The Giants just finished off the Rockies with a 10-nada thrashing. Zito pitched his usual “no runs allowed” game. Seriously, at this point I almost want the Giants to lose one of his starts just ’cause the streak is starting to consume me. 16-0? This is getting into *twilight zone* territory. And it couldn’t happen to a better Giant. A GREAT Giant. The sh!t this guy took from his fan base and the media was non-stop and relentless. And before the start of the 2012 season, it was certainly deserved. Before his first start shut out in Colorado last year, I wrote “Zito is completely done as a major league pitcher.” And I wrote 20+ other threads skewering him and wishing a big wave would take him away from us forever.
But this is the thing I love about Barry Zito: he never gave up. He never got complacent with the money. And he finally got it right. And by “finally got it right” I mean he is largely responsible for our most recent world series win. If he doesn’t shut down the Cardinals we don’t make the World Series. And as magical as The Panda was in Game 1, Zito’s the guy who out-pitched the supposed greatest-pitcher-in-the-world that night.
As a fan, I long ago forgave him for all his past sins. Quite easily, I might add. But it wasn’t just the World Series that he brought to us. He’s now in the midst of “THE STREAK”. Sixteen bad boys in a row.
Here’s what he’s done in his last 4 starts (post season games vs Cards and Tigers + his first two starts this year): 27.1 innings pitched. 22 hits allowed. 6 walks. 17k’s. And…wait for it…. exactly 1 earned run.
I will never understand the Giants fans who can’t forgive or forget his first five years with us. Although that number is thankfully dwindling if the standing-o he received today is any indication. In ’07–’09 the Giants sucked so it’s not like Zito losing was going to change anything in those years even if he was winning. In 2010 we won the World Series. We won it again in 2012 and never would have without his man-child performances. And in 2013, he’s un-scored upon in 2 starts.
So what, exactly, keeps the few remaining haters hating so hard on this guy? Stubbornness? Likely. He is one of the great Giants in the history of this storied franchise. I represent Flavor Nation with the highest honor we can bestow a player: Two Flaps Up. Barry, we salute you.
I’m not sure which of his starts was worse. In the first one, he walked 7 but he got the win. Last night, he walked 4, but he k’d 7 in 6 innings. He walked the pitcher twice and I know one of those at bats was a 4 pitch walk. Were both of them? I can’t remember.
I would have to say that last night’s start was better than his first start of the year and Baggs sent out a tweet last night that nailed the reason why:
Timmy says he watched some tape after the 2nd inning and made adjustments. Whatever he did after the 2nd inning he needs to do more of in his next start. Aside from the MONSTER BLAST he gave up to Tulo in the 5th, he pitched very well in innings 3-6. And our dominant bullpen took care of the rest.
Lincecum has 11 strikeouts this year balanced evenly with 11 walks. 1:1 k/bb ratio is not exactly what you’re striving for as a pitcher–at any level.
If you forget the first two innings, this was a rousing, fantastic come from behind win. The East Coast Moonlight Crew (P-Koko, Mac-diggity and Bozo) represented throughout.
I have no expectations for Lincecum’s next start other than he’s going to do another hatchet job on his WHIP and probably K a hitter an inning. But we’ve won both games he’s started in 2013. If I’m gonna count Zito’s 15-0 I gotta count Timmy’s 2-0. Although who among us could even dream of another 13 in a row for the Giants in Lincecum starts after the way he’s pitched so far?
If I close my eyes and completely forget the 2 Cy Young’s and then imagine that it’s a #5 out there, I just might make it through his next start without gnashing my teeth to pieces…..
I can’t get enough of the ring-bling-thing.
I love all of it. I didn’t care for the designs of most of them until probably the late 70′s when the Yankees started pouring the diamonds all over those things. The rings pre-70′s just look like class rings. There’s nothing special about a class ring, at least in how it looks.
Marty Lurie was fishing for topics on Sunday night and he took several calls on how these ceremonies could be done differently. In other words, he was saying that this first home weekend was a distraction to the team and that’s why they lost 2 of 3 to the Cardinals. You know your team is on top of the baseball world when talk-show callers are lamenting those dang championship celebrations and the detrimental effects they have on the players. Jeez.
I think the only change I might make is to combine the flag raising with the ring-getting and maybe do Buster’s MVP trophy a week or two later. But that’s only if I was looking to fix something that really isn’t broken. And the day Larry Baer gives up an opportunity to sell tickets to an event is a day we won’t see happen.
Anyway, they’re back to their routines, their *creature of habit-ness*, and their *focus* has found it’s long lost *re*. It’s time to settle in for the grind of the 2013 baseball season. Our view from atop the peak of this great mountain is crystal clear. In fact, the sun couldn’t shine any brighter off a diamond than it does for Giants fans today…….
I’ve never really taken the time to appreciate the gaudy detail of these championship rings. Here’s Dave Flemming, proudly showing off the last 3 years of bounty for his alma mater and current employer:
Here’s the White Sox ring from 2005. I like the look of this one:
Here’s a pic of all the Yankees rings up through 2000:
Here’s the Yankee ring from 2009. I think it’s cool with the 4 diamond bases:
Here is a pic of the Cardinals bling:
Here’s the Oakland A’s ring from ’74. They really went all out on the design of this one, eh?
I was expecting to see him today with all the other MVP’s. I was going “conspiracy theory” until I read that the Giants had invited him and he never RSVP’d. Why no RSVP? That suggests ANOTHER conspiracy theory.
After Barry retired, the SF Chronicle published a Letters to the Editor section that had (from my memory) like 18 Bonds letters posted and 15 of them were anti-Bonds. As a long time subscriber, I canceled my subscription the next day. After the Chronicle made 15 years worth of sales off their stories of this dude, it pissed me off that they ran almost all negative letters against him. And I know SF Giants fans and they aren’t 15-3 against the best hitter they ever had. And I haven’t bought a single Chronicle since I canceled my subscription. Though it still has me doing a slow burn that they logged all those sfgate hits I gave them when I blogged at the Splash. Whatever, that place is dead to me.
He’s been seen at the ballpark several times times over the last couple of years. At least a couple of times that I remember. Today was a perfect day for him to come back. He didn’t RSVP? It’s not making any more sense the more I type…..
True Giants fans love Barry Bonds for obvious reasons. He will be celebrated for as long as flags fly at AT&T. And I have to believe he’s not so consumed with biking around California that he couldn’t find the time to RSVP to today’s event.
But what do I know, he’s pretty lean and focused these days.
“We Score We Win” has never been accurate than when discussing the four Giant starting pitchers in 2013. Four starters, 26 innings pitched, zero earned runs allowed. I can’t imagine what Voggy will do if he gives up an earned run today. The dude already takes the hill gnashing his teeth into broken pieces, if if becomes the first starter to give up a run he might execute himself.
Yesterday it was Barry’s Zito’s turn and he was magnificent. I discussed his different approach to pitching last year when I noticed how many fewer fastballs he was throwing. I incorrectly cited an increase in sliders thrown (I misread a chart at fangraphs) but it was actually an increase in cutters thrown. Here is his career chart (and I’m using a different one than last year because it’s easier to read):
Combine the FA% and FT% and you will get the percentage of 2-seam and 4-seam fastballs thrown. FC% is the % he throws his cutter. And while a cutter is a type of fastball, it’s not counted in the FA or FT% in the chart above. For reference, a cutter is usually described as a pitch that is somewhere between a fastball and a slider. Clearly, Zito decided to finally stop throwing his shitty fastball so often because he wasn’t able to get anyone out with it. Throwing more cutters has balanced out his pitch type enough to keep the hitters off balance and guessing. He obviously needs to locate all of his pitches to be effective. But from the chart it is clear that the difference in his pitching is less fastballs and more cutters. He seems to be throwing the curve and the change up about as often as he always has during his Giants career.
If you’re wondering about the differences between a 4-seam/2-seam/slider/cutter, you are not alone. Here is a chart that shows where a pitch typically ends up if it was thrown by a right handed pitcher (the view is from the catcher position). For a left handed pitcher, it would be reversed.
By the way, this is the chart I used last year.
I’ll admit to still not understanding this chart as it appears to assign a 32.5% of his pitches to the slider. I’m assuming this chart lumps in slider/cutter together, but I don’t know. Regardless, the first chart listed is the one that shows how much more often he threw his cutter in 2012 (and in his first start of 2013).
I still wouldn’t ever add Zito to a fantasy team. He doesn’t strike out enough hitters and he still throws in disaster starts that I now am attributing to poor location of his pitches. Of course, you could use that excuse for most pitchers. But he has become a reliable starting pitcher, something you can’t say about Tim Lincecum. And we’ve won 15 of his starts in a row. Some will point to run support as the reason. Well, he got 1 yesterday, so I guess they’d be right. He did get *some* run support. Enough to win, anyway. “We Score We Win.” We haven’t lost a Barry Freaking Zito start since last August 2nd. His comeback has been remarkable. I will forever honor him as a great Giant.
Here’s a pic one of my friends took yesterday:
It’s tough to complain about taking 2 of 3 from Dodgers in their house. But 7 walks against 4 strike outs? Everyone is talking about how Tim gutted out that win but this was more of a case of him lucking his way to the W. He lost his velocity, just like last year, after a few innings. By the 5th he was throwing his fastball 88-90 mph–with very poor location. That’s not gonna get it done over the course of the season. I’m awaiting Kruk’s breakdown on KNBR this morning where he tells me it was all a mechanical flaw and that Tim is juuuuuuust about there. Of course, he said that all year last season, too.
Chad Gaudin seems to have rocketed up the ranks, yes? What was that all about? He should be 2nd guy in the showers by the 8th inning….
I still find it amusing how starry-eyed the Dodgers fans are when a fly ball gets him…
The two bombs we hit were uber-impressive. Pence hit the shit out of that ball to right center. That’s hard to do. And Panda hit his by hacking at a ball around his neck. But he blasted it.
Too bad St Louis isn’t coming in to play today after playing the longest game in Chase Field’s history last night….
I’m really looking forward to adding a pic of the 2012 World Series ring to the right….
The Dodgers can’t score unless Clayton Kershaw is starting the rally. Trip on that for a bit….
In the meantime, I thought I’d toss out my list of teams that can’t make the 2013 post season. It’s actually a very short list. The A’s and O’s proved last year that you don’t have to have a 100+ million payroll to make the playoffs. And there are many recent years that prove that anyone can win once they make it to the post season and get hot. And if you do some shifty book keeping and subtract Zito and Rowand’s salaries from the Giants 2010 team, we won that World Series with a payroll of about 65 million. So not only can you win a World Series on a budget, getting to the post season is doable for every team in the league. With the exception of….
The Houston (L)astros. Bud Norris is their highest paid player at 3 million this year. Their team payroll is 26 million. I love Altuve. And that’s about it. Obviously, they have no shot at the post season in 2013.
The Minnesota Can’(T)wins. Kevin Correia is their #1. ‘Nuff said.
The Miami Mar(losses). Loria is scum. And the team has no chance. Free Stanton.
The Chicago Flubs. I like what Theo is trying to do in Chi-Town but this is not the year. No chance for the playoffs.
The San Diego Patsy’s. They have a decent bullpen and a couple of hitters, but there’s no way they make the post season having to play so many games against LA, SF and Arizona.
God dammit I want to put the Yankees on this list. SOOOOOO badly. But I can’t, mostly because of their ability to add-on, if they choose to do so, before the break. But they are stuck right now. Their team is old and/or on the DL. They’re playing a boatload of games against a division that is rock solid right now. But I just can’t put them on this list.
But I will put The New York Mess on the list. They have a couple of starting pitchers that I like (Niese, Harvey and Gee) and their corner infielders (Wright and Davis) can bang when they’re healthy (never guaranteed) but I still don’t think they have a chance to make the 2013 post season. But what do I know, maybe a mid season call up of Zach Wheeler will put them over the top.
Baseball is back and I always forget how much it consumes my life. The one thing that sucks about winning the World Series is that I go from a total focus and obsession with the game and my team to…nothing. My emotions are all over the place and then I’m hit with this unreal rush of excitement and happiness culminating with a deep exhale of completion. But then it all just stops. I get my b-a-s-k on, of course, but quickly I’m hit by a period of withdraw. Voids are created and filled, slowly, with other things in my life. There’s an adjustment of not setting my day around the time a baseball game is played and waking up and NOT checking the box scores or setting my line ups for the different fantasy teams I have. Haiku’s get written, BBOTD’s get uploaded and football happens and it’s darker and colder for a long period of time. And then Opening Day happens again and I get right back into the intensity and the excitement and the overall consumption that baseball brings to my life. I imagine it’s the same for all of you or maybe it’s completely different. I don’t know.
This year I have 5 fantasy teams, my team is defending it’s world championship, I have a full time job and a daughter who’s a year older and I don’t know how I’m going to fit all of this into my life. Except I know I will because it’s part of the cycle of my life. It’s like riding a bike or throwing a ball. I’ll be able to do it because even when it’s gone it’s still part of me. I love all of it and my life really isn’t the same unless it’s all happening at the same time.
So I’m pumped and excited for this season. Winter officially ended yesterday. What the calendar says means nothing to me.
The starting 9 position players ( Blanco and Torres are considered starters ) and 6 pitchers are required. The required stats are xFIP, XERA, BABIP, and UZR/150…just kidding.
Required for position players are BA, HR, RBI. For the 5 starting pitchers it’s W-L, ERA. For Romo it’s W-L, saves and save opportunites. Very basic stuff. I’ve added OPS for the position players and WHIP for the pitchers. You may add any stats you like. There’s no prize (unless Craig decides to award one later), there is just the pride in knowing that you sucked less than everybody else.
And additional required prediction is the order of finish in the NL West and the Giants W-L record. Since there is no prize, feel free to use other Flapper’s numbers as a guide, no need to hide your picks to prevent someone from stealing them.
And remember- unless you make the required predictions you may not laugh at, trash, or snicker derisively about other predictions.
So have at it!
( you’ll have until noon tomorow to make changes – if you make any, repost your entire prediction slate, not just the change)
Uh, it didn’t help…
The Panda Watch carries onward with more pain in that cranky elbow. He felt pain on a swing that resulted in a ground out to shortstop so he’s been shut down again. Because of the uncertainty of Sandoval, Nick Noonan has made the team. I have many questions about Noonan’s chances of succeeding at the major league level on a consistent basis. He’s been fiddling around in the lower levels of our system for a while now. He’s a slower, weaker version of middle infielder Charlie Culberson and I don’t see too many of us lamenting that loss (traded to Colorado for Scoots). And while he’s probably going to play 3rd base, he’s never really played much 3rd base. He’s a middle infielder.
But if I was forced to choose, I’d rather see what a homegrown guy like Noonan can do over something recycled off the waiver wire. I haven’t checked his splits but will just assume he hits righties better than lefties so maybe a few spot starts early on vs a right handers might be the way to go. Of course, that’s assuming Pablo is gonna be out for a while and I’ve assumed that since the day I heard about this injury. I also said I’m not too keen on Arias playing every day, mostly because I think he’d be more valuable coming off the bench. I have no idea what Noonan would be more valuable doing but he’s got more experience as a starter so….
Not much else going on. Buster got paid. Good for him.
I’m continuing to research what it was that Pablo actually said to Jeff Passan. I read JDR’s blog and the reference made to this but that didn’t clear anything up for me. I read Chico’s comments here at the Flap from 11:28pm last night and that shed a little more light on this but again, it was two guys (Chico and someone named *Mimbres*) who were saying what they heard Passan say during a radio interview. As I understand it, Passan was paraphrasing what Sandoval said to him. And from what Chico and Mibres said, his paraphrase was totally different from the direct quote in the article he wrote at Yahoo.
I searched the internet this morning for the radio interview and struck out. I had to listen to a 16 minute interview that John Wetzel did with Passan that was utterly worthless. It was the only one I could find that might have been the interview referenced by Chico/Mimbres. Tip to readers: Do not spend a second listening to a Passan radio interview. He says nothing for most of it, cracking dumb jokes and talking about personal things and when he does talk about baseball he just blathers out the typical crap that any east coast fan would say at a bar.
More of my research…..
I am embarrassed to say that Passan is one of the guys I follow on twitter. Here were his 2 tweets referencing the Pablo article:
The top tweet is in direct contrast to the quote printed in his article. Again, what Passan SAID Pablo said was this:
“I’ve got this year and next year to change all the things. It’s going to take me a while but I can do it. I know I can do it.”
And yet as he sells his article via his tweet, he says with his own words that “he’ll lose the weight WITHIN the next 2 years…” The key word is *within* suggesting that Pablo said he will work on losing it from now until the 2014 season is completed. Pablo didn’t say *within*, Passan did.
I tried to read to Ostler article on this but it was at the Chron pay-site and I will never again pay a cent for a Chronicle article. Besides most of them not being worth more than *free*, I vowed back in 2008 when I canceled my subscription due to a hatchet job they did on Barry Bonds that I would never buy their publication again— and up till then I had been a subscriber for at least 20 years. And I’ve kept my promise.
If anyone doubt’s my feelings about Jeff Passan, here is a sample of the tweets I sent out about him last year:
There were other tweets, but these 2 give you a (big) flavor of my long standing feelings about Jeff Passan.
So I am done researching this until/if new information surfaces. Based on the recount by Chico and Mimbres of his radio interview and the two tweets that Passan himself sent out, I believe his Yahoo article to be, at best, a distortion of what Pablo said to him and at worst a flat out lie. It wouldn’t surprise me if Passan made the quotes up completely. And if that’s the case, he should be fired immediately. Ostler said Pablo rarely will talk about his weight and wondered why he decided to speak about it so openly with Passan—another sign that points to the article being misleading.
I read Passan’s article at Yahoo a couple of days ago. Now, listen to me, I loath Jeff Passan. He hates the Giants, it’s clear in all his article over the last few years, and I’ve traced it back to his panties getting bunched about Bonds and his PED use. He’s a fool, as are most of these internet writers who somehow have jobs.
But he wrote an article about Sandoval on Tuesday that I’ve been ruminating about since then. There was something about Panda’s comments that rubbed me the wrong way and it wasn’t the obvious stuff. If you read the article, you’d know what I mean. Here’s a link to it, read it before you read the rest of this thread.
You have no idea how much it pains me to give Jeff Fu*kwad Passan even the slightest bit of acknowledgement other than the usually twitter zingers I fire off at him in the Summer……
Before I comment negatively on The Panda let me start by saying that I LOVE HIM. I didn’t always feel that way about him. I didn’t always love Barry Zito. But feelings are fluid and I have no problem changing mine if you give me a reason to do so. For instance, him being overweight used to bother me. I didn’t think his poor conditioning was good for his play, his production or our team. He was a mess in 2010 and he didn’t deserve to be on our post season roster (even though he was). He didn’t deserve it the same way Barry Zito didn’t deserve it. And he was a non-contributor in the 2010 world series. Just like Zito except the Panda sucked up a roster spot (along with anything else he saw on a dinner plate)……
But he transformed his body before the 2011 season and went out and had a fantastic year. He dealt with the hamate thing (#1) but he hit .315 with a .909 OPS, he seemed to have matured, seen the big picture, and he was ready to mine his unreal talent to the surface.
Then the Giants did something that surprised me a little. In the off season, they avoiding arbitration and gave him a 3 year/17.5 million dollar contract that would cover him from 2012-2014. I was surprised because they didn’t have to do it. He had proven to be unpredictable in his approach to his conditioning and one year of production isn’t worth 3 years of guaranteed big time money. And yet, the Giants did it. To me, it was a show of faith. And I liked the fact that they were showing faith in him. I hoped it would push him to showing faith in himself, his team and their goals.
But he showed up fat before the 2012 season and there was the Santa Cruz story that embarrassed the team. I understand that ball players are targets and I fully believe Sandoval was innocent, but I also believe that he put himself in a bad position that more *aware* players don’t put themselves in.
His 2012 season was underwhelming, he had another hamate bone problem (#2) and a hammy issue, he hit .283 and his power took a major dive (12 measly bombs). All in all, I would grade his 2012 season about a C.
And then the post season began and he turned into a player that looked like he was the product of a Babe Ruth-Reggie Jackson love-child. He was brilliant and epic and I will never forget his post season. And those are my complex, real, current feelings about Pablo Sandoval….
Now, to the Passan article…… It was typical on the surface, a classic Passan hatchet job on the Giants. This one focused on fat jokes. Every article he writes is terrible. But then I read Sandoval’s comments, which are not-disputable (unless you think Passan manipulated them and I can’t think he’s THAT bad). Here’s the comment that bothered me on Tuesday, festered within me for 2 days and ended up inspiring this thread:
“I’ve got this year and next year to change all the things (referring to his conditioning/weight). It’s going to take me a while but I can do it. I know I can do it.”
I like the last part of the comment. He’s talking about fact. He HAS gotten himself in shape in the past. If you did it before, you can be confident that you can do it again. But the middle part doesn’t sound right, I don’t understand why it’s going to take him “a while” (and he referenced 2 full years) since he got into shape before the 2011 season in about 2 months. He’s clearly talking about the duration of his CURRENT contract with this statement.
The first section of the comment is the one that pisses me off. This dude was given a gift from the team to the tune of nearly 18 million dollars. That was a show of faith. When you show faith you are expected to receive it and reciprocate. He did not do that except for his fantastic post season performance which, while worth it to us as fans, could easily have just been a guy who got hot for a couple of weeks.
Now he’s got the fucking gall to publicly snub the rest of his contract by shooting for 2015 as the season that he finally starts to get his shit together. A year in which he can sign with the highest bidder on the open market. You’re giving yourself “this year and next year?” Well that’s awfully generous of you. Hopefully you get yourself in shape by the end of the 2014 season in time to score a 100+ million dollar contract with your next team. And if you don’t take that contract seriously, as you are not taking this one, you will underwhelm and disappoint that team, too……..
Giants back in town tonight playing the A’s at AT&T. Timmy pitching to Buster. I’ll go ahead and pencil him in for 4 innings, 5ER, 6k’s, 4 bb’s….
The Giants will unveil several new theme’s at AT&T this year and I, for one, will be sampling all the edibles. There’s now going to be a Willie McCovey Grill that will feature pulled pork nachos. I’ll take two, please.
Two of San Francisco’s historic restaurants will also make their debut at AT&T in 2013: Lefty O’Doul’s Bar featuring their famous bloody mary’s and Original Joe’s burger which will be served at the Derby Grill.
Countless bobble head’s and other trinkets will be given away. My understanding is that there will be a Scutaro snow globe give away but that instead of snow it will be water that rains down upon Scutaro in his now-famous pose.
And in an effort to further distract the casual fan, the Giants have added several more mobile device and tablet charging stations. Yawn.
And of course there is Orange Sombrero Night which promises to be the Night of the Year not just at AT&T but probably for the entire city of San Francisco, too. Countless Flappers will descend upon the stadium wearing orange sombrero’s and dominating all areas they bestow their presence upon……
(ps, there are still over 5K tickets left for that game. We decided to have it be an “every flapper for himself” event and encourage anyone who wants to join us to buy tickets in the Club level. Besides being an awesome view, it’s a fluid area that will make it easy to meet and mingle. And if it turns out you can’t stand us you can always head back to your seat.
Right now, it looks like 2 tickets in the club are going from $130 to $160 total.
I went to the Forbes website to see just how much Bud’s Machine is churning out these days. Not surprisingly, everyone is making gobs of money. The Yankees are worth 2.3 billion, the Dodgers check in at 1.6 bills, and the Giants are worth 786 million, up 22%. Even the lowly A’s have been raking in the cash seeing their value increase a whopping 46% from last year to 468 million. Their revenue last year was 173 million. Their 2012 team payroll was 52.8 million so even with Wolfe reluctantly paying the hot dog guys and the parking lot attendees, he still made out pretty good last year….
Got me to thinking about how much Giants teams have sold for over the years. The team has changed hands at least a dozen times over it’s history. There were 4 or 5 owners before Charles Stoneham but I didn’t feel like looking up all of them so I started with C-Stone. He purchased the Giants for $1,000,000 from Harry Hempstead who had bought the franchise in 1912 from his father in law.
Charles died in 1936 and his son Horace was the lucky heir. He held ownership of the team for 40 years until he sold it to Bob Lurie in 1976 for $8,000,000. Stoneham was set to sell the team to a brewery in Toronto but Lurie stepped in to save the team and keep them in SF.
Lurie would pull a *Horace* 16 years later when he tried to sell the team to an investment group in Florida 115 million. Thankfully, major league baseball stepped in and nixed the deal forcing Lurie to sell the team to local investors. Can you imagine Bud forcing something like that? Peter Magowan stepped up and bought the team for a cool hundred mil.
At this point we’re getting into “managing partners” and in 2008 Peter-Mag’s stepped down and handed the reigns to Bill Neukom who took over as the principal shareholder and lead investor of the team. As all of you know, The ‘Nuke stepped down in 2011 giving way to the new CEO Larry Baer. Charles B Johnson bought additional shares of the Giants at the time to own 25% of the team and became the largest individual shareholder.
And now Forbes says they’re worth 786 MILLION dollars with the loan on the stadium set to get paid off in 2017.
I think they’re probably worth a lot more than that……
Because I’m getting interviewed about this topic later this afternoon, this question was on my mind this morning. The rivalry goes all the way back to New York. In fact, since 1901 the Giants and Dodgers have played more head to head games than any other 2 teams in major league baseball (thank you, Wikipedia). Having not been a part of that, I don’t know what the rivalry was like back then. But according to history, it was quite heated between both fans (Brooklyn Dodger fans saw Giants fans as Manhattan elitists) and management (a long standing feud between Dodgers owner Charles Ebbets and Giants manager John McGraw saw the two men use their teams as fighting surrogates which caused incidents between players both on and off the field as well as between fans at games and in the community (again, thank you wikipedia).
But I don’t have a connection to any of that so none of it matters to me. It’s the same reason I wouldn’t ever buy that hat that claims 7 Giants world championships. My team has won 2, not 7.
I’m sure there are those who would point to the famous game in ’65 at Candlestick where Marichal beat down Roseboro with a bat touching off a bench-clearing brawl. Again, wasn’t alive then, don’t have any feelings about that event as it relates to the rivalry as I know it…..
I’ve told this story before, the first Giants/Dodger game that I remember going to was sometime in the late ’70′s. I’m sure I went to an SF/LA game before that, but this is the one I remember as my first rivalry game. It was a weekend day game and Candlestick was packed. My dad and I were in the nosebleed seats along the right field line. I remember noticing how loud it was and when the crowd would roar it almost frightened me a little bit. But I got used to it quickly and started to partake in the different crowd chants that were cropping up. At some point early in the game, Don Sutton’s name was announced (it might have been as a hitter, I can’t remember). I was pretty flushed with Dodger hatin’ fueled adrenaline and felt like announcing my presence with authority (for those keeping track, that’s my second Bull Durham movie reference in the last week). I took a deep breath and yelled as loud as I could, “Kill Don Sutton!!!!”. I think I even yelled it twice. Very quickly I could feel the fans around us get tense and quiet. My dad, a man from the south who was a big believer in children being seen and not heard, was absolutely not feelin’ my bold public call for Sutton to die. He glared down at me, I don’t remember if he said anything, but I didn’t utter a word for the rest of the game. Re-reading this, I’m making it sound worse that it was. I did learn a good lesson that day about proper fan etiquette at a baseball game and it was the last time I ever called for the murder of anyone…..
The last Giants/Dodgers game that I went to was 7/31/10. Burrell hit a 2 run home run off Broxton in the 8th inning to propel the team to a 2-1 victory. It was a fantastic game. I said at the time, I can’t remember ever being a part of a louder moment at a sporting event.
But I don’t know if I would say I *hate* the Dodgers. I obviously don’t like them more than any other team and I am most happy about a win against them than any other win we get. But as I’ve said before, fantasy baseball has ruined me a little bit in terms of my rigid hatred of all-things-Dodger. I’ve owned a few Dodgers over the last couple of years. It was hard to hate Kershaw when he was carrying one of my fantasy teams to a glorious victory in 2011. It was easy to hate Matt Kemp after he got hurt last year and hobbled his way through games even after he did come back–tough to win a league when your first round pick is pussin’ his way through the 2nd half of the season. In our flap fantasy league a couple of years ago we had a rule that you weren’t allowed to draft a Dodger. That didn’t really work since one guy (I think it was WilcoJoe) forgot to exclude Dodgers from his draft list and he ended up with a team made up almost exclusively of Dodgers.
The Brian Stow incident didn’t make me hate the Dodgers or their fans, it just made me hate the two hoodlums who nearly killed him.
I have a couple of friends who are Dodger fans and it doesn’t bother me. But they aren’t hardcore fans, maybe it would be harder to hang with them if they were.
I will admit to not understanding people who wear split SF/LA hats or the dude who wears a Giants jersey sitting with a girl wearing an LA jersey–that’s just a *look at us* moment, it has nothing to do with a rivalry.
As far as the players go, I remember starting to hate Casey Blake when he mocked Brian Wilson in the dugout. And I hated the smugness of Ron Cey and Steve Garvey back in the day. And who couldn’t hate Tommy Lasorda? A better question would be who could ever like Tommy Lasorda. He’s an obnoxious, (usually) fat, self-absorbed little man. Lasorda was Exhibit A of why no manager should ever have to squeeze themselves into a team uniform. That was not a good look, man.
But the current crop of Dodgers? Eh, not too much hate for them. I was annoyed by Hanley’s *eye-goggle* thing last year even though I didn’t understand it (and still don’t). But it looked like something that should bother me as a Giants fan.
The bottom line for me is that there isn’t a single incident that I can point to that reinforces the concept of this being a *rivalry*. I was conditioned to hate the Dodgers over the course of the last 35 years or so just because I’m part of the fan base that hates the Dodgers. I do think that this rivalry will be taken to the next level in the coming years, possibly as early as this coming season. With the Dodgers new approached to spending (how ironic is that considering their working class Brooklyn roots?) and the Giants settling nicely into a pattern of winning every other World Series ( ) we are poised to see two good/great teams facing off regularly. And that’s the best way to keep a rivalry going–or at least have it take the next step into the future of it’s long and storied history……
As most of you know, Sandoval was shut down on Saturday when he wasn’t able to play catch—you know, *catch*. That thing you instinctively do when someone throws something at you. He had more x-rays and a CT scan done. Andrew Pavlovic at The Merc opened his blog post by saying:
“Trainer Dave Groeschner said Pablo Sandoval’s X-ray and CT scan revealed nothing unexpected or new, but it’s clear just from the test-taking that the Giants are more concerned about Sandoval’s elbow than they first let on.”
Wow, what a huge surprise.
There seems to be some discrepancy as to what exactly is wrong with his elbow. It’s most often reported that it’s a bone spur irritating a nerve but in an interview with Marty Lurie on KNBR, Bobby Evans said it was a *loose body* that was causing the problem. Guys gotta start getting their stories straight.
Bochy says they “haven’t discussed surgery at all.” Of course they haven’t. Riiiiiight!!!!!!!!
So, the typical bs is getting slung around while everyone prays for a miracle. Meanwhile, days continue to slip by, wasted. Opening Day is 8 days away. All the days up until opening day are basically free recovery days that apparently aren’t going to get used. He’ll probably have the surgery a week or so into the season…
As I said on March 18th, I will “up-play the fuck” out of this disturbing development. Just get the surgery done. NOW.
Arias will probably be fine at third base. But why not do something bold and let Noonan take the starting job in place of Pablo? Sabean doesn’t like to have rookies sit on the bench and for that reason Noonan might get passed over in favor of a re-tread like Betancourt. But Arias is much more familiar with the job of coming off the bench and Noonan would probably be much better playing in the normal flow of a game from start to finish. If you’re gonna take a chance on Noonan, it seems to make more sense to have him starting than playing a utility role and having to enter a game cold in the 8th or 9th inning……
Well, maybe not to any of you. But I have marveled at his career for years now. He was drafted by Toronto in ’97 and debuted for them in ’99. So far, nothing to marvel at. He scores a starting gig in ’02 and does well, 23 bombs/100RBI’s. In 2003 he goes a lil’ sideways crazy and drops 215 hits/33 bombs/117 RBI’s and a .317 batting average. Very nice. Everyone started talking about him being a 5-tool guy but he never really exploded in any category in ’04 or ’05. He did have another very nice 2006 season with 32 blasts/17 steals, but still, we aren’t talking about a 40/40 guy, or anything even close.
So what does Toronto do in the winter of ’06? They sign him to a 7 year/126 million dollar extension. WOW. Where did that come from? Stupid? Maybe, but mlb teams do stupid sh!t all the time and back then Toronto had just won 87 games in ’06, their most wins since they won 88 in 1998. They were ready to flex with the big boys down at muscle beach. They wanted to “announce their presence with authority* (for Bull Durham fans). So they went all in with that dumb ass contract…..
Wells went into the tank the next year, hitting .245. The dream of his 5 tools turned into a nightmare of him just being a tool. Toronto had made a huge financial blunder and unlike the Yankees and Red Sox who could give a s!t about busted salaries, they were gonna have to wear this one for years.
And then Vernon zigged while we were zaggin’ in 2010! He left earth 31 times and stole 6 bases–not exactly 5 tools but at that point Toronto would have taken a freaking tool belt in exchange for this guy. But no one would offer something as valuable as a toolbelt since there wasn’t a GM in the world stupid enough to take that dumb ass contract off of Toronto’s books….
Suddenly, a suitor emerges! The Angels decided Wells was back and they had to have him. They traded Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera for him. But don’t think for a second that the Angels are dumb. Cause they aren’t and stuff. They hoodwinked Toronto into throwing in 5 million bucks to the deal. Five Million. The Blue Jays were on the hook for 86 million and not only did they get players for him but they only had to chip in a fraction of that dead deal. Amazing.
Here’s the blog comment I made when I heard about the trade back in January of 2011:
“the Angels are fucking morons. Trading for Vernon Wells? I don’t give a flying fuck what he did last year, he is the most overpaid player in all of baseball based on production (besides Zito). And they TRADED for him. Shit, Napoli, if given a starting spot, might hit more HR’s than him. They coulda paid him 6 mil to do that. Instead they trade for “Mr Nagging Injury” and get to pay him 86 more million. Shit, why didn’t they just overpay for Carl Crawford?”
Moronic side note about the Blue Jays: they traded Napoli a short time later for Frank Francisco who sucked. Napoli went on to hit 30 bombs and .320 for Texas that year……
But back to Wells….
In his first year with the Angels he hit .218. He lost his starting job and hit .230 last year. Angels owner Arturo Moreno opened his mouth as wide as it would go and prepared to eat the rest of the 42 million he’s owed in 2013 and 2014.
And then today happened. The Yankees, desperate for anyone who can swing a bat in the direction of a thrown ball blow all minds by trading for Wells. They’re only paying 13 million of the remaining 42 on the deal, but even 13 million less is a much more manageable load for Moreno to swallow…….
And Wells will do nothing that a soon-to-be waived free agent outfielder couldn’t have done for the stupid Yankees had they just waited another week……
The Vernon Wells story staggers onward…….
I said yesterday that I’ve grown weary of the monotony of win-total predictions each spring. Predicting whether the Giants will win the World Series or not is more appropriate now a days……..
So now, we’re taking it up a few notches here at the Flap. This year, we will predict batting and pitching lines for all our most important players. Now, DO NOT start throwing your predictions out yet! That thread is scheduled for March 31st.
The categories will be….
For the hitters, list off your projected batting average, HR total, RBI’s and SB’s
For the pitchers, list off win total, ERA and K’s (except for Romo, just list off Saves, ERA and WHIP)
The List of 15:
A final rule to the game: you no play you no allowed to comment on other bloggers predictions.
A bonus prediction (we’ll call it a tie breaker if you will): Predict the season stat line for Yasiel Puig. He’s the Cuban Dodger who isn’t even supposed to be on the team. Right now, I think I’d prefer him in Cuba. He’s making his demotion quite difficult on Two-Trips. He’s 10 for his last 11. For the spring, he’s batting .547. In 55 at bats he doesn’t have a walk but still has an OBP of .527 and a 1.414 OPS. Wow. If they don’t have a place on the team for this dude, we are in a sh!tload of trouble this season.
I’m not going to be able to speak from an educated place on this till I look at both their velocities once the regular season starts, but that’s not going to stop me from writing this thread…..
Timmy looked fine in his first spring start (93-94mph) from a couple of weeks ago. And I’ve seen none of Dirrrrrrty’s numbers this spring other than what they show at mlb.com.
But let’s throw this out there right now: 93-94 mph just isn’t a speed that dominates anymore. In 1988 it did. But the number of guys throwing 94+ and WAY+ is off the charts in 2013. It’s actually fantastic support for evidence of steroid use today. Timmy threw his fastball, on average, 94.2 mph when he first came into the league in 2007. It’s dropped every year since then, ultimately settling at 90.4 in 2012. And I know he threw it harder than his average in ’07 at certain points in the game or the season, as well as ’12, but losing 4mph’s has left the rest of his pitching repertoire sadly lacking. And this is a theory from the end of last season, not from anything he’s done in spring training this year, a known time that he uses for tune ups and whatnot (I almost said *stuff* and now I’m regretting it since *whatnot* is even dumber than *stuff*).
Timmy and Dirrrrrrty have some things in common. Dirrrrty still has his sick sh!t but he’s said many times that he’ll never give in to a hitter. Top Secret Message to The Dirrrrrtiest: hitters read the sh!t you say. And they see the sh!t you throw, it passes right by them. And they’ve realized that they can’t hit your filthiest sh!t but they have no problem letting it pass harmlessly by as the ump calls it a ball. Very quickly, batter after batter, the hitter works the count in his favor. Dirrrrty is 2-0, 3-1 on every hitter. He’s either stupid or stubborn that he doesn’t understand this……..
Timmy is only similar to Dirrrrty from the standpoint of where his pitches ultimately land. I think Dirrrrty has better control than Timmy but he just refuses to ever give in and will NEVER throw the ball into the zone. It’s stupid, because his sh!t is so wicked, but he’s got his plan and he’ll never change it. He will never adapt. We talked about that earlier today with Sabean. And that’s why he’s fucked now.
I don’t think Timmy could locate his pitches if he was trying. And I think he was trying A LOT last year to locate them. His mechanics are so complicated and he got by with his dominant fastball for so long, that he just never had to do it at the big league level. And now he’s struggling because of it. Dirrrrty has better natural sh!t than Timmy but Timmy would know how to use Dirrrrty’s sh!t a lot better than Dirrrrrrrty if he had it. But he doesn’t have it.
This sh!t really is that simple…….
There was an article/video at mlb.com yesterday titled “Giants Blueprint Hasn’t Gone Unnoticed–2 SF Titles in 3 years has other clubs looking at formula”. For those of you who don’t like Eric Byrnes, hit the stop button on the video ASAP.
You can read that article here: http://tinyurl.com/cqxdb63
Now, it’s not a very interesting article. Besides a couple of references to longterm stability up and down the organization, it discusses drafting well and developing a championship core. It DID cite a stat I didn’t know: the Giants led the NL in OPS+ (a measure of offense adjusted for home field) suggesting that they didn’t just do it with an all-pitching/no hit approach that national writers usually (wrongly) default to when assessing the team’s strengths and weaknesses.
Then the writer interviews Kevin Youklis who lamely states, “They only had 3 players who hit double digits in HR’s. I know it’s a big ball park and stuff but you don’t see too many teams with only 3 double digit HR players”. Whenever anyone says the word *stuff* I usually start to tune out and *stuff*….
If the writer wanted to interview a player who had less of a clue about the Giants *formula* he struck gold with Kevin Youklis, a guy who has never played in the NL or on the west coast and who never played a game against them last year. His response (you can’t call it an answer since it wasn’t one) was a classic “New York-Centric” brushoff that is common among players and writers who think baseball doesn’t matter if you aren’t talking about the Yankees and Red Sox……..
The writer missed the point with his *organizational stability* reference. He’s suggesting that keeping an organizational hierarchy together is a big part of the *formula* but he barely scratches the surface with that answer. If he ever talked to Sabean or Bochy they would say it’s their friendship and the common ground they find that keeps this formula producing such fantastic results. These 2 guys like each other and respect each other and that apparently goes a long way towards building a world series winner year after every other year.
What do you guys think it is? Luck? Timely mid season pick ups? Did the team just catch fire at the right time in 2010 and 2012? Buster Posey? Barry Zito?
Kruk was pretty hard on Theriot this morning on his show saying, “I am 100% certain that he’ll regret retiring.” He also said he was disappointed in him like 3 times.
Scoots has a sore back and I was *disappointed* in the KNBR morning show that they didn’t get around to asking Kruk about it (after they said they were going to at the start of the show.
It made me wonder about Freddy Sanchez and what’s going on with him. Last February (’12) I predicted he would never play again and it looks like that’s coming to pass. A month ago his agent said that *about 20 teams* had requested his medical records. Those must not look too good. But still I’m wondering, what’s he doing? Is he staying in shape? Can he throw a ball better than Kensuke Tenaka (and by that I mean, can he throw a ball remotely in the direction of the intended target). Has Sabean even considered contacting Glass for one more go as a utility guy?
And what about Juan Uribe? The Dodgers have confirmed that Jazz Hands is NOT being considered as a replacement for Hanny Eye Goggles. Jeez, he’s hitting .350 this Spring, how far down on the depth chart has he fallen? Would Sabean ever do a deal with his old buddy Ned and bring Uribe back for a final year? Personally, I think the Dodgers wouldn’t want to risk a Uribe revival in a Giants uniform–even if the Giants paid his salary (which they shouldn’t do and probably wouldn’t do).
Still, it would be great to see either of these back in the clubhouse instead of players I don’t know or care about like Abreu or Cedeno or whoever…….
I read a blog post by Schulman at the Chron, something I rarely do. But this was a very interesting piece on Theriot about his decision to possibly retire if he doesn’t get a starting gig. He’s prepared to transition into a traditional life of living at home and raising his 3 kids with his wife.
Sounds fine on the surface, why wouldn’t a father want to do that? But then I checked on what Theriot has made in his career. I was prepared to see 20 million, something in that range. I was WAY off, I’d obviously misjudged how long he’s been able to take advantage of the free agent years. He’s made $8,468,000 in his career. That sounds like a nice chuck of change. Of COURSE he should be able to make ends meet on that, right? But if he’s paying his agent 20% and then he’s getting taxed on half of what’s left, we aren’t talking about money that can set up generations of a family. Especially considering he probably didn’t save or invest wisely in his early years since few young people do so. He’s got 3 kids and a wife, he’s 33 years old. It’s very likely that he’ll need another job to support his family’s lifestyle in both the short and long term.
I’m no longer wondering why he didn’t re-sign with us as a back up. He’s turned down what was likely a 1 million dollar+ contract to be a utility player to stay at home and raise his kids with his wife. How many people do you know, who aren’t set financially, that would do that?
Buster isn’t a free agent until 2017 but there’s obvious speculation that The Giants want to lock him up for a long, LONG time so he never hits the open market. They could buy out a couple of years with something “Lincecumey* but I think it’s more likely that they go big. *Joe Mauer* big. Probably not *Joey Votto* big.
I loath big deals for all the reasons that we’ve already kicked around. But facts are facts. The Giants are 2-2 in world series wins with Buster playing all year. They’re 0-53 when he doesn’t do that. And you have to think Baer and cohorts believe they have a once in a baseball generation player on their team. They are going to sign him to big, big dollars.
He’ll probably only catch for a few more year, especially if he gets something big. He’s one more hit away from getting *cousin’d* into retirement as a catcher. He’ll move to first base and, ultimately, to DH (which the NL will adopt in the next few years). So I’m not worried about him having to catch into his mid 30′s. Do you give him a 10 year deal? Cause that’s what he’s gonna want. In 2011, a 27 year old Joe Mauer signed an 8 year/184 million dollar contract. Votto big time’d that by signing a 13 year deal for 263 million. I think there’s a team option on that one but whatever, the Reds are all-in with Votto. He was also 27 when he signed his deal, by the way.
But Buster’s 25 (turning 26 on March 27th). The Giants could give him 10 years/225 million and probably not look like idiots for doing it. I’d like to go no more than 5 years but I can’t believe Buster would ever go for it. Eight years would be preferable to 10. How about 8 years/200 million? At what point into a 10 year deal with Buster will we start gazing longingly at the Barry Zito deal?
He’s not going to hit .336 again. I’d root and hope for .300 from him on a yearly basis. And his HR total might never hit above 30-33, and that would be a career year. How many years would you want Buster playing first base hitting .285/20 bombs?
I read about Hanley Ramirez’ thumb injury, then watched it at mlb.com. And I loved the letter’s *M/R/I* as part of the story. I couldn’t be happier to see HanRam and the Dodgers in this situation. Throw Grienke’s balky elbow in there and you’ve got the makings for some tough times down in LaLa.
And no, I’m never happy someone gets hurt-ok, I wouldn’t mind it if someone broke some body parts on Jerry Sandusky. And I do remember a smile tracing across my face when I heard that Jeff Dahmer had been killed in jail. So I guess there are times when someone else’s pain makes me happy.
But not in baseball. If HanRam miss any games I’ll be happy because he isn’t playing, not because he got hurt. It would make the Dodgers a little worse and any lesser Dodger team is all good by me. That 1/4 century of World Series win free baseball is also something I enjoy.
Don’t believe in karma or any of that jazz. Just happy to see HanRam dust himself off the ground shaking that hand nervously. Loved it, actually…..
Seeing Todd Linden’s story in the Chron made me think about unhappier times in our history. After the Giants won 91 games in 2004 the team nosedived for the next 4 seasons. Not surprisingly, 2004 was also the last great year for Barry Bonds. He would retire after the 2007 season. Every team goes through lulls in their franchise history (except the St Louis Cardinals, for some reason) but the Giants slide into 4 years of less than average was easy to see after it happened. Sabean had spent the better part of his GM career placing secondary vet pieces around Barry, largely ignoring developing talent at the minor league level. When Barry stopped slathering flaxseed oil all over his body, the Giants had no answers………
Obviously, he fixed the flaws in his GM game and he is now one of the underrated yet brilliant GM’s in the game.
Let’s look at some of the prospects and non-prospects from the Dark Years who somehow made it into a regular season SF Giants jersey:
1) Lance Niekro. The Giants took him in the 2nd round of the 2002 amateur draft and he made his first appearance with the club in 2003. In 2005 he played in 113 games for SF and banged out 12 bombs. After JT retired he was the opening day first baseman in 2006. That day was probably the last highlight of his career. He last played in the big leagues in 2007 and reportedly had tried to turn himself into a knuckle ball pitcher in 2009. It did not go well.
2) Dan Ortmeier: at baseball almanac it says he doesn’t have a nickname but we know that to be untrue. He is the great “Ort-Rod” who played in SF over the course of 4 seasons. He hit all six of his career home runs in 2007. He signed iwth Colorado and played for their PCL team in 2009. No info on him since then.
3) Brian Bocock: he was drafted in the 6th round of the 2006 amateur draft. Average glove/no hit, he was actually in the opening day starting line up that was quite possibly the worst opening day starting line up in the history of the SF Giants. I challenge any of you to find a worse opening day starting line up than this: Molina, Aurilia, Durham, Castillo, Bigcock, Roberts, Rowand, Winn and Zito. Not surprisingly, we lost to the Dodgers 5-0. Bigcock’s big moment in baseball was that day, he scored 93 underwhelming at bats that season hitting .143. He hooked up with Philly somehow and had 5 at bats in 2010 for them. No hits. 2 runs. Bye Bye Bigcock. I think he’s in Japan now.
4) Todd Linden: a 2001 1st round pick, he played in parts of 5 seasons for the Giants, ;ast appearing in the majors with Florida in 2007. he’s been to Japan and elsewhere and now he’s back in the Giants org providing adequate minor league depth for Fresno.
5) Brian Dallimore. He wasn’t drafted by SF, he signed as a free agent in 2002. Somehow, he was called up in 2004 and hit his one career home run that year. I forget the circumstances, but I recall it being a very big hit that won the game for us that day. I’m sure others will remember it in more detail. He had 7 plate appearances for the Giants in 2005 and never played at the mlb level again. I’m assuming he found a way to feed his family with the Stanford degree he had to fall back on.
There were others, Brian Horwitz, Kevin Frandsen, John Bowker, Coner Gillespe, Ryan Rohlinger……it’s a long, sad list. And this thread is starting to make me sad so I’ll stop now………
All of these guys wish they could have had half the career that Travis Ishikawa had (and is still having) and that says about all you need to know about The Dark Years…….
Sandoval has pain in his elbow and while everyone is down playing it I thought I’d take a different path and *up-play* the fuck out of it. Players/Managers/GM’s all lie about how serious an injury is until an MRI comes out and they can’t keep the lie going any longer. This has *bad news* written all over it. The Merc blog says we should “say a prayer” for Sandoval. I’m not religious so I don’t really know what that means. I found this prayer on the internet and while it has nothing to do with this particular situation, I decided to post it here. However you chose to do it today, keep Pablo’s ominous elbow in your thoughts. Pablo, may your MRI show up as clean as one of your post-meal dinner plates. We can’t afford to lose you.
A Baseball Player’s Prayer
to tell a strike from a ball,
to know where to throw
and never to fall.
running straight and true
and I’ll look for your sign,
to stretch one into two.
to see every pitch,
so if a player needs help,
then I will see which.
so I’ll be at my best
and take pride in myself,
in sports and the rest.
when I throw the ball
when I’m far from home plate,
or against a wall.
please guide my feet,
bring me home safely,
so my job is complete.
let me always give praise,
so they’ll see you in me,
in all of my ways.
to be fair and smart,
to teach us to be good,
let it come from his heart.
just as well as a win,
to do any less,
is surely a sin.
let me make my parents proud,
as proud as I am,
when they yell MY name out loud.
let me always have fun
and if Heaven has All Stars,
I want to be one.
and my seasons are done,
let me play on your team.
just like your son.
I’ve got my first big fantasy draft of the season this morning (10am PST). It’s in the online championship at nfbc.stats.com. Info for that particular contest can be found here:
I’ve played there since 2007 and it is by far the best online fantasy gaming site you can find. Drafts with many different types of formats are occurring daily up until opening day.
In this particular contest, there are 12 teams, 30 rounds and you get up to 70 seconds to make a pick so this will last a good 3 hours. I have several nuggets to mine in this draft but I won’t bore you with those picks. One of my favorite things to do is go back after a draft is complete and see where certain Giants went in relation to where they were drafted in previous drafts. Below, I’ll list off the most coveted SF Giant players in fantasy baseball (and there are a few) and the rounds they have been going in and later I’ll update this thread to include the round they actually went in my draft:
Buster Posey: he’s the first catcher taken in every draft. This year, he’s going (on average) at pick 16 (so, 4 picks into the 2nd round). The next catcher usually isn’t taken till pick 56 and that’s Joe Mauer. Posey is going way too high for my tastes so he’ll be on someone else’s team unless he drops into the 4th round (unlikely).
Update: Posey went 16th pick, 2nd round.
Matt Cain: He’s averaging as the 7th SP taken in a draft going at pick 46 (mid way through the 4th round). The 6 getting drafted ahead of him are Strasburg, Verlander, Kershaw, Price, King Felix and Cole Hamels. It will be unlikely that I draft Cain, though I’ve owned him before and have been happy with him.
Update: Cain went 9th pick, 3rd round. Absurd.
MadBum: the 13th SP taken, he’s sandwiched between Yu Darvish and Adam Wainwright at pick 61 (beginning of the 6th round). Depending on how the draft unfolds for me I might take him and could see myself drafting him in the 5th.
Update: MadBum was falling to me, I could almost touch him. He went 3rd pick, 6th round. I was pissed, I wanted him but took Cliif Lee 5 and he just didn’t fall to me.
Timmy: Last year he was the third SP taken, usually in the 3rd round. This year he’s the 30 SP taken going at pick 131 (end of round 11). I could definitely see myself drafting Timmy around 11, he could be a huge overlay and it’s picks like this that you have to have to win anything in fantasy baseball. Either that or they ruin you and you curse their name all the way up till the joyful moment you get to hit the button that bounces their ass to the waiver wire……
Update: Timmy went 11th pick, 10th round. I would have taken him in 11th round. I wasn’t too bummed.
Voggy: He’s the 50th SP taken going around round 19. I don’t see myself drafting him.
Update: He went middle 17th round.
Zito: If he gets drafted (so far he’s been drafted in only 48% of NFBC drafts) he’s going in the 30th (last) round.
The Panda: He’s the ninth 3rd baseman taken, usually going in the 7th round.
Update: I got him! I took him in the 7th round. I was thin on 3rd basemen that I liked, glad I took him when I did or I would have been stuck with Lonnie Chisenhall…who I drafted in the 26th round just in case Pablo finds another hamate bone to fracture.
Crawford: he’s almost always undrafted
Scoots: he’s the 14th second baseman taken (again, on average) usually going around round 17.
Update: he went in round 21. He had been going round 17. And yes, I was the one who drafted him. I needed a MI back up and he qualifies as both SS and 2nd so I grabbed him (plus, he was an overlay).
Belt: He’s been getting drafted all over the place. He’s the 21st first baseman getting drafted at an average spot of round 20 but he’s been drafted as high as round 10. I could see myself reaching a little early for him if I need another first baseman around round 17. He could pay off big in 2013.
Update: This was a hard one to watch. I drafted Votto #1 (6th pick in first round) and then I drafted Hosmer in the 9th round (love him) so I wasn’t going to draft another 1-bagger. I watched that fucker drift to the 23rd round. I was going to take him 24, just on principal. Huge, HUGE overlay. Had I not taken Hosmer I might have drafted Belt 16/17ish…..
Pence and Pagan: Pence is the 29th OF taken usually in round 10, Pagan is the 45th OF picked, usually around round 14/15. I’m not interested in either.
Update: Pence went 11 and Pagan went 17–again, I had to take him. 17th round for Pagan is a gift, plus I needed SB’s.
Romo: he’s getting taken in round 13 and I think that’s too high. I have 6 other closers that are in my closer pool that I like better (and I’ll be picking 2 or 3 of them for my team).
Update: Romo went 14.
No other Giants are getting drafted.
Update: no other Giant got drafted.
Anyway, that’s what I’m doing this morning. I’ll check in later with the results.
Did any of you catch the last out of the US/PR game? Lazy fly ball out to center field, Angel Pagan caught it and celebrated like he had just won the world series. The closer (Romero?) pointed to the sky and started crying as he was getting dog piled on the mound. Think this tourney doesn’t mean anything to the other countries still alive? Think again.
And it really is tough for the US to compete in something like this. Despite not sending our best, we still sent a collection of players that could have gotten the job done. But 3 other factors made the task nearly impossible.
1) All our guys were still in spring training mode. Most of the Latin players just finished winter ball and hit the ground full speed when the WBC started. The US players are used to stretching and working on fundy drills this time of year.
2) Players from other countries simply care more than the US players about winning this thing. Brandon Phillips must have said “Losing stinks” at least three times in his interview. Dude, watch it, I thought for a second there you might let out a muffled *sigh*. Had it been a player from Puerto Rico being interviewed after the same loss the dude would probably be crying and lamenting the fact that they just let an entire country down. When you care more, you usually try harder.
3) Joe Torre is a numb skull. I think I’ve written that about 15 times over the years. But it’s true. I know he probably had a lot of people to make happy in terms of playing time or limiting their playing time or whatever, but he managed these games like Bobby Valentine. Come to think of it, B-Val would probably have been a better choice. If the manager isn’t managing to win how invested are the players in winning?
This tournament has unfolded as a very entertaining diversion from spring training. I don’t really care that the US has been eliminated. And actually, that’s probably #4 as a factor that influenced the US loss. If the US fans don’t care, how much could the players possibly care?
Well, if you read the headline at the Merc, maybe a little. It reads “It’s Starting to Look Grim for Hector”. Apparently he’s got pain all over his body and can’t throw or swing now. They’re going to shut him down for a couple of days. If this is as ominous as it looks it’s time to look at alternatives. I can’t imagine that Bochy would go with a guy like Monell or Quiroz, they just don’t have enough experience to handle this staff. Same goes with Jackson Williams.
And we can’t even to turn to El Presidente who is with, I think, the Rangers right now though he may have just switched teams again while I was typing that. Eli has spent the off season getting passed around like the neighborhood bicycle. The Merc writer suggests bringing back Chris Stewart but he must not be paying attention because Stewart is going to be in a platoon with Cervelli for the Yankees. They aren’t going to leave that job to Cervelli full time.
I don’t know about the free agent catchers but it’s probable that someone will get dumped as Opening Day nears
Do you guys have a preference?
The other night during Timmy’s game, a Giants left handed hitter BLASTED a ball about 450 feet down the right field line and it went just foul. They panned back to the hitter, I couldn’t tell who it was from his face so I knew he was some random rook, and he kind lowered his head and and shook it back and fourth a couple of times. You could see how bummed he was coming so close to making an impression with a monster bomb. But now, he was in danger of making another impression, this one bad, if he started sulking about the bomb that was not to be. He composed himself, got back in the box and ended up blasting a home run to right center field in that same at bat. As he was rounding the bases I thought, “Goddamn, that dude’s gotta feel like he’s floating around the bases.” And I was happy for him because it was a gamer-move to hit a bomb in the same at bat that could have gotten ruined by self pity. His name was Johnny Monell, a non-prospect left handed catcher in the org, and I read in the Merc yesterday that he’s 9-15 this spring (.600). Of course that brought up the inevitable “Randy Elliott” reference in the article. But this particular article by Carl Steward also linked to a “Where are the Now” story written about Randy Elliott about 10 years ago.
I couldn’t click on that link fast enough…
I talk about Randy Elliott like I know who he is but the only recollection I have of him is his name from the yearly stories I hear about him when someone gets hot in spring training. Some of you old timers will remember a lot more about him beyond his *Spring Fling*. But in ’77 I was just in my infancy of starting to care about baseball. 1976/1977 was when I started to collect baseball cards. My first three were given to me by a neighbor kid: Jim Barr, Bobby Murcer and Gary Thomasson. Didn’t have a Randy Elliott card. Didn’t want a Randy Elliott card. Didn’t know who the feck Randy Elliott was.
But over the years, I heard about him all the time. It was only last night, after I read the piece by Steve Kroner, that I found out more about him. Here is his baseball card:
Now, I don’t know about you guys, but the first thing I thought when i saw this card was that Randy Elliott looks an awful lot like this dude:
>>>>>>>>>>>>>And I don’t like this dude<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Even with this bias I read the article and discovered many interesting things. On March 16th, Elliott’s batting average stood at .692. His average *plummeted* to .547 by the end of Spring Training and he told Kroner, “If I hit .400 in spring I knew I wouldn’t make the team.” That’s a fantastic line. He hit .215 for his mlb career and when asked how he was able to cobble together such a mythic spring he said, “My left shoulder stayed in the whole time. When my shoulder was healthy, I could play.”
(He was drafted by the Padres in ’69 and hurt the shoulder playing winter ball in ’72. It would be an injury he would struggle with his entire career)
But coming out of his epic spring, he earned a spot on the team in a left field platoon with Darrell Evans. Sadly, in the 2nd game of the season he was hit in the shoulder by Doug Rau and in his next at bat he felt his shoulder pop loose. He did nothing the rest of the year and was released after the season. His high point was a pinch hit grand slam off the Reds’ Fred Norman. Dang, how great would it be to see video of Elliott rounding those bases?
Here are his career stats:
I enjoyed reading about him and can at least now understand a little bit of the reference when someone brings him up next year. And the year after that. And the year after that. And the…..
Baseball scholars are still trying to figure out how Bill Bergen managed to stick around for over 2500 at bats while hitting .170 with 2 HRs.
Billy Beane 1984-1989 .246 career OBP- “Moneyball” was not subtitled “The Career of Billy Beane”
Tony Suck, 1883-1884 career on base percentage of .205, a career slugging percentage of .161, and zero home runs.
Eli Whiteside 2005, 2009-2012 just because. he’s so bad that Vera rented his boyhood bedroom to J.R. Phillips. ” I wanted a decent player in Eli’s bed”, Vera explained.
J.R. Phillips 1993-1999 The worst 23 HR hitter ever. And it took him 7 years to hit the 20 mark- hit .188 and K’d 180 times in 501 AB.
Tommy Lasorda, 1954-1956 6.48 ERA in 26 games over three seasons.
Marv Throneberry, 1955-1963 He once hit a triple, but was called out after missing both first and second base while on his way to third. Jimmy Breslin said: ” Having Marv Throneberry play for your team is like having Willie Sutton work for your bank.”
Mario Mendoza, 1974-1982 A guy whose name is the benchmark for hitting futility has to be on the list. Actually, Mario has been unfailrly maligned, he was .215 hitter. I think he deserves Eli’s bed.
Herb Washington, 1974-1975 Baseball’s only designated runner, he was 31 for 48. He was picked off in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the 1974 World Series, killing an Oakland rally and handing the Dodgers a victory. He never batted, never played in the field.
The Reverend Aloysius Stanislaus Travers, 1912 In his one major league appearance, Travers pitched a complete game, allowing 26 hits and 24 runs
Bill Bergen, 1901-1911 Bergen has the lowest career batting average of any player with 2,500 at bats. He hit .170 with two career home runs.
No post with Lasodra in it is complete without his major contribution to the game:
I only caught a little of his start and what I did see was on a tv with no sound. And I did see the last couple of batters in the third and Bochy come out to yank him. But I am giving him MORE than a passing grade for last night’s start.
His appearance: He looked fantastic. He’s added weight and yet still looks lean– that’s because he’s clearly added muscle. We heard about all of this but last night was the first time we’ve seen him on the mound in his uni. And while I have no problem with dudes who want to wear their hair long, I always thought that Timmy looked ridiculous at best and like a non-practicing transsexual (at worst) with his long, sleek black hair. He was Black Beauty. Now, he’s a clean cut assassin.
My grade for his appearance last night: A
His stuff: Again, I only saw him throw probably 10-12 pitches but the pitches I saw looked pretty good. His motion looked balanced. I saw him hit 94 on the gun in the 1st inning and he rarely did that last season. His change up was all over the place–almost *too* unhittable and when the hitter didn’t swing it almost always was an easy ball-call.
My grade for his stuff: B+
His location: this was off. I know the change up isn’t designed to end up in the strike zone, but many of his were WAY out of the zone, easy takes. Same thing with the fastball. It was live, but it was all over the place.
My grade for his location: C-
It was his first start of the spring. He was clearly gassed after 2+, when Bochy came to get him he was drenched in sweat. He’s got 3 more starts this spring and I’m hopeful he builds off last night’s positive appearance. Last year, in 12 team fantasy leagues, Timmy was going in the 3rd round (out of 30). He was an obvious bust as a 3rd round pick. This year, he’s going in the 15th/16th round. I’m not sure if I can ignore an overlay like that and will be drafting him in at least 2 leagues. Besides, mid round draft picks are pretty easy cuts if they don’t pan out.
House keeping note:
I was away from the internet for most of the night yesterday and I missed all of the rabble on the board. I support Twin’s deletion of 3 posts (and he sent me all three so I did read them after they were deleted). To my knowledge, it’s the only time he’s ever zapped a post here without permission and I reminded him that I am the only one who is allowed to do that.
I think that I’ve clearly outlined what’s accepted at The Flap and what’s *over-the-top* in The Blogger Code of Conduct Rules located on the right hand side of this page. Please review it if you’re wondering what is allowed to be posted at this site. We all say things in the heat of the moment that we would like to take back, I know this more than anyone. In life, that’s very hard to do. At a blog, it gets zapped and it doesn’t seem as bad. But you can’t un-ring a bell. Please remember that *respect* is not just a 7 letter word–it’s something we all should practice in our 3-D lives as well as here at the blog. Thanks in advance for *respecting* the rules here. I think they’re better than rules enforced at other SF Giants blogs but if you disagree with me you’re certainly welcome to go blog there.
I’ll be really interested to check the end of year standings in baseball this season. It seems like every division has a great impending battle that should last all season. The AL East looks to be the most interesting. I know, I sounded so *ESPN* there, right? But this year, I think it’s true. You have the Yankees literally just trying to put breathing bodies on the field right now. Chipper Jones? Ha, he’ll chuckle quietly to himself before he says “No thank you.” The Yankees and the re-building B-Sox, once a given to be the favorite’s to battle all season long in the AL East suddenly find that spot a little crowded. Tampa Bay, Baltimore and now Toronto (who made a brilliant decision to *go for it* in anticipation of a Yankee collapse) all have a better chance of winning the division than either New York or Boston. And the media meltdown in both of those cities will be a joy to watch develop as the year unfolds……
The AL East should also be fantastic theater. I didn’t like the Angels last year and I don’t like them this year. Don’t get me wrong, they’ll be in it all season, I’m not a lunatic. But I think Oakland is for real and while I dislike the A’s I loved what they did last year. Who couldn’t have? Seattle has moved their fences in (puss move) but they have made some sneaky moves and have some left over players who might just coalesce this year. I don’t think Seattle can win the division but I think they’ll finish with a better record than Texas who might finish last in this division…..
I’ll be quite interested to see how the Royals do in the AL Central this year and The Nationals and Braves will trade blows through game 162.
I don’t care much for the NL Central race, but it’ll be interesting to see how the Pirates do this year. I could see them having a nice follow up to last year’s surprise first half run. Jason Grilli came out of a serviceable but undistinguished career to put up dominating numbers last season. Think he’s ready to be a top flight closer? I don’t, but it’ll be fun to see if he can do it.
And of course, you have the NL West set up for one of the great season’s in the history of the division. I will never be sold on the Dodgers until they actually WIN SOMETHING. This is the quarter century anniversary of their last World Series win. Let’s give a 2-flap salute toast to the next 25 years turning out exactly the same way for them………
The WBC train gained some momentum this morning as the Netherlands just ousted Cuba. I raced to the box score to see if Rikkert Faneyte had anything to do with the winning hit. Alas, his time has passed, he’s not even a coach on the team.
But Bam Bam Meulens in the manager and a big congrats to him for this upset win.
How’d ya like to have to call a WBC with the Netherlands. Bas Nooij? Tom Stuifbergen? Kevin Heijstek? I think I’d nail most of the first names and just leave it at that.
In spring training news, the Giants beat Milwaukee 6-1.
Most of you saw that brawl yesterday between Canada and Mexico. If not, it’s front and center at mlb.com. Now THAT was good baseball fight. And I define *good* as something better intended than the usual stuff of a bunch of guys posturing and talking smack. In mlb, if the batter takes a step towards the pitcher he usually doesn’t start going after him with intention until AFTER the catcher and others get in his way. It’s usually all a bunch of nonsense.
I think it’s safe to say that Arnold Leon is above participating in nonsense. After he throws inside to the Canadian hitter the ump comes out and boldly warns both benches. If this was an mlb game that would have been the end of it. But not for Arnold who was like, “Fuck that” and proceeds to drill the hitter in the back on the next pitch! I found it to be quite hilarious. And instead of players rushing the field to dance around each other these 2 teams hit the field throwing haymakers.
The entire scene looked like a bunch of players who had no fear of getting suspended and fined for their actions. Which makes me wonder, how are fights like yesterday’s governed by the WBC? If Sandoval cracks a bat over the head of Hanley Ramirez (please, if there is a God…) does he get hit with any type of mlb suspension? Or is the WBC an *anything goes* type of thing?
I stopped watching the USA/Italy game after Wright hit that grand slam to power us to victory. I’m not gonna lie, I was applauding David Freaking Wright in my living room last night. But, looked like we wrapped that bad boy up so I clicked it off.
In spring training news, The Royals destroyed the Giants 13-2. Belt hit his 4th bomb of the spring and Noonan blasted a triple….
And today we get to play a win-or-go-home game vs the Fightin’ Canadians. Here’s my dream for the game: Derek Holland takes the mound and his first pitch sails squarely into the back of the Canadian lead hitter. He then tears off his USA jersey and runs around the infield flailing his arms above his head screaming jibberish and wearing this shirt:
Now THAT would be funny.
We were at Sports Authority today, she disappears and comes back wearing this saying, “Daddy, don’t you love how it sparkles?”
I say, “Um, no. I don’t like how it sparkles at all”. Not only am I not a *sparkle guy* (and she knows this) but it’s sparkled in one of my least preferred patterns. I said, “let’s go get an SF sparkle hat.” I searched, long and hard and even asked store clerks to check the back. Nada. So yeah, I spent $$$$ on A’s gear today. How in the hell did the A’s out-market the Giants!?!?!?!?!?!
I’m having trouble deciding how I feel about all of these bumps and bruises that the Giants players seem to be dealing with this Spring. If you’re the Yankees, the injury news in much clearer. Granderson, A-Rod, Jeter, and Teixiera all have clearly defined time lines of days they are expected to be out attached to their injuries.
The Giants? Their injuries are much harder to define in days needed to recover. Timmy has a blister–by the way, for those of you who don’t catch the KNBR morning show, Kruk went off on Timmy for how poorly he takes care of his hands and said that this is a direct result, basically, of negligence on Timmy’s part. Torres has an oblique strain (I swear to God, I NEVER heard about an oblique strain until the 1990′s or so. Is that a new muscle that players started growing?). Lopez got hit by a throw on, I think, his non-throwing hand (but I could be wrong about that) and still isn’t throwing. Hector has a tight hammy. Cain got hit in the leg with a ball and missed some time. And now the Giants are panicking because Romo threw 26 pitches in a game.
All of these injuries seem so minor it makes me think there’s nothing to worry about at all and that if this were the regular season these guys would either be playing or close to playing through all of these nicks, bumps and bruises. And maybe because our spring has been so quiet in terms of action or controversy this is the only thing I could think of to worry about this morning and since it’s common knowledge that I need AT LEAST one thing to worry about at all times that’s the reason you’re reading today’s thread.
Twenty Six pitches. Jeez, I hope he’s gonna be all right……
With so many regulars missing from Spring to play in the WBC there are going to be a lot more at bats for the *fringe crew* to impress (or *depress*) Bruce Bochy.
Francisco Peguero: He’s hitting .550 with a 1.321 OPS. Torres better get that oblique straight, fast.
Brock Bond: the guy the Giants drafted by mistake is turning out to be a nice little story. His career almost ended by way of concussion a couple of years ago, he’s shown up raking. He’s hitting .500 with a god-like OPS of 1.583. The scouting report is that he doesn’t do any one thing great but he does everything well. Sounds like Marco Scutaro to me.
Brett Pill: He’s been a little better than luke-warm. He’s hit 2 bombs. He needs to keep the bombs coming.
Cole Gillespe: Hitting .261. I’m not really following him but he’s in danger of becoming lost in the crowd if he doesn’t step it up.
Gary Brown: He’s k’d 6 times this spring. That’s second highest on the team. The leader?…….
Roger Kieschnick: ….who’s k’d 7 times and who’s hitting .238 (same as Brown).
Kensuke Tanaka: leads the team with 4 errors (the rest of the team combined has 6 errors). If he can’t field or hit why would we want him on the team?
Angel Villalona: He’s hit a bomb and probably a few In and Out’s but that’s about it. He’s hitting .167.
Nick Noonan: He’s 1 for 19. Next…..
I’m just creating a thread for this since you guys started kicking it around on the last one and I’ve got nothing to post unless you all want to talk about Tim Lincecum’s blister. Next.
My two cents: I’m not even going to look up what the current punishment is. I seem to remember it starts with a 50 game ban and a second violation gets you 100 games. Not sure what happens if you’re caught a third time. I don’t like the idea of a 100 game suspension for a first violation and a lifetime ban for a second one. I’m not against the death penalty for criminals but I don’t think it’s appropriate for a baseball infraction. PED’s will always be part of the game and I don’t like the idea of one guy getting a lifetime ban and a bunch of other guys using them freely–just cause they’re smarter than the dude who got caught (or they have more $ to buy the best masking drugs) is not a reason to bounce those who are caught for life.
Anyway, what do you guys think?
Mark Purdy wrote an article at the Merc yesterday questioning why we should care about the WBC. It was quite USA-centric. I suppose he’s asking why Americans should care, since we aren’t sending *our best*. Every other team in this competition is sending their best and for the baseball fans of those countries I am guessing they care very much about the outcome of their team’s games. So if Purdy is asking the *world* if they care about the outcome of this competition he would probably get a very different answer than he would from a typical American.
I’m going to try to watch some of it and to answer Purdy’s question, I do care about how the USA does. We might not be sending all of our best players but those we are sending, I’m assuming, are proud to represent our country. And, if we can beat Cuba, a team that looks loaded with hitters, with less than our best team, in some ways, that’s almost BETTER than if we sent a team of all stars.
This is the same as the Olympics. Do we care about that? Well, for 2 weeks every 2 years I seem to care a little about skiing and ice skating and track and the 40 yard dash and floor routines and *even* certain swimming events. So I think I’ll muster the enthusiasm to root for the USA the same way I rooted for Michael Phelps. I don’t know why I was rooting for Phelps, I find swimming to be incredibly uninteresting, but there I am, every 4th year rooting for guys like Michael Phelps to bring a gold medal in swimming back home.
And if we get bounced out of this tourney the way we have twice before then maybe we decide to send better players next time to give us a better chance at winning. We did it in ’92 with the Dream Team. But who knows, maybe we won’t have to. I’m looking forward to Cuba trying to hit RA Dickey’s knuckleball.
I place almost no value on spring training performances. The ball doesn’t break in the dry Arizona climate and most of the vet pitchers are just trying to find a routine, build a little arm strength, bang a few broads, belt a few beers and try not get injured. If they don’t care about the results on the field, how valuable are the stats accumulated in the Spring?
Brandon Belt’s hitting .500 this spring. I bet he hit .500 at some point last season over the course of 22 at bats,too. I’m not suggesting it’s a bad thing to be hitting .500, just that the sample size is so small it’s tough to get too jazzed up about it. Was it a bad thing when he hit .378 last Spring? Of course not. But he’s left his bat in Arizona two straight years when the team breaks for SF, I hope he doesn’t do it a third time……
The Giants had a 23-12 ST record in 2011 and missed the playoffs. KC went 20-10 but went on to go 71-91 in the regular season. Last year, Toronto went 24-7 in the Spring and then went 73-89 in the regular season.
Timmy’s LOWEST ERA in the spring has been 4.03 (back in 2009). Only last year was his crappy spring an indication that his regular season would be crap as well.
In 2012, the spring HR leaders were Freddie Freeman, Matt Hague, and Albert Pujols, who all had 7. Pujols then went the entire month of April without even hitting a single home run making 240 million look worth a lot less than it looked the year before. And I’m sorry, but who is “Matt Hague”?
In fact, because I don’t want it to color my view of the players when it comes time for fantasy drafts I now intentionally ignore spring training stats. I learned that lesson in 2010 after Carlos Gomez rocketed up my draft board by leading the Cactus League in stolen bases with 11. That pick did not turn out well for me. Gregor Blanco led the league last year with 13 steals.
The health of the team should always be celebrated louder than any stats the players accumulate……
Catfish, Mudcat, Ducky, Coot.
The Babe, The Barber, The Blade, The Brat.
Windy, Dummy, Gabby, Hoot.
Big Train, Big Six, Big Ed, Fat.
Greasy, Sandy, Muddy, Rocky.
Bunions, Twinkletoes, Footsie, The Hat.
Fuzzy, Dizzy, Buddy, Cocky.
The Bull, The Stork, The Weasle, The Cat.
The Georgia Peach, The Fordham Flash,
The Flying Dutchman. Cot.
The People’s Cherce, The Blazer. Crash.
The Staten Island Scot.
Ebba, Bama, Boomer, Buster.
The Little Professor, The Iron Horse. Cap.
Iron Man, Iron Mike, Iron Hands. Hutch.
Jap, The Mad Russian, Irish, Swede. Nap.
Germany, Frenchy, Big Serb, Dutch,
Turk. Tuck, Tug, Twig.
Spider, Birdy, Rabbit, Pig.
Fat Jack, Black Jack, Zeke, Zack. Bloop.
Peanuts, Candy, Chewing Gum, Pop.
Chicken, Cracker, Hot Potato, Soup.
Three-Finger, No-Neck, The Knuck, The Lip.
Casey, Gavvy, Pumpsie, Zim.
Flit, Bad Henry. Fat Freddie, Flip.
Jolly Cholly, Sunny Jim.
King Kong, Klu.
Boots, Bump, Boo.
King Carl, The Count. The Rope, The Whip.
Wee Willie, Wild Bill, Gloomy Gus. Cy.
Bobo, Bombo, Bozo. Skip.
Coco, Kiki, Yo-yo. Pie.
Baby Doll, Angel Sleeves, Pep, Sliding Billy,
Buttercup, Bollicky, Boileryard, Juice.
Colby Jack, Dauntless Dave, Cheese,
Trolley Line, Wagon Tongue, Rough,
What’s the Use.
Poosh ‘Em Up,
Skoonj, Slats, Ski.
Dim Dom, Dee.
Famous Amos. Rosy, Rusty.
Handsome Ransom. Home Run, Huck.
Rapid Robert. Cactus, Dusty.
Rowdy Richard. Hot Rod, Truck.
Jo-Jo, Jumping Joe,
Old Folks, Old Pard, Oom Paul. Yaz.
Cowboy, Indian Bob, Chief, Ozark Ike.
Rawhide, Reindeer Bill. Motormouth. Maz.
Pistol Pete, Jungle Jim, Wahoo Sam. Spike.
The Mad Hungarian.
Big Dan, Moose.
Jumbo, Pee Wee; Chubby, Skinny.
Crow, Hawk, Goose.
Oisk, Oats, Tookie.
Suds, Hooks, Hug.
Cooch, Cod, Cookie.
Harry the Horse.
Speed, Stretch, Slug.
The Splendid Splinter. Pruschka. Sparky.
Chico, Choo Choo, Cha-Cha, Chub.
Dr. Strangeglove. Deacon. Arky.
Abba Dabba. Supersub.
Bubbles, Dimples, Cuddles, Pinky.
Poison Ivy, Vulture, Stinky.
This may have been brought up in the last few days, I’m not sure, I’ve been down with a pretty bad flu. Pawlie sent me a short video from the Giant’s website detailing the trip the trophy took through New York–the party was at Finnerty’s, a place that both Pawlie and MacDog have told us about. Here’s a screen shot of Kokonuts in line:
LOVE IT. Click on the picture of the trophy below to see the entire video at mlb.com, it’s fantastic (and it’s only 2:24). I got a two-flap salute for the first guy to send me a screen shot of Loo:
While no longer considered a top prospect, you all know who Dan Runzler is. Over the last 4 years, he’s pitched in 89 games at the big league level. Injuries have derailed his ascent to being a fixture in our bullpen. A 9th round section in 2007, he blew through the system, dominating at every stop. He throws a mid 90′s heater and a sick curve ball. I once got so excited about him that I touted him as the a future replacement for Bee Wheezy. That was probably a wee bit optimistic on my part.
Listed (see: lying) at 6’3 233 pounds, he’s always been one of the larger humans to roam the earth and while he’s a K-machine he’s also been quite the walk distributor, too. But word is, he’s gotten himself in shape and he’s finally healthy. He might actually now be able to fit into that listed weight on the back of his baseball card.
With Mirajes down with an ominous spring elbow injury this opens the door wide open for Runzler to lock down one of the coveted lefty spots in the bullpen. If he can cut down on his walks, he could be a dominant force coming out of the pen. He also might want to change his name, too. Having the sound *runs* in your last name can’t be a good thing for a reliever unless his middle name happens to be “No”.
He’s pitched 3.1 innings so far this spring, allowed 1 hit, walked 3 and struck out 5. Send all the knowing dude head nod karma his way and he should be good to go…….
Hembree- big season has him closing or setting up in the bigs- but not now- maybe August
Otero- long shot
Petit, Gaudin, or Loux- if Lincecum and/or Zito scare Bochy and they go to a long guy/spot starter
Proctor- a long way back, 83 games in ’07 might have fried him. Still a legit chance
Runzler- might look to replace Lopez or Mijares next year. Still a great arm.
Rosario- Bochy likes strike throwers- has a shot depending on Ramirez and whether they go long with a Petit/Gaudin type
Edlefsen- don’t see it
Ramirez-the front runner, but hardly a lock
Pequero- he’s been seen by many scouts as better than Brown. I think he’s the favorite if they carry 5 true OFers
Kieschnick- like Chi, I love him. I can see a 2014 OF of Peguero/or Brown, Pagan, Roger. “Keecky” needs to kick major ass in AAA this year.
Brown- is he Butler or just another bunny? The jury’s out. He’ll open in Fresno, IMO.
Gillespie- nothing left to prove in the minors, I see it as Cole/Peguero/Pill as the duel
Pill- last shot to move up from AAAA- Japan? I’m rooting for him here…
Perez- sleeper, could sneak in
Noonan- former second baseman of the future, competion is Tanaka, Abreu, Valdez, Bond
Bond- no respect guy just hits.
That’s quite a scrum for three spots.I left some out that I don’t think have a shot.
I, like most of you, could give less than 1 percent about spring training performances. I do think, though, that if you have a bunch of shitty pitching lines in the spring it’s a reason to worry about you going into the season. Of course, Barry Zito blew that theory out of the water last year after he pitched like Todd Van Poppel on a bad day for an entire spring only to stroll into Coors Field and throw a shutout.
Still, anything that becomes a pattern worries me. Timmy’s inability to get through 2 innings today (1.2, 4 hits, 0 bb’s, 1 K) is not the way to kick off his bounce back season. I couldn’t find his pitch selection/speeds at mlb.com. But whatever, it’s his first start of the spring. He said all the right things afterwards about *hitting all his spots* and how good he felt *mechanically* and the ball is coming out differently this year (in a + way) as opposed to last year.
And then he said something weird: “Last year, I didn’t have the will to sustain my pitching. I wasn’t strong enough. Now I feel like I am.”
I get it, he’s been working out and adding muscle. It’s better than his In and Out diet from 2011 and HAS to be better than his swimmer-training thing that led to the weight loss and a pitching line that included the worst ERA, by a mile, of any NL qualified starting pitcher last season.
But he used the word *will* which, as I’m translating what he probably meant, has a definition of, in part, a “desire to see something happen.” So either Timmy doesn’t understand the definition or he just wasn’t that motivated to *sustain* his pitching last year. But I’ll let our resident wordsmith Pawlie Kokonuts break the meaning of that sentence down (if he wants to).
And Timmy might want to look up the definition of the word *sustain* because it doesn’t really fit in that sentence, especially as it’s connected to the word *will*…….
I’m optimistic about Timmy’s 2013 season as of today. Mostly because I think that his increased strength will help him pitch longer in games. And maybe that’s partially what he meant with his quote……
But the rope I’m extending him is “Zito-like”, at least when compared to the length of Zito’s rope coming out of Spring Training last year. He better get his sh!t together because Bochy isn’t going to keep trotting him out there every fifth day like last year. This year, he’s gonna have to bring something more than a couple of shiny Cy Young trophies out the mound with him. He’s going to have to produce……..
Maybe *opportunity* is too generous of a word. But with the Giants sending 8 players from the 40 man to play for the USA, there are a bunch of non-roster invitees who are looking at more playing time than they would have gotten if the WBC wasn’t happening in 2013….
I’d like to say that I’m looking forward to seeing these *unknowns* play but I watch almost zero spring training games. I’ll catch an inning here and there. But for Gary Brown, Francisco Peguero, Roger Kieschnick, Joe Panik, Jackson Williams, Nick Noonan, Kensuke Tanaka (pfttttt, that’s enough) this is their time to raise eyebrows. Some of them will get another spring or two. But all they really need to do in March is open some eyes. With one utility infield spot and a bullpen spot open, it’ going to be tough to snag an opening day spot.
But Blanco showed last year it can be done. Belt, too. Arias had a great spring but still got sent down to Fresno. He hit .400, got called up in May and became an integral part of the team. With a guaranteed contract this year and being only 28, he could have several years left in the major leagues.
So while these games mean very little to the average fan, you never know when someone is going to take off with an opportunity and turn his dream into a reality. Right now, it’s one of the only angles I can come up with to generate any interest for me in spring training. But for a few of these guys, it’s their last stand, their world series, their….well, Eminem says this better than I can: