I admit to bailing a little early last night. Stuff came up. I watched the mlb.com replays this morning and was blown away by Perez’ throw out at third base and Venable’s catch in CF.
I know Perez was in short CF when he made that throw, so the fact that he threw it on the fly wasn’t unusual but the location he threw it to was absolutely perfect. It literally carried just over Forsythe into the glove of Arias who was in perfect position to let the momentum of the glove lead right into the diving base runner. Incredible. Forsythe is fast, he couldn’t believe that Perez made a play on him.
And when Venable makes a catch like that you just shake your head and go “not our night.”
Tough loss though, no matter how you cut it, after two bummer L’s in Atlanta and a long flight back that didn’t have them touch down in SF until 4:30am.
Hope they got their Z’s last night, go get ‘em tonight…….
Timmy threw a *quality start* last night. Really? Cause I thought he wasn’t very good. There are few things more inappropriately defined than a “quality start”. 6 innings, 3 runs or less? Pfffftttttt. What about if you walk 5 guys, does that still make it a “quality start”? If they changed the name of it to a “qualified” start I don’t think the name would bother me as much. So please make a note of that. It’s called a “qualified start” from here on out. I gotta remember to change that at wikipedia….
Wil Myers just got called up by Tampa Bay and as usual, it will be exciting to see how he does. It’s always fun to see how these guys do when all eyes are on them. It’s a tough situation they’re bringing him into. The Rays have a bunch of vets clogging up various different positions. Myers is going to get playing time but if he doesn’t start hitting right away you can bet he’ll start to feel the pressure. And his first two series at this level are at Boston and then New York. Nope, they are not easing him into this.
Speaking of phenom’s, Zach Wheeler is making his major league debut tomorrow. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s listening to idiot KNBR callers who STILL call in trippin’ on us no longer having Wheeler. Relax. Let it go. He’s gone. We have won a World Series since we traded him. Anyone who looks back on that saying Sabean screwed up doesn’t understand the concept of trading in major league baseball. Sabean pushed all his chips in and I applaud his efforts. We needed a guy like Beltran to make a push that year and it almost worked and probably would have worked had he held up his end of the “deal” and played well from the start of his time with us.
It’s great when guys like Zach Wheeler are brought up through the system and turn into guys like Cain and Timmy. But he hasn’t done that yet and easily may never will. Again, we’ve won a World Series since we used him as currency. We didn’t get what we thought we were paying for but that’s no reason to say Sabean screwed up. He didn’t.
Pop Quiz: what do the White Sox, the Blue Jays, the Angels, the Dodgers, the Phillies and the Nats all have in common?
A: well, probably a lot of things. For starters, none of those teams are any good. They have a combined payroll of 867 million dollars. Together, those 6 teams are 37 games under .500. And not one of them is playing .500+ ball this season (the Nats are best at .500). That is staggering futility for so much dough. Why are those 6 teams 37 games under .500? Any ideas?
What kind of return does Brian Sabean get on his investments? Let’s take a look at some of the bigger contracts he’s consummated since the Zito fiasco (which was P-Mags and not Sabean). I am going to do this chronologically, at least from my memory. Not looking anything up, just one fan’s *recollection*. So if I’m off by a few mil or I forget someone, don’t have a cow. Argue with the grade I give instead.
Aaron Rowand: 5 years/$60 mil. Grade: D. Rowand was marginally productive in the first 2 years of the deal so I can’t give this signing an F. He went downhill quickly, Bochy stuck with him for too long, whether it was because he thought he’d snap out of it or he just didn’t have anyone else to put in there. Regardless, he was bad in 2010, he sucked worse in 2011 and he was finally paid to go away for the totality of the 2012 season. He made a catch to save Dirrrrrty’s no hitter though so I’ll bump his grade up to a D+
Glass Sanchez: 2 years/$12 mil. Grade: F. He played 20 games or so in 2011 and 0 games in 2012. Even though he was injured, Sabean had to know that Glass was held together with rubber bands and cement tape. Dumb money spent.
Aubrey Huff: 2 years/$20 mil. Grade: F. Still mostly drunk of the 2010 title, I supported this deal. That doesn’t change the grade. Bad deal. And when you suck, it’s quite annoying that you’ve got the first name of a girl. At least to me.
Pablo Sandoval: 3 years/$18 mil. Grade: F. I’m not talking about Pablo’s production, he’s played well since the deal was given and he was MVP of the world series. But he would have done that anyway if the Giants had kept going year to year with him. The grade is for how stupid he made the Giants look after he slimmed down, they gave him a deal of faith that they didn’t have to give him, and he promptly ballooned up again. We’ll see how the next season and a half goes. If he keeps on eating, my guess is he’s going to see a lot of DL time.
Tim Lincecum: 2 years/$40 mil. Grade: D. He had the worst ERA in the NL last year for qualified pitchers (by a country mile) and he’s been largely underwhelming this year, too. He did step up hugely in the world series last year but overall, he didn’t and hasn’t come close to pitching to the worth of this deal.
Buster Posey: 8 years/$180 mil. Grade: B. They’ll move him off catcher at some point and that will be a good thing for his body. Whether he produces at what that position is worth remains to be seen. he’s only going to get better as a hitter though and he won the batting title last year so I’ll be optimistic about this deal…..
Mad-Bum: 6 years/$35 mil. Grade: A+. I’m not sure what Bum was thinking here. He got some financial security for his family, I guess. But he’s going to win a CY or two over the course of this deal–a hugely, home town friendly deal.
Matt Cain: 6 years/$127 mil. Grade: B-. Sabean HAD to pick one of his big two to lock down and he probably picked right one. But that’s determined more in comparison to Timmy’s suckitude and the belief that he’ll never be the same Lincecum again. Will Cain start pitching like *Cain* again? Probably, but not for the life of this deal. Sabean still gets points for *not* picking Timmy.
Marco Scutaro: 3 years/$20 mil: Grade: A-. He’s hitting .332 right now, raise your hand if any of you saw Scoots hitting .332 this year. The *-* is for the next 2 seasons. But who knows, maybe he keeps it going. Can he just cut off his pinky ala Ronnie Lott? It’s on his non throwing hand. I guess it would screw up his swing a little. Too bad. I wish he could lop that bad boy off…….
Angel Pagan: 4 years/$40 mil. Grade: C-. I posted more than once last year that I thought Pagan was a contract driven guy. Whether I’m right or wrong remains to be seen but even before he was injured he was having a pretty underwhelming season. And more years of this doesn’t make the deal look too good. But who knows, maybe he turns it around when he comes back healthy.
So, as can be gleaned from this list of 10 deals, more often than not, things don’t go too well when Brian breaks out the big pen to offer a deal to a player. He’s much better at everything else a GM is responsible for doing…….
Thank God, it’s Chad Gaudin Day. The sinking ship he rights every fifth day (well, it used to be in long relief but whatever). It also used to be (uh, like a week ago) that a Gaudin start meant a certain victory to stop a string of underwhelming pitching performances. But all that’s changed. We’ve got two starts in a row that saw Cain and Bum at their finest. The Giants haven’t give up a run in 18 innings and with The Great Gaudin taking the mound today we can probably mail in another shutout, right?
Honestly, I can’t figure this Gaudin thing out. Nothing about his career suggests he should be anywhere close to 2.32ERA/1.12WHIP. He says he’s *attacking the zone*. In past years, that would have hitters salivating. This year? Not so much. So what’s he doing to support this unexpected chain of success?
Pfffftttt. Nothing? Is that a good enough answer? He’s walking less hitters and giving up less hits per 9/innings but his pitch selection looks about the same. One interesting thing about Gaudin is that he’s throwing harder now than he did when he was younger. His fastball has about 2mph more on it than it did when he first came into the league. (Timmy looks longingly in the direction of Gaudin….)
So maybe attacking the zone with one of the best fastballs of your career IS a good thing. Pitching at AT&T probably helps too. Hey, I think half the league is on steroids so don’t rag on me for suggesting Gaudin is as well. So that’s what I’m going with. The juice. Anyone got a better answer?
This is a thread that needs to be carefully worded. Since I’m writing it, that’s probably not gonna work but I’ll give it a go.
The Giants should be commended and honored for the support they have give Bryan Stow and his family up to this point. From my memory, they created a Bryan Stow fund and raised money for him at a game. Tim Flannery and his band have done at least 2 or 3 benefit concerts. I remember Tim Lincecum donating $25,000. And I’m sure other players contributed as well. I saw a pic of Barry Bonds with Stow and I am positive that Barry wrote them a big check.
So from an outsider’s view, it does appear that the Giants have done a lot for Stow. Especially considering that this tragedy didn’t occur on their property. I might be wrong about this, but I don’t believe the Dodgers have done a single thing to help Bryan Stow. I know the Stow family has filed a 50 million dollar lawsuit against the Dodgers for inadequate security and I’m sure that will be tied up in the legal system for 10+ years. McCourt must be positively giddy about the prospect of a new lawsuit to fight. He is disgusting scum. And while I recognize the new Dodger ownership didn’t have anything to do with this, I am assuming that they haven’t tried to help aid Stow or his family in any way. But I could be wrong about that.
Now we find out that Stow has returned home. His insurance company stopped paying for services. Here is the blog post from his family this week:
After a long two years of being away from home, the insurance company has ceased payment for CNS, so Bryan has come home. Let us clarify something very important -Bryan could have benefited greatly by staying at CNS longer. We are so glad to have him home, but as prepared as we thought we were, it was a difficult transition. Bryan requires so much assistance and it is impossible for Ann and Dave to do it alone. Bryan requires 24 hour nursing care, but this is not covered by insurance. So we had to hire care givers in order to help Bryan to get up and showered in the morning, and get dressed and in bed in the evening. We are now the ones administrating his medical care, scheduling all his appointments, and preparing all his meals. We are not complaining…we have Bryan home! At first look and during conversations, Bryan appears to be doing better, cognitively. But to be with him as much as we are, we see what others don’t. The memory problems, the use of words that do not belong, the pain he is in and the stiffness in his body that prevents him from being able to do things on his own. Due to a huge cut in therapy coverage, Bryan has physically experienced a big setback. We do what we can at home, but he needs the 5 days a week that he grew accustomed to. We just don’t know how to get that for him.
Your support, love and prayers have gotten Bryan (and us!) this far and we can’t thank you enough.
It’s too general to just say “our pitching is the problem.” It’s certainly not ALL the pitching that’s the problem. So, what’s working?
The back end of the bullpen is fine. Lopez, Affeldt and Romo are all good.
Chad Gaudin has been magnificent. A starting pitcher who’s attacking the zone? It’s almost unheard of from Giants starters this year. But he’s been the model for them. They just refuse to model him.
Cain, despite one horrendous inning in St Louis, has been fine, too. He’s getting through 7 or into the 7th in most of his starts since the beginning of May. It might not be 125 million worth, but it’s still something we’ll take if it means he’s handing the ball to one of the back-end 3.
Now, what ISN’T working?
We all know what isn’t working. Bumgarner has been shaky lately but still better than Zito or Timmy. Zito hasn’t made it through 7 since May 5th. Surprisingly, Lincecum has made it through 7 in half his starts. It’s the *other half* that have been the problem.
And with Gaudin now in the rotation, it seems to me that the most critical indicator of success needs to be NOT handing the ball to whoever is currently posing as our “long man”. And that would be Ramirez, Rosario, Kontos (he’ll be back, you know it) or Mijares. I trust none of them to stop an inning from getting out of control. Each of them could be nicknamed “Gas Can Man”. I know J-Mij has a sparkling ERA but he gives up a lot of hits. Starting an inning is one thing, but bringing him in with men on base is not a pathway to success.
And it’s hardly rocket science to say “avoid the long man”. If you’re calling on him it’s because the starting pitcher is sucking. Mostly, we’ve had adequate long men over the last couple of seasons. Mota was great and Gaudin was super. Sadly, we now have suspect long men.
And I *suspect* that most long men in the league are suspect. They aren’t like a 6th man in basketball. They are pitchers who, typically, aren’t good enough to crack the starting 5. So this is a problem that most teams have. We just haven’t had to deal with it because our starting pitching has been so good for so many years.
Bottom line: this bedraggled group of long men isn’t going to suddenly get any better. They are, at best, mop up men. Asking them to keep a game close, consistently, is going to be a losing return.
The way to fix this:
Trade for another starting pitcher NOW. It can be an innings eater, it doesn’t have to be Cliff Lee. After this mythical man is acquired, send Timmy to the bullpen immediately and have him do that *super reliever* thing he did so well in the playoffs last year. He did it then, he can do it again.
“Old Man Strength” was on display last night at Dodger Stadium. It felt like a fight straight out of the ’80′s. Mattingly throwing Trammell to the ground, Gibson glaring at everyone, McGwire and Matt Williams locked up in a tussle (that Matty wanted no part of). There was even a Steve Sax and Don Baylor sighting in the middle of the scrum near the seats. Sax tried to throw a right hook at someone but it missed so badly no one took offense…..
So much for the coaches modeling calm and reasonable behavior for their players. And what was Puig screaming about? He uses a translator and doesn’t speak English, I’m assuming most of the players he was yelling at didn’t know WTF he was saying…..
For the fantasy league guys, my friends Drew and Sarah were at the game. Here’s a pic of the scrum from their seats. I love the dude bottom left who looks like he’s rockin’ out at a Dokken concert with his horns held high:
Sarah and Drew, both Giants fans, noted before the game on facebook: “Decked out in our neutral gear.”
After the dust up Sarah said, “I’m pretty sure no one in the stands saw what happened as they were too busy keeping beach balls in flight.” Anyway, now you fantasy players can put a face to the team that’s beating most of you (“DrewWho?”–current standings in the widget to the right)…..
Did anyone catch Grienke winking to his catcher after he hit Montero? It’s in one of the videos on mlb.com. What a d-bag that guy is…..
To our own bean ball game, I’m still having a hard time understanding what possessed Kontos (or the Giants) to start throwing at Pittsburgh players. Because Scoots got hit? If so, L-A-M-E. The Pitt pitcher wasn’t taking aim at Scoots. And since Kontos did it after his POS pitch got blasted into orbit by Alvarez, it sure makes him look like nothing more than petulant, vindictive puss. With this series just underway, and the Pirates probably pretty pissed off at Kontos and his impromptu target practice, this could get ugly tonight and tomorrow—and it’s not like we have a bunch of extra guys to fill in if any of our remaining healthy players get beaned and injured or ejected for fighting…..
Our team officially has a *man-down* problem going on right now. Can Kontos serve his upcoming suspension in Fresno? Time for some Hembree action…….
I don’t know why, but I woke up wondering who’s on the juice this season. Canseco said 80% of the players were doing it back in his day. Since Selig *cleaned up* the sport I’ll say that 32.7% of the players are still taking PED’s. That’s a highly accurate number, I can’t share the formula I used to come up with it. Top secret shit.
Anyway, I thought I’d go through each position and give out my annual All Star Melk-Shake Awards for 2013. I used 4 scientifically proven metrics:
1) a player hitting or pitching at an unusually high level (for them) that can’t be explained by hitting a peak age
2) anyone who’s totally yoked out
3) my intuition
4) my discretion
So, to the Melk-Shake Awards:
First base: Chris Davis, Baltimore. This dude was a monster in the minors but never seemed to translate his power to the next level. Until last year when he blasted 33 bombs. He’s hit 20 (twenty!) so far this year and he definitely fits under category #2 (yoked out).
Second base: Marco Scutaro, SF Giants. I changed this one after reading some of your comments. He hit .339 after the all star break last year and he’s hitting .332 so far this year. At 37 years old he started doing this? He’d never hit .300 for a season before last year. As Melky proved, you don’t have to bang out bombs to be juiced up.
Shortstop: Johnny Peralta, Detroit. He hit .239 last year. He was a career .275 hitter in the minors. So naturally, he’s hitting .339 for the year.
Third base: Miggy Cabrera, Detroit. Melky, Miggy, same last name, too. Plus he plays right next to Peralta so that’s easy access to the goods….
Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado. Where did THESE splits come from? Car-Go is hitting .348 on the road and only .260 at home? Isn’t that the reverse of what he’s done in the past? Clearly Melk-Shake driven and he needs to start powering them down at home, too, if he wants to take a shot at NL MVP this year.
Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee: After nearly a decade of failed promises, Car-Gom had a break out year last year stealing 37 and hitting 19 bombs. The Melk-Shake tasted so good he decided to keep drinking it in 2013. He’s hitting .322 (.260 last year).
Nelson Cruz, Texas: I needed a RF and Cruz is connected to the Biogenesis investigation plus he’s banged out 15 bombs already this year so he’s the big winner.
Catcher: Evan Gattis, Atlanta. He’s a total hacker who has burst on to the mlb scene in 2013 with 14 bombs in only 156 at bats.
Starting Pitcher: Bartolo Colon, Oakland. He’s been busted before and he’s always smiling, which means he’s brazen and he doesn’t give a shit. Plus, no one except Rick Reuschel is allowed to be that fat and that good. I’m smelling a 100 game suspension coming soon for “Two Slices” Colon…..
Closer: Jason Grilli, Pittsburgh. So after a dozen years of bouncing back and forth from the minors to the majors, at age 37 he leads the league in saves with 23? And he’s been absolutely dominant with 46 SO’s in 27.2 innings. He started drinking the Melk-Shake last year when he struck out 90 in 58.2 innings.
That’s it. Who’d I miss?
I’ve done a lot of stupid things in my life that I don’t care to share on the internet. But one thing safe for internet consumption is the day I deleted the blog oneflapdown77.blogspot.com. That was the blog I started on a lark when The Splash shut down for a couple of hours one day back in 2009. After the url got out, my new blog started to get some traffic. Even after the Chron rebooted I decided to keep the blog going because it was cool having a place where you could speak your mind and not worry about a blog czar zapping your post for no apparent reason. I really wish we could still access that blog, there were some fantastic words composed there……..
That blog grew in popularity and I stopped posting at The Splash. Back in *the day*, when I didn’t know what a blog was, I stumbled upon the Splash looking for an article. Suddenly, I found my way to the *comments* section. I fired off a few opinions, tangled with Twin for a bit, and I was hooked. It was a great way for me to vent my thoughts/feelings/opinions/frustrations about the Giants. Back then no one monitored shit, we said whatever was on our mind. There were probably about 12 of us who filled up 400 comments a day, lol. Even in the darkness of Winter…..
Anyway, after bailing on the Splash and starting the blog at blogger.com I grew tired of the limitations I had as the blog owner. Too many trolls started showing up and I couldn’t zap them. It was irritating. So, after a year at blogger, I moved the blog to wordpress.com, and while wordpress has it’s issues, I’ve had no problem running the blog as I like and kicking out dipshits who show up for no other reason than to irritate and annoy.
I made that move on May 30th, 2010. Here is my first post. It was a video of me at Posey’s first game of the 2010 season. San Diggity Dawg had invited me to the game a month before and we got lucky to hit the Posey-2-the-Show game (2010). He “announced his presence with authority.” That was a fun game, I met Diggity for the first time (and his sister), I ate a broken hotdog left over from the Candlestick days, and Buster Posey did this in his first at bat of the evening…..
Diggity told me before the game that his favorite seats are at the top and it was the first time I’d ever sat up there. It was quite awesome. And I made that video my first post at the new blog. The same blog you’re reading now…..
It’s important to do things in your life that make you happy. I know that sounds obvious, but as I got older, I forgot how to do it. When I was young, happy came easy. As I aged, it came harder. Life got harder. And while the greatest and most important happiness in my life is raising my 10 year old angel, I recognize that there are other things that I need in my life to be happy. I’ve shared them before, no reason to list them off here. One thing I’ve discovered, as it relates to this place, is that waking up at 5am with a cup of coffee and some Pandora in the background, with darkness and no sounds except the clicking of my keyboard, is the best way I’ve ever found to start my day. So don’t think this blog has anything to do with any of you. Haha.
But of course, it has everything to do with you. For starters, while this is *my* 1,000 post, it’s the 1,134th post at the blog. When I nearly dissolved the blog last Summer, there were 12 of you who came to it’s rescue. The Stable Boys were born and shortly after that they were re-named The Un-Stable Boys—one of the great nicknames of all time, courtesy of Pawlie Kokonuts, one of the most stable, un-stable of them all. Those 12 came together and blogged their asses off all the way to another World Series Championship.
So today, we (12) publish post 1,134. I’m an anniversary guy, super symmetrical, I killed the last blog a year to the day I started it, and I threatened to kill this one at post *M*. Sometime last January, I decided I wasn’t going to do it. Still, here we are at 1000 (for me) and I wish to take a moment to observe and honor all of the words that I wrote and that you all wrote to make this blog what it turned into. There’s a widget to the right that counts up all the blog hits and it’s gonna hit 1 million later this season. When I look at the wordpress stat sheet there are a bunch of fun stats to process. Here’s the blog post with the most comments:
Here are the stats for most pages view over 2000+ times. I can’t tell you how much it makes me smile to see what’s listed at #2:
The blog is quieter nowadays. It still gets a lot of traffic. I have always, intentionally, never placed an ad here. I never wanted the blog to look like a big blinking dumb ad, I wanted it to look like Giants baseball. Nothing but orange and black and hardcore Giants fans. And despite the constant offers I receive from WordPress, the monitory payoff is never going to outweigh the clean, undisturbed look of Giants fans talking about baseball. Our fans, the best fans *I* have ever known, make up a legion that grew from the 2 recent trophies but never grew in terms of the collective size of our heart. That heart has always been as big as it’s ever going to be. There was nothing like the first time I said to someone, “I am a Giants fan”. And every time I say it, I get better, I get stronger….
This is The Flap. WE ARE GIANTS FANS. And no group, regardless of its size, can give a *knowing dude head nod* any fucking better than we can…….
This morning we had a practice swim meet to try out the *new* technology. The timers don’t use timers anymore, we use these blue boxes that we are supposed to press ONLY when the swimmer hits the wall—the result goes right to the computer (or whatever we’re sending it too. A cloud? I can’t keep track). Anyway, this new gizmo has done away with the details of timing a race. Instead of clicking start-stop and then turning to a human recorder all we do is click stop once, when they hit the wall, and our job is done. With no more recorders hanging over my head awaiting my time, it’s already better. I never liked that, it felt like they were always just looming, waiting to consequence or doubt me…..
There are 2 timers for each lane, my lane was #5. I turned to the woman I was working with to start up the required mindless bull-chat that you always have to do since you’re sitting there together for 3 hours or so. She was older and unattractive and I was bummed since I often get paired with a nice looking MILF who likes to flirt and remember her better days. But whatever, I can get my bull-chat on with anyone so I looked at her name tag and it said “LeMaster”. I thought “Booyah, that’s a built-in conversation starter!” Then I started thinking that I’m not working “booyah” into my daily venacular often enough and I wondered how I could change that. Sensing the need to interrupt this brain cloud moment, I shook my head twice, re-focused, and said “You know, you’ve got a fairly famous last name for this area if you’re a Giants fan.” I’m bad at guessing ages of older women but I put her in the neighborhood of 60 and was hoping this was Johnnie’s sister or wife or something. What a fantastic story this would be for The Flap!
“Yes, I get that a lot” she said. “I’m married to one of his cousins but I’ve never met him”.
She prattled on about how he was a *great* defensive player but couldn’t hit, how he used to wear “Boo” ALL the time on his jersey (I just let her keep going without correcting that one) and how her son could have played college ball but he quit after high school because he wasn’t passionate enough to take it to the next level…she said other things, I started ruminating to myself about how I’m still not saying “Booyah” enough to verbalize exclamation points in conversation, then the meet started and I had to start clicking that timer-stop button over and over for 3 hours……
So, all in all, kind of a let down, at least in terms of the rad post I had planned about timing a swim meet with Johnnie LeMaster’s wife….
Pawlie left me a voice mail today saying that last night’s loss was devastating to him and that he was taking a few days break from the blog. I was surprised, I didn’t think last night’s loss was that awful. One of the best hitters in the NL took one of our pitchers deep. He was 0-5 against him, I had no problem with Bochy sticking with him. He threw him a poorly placed strike, he knocked it out, we only scored one run, end of game. To me, this was just another game where we didn’t hit and they beat us late. Stay with us Kokonuts, they get a lot worse than that one!
Here’s a great pic that I’ve posted before. This is what players looked like before they took steroids. I bet one or two of you were at this game or knew someone who was.
The Giants drafted two really smart guys….
And that’s all we really know. Two high school kids who blew the bejesus off the top of their GPA’s, both are verbally committed to going to college—Christian Arroyo to the University of Florida and Ryder Jones to The Farm.
The only thing I can surmise about these 2 picks is that the Giants didn’t really like this draft. There is NO other reason to take a guy ranked 102nd with the 25th pick unless you’re pulling a coup on the rest of the league–and there was no secret coup, the Giants don’t have an agreement in place with Arroyo. If either fails to sign we get a compensatory pick the following year.
And super smart people tend to want to go to college and do something with their brains other than bash baseballs around. Of course, they could also knock college out in a couple of off seasons, too.
Ryder is headed to Stanford so I’d be totally fine with him snubbing us for them. Of course, I’d be fine with him signing, too.
The Giants have had some pretty spectacular drafts since Sabean started paying attention to the process back in 2006. I have to trust and believe that they know what they’re doing with all of this and I pay very little attention to who Keith Law ranks in his top 100 draft prospects. It’s the first high school position player they’ve taken in the first round since they tabbed Tony Torcato in ’98. And we all know how that turned out.
So Arroyo is no Tony Torcato. Or maybe he is, and he’ll be playing for Florida next year……
Three in Arizona then we get a day off Monday. That’s the easy part. Then we fly to Pittsburgh for 3 and then to Atlanta for 3 and I’m guessing it’s going to be hot as fuck in both those cities. Still no day off we fly home for 3 against San Diggity and four against the Marlins. Coming home off that brutal road trip, I don’t think we can count on any gimmies from The Diggity’s or the Marlins. And Chad Gaudin can’t pitch 19 straight games so the other guys need to step up hugely.
The draft is today, time to replenish the farm system and hope we hit on something good that pays off in 4 or 5 years…..
The Giants have the 25th pick in the first round. Here’s what recent 25th picks looked like:
2010: the Cardinals took Zach Cox 3rd baseman (note: the Giants drafted Brown with the 24th pick in that round).
2009: Strasburg went first. And with the 25th pick the Angels took……Mike Trout
2008: Posey went 5th to us. The Rox took a pitcher named Christian Friedrich with the 25th pick. I think he’s up now as a reliever.
2007: We snagged Bumgarner 10th. The White Sox took someone named Aaron Poreda with the 25th pick— a pitcher.
2006: Timmy went to us with the 10th pick (Kershaw went 7th and Scherzer went one pick after Timmy at 11). Hank Conger (catcher) went to the Angels at pick 25. He’s kinda fiddled around as a back up catcher for them for the last couple of years.
2005: The first 8 picks were wild. It went Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, Jeff Clement (miss), Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Ricky Romero, Troy Tulo. that’s some serious talent. The Twins took Matt Garza at 25.
2004: The famous Matt Bush failure at #1. Verlander went 2. Kyle Waldrop, a pitcher, was taken by the Twins at 25
2003: a joke first round with like 6 or 7 names that I recognized. We took Aardsma at 22. The A’s took Brad Sullivan at 25.
2002: with the 25th pick in the first round, the San Francisco Giants select……Matt Cain
2001: Mauer went #1. We took Hennessey 22. The A’s took Bobby Crosby at 25.
2000: A-Gone went #1. We took Boof Bonser at 21. The Rangers selected Scott Heard, a catcher, at 25
1999: Hamilton went #1. Beckett went #2. Ainsworth went to us at 24. Mike MacDougal went to the Royals at 25.
1998: ah one of my favorite drafts to look back and spit on. Pat the Bat went #1. After thoughtful consideration, the Giants took Tony Torcato at 19. The Indians took CC Sabathia next at 20. We snagged Nate Bump at 25…..
I think the main thing to take away from this trip down first round pick lane is that 1) Sabean has gotten a lot better at doing this and 2) You can find something good at pick 25…..
“This guy Puig is gonna be problem…”
Well, he could be my man, he could be. But to all the LA fans out there I would say “Don’t start suckin’ each other’s Puig’s just quite yet”….
I mean, he sure does back spin those balls out of the yard with shocking ease. And he’s got a beast of an arm. And he did, uh, hit .517 in Spring Training with a 1.328 OPS. Hmmmm…..Well, he was at double A this year and only hit .313 so he’s obviously overrated, right?
There’s no doubt he *could* be a problem. But I don’t think he’s going to be. He’s being compared to Mike Trout and what he did to jump start the Angels last year. Well, in my *expert* opinion, LA’s gonna need a little more to get their season jump started. The Dodgers are a soul less team, always have been and never more so after guys like A-Gone, Beckett, Grienke and Crawford joined the team. Puig might get the drunken Dodger fans going but it’s gonna take a lot more than a nice throw and a couple of bombs to kick start that dump truck.
Puig will be like all other hitters who get called up. Once he proves he can hit a major league fastball (Ok, ok we believe you!) the rest of the league will start throwing him specialty stuff that he’ll corkscrew himself into the ground trying to hit.
At least, that’s my *plan*. You guys got a better one?
This is really a fascinating 2 game series vs Toronto if you just look at the pitching match ups. Tonight it’s Josh Johnson vs Timmy. JJ was 15-5 in 2009 and then led the league with a 2.30 ERA in 2010. Alas, he couldn’t keep his arm healthy. If I’m not mistaken, he took the *rest-route* instead of surgery. Anyway, if this were 2009 you’d be seeing a real showdown……
Dickey goes against Zito on Wednesday. Dickey is probably the weirdest pitching phenomenon to literally come out of nowhere only to flame out nearly as fast as he arrived. Last year, at age 37 and after pitching since 2001, he won 20 games and the NL Cy Young. I watched a couple of his games last year and was like “how has he not been doing this since the beginning of his career?” Last year he had an ERA of 2.73. This year it’s 5.18. Has it all been due to the move to the big, bad AL East? He’s had a couple of nagging injuries but nothing that would explain the drop off from last year. Although nothing really explained last year so who knows what’s going on with him.
Barry Zito pitching at ATT is clearly the most likely pitcher of the four to pitch a great game in this series. Although I do think Dickey getting back to an NL park might energize him a bit. JJ is +120 to get injured before the 4th inning. And Lincecum will do the things he normally does to *buffalo* his coaches.
And The Melkman returns to SF. How will he be received? My guess is that he’ll get a nice, polite applause. He contributed to last year’s title. We won the World Series and he’s moved on to what he was before he took steroids: a journeyman outfielder. I don’t wish him well but I’m not pissed off at him the way I was last year. Time to let all that go…….
Well, it could be. Here is the Dodgers LU tonight:
It’s shocking how little 220 million buys these days. And that’s not counting the 42 million they gave Puig (7 years).
Injuries, ah, (L)Ame has them. Good. I celebrate their injuries as awesome and fantastic. I’ve got no problem facing the Dodgers at their strongest but I’m *gleeful* at seeing them at their weakest. Injuries are part of the game and if big money free agents go down, so be it. It happens to all teams dumb enough to hand out 9 figure+ contracts. And with Dodgers ownership just now finding out they’re gonna be paying out an extra billion in revenue sharing from their sweet tv deal, um, oops. I find that perfectly delicious, too……..
I’m not sure I can tolerate an L(A)me thread up longer than 12 hours or so but that LU is a crack up and I just had to laugh long, hard, and loud at this fucked up franchise that’s been marveling at us for years…….
It barely got a mention from his fellow Flappers, but at 11:16am yesterday, Bozo guaranteed victory. Fed up with Anna’s absence as well a Giant malaise hanging over his preferred team, he took matters into his own hands and dug out that ‘ol St Loooo-E ash tray. He took a bunch of deep breaths, coughed a few times, and started fillin’ her up:
Nice hat, by the way. That’s my favorite one. And well done bringing that victory home. Give your lungs a break though, bro. Try chewing gum instead.
Chad Gaudin has arrived as the second coming of “Ryan Vogelsong” and it has created a fair amount of uncertainty in the ranks of the pitching staff. First of all, it’s pathetic that Gaudin had to be The Stopper for such an accomplished group.
“I tried to minimize my pitches and get outs as quickly as possible,” Gaudin said.
Hmmmmm. Fascinating approach. I wonder if Timmy was listening.
Speaking of Lincecum, according to the rock-solid reliable Andrew Baggarly, an unnamed source within the organization said the Giants would send Lincecum to the bullpen “in a heartbeat” if they had someone to replace him. It sounds like that someone has calmly and confidently raised his hand to volunteer for the job and his name is Chad Gaudin. Unfortunately, that’s a switch that can’t happen until Voggy comes back. But it’s an intriguing idea, especially if Timmy can re-capture his magic from last post season when he was The Secret Weapon out of the pen. There is the unfortunate issue of the calendar. Far too many Lincecum starts will litter June and July before Voggy returns. And I don’t know how to fix that.
Gaudin stepping up and showing the other 4 how it’s done was a nice surprise. But his ascension to starting pitcher just fills one gap– the 5th starter spot. It doesn’t do anything for the other struggling four and it leaves a gynormous hole in the long-man role; a role that is significant on the team the way this current motley crew is throwing the ball these days……
How far Gaudin can go will become less of an issue if the Giants continue with their limp hitting ways. With Pagan and Pablo down, Belt 3 for his last 19, Posey 2 for his last 20, Blanco AND Torres in the LU at the same time and way too much Nick Noonan……it makes it difficult to muster up much confidence in the offense.
And Bochy DOES have options out of the bullpen today. He managed to not pitch Affeldt and Lopez yesterday so they should be good to go for 2 innings each, if necessary. And Romo’s pitched 2 innings over the last 10 days so save-op or not he could go 2 innings easily. If Gaudin can hand the ball over to those 3 guys after 4 or 5 innings there shouldn’t be much to worry about on the pitching side of things.
Whether the bats can produce something above the 0.5 runs they averaged yesterday is a total unknown right now……
This thread is written by Edd. I don’t understand the title either.
As most of you know, I am mainly a fan, the minutia of insider understandings or statistical solutions are a bridge too far for this Giants’ fan, a Polly Anna fan that loves this team and this game. I do know baseball fairly well with decent gut feeling (can I self-promote by saying I am reigning champion of the Flap Fantasy League?). Mostly I get great satisfaction out of watching my team play. For the last 3 years there has been wonderful surprises in watching this team win-win-win; most recently the inside-the-park home run win by Angel Pa-Gone. Basking can be had by all.
With a great manager and some crafty moves by the front office I have a team that can win, especially when that team is firing on all cylinders. The complete domination of Detroit during the 2012 World Serious proved that they can beat any team anywhere.
But for the last recent weeks (my god, it’s been going on for too long now) those cylinders have been going phut. Spark-plugs (hitting), errors (timing), delivery (the petrol of pitching) and a general in-cohesiveness makes this team play like Houston on a bad night. And yet, my heart and hope clings to the thought that this is truly an anomaly; still the same team, like cream, ready to rise to the top.
Today we are in the Archway City playing a disdained rival who wants our ass and may well feed it to us. This year I feared the Braves more, but, thanks to the Upton brothers, Saint Louie may be the team I would really love to beat.
Yadda, yadda, it is only one series, what the fuck is up with Cain, how many errors can a good fielding team make, where do we go from here? If ever there was a miracle additive that could make those cylinders fire all at once I want to see it now.
With Cain going tonight and Bum going Saturday, both need to pitch deeeeeeep into these games with the *bullpen game* looming on Sunday. Personally, I wouldn’t mind at all if they brought Kickham back for the start (not sure what schedule he’s on) or even Loux. Turning to Chad Gaudin and saying “that’s my guy” is not a very comforting feeling. Plus, he’s done well in the role he’s had and I don’t really trust Ramon Ramirez or even Kontos to take over for one of these starters should they spit the bit by the 5th inning.
But worrying about Sunday’s game will take care of itself then. Miller and Wainwright have both been lights out this year. Our greatest chore seems to be figuring out how to hit them rather than who’s going to pitch for us after a starter goes down……
While watching Lincecum fail last night, suddenly, a movie idea just CAME to me. It’s about an American born pitcher named Chad Gaudin who is called on time and time again to save the asses of the starting pitchers on the San Francisco Giants. One by one, he relieves them, sparing their ERA’s from ballooning into horrific territory. But Gaudin can’t save them all and this ends up haunting him. If only he had more pitches in his arm! The movie ends with him on the DL recovering from Tommy John surgery. I was thinking of asking Spielberg to direct it…..
Gaudin’s List is now in serious jeopardy as Bochy has tabbed him to start Sunday against the Cardinals.
Trip out on this fact: Chad Gaudin is an arm we can’t do without this year. He’s CRITICAL to the team’s success or failure. And the kicker is that we simply don’t have enough Chad Gaudin’s to go around!
Chad Freaking Gaudin…..
The pitching line for young Kickham was ugly:
But if you look past the numbers and just use your eyes as a guide, he clearly has a lot of talent. His ball has a lot of life on it and his slider is fantastic. He walked guys, he k’d guys and he was gone before he could finish the 3rd inning. All in all, not an unexpected start for a talented pitcher who isn’t quite ready yet.
It does speak to the looming desperation that’s slowly but surely finding it’s way into the Giants reality. They thought long and hard about who to pitch in place of Voggy and the best guy they could come up with went 2.1 innings. Gaudin had to get burned up anyway.
And the 5th spot in the rotation normally wouldn’t be this big of a deal, but with a few others pitching *like* a 5th starter we’ve got a bullpen that’s getting ridden harder than most ho’s in the Castro on a busy Friday night. You simply can’t keep sending your long guy out to pitch every other game.
So the issue right now isn’t who will fill the next #5 spot. Whether it’s Loux or Kickham or Gaudin isn’t the question to answer. The other four guys are the key to this. If they can start pitching deep into games we can afford to run Kickham out there for weeks straight.
If not, this season is going to get ugly, early.
It’s rare that the Giants invite a newcomer into their elite group of five. But Voggy’s injury has created the need and the Giants have turned to young Michael Kickham as his replacement. What do we know about him? Well, I’m glad you asked:
He’s 24, a 6th round pick from the 2010 June Amateur draft. I never know what to believe about listed height and weight. He’s *listed* at 6’4 220lbs. He’s also left handed so while he probably will look a little lanky out there he can’t be a very comfortable at bat. He’s got a plus fastball that will run in the low 90′s and a plus slider. His curve is average and his change-up is developing (this is all in the opinion of Marc Hulet of Fangraphs).
The K is a big part of his game (9k/9inn in 2013) but so is the walk (3.7 per 9 inning). The good news is that he’s brought his walks down from 4.5 per game last year. So he’s trending in the right direction.
I think the A’s are probably the LAST team to pitch him against for his debut at this level— combined with the almost certain nerves the kid will probably have and the A’s penchant for walking (once again, they are leading the AL in bb’s) things could start to unravel for the youngster quickly if he has trouble finding the strike zone. For some unknown reason, I remember listening to Todd Van Poppel’s mlb debut (it might have been his first start of the season, I can’t totally remember)— It was against Boston, he walked the bases loaded in the first inning and then Mo Vaughn cranked out a grand slam.
Let’s hope for better results from The Kick today.
San Dawg’s call on Kickham’s twin bro:
Time for Inter-lame games. I don’t like it and find A’s games to be particularly boring. Plus, I think they might be better than us and that’s also irritating. Anyway, here’s the game time thread that so many of you covet.
San Diggity Dawg’s sister lives in the same building as The Panda–she snapped this photo of him today. This made up for him seeing him yesterday and failing to get a pic when he had the chance!) lol
No idea who the dude is with him.
I think it’s easy to argue that yesterday’s game at AT&T was the most exciting ending to a game that any of us have ever seen. Think about it. How likely is an inside the park home run? If you’re talking about *unexpected*, and an inside-the-park jobber is the LAST thing anyone could predict, this one wins hands down.
Factor in the time elapsed, too. Pavlovic (Merc) has the ITPHR timed at 14.8 seconds. I’ll take his word on it. What’s a normal home run time out at? Four seconds? Pagan’s game winner lasted 10 seconds longer. My favorite part of that bomb was when Flannery sends him and Pagan looks at him and gives him a definitive head nod–like, “ok, I got this.” You can see it clearly at the 1:56 mark in the first video I posted below (and a couple of times after that). Epic.
The calls on this were great. Kuip seemed to pick up on it possibly happening a little earlier than Fleming did and I think that’s why I might like Flem’s call a little better. Judge for yourself:
The Rockies broadcasters seemed completely unprepared for this outcome until about the 12 second mark:
And now for my *unexpected* take on this:
Did Flannery forget how many outs there were? I’m not saying he did. I’m just throwing it out there. He’d never admit it. But unless he was suddenly struck with Autism, I can’t imagine what would possess him to send Pagan with only one out unless he was absolutely certain that he would be safe. And how many ITPHR’s are no doubters?
Whatever. I don’t really care. But there’s at least an inkling of a possibility that Flannery bone-headed that play into a glorious outcome.
I’ll listen to anyone else’s nomination, but I can’t imagine a more exciting ending to a baseball game for a Giants fan…….
Here’s the last walk-off ITPHR– it happened in 2004, Rey Sanchez hit it (naturally, it was against the Rockies)–and I submit that it wasn’t nearly as exciting as the one we saw yesterday……
Bochy says he’s going to wait until after Sunday’s game to declare a starter for Tuesday as a replacement for Voggy. That makes sense. See if the starters get chewed up this weekend. If the bullpen doesn’t take too much of a hit they could roll with Gaudin and then decide what to do in the days after that start. If the bullpen does get used a lot this weekend, it’s likely we’ll see Kickham make his major league debut on Tuesday. Santiago needing surgery has complicated this possibility of turning to Gaudin as the starter.
Even if Gaudin gets the start on Tuesday I’d be surprised if he got more than one. We need a solution that lasts at least 2 months, maybe longer, and Chad Gaudin is not the solution. But if he starts on Tuesday that gives Sabean more time to evaluate all the options—and really, at this point, if they dip into Fresno they’re deciding on Kickham or Loux. Do they want to go with the young prospect or the boring vet?
We’re talking about the #5 so it’s not as critical as everyone is making it out to be. However, if Timmy doesn’t start pitching better than a #5 and if Zito starts pitching at home the way he’s pitching on the road then we are now looking at three #5′s and you can’t win a division with three gaping holes in your starting rotation…….
I tuned in to KNBR on my way to work this morning expecting to hear Murph and Mac doing their show from Hawaii but instead I had to listen to someone named “Monty” who apparently has a *show*. At first I thought it was some syndicated thing acting as a plug- in for Murph and Mac who are probably on their way home.
But then he interviewed Krukow so it’s obviously a local guy. Has anyone ever heard him?
He can’t stop name dropping his show and he shouted out his twitter handle twice in a 15 minute span. He was very deliberately talking to the listeners about the 5th starter hole and he was doing it in a way that felt like he was educating us, like we haven’t ever thought about the possibilities of Voggy’s replacement. It was hilarious.
I am a big Jim Kozimor fan and don’t understand why he doesn’t get a regular show on KNBR. He’s witty, funny, seems to understand sports across the board….Maybe he’s in Hawaii with everyone else?
The Monty Show needs to be hit high and deep to left…..outtttaaa hereeeeee!!!!!!!!!!
Off day. Pfffttttt….
At the racetrack they’re called *dark days*.
Voggy went down. Then Crabtree REALLY went down. It’s always interesting to see how different people handle a player from their favorite team getting injured, getting traded or retiring suddenly.
Will Clark was probably the last player to leave one of my teams where I was truly bummed–I don’t think I ever got over it. I’ve always thought that my love of horse racing allows me to tolerate players suddenly leaving or getting injured easier than most fans. Your favorite horse can be gone in a single bad step on the racetrack. Happens all the time. Can’t dwell on it. And the sport is bigger than any individual so….you just move on.
Still, even as I type this I’ve got 3 Will Clark baseball cards taped to my monitor– nobody else, just Will.
Voggy and Crabs will be back so the only thing I’m feeling is a slight bit of frustration about who and how they will be replaced……
What player leaving (either through injury, retirement or trade) hit you the hardest?
I didn’t get to catch the end of the game last night. So thank you, MLB.com
Wow, what a game. NASA is following Sandoval’s bomb and has promised to shoot me an email of it’s ultimate landing spot.
Bryce Harper continues to amaze me in the outfield. It’s like he has no awareness at all of where the wall is in the outfield. But man, Blanco hit a rocket, didn’t he?
I’d probably cut Harper some slack if he didn’t walk around with the one of the worst haircuts in history:
Dudes who walk around with that ‘doo are almost always d-bags. They’re like guys with neck tats only they fuck a little less shit up…..
At least we know he’s a classy winner:
How many of you would be surprised if Harper got a spider tattooed on his face at some point in his life? Of course, if he stays in Washington he’d probably get a gnat tattoo. Hmmmm, might wanna put up the stop sign for that idea. But as we know, Harper doesn’t roll with stop signs…..
Anyone want to change their vote in yesterday’s poll?
Voggy’s WAR for the year is -0.6 so doesn’t that technically mean he’d be super easy to replace? Just pull something off the scrap heap in Frez-NO and we’re good to go? Well, it’s probably not as easy as WAR would have you believe.
Anyway, here are the stats from the starters in Frez-NO:
And now for a look at Double A:
Fitzgerald is having a nice year and I like the K-totals but he’s from the 2008 draft and he’s probably just hoping to one day be AAA roster filler material.
Not that they’d go there, but here is what’s going on in SanHo:
There are a few other pitchers who had a start here or there but basically, this is it.
Unless we want to see The Chad Gaudin Show– it’s one of those *alternative ending* movies that I don’t recommend any of us watch….
Here are the free agent pitchers listed by mlbtraderumors.com:
I think Pavano is still in intensive care following his spleen surgery and Jamie Moyer might have passed on due to natural causes….
Brad Penny anyone? I might roll with that just to get a look at how fat he’s gotten…..
Maybe a trade? Does Sabean have the Astros phone number? Bud Norris?
The thing to remember is that Voggy is our #5. On almost all teams, the #5 is expected to suck. In fact, no where but within the SF fan base is there more deliberate discussion, panty-bunching and hand wringing about the state of our #5 pitcher—Zito a few years ago, Lincecum last year and Voggy this year.
Another thought: this isn’t about filling a 6 week gap. Voggy has been terrible this year and the fact that he breaks his hand during his single good start of the year is a sign pointing to this just not being his year. The flip side is that a lot of people thought he had a tired arm from the extended 2012 season and then the WBC. So maybe the break (pun intended) will be good for him.
But just in case, I’m preparing myself to tolerate what almost every other team in the league has to put up with every 5th start:
The Giants return after a 1-5 road trip that could easily have been 0-6. It wasn’t just the 5 losses, it was the spectacular failure that accompanied them. Horrendous defense, pathetic pitching, deep holes early; rarely filled.
I use KNBR callers as a good barometer for the mental state of the fanbase–it’s almost always a guy overreacting (or pitching some half-baked theory or idea for how to fix things) but it’s a pretty good example of how your run-of-the-mill fan will react to the good and the bad during the baseball season. The over/under on how many times I mutter “idiot” to myself is usually 1.5 per caller. For some reason the line moves to 2.5 on the weekends–I haven’t figured out why….
I listened to KNBR several times this weekend and was shocked at how positive most of the callers were. It was nearly uniformed: “the team will work this out, no reason to jump ship, it’s a long season”—all that jazz.
So either KNBR callers have suddenly gotten smarter or all this b-a-s-k-i-n-g is now m-a-s-k-i-n-g the true reality that this team might not be who we thought they were. Winning 2 of the last 3 World Series can cloud your judgement, right? Or not, let’s see.
Time for a Poll:
Though it’s a fairly instinctive human quality, our guys seem to be having a tough time this year with the basics of *catch and throw*. The defense has been atrocious on this trip so I wasn’t surprised to see where we ranked across all of mlb in *errors made*:
It’s not too much of a stretch to say that all of these errors are effecting the pitching break down–errors cause the pitchers to get frustrated which in turn impacts their focus and concentration and that’s not the way you want your pitchers pitching. But though they’re professional ballplayers they’re still human beings and they’re clearly having trouble pitching through all these mistakes–although they should be able to do it, they committed a lot of errors last year too (4th most in NL) and they still managed to win the World Series.
Zito seems to fall apart on the mound the quickest when errors are made behind him. That’s just my opinion, I don’t have stats to back that up. I’d say Timmy is the next guy to implode the quickest.
Zito has been horrendous on the road this year so despite his decent numbers at Coors Field we could be in for another high scoring game today. And if the Giants keep fumbling the ball this one could be over quickly.
As you know, Pill’s back. Yawn. He was tearing up triple A so they brought him back. Hitting 2 doubles in your first start of the year is a good way to get yourself another start. Brandon Belt has nothing to worry about, he just got a day off.
Gregor Blanco and Andres Torres, however, should start worrying. Through 176 co-at bats this year they have cobbled together a single dong. The Q’s got that equaled all by his lonesome and he did it in 25 total at bats. Pill has actually hit righties better than lefty’s in his mlb career .291 > .217 so it’s not a given at all that he’s just going to get starts vs a lefty.
I can muster zero excitement about Brett Pill being back, but when your LF spot hasn’t hit for squat this year it’s not the worst idea in the world to plug a guy who’s hot in there and ride him for however long he can keep the torch lit.
And hitting is something we absolutely need if we’re going to win baseball games consistently. Our pitching staff is tattered and torn after this road trip implosion. And unbelievable but true, our gloves might actually be worse than our pitchers.
So keep on hacking Brett, we need every hit you can muster right now. If Blanco or Torres have to sit in his favor, so be it.
I reads a headline at Yahoo (not the article, just the headline) that suggested the Dodgers should trade for Jake Peavy (assuming the White Sox continue their slide out of contention). If I’m Brian Sabean, I’m doing everything I can to beat the Dodgers to it. Peavy’s a bit of an injury risk, he’s making 14.5 next season and he’s got a player option for 15mil in 2015 if he meets certain criteria. But that’s a very reasonable salary for a top flight starter (and Peavy has definitely re-established himself as one of the better starting pitchers in the game).
But stats are facts, and there is growing evidence that our starting pitching isn’t going to be able to duplicate the collective success they’ve had in recent years. He could fit anywhere into our starting 5, replacing any number of SF Giant starters who are either ineffective or injured.
Plus, I really don’t want to see the Dodgers build their pitching staff up this Summer. I don’t think it would take a lot to get Peavy since his future salary, while manageable, will scare off most of the lower market teams. But you only need 2 buyers to bid against each other. So honestly, I’m not sure what Peavy would cost.
Ok, I’m not going to finish that headline. It must be a stat that has value. I don’t understand how’s it’s calculated. Most people don’t. It’s a number (expressed in runs–about 10 runs to one win) that is called a player’s *worth* over the course of a year. This number (runs saved or produced) is seen as value to his team over a hypothetical replacement player from AAA. It measures things like how good of a base runner he is, did his ballpark help or hurt him, his walk rate, extra base hit rate, his defense….it goes on and on.
Because it factors in defense and other metrics that don’t count in a 5X5 roto league I pay very little attention to WAR.
Here are the current top WAR players in MLB:
There are some nice names on that list but any metric that has Russell Martin ahead of Miguel Cabrera is going to have me tune out in a nano-second.
Fangraphs.com and baseball-reference.com calculate WAR differently but they are considered the top 2 sites for WAR calculations. I took this example from an espn article that I read this morning: Heading into this season, Fangraphs gave BJ Upton a 13.9 WAR over the last 4 years–that is considered all-star worthy, one of baseball’s top 50 players over the same time period. Baseball-reference gives him a 7.2 WAR over the same 4 year period, which is actually a little worse than an average major league player. After giving him 5 years and 75 million, Braves fans are probably anxious to see which site was correct. After his terrible start, Braves fans probably feel that both sites are FOS.
40 games into the season, here’s where BJ Upton ranks in terms of WAR compared to all other outfielders:
That’s not a misprint. He’s dead last.
So excuse me if I don’t find the WAR stat as titillating or tantalizing as the math geeks do. Here are the current standings from my NFBC league:
It’s a 12 team league but the overall competition is comprised of 1140 teams. $350 entry fee. In addition to the $1400 you take home if you win the league, there are bonuses for the top 20 overall (70K to winner, 15K for 2nd, 10K for 3rd…on down). As you can see, I’m destroying my league and I’m 25th overall (out of 1140 teams) Sorry, in advance, to those who don’t find humor in my team name.
Anyway, I don’t have a single clue what the cumulative WAR number is for this dominant team. And I could care less……
I get why playing at home is such an advantage for football and basketball teams. The noise level is off the charts. And in basketball, the fans are almost literally on top of the players. And they sound guy is constantly screwing with the road team with annoying music.
But I’ve never really understood why it’s such an advantage in baseball to be the home team. The fans are kept at a distance. Usually the park is outdoors. And baseball is mostly a calm event with crowd noise contingent on specific plays occurring—it’s not constant noise like with basketball or football (where fans are constantly reacting loudly). Thus, players should be able to concentrate on their jobs.
Is it just the travel repercussions? Do the players miss the home cookin’ that much? Or are they just too distracted by all the road-whores?
The Giants went from playing fantastic baseball vs the Braves to playing crap baseball against the Blue Jays. Did they get distracted by having to present their passport at the airport? Are they having trouble with the local language? Are the streets too clean?
And don’t even get me started on the Rockies home/road splits….
Why is it so hard for baseball teams to play on the road?
As we approach the 1/4 mark of the season, here’s how the guys would do at their current pace. (4.2 is the multiplier). The first three numbers are BA/OBP/OPS ( which remain as is, of course) The HR and RBI totals are multiplied by 4.2. I’ve added runs in addition to RBI if the run total is significant. Only two players have SB numbers of note. After the projected totals, I’ve added my mini-commentary.
Posey .294 .399 .920 21 HR 101 RBI
Belt .233 .300 .688 17 HR 76 RBI
Scutaro .305 .349 .774 4 HR 38 RBI 84 R
Sandoval .320 .363 .845 25 HR 109 RBI
Crawford .279 .352 .840 21 HR 71 RBI 84 R
Blanco .289 .363 .729 0 HR 55 RBI
Torres .246 .300 .626 4 HR 17 RBI
Pagan .259 .314 .673 8 HR 67 RBI 105 R 21-34 SB
Pence .281 .319 .809 29 HR 92 RBI 84 R 29-29 SB
Cain 8-8 5.04 1.16
MadBum 17-4 2.18 0.93
Zito 13-4 2.75 1.30
Lincecum 13-8 4.07 1.38
Vogelsong 4-13 7.78 1.73
Romo 8-8 3.12 1.04 50-59 SV/SO
Posey: that looks right.
Belt: the HR/RBI numbers bode well for the rest of the way, considering his slow start.
Scooter: I was more pessimistic about him than any of the position players. I’m still very skeptical of his defense. I’m not ready for my “Corvus Fricassee” yet but I’m looking wrongo so far.
Sandoval: Looks good to me. Hit like he does and he ain’t fat, he’s cuddly…
Crawford: Can’t see him maintaining this pace but he sure looks solid. Craig said he should hit 15 dingers. Sounds right. .260 15-65 and GG defense.
Blanco- better than I expected.
Torres – Game winner one day, hat trick the next. I need to see more to make a call for the rest of the way.
Pagan- runs and RBI are outstanding numbers. If he picks up his BA/OBP it should be a banner year.
Pence- everything considered, he just may be the MVP at this point.
Cain: looks to be baaaaaacccckkkkk. 14-8.
MadBum: squarely in the CY picture.
Zito/Lincecum: 13 wins 10 losses 3.90 ERA 1.35 WHIP. That’s right- the Vulcan Pitcher Meld- they put up the same numbers.
Vogelsong : can his game day scowl be enough? Is Nicole tiring him out? Good sign: he lost over 3 MPH FB velocity over the winter. It’s coming back. 9-10.
Romo: I still think he’ll end up setting up- for Hembree.
Kokonuts sent me an email the other day and I liked the title as well as the topic so in honor of “Mr Awe or None” himself pitching today, I decided to make it today’s thread:
I’m still blown away by the ump crew that didn’t know that simple rule having to do with in-game pitcher replacement. And then you have buffoons like Angel Hernandez who couldn’t even make the right call when shown indisputable video evidence.
I know it’s hard to become a major league umpire and I’ve heard they go through lots of training. I’m not sure what kind of tenure they enjoy or how difficult it is to fire them. According to some light googling I did, they make $120K to start, up to 300K. If it were up to me, I’d triple those salaries; at least. Pay these guys to be the best of the best. And if they screw up, fine them heavily or fire them. And if there are any umpires who are involved with fixing games, that might *fix* that problem, too.
These guys aren’t teachers who don’t make sh!t and who *work down* to their salary. I’m not sure who pays the umpires but I’m quite certain that there’s plenty of money to restructure what these guys get paid as well as re-write what they’re accountable for and install stiff penalties if they fail to live up to higher standards.
There’s a lot going on tonight at Casa de Flavor, and it’s all on tv. Giants coming up, Warriors coming up, and in the background, looming….. Hisashi Iwakuma!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m tabling my parental duties for the evening and embracing Sierra Nevada and chicken.
Trying to search for positives, he did have 7 strike outs in 4.1 innings.
But again, it was another poor pitching performance and is it time to start officially freaking out about Voggy?….Assuming, of course, that freaking out is something you’re prone to doing.
His BABIP is .367 this season and that’s awfully high. If you think that’s coming down, maybe you hold off on getting your freak-out on.
Voggy’s turning 36 this July and he put a lot of miles on that arm traveling around the globe trying to make it back to the major leagues. He’s says he’s going to come out of this:
“I’ve been here before and come through the other side and I will again”.
Well, we all hope you do, Ryan. The Giants don’t really have any other options other than to skip his turn and hope he “bullpen session’s” himself out of this funk.
I’m holding off on freaking out. I believe in Voggy. He’s just a man who’s lost his chainsaw. He’s sprinkling sugar on his cereal instead of rusty nails. But I believe he’s gonna get
all of that back.
In case anyone has trouble remembering it, the Warriors had lost this many games in a row in San Antonio:
As to the Giants, they were dealing with a losing streak of their own:
So here’s to *winning*….
Between the Niners (Super Bowl appearance), the Giants (World Series win), the Cardinal (Rose Bowl win), the Sharks (playoffs again) and now this improbable run by the Warriors, I think it’s not going too far out on a limb to call the last 8 months the best in Bay Area sports history. In fact, has an area/region ever had an 8 month stretch like this, ever?
Speaking of *winning*, who has a better winning %, The Great Zumie or Anna The Real Estate Agent?
Sometimes this is an incredibly simple game. They pitch better, they hit better, they win.
It’s like, “we score, we win” only much, much lamer.
Or just say, “Cliff Lee and Kyle Kendrick were better than MadBum and Lincecum”.
It’s frustrating, I don’t think the Phillies are a very good team. They’re old. Their hitters are largely underwhelming. And they haven’t pitched up to expectations this year.
At least, until this series.
At least we miss Hamels. I know next to nothing about Pettibone other than he’s a pitcher…..
A little over a month into the season, I’m going to list off the players who have surprised me this year. I’m just going across the stat lines and seeing what jumps out at me:
Stolen bases: Juan Pierre. It’s not surprising that he’s leading the league. It’s surprising that he keeps finding enough playing time to do this at his age. He has a single redeemable skill (as a base stealer) and despite how old he gets he keeps on gettin’ that done.
HR’s: the top 3 HR guys in MLB are Justin Upton, Mark Reynolds and John Buck. (12, 10, 10).
RBI’s: Miggy and Prince being 1/2 in RBI’s (36, 32). How does Detroit ever lose a game?
Batting Average: Carlos Gomez hitting .368 with a 1.059 OPS.
ERA: Jake Westbrook leading all of MLB with a 1.07 ERA? Westbrook sucks, how is he doing this?
My current favorite hitter (non Giant) and pitcher (non Giant):
Starlin Marte: hitting .325 with 5 bombs and 10 sb’s, he’s one of the only bright spots in an incredibly shitty line up. He’s the next “Andrew McCutchen”
Hishashi Iwakuma!!!: I can’t say his name without at least 3 exclamation points after it. This dude is just reliably, dominantly consistent. 1.61 ERA, 0.76 WHIP. And that’s in spite of a blister he’s fought through all season long.
My favorite add: Nolan Arenado–I can’t believe I was able to pick this dude up in all 5 of my leagues.
So what’s surprising you so far this season?
You know I’m getting spoiled when I’m bummed that I don’t have a walk off/late inning heroic video to post. You mean all we did is win 4-3? No come from behind? How does that even work?
Who sells off faster at the break? Blue Jays? Angels? Dodgers?
Brandon Crawford is 2 for his last 29. Just sayin’.
Cliff Lee in town tonight. One of the great memories of my baseball life was October 27th, 2010. Man, what a game….
Side note example of why hockey sucks. Outside of the bald dude who seems to know he’s surrounded by 4 d-bags, it’s hard to not both laugh and cry at this picture. The dude with the sign should be fucked with in as many ways as is disturbing possible to leave him with a litany of emotional problems. The 2 hair idiots are the worst possible fans you could ever be forced to sit next to. The black guy just makes me smile, it’s almost like he’s getting paid off to look like that.
I’m not sure I can remember a more awesome trip around the bases than the one I saw last night. It was like the Budweiser Beer truck driver stole Quiroz’ uni, strapped it on, and then this happened:
Quiroz? Sure, why not. Belt (multiple times), Panda, Crawford, Posey, Quiroz….who am I forgetting? Feels like I’m forgetting 37 other guys…..Can you imagine what this is doing to the Dodgers collective psyche? It’s almost like they’re getting eliminated in May. Or a ghost has stolen their soul. Or a Chinese organ thief has…well, you get the idea. I’m not sure how LA(me) comes back from this string of devastating injuries and brutal walk-off losses.
And after careful consideration I’ve decided to take Anna down. Yes, I realize I’m going against the will of the people. Sometimes that’s what great leaders are forced to do. As much as I’d like to have her lead us to a 137 game win streak to close out the season, I’ve got to do the right thing and give her a rest. Christ, have you seen that pic? Anna is worn out, man. Although some may claim she came to us that way. Also probably true.
For those of you who don’t know who she is, here’s the story. Every day I change out the BBOTD to a new BBOTD. Sometimes they’re babes. Sometimes they, um, aren’t. It’s how I keep my BBOTD brethren on their toes. . Last year, with us down 3-0 to the Cards, I glumly posted a non-descript bikini babe and went on about my day. That pic can be found in The Story of a Sundressed Goddess Page here (she’s the 2nd one down, below the Sundressed Goddess and her story):
But there was magic in that bikini, my friends. We won a couple of games and I thought to myself “leave her up. She’s a good luck charm”. Angry calls from the BBOTD crowd began to surface. They demanded change. They were firing at me from all directions! But I stayed strong and true to the mission. If I didn’t waver, she would take us home. And that’s what she did. After reeling off 8 straight wins and another World Championship, the cat-calls turned into cheers and the cheers turned into a standing ovation for this great BBOTD rally-babe. Bozo named her “Anna the Real Estate Agent” and she was retired to the Sun Dressed Goddess page for the Winter.
I hadn’t thought of Anna in months but decided to once again crown her the BBOTD, this time with the fairly unflattering picture that you’ve seen recently. We had just been swept by the Padres and I felt like we needed a boost. So I did it. And she has responded by bequeathing Flavor Nation with 5 straight wins! All epic, all attributed to her awesomeness.
But 13 wins in a row is enough. I can’t think of anyone appropriate to replace her so I’m going to leave the BBOTD page blank for a few days. Think of it as a form of reverence. I will place her current BBOTD photo in the SDG widget where she, the SDG and Daisy the Bartender can look after each other. At least until we need more magic. Then I shall call on her again. I have no doubt what her response will be.
So don’t think of her as gone, my friends. And despite the furor that will surely come my way for taking her down, please try to remember that I’m doing this with an eye to the future. We will need her later this year. Her aura is everlasting; her powers overwhelming. She is “Anna the Real Estate Agent”, and all she does is win…….
My current biggest problem: While I should be pouring over data trying to figure out who’s going to hit the bottom rungs of the super in the Derby, I find myself consumed with the question of when to take down Anna the Slutty Real Estate agent. I know, I know, no one knows *third world* problems like I do.
She’s 12-0 as the BBOTD (8 wins to close out last season + the last 4 played this season). Part of me wants to take her down so I could use her during the dog days of August. Part of me misses searching the internet for a new BBOTD. And then part of me says, *leave her up there till we lose. Squeeze every last win out of her that she’s got to offer.”
Pfffftttttt…..I can’t decide. Maybe a poll:
I was gonna do a Derby thread but I really don’t have the time. If you read yesterday’s thread you know I’m alive in the Oaks/Derby Double with 3 live longshots today (#6, #12 and #19). The field is 19 strong and the weather is gonna be bad–a certain recipe for chaos. The best thing about this live ticket is that I can leave all three out of my pick 3 and pick 4 as well as the win end of my tri’s and super’s. Anyway, it promises to be a weird, wild race, as it often is. I’m excited.
Oh, and the Giants won another one late with a bomb, This one was a walk off by Posey. Yawn. So predictable. And Salty, you’re going to have to tighten up your predictions if you want to hang with this crew. League instead of Belisario? WTF is up with that mistake!?!?!?!
I’m still struggling to appreciate the advancement of the Warriors into the second round of the NBA playoffs. Forget the ref’s, if anyone seemed to be part of a *fix* it was the Warrior players. Mindblowingly stupid turnovers and bad shots in the 4th quarter. And the number of times that Jackson calls a TO only to have his team turn the ball over coming out of the TO (or not being able to even get the pass in) seems to happen way too often. I guess just chalk it up to the Dubs being a very young team and mistakes are going to happen. Still, the only reason they won last night (and taking nothing away from Bogut who was a man-child) was because the Nuggets couldn’t knock down a shot. They were horrible, offensively.
Giants going against Kershaw tonight. *Dumb-ass Eye Goggles* is back. Early May games don’t get much more exciting than the one tonight at AT&T. Anna needs to start scattering her particles into the universe NOW.
April 21st was the last time the Giants won a game flag-fall-2-that’s-all. After a come from behind victory on April 22nd, they lost 5 in a row before *closing escrow* on 3 straight vs The Snakes. This was easy to see coming, right? Get swept by the pitiful Padres and then storm Chase Field with 3 late inning miracle wins?
I said this last week and I’ll say it again. I love every hitter in this line up. I wish there was a *Rowand* to call out but there isn’t. The line up is stacked with competence and on any given night a new hero will likely emerge. And getting swept in your home park after leading all three games is not exactly the way to generate team chemistry.
The Giants are sending out notice to every team in the league: If you want to beat them, build up an insurmountable lead. Right now, the definition of *insurmountable* is fluid.
Anna’s winning streak just hit 11.
And another fantastic call by both Kuip and Miller:
One of the best things about mlb.com, and its awesomeness is hard to measure, is their “Must C” videos. You get the tv call and the radio call of the play. The only bummer about this one is that you don’t get the muted, sad-sack call from the AZ broadcast. Sometimes they include that, too. I never get tired of hearing a Kuip or Miller HR call, especially one as important as last night’s:
Some scribes are giving Hunter Pence credit for whispering into the ear of Pablo Sandoval in the on deck circle. Yeah, right. Flap vets know where to attribute the REAL credit for that game winning bomb: Mass kudos to Anna the Slutty Real Estate Agent who is now riding a 10 game Giants win streak (8 to end last year and both of these games in Arizona).
So she’s gonna stick around till we lose……