269 AVG, .381 SLUG) than he did in 2009 with Houston (14, 86, .313. 440). Last offseason he signed a 1-year deal with Baltimore for $6. This year, a year older, he signs a $6.5 million with the Giants.

Why? Two reasons. One, the lean market of available shortstops. Two, he signed early. Last year, he signed with Baltimore in late January. Deals are better in November and December than they are in January.

In Tejada, the Giants get a cheaper version of Uribe. Cheaper, because he’s older. Tejada will turn 37 next May. Uribe turns 32 next July.

But there are similarities. Both have power. Both are sure-handed, but their range is limited. Uribe’s arm is stronger. Tejada hits for a better average. Tejada is a career .287 hitter; Uribe .256. Tejada strikes out less often.

Let’s take at the numbers for Uribe and Tejada from 2010.

UZR-Ultimate Zone Rating for Defense

Rank-UZR ranking among 64 MLB SS who played at least 100 innings at SS.

Statistics Uribe Tejada
HR 24 15
RBI 85 71
AVG .248 .268
OBP .310 .317
SLG .440 .381
SO 92 67
BB 45 30
UZR 2.1 0.1
Rank 23 30
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