Thursday, October 18, 2007

Brian Sabean Forced to Dig His Own Grave

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury-News says that, before getting his contract extension back in July, Brian Sabean was told that he had to bring some new blood into the organization to help the Giants, you know, actually develop a position player sometime this century.

Kawakami's column is good reading both in terms of the candidates Sabean may be considering for his number 2 (more on them in a minute) but also in terms of its description of the no-win situation the marching orders to hire a second in command have placed him. Basically, if Sabean finds someone who is able to turn around the Giants woeful player development program, he has given ownership someone with whom to replace Sabean himself. If he picks someone who can't get it done, it will constitute his final failure and he'll be canned anyway.

But I can ignore Sabean's sorry situation, mostly because he's more or less put himself in that unenviable situation. I'm more curious about the specific candidates he mentions: Roy Clark is his favorite, but he also mentions Mike Rizzo of the Nationals, Logan White or Kim Ng of the Dodgers, and Bill Geivett of the Rockies.

Question: Why would any of those people -- number 2s, or at least 2.5s in solid organizations with lots of young talent -- want to make what is essentially a lateral move into the sinking ship that is the San Francisco Giants? Sure, Clark may feel a bit stepped over due to Wren's ascendancy into the Braves' front office, but I kind of doubt it. That aside, if you are any of those people, why wouldn't you hold out for a bonafide GM's job instead of jumping to go clean up Sabean's mess? Even if you want to be in San Francisco, wouldn't you rather wait a year or two and take Sabean's job outright?

I think I would.

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