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Here's the thing. I'm watching one of these shows on the Cooking Channel featuring food trucks. There's a Scottish expat making fish and chips; in a thick brogue he somewhat wearily explains his irritation with Americans who habitually order a side of tartar sauce: "tartar sauce is basically gherkins." That's this blog. I claim no particular insight, no revelation. If you enjoy the flavor, great, but this blog is basically gherkins.

Five Decades of San Francisco Giants - The Eighties

Friday, July 23, 2010

You can get to '58-79 here.

The best SFG team through '79 was the NL pennant winner in '62, unsurprisingly - it had a pythag of 100-65 - the other 90 pythag win teams:

-'63 = 90
-'65 = 91
-'67 = 93
-'68 = 90

The top 5 individual SFG seasons through '79 all belonged to Mays.

1. '65
2. '64
3. '63
4. '58
5. '62

Bringing us to 1980. 

1980 (73-88)
C May (WARP 1.6/WAR 1.6)
1B Ivie -1.1/-.3
2B Stennett -1.1/-1
SS Lemaster -2/-1.5
3B Evans4.8/3.8
LF Whitfield 1.4/.5
CF North 2.9/2.1
RF Clark 3.6/4.5
P Blue 6/4.3
   Knepper 1.4/.7
   Whitson 4/2.6
   Montefusco .1/-.3
   Ripley .5/.5
   Holland 3.6/2.9
   Griffin 2.4/2.3
Cl Minton 3.8/2.6

-Although neither was particularly extraordinary, Evans and Vida's seasons will hold up for the rest of the decade - even the good seasons at decade's end still doesn't bring about a pitching season that matched Blue's 1980.  I haven't done as well as is ideal of tracking the worst seasons, as I'll put up a companion "All Time Bad SFG Team" with my greatest ever SFG seasons post - but this LeMaster season isn't quite going to cut it.  I think the worst SFG seasons through 1980 are the following (I'll go back and check when it's all done).

C Barton '69
1B Ivie '80
2B Miller '75
SS Pagan '74
3B Reitz '76
LF Gabrielson '66
CF Joshua '76
RF J Alou '66
P Moffitt '79
Cl Johnson '72

1981 (57-54)
C May 1.9/1.3
1B Cabell -1.1/-1.5
2B Morgan 2.6/1.9
SS Lemaster -.2/.3
3B Evans 2.6/2.8
LF Herndon 2.2/1.9
CF Martin -.4/-1
RF Clark 2.7/3
P Alexander 4.6/3.3
Griffin 1.4/.7
Blue 4/3
Whitson .7/.3
Ripley .4/.1
Cl Minton 2.6/1.4

-Cabell supplants Ivie, from just the previous year, as the worst 1B season in SFG history.  I'm gonna go back right now and run through the worst seasons to see if I've missed one.  I did.  It's accurate now as the worst San Francisco Giants through '80.  No, it's not an accident that I start thinking of the worst Giants ever as opposed to the best when we get to the late 70s and I become a Giants fan.  There were easier teams to root for.

1982 (79-83)
C May 1.6/2.6
1B Smith 2.9/2.6
2B Morgan 5.8/4.8
SS Lemaster -1.1/-2.5
3B O'Malley .7/.7
3B Evans 3.2/2.1
LF Leonard -.1/-.8
CF Davis 2.3/1.7
RF Clark 4.1/3.7
P Laskey 4.8/3.6
Hammaker 1.5/.6
Gale 1.1/.4
Martin -.5/-.9
Lavelle 4/2.4
Breining 3/2
Barr 2.2/2.1
Cl Minton 7.4/5.5

-'82 was fun, the Niners had won the Super Bowl in January, and for much of the season it sort of seemed as if the Giants had a similar shot - we outplayed our pythag and were in it until the final weekend - this was the Joe Morgan year knocking off the Dodgers, my favorite baseball moment to that point.  Morgan's season holds up as the best for a Giants 2B in the 80s - and knocks off Madlock's to be the best from '58-'89 - and right next to him is LeMaster - and his '82 not only moves him past Pagan as the worst SFG SS season to that date - but this is the worst season for any SFG through the '82 season.  Morgan's giving us our best 2B season and right next to him Lemaster has the worst season for any Giant in their history to that date.  Our best player in '82 was Minton - his is the best season for a Giants closer in the 80s, the best season for a Giants closer from '58-89, and the fifth best SFG season overall for any Giant in the decade. 

1983 (80-82)
C Brenly 2.6/1
1B Evans 6.1/3.8
2B Wellman -1.1/-.7
SS Lemaster .5/.7
3B O'Malley 1/0
LF Leonard 2.2/3.2
CF Davis 1.4/1.3
RF Clark 4.4/3.6
Youngblood 2.4/1.9
P Breining 2.5/1.5
Krukow 2/1.3
Hammaker 5/4.2
Laskey 1.3/.7
Davis 1.4/1.2
Cl Minton 1.7/.7

-Did Bill Laskey die this year?  Am I making that up?  I think so, yeah.  Who am I confusing for Bill Laskey?

1984 (69-93)
C Brenly 5.3/3.5
1B Oliver -.2/-1.2
2B Trillo .5/.5
SS Lemaster .4/-1.5
3B Youngblood -.9/-.4
LF Leonard 3.7/3.1
CFGladden 3.8/3.1
Davis 4.8/4.9
RF Clark 2.5/2.4
P Laskey 1.3/.7
Krukow .1/0
Davis -1.1/-1.1
Robinson .2/.1
Lavelle 3.3/2.5
Cl Minton 1.7/.6

-It falls through the floor here - the worst SFG team to date is when I'm 13, 1984 (and then the next year is even worse) at the time the Niners are building the definitive NFL dynasty of a generation, the Giants are playing their worst ever baseball in front of league worst attendance.  Brenly is the note here - his '84 is our best catcher season of the 80s.

1985 (67-95)
C Brenly 2.1/.6
1B Green -.4/-.5
2B Trillo 0/.9
SS Uribe .3/1
3B Brown 2.7/2.7
LF Leonard -.9/-1.2
CF Gladden -.2/.9
RF Davis 3.9/2.6
P LaPoint 2.6/1.4
Krukow 4.3/3.3
Hammaker 1.7/.8
Gott 2/1.5
Cl Garrelts 3.5/2.1

-My house burned down in '85.  Included in that destruction was my 1970 team autographed ball.  Wasn't as bad as watching this team lose every day. 

1986 (90-72)
C Brenly 3.6/3
1B Clark 3.5/2
2B Thompson 3.6/3.1
SS Uribe 2.9/2.1
3B Brown 2.2/3
LF Leonard 1/1.3
CF Gladden 3.2/3.2
RF Davis 4.4/3.9
P Krukow 4.7/3.2
LaCoss 1.3/.5
Blue 2.1/1.1
Downs 1.8/1.4
Mason -.7/-.8
Cl Garrelts 3.4/1.9

-And then it got better - Clark and Thompson came up, we didn't play to our pythag - but that 90 win mark makes this the best SFG club of my lifetime to that date (and then a year later - it got better).  '85 was bottom, '86 was the year it turned around.  A couple more arms would have been useful - really in the entire decade, there wasn't a SFG club that didn't cry out for a legit ace.

1987 (93-69)
C Brenly 4.6/3
1B Clark 5.4/4
Aldrete 3.8/4.3.2
2B Thompson 2.1/1.2
SS Uribe 3.6/2.9
Speier 1.8/2.1
3B Mitchell 2.7/2.8
LF Leonard .3/.7
CF Davis .9/1.4
RF Maldonado 1.6/2.7
P Downs 2.9/1.7
LaCoss 2.3/1.3
Hammaker 2.7/1.8
Krukow .3/-.6
Dravecky 2.6/1.7
J. Robinson 2.8/1.5
D. Robinson 2/1
Cl Garrelts 3/1.6

-Our best team of the decade, our best team since the '67 Giants had a 93 win pythag, but only Uribe's '87 holds up as the best positional season of the decade - note that Speier, whose '72 campaign was the best season for any SFG SS from '58-89, solidly backed up in '87.  I would think a 93 win pythag without a single player having a 5.0 WARP3 is rare - and without a single pitcher hitting 3.0 is less common than that.

1988 (86-76)
C Melvin .9/.8
1B Clark 8.4/6.3
2B Thompson 3.5/3.4
SS Uribe 1.7/1
3B Mitchell 3.8/2.3
Riles 1.8/2.1
LF Aldrete 1.9/1.1
CF Butler 5.9/6.6
RF Maldonado .5/-.6
P Reuschel 4.9/3.3
Downs 2.5/1.8
Krukow 1.4/1.1
Lacoss .6/.2
Robinson 3.2/2.5
Cl Garrelts .5/-.3

-We were carried by Clark and Butler in '88, Butler's season is the best for any CF in the 80s - the 4th best overall season for any SFG in the decade - and Clark's season is the 3rd best for any SFG in the decade, although it won't hold up as the best 1B year, 'cause the pennant is right around the corner. 

1989 (92-70)
C Kennedy 2.1/1.2
1B Clark 9.8/8.5
2B Thompson 4.6/5.9
SS Uribe 2.8/.2
Williams 1.2/2.7
3B Riles 1.7/1.8
LF Mitchell 8.1/6.8
CF Butler 4.7/1.8
RF Maldonado 1.1/.7
P Reuschel 3.9/2.7
Robinson 2.3/1.8
Garrelts 4.5/3.9
Downs -1.2/-1.2
Cl Lefferts 1.6/.5

-The two best SFG seasons of the decade led us to our first pennant since '62; Clark/Mitch went 1-2 in best SFG performances of the 80s.  That makes 3 of 4 seasons with 90+ pythag wins, the best stretch of SFG baseball since the early 60s. 

1980s 25 Man Roster
C Brenly '84
    Brenly '87
1B Clark '89
      Clark '88
2B Morgan '82
     Thompson '89
SS Uribe '87
      Uribe '86
3B Evans '80
      Mitchell '88
LF Mitchell '89
      Leonard '84
CF Butler '88
      Davis '84
RF Davis '86
      Clark '80
P Blue '80
   Hammaker '83
   Reuschel '88
   Laskey '82
   Krukow '86
   Alexander '81
   Krukow '85
Cl Minton '82
     Minton '80
   

All Time Bizarro SFG Team '58-89
C Barton '69
1B Cabell '81
2B Miller '75
SS Lemaster '82
3B Reitz '76
LF Gabrielson '66
CF Joshua '76
RF J. Alou '66
P Moffitt '79
Cl Johnson '72

Top 5 1980s SFG seasons
1. Clark '89
2. Mitchell '89
3. Clark '88
4. Butler '88
5. Minton '82

Top 5 SFG Seasons '58-89
1. Mays '65
2. Mays '64
3. Mays '63
4. Mays '58
5. Mays '62

Bottom 5 SFG Seasons '58-89
1. LeMaster '82
2. Moffitt '79
3. D'AcQuisto '75
4. J Fisher '63
5. Bryant '74

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