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Cohn: Giants GM Brian Sabean refuses to be bullied in trade market

  • Whether Tim Lincecum remains a Giant remains to be seen

Brian Sabean said the offers for his potential free agents were “embarrassing.”

His notable free agents after this season will be Tim Lincecum, Javier Lopez and Hunter Pence, but the floundering, bumbling, stumbling Giants are dealing from a position of weaknesses, and teams know that.

And Sabean is not weak. In a movie, he would play the tough guy who finishes off a beer, wipes his hand across his mouth and crushes the can in his meaty fist. So, he let Wednesday's trading deadline come and go, and he did nothing.

How do we feel about that? Or to put things in lay terms, is Sabean a closet knucklehead?

If you judge by won-lost record, the Giants are among the worst teams in the big leagues, the pits, a world-class disappointment. They currently need — crave — one, probably two, starting pitchers. One of their current starters, Barry Zito, they should designate for assignment or release outright. He is an embarrassment to the honorable profession of pitching.

They need another short reliever and a long reliever and a first baseman who can hit and a better than run-of-the-mill left fielder and center fielder, and they need their third baseman to shed his blubber and become a serious athlete. Are we missing something?

Well, that's a ton of needs, and Sabean wasn't going to fill them with one or two trades. No way.

He is a man who does not panic. He is a man who takes the long view. Someone who does not panic and takes the long view is the opposite of a knucklehead, closet or otherwise.

Aside from getting crummy, insulting offers for his players, Sabean has three reasons to take the long view.

Reason No. 1: Lincecum, Pence and Lopez say they want to remain Giants. And Sabean says he wants to sign them to new contracts.

Reason No. 2: Two months remain in the season. Unexpected things happen. Teams fold. Teams spring to life. The Dodgers are sprinting away from the National League West right now, and they are a good team, but you never know. Not long ago, they were the biggest disappointment in baseball. The rest of the division, including the Giants, is a joke.

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