It's not often that I write about baseball anymore, but I have decided to campaign for one thing in 2010: the firing of Brian Sabean. If 2010 is going to be a bad year for incumbents, it should be a bad year for the most incompetent of them all.
A brief summary of the charges:
1) Once a successful general manager, Brian Sabean's recent record features four-straight losing seasons followed by a fluke 3rd place 88-win finish. If you think the 2009 Giants were that good, I have some Icelandic bonds to sell you.
2) While an ok evaluator of pitching talent, Sabean had zero home-grown hitters of consequence on his roster between 2004 and 2008. And it's not as though he traded them away - there are no Giants draftees hitting well for any other team. Sabean was so convinced that his first and second round draft picks were worthless that he intentionally gave them away for several years by signing free agents a day early; a day later and he could have had both the free agent and the pick.
3) Sabean doesn't seem to have a clue about player valuation. He has signed many mediocre players to bad 3- or 4-year contracts, and normally, his crowning achievement would be Barry Zito's 7-year, $126 million dollar contract, which BZ has already underperformed by 40% in his first three seasons. Of course, Sabean also consummated this deal:
11/14/2003: P Joe Nathan, P Francisco Liriano and P Boof Bonser to Minnesota for C A.J. Pierzynski
Fangraphs estimates that Pierzysnki was worth about $2.3M more than the Giants paid him. Of course, Sabean non-tendered A.J. at the end of his first season in San Francisco. In true Giants fashion, they needed after-the-fact justification for releasing Pierzynski and the San Francisco Chronicle dutifully reported that he had kneed trainer Stan Conte in the nuts.
Regardless, the three players Sabean sent away for a mediocre catcher have already been worth $80 million to the Twins.
The bottom line: Brian Sabean is so incompetent that he gave away nearly $200 million in value through bad free agent signings and bad trades since the 2003 off-season. For this, he deserves to be fired.