Wish I’d noticed this sooner. It’s from Monday’s USA Today, and it lays out the connections between the Yankees and the world champion Giants. From the bottom of Bob Nightengale’s story…
Giants GM Brian Sabean, the former Yankees’ scouting director, was Quinn’s first hire. Dick Tidrow, vice president of player personnel, was a former scout and pitcher for the Yankees. Dave Righetti, the pitching coach, is a former Yankees star. Hitting coaches Hensley Muelens and Joe Lefebvre and first-base coach Roberto Kelly are former Yankees. So is advance scout Steve Balboni.
“If you pin Brian down,” Quinn said, “he’ll tell you the Yankee way ain’t all that bad. Brian is old school. That’s the way we did things in New York. He’s taking the same motto we used in New York. SDSD. Scout, draft, sign and develop.”
It might have been the New York dictum, but the Giants have perfected it. The Giants’ legacy will be forever remembered, with a flair of New York style.
Occasionally, the actual Yankees have changed that last D. In the Bronx, it’s been more scout, draft, sign and deal (for a proven player), or delay (in favor of a veteran), or disable (through a series of prospect injuries). The idea that the Yankees never develop is false, and their pro scouting department is often overlooked, but the Giants development and scouting stand out because the Giants star players are almost all homegrown.
The Giants have bought talent (Barry Zito, Melky Cabrera) and traded for proven players (Hunter Pence this year, Carlos Beltran last year) but they’ve used those methods to build around a homegrown core of Buster Posey, Matt Cain, Pablo Sandoval and Madison Bumgarner.
The Yankees have been unwilling or unable to develop a new core to follow in the footsteps of Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. Aside from Robinson Cano, the homegrown Yankees have been somewhat secondary. They’ve been middle-of-the-rotation starters (Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova), late-inning setup men (Dave Robertson and Joba Chamberlain) or bottom-of-the-order hitters who never seem to have a full vote of confidence (Brett Gardner, Melky Cabrera, Eduardo Nunez).
Draft position has certainly helped the Giants — the Yankees never had a shot at guys like Lincecum, Bumgarner or Posey — but the Giants also have been more willing to deal with the development growing pains, while the Yankees win-at-all-costs approach has made that path difficult to follow, even if it was the Yankees who came up with the model.
Associated Press photos of Sabean and Brian Cashman