Greek Giant

As expected, the Giants made headlines around baseball yesterday by officially announcing Bob Melvin as their new Manager in a press conference at Willie Mays Field. Bob Melvin’s contract runs through 2026, making it a three-season deal.

Here is the press conference:

For Melvin, a Bay Area native, this is a dream job, a not-so-small detail that could have a big impact on his performance and his reception by the fan base. Journalists were careful to note that Melvin was visibly in awe and moved by the surroundings and the moment. That’s a great sign. In fact, Melvin was so excited he mis-matched a button-hole on his new Giants Jersey while trying it on for size at the Press Conference.

Melvin will bring instant credibility to the Giants from a players’ point of view. He also has a great record of working with Japanese players, beginning with Ichiro. This is no small detail as the Giants will likely be courting a couple stars from Japan this offseason.

If you want an interesting take on the Melvin hire read this article in Gaslamp Ball, the Padres Blog.

Farhan Zaidi’s Contract Extended Through 2026

It’s easy to understand the logic of extending Zaidi’s contract two years while Bob Melvin is the Manager. It’s a PR and Publicity move at best. It’s a smart move from the point of view of projecting stability in the organization for the potential free agents, for the current players and coaches, and for the fans. Now, is it a wise move? No, absolutely not. There is no way to claim Zaidi’s five years on the job a success overall. NONE.

Here is what Giants Chairman Greg Johnson said about the extension, that will be officially announced at a later date:

“I think Farhan is a person that has done a very good job and I think there’s an openness with Bob there. There’s some things we need to do a better job of. And I think Farhan is certainly on that path where every day you learn and you try to improve. That’s why I feel very confident that these two together, along with our board and ownership group, are the right people to get us back to where we need to be.”

If you read the lack of enthusiasm carefully and decipher between the lines, Johnson is saying Farhan’s signing means nothing and he can be canned at any moment but it is something we are doing organizationally .

At least, that’s my interpretation.

Here’s Andrew Baggarly’s take, which is pretty close to mine, of course, he cannot publish all of what he thinks, unlike we independent Baseball Bloggers at TWG:

They understood that asking Zaidi to run baseball operations with lame-duck status would lead to constant questions over his level of authority and over who would be making the big-ticket decisions in China Basin.

There shouldn’t be any question about that now. Sure, the failures of the past two seasons have left Zaidi humbled to some extent. His detractors are as loud as they are persistent. He has acknowledged that he can and must embrace certain philosophical and organizational changes. He might operate with a little less latitude than he was granted when he took the job five years ago.

But he’s still the guy calling the shots. And will be. With Melvin providing the checks and balances.

Let’s hope for Giants success either way. It will be very interesting to see how this offseason unfolds. I’ll take your questions off the air.