Eric Surkamp discusses his long 2011 season, his health, and reflects on what it was like to pitch in the majors.[audio:http://www.sfgiantsnirvana.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Eric-Surkamp-Interview1.mp3|titles=Eric Surkamp Interview]
Well, here it is:
In which I talk with Madison Bumgarner about his excellent season, Dave Righetti, and his disaster start against the Minnesota Twins, among other things…
I just finished interviewing Aubrey Huff, which was an extraordinarily awkward experience. When I approached him, he was talking to somebody, presumably with KNBR or CSN-Bay Area, about a promo he had to film. He didn’t seem enthused (“Do I really have to do that?“). The guy said “well, you could interview with this guy,” to which he responded “Okay, I’ll film the promo.”
Later, Huff was finishing up an interview with another person, and he didn’t seem very happy (to say the least). “Okay…What do you want me to say to that? That’s not a question.”
Eventually, the guy left, and Huff stood up.
“Do you mind if I film you?” I asked.
“Sure, go ahead.”
What follows is video of said awkward interview:
Giants president Larry Baer just appeared on Chronicle Live (on CSN Bay Area), discussing the offseason to come. A lot of it was old stuff — stuff we’ve been hearing again and again. The organization has made it quite clear that their philosophy is “pitching, pitching, pitching.” That’s their priority this offseason, and it seems that pursuing a top free agent hitter (someone like Jose Reyes) is not a reality.
The organization will try to sign Tim Lincecum to a long-term deal, and if it doesn’t happen, they’ll try again next offseason. If again he doesn’t sign a long-term deal, the Giants will make a third attempt (as Lincecum becomes a free agent) to sign him to a long-term deal. As Baer puts it, the Giants have three tries with him.
Similarly, signing Cain long-term is a priority for the organization, but a more pressing need — as he hits free agency sooner. Baer said something to the effect of — “it’s equally important to sign Cain and Lincecum” long-term.
When asked if the Giants could afford to sign them both, Baer said they could. What he doesn’t know is if they can afford to sign a top free agent hitter (a $20-30MM per year guy, as he puts it) in addition to Cain/Lincecum.
Lastly, he said that successful teams, of late, have been winning by virtue of deep bullpens, strong pitching, and “the ability to adjust as you go along.” My takeaway from this is that Baer is emphasizing a pitching and only pitching philosophy with the team. It sounds almost as though he doesn’t care at all about the offense, and is completely oblivious to the fact that their issues extend far beyond the injuries to Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez. Additionally, the “adjustment” line implies that the Giants will continue to be active before the trade deadline.
Anyway, please do note that this is all paraphrased, and simply what I’ve inferred from it. I’m sure the video of the interview will be posted eventually, at which point you can go check it out. In any event, I’m a bit concerned about the organizational view on the importance of offense.
Update: here’s the video of Baer’s interview.
- In regards to payroll, Sabean says the Giants will go up incrementally in spending, but not dramatically.
- He says Brandon Crawford‘s done a really good job making mechanical adjustments in the Arizona Fall League, and has “earned” his high batting average there.
- Joe Panik, for a first-year player, has played second base really well; Gary Brown‘s showing signs of fatigue but he’s had some nice at-bats.
- Freddy Sanchez is back into rehab, and will probably start throwing around December 1st (seemingly on schedule).
- Buster Posey has hit on the field three days a week, and has continued to catch on the pitching machine; he’s going through an intensive running program as well.