Tuesday, February 07, 2006


It Ain't Easy Being Greene

Ok, we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief. Yamid Haad will not be the Giants' backup catcher in 2006. Not if Todd Greene has anything to say about it. Today the Giants signed Greene to a minor league deal, theoretically bringing him in to compete with Haad and Justin Knoedler. However, given Brian Sabean's love of the vets and Greene's Giant-killing history, it's probably his job to lose.

Once upon a time, Baseball Prospectus predicted that Greene would turn into a 40-homer pounding DH with some AL team. Not exactly one of their better forecasts. And for some reason Greene seemed to take some sick pleasure in beating the Giants the past few years. He went 6-17 with two homers against them last year and has a ridiculous .333/.407/.750 career line against them (six homers in 48 at-bats). If he faced Kirk Rueter every time up, Greene would be an MVP (but then again, who wouldn't be in recent years?).

As backup catchers go, Greene is pretty good. His defense is apparently average at best and he can't work a walk to save his life, but he does have a lot of pop and he at least makes opposing pitchers think twice before grooving a first pitch fastball, which is a lot more than you can say about a guy like "G" Haad. He also hits lefties pretty well. It's a minor-league contract, which means basically zero risk, and he's one of the better backups and is oodles better than Haad, who I'm pretty sure I could strike out with my wrong hand. Also, he's pretty much a better hitter than Mike Matheny, so if Matheny got hurt, he could fill in more than adequately for a few weeks, so I like this deal a lot.

Other random Stankeye stuff:

-Barry Bonds is apparently getting his own reality TV show on ESPN. I can't imagine this being even remotely interesting. I mean, when you're following the plights of a decrepit, washed-up rocker like Ozzy Osbourne, whose manic, incoherent ravings are broken only by swaths of profanity, and whose ass-ugly kids would raise anybody's eroding self-esteem, it's a 10 on the entertainment scale because these people are interesting, if in a morbid kind of way.

But Bonds? He's not exactly the most charismatic fellow in the universe. His off-field persona is one of a surly, standoffish jerk who insults media members and hates whitey. Why would watching him sit around on his Barcalounger bitching at people be any kind of fun? And isn't this concept the sort of egocentric ploy that has the media hating Bonds in the first place?

- I ran across Lindy's 2006 Scouting Report at the bookstore today, and found some of the usual stupid scout quotes that mix the cliched and hopelessly subjective with the just flat out wrong. Any publication that refuses to realize that Neifi Perez is an abominable hitter isn't worth two cents.

Some of the dumber comments came from the Mike Matheny profile, which isn't surprising given how every coach, pitcher and scout want to take a little hike with Matheny to Brokeback Mountain based on his defense and magical game-calling abilities. Here's some of what they had to say. I'm paraphrasing because I don't have the book in front of me. If scouts are afraid of losing their jobs and reputations to the stat revolution, maybe they should start using their brains instead of just their vaunted "eyes".

"Anything he gives with his bat is gravy."
Not really. Since Matheny had his best year with the bat last season, we'll cut him some slack. But on a team that couldn't score runs, his .701 OPS didn't exactly help matters. I'd take a mediocre game-calling catcher with an .800 OPS any day.

"He just takes control of the game."
Wrong. Just...wrong. What the hell does this even mean? I swear that's an exact quote. How do you prove that? No numbers, no anything, just a random statement that I'm sure is based on his reputation alone. Yeah, Matheny took control in all those games the Giants won last year. All 75 of them. I don't mean to pile on Matheny, but crap like this is why we're paying him way too much money while he'll be a serious detriment to the Giants' winning cause with his punchless bat.

-Today is the one-year anniversary of this blog's birth. It's been a rocky ride, with at least two long layoffs and semi-regular posting even when active. Anyway thanks to those who have kept reading (mostly just friends who feel sorry for me and depraved lunatics who like ALF references) and those other bloggers who were kind enough to add me to their blogroll. Here's hoping the next year will be a little more consistent.

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