Grant Bisbee has an excellent guest piece over at the Baseball Prospectus site … it’s a pay site, and I don’t know where this one lies on the paywall, but as always, if you aren’t a subscriber, what are you waiting for? It’s a thoughtful look at Brian Sabean, one that smartly examines how Sabes helped create a champion, written from the perspective of a stathead fan who has suffered long and hard for his Giants under Brian.
He emphasizes two points. First, that Sabean and his folks built a great pitching staff (how much of that was Sabean is unclear), and then refused to trade the best parts of that staff (which is clearly Sabean, and yes, we all know about Joe Nathan and Francisco Liriano). The Sabean Offense was so dismal, Bisbee points out, that Sabes must have been tempted on a daily basis to trade some of the great pitching for someone who could hit. But he didn’t do it, which established the strength of the championship squad.
Second, as even a hater like me has noted, Sabean is never satisfied, is always ready to make that last adjustment when necessary. As Bisbee states, “A proactive in-season approach to roster-building can be a mixed bag, but in Sabean’s case, it’s one of his strongest qualities.” And that quality definitely helped turn a crappy offense into a tolerably mediocre offense, which was just enough.
Check this article out, it’s worth your time.