I’m writing this thread with the tv on in the background. It’s playing an infomercial about something called “Meaningful Beauty”. It’s endorsed by Cindy Crawford and it’s about some *doctor* in France who has found a super anti-oxident in a *rare melon* that promised to keep your skin looking young forever. I will say this: If you want to laugh out loud at 5am one of these mornings, you should try to catch this infomercial. I won’t go into the details of it here but it is hilarious, in an unintended way, from start to finish. You can probably find it on youtube.com
Regarding the Winter Meetings: I predict that the Meaningful Beauty infomercial will end up being more engaging than what will be happening at the Winter Meetings. At least for the Giants. I’m obviously going to follow the Meetings on twitter though what I’d really like to do is follow Sabean’s caravan to the Tampa strip clubs—something that also promises to be more interesting than the Winter Meetings.
I’m not spending the time on guessing who Sabean trades for IF he was going to pull off a deal for a left fielder next week. But I’ll throw up a poll about it.
Weird return to Los Dealers for Bee-Dipshit. Were there just no other offers to close on the table? LA is a crack up. They give Brandon League 22.5 million last year to close. That doesn’t work out so he goes to set up role and then Jansen takes over as closer (he should have always been the closer). Now they’re paying Wheezy what will essentially work out to be 18.5 million (he’s got a player option in the second year of the deal) to be the set up guy. Think about that for a second. Is there any better example of random, haphazard dispersement of payroll than having a little over 40 million dollars tied up into two guys who will set up for a pitcher making less than a million dollars to pitch as their closer in 2014?
Well, Wheezy does live in LA and maybe he’s banking on Jansen imploding or something. I can’t imagine he doesn’t want to close, his “look at me” attitude is too overwhelming for him to want to do anything else. They don’t play music for the set up guy. And that beard ain’t doing anything other than growin’ in the 8th inning. The beard has always grown on ego and the adulation of an adoring public. This scene from Seinfeld is what the beard is all about:
The Winter Meetings are going down next week and Sabean is reporting that he’ll be powering down a fried steak and the big beers at the best strip club in Orlando (although some light googling showed that he’s going to need to make the drive to Tampa for the best strip clubs in Florida). He’s also going to have to find time to work on his tan and if he’s gotta drive to Tampa I’m not sure when he’ll fit that all that in. Conundrum. Oh well, I’m sure he’ll work it out. One recommendation for Sabes: When it’s time to “make it rain” on the hoes I hope he has the decency to toss the dollar bills. He can’t throw coins at them. Do not make it hail on the hoes. Make it rain….
One thing we know he won’t be doing is making any moves to improve his team. Nothing “earth shattering” or anything and those are his words, not mine. The Winter Meetings are lame now anyway, in case anyone missed it, the *Winter Meetings* have been going down over the last week and a half. I predict multiple GM caravan’s headed from Orlando to Tampa next week…….
I’ll put this out to Flavor Nation: Do you believe it’s likely we suffer a major injury to a starting position player next year? It’s likely, right? Who will be filling in for that guy? And I don’t want to hear about Arias or Abreu or any of that nonsense. We have the lightest, barest, weakest group of 8 position players of all but a handful of the worst teams in all of baseball. We are screwed if we go into the season with the 8 position players currently slated to start for us.
I’ll be referring back to all of these threads when Sabean starts trotting out his “bad penny” white flag official statement after Gregor Freaking Blanco goes down with a knee injury in late June of next year……..
I think I’ve been too hard on Sabean lately. So I’ll say this: I couldn’t be happier that he’s staying out of the 100-200+ million dollar nonsense that some of these other teams can’t stop themselves from engaging in. Jacoby Ellsbury ain’t worth no 153 million. He just isn’t. If I’m giving that much scratch to a guy he needs to be a franchise player which J-Ell is not.
He needs to be rock solid healthy with no injury history. Um, can’t check that box off either. And I’m not just talking about the games he’s missed up to this point in his career. He sat out almost all of 2010 and more than half the games in 2012. He’s 30, take the number of games he’s missed pre-30 and double or triple that number to guess the number he’ll miss now that he’s aging into his 30′s– remember, players only played consistently deep well into their 30′s during the steroid era. Outside of of David Ortiz (who is likely on them) you just don’t see players *getting better* into their mid/late 30′s.
He would need to be a clubhouse leader. J-Ells is known for keeping to himself and having next to no relationship with his teammates. No thanks, not if it’s my 153 million.
If he’s an outfielder, his game can’t be based almost solely on speed. And outside of his 1-off home run heavy year in 2011, Ellsbury has been all about 2 things: stolen bases and defense. Sorry, I’m not spending 153 million on that. Remember, you get slower as you get older, not faster. I’m surprised Brian Cashman doesn’t know this.
Jacoby Ellsbury is like a poor man’s Carl Crawford who now makes more money than Crawford. It was a hilarious panic move by the Yankees and I can’t wait to watch it blow up in their face.
Two pretty crazy trades went down yesterday as well as a free agent pitcher signing while Sabean passively offered arbitration to his uninspiring arb eligible players…..
The Tigers and the Orioles made 2 head scratcher deals with Detroit sending Fister to the Nationals for next2nothing and Baltimore giving the A’s Jim Johnson who has 101 saves over the last 2 seasons. On paper, it seems like both the Tigers and the Orioles got taken for a ride. The A’s finished the day off with a 2 year/22 million dollar deal for Scott Kazmir—
The Fister deal is particularly galling since it seems that one of the better starting pitchers in the AL could be had for peanuts. It would have been nice to have Doug Fister on our team instead of Ryan Vogelsong. Did Sabean even know he was available?
I’m hoping that Sabean scrambles around to find Dan Duquette’s cell phone number. I never saw the Romo-to-Orioles proposed deal as a possibility– it didn’t make any sense to send Romo to a team with a closer who has 101 saves under his belt across the last 2 seasons. But now it makes perfect sense, provided that the Orioles can’t possibly be considering giving the job to K-Rod. He should change his nickname to Walk-Rod.
The deals that went down in baseball yesterday are EXACTLY the type of deals that Sabean should be working on. Forget all this nonsense about re-signing all the guys who barely kept us out of last place in 2013. You have to keep working to improve your team whenever there is an opportunity to improve it. You can’t just barely fill out your starting staff and then have the barest minimalist approach to cobbling together your position players. The Dodgers can buy whoever they want to put together a championship team. We have to do it with slick, aggressive moves. There should be no vacation for Brian Sabean. Ever. Work until your eyeballs fall out of your head. Other GM’s are doing it, why shouldn’t Sabean?
Since I can’t stand to hear him give up in July like he did last year I’ll say it for him now in December: 2014 is shaping up to be a bad penny year……..
It sure is nice to see so many Flappers have unquestioned faith in Brian Sabean. And far be it from me to do anything but honor the two world championships that his teams brought to us. But here’s the deal: 2010 and 2012 are over with. And in case some of you didn’t see it, there’s a new sheriff in town and his name is The Art Dealer. He doesn’t care what things cost. He spends wildly on his art hoping that one or two of them will turn out to be priceless works of art. And though it didn’t work out for him in 2013, this is the model he will adhere to until he wins. And if he keeps spending, he will win.
A decent argument against this model is, “Well, the Yankees spend money every year and they’ve only won a single world series in the 13 years that have passed since their dynasty.” So clearly, spending money doesn’t equal a guarantee of anything.
But what the Art Dealers are doing make the Yankees look like the a typical Houston Astro re-build year. Their payroll will be in the 230+ million in 2014 and they will likely go tens of millions above that in the coming seasons. They wipe their ass with the luxury tax receipt that they’ll be paying year in and year out while they reel off 2 or 3 world series championships in a row. The Yankees had a built in fatal flaw that the overrated Cashman didn’t have an answer for: they got too old. And at the same time they started freaking out about the luxury tax and have been trying to get under that while the rest of their team ages out of the league. This will never happen to the ‘Dealers. If some of their old guys get too old they’ll just release them or bench them and go trade for another 2 or 3 guys who are still productive but who are too expensive for their current team to hold on to. Everyone’s looking for salary relief. Except for the Art Dealers. From that stand point they’re really more like Drug Dealers. But I can only keep track of one nickname at a time so…..
What does that mean for the Giants? Of course I’m not suggesting that they can keep up with them from a payroll standpoint. But the model can’t be “The pitching is set and let’s just see what happens.” We are too thin across the board with our position players. Don’t believe me? What happens if Pagan goes down again next year? Hmmmm, I guess Sabes could slide good ‘ol Blanco over to CF and see what Torres is doing–maybe he’d come back and play left field for us. We have one of the worst outfield’s in baseball and if one of our “big 3″ go down who’s our back up plan? Gary Freaking Brown? Francisco Peguero? Oops, never mind. The Giants can’t continue to ignore their hitting by putting together the barest minimum line of of position players. If we do that we are guaranteed another “bad penny year” as Sabes likes to say when he gives up in early July…..
My point is that 2010 and 2012 are not anything to fall back on as *evidence* that our model will work in the new NL West. The Art Dealer’s have raised the bar. We have to raise ours……..
We traded Monell for cash. I’ll guess $25,000. I’m sure that haul will hit the team bank account hard. By the way, beers at AT&T are going up a buck next season……
Now we explore the exciting possibilities of what The Great Peguero might bring us. $50,000? I’m not sure I’m gonna be able to sleep tonight. When I do finally drift off I know what my first dream will be: If we some day ever trade Erik Cordier or Jose de Paula could we possibly net 75K for the both of them? I’ll sleep on the old linens tonight just in case that dream gets out of hand……..
Brian Sabean is now doddering around like an old man muttering to himself at the race track, every now and then picking up losing tickets off the floor and hoping to find a winner. Pathetic……
Does that do anything fer ya? I don’t think bringing back Vogelsong was Bruce Jenkin’s idea of nailing down that final fifth starter. It’s nice that the Giants got him for about half what they would have had to pay him if they had picked up his option. Decent business move, I guess.
If Sabean were playing Colleti in chess, this move would equal moving your pawn a couple of spots forward with no real plan for what to do next. This is not a move that allows us to be *at least as good* as the Dodger pitching staff.
Voggy’s biggest question is whether he can regain his velocity or not. It’s possible he wasn’t able to find it because of the injury and it’s hard to come back mid season after missing so much time. Or maybe he’s just gotten too old. It happens quickly sometimes. Just ask Ted Lilly.
I’m now watching an off season that is starting to worry me. Sabean has spent most of his time just re-signing all the guys who barely kept them out of last place last season. And Tim Hudson, while a nice addition, isn’t going to be able to make up that many games in the win column. He’s only one man.
Left Field is a massive problem. Our offense sucks. And our pitching, in the best case scenario, still isn’t as good as the Dodgers staff. Things are dark and gloomy. Could be time for some haiku’s to perk me up but I feel like that’s at least a month too early. If we start writing them now what will we do a month from now?
Nolasco signed with The Twins. Terms haven’t been disclosed yet. Man, how much would it suck if your pitching staff was The Twins? Nolasco instantly becomes their ace with Correia and Deduno the #2/#3. I don’t think they’ve sorted out #4/#5 yet. That’s a small problem they might want to address.
Bruce Jenkins was on KNBR today, I caught a bit of it while I was driving around finishing off last second birthday present purchases (my daughter turned 11 today). When asked if the Giants need to make another move he instantly and confidently said *yes* that they have to fill LF hole and find a 5th starter. He emphasized the 5th starter (he said Arroyo) because of something I hadn’t really considered. He said that if the Giants aren’t going to be able to compete with the Dodgers payroll-wise (few could) the Giants need to at least field a starting 5 that is as good as the Dodgers starting 5 and that the only way they could come close to doing that is to go rock solid (if not spectacular) from 1 through 5. He didn’t say this, but the assumption was that there was no way they could field 8 position players that matched the Dodgers 8 starting position players so matching their starting pitchers would be the most realistic goal for Sabean if all he has to do is add one more starting pitcher. And frankly, Jenkins’ point made a ton of sense…..
He was also asked a stupid hypothetical question of would it make sense for the Giants to trade Panda to the A’s for Cespedes (or, would the teams make that deal). He immediately said “of course the Giants would do it but there’s no way the A’s would.” And he’s right. His reasoning didn’t include the most important reason and that’s that the A’s have one of the best 3rd basemen in all of baseball in Josh Donaldson so why would they want to add the Panda? But all of his others reasons were sound, too. The A’s would be fools to gift us Cespedes for Sandoval. Too bad, how exciting would it be if that trade ever actually happened?
This is a fantastic post:
And while Blade didn’t author most of it and I never read the article, it speaks to the backward-ass way that most teams operate…..
A player doesn’t get to free agency until he plays in 6 full seasons at the major league level. Six years is a long time, at any level of any professional sport. Athlete’s bodies break, sometimes quickly but without question they fail over time. Baseball GM’s do a good job of managing these players and getting the most production possible out of them during their indentured time. But they don’t start paying them big bucks until the peak of their career has ended. How stupid is that? The ultimate goal of all professional teams should be to stock pile players that produce more value on the field than what they get paid. If you look at WAR, player value is 5 mil per win. But with free agents it’s 9 million per win. Is there a simpler numerical disparity that highlights the stupidity of signing free agents in baseball?
With the sweet cable deals that are fueling revenue for ALL mlb teams right now it’s difficult to guess where baseball goes with free agency in the future. There is a ton of dough out there and it’s getting spent on players who are on the Coke Bottle slide of their career. No one know what owners are making off each of their players. Wins are one thing, merchandise and TV deals are another. Fans look at a deal and just assess the total dollars paid out and the years of the deal. I think that might be the best example of how clueless we fans are to the financial side of how professional sports are operated………
If I were an owner, I would operate my team by not giving a single sh!t about the back of a player’s baseball card. Why pay him tens of millions of dollars for what he did for your competitor? Still, the owners all look fat and happy. They probably sit around laughing at us……
Like several other players busted in the Biogenesis bust, Jhonny Peralta got 50 games of unpaid leave, publicly humiliating himself and the fake stats he generated while on the juice as well as leaving his team in the lurch as the playoff stretch run kicked into high gear. In exchange for this consequence, the St Louis Cardinals handed him 52 million dollars–that’s more than 3 times what the Blue Jays gave to Fake Website Guy. And there are a half a dozen teams tripping over themselves to sign Nelson Cruz. He’ll probably get 80 million+.
Clearly, the consequence for failing a drug test isn’t working. 50 games? No problemo. More time to work on my Summer tan. 100? Sure, I’ll bide my time by pumping out extra sets in the gym and banging hot chicks while my team forages on without me.
I find it beyond hypocritical that there are teams and fans around the country who want to asterisk (*) Barry Bonds but those same teams and fans are handing over millions of dollars to known steroid offenders and celebrating their arrival. If Jhonny Peralta were to break Bonds’ single season home run record next year (yes, this example is just for the sake of argument) would the Cardinals organization celebrate it or asterisk (*) it?
I could care less if players take steroids. Hell, they should be required to take them. As a fan, I have the right to expect to see the best athlete that science can produce! Yes, kidding. But really, I don’t care if they take them. Just don’t get caught. And mlb’s drug program is NOT working. The Biogenesis scandal came to light because a minion in the organization ratted the operation out—it wasn’t like all those guys failed drug tests. Well, besides Braun, and we know what a fiasco that turned into.
I don’t know what the drug policy should be. The tide seems to have turned in terms of player acceptance of cheating, many players came out publicly against the players caught up in the Bio-bust. That wouldn’t have happened 5-10 years ago. But those same players are now watching these guys apologize and come back to 52 million dollar deals waiting for them. How long will the swell of player disapproval last if that keeps happening?
While other teams are busy wheeling and dealing, the Giants quietly announced the signing of Javier Lopez. Excuse me if I don’t celebrate this move. It’s nice. Great to have him back. But I’d like to point out that the only new player added to last year’s near-last place team is Tim Hudson. And I’m happy to have Huddy come aboard. It’s just that, well, this off season is starting to have that *underwhelming* feel to it.
The Cardinals boldly went out and got Peter Bourjos. The Tigers brazenly traded away Prince Fatso. And those were teams that good last year. We were not good last year. We could not hit last year. And excuse me if I don’t trust Sabean to sit on his hands until the 2014 trade deadline before he trades for a competent left fielder. And our bench is a joke.
Big Game today. Go Cardinal.
I didn’t know a lot about Michael Weiner. Donald Fehr turned me off to anyone who led that union. I heard he had inoperable brain cancer a few months ago, didn’t think much of it. But over the last hour I have read several articles about what an amazing person he was. He was 51.
I didn’t think a single thing about baseball immediately after I heard that he had died. I thought about his 3 daughters. I googled around a bit to find out how old they are but didn’t find their ages. I didn’t google too hard, it would have probably just bummed me out. I can’t imagine what it would be like to leave my only daughter behind much less 3 of them.
Lots of players are tweeting about this, their condolences and sadness seems genuine. But if this guy was as awesome as everyone says he was, I just keep wondering what his kids must be feeling tonight. Sounds like they just lost the best dad in the world.
Ken Rosenthal wrote a piece about him today. I guess they were friends or had become friends. He started the article by saying he was introduced to Weiner by player’s agent who said “He is the smartest, fairest, kindest person you will ever meet.” He ended the article with this: “That agent from many years ago had it right. Michael Weiner was the smartest, fairest kindest person I’ve ever met. And there isn’t even a close second.”
When you read something like that you should feel disappointed that you didn’t know this man. At least, I did. And I can’t shake the feeling tonight of how sad his 3 daughters are tonight. I can only imagine how devastated he was to leave his family so early, so unexpectedly. ANd if he’s anything like he sounds like he was, he was most devastated for them….
Still kind of reeling from the Fielder/Kinsler trade. Not sure what Texas is doing but if you don’t care about money I guess it’s a move that could work out in their favor. On the flip side of that bold trade, we had Larry Baer trying to shift fan’s focus away from any off season moves that might acquire a starting left fielder by saying: “In 2010 and 2012 LF was basically a platoon situation too and we went and got help mid season (Burrell, Ross, Pence).” I think that is a dangerous path to travel. The Giants couldn’t be any thinner at pretty much every non-pitching position. One guy goes down, we’re screwed. Heck, we might be screwed if they all manage to stay up.
Our pitching staff continues to strengthen with the anticipated signing of Javier Lopez. We still have an obvious hole in left field and our bench. We need 4 reliable outfielders who can be seen as legitimate starting outfielders. We have 2. And if Pagan goes down again our offense will be stuck again. Blanco is a decent enough 4th, but I don’t want him in a platoon role……
I’m praying that Sabean pulls off a trade for a starting left fielder (or even starting center fielder who would slide Pagan to LF).
Who would you target in a trade, and what would you give up?
I like the signing, Huddy is a bridge to Crick et al (or just: Crick). Any 2 year deal is fantastic and it’s not our money so who cares how much they spend over 2 years? I’ve gotten several texts from my idiot A’s friends who’ve mocked the Lincecum and Huddy deals but they’re looking at this from a broken perspective. Every A’s fan looks at the dollar attached to the contract, regardless of the context. Newsflash: there’s so much money infused from the new tv deal that ANY team could increase their spending and still have dough left over. Even Beane could do this and he looks under the couch cushions at the office every night.
To win at the mlb level in today’s world you need to limit the long term deals. Sabean has finalized 2 FANTASTIC two 2 year deals so far this off season. I couldn’t be happier with these signings. Hopefully Voggy takes a pauper’s deal and he comes back as the #5. Or maybe he doesn’t, who cares, Sabean has brilliantly filled out the 3/4 and any team in either league would take Petit as a #5. And Gaudin is still gently grabbing titties in the ER to stay off the DL next year……
Huddy comes with some risk, that’s beyond obvious. He’s done ok at ATT: 52 innings, 3.81 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, .256 batting average against. But his ERAx was 97 last year, the lowest of his career, and that’s not very good—-that’s a number adjusted to his ballpark. 100 is the league average. He’s been well above 100 for most of his career.
But I am supporting this deal, as I did the Lincecum deal, and will stand up and admit I’m wrong if proven so. That rarely happens though……
El Presidente just signed a minor league deal with the Cubs. I hope Eli Whiteside thanks the baseball gods each and every night for the continued and ongoing gift bestowed by them of getting to play professional baseball year in and year out. He’s 34, including his world series shares from ’10 and ’12 he’s made close to 3 million dollars in his career. Plus all the meal money. Still, the last time he hit over .200 at the mlb level was 2010. Last year he played for about 37 different organizations, ending with Texas for 67 games where he hit .187 at triple A. So of course it makes sense that Chicago offered him a contract….
Speaking of ex-Giants, the Refrigerator Mover, Randy Messenger, just re-signed with a team in Japan. He’s 34…..
*El Presidente* and *The Refrigerator Mover*— 2 of the great nicknames generated by Flap vets……
Not a fun afternoon of football if you’re a Niner fan. Pfffftttttt……
But it’s interesting how we transition from sport to sport, isn’t it? It would be beyond weird to watch a baseball game right now. Hockey doesn’t exist in my life and the NBA has really been a tough go for me to get into this year.
But football, NFL and NCAA, has been about exciting as it gets. I don’t gamble on games but the fantasy side of football is non-stop go-time. It almost made today’s Niner failure tolerable. Well, that’s the wrong word. Fantasy football *distracted* me from the Niner game? That’s better.
For the life of me, I can’t figure out why I’m allowed to gamble on fantasy sports and the horses legally, not to mention any lotto ticket I choose to partake in, but I’m not allowed to play poker online or bet on a football game. I guess it’s that W-2G thing that’s the hang up. If I ran the government, I’d tax cigs, alcohol and gambling winnings at 50%. And I’d allow any and all gambling on the internet. Tax the shit out of those 3 things. Whores too. Problem….still there. But, it would be a start.
Ok, thanks for listening.
I’m beyond tired on reading mlbtraderumors.com. It started out as an innovative site before twitter and everything else *caught up*, now it’s just a hodge-podge of tweets that are 90% fabrications and hopeful stabs that the first tweeter hopes he hits before anyone else. Anyone can make something up hoping it comes true one day. Anyway, not interested in the slightest in checking that site more than once a day, at most.
But I do enjoy their free agent prediction contest…..
I couldn’t figure out a way to do a poll that was easy to work with, at least as it related to Twin’s now deleted thread of all possible targets this off season. So I’m going to just do this:
and please, take into consideration what all these players will cost when you vote. Consider value. I’m not going to post what they all should/might get in free agency, it should be a ballpark this crew already knows…..
I’m fine with Sandoval’s decision to play Winter ball in Venezuela instead of work out under the “Giant” eye in Arizona. At some point, this guy has to grow up and take care of himself. And money motivates a lot of people so I would be inclined to believe that he’ll come to camp in shape and have a good year in 2014. If he can’t responsibly take care of his body with millions of dollars at stake then he’ll never be able to do it.
And I don’t care what he does next year, he could hit .400 with 75 hr’s, I would not want him back. Let another team commit to him for several years only to watch him balloon up again.
MVP results not a huge surprise. I nailed the exacta last August 18th:
10 years today, Sabes pulled of the reverse-coup: The AJ Trade. Here’s a great recap of the trade at the Hardball Times.
I just read that the Giants are *open* to trading for starting pitching which is a little like me saying I’m open to the idea of buying a 5 million dollar house as long as the owner is willing to take 10K for it. We are simply not good trading partners. Our most desirable (only?) trade chips that would/could bring anything mlb ready/coveted are Panda, Belt, Romo and Crick. And while I would jizz in my pants if I hear that we traded Crick et al for David Price, I’m not holding my breath. Sabes don’t roll that way. Panda’s stock is low and trading Belt just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me unless someone sends us something of huge value and I just don’t think the market is that for Belt. Of course, I’d be happy to be proven wrong. And Romo, clearly a top 7 or 8 MLB closer, is still a closer and it’s rare that a top closer ends up getting traded. I think most teams are of the opinion that you can plug a lot of guys into the closer role so why pay for it?
So I am not optimistic that a trade for a mlb ready starting pitcher is forthcoming—there are just too many other teams who have the same need who will pay more than we will.
PET PEEVE–NON BASEBALL VARIETY: I am sick to death of football players using the excuse of “we just failed to execute” as the reason for losing. You mean you failed to execute those plays you ran in practice at half speed sometimes without contact? Shocking that it didn’t go down in the game like it went down in practice! Just call it like it is: you either got beat by a better team, or luck or a better game plan or better scheme. Those are the only reasons. “Failing to execute” is the puss-way out of answering a question from the press. And no one *pusses* his way out more often than our own Colin Kaepernick. Same with Harbs. As far as their interviews go, I’ve got no use for either of them……
But the Niners will be fine as soon as they find some legit NFL receivers. We don’t have a single guy who can consistently beat a cornerback 1:1 (especially deep). Our one long threat chance yesterday (a perfect throw from Kap that was dropped by *rookie*) went to a tight end. If sending the slow, white tight end deep is your deep threat, the rest of the receivers should just quit the game………
I’m not sure how many of you did the mlbtraderumors contest but here are my top 12 (there are 50 but I couldn’t snip all of them so I just went top 12):
I recognize there’s some redundancy with Tanaka and Garza going to the Art Dealers but this is a very difficult contest so any hit counts like gold. Last year’s winner got like 19 right (something like that).
#11 is more of a dream of mine than anything that will likely happen……
I admit to not understanding all the in’s and out’s of the posting fee and the exclusive rights to negotiate with a Japanese baseball player. But wouldn’t it make sense for the Giants to try to win the posting fee at the very least? Then if they can’t come to an agreement with Tanaka at least he doesn’t end up with the Art Dealers. It would be like putting in a claim for a player just to block him from going to another contender.
And I don’t want Tanaka, I think the risk is far too great for what the cost would be.
But I also don’t want to see him playing for Lower California.
I still haven’t locked in my picks at mlbtraderumors.com for where I think their Top 50 free agents will land. I was scanning the list just now and man, that’s an underwhelming list. Especially the top 10. I don’t find a player that I would truly want on the Giants (considering how much they will cost) until I hit Ubaldo at #11. After that I don’t see another name of interest until Nolasco at #20. Hart and #39 or McClouth at #41 wouldn’t have me doing a slow burn. I could see either, on the cheap, working out in the outfield for us.
Truth is, I can’t stand free agency. The players hired almost never match their production to what you are paying them. I still am blown away that 17 of the St Louis Cardinals in the World Series this year made under 600K. Of course, they lost so I guess all that tells me is that they had too many of those guys. Ha. Kidding, of course.
Anyway, here’s the list again:
The bullying situation in Miami has to be an isolated incident, right? Or is this what goes on in other NFL locker rooms? You can argue that it’s too absurd to happen in other NFL locker rooms but everyone knows that Bounty-Gate wasn’t just about the Saints. That stuff happens in all locker rooms to this day.
Here’s an example of what this POS Incognito said to Martin in a voice mail:
And I don’t want to hear about this being football and it’s just hazing, and how NFL locker rooms are different than other work places. This is a fucking work place and Martin has to put up with this type of bullshit? No way. And all the dopes calling into KNBR saying he should have fought Incognito, even if he lost, to protect his reputation need to go back to prison where they came from. The rest of us will live in society……
The Dolphins had this cretin on a 6 player leadership committee. So either the Miami coach is totally clueless with no feel for the dynamics of his team or he’s a disgusting human who supported this type of behavior. Putting him on a leadership committee?
And is there a bigger piece of shit pussy than a bully who calls out a guy half his weight in a twitter rant? Answer: there isn’t.
Here’s some past *weirdo* stuff tweeted out by Incognito about Martin:
Anyway, “Meathead” doesn’t begin to describe this stupid fuck.
This contest is put on by mlbtraderumors.com and promises to pale in comparison to the one Twin put on. Anyway, it’ll kill some time if that’s what you’re looking for. The goal of the contest is to predict where their top 50 free agents will go. I think I got 12 correct last year. The winner got 20. It’s hard to do. And you have to have a facebook account.
Here’s the link:
There are prizes, I don’t know what they are.
Breeder’s Cup Day. My favorite day of all the days. 9 races. Impossible to handicap. But quickly, for those interested, I will release my top longshot picks for each race. And by *longshot* I mean *the best value I could find to hit the tri or the super*. Any of them could win. Most will finish in the bottom rungs of the exotics. Or up the track. Hopefully not in a van.
4th: Ria Antonia and Concave
5th: Dank to win. Emmolient and Kittens Dumpling underneath. Maybe to win.
6th: Dance to Bristol. Great Hot for 3rd or 4th. Sweet Lulu just cause the ‘Dorf doesn’t run them “just because”
7th: Jeranimo. Dimension. One of the hardest races on the card, IMO
8th: another impossible race. New Year’s Day and Medal Count. There will be others.
9th: Magician. Hate Little Mike. This bold claim ensures him a winners circle appearance.
10th: Justin Philip, Gentlemen’s Bet, Fast Bullet, Laugh track
10th: Silentio and Bright Thought. Wise Dan is a beast though.
11th: Declaration of War. Will Take Charge. Paynter.
Of course, there will be a bevy of fine steeds surrounding all these great animals on all the tickets.
Good luck to you if you’re playing.
Congrats to Denny for winning the PC and for showing back up at the blog after being gone for a year+ to thank Twin for the contest and the prize.
Congrats to my main man BirdDog for winning 2nd place and snagging the turntable with software that allows you to convert vinyl records to digital.
And congrats to the St Louis Cardinals for sending The Art Dealers back to their usual spot in front of the tv for the World Series. Twenty Five years and counting…..
I haven’t spent much time on this World Series. Taping it. Fast forwarding through it. Man, baseball is not a game to watch with an ff button at the ready. It’s like an addiction. At first you’re just skipping the commercials. Then you run it a little too far into the first at bat of the inning. Then you want to see Big Papi bat so you’re skipping through entire innings…..
Anyway, I might start watching it live—at least the 9th innings. The last 2 ended predictably, right? Just when you think the baseball gods are shining down upon the Cardinals, and there was no other way to think after The MIddlebrooks Obstruction, along comes The Wonger and he does his best imitation of a dumbsh!t.
So now I don’t know what the baseball gods are planning. I guess I’ll have to go *old school* and watch it live.
Winner is Carlos Beltran.
“Beltran continued to operate the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico — which he established in 2011 with $3 million of his own money. The Academy offers high-quality education and athletic experiences for youth that otherwise wouldn’t get those opportunities. He even flew back this past summer on an off-day to congratulate the first graduating class.
That isn’t all, though. Beltran also raised $160,000 for the Carlos Beltran Foundation with his Night in Old San Juan Gala. The Foundation gives money to local St. Louis charities and helps to continue to fund the Academy. He also has a “Beltran’s Buddies” program to benefit underprivileged youth in the St. Louis area.
The first winner of the award in 1971 was Willie Mays — at the time it was called the Commissioner’s Award. In 1973, the award renamed to honor Clemente. Clayton Kershaw won the award last season. Some other past winners include David Ortiz, Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols. A litany of Hall of Famers have also won.”
i said i had some surprises in store. so here’s the scoop- i have 4 consolation prizes up for grabs. i thought about it and it’s always seemed unfair that people who are lousy at things get nothing but scorn for their pathetic stabs at competence. the guy who couldn’t spell ‘cat’ if you spotted him the ‘c’ and the ‘t’, the woman who submitted this at the ‘pillsbury bake-off’
you get the idea. well, this is for the contestants who demonstrated with varying degrees of ineptitude that they will never be nicknamed ‘( insert first name) the greek”. without further ado, the first prize in the “Race to Save Face” is a logitech washable usb keyboard- i have one of these, and they’re great, and yes, you really can wash it.
two Kingston Digital 8 GB USB 2.0 Hi-speed Datatraveler Flash Drives will be the next prizes. you all know what flash drives are- these 8 gb drives are great for sharing porn with your degenerate pals- what’s more disgustingly delightful than a senior citizen’s game of ‘limp biscuit’…
the final prize is a mystery prize. note- you’ll want to make sure you have a roof that can support 2.2 tons. you might to hire a structural engineer. our drivers and lift operators will always have your family’s safety in mind. since the unfortunate accident that we had NO WAY TO ANTICIPATE , the prize will not be situated above the children’s bedroom.
the race will be conducted in stages, the keyboard will be awarded after game 3, october 26 in st. louis. contestants will pick the runs scored by both teams. tie breaker will be total hits from both teams. this is open to all contestants with ‘none chance’ to win. it’s up to the contestant to determine if he has a chance. by entering the contest for the keyboard, you are not eligible for the two top prizes. those contestants who did not send in picks for the world series are also welcome to compete for the consolation prizes.
email your picks by game time october 26 to
Here are the picks for the World Series. Good luck to the contenders and a thank you to all for embracing the contest and making it so enjoyable for me to host the competition. and special thanks to craig for giving me the reins after he set up what has become a very exciting race with 7 of the 20 original contestants still in the running for the prizes. and lest the ‘losers’ think it’s over- i still have some surprises in store.
the contenders, current total in parentheses:
salty (9) cards in 6-33
rooster(9) cardinals in 6- 36
denny(9)- sox in 6- 49
chi (8)- sox in 7-58
birddog (8)-boston in 6 -37
chuck(7) -boston in 6- 33
macdog (7)-cards in 7- 47
the also rans, fighting for bragging rights as the best of the rest.
blade (5)- boston in 6- 55
kevin (5)-cards in 6 -26
kat (5)-boston in 5-30
sandawg(3) -boston in 6-49
wilcojoe(4)- cardinals in 7-72
pawlie(2)- sox in 7
lurking on the sidelines, hoping for a sandwich pick:
boxhead, sportsdude,flavor, wes,manny,winder, snarkk
Someone once told me that “Aloha” means goodbye and hello. That always always sounded stupid to me. Today it’s my way of disguising my “good bye” thread from yesterday.
And when I said “10% chance he’d return” I’d like to point out that I qualified that with “I didn’t spend a lot of math time computing that percentage.” Plus, I’m not very good at math. Still, my take on this is that 10% ain’t such bad odds as they used to be……
But seriously, this is a good deal for both sides. Timmy gets 35 more million dollars after spending 2 years being one of the worst starting pitchers in either league. And relax, I said “the last 2 years”. And I’m right, he’s in the bottom 10% of qualified starting pitchers, easily. Uh oh, there’s that 10% thing again……. But hey, no one ever contended that free agent pitchers get paid for what they’re gonna do, they get paid for what they did on the back of their baseball card. And Timmy’s card looks good if you read the whole thing……..
And I’ve bought into the Koolade that he is starting to change his approach to pitching, doing more research on hitters and hopefully developing his specialty pitches. His K’s are still there, the talent is still there. Once you display a skill, you own it for life. I truly believe that so I have to take the positive take on Timmy’s next chapter as a major league pitcher.
And 2 years is perfect. If I was a GM every single deal I’d do would be 2 years. Love the length of the deal……..
Just a super quick Lincecum post before the ‘series starts Wednesday….
I see almost no possibility that he signs in SF. “No possibility” is probably too strong. I’ll go with 10% that he returns. I didn’t spend a lot of math time on computing that percentage. Here are my non-math reasons why:
1) Timmy is turning 30 next season, and while he’s definitely heading into what should be his mega contract free agent bonanza, he’s not exactly storming it with a yoked resume. We all know about his hideous ERA the last 2 seasons. His W/L record has always been abysmal for someone who boasts 2 Cy Young’s. But the biggie is that he just hasn’t found a pitch to replace his weakening fastball. What he doesn’t know (and what Ubaldo Jimenez figured out before he did) is that he needs a new approach to pitching, not a new pitch. The point of #1: this one’s actually a *support* for him re-signing. Pitchers staggering into free agency shouldn’t get monster deals. And yet those 2 CY Young’s are like liquid Meth for most MLB Gm’s. The reality…..
2) ….teams are starved for pitching. But they’re even more starved for PR moves that sell tickets. Tim Lincecum is still a rockstar, even minus the cropped dome. He’ll sell tickets and jerseys as he has continued to do with the Giants over the last 2 uninspiring years. Someone will throw 4 years/54 million at him. Book it. The Point of #2: The Giants won’t be that team.
3) He’s made around 60 million dollars in his career. He’s single, and by all accounts he’s a down to earth dude who doesn’t have a burning need to go build a monster palace next to Jeter in Florida (ha, go check that thing out some day when you’re bored). Timmy doesn’t need to accept the qualifying offer in order to parlay the value of a monster 2014 into an even more monster multi year deal. He can easily accept a 4 year/54 million dollar deal that will put his career earnings over 100 million and will guarantee him security for life, as well as the multiple as-yet-unidentified generations he will hand his fortune over to after he’s gone. The point of #3: He’s accepting reality that he’s no longer a CY guy, There’s no reason to accept the qualifying offer and risk another average year. That will only torpedo the 4yr/54 million dollar deal that he could get now. If he has a third underwhelming season in a row he’d be now looking at like a 2 year/16 million dollar deal going into 2015 and he can do that math easily in his head…….
4) and that makes this an easy call, he’s taking the 4 year deal that’s coming from someone other than the Giants this Winter………..
team stats regular season ( just some basic ones)
the cards, nl- 1st in offense, 5th in pitching, tied 1st in defense
red sox, al- 1st in offense, 6th in pitching, 5th in defense
starting pitching- boston 3.84 era .247 baa 109 hr
relief pitching -boston 3.70 era .250 baa 47 hr
hitting boston-.277 ba .349 obp .795 ops 178 hr
starting pitching 3.42 era .250 baa 76 hr
relief pitching 3.45 era .247 baa 36 hr
hitting .269 ba .322 obp .733 ops 125 hr
st. louis home and road- 54-27 and 43-38, boston home and road 53-28 and 44-37
for more detailed team stats, hardball talk has more:
who has the big edges?
offense: boston- drew over kozma, ellsbury over jay, dh- if craig can go, ortiz has a slight edge, overwise it’s a huge boston edge
cards- holliday over gomez/nava, molina over ‘saltimbocca’, beltran over victorino- but not as big as their reps might indicate, beltran has the power edge and a great arm. victorino is a better overall defender and the baserunning edge. both were .290s batting averages.
starting pitching- Starting pitching: adam wainwright, michael wacha, joe kelly, lance lynn vs. jon lester, john lackey, clay buchholz, jake peavy
edge- even. most pick st. louis here and that will be the case if wacha pitches as he has. but he’s not *that* good. and kelly is very hittable. i like bucholtz to have a big series. wainwright/lester i see as a push. the key guys who can swing this either way are wacha and lackey, imo.
pen- closers- uehara over rosenthal- they can’t hit uehara and he doesn’t walk ‘em 0.565 whip. that’s half a batter per inning, where’s eddie?
rosenthal is top notch but has limited closer experience. 1.102 whip- 1 batter on per inning. whip means a lot with these two.
pen total. both pens have been nearly unhittable in the postseason. st. louis .177 baa 0.84 whip boston .209 baa 1.06 whip
my take- st. louis in 7. and that home field will be big in this series. these are very evenly matched teams across the board. boston has a large edge in power, and the best closer. st louis has the better defense and better middle relief. and key edges with holliday, beltran, molina.
series mvp- yadier molina
series surprise- xander bogearts
The 2 teams with the best records are facing off in the 2013 World Series and that doesn’t happen too often anymore. Once again, the two highest payroll teams will not be facing off in the World Series. Arguably the 3 best offenses (Boston, Detroit and St Louis) were in both Championship Series. Due to that, the pitching has to be considered MORE outrageous than it appeared to be. Seven of the 10 playoff teams had team playoff ERA’s of 3.63 or less. That’s absurd. For Detroit to have a 2.81 team ERA with that horrendous bullpen speaks loudly to how dominant their starting pitching was this post season….
And with that, I bid you adieu for a few days. Twin will take over the Monday thread with his contest details. Please forward all picks to him (not me). His email address is
i realized this afternoon that we didn’t really spent the proper amount of time celebrating The Art Dealer’s demise in yet another season with someone else winning the World Series.
I never would admit it, but all that “no WS wins in SF” shit did bother me as a fan. After we won 2010 I could give less than a turd about that angle. And after 2012….what’s less than a turd?
I said it at the time, I could care less about franchise series wins. I don’t think i’d really even care about SF series wins had we won any before I was born. I’m old enough now not to count other fans, older fans, flags that fly. By now I’m far more concerned with the ones I earned as a fan….
So that’s why I LQTM at all the a Dodger fans who were born post ’85 or so. Maybe even a year or two earlier. Ya gotta be old enough to remember watching it. Think about it, most Dodger fans who are 30 or so have no concept of what it feels like to be a fan of a World Series champion. And I freaking love that….
………At least the one I had about signing Abreu and then trading Belt, Crick and Romo for David Price. The White Sox gave Abreu 6 years/68 million. That was pretty close to my guess of 5 years/60 million. You knew he was going to get more than Puig based off his success in LA and the number of teams competing for Abreu. Sabean abhors competition ever since Boras hoodwinked him into an extra 30 million or so on Zito’s deal so I didn’t really think we had a legitimate chance of signing him. But dreaming about it wasn’t too far fetched.
Whatever, he’s much better suited for the American League anyway. He can DH as his girth grows. And getting bigger is a realistic concern for a guy who’s weight is already bumping up against the brink of acceptability.
And, with a GM who doesn’t want to part with prospects of value I think there’s no chance we would ever see Sabean offer up the likely 3 top prospects that it will take to get Price.
So, I guess it’s time for a new dream……
What would a package of Arias, Affeldt, Villalona, Pill, Linden and Monell net us? You know that’s a puzzle that Sabean is trying to put together…..
The Cardinals might not say it out loud, but Game 5 was a near must-win for them. It was only a year ago that it was a must-win for them. But Barry Zito had other ideas and pitched the game of his life to send the series back to SF where it ultimately ended with manager Mike Matheny drenched in the downpour muttering to himself on the top of the dugout steps…
And while the weather might be better in St Louis than it was in San Francisco in 2012, he could easily find himself in the exact same situation at the end of this series (albeit, dryer).
By not getting the job done yesterday, now they have to face Kershaw and that “W” is already in the bank. So now they’re knotted at 3-3 and every single member of that organization as well as their unified, massive legion of fans will be thinking one collective thing: “Uh oh, not again….”
They’ll play tight in Game 7 trying to avoid losing instead of trying to win and the shadow of last season’s playoff meltdown will haunt them all the way to yet another blown 3-1 series lead.
This sucks, the freaking Art Dealers are going back to the World Series.
I’m not updating the standings since we still have 2 undecided results, but if St Louis holds sway it’s going to tighten up the standings big time. All three of the players in the top 3 spots took The Art Dealers. Several of the villagers took the Cards in 6, but nobody took them in 5. ChiPower could really use the Tigers to win in 7. And right now, Denny with the Cards in 6/Red Sox in 6 is poised for the biggest boldest move so far in the contest. If that happens, we’ll have 5 guys with a legit shot at the top prize going into the world series.
Contestants: Please make sure you guys send all your remaining picks to Michael. Do not email me them anymore. Thanks. Craig His email is email@example.com
Ugh, I used the same headline when we were on the cusp of the 2010 championship. And while this doesn’t have the same energy or emotion to it, I am greatly looking forward to the Cardinals knocking out the Art Dealers from the 2013 playoffs. Sure, it’s a petty victory. But I’ll be chalking this one up as a W for our side.
First Question: If Puke flips his bat 30 feet in the air when he hits a triple, how far does he throw it when he hits a home run? 20 rows into the lower box seats? Next year is gonna be fun. This clown’s ribs are gonna take a beating in 2014.
Second Question: When did baseball teams decide to just stop scoring runs?
Third Question: Where has fanduel.com been all my life? Me likey…..
Having zero emotional interest in either of the remaining AL teams, I’m struggling to rank the context of last night’s grand slam by David Ortiz in the overall history of baseball. That has to rank as one of the top, if not THE top, post season moments ever. And if Torii Hunter, one of the best guys in the game, makes that near impossible catch, would that count as the best catch in post season history? With apologies to Mr. Mays, I think it would be a legitimate question.
And here’s another question: if he DOES make that catch and still tumbles over the wall, is it an out or a home run? I think there’s a rule that you have to come back to the field with the ball so if he threw it back into the field of play from the dugout it wouldn’t count as an out. I’m not sure of this though. There was a similar play that happened 20 years ago at Fenway with Jay Buhner (I think)……..Just went and checked youtube. Here it is:
And the cop celebrating wildly in the background will be an imagine that will crystalize this as an iconic moment in post season history.
Anyway, you don’t have to be a Red Sox fan to get goose bumps watching that play…..
Zito’s ad in The Chronicle:
I hate 2 college teams (USC and Cal), 2 footballs teams (Denver and Dallas) and 2 baseball teams (St Louis and The Art Dealers)….
So imagine my conundrum when the 2013 NLCS hit my screen tonight.
I actually think that if you put a cattle prod to my backside I’d admit that I hate the Cardinals more than The Art Dealers. Hating the ‘Artists is ingrained into my DNA. But that hatred has sustained itself mostly because of DNA, not recent history. For me, I hate players like Ron Cey, Don Sutton, Steve Garvey, Steve Sax, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell, Mickey Hatcher (yes, hated him), Orel GoFuckYourself, etc….. Even hearing the name “Ken Landreaux” pisses me off…..
But hearing the name “Steve Finley” doesn’t make my blood boil. It should, it just doesn’t. Same goes for *Adrian Gonzalez*. Or “Puig”. But I have quietly enjoyed his 0-10 with 6k’s this series…..
The St Louis Cardinals? That hate is real. It’s earned. The video of Will the Thrill getting blind sided by Ozzie Smith and Jose Oquendo (starting with a pussy short kick to the gut and a slap to the head and ending with wild hay maker misses) is the reason I will always love Candy Maldonado and his teammates more than the back of their baseball cards could ever make me love them….And I have actively talked shit to Jose Oquendo every single time I’ve seen him at a game. And I will do so whenever I see that fuck in person.
And now the Art Dealers and the Cardinals are playing each other. No possible good outcome, right?.
Yet….one has surfaced. I l just found out that I love any team that is beating the Art Dealers. It’s been a million years since I’ve cared, they haven’t won the World Series since I was in high school. And then we won 2 in three. And now that their owners have decided to dabble in an expensive hobby, it’s time that I start paying attention to them again because none of us want to start seeing The Art Dealers hoist a World Series trophy any time soon or in any future.
Hey, they can admire those old, dusty ones all they want. But “flags fly forever” is a lot more powerful when they’re actually flying freely instead of being stuck to a flag pole with a bunch of gunked up chemical aftermath of 50 years of dense smog….That one counts as do their other ones, just not as much as our *two in 3*. Nothing is more important than the most recent. In anything.
So yeah, I am super stoked that those Cardinal jackasses just took a 2-0 lead on those Art Dealin’ Pussy Fucks……
With the NLCS in process, I’m now going to release everyone’s picks for this round. I don’t have picks for Kevin but if he sent them to Twin before first pitch tonight or I somehow missed them in my inbox I will happily update this. Thanks to everyone for sending in both their picks, it’s a better thread if I can publicly post both Pennant winner picks. At this point, the game becomes very strategic. Let’s see who’s up for the challenge of this new, more difficult round. Note: The odds I set came out of my brain, they were not mathematically calculated……
Two Dudes Better Than You or Me:
Salty (8): Art Dealers in 6/Red Sox in 7
ChiPower(8): Art Dealers in 7/Tigers in 7
Odds of the Winning: 8-5
The Fuckin’ Dodger Fan:
Rooster(7): Art Dealers in 6/Red Sox in 6
odds of winning: 3-1
Still in This From a Sneaky Spot:
Bird Dog(6): Art Dealers in 5/Red Sox in 6
Odds of winning: 5-1
Long Shot Material:
MacDog(5): Cards in 7/Red Sox in 4
Denny(5): Cards in 6/Red Sox in 6
Odds of winning: 15-1
Mathematically Still Alive:
BoxHead(4): Ar Dealers in 4/Red Sox in 4
UncaChuck(4): Cards in 6/Red Sox in 7
SportsDude(4): Art Dealers in 6/Red Sox in 7
odds of winning: 26-1
On Life Support:
WesFromRoseville!(3): Art Dealers 6/Red Sox 5
WilcoJoe(3): Cards in 7/Tigers in 7
Kevin(3): Cards in 6/Tigers in 7
AlleyKat(3)Cards in 6/Tigers in 6
Manny(2) Cards in 7/Tigers in 6
Pawlie(2): Art Dealers in 6/Tigers in 6
Winder(2): Art Dealers/Red Sox (he’s still taking the sneaky approach of not submitting # of games it takes to win. We’ll see if this rogue approach rewards him in the end)
Blade(2): Cards in 7/Red Sox in 6
Flavor(2): Cards in 6/Red Sox in 5
Two Corpses Getting Skull Fucked by a Group of Necrophiliacs:
Snarkk(1): Art Dealers in 5/Red Sox in 6
San DiggityDawg(1): Cards in 6/Tigers in 6
Did he or didn’t he?
LA/St. Louis begins tonight at 5:30. Detroit/Boston starts Sat at 5pm. I would REALLY like to release everyone’s picks in the next thread but I can’t do that unless you send me picks for BOTH of these series. But the only one you are required to send me is the pick for today. Remember, they play 7 game series from here on out. Please factor that into your prediction for “# of games won in”. There are 4 points up for grabs in these 2 championship series….
The Standings (and if I missed someone, let me know):
Salty: 8 points
ChiPower: 8 points
Rooster: 7 points
BirdDog: 6 points
Denny: 5 points
MacDog: 5 points
BoxHead: 4 points
UncaChuck: 4 points
SportsDude: 4 points
WesfromRoseville(!): 3 points
Kevin: 3 points
AllyKat: 3 points
Manny: 2 points
Pawlie: 2 points
Winder: 2 points
Blade: 2 points
Flavor: 2 points
SanDiggityDawg: 1 point
Snarkk: 1 point
Of course, that’s just *the dream*. But after I saw a few weird tweets last night at 2am about the Giants being the *front runners* to land Jose Abreu my mind started wandering towards hot stove fantasies.
Chapter 1 of *the dream*: The Giants sign Abreu, probably overpaying but whatever. This is a guy who could realistically be compared to a right handed Ryan Howard. I haven’t researched this for a second, but let’s say the Giants land him with a 5 year/60 million dollar deal. He’ll get more than Cespy and Puke mostly because of their success at the mlb level and the fact that Abreu comes with a good deal of hype. I have no idea what Abreu will get but if he costs more or less, I’m all for it.
Now we have a legit power hitting first baseman who we can plug into the clean up spot.
Chapter 2 of *the dream*: The Giants trade Brandon Belt, Kyle Crick and Sergio Romo for David Price. Now please don’t tell me this is an overpay. This is what Price will cost and possibly more if all the Rays want are 3 top prospects, which is likely (and we simply don’t have 3 top prospects to pay for Price). But this trade gives them an upgrade replacement for Loney at 1B (he’ll leave for a multi year deal like all their 1-year wonders do), a HUGE upgrade at closer, and another top pitching prospect that the Rays love to stockpile.
Chapter 3 of *the dream*: David Price becomes our ace, Abreu hits 44 bombs in 2014 and we win “3 in Five”.
update: opening mail and just discovered Twin’s Andres Torres signed pic that he sent me. Here it is. Rad.
Tough times for Fredi Gonzalez in Atlanta right now. He’s got the second coming of Mariano Rivera greased and ready in the bullpen and all Kimbrel can do is pace around the bullpen with a ball in his glove. In an elimination game, Gonzalez had a decision to make: use the best closer in the game for a 2 inning save or just keep everyone in their *role* and do what his book tells him to do.
Kimbrel had pitched once in the playoffs, a 1.1 inning save last Friday night in Atlanta. He was needed to come in and relieve an ineffective David Carpenter, the same pitcher Gonzalez had pitching the 8th inning last night. Kimbrel had pitched exactly 3.1 innings in the last 13 days. He was hardly overworked. Last night, as he stood in the bullpen with his hands on his hips waiting for a call that never came, he looked like a man begging to work.
Carpenter had a very nice year for the Braves but he’s no Craig Kimbrel. And with everything on the line, you don’t leave it up to David Carpenter et al. You bring in The Great Kimbrel…
Of course, if you have read Baseball’s Starry Night, you’ll know that not even The Great Kimbrel is immune to failure.
Sadly, the Dodgers have moved on to the NLCS–a round I thought they’d all be watching on tv. So far, this post season sucks.
Yesterday, the birthday trip got started late, so we only got to Napa and stayed there all day – no Sonoma visit. The wine country is glorious as October arrives, yesterday particularly so with temps in the low 80s. Now, the white wine grapes are pretty much picked, pressed, and already working hard on their primary fermentation in steel tanks. So, it’s center stage for the reds. With the grape leaves starting to turn color in earnest, and some dropping, there is increasing space in between the branches. So, in the soft afternoon sunlight, the globs of dark, purple berries of Cabernet and Zin and Syrah pop even more against the gnarled vines and rusty leaves.
The beautiful berries stand out so much it reminds of schoolyard days choosing sides to play ball — pick me, pick me! — nobody wants to be left hanging. The best want to be picked for the estate bottling, or the vineyard designation bottlings that bring top dollar. The second picking is for the 2nd line Cabs, the vineyards blend, and I imagine were the grapes animated, there’s less pride in that. But, for me the wine lover, there’s plenty of love to go around at most price points.
Like us yesterday, when you visit wine country during the crush, you must pick a few grapes off the different vines and taste them. There is no comparison between the taste of ready-to-pick red wine grapes with table grapes – the sweet, succulent flavor of the former, working their way to the winemaker’s perfect brix, is a tantalizing indication of what is to be to poured in a few years, after gently relaxing in the arms of French and American oak.
The only downside this time of year is the popularity of Napa. The beauty, the hum of activity, the buzz of anticipation, is not lost on the wider population. It attracts people from all over. We talked to several couples from Texas — they must not agree with Rick Perry that our state sucks. The main roads were jammed — with Maseratis to clunkers. Tasting rooms full of chatter and jostle. Cash registers ringing up their digital proceeds with alacrity. The romanticism of the wine business that you can still experience in the smaller and family run wineries off the beaten path seems particularly shoved aside in the big producers near the main roads this time of year. Sonoma and Mendocino, less so. Mrs. snarkk and I remember the early days of “us” getting wine poured from Mike Grgich himself at his eponymous winery’s tasting room — for free. Nowadays, its $15 a flight for the “regular” wines in many of the wineries. And, unlike days of not too long past when a meager tasting fee would be waived if you bought a bottle, now in many of the places the tasting fee is just an ante that you wager to get into the game — it’s ADDED to the price of any bottles you buy.
We hit Girard in Yountville first, it has only a tasting room there. Top end reds are its focus. The winemaker guides and consults at several wineries. We’re in its wine club, which has its privileges, and it should, when it comes to the “free” tastings for members. After tasting a few choices out of the regular and top flights, the servers pulled out for us two 2005 cabs from the winemaker’s own private label, which he doesn’t make anymore. They’re good at pulling out the “secret” stuff, that only you (well, you and all the other members) get. One from Mt. Veeder, one from Diamond Mountain, essentially from the West and East sides of the valley, respectively. Best wines of the day, fantastic. The mountain wines always have more character, because the grape vines are stressed to grow in a tougher environment than down in the valley proper. I liked the Mt. Veeder, drinking well now, almost like a svelte 2nd growth Bordeaux, with the wet sock nose mimic, too. Mrs. snarkk preferred the Diamond Mountain, still with a big backbone typical of Cabs from that appellation, a mere youngster, a pre-teen, with much developing to do in the coming years.
There in the tasting room, the Giants as sub-theme first inserted itself into the day, between the chatter about “nice nose”, “great legs” and “ooh, hints of blackberry and chocolate”. We talked to a Walnut Creek couple who participated in Girard’s annual SF Giants day, just a few weeks back. One day per year, you can take a bus with other wine lovers from its tasting room to and from ATT. Wine flows during the trip down and back, with a ticket to the game and somehow, food included. They said they had a great time. Hell, if Voggy gets bombed, who cares? Now, that’s my kind of wine tour.
Anyway, other places we visited were Cosentino, Trefethen, and Clos du Val. I like to mix going to one or two places I know with some I’ve never been before – it’s not a total crapshoot, but still fun. The first two I’d certainly heard of, but new to me to visit and taste and though fine, not much to write home about. Cosentino was pushing a Chardonnay from the Russian River vineyard supposedly that supplied the Chard that won the famous 1976 Paris wine competition. For a C-note per bottle. For Chard? And, with whites, likely not the same vines, maybe not even the same clones as nearly 40 years ago. Uh, non. You can get 5 bottles of really good Chard, 4 of super good, for that, elsewhere. I’ve been to Clos du Val several times – pretty good reds.
With the afternoon sun and my sobriety sinking, we gave up the wine tasting and made our usual pilgrimage to the Napa Valley Olive Oil Co., a little shack of a store a couple hundred yards off Highway 12 and near Tra Vigne in St. Helena. http://tinyurl.com/jvlhf6b You’ll find hanging salamis, home cured olives, cheeses, all manner of canned fish and shellfish, and a cornucopia of Italian prepared and canned foods, sauces and dry pastas that you won’t find elsewhere. The cashier rings up the total – in his/her head, or on a piece of paper. The bill always comes out to a whole dollar number. Cash and check, no plastic. Oh, and local pressed olive oil by the half gallon bottle, too. We got ours. This is the way Napa used to be — a throwback. For mossbacks like me, it’s a slice of heaven.
After depleting the checking account in exchange for mass quantities of pasta and olive oil and salami, time for dinner. We went over to the nearby place Oracle recommended, Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, in St.Helena. (BTW, kudos to Oracle for the recommendation). As it was only around 5:30, we were taken right in to a nice table not too far from the entrance and maitre’d stand. Very nice menu. For appetizers, we had a ration of mussels in a light coconut and curry combo broth – tasty good. Plus, some baked oysters in shell with a Parmesan and parsley cover – yummy. Mrs. snarkk is on a vegetarian kick the last 6 weeks, so for entrée she had the mushroom and polenta tamale – sounds weird, but fantastic. I had the anticipated Hanger steak – tasty and very nicely prepared with yams and yellow sweet potatoes adding a sweet, fall complement to the savory tone of the meat.
Early on, as I was slurping my first oyster, I happened to glance over to the maitre’d table. Again, the Giants as supporting theme entered the mix of the day. There, talking to the hostess with a friend was — yep, Marty Lurie. As he started to walk with the hostess down towards us to be seated, our eyes met, and I believe he did recognize me. He stopped, we shook hands, I introduced Mrs. snarkk (she knows who he is) and we all just talked for a couple of minutes about our day, and the wineries we’d seen. He said he was headed for Arizona on Monday. In the course of the conversation, he thrust out his hand with the 2012 WS ring to Mrs. snarkk, without being asked. She took a look, yes, very big. He is obviously proud of it. Anyway, we didn’t keep them long, as they needed to be seated.
Later, after we had finished our meal, I went back to the men’s room, and after, I snuck a look around the corner to find Marty. There he was with friend in a table along the wall in the rear room. I swooped in for one last conversation, like a sated troll. He was again amiable, and his friend conveniently decided to go to the bathroom, so Marty graciously asked me to sit. We sat for 5 minutes or so, chewed the fat about not much, including his upcoming trip to Cabo with Giants fans. Gave me his private card. He did remember I was in the group with “Paul Kocak” (he volunteered), and I was impressed. We didn’t get too deep into the Giants, I must say. Just about how they’ve got a lot of work to do in the offseason. Entirely an enjoyable conversation. I got the feeling that this dude could talk baseball endlessly, never get tired of it. The guy is as nice in person as he sounds on the radio.
All in all, an enjoyable and memorable birthday, with Giants highlights. If you’re a Giants fan these days, you don’t have to look far around here for reminders of how popular they are. In tasting rooms, or at the restaurant, you’ll find Giants fans… and Marty Lurie.
Alright. You guys should be re-loaded by now. Back to the pitching vs. hitting artillery.
In Vino Veritas, and Go Giants!…
I’m actually really looking forward to the A’s game tonight. Huh. I don’t think I’ve ever said those words before. Anyway, Sonny Gray vs Verlander is a match up I’d pay to watch. Of course, it’s free on tv so that won’t be happening. I’d really like to see David Price shove a box of the Colonel’s best fried chicken down Lackey’s throat–I don’t like that guy. If I were a betting man I’d take the under in both of those games…..
Regarding the PC, you’re on your own figuring out who’s in the lead. I can’t make sense of the mess I posted in the last thread. I’ll clean it up for sure for the NLCS and the ALCS.
ps– A-ROID is an idiot. There’s just no other way to put it….