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10.17.2006

More Managerial Machinations 

This morning brings reports that the Giants are interested in talking to Bruce Bochy, the Padre manager who has permission to shop himself around.

First question: Why is the Padres front office practically pushing Bochy out the door, stopping short of actually firing him? Here's what CEO Sandy Alderson told the San Diego Union-Tribune: "He may very well not go to San Francisco. If he doesn't and comes back to the Padres, my hope is we have a happier, more content and more motivated Padres employee than we would have otherwise. There is only one way to (prove) to somebody that the grass is not greener, and that's to allow somebody to roll around it a little while."

Other than being an excellent metaphor, it's totally disingenuous. If the Padres were totally content with Bochy, they wouldn't grant him permission. Full stop. So what's their beef with him? For the record: 12 years in San Diego, four division titles, one NL pennant, 1996 Manager of the Year. His middle name is Douglas, and he is the only manager in ML history born in France. C'est vrai!

Second question: Are the Giants willing to give a big contract to a manager not named Lou? Jon Heyman of SI.com doesn't think so: "There's been talk that the Giants might be interested, but like the Padres, the Giants aren't expected to want to spend big bucks on a manager (Bochy is due $1.9 million in 2007)."

Again from the SDUT, here's an anonymous Giant official with a poor command of English grammar and syntax: "Sabes thinks [Bochy] runs the pitching good, and we've got a lot of young pitchers," said the Giants official. "That's something we've got to be concerned with – somebody who can run the pitching. Sabes likes the way Boch runs the pitching, not only running the pitching, but the way he runs a game on the field. He thinks Boch does a good job."

Third question: How interested in star power are the Giants when it comes to managers? Again, other than Lou Piniella, would any hire really generate enough buzz to boost attendance? Even with Kooky Lou, any attendance blip would quickly subside if the team got out to a slow start next spring. Bochy is a familiar face, but his marketing sizzle quotient is just a tick above that of Ron Wotus, i.e., somewhere between "Yawn" and "Mm-hm, uh-huh, yep, that's nice, dear."

Speaking of running the pitching good, here's BP's Kevin Goldstein on a Giant farmhand not named Lincecum:

In a system desperate for a breakout performer, [Billy] Sadler was just that this year--reaching Triple-A while compiling a 2.43 ERA in 55.2 innings of relief with 79 strikeouts and just 28 hits allowed. The 25-year-old has made three appearances so far in Arizona, and he's been almost untouchable. He's faced a total of 11 batters, given up a single, walked one, coaxed a couple of groundball outs, and struck out the other seven, including three of the four lefthanders he has faced. He has two plus pitches with a fastball/curve combination, is a bit of a late bloomer at 25, but should be competing for a big league bullpen job in spring training.

Cheap Lefty analysis, based on two innings I saw Sadler pitch in September: He better not allow any baserunners because he won't be able to hold them on. His move to the plate is painfully slow. Also known as "Nen Slow." No matter how good his stuff, it's a big flaw in his game. The only relief pitcher who could compensate for a Nen-Slow move to the plate was Robb Nen, because he threw lots of Nen-K's.

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