As the Giants have made a push through this season, it has got me thinking.
Does Brian Sabean deserve better? Some credit instead of the criticism that calls for him to be run out of down? He may be a better GM than we thought.
The Giants are ahead of schedule in their "rebuilding" and were not expected to be a good team this year. Not only are the Giants an above average team with a very good base of talent, the Giants are contenders in the very weak NL. The Giants hold the lead in the wildcard, and have a decent shot to make the playoffs.
One has to give Sabean credit for putting together some very solid players. Sabean has always drafted pitchers well. Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, 25 and 24 respectively, anchor a top-notch pitching staff. Those two give the Giants an upperhand everytime they pitch. Add on a streaky but wise Randy Johnson, Jonathan Sanchez, and very good arms in the bullpen, and the pitching is set, credit to Sabean. For position players, Pablo Sandoval has been a great find. Bengie Molina and Aaron Rowand are solid signings.
Although he took a lot of heat over the last couple years, Sabean never blew up this team and started over. He held on to Lincecum and Cain when trade offers came (like Toronto's Rios for Lincecum). Sabean resigned the veterans like Molina to provide stability to this team. Sabean also held on the a very boring Bruce Boche as manager, even as the team faltered last year.
Ultimately, time will tell Sabean's fate. If the Giants continue the run and make the playoffs, Sabean is a genius. If they falter, there will be calls for Sabean's firing.
The amazing part of all of this is that the Giants are actually a real threat in the playoffs if or once they make it. Imagine a rotation of Lincecum, Cain, and Randy Johnson coming at you in series. Not many teams can hang with that level of talent, and in Johnson's case, clutch playoff experience. If the offense can muster enough to get this team to the playoffs, good things will happen.
All eyes will be on Sabean at the trade deadline. Will he got for it, or lay back and wait for the future. He can't trade his best pitchers, but the team needs a bat. Whether he can make a good trade remains to be seen.
We'll see whether this team is successful in the long run. But for now, let's give some credit and respect to Brian Sabean.