The more I pay attention to baseball, the more pet peeves I develop. The new one on my list is hindsight G.Ming. I was listening to Dodger Talk on the way home last night, and the first caller comes on the air, and he's not happy. He wants to know what the heck Ned was thinking offering Juan Pierre and Jason Schmidt 91 million dollars. Now first one, I agree with, I've railed on Juan Pierre enough this year to explain why. Second one, however, I just don't get. Schmidt's signing was almost universally hailed as a coup for Ned Colletti. In fact, I had one of the more negative response to the signing that I saw out there, saying that Schmidt won't be much better than Penny or Lowe this year, but I still named it the signing of the offseason. Sure, someone out there may have been against it, but I never saw any mention of it.
Therefore, I don't see how you can blame Ned for Schmidt's signing not turning out as swimmingly as it should have. There's a chance that he didn't do his homework and Schmidt was injured right off the bat. But the hiring of Stan Conte, who was the Giants trainer, this offseason I don't see how this could be the case. I'm almost certain that it's not Ned Colletti's fault for Schmidt getting hurt, and unless you can prove otherwise it's not fair to assign blame to him.
This lead to the hindsight G.M.ing I was talking about from the host, Bill Seward. The best part about this is that the moves you would have made always involve players that have panned out this season. In this case, Seward would have extended Greg Maddux for two years and put Kemp in center instead of Pierre. I don't disagree with those moves, but if you would have asked most people if they would have had Schmidt or Maddux this offseason, I doubt many would have chosen Maddux.
So, in the interest of full disclosure, I will reveal how the moves I would have made this offseason would have panned out so far in 2007. Note that I made this plan before the market went insane, so these moves probably wouldn't actually have been possible.
Rafael Furcal SS .279/.346/.368
Russell Martin C .292/.361/.464
Pat Burrell LF .212/.380/.389
Jeff Kent 2B .260/.346/.446
Craig Wilson RF .172/.304/.259
James Loney 1B .333/.333/.600
Jason Michaels CF .290/.350/.468
Wilson Betemit 3B .204/.345/.434
Brad Penny SP 2.12 ERA
Barry Zito SP 4.41 ERA
Derek Lowe SP 3.08 ERA
Aaron Heilman SP 4.18 ERA (As reliever)
Chad Billingsley SP 3.09 ERA (As reliever)
With the freedom to basically do whatever moves I want, I end up with a team that's sort of eh. There are productive hitters on the team, but my big moves, Burrell and Zito, look terrible right now. Craig Wilson isn't looking like the great stop gap to Matt Kemp I envisioned either. Conclusion, somewhere between I should spend more than two hours developing an offseason plan, or I wouldn't be a good G.M. period. Both are entirely fair. The point that I'm trying to make is that you have to critique a move based on the information a G.M. had at the time, and to put the Schmidt and Pierre signings on the same level is horribly dishonest.
A very interesting analysis up on U.S.S Mariner about whether or not it's worth trading a marquee player before you lose him.
The Padres got a nice upgrade at catcher, dealing Rob Bowen and Kyler Burker to the Cubs for Michael Barrett. Kevin Towers has been on fire since last off season, and the hits just keep coming.