Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Sabermetricize This!

While Brian Sabean has been notorious for showing his disdain for everything SABR (at one point saying "Don't give me that OBP shit"), it must be noted that this year the Giants offense is showing some of the characteristics of a SABR-devised team. Coming into today, the Giants are 1st in the National League in runs scored (136), 1st in OBP (.355), 1st in OPS (.791), and 7th in walks, and this is all without Barry Bonds and his astronomical .609 OBP.

Of course, Sabean obviously didn't construct this team in the stathead vein, as evidenced by his doling out weird contracts to Mike Matheny and Omar Vizquel. Still, it's interesting to see guys like Vizquel, Ray Durham, J.T. Snow, Edgardo Alfonso, and Moises Alou demonstrate that you don't have to have a whole lot of power to have a good offense if you can just get on base. Heck, even Pedro Feliz, regarded by many as a hopeless case for finding his plate discipline, is on pace to obliterate his career high in walks.

Of course, at the other end of the spectrum, there's that pitching. The pitching staff is like the hideous Black Tom Cassidy, scheming to bring his cousin Banshee (the offense) down (boy, is that an obscure reference). The Giants pitching represents pretty much everything sabermetrics dread, comprising a group of low strikeout soft tossers and a bullpen that is about as dysfunctional as Mama's Family. The team's pitching staff is next to last in the NL in K/BB ratio, dead last in K/9, and 12th in WHIP. Regardless of your baseball philosophy, that's pretty crummy.

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