All Time San Francisco Giants Starting 9: 1980-89

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The 70s are here.

The number is my WAR, made from combining baseball-reference and Davenport.  

C Bob Brenly 1984 4.4
-This becomes the second best catching season yet.  

1B Will Clark 1989 9.15
-The best season in the decade; the new best first base season yet.  

2B Joe Morgan 1982 5.3
-Morgan ties Madlock with the top second base season yet.  And he hit that homer.

SS Juan Uribe 1987 3.25
-Only the fifth best shortstop season yet; that's what happens when LeMaster "fills" the position for the first half of the decade.

3B Darrell Evans 1980 4.0
-Of the 8 best third base performances through '89, only one, this one from Evans in '80, is from this decade.

LF Kevin Mitchell 1989 7.45
-Like Clark had the best first base season yet, so did Mitch in left- no wonder we won the pennant.

CF Brett Butler 1988 6.25
-The first decade where Mays wasn't the CF; this is tied for the tenth top CF season through '89.

RF Chili Davis 1986 4.15
-The 11th best RF performance through '89 was the best of the 80s.

SP Vida Blue 1980 5.15
-Holy cow.  Do you know how many better Giants pitching performances there were from '58-'79 than this, the best Giants starting pitching performance of the entire decade?


RP Greg Minton 1982 6.45
-The new best relief performance yet.  

Bizarro Giant:

SS Johnny LeMaster 1982 1.8
Second worst Giant of the decade?  LeMaster two years before.  

#FarewellCandlestick: The 100 Greatest Moments in Candlestick Park History #89

#90 is here.

#89 December 6, 1984 Niners Hit the Vikes for 51

It is entirely possible that the best team in NFL history was the 1984 49ers.  At the time of this writing, no team has won more games.  The regular season high point was this 51-7 demolition of Minnesota; over 500 yards of offense, 3 Montana scores; 125 receiving yards for Renaldo Nehemiah.  It might be the most seamless performance by the team of the decade.

Tomorrow #88

NL Playoffs - A Giant Fan Roots for the Dodgers

Let's start with the prediction first.

Braves v. Dodgers
Cards v. Pirates

-The Braves were significantly better than LA, with a 9 pythag win advantage. Nonetheless, three factors have me picking LA.

1. Kershaw/Greinke

Clayton Kershaw's the best pitcher in baseball; he's a young, power arm going good right now.  He's more likely to blow through the postseason than implode.  Add Greinke, who had a terrific second half; Ryu, and a back end Jansen/Wilson combo and I just love those arms in the postseason.

2. Slumping Braves

JUpton in October is not JUpton from April; McCann and especially Uggla have fallen apart in the second half.  Note, by slump, I don't mean the last two weeks, the last two weeks of a baseball season don't provide any type of mystical momentum - I mean the entire second half of the season.

3. Puig/Hanley
-The current Dodger team of Puig and especially Hanley hasn't been the season long team - over the course of the year, Atlanta was better - but today, I think it's LA and I think they win the series.

-The Cards pythag advantage is 13 wins over the Pirates - the lineup additions of Morneau/Byrd and the corresponding Cardinal loss of Craig closes that gap a little, but not to the degree that other series is closer than the season numbers would have it appear.  The Cards were the best team in the NL over the course of the season and, to whatever degree that matters in a short series, I'd predict their victory here.

A Cards/Dodgers series would sort of test my current view of the postseason - that what you want is a stars and scrubs team.  For the long regular season, the best way to get to a hundred win pythag (like the Cards) is a deep and talented roster - but for a short series, I want the best players.  St Louis has a deeper team, but LA has the best position player (Hanley) and pitcher (Kershaw) and that's the way I'm likely to go.

I think I'm rooting for the Dodgers, which would be a matter of first impression for this lifelong Giants fan.

There are two reasons.

1. I want to suffer a little bit.

Maybe that's Puritanism; I don't feel worthy of our recent success.  My thought process is we need a wakeup call; this was a sleepy Giants season where it was decided that bringing back last year's group, with the ancient second baseman and the hole in left field would keep us competitive.  It didn't, and our initial postseason reaction (bring back Pence instead of, say, bidding for Choo) doesn't fill me with a lot of hope.

The Dodgers have a billion dollars; we've caught a break in their largely being a relatively dumb organization about maximizing that money, but my thought is a Dodger pennant might move the ball toward what I think is really needed - a San Francisco Giants understanding of the new potency of their lifelong enemy.  We need to spend more money, and given that even if that happened we'd still be at a disadvantage in the arms race, we need to become smarter about the ways we spend that money.

2. Who would I root for against Brian Wilson?

Brian Wilson's a Giant hero for life; if he's standing on the mound in Atlanta with the fans doing that moronic Tomahawk Chop - my emotional reaction won't be to root for their satisfaction at his expense.  I'll want him to win.

That calculus doesn't change much against St Louis.  If it's Dodgers/Pirates, I'm likely to prefer the downtrodden Bucs.  But Brian Wilson against teams I actively dislike - I'd rather he won.  Maybe our faces should be stuck in it. Sabean said last week he's sign Barry Zito all over again.  Last year Barry Zito made 20 million dollars and put up the worst WAR in San Francisco history.  But flags fly forever.  That's how I feel about Wilson.

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