I still get emails telling me what a mediocre general manager Brian Sabean is, how he’s made some bad signings and how he overpays for players and how he never got a power hitter for this year’s team and how he let Carlos Beltran get away. All I know is the Giants now are in the World Series for the third time in his tenure. How bad is that?

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  1. Dr Nick

    Looks like Beltran picked the wrong team…

    October 23rd, 2012 11:57 am

  2. Stan

    I think after the A’s magic that couldn’t be topped? Sabean has topped it..and could cap it with a World Champs trophy.
    And its just eery how Scuturo is Ross and Huff of 2010.
    Perfect games,multi Cy Young winners, That incredible sellout streak-no old timer ever thought that was remotely possible.
    It like Sabean says “Whatever Beane can do,I can do better”..and he has.

    October 23rd, 2012 12:07 pm

  3. lameduck

    The Giants have the best coaching staff in baseball.

    October 23rd, 2012 12:29 pm

  4. Brady

    Not everything has worked out but that is part of the job. You take calculated risks and, over time, you’ll end up successful.

    Which is exactly what he’s done.

    October 23rd, 2012 12:50 pm

  5. gary

    Lowell, you are correct to point out the excellent job Sabean has done this year.
    Bottom line, his July trades have helped the Giants tremendously, without giving away the future. And that sure sepeates him from the
    Doggers front office—huge check book and all

    October 23rd, 2012 1:33 pm

  6. JayT

    I agree – I’m always shocked by these people complaining about Sabean on the radio. Let’s see, we’ve now gone to 2 world series in three years, both times largely because of moves he made during the season. Scutaro was a brilliant pickup that didn’t make headlines, but I think we can all agree it was the best mid season acquisition in the entire league.

    October 23rd, 2012 1:43 pm

  7. Steve

    I’ve been guilty of bemoaning some of the overpriced acquisitions, but nobody bats 1000, and as Brady says, it’s part of the job. No question Sabean is the best exec in the Bay Area, regardless of the sport, and likely the best GM in all of baseball. It’s likely the Giants would have made the playoffs last year as well, if not for Posey’s unfortunate injury. Sabean has put together an incredible team, from the front office on down, and as a retired supervisor with personnel responsibilities, I can tell you that’s very, very difficult. This off season promises to be most interesting.

    October 23rd, 2012 3:08 pm

  8. Dave T

    What Sabean has done as a whole is simply one of the best jobs in baseball. The ability to stockpile young talent in their own system has built this team and not their checkbook. Let’s look at a breakdown of the players by position and see where they are from. If I am wrong here or there, but I think I will be pretty close:

    Cain- Developed in Organization (DIO)
    Lincecum- DIO
    Baumgardner- DIO
    Zito- Free Agent
    Vogelsong- Original draft pick, traded and now back. Close to DIO.

    Affeldt- FA
    Lopez- Trade
    Romo- DIO
    Wilson- DIO

    Posey- DIO

    Arias- FA Minor League Deal
    Nady- Trade/Waivers

    With the majority being DIO or trade, that is an outstanding job by your GM. Sure he has had some big misses, who hasn’t as a GM? But his hits, especially recently, have been huge. A job well done again by Sabean and I tip my cap to him. Let’s bring home another WS Championship Giants!

    October 23rd, 2012 3:19 pm

  9. Kathy

    All I keep thinking is Sabean has twice in the last three years traded for a player who seemed ordinary to most onlookers the day of the trade, but those players went on to become MVP of the NLCS.

    And agree with Dave T that the farm system is greatly improved during Sabean’s tenure.

    October 23rd, 2012 3:38 pm

  10. Dave T

    It is a minor league system that has produced 2 NL Cy Youngs (Lincecum) 1 No Hitter (Sanchez) 1 Perfect Game (Cain), 1 NL Rookie of the Year and likely 1 NL MVP (Posey). They have traded away some talent for sure (Who can forget the Joe Nathan and Francisco Liriano deal for Pierzynski?) But the accolades for the talent they have developed is huge.

    October 23rd, 2012 3:55 pm

  11. Dennis

    Hell, even the Zito deal is starting to look good. Who knew? But I think perhaps his greatest move as the Giants GM has got to be bring in Bruce Bochy

    October 23rd, 2012 4:54 pm

  12. Zach

    Only three teams have been to the World Series 3+ times since 2000 and the Giants are one of them Brian Sabean is the longest tenured and best GM in the game; lets not forget he helped hire Bruce Bochy, they best manager in baseball.

    October 23rd, 2012 5:46 pm

  13. KezarMike

    Thank you for posting this Lowell. Brian Sabean is simply the best in the business, that’s all. What did he do just THIS off season? Oh, only getting Melky, Arias, Theriot, ANGEL! How’s that for improving the team. And then of course Scutaro!!! His acquisitions for the 2010 championship year are legendary in SF Giants’ lore of course. Even his strategy during the Bonds years (giving away high draft choices, signing older players) really did work, a number of playoff teams, and just a few outs from a WS victory (not his fault, he got Rob Nenn a few years before that). He’s gotten top players that have helped us win from the first big trade he made in 1997 for Jeff Kent. And yes, in rebuilding this team, his recent no.1 draft choices? Uhm … only Cain, Lincecum, Bumgarner & Posey, kinda helped us get to two WS already. (some lower picks not too shabby either) And hiring managers? He’s been OK at that too (ha). If Sabean and Bochy are not the best in the business, then who’s better?

    October 23rd, 2012 8:28 pm

  14. KezarMike

    Oh, and excuse me, did Sabean have anything to do with signing Ryan Vogelsong?

    October 23rd, 2012 8:30 pm

  15. Johnc

    I give Sabean credit for his moves but I stick by my contention that Sabean let Beltran get away. In 151 games this year Beltran hit 32 homeruns and drove in 97 RBIs. Beltr├ín owns the highest slugging percentage (.819) and on base plus slugging percentage (1.297) in the history of the postseason although he’s only been there three times in his 15-year career.
    Let’s see how the Giants do against Detroit under the big lights before we get too carried away .

    October 24th, 2012 12:43 am

  16. Nancy R

    Carlos Beltran is unfairly criticized because his relaxed, natural style playing baseball is interpreted as a lack of effort. Of all the Cardinal players he was the only one who consistently got hits off Giant pitchers during the playoffs. But none of his teammates hit him in. I think he is a fine person and one of the most naturally talented players I have ever seen. I hope he gets a win in a future World Series with the Cards to cap off his stellar career. 2012 was Scutaro’s and the Giants year.

    October 24th, 2012 3:48 am

  17. CohnZohn

    Johnc, You make a good point. Please allow me to respectfully offer a counter argument. The Giants are in the Series and Beltran and his team are done.

    October 24th, 2012 8:35 am

  18. Zach

    Brian Sabean is the longest tenured GM baseball; he has survived an ownership change, two managerial changes, and the Bonds fiasco years of 05-07. Bottom Line: He is one of the best GMs in baseball. Produce a list of GMs you think are better; if you look at it fairly, I think your list will be short.

    October 24th, 2012 5:44 pm

  19. David

    Verlander is the best pitcher in baseball? Looks like nobody told the Giants! Once again, are there ANY baseball announcers worse than these 2 clowns?

    October 24th, 2012 6:18 pm

  20. David

    The announcers just said “Zito batting against Verlander was the biggest mismatch in the game.” Guess nobody told Zito!

    October 24th, 2012 6:40 pm

  21. Neal

    I will give Sabean his due, he is 1/2 good and 1/2 bad, I guess that makes a successful GM, 3 World Series trips, he has made a ton of mistakes, recently Rowand, Freddie Sanchez and Huff. But even Zito mighty be resigned the way he is pitching. If Hunter Pence keeps playing like crap, I hope Sabean does not offer him a big contract, anyone can look good in that little band box in Phili, well Rowand did and he is out of baseball now,

    October 24th, 2012 8:49 pm

  22. ga's

    I just love it when Sabean says, “San Francisco is a Baseball Town Now.” Pretty is, and will be when the 49ers leave for the burbs…imho.

    October 24th, 2012 10:18 pm

  23. Johnc

    The fact that Beltran plays for the Cardinals does not belie the fact that the Giants would be even better with him on board during the 2012 season and playoffs.
    The Giants were too cheap to go out and get him.
    We got Pence instead( who I like) but he is no Beltran.

    October 24th, 2012 11:31 pm

  24. Dave T

    I like Beltran, he is a solid player and puts up numbers. But how is he in the clubhouse? These past two Giants teams have had close knit clubhouses that truly believe in and play for one another. Lowell, maybe you can shed some light on how he fit in the clubhouse. You can hit all you want, but I think come playoff time, team chemistry is just as important if not more so. Team chemistry is why Blanco and Pagan and Pence go all out to make those plays in the outfield, not just a desire to win, it is not wanting to let their teammates down. Lowell?

    October 25th, 2012 10:54 am

  25. CohnZohn

    Dave T, Everything I know about Beltran is that he is a good teammate.

    October 25th, 2012 10:56 am

  26. Michael O'Donnell

    Sabean used to drive me nuts with his mantra ‘draft for pitchers and trade for bats.’ Problem was he rarely drafted good pitchers and never traded for good bats. Then along came Wilson, Cain, Lincecum, Bumgarner, and Sandoval, Posey, Belt, and Crawford. Then he became jedi like in executing midseason trades. And suddenly he went from being a good GM to one of the best in Giant history. It seems clear he learned from mistakes and is the main reason the Giants are about to win it all twice in three years.

    October 25th, 2012 11:02 pm

  27. Dave T


    That was my take on Beltran too. I guess he looked at the landscape of the Giants and decided his best chance to win a World Series was with the Cardinals, and perhaps they will yet with him, they are a very good team. But for now, I think all has worked out as it should. Kind of reminds me of Marian Hossa and what he did leaving the Penguins following their loss to the Red Wings in the Finals, then signing with the Red Wings the next year, promptly losing in the finals to the Penguins, then he signed with the Black Hawks and won a Stanley Cup. All reports are that he was a good person in the locker room as well. Just had to find his right fit. I wish Beltran well, and hope the Giants continue their run, what a ride it has been.

    October 26th, 2012 10:43 am

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