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Brian Sabean: San Francisco Giants Savior or Monumental Fool?

SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 21:   San Francisco Giants Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Sabean (L) and President and Managing General Partner Peter Magowan at a press conference announcing the Giants will not bring Barry Bonds back for the Giants 2008 season September 21, 2007 in San Francisco, California. Barry Bonds played for 15 years with the Giants and became the all-time home run leader after breaking Hank Aaron's record this year. Bonds made no indication in his statement on his website that he would be retiring.  (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)
Ronald MichieContributor IJuly 30, 2009

Probably neither.

As a Giants fan for the last fifty years, it distresses me somewhat to read all the negative comments about possibly the best GM the team has ever had. Fortunately, a lot of the younger fans never had to suffer through the painful years under the likes of Horace Stoneham, Al Rosen, Tom Haller, Spec Richardson, and Bob Quinn.

I don't throw Chub Feeney in there because I consider him the Giants best GM ever, even though he did let Orlando Cepeda go and was in charge during most of our "bridesmaid" years.

Boy, you younger fans clamoring now for Sabean's dismissal would have been frothing at the mouth in the 1960's and '70's.

In his twelve years as GM, Sabean has helped lead the Giants to one pennant, three NL West Flags, one Wild Card berth, one Wild Card tiebreaker, and twice eliminated from the playoffs on the last day.

Brian took over in 1996 and went to the playoffs in 1997.

Sabean has the ninth highest winning percentage among ALL GM's since 1950.

1997-2004 was one of the most successful eight year stretches in SF Giants history, not to mention he won executive of the year in 2003.

Yes, the Giants have struggled since 2004, but the funny thing is, all the naysayers crow about our young pitchers and excellent farm system...Sabean built that. His first losing season was 2005 and that was largely due to the Barry Bonds hangover.

Without Sabean, would we have Lincecum? Cain? Bumgarner? Posey? And yes, even though recently traded, Alderson? Probably not.

The Giants are a contending team now largely because of our GM's saavy decisions over the last four (somewhat painful) years. And despite the detractors, Sabean has built a team and farm system that should be competitive for several more years.

So before we all put Brian's head under the ax, let's be thankful that our Giants are the Wild-Card leaders (a position that no baseball pundit, even the most faithful Giant fan thought we would be in).

Trust me, I have been on some wild roller coaster years with our Giants over the past fifty years, but never have I felt more comfortable about our future. A World Series Championship? I don't know. But a team that we can all be proud of for a long time to come? I say definitely!

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