Tough times for Fredi Gonzalez in Atlanta right now. He’s got the second coming of Mariano Rivera greased and ready in the bullpen and all Kimbrel can do is pace around the bullpen with a ball in his glove. In an elimination game, Gonzalez had a decision to make: use the best closer in the game for a 2 inning save or just keep everyone in their *role* and do what his book tells him to do.
Kimbrel had pitched once in the playoffs, a 1.1 inning save last Friday night in Atlanta. He was needed to come in and relieve an ineffective David Carpenter, the same pitcher Gonzalez had pitching the 8th inning last night. Kimbrel had pitched exactly 3.1 innings in the last 13 days. He was hardly overworked. Last night, as he stood in the bullpen with his hands on his hips waiting for a call that never came, he looked like a man begging to work.
Carpenter had a very nice year for the Braves but he’s no Craig Kimbrel. And with everything on the line, you don’t leave it up to David Carpenter et al. You bring in The Great Kimbrel…
Of course, if you have read Baseball’s Starry Night, you’ll know that not even The Great Kimbrel is immune to failure.
Sadly, the Dodgers have moved on to the NLCS–a round I thought they’d all be watching on tv. So far, this post season sucks.
Yesterday, the birthday trip got started late, so we only got to Napa and stayed there all day – no Sonoma visit. The wine country is glorious as October arrives, yesterday particularly so with temps in the low 80s. Now, the white wine grapes are pretty much picked, pressed, and already working hard on their primary fermentation in steel tanks. So, it’s center stage for the reds. With the grape leaves starting to turn color in earnest, and some dropping, there is increasing space in between the branches. So, in the soft afternoon sunlight, the globs of dark, purple berries of Cabernet and Zin and Syrah pop even more against the gnarled vines and rusty leaves.
The beautiful berries stand out so much it reminds of schoolyard days choosing sides to play ball — pick me, pick me! — nobody wants to be left hanging. The best want to be picked for the estate bottling, or the vineyard designation bottlings that bring top dollar. The second picking is for the 2nd line Cabs, the vineyards blend, and I imagine were the grapes animated, there’s less pride in that. But, for me the wine lover, there’s plenty of love to go around at most price points.
Like us yesterday, when you visit wine country during the crush, you must pick a few grapes off the different vines and taste them. There is no comparison between the taste of ready-to-pick red wine grapes with table grapes – the sweet, succulent flavor of the former, working their way to the winemaker’s perfect brix, is a tantalizing indication of what is to be to poured in a few years, after gently relaxing in the arms of French and American oak.
The only downside this time of year is the popularity of Napa. The beauty, the hum of activity, the buzz of anticipation, is not lost on the wider population. It attracts people from all over. We talked to several couples from Texas — they must not agree with Rick Perry that our state sucks. The main roads were jammed — with Maseratis to clunkers. Tasting rooms full of chatter and jostle. Cash registers ringing up their digital proceeds with alacrity. The romanticism of the wine business that you can still experience in the smaller and family run wineries off the beaten path seems particularly shoved aside in the big producers near the main roads this time of year. Sonoma and Mendocino, less so. Mrs. snarkk and I remember the early days of “us” getting wine poured from Mike Grgich himself at his eponymous winery’s tasting room — for free. Nowadays, its $15 a flight for the “regular” wines in many of the wineries. And, unlike days of not too long past when a meager tasting fee would be waived if you bought a bottle, now in many of the places the tasting fee is just an ante that you wager to get into the game — it’s ADDED to the price of any bottles you buy.
We hit Girard in Yountville first, it has only a tasting room there. Top end reds are its focus. The winemaker guides and consults at several wineries. We’re in its wine club, which has its privileges, and it should, when it comes to the “free” tastings for members. After tasting a few choices out of the regular and top flights, the servers pulled out for us two 2005 cabs from the winemaker’s own private label, which he doesn’t make anymore. They’re good at pulling out the “secret” stuff, that only you (well, you and all the other members) get. One from Mt. Veeder, one from Diamond Mountain, essentially from the West and East sides of the valley, respectively. Best wines of the day, fantastic. The mountain wines always have more character, because the grape vines are stressed to grow in a tougher environment than down in the valley proper. I liked the Mt. Veeder, drinking well now, almost like a svelte 2nd growth Bordeaux, with the wet sock nose mimic, too. Mrs. snarkk preferred the Diamond Mountain, still with a big backbone typical of Cabs from that appellation, a mere youngster, a pre-teen, with much developing to do in the coming years.
There in the tasting room, the Giants as sub-theme first inserted itself into the day, between the chatter about “nice nose”, “great legs” and “ooh, hints of blackberry and chocolate”. We talked to a Walnut Creek couple who participated in Girard’s annual SF Giants day, just a few weeks back. One day per year, you can take a bus with other wine lovers from its tasting room to and from ATT. Wine flows during the trip down and back, with a ticket to the game and somehow, food included. They said they had a great time. Hell, if Voggy gets bombed, who cares? Now, that’s my kind of wine tour.
Anyway, other places we visited were Cosentino, Trefethen, and Clos du Val. I like to mix going to one or two places I know with some I’ve never been before – it’s not a total crapshoot, but still fun. The first two I’d certainly heard of, but new to me to visit and taste and though fine, not much to write home about. Cosentino was pushing a Chardonnay from the Russian River vineyard supposedly that supplied the Chard that won the famous 1976 Paris wine competition. For a C-note per bottle. For Chard? And, with whites, likely not the same vines, maybe not even the same clones as nearly 40 years ago. Uh, non. You can get 5 bottles of really good Chard, 4 of super good, for that, elsewhere. I’ve been to Clos du Val several times – pretty good reds.
With the afternoon sun and my sobriety sinking, we gave up the wine tasting and made our usual pilgrimage to the Napa Valley Olive Oil Co., a little shack of a store a couple hundred yards off Highway 12 and near Tra Vigne in St. Helena. http://tinyurl.com/jvlhf6b You’ll find hanging salamis, home cured olives, cheeses, all manner of canned fish and shellfish, and a cornucopia of Italian prepared and canned foods, sauces and dry pastas that you won’t find elsewhere. The cashier rings up the total – in his/her head, or on a piece of paper. The bill always comes out to a whole dollar number. Cash and check, no plastic. Oh, and local pressed olive oil by the half gallon bottle, too. We got ours. This is the way Napa used to be — a throwback. For mossbacks like me, it’s a slice of heaven.
After depleting the checking account in exchange for mass quantities of pasta and olive oil and salami, time for dinner. We went over to the nearby place Oracle recommended, Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, in St.Helena. (BTW, kudos to Oracle for the recommendation). As it was only around 5:30, we were taken right in to a nice table not too far from the entrance and maitre’d stand. Very nice menu. For appetizers, we had a ration of mussels in a light coconut and curry combo broth – tasty good. Plus, some baked oysters in shell with a Parmesan and parsley cover – yummy. Mrs. snarkk is on a vegetarian kick the last 6 weeks, so for entrée she had the mushroom and polenta tamale – sounds weird, but fantastic. I had the anticipated Hanger steak – tasty and very nicely prepared with yams and yellow sweet potatoes adding a sweet, fall complement to the savory tone of the meat.
Early on, as I was slurping my first oyster, I happened to glance over to the maitre’d table. Again, the Giants as supporting theme entered the mix of the day. There, talking to the hostess with a friend was — yep, Marty Lurie. As he started to walk with the hostess down towards us to be seated, our eyes met, and I believe he did recognize me. He stopped, we shook hands, I introduced Mrs. snarkk (she knows who he is) and we all just talked for a couple of minutes about our day, and the wineries we’d seen. He said he was headed for Arizona on Monday. In the course of the conversation, he thrust out his hand with the 2012 WS ring to Mrs. snarkk, without being asked. She took a look, yes, very big. He is obviously proud of it. Anyway, we didn’t keep them long, as they needed to be seated.
Later, after we had finished our meal, I went back to the men’s room, and after, I snuck a look around the corner to find Marty. There he was with friend in a table along the wall in the rear room. I swooped in for one last conversation, like a sated troll. He was again amiable, and his friend conveniently decided to go to the bathroom, so Marty graciously asked me to sit. We sat for 5 minutes or so, chewed the fat about not much, including his upcoming trip to Cabo with Giants fans. Gave me his private card. He did remember I was in the group with “Paul Kocak” (he volunteered), and I was impressed. We didn’t get too deep into the Giants, I must say. Just about how they’ve got a lot of work to do in the offseason. Entirely an enjoyable conversation. I got the feeling that this dude could talk baseball endlessly, never get tired of it. The guy is as nice in person as he sounds on the radio.
All in all, an enjoyable and memorable birthday, with Giants highlights. If you’re a Giants fan these days, you don’t have to look far around here for reminders of how popular they are. In tasting rooms, or at the restaurant, you’ll find Giants fans… and Marty Lurie.
Alright. You guys should be re-loaded by now. Back to the pitching vs. hitting artillery.
In Vino Veritas, and Go Giants!…
I’m actually really looking forward to the A’s game tonight. Huh. I don’t think I’ve ever said those words before. Anyway, Sonny Gray vs Verlander is a match up I’d pay to watch. Of course, it’s free on tv so that won’t be happening. I’d really like to see David Price shove a box of the Colonel’s best fried chicken down Lackey’s throat–I don’t like that guy. If I were a betting man I’d take the under in both of those games…..
Regarding the PC, you’re on your own figuring out who’s in the lead. I can’t make sense of the mess I posted in the last thread. I’ll clean it up for sure for the NLCS and the ALCS.
ps– A-ROID is an idiot. There’s just no other way to put it….
Flavor Note: I didn’t have time to collate this in an orderly way. I cut and pasted what you sent me with some minor editing to make it more readable. The standings won’t need to get adjusted for a week or so. At some point, I’ll re-do this so it’s more readable.
WesFromRoseville!!!!!! : Give me the Cards in 4, Braves in 4, A’s in 5, and RedSox in 5
Rooster: Dodgers in 4, Cardinals in 5, Red Sox in 5,Tigers in 4
WilcoJoe: Cards, Braves, Rays. and A’s all in 4.
Manny: Pitt in 5 games, Atl in 5 games, Tampa in 5 games, Oakland in 5 games
Salty: Cards in 5, Dodgers 4, Boston 3,Detroit 4
Pawlie: Tampa Bay over Bos 3-2, Atl over LA 3-1, Pitts over Stl 3-1, Oak over Det 3-2
MacDog: I’m picking Pittsburgh in 4, Atlanta in 5, Boston in 4, Detroit in 5
SanDiggityDawg: Pirates in 4, Braves in 5, Rays in 3, A’s in 5
ChiPower: Cards in 5, Bums in 5, RedSox in 4, Tigers in 5
BirdDog: St. Louis in 4,LA in 4,Boston in 5,Oakland in 4
Snarkk: Pittsburgh in 5, Atlanta in 5, Rays in 4, Oakland in 4
IrishKevin: Pitts in 5, Boston in 4, Braves in 5, Oakland in 5
Sidewinder: Pirates,dodgers, Rays, and the A’s (he didn’t give me # of games so he misses out on those points)
AllyKat; StLouis over Pittsburgh in 4, LA over Atlanta in 5, Tampa Bay over Boston in 5, Oakland A’s over Detroit in 4
UncaChuck: Pittsburgh in 5, Atlanta in 4, Oakland in 4, Red Sox in 4
BoxHead: Dodgers in 4, RedSox in 5,A’s in 4, Cards in 4
Blade: Pitt in 5, Atlanta in 4, Boston in 4, Oakland in 4
SportsDude: A’s in 6, Bosox in 5, St louis, Atlanta
DUNKIRKWANTSREVENGE40 (denny) dodgers in 5, cards in 3, red sox in 5, tigers in 3
Flavor: St Louis in 4, Atlanta in 5, Tampa Bay in 4, Oakland in 5
We’ve finally got some data to crunch and as we head into the division series championships, the standings look like this:
LAST PLACE :(
Please send me BOTH your NLDS and ALDS picks BEFORE the first NLDS Game 1 on Thursday. I want to release everyone’s NLDS/ALDS picks at the same time. ALSO INCLUDE THE NUMBER OF GAMES IN WHICH YOU ARE PREDICTING YOUR TEAM WILL WIN IN. Don’t forget to do this, you will earn an extra point if you nail that cold. So, to be clear, your email to me (and I’m gonna be like the Soup Nazi on this stuff) before the first game on Thursday will look *something* like this:
I’m picking Pittsburgh in 5, Atlanta in 3, Boston in 4, Oakland in 4
Sincerely, A Card Carrying Member of Flavor Nation (or, insert name here)”
That’s 8 points that are up for grabs in the division series games. So even Blade and Boxhead are still technically in this if they go off in a couple (or all) of those 4 series.
Important Note: I chased after a couple of you for your correct wild card picks because the play-in game was a little confusing and not part of this contest. But my *chasin’ days* are over. If you forget to send me a pick or forget to send in the number of games you think your pick will win in or you forget the number of games they are playing in the series, that’s all on you. I will accept emails CHANGING your picks as long as I receive the email before the first game on Thursday. But try not to do that, it’s annoying to manage.
Second Important Note: Do not send me your picks for the NLCS or the ALCS. Those games haven’t been determined yet. Look at the schedule I’ve posted above. Those are the only games you are to be sending me picks for in this current round.
Final Important Note: the upcoming division series’ are 5 games each. The NLCS and the ALCS are 7 games as is the World Series. And that’s the last time I say that.
Good luck to all!
By the way, this is a cool map of all the hits the blog has taken over the last 2 months. As I predicted when I first started this blog, when the aliens finally land on earth they will be greeted with a sign that simply says: “Flavor Nation. All Are Welcome…Except Dodger Fans Who Need to Head to 4th Rock from Sun”.
I’m only human, if I imputed any of this incorrectly just re-send your email and I’ll change it. Good luck to all!
Salty: Pirates and Tampa
Rooster: Pirates and Cleveland
AllyKat: Reds and Tampa Bay
Denny: Reds and Tampa Bay
ChiPower: Pirates and Cleveland
Snarkk: Pirates and Cleveland
SanDawg: Pirates and Cleveland
Unca Chuck: Pirates and Tampa Bay
Pawlie: Pirates and tampa Bay
Blade: Reds and Cleveland
MacDog: Pirates and Cleveland
Wilcoe Joe: Pirates and Tampa Bay
BoxHead: Reds and Cleveland
Sidewinder: Pirates and Cleveland
Manny: Pirates and Tampa Bay
Bird Dog: Pirates and Cleveland
Irish Kevin: Pirates and Cleveland
WesFromRoseville: Pirates and Cleveland
SportsDude: Pirates and Tampa Bay
Flavor: Reds and Tampa Bay
I didn’t want to call it “The Greatest Contest of All Time” because that would just be over the top. But this one ranks right near the top. Free entry in a contest pitting 18 dudes against each other to win a brand new, hand made PC? Absurd. And yet it’s happening. In no particular order, meet the esteemed contestants.
ChiPower: a great Flap vet, always positive in nature and a bigger Giants fan I don’t think I’ve met. He is also part of the single best WS trophy tour pic I think I’ve ever seen. Check it out in the photo bucket.
UncaChuck: blog owner of ninersforever.com, football is his game but he spends tons of time time rockin’ the Orange and Black as hard as anyone over the last 40+ years or so. He also shares a unique kinship with the next player……
SanDawg: My main man from San Diego and the guy who named my dad *Bobby Bowden* after he met him a few years ago during a golf game. I don’t think I’ve called my dad *dad* since ‘dawg gave him the nickname. He’s *BB* to me, from here on out. SanDawg has also dutifully sired 2 sons, 50% of them are dating one of Chuck’s daughters. And with but one Unca daughter remaining, I think we can all do the math and identify the ultimate output.
Snarkk: The Flap’s unpaid legal counsel, a 2-time Flapalooza attendee, and a Cal fan. Two out of three is still very good, especially in baseball.
MacDog: one of my east coast correspondents and photographer of “Wreck of the Fortuna”. Also, his daughter appears to be a legit softball player. And while his smile looks a little forced in pictures, his love of the Giants is as free flowing as a twig traveling on the shoulders of a mighty stream…….
Rooster: the one fucking Dodger fan in this contest. Please, everyone, destroy him. Unfortunately seems like a good dude or I would be reveling in the fact that he has to root for that putrid, shit team. They last won a World Series when I was in high school. Ouch. Strap your eye goggles on my man and gear up for the 2013 post season! That has to be a good look for you, right?
AllyKat: He rocks the Peninsula just like I do and he is super down with Jonny Monnell getting a start one day. He rep’s the San Carlos bar scene pretty well, too.
Salty: one of a handful of bloggers here who rises above the bullshit and never gets into it with anyone. Well done dude, I really appreciate that. You remind us that at the end of the day, we all are rooting for the same team (except for the dude 2 places above you in this thread).
Blade: Another 2 time Flapalooza attendee and he makes it all the way out from Colorado. He owns a great travel blog, too: aroundtheworldwithblade.wordpress.com. He also recently took down the Flap Fantasy Baseball Championship of which he is a 2 time winner…..
Manny: Drops in and out at the Flap, always comes across as a big time Giants fan from somewhere, I’m guessing, in the midwest
Pawlie: My main man from New York. Esteemed author, lover of good ol’ fashioned mall tits, and he’s literally never missed a conversation with a stranger wearing SF Giants gear.
BirdDog: lots I could say about this dude, all good, but this thread I wrote 3 years ago covers some of it: http://oneflapdown77.com/2010/10/19/great-cody-ross-story/ . Goddamn, I miss that time……
WilcoJoe: a diehard Giants fan who simply dominates Giants games in Houston like no other out of town Giants fan I’ve ever seen or heard about. I would LOVE to hit a game with this dude one day. Looking forward to his first Flapalooza extravaganza one of these years……
SportsDude: So-Cal dude who represents us at Dodger games. Keep a low-pro, Dude, though I guess you already know that.
IrishKevin: Probably the worst fantasy baseball player I have ever seen but he’s got a great attitude and is always trying to improve. And he’s a huge Giants fan from the Sacramento area.
Sidewinder: A disciple of Chuck’s blog ninersforever.com, he’s trying to make the switch to a new sport. Tough crossover but definitely a dark horse in this contest, he’s trying to bring back the gold to the red & gold……
WesFromRoseville: I think Wes is the only contestant in this thing who’s never posted here. He made a very compelling argument for why he wanted to play in an email. I liked what he wrote, so he’s in.
BoxHead: He shows up at the blog from time to time with thoughtful posts and cogent perspectives. He’s usually gone as quickly as he appears but he’s a showman, a rapscallion, you take guys like that in small doses and appreciate your interaction with them later on in life, maybe during thoughtful reflection…..
Flavor: ’nuff said.
most of you have sent me your picks for the first wild card game tomorrow. If you haven’t, stop stalling, this contest ain’t gonna win itself……
Contest Time: Win a Free Hand Crafted PC at The Flap Next Week For Doing Absolutely Nothing Except *Winning*
****DEADLINE TO ENTER (IE, SEND US AN EMAIL SAYING YOU ARE PLAYING) IS TODAY, MONDAY AT 4PM****
If you read the blog even half-way regularly you know that Twin has decided to put on another one of his famous contests. For those who read less than half-way regularly, these are always lots of fun. The prizes are always rad, usually hand made PC’s by Twin himself. More than a half dozen vets here can vouch for the quality of these units that they won competing in his contests. And you don’t have to spend anything to participate unless your internet provider charges you for sending an email. If that’s the case should focus your free time on finding a new internet provider……….
All Flappers are welcome to participate in the contest. I know the blog world is fraught with lurkers who read but don’t write—you come to this site, you’re a Flapper. I’m inviting you to come out from the shadows. All you have to do is email me or Twin and say you want to play. That’s it. And if you just want to play for fun and don’t want the PC if you win that’s totally cool. Just play for the “W”. I don’t anticipate hearing from a lurker cause that would be in conflict with the whole *shadowy* thing. Nevertheless, you are invited. The only contingent is that me or Twin have seen you post here before I typed this thread (or that you make a good case for why you want to play in the email you send me)……
Here are the rules of the contest:
You start by picking the winner of the wild card games–1 point for each game picked correctly. You get another point for picking the correct winner of the NLDS and ALDS, the NLCS and ALCS and the ultimate World Series winner. You will also pick the number of games it takes for your predicted team to win each series. You get an additional point each time you predict the number of games it took for your team to win the series. Example: In the ALCS you predict that the A’s to beat the Tigers in 4. If the A’s win in 4 you get 2 points. If the A’s sweep the Tigers in 3 you get 1 point. If the Tigers win you get nothing.
Now, let me stop to reiterate (from previous threads) a critical component to this contest: Do NOT send me all of your picks for the playoffs in one long email. We are going *series to series* here.
There is a World Series tie-breaker thing that I’ll discuss later as the contest unfolds.
The way the contest starts: The first pick you will send me via email will be your prediction of who will win the Pitt/Cinn wild card card game on Tuesday. You can send me your pick anytime before first pitch of game. Your next pick will be your prediction for the winner of the Cleveland wild card game (their opponent will be determined tomorrow).
After both of the wild card games I will create a Standings page that will exist on the right side of the blog. And whether you won or lost your WC picks, you will then send me your NLDS/ALCS picks. And so on and so on. The standings will change accordingly.
If you want to play just email me or Twin before the first wild card game is played. Our emails are firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Another detail of the contest: When you send me an email containing your prediction I will send you back a confirmation email locking your pick in. I check email every 2 hours daily.
Any questions, kick ‘em down. We’ve got about 15 players confirmed so far but that number is growing…..
a couple of updated notes:
1) some of you are sending me predictions for the Tampa/Texas game. Do not do this. It’s not a wild card game, it’s a tie-breaker game to determine who will face Cleveland in the AL WC game
2) don’t announce who you are picking in the thread. I mean, you can if you want but it puts you at a disadvantage if others know who you have picked–this will be of increased importance once the wild card games are over. I’ll release everyone’s picks once each series has started and the picks are locked in.
First of all, the Giants did NOT overpay to keep Hunter Pence. He would have gotten 5 years/90 million from somebody. It’s possible he would have gotten more like a “J-Werth” contract of 7 years/120mil+. And an Ethier or Upton deal in the ballpark of 75-85 million was virtually guaranteed.
Buster Olney talked to one baseball exec who summed it up this way:
General Managers don’t just look at the basic stats anymore, those days are long gone. And anyway you cut it, Hunter Pence is one of the top outfielders in the National League. Add in his durability, attitude, clubhouse presence and his motorized scootering abilities and you are talking about a player that any team in the league would want starting in their outfield. And the fact that he’s put up elite outfield numbers at AT&T Park, something a guy like Aaron Rowand never had done by the way, is another line on his resume that wouldn’t get ignored. And he was going to get paid handsomely for his resume.
Here’s where Pence ranks overall in the NL outfielder list for WAR:
Here’s where he ranks for offense/WAR (again, NL outfielders only):
I’m not a big WAR guy because it factors way too much defense and base running into the number and I could care less about defense and base running from a fantasy baseball perspective–as long as they are being benched BECAUSE of their defense and base running, I ignore that metric. But WAR is a good tool to evaluate a player’s overall worth to the team. By the way, that’s why we won’t be doing any “Woo Hoo” for signing Shin-Soo Choo this off season. Shin-Soo’s agent jizzed in his pants when he saw what Pence got, he will get his client at least that and possibly more…….
As the year went on, I came around on signing Pence mostly because he ended up having a very good year, there is obviously nobody out there better who we can just plug into right field and I don’t feel like we overpaid for him. Those are the main reasons I am behind this signing.
If it doesn’t work out, it will be over soon enough. Although that’s what Angels fans are telling themselves about Josh Hamilton who’s deal is backloaded to pay him $32 million in each of the last 2 years of his 5 year deal. In those same 2 years (’16 and ’17) the Angels will also be paying Pujols $25 and $26 million and that deal runs through 2021 where Albert will get paid $30 million to sit on their bench……
So there are worse contracts out there for other fans in other cities to trip on. I’m not trippin’ on Pence’s deal. I’m glad it’s done and happy he’ll be a Giant for the next 5 years…..
Y’all have the Quest for 3rd. I had the Drive for 75! And with tonight’s win, the Giants have overtaken the 74-88 Cincinnati Reds of 1991 and will not be known as the Worst World Series Defending Champion That Actually Tried. But why stop there? Let’s keep drivin’ and pass the ’86 Royals (76-86) and ’67 Orioles (76-85) and try to catch the 2003 Angels (77-85).
I woke up wondering about where we stood compared to past WS champs and I find out that MacDog has done all the research for me. Well done, my man!
Personally, I care more about not ending up in last place in the NL West which we have mathematically avoided thanks to the Colorado Rockies and Blade’s early season prediction. But sure, let’s finish with 77 wins. The more the better.
Here’s a pic from a fan who snapped this during Brian Wilson’s weird confrontation with Larry Baer after the game last night.
Wilson was apparently airing several pent up grievances including wanting his 2012 World Series ring and demanding that the Giants stop using his images in stadium video. What a whiny little be-atch this guy is……
The Giants have reported tried to contact Wilson several times to give him his ring and were ignored every time. And if this d-bag thinks he owns the rights to the freaking videos of him that get used on the stadium screen then he’s got more hubris than I ever thought he had. I had wished Wilson well but after this girlish tantrum I say “good riddence.”
Seven years, in the books. 126 million dollars. Last night he earned his 63rd regular season win with the Giants. It was a very Zen-like move of him to polish off a career that saw Sabean pay him 2 million per win, exactly. But it was his 2 playoff victories that we will remember him for. #rallyzito
I’m gonna stay away from Bochy’s senior moment last night:
In many ways his career in SF can be summed up in this single picture from last night’s game:
So long, my man. Don’t forget to feed your unicorn regularly. Service the wife as needed. Steer clear of the sharks, they bite ya know. And safe travels…..
6 runs/49 frames.
I watched the end of the Buc’s game on mlb.com last night. Grilli, who was in the process of blowing the save, gave up a hit to the outfield. Byrd stumbled and fumbled the ball but McCutchen was there to pick it up and fire it in, though off line. Morneau managed to snare the desperate throw and flip it to Martin who tagged out Schierholtz at the plate–*BUCffoonery* in all it’s abject glory. Here’s the play if you missed it:
Is that not the perfect way for an incompetent franchise like the Bucs to reach the post season for the first time since 1992? Jesus, that was a long time ago. I was just graduating college at Lewis & Clark. Will the Thrill was our 1st baseman. Tiny Felder was one of our outfielders. Righetti was in the bullpen. The Bucs? Tim Wakefield was a rookie in ’92. I think he’s about 123 years old right now. And finally retired. Barry Bonds and Kirk Gibson were teammates. I bet that made for an interesting clubhouse.
What were you doing in ’92?
Pittsburgh’s dry spell makes me appreciate “2 in Three” all that much more……
Now that we’ve accepted the cold reality of missing the playoffs this year, I’m wondering who you are all rooting for (if anyone) the rest of the way. In the AL, I’m finding myself leaning towards wanting to see the Royals snag one of the wild card spots. Growing up, I was a big George Brett fan, I like their uni’s and I have always thought their ballpark has stood the test of time–seems like a very cool yard. And if any of you caught that walk off grand slam yesterday then you can tell that there’s some magic swirling in KC this year.
I also wouldn’t have a problem with the A’s winning it all. Before our *Two in 3* I might have had an issue with it but the fact is, I like several players on their team. And with gallons of shit coming up and into the dugout recently you kinda have to almost feel sorry for the A’s.
In the NL, it’s all about the Pirates. Great story. Great city for baseball. The “We are family” days could be coming back. That was such a fun time in baseball history……..
Twin is back and so are his contests. This one will be a post season contest. The prize is a desktop computer that he can tell you about. He’s given away many of these and they are awesome. If you’re interested in playing, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or indicate in the comment section below that you want to participate. Twin has a running list already. Here are the rules:
Before each series (and 2 wild card games) you email me the team you think will win along with how many games it will take them for your team to close out the series. If you pick the correct winning team, you get a point. If you also pick the correct number of games it took for them to win, you get another point. Obviously for the wild card games you just pick the team. You will email me your picks four times:
1) before the wild card games
2) before the NLDS and ALCS
3) before the NLCS and ALCS
4) before the World Series
your email should look something like this: “Reds in 5. Tigers in 6″. Note: the division series are 5 games, the championship series and World Series are 7 games. DO NOT EMAIL ME YOUR PREDICTIONS FOR THE ENTIRE POST SEASON. After each series ends you will send me your picks for the upcoming one. If you forget to email me before the games start you are not eliminated from the contest you just wouldn’t get a chance to earn any points for that series. I will send you back a confirmation email locking in your picks.
Tie Breaker Rule: You will also predict the total number of runs scored by both teams in the world series. This will be used as a tie breaker if there’s a tie after the WS is completed. I will create a “Contest Standings” page so that Flavor Nation and the rest of the world can follow along.
If you picked everything perfectly, you would have a total of 12 points. If someone tied you with 12 points, the tie breaker of *total runs scored in world series* will decide the ultimate winner.
Jon Miller was recently interviewed by Howard Medgal (“Sports on Earth”) and was asked to break down the failure points of the 2013 season. He said pretty typical things that we’ve all discussed, but I did find this comment interesting (in response to the challenges the Giants face in keeping up with the free spending Dodgers):
“The cost of a superstar bat, or a superstar pitcher, has to go to the mortgage every year,” Miller said. “And they still have to put money into revenue sharing — one of the haves. Or maybe the way they look at it, maybe, they have to write a check to Oakland, write a welfare check to Oakland, which is a different story.”
Now, I know the Giants refinanced their stadium loan so it’s not going to get paid off by 2017 as had been originally planned. But I don’t understand Miller’s comment at all. He uses the $20 mil annual finance payment as an excuse (or a *reason* depending on how you look at it) for why they can’t go after a $20mil/year bat but makes no mention of their monstrous yearly revenue. How could the mortgage payment be the reason they don’t go after a big bat?
And the re-fi was done so the team could develop the parking lot across from McCovey Cove. They’re going to build parks and restaurants (another future revenue bonanza for the team).
Miller should have stuffed his mouth with a couple of those tasty ballpark hot dogs before he tried to answer this question……
Post season Prediction Contest:
Twin is organizing a (see above). If you’re interested, please indicate that you want to play in the comment section below. Here is his post from yesterday with some details:
I mean, uh… “Hey you kids!!! Get out of my pool!!!” Apparently the Dodgers decided to take a team-wide dip in the D-backs pool after they won the NL West in Arizona yesterday. Journeyman infielder Willie Bloomquist had this to say: “I thought it was tired and disrespectful. It’s surprising because they have a lot of veterans on that team. I thought they had more class than that.” Other D-backs, including some in management, felt the same way.
Look, get over yourself, Bloomy et al. It’s not like the Dodgers planted a keg by the pool and brought in all the hookers lined up for that evening’s festivities. What’s “tired”, at least in my opinion, are baseball players constantly feeling disrespected by opposing players for the slightest celebration reactions. Celebrating is part of sports and no group of professional athletes gets more worked up for no reason than baseball players. Now, I was one of those who thought Prince Fielder’s bowling ball celebration was pretty funny so maybe I’m the wrong person to ask about this stuff. And I’m certainly not trying to defend a freaking disgusting Dodger. I sure hope Eye Goggle Boy was wearing his goggles when he jumped into the deep end. But I AM defending players who want to let loose and celebrate as long as no one gets hurt. And Bloomy’s feelings getting hurt don’t count…
If the Dodgers clinched in our park and, after all the home town fans had left (as was the case in AZ yesterday), the team decided to take a few trips down the Coke bottle slide to celebrate it wouldn’t bother me in the slightest. The absurdity of it would make me smile.
I’ll say this though: After engaging in one of the biggest baseball brawls in recent years a few months ago, and after the Dodgers hit 5 D-backs in the last 2 games (with AZ not retaliating even once) and THEN having LA throw their impromptu pool party, I’m guessing things could get a little *bean-bally* next year between these two rivals……
I discovered something completely awesome about being 17 games out of first place with 10 to play: I can watch the Giants blow a 3 run lead in the 9th, lose in galling fashion and not really sweat it too much. I guess being 56-2 after 8 innings isn’t worth as much as it once was….
I’ve only been half-way paying attention to this Finnerty’s phenomenon but the morning KNBR crew just interviewed a co-owner of the bar (Brian Stapleton) and it’s kinda blowing my mind how many Giants fans are going to these NY games via Finnerty’s. Five bus loads for EACH GAME? And even at 10am (EST) you could hear Finnerty’s rockin’ in the background of the KNBR feed. That bar is flowing freely with booze and good spirits before today’s game. Good times.
Of course, MacDog and Pawlie already made Finnerty’s *famous* here at the Flap and many of their pics were dumped into the Flap Photo Bucket long ago. Nice to see KNBR catching up with acknowledging that fantastic oasis for Bay Area sports fans….
Are any of you east coasters hitting any of these 6 NY games? Five bus loads of Giants fans for all 6 NY games. That is still blowing my mind……
Romo has had kind of a weird year. Mostly because we’ve been out of it most of the year, he’s been largely an afterthought. He’s managed to log 35 saves in 2013 and that ranks tied for 11th in MLB. When I evaluate a closer I look almost exclusively at his K/BB ratio. Closers who throw pitches that get him, whether they’re ground balls or fly balls, are more likely to fail than closers who miss bats with their pitches. Once again, Romo has checked in with a stellar K/BB ratio of around 5.5:1. His WHIP is outstanding at 1.05.
An interesting stat I’ve started to look at more closely has been what a pitcher’s OPS is (as in, the OPS of the opposing batters). Curiously, for pitchers who have pitched 40+ innings this year, he’s 42nd at .597 surrounded by fellow closer’s Farquhar, Blafour, Grilli and Ziegler. I thought he’d be ranked higher than that.
Something that’s surprised me this year about the closer’s: there hasn’t been a huge turnover as in year’s past. Without looking it up, I can only remember the Seattle closer (Wilhelmsen?) and League losing their jobs due to ineffectiveness this year. A few others got hurt and were replaced. But it always seems like there is a much more volatile turnover for the closer role each year (due to repeated gas can implosions). Maybe I’m imagining that……
We get to face our ol’ buddy Zack Wheeler today. Reading his name doesn’t make me cringe, in fact I feel absolutely nothing about him. He never did anything for the Giants other than act as currency which is how I view all minor leaguers until they actually make it to San Francisco. Of course, I wish Sabean had traded the underwhelming, underdeveloped, under-everything Gary Brown for Carlos Beltran back in the day. But it didn’t happen and at the time of the trade Sabean would have caught a huge amount of shizzle for parting with Brown > Wheeler. It is what it is, Wheeler is at the show and Brown is hitting .231 in Fresno and will likely never pan out as a major league hitter. I’ve accepted that.
Wheel’s is gonna go over the 100 inning pitch limit in today’s game (unless we ‘HunterPence’ his ass early on) and I would say that his numbers to date are close to what you might expect from him so early in his promising career. Of course, he already beat us earlier in SF back on July 10th so today’s game won’t have that little something ‘extra’ that it had back then. His SO/BB split is 81/40 across 95 innings. Not bad. Not dominant. He’ll likely cut down on those walks as he gets more experience. He’s given up 10 bombs. He’s gonna have to cut that number down, too.
Anyway, I don’t give a whit about Wheeler except that I hope the Giants pound him into the ground today…..
Though I am still disgusted and embarrassed from last night’s pathetic Niner game, I can still find reasons to swell with some pride thanks to the Giants:
1) We are now in 3rd place. Questfor4th was inaccurately named.
2) We took 3 of 4 from The LA Art Dealers and it should have been a sweep. As I said during their 48-8 streak (or whatever it was), this team is going down in the first round of the playoffs. Although part of me wants to see the A’s beat them in World Series.
3) Hunter Pence is a man-child. Pay him whatever he desires. I think I felt the same way about Randy Winn after he went insane for a month back in ’05 or whatever it was.
19 runs scored. The most ever at Dodger Stadium. Think about how many thousands of games the Dodgers have played at Dodger Stadium and they have never scored more in a game than the Giants did last night.
Epic win. Finish off the LA Art Dealers today and I could give a shit less what happens in New York this week…..
It’s embarrassing how easily Clayton Kershaw dominants the Giants year in and year out so it was very cool to beat him last night AND reward Bumgarner with a win after so many limp, pathetic offensive failings in his starts this year. And with the magic number at 4, the Giants control their own destiny if they want to avoid having to watch The LA Art Dealers celebrate in front of them this weekend. With last night’s inspired play I’m thinking they just might pull it off.
Pretty insane weekend for sports and gambling. Mayweather/Alvarez (I see Mayweather pummeling him), Alabama vs A&M (Alabama covers) and then we have to wait all day Sunday for the premiere NFL game so far this season with the Niners playing the Shehawks (Niners cover and maybe win).
Oh, and there’s still 2 Giants/Dodgers games to be played.
Let’s get ready to rumble!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Irritating. Entertaining. Irritating again. That’s how that game went for me. My dream of a sweep is over. Bee Sleezy does nothing for me. Anymore. Maybe we misunderstood Sabean back in July. He didn’t say it was a “Bad Penny year.” He said it was a “Brad Penny year.” That’s even worse…..
Easily and without question, we now embark on the most anticipated 13 games of the season. Sadly, that anticipation is tempered by our entrenchment in last place. But LA/NY/NY/LA looks good on paper, doesn’t it? Anyone back east going to any of these games?
I’d like to think we will call on pride, gamesmanship, professionalism—whatever we got left—to put forth competitive efforts for each of these games. I’d trade sweeping the LA Art Dealers this weekend in exchange for getting rolled the rest of the road trip. Not interested even a little bit in seeing Eye Google Boy and his band of idiots celebrating the division crown in front of us.
As long as Bochy has Pagan at the top of the LU for the next 4 in LA, I’ll feel confident that the team will take this serious and put forth a professional, motivated effort. If we go down there with our attention half-assed and everyone staring at each other waiting for the*other guy* to do something, this could be a long, ugly weekend…….
Vogelsong fell apart last night in the 5th inning and we are still in last place. Ugh. I didn’t pay attention to his velocity but 0 strike outs in 5 innings is not a good sign. At this point, I would pull the rip cord on Voggy’s season. He’s pitched a couple of good games since he came back on August 9th that’s all I need to see to exercise his option next year. Again, if you’re paying Barry Zito 7 million to surf off into the sunset then you find the scratch to pay Vogelsong 6.5 million to pitch for us in 2014. You know he’ll work his ass off this Winter, that is a total guarantee.
Voggy got hurt this year and I think he probably tried to come back too soon at least in terms of coordinating his timing/velocity/game ready conditioning etc. And he’s such a serious dude he’s probably not handling these failures too well and that frustration is likely contributing to what we’re seeing now. No reason to keep running him out there with very little to gain except more mashed up nails in his mouth.
The one thing I’m not on board with: the theory that the WBC did this guy in. What is he, an 84 year old man? So what if he had to get his program going a little early? People are talking about all the WBC players who have gotten hurt but a lot of those injuries were freak injuries including Voggy’s broken finger.
Bottom line is that we’re shooting for 900 innings or so out of our starters next year. No one’s giving those innings away. Timmy, Voggy, Gaudin, Petit? Who are your ideas for filling out the back end of our rotation? Cain and MadBum barely make a line. We’ve got 3 massive holes to fill.
Here’s a guy I wouldn’t mind seeing surf with Zito next year: Jose Mijares. He sucks. Massively and badly. Turn him into kindling. Not me. But someone should…….
Brandon Belt past 500 plate appearances last night and all signs are pointing to him being a critical piece in the line up for the 2014 season. Aside from Buster’s bomb, Belt was the man last night doing what we will always need him to do: drive in runs. His two hits were brilliant swings, the first one beating a breaking ball like he knew it was coming and the second one driving the ball impressively in the opposite direction for the walk off win in the 10th inning.
On a team that has had no identity since Pagan went down in May, Belt has stepped up and gone beyond just putting up a nice OPS. But I was surprised to see where he ranked vs NL first basemen on bb%.
Votto is walking at an unnecessary rate but it works on that team with so many other hitters in their line up. Plus, as the identified team superstar in the line up, there are times he just has to take his walks and eat them. We need Belt to do more than take walks and he’s doing those things this year, especially since he sat down for a few games and had brett Pill take over the reigns at 1st base. Doesn’t that seem like it was a dream?
Side note on NL 1st base power: Outside of Goldy, this group is hitting home runs at an underwhelming rate. I’m not sure if I can ever remember a limper collection of first basemen in the NL, at least when it comes to home runs. Regardless, Belt is having a very productive year. He’s taken the next step and while I don’t think he has another step in him I also didn’t think he had the step he just took in him. But where he is right now is a good place to be. We are lucky to have him.
Did anyone catch Pagan’s post game dive attempt on top of a group of STANDING TALL, JUMPING players? That’s quite a leap to try to make (he failed, only getting about 2/3 the way up the *mountain of men* before giving up and coming down). If he was looking to re-injure himself he gave it a pretty nice go with that stupid move. I’m guessing the surgeon who preformed the work on his hammy a few months ago would probably frown on him trying to leap to the top of a group of standing, moving men.
Flapalooza is the type of party that just keeps on giving. I wasn’t ready to handle or manage the explosion of pics that came out of this event. I’ve dumped some into the photo bucket and a bunch on to Facebook. ChiPower has created some type of shared album on The Book that we can contribute to though I admit to not knowing how to do that at first glance. If you want to access my FB page just email me and I’ll give you the link to my page.
Final Note on 3.0: There were several noticeably absent faces due to probably a bunch of real life 3-D reasons. But seeing as how we were all wandering around the park with “We Score We WIn” shirts on one of the biggest absentees was FerretHead who designed the “WSWW” sign and proudly donned it at one of the playoff games last year. It unintentionally became a physical mascot for The Flap and now, the Flap jersey’s that will be worn at all future Flap Stormings. Luckily, she managed to see some of the pics on Facebook and here was her response:
I promised the blog a story that would blow minds and I will make good on that promise. First, let’s have some fun with numbers. It will help us later when we try to set odds on the chances of this unprecedented turn of events happening in real life….
There are 29,541 students who go to SF State in The City.
There were a few less than that at Flapalooza 3.0. Ten Flap vets made it out to the yard last night with a couple of significant others in tow……
Two of those 10 were these guys:
On the left is San Dawg from San Diego. On the right is UncaChuck from the Bay Area. Neither of these guys have ever met each other or spoken to each other before yesterday.
And now, to the story:
Chuck was the last of the Flappers to walk into the Public House around 4 o’clock or so. He walked up and said “Flav!” and I recognized him from Facebook and other places I’d seen his picture. We go around the table and introduce each other. When he gets to San Dawg, Chuck said: “Hey, don’t I recall you saying at the Flap that your son goes to SF State?”
“Indubitably. Nice memory. In fact, he just graduated this year.”
“No kidding?” Chuck said. “Hey, MY DAUGHTER just graduated from SF State this year, too!”
We all had a hearty chuckle about this unlikely coincidence and most of the table fired off the requisite “small world!” comment….
Great story, right?
Um, except that’s not what happened. That was an alternate ending I wrote to keep myself steady as I picked up the pieces of my brain that were blown and scattered all over Marty Lurie’s laptop after I watched the actual story unfold in front of me. Sit down, take a few deep breaths, and read on……
Chuck shows up last and we go around the table introducing ourselves. When he gets to Diggity he goes, “Hey, is your last name K__________?” San Dawg has a fairly unusual last name and I’m protecting it from the masses. But he goes, “yeah, that’s my last name.”
“Oh, I saw it on an email chain last night that had all the details of Flapalooza 3.0.,” says Chuck. ”I’ve got another question for you.”
“Uh, ok,” San Dawg cautiously replies.
“Do you have a son named Matt?”
“Yep, Matt is my son,” says San Dawg.
“Oh yeah? Well that means that YOUR son has been dating MY daughter for the last couple of months!”
Now as I’m watching this surreal scene develop I start thinking “there’s no way this is for real” and I interjected with “Ok, you guys are just fucking with me right? You set this up just to blow my mind, right?”
Nope. It was all true. Two Flap vets who have only casually interacted on my blog over the last few years, who have never met in person and who live 600 miles away from each other have kids who are dating each other. And they discovered this during the first minute of meeting each other for the first time.
There were many other rad things about last night that I’ll recount later today, but I wanted this story to stand alone.
some of you guys have indicated you’d like a custom Flap shirt. Snarkk has generously offered to coordinate that for you, all you have to do is email me with your contact info and he’ll be in touch. Trust me, they are very good quality shirts and 1 of a kind. I hope FerretHead reads this! Obviously, your handle would go on the back, not mine.
my email is email@example.com
I really like this pic:
Pawlie working his magic. Blade heckling from the peanut gallery . . .
The Fllappers in all their unabashed glory . . .
As last night’s game unfolded, I was dumbfounded by 2 questions, impossible to answer:
1) How was a journeyman no-name nobody pitcher, designated twice by the Giants this season, pulling this off?
2) How did a journeyman no-name nobody pitcher, designated twice by the Giants this season, score a wife with such a spectacular rack?
Well done on both counts, Mr Petit. And by the way, she definitely did not marry for that last name. Hey Now!!!!!!!!!
I didn’t see the post game show and maybe this was discussed, but Hunter Pence was playing too deep on the Chavez at bat. The AZ announcers said that Pence was “respecting Chavez’ power”. Huh? With Petit dealing all night and a pinch hitter at bat (with marginal to not that much power) you don’t play that deep. Chavez was trying to do nothing more than break up the perfecto, he’s not a guy who swings from his shoes. And I’m not putting that on Pence, I’m putting it on whoever aligns the defense from the Giants dugout. I think it’s R-Kelly…..
Before the game I posted this:
Dammit, I missed the the millionth hit. Saw Blade at the gym this afternoon, he’s excited, as I am, about Flapalooza 3.0 tomorrow! I hope tonight isn’t a high scoring game, those are always followed by duds the next day. And I can enjoy a pitchers duel easily but tomorrow I want to see a bunch of Giants running around the bases, balls bouncing up against the wall, the crowd going crazy. And I want to see Brandon Belt hit a home run tomorrow. In fact, I’m feeling it and I am predicting a bomb from both Belt and Sandoval. Pagan will hit a triple (if he plays). Hunter Pence will do something 3 times, either strike out 3 times or get 3 hits. That vision isn’t coming to me as clearly as the other ones……
So hopefully, this now means we see some runs scored tonight.
I saw this building on the way to work yesterday. It’s weird, I drive by it all the time, never noticed the name on it:
MacDog snapped the best pic of the year, though:
Speaking of pictures, we will take a bunch of them tonight. I’ll dump the ones I take into my twitter account as the day/night unfolds. I’m not a tweeter, I re-tweet more than I tweet. I’m mostly on twitter to follow the sports news breakers that I care about as well as a few people that I know. If you want to *follow* our slow, meandering path to the SF county jail you can do it here (I don’t even know what my handle is, have to go look it up now):
That was rather obvious, can’t believe I had to look that up.
If you listen to KNBR 680, Pawlie Kokonuts will be on Marty Lurie’s Show today around 2pm. Flappers will be be displaying keen attendance…….
Another day, another day in last place. Last night was a good example of how last place teams play. I was pretty impressed with the sheer collection of stupidity between Flannery and Belt when it came to Gerardo Parra. Flan should know you don’t run on that guy and Belt had the play RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM, he saw the ball kick right back to Parra and he ran anyway. Idiotic.
For the record, Matt Cain is scheduled to pitch at Flapalooza on Saturday. That’s cool. We can pull Snarkk off suicide watch now that we know Zito isn’t pitching. Another reason to be excited about the Cain start: it’ll be the first time I’ve ever seen a guy in a horse head wearing an orange sombrero slam a beer. And while I grasp at reasons to pay any attention at all to that game, that’s a pretty good angle right there…..
Also, a fun day for the blog stats widget. We’ll be passing 1 million hits today. The day before Flapalooza 3.0, that’s kinda rad.
Runs scored per game since the all star break (reverse order):
13, 2, 1, 8, 3, 1, 4, 5, 1, 4, 6, 1, 5, 1, 3, 0, 5, 6, 14, 4, 5, 2, 2, 3, 2, 4, 1, 1, 4, 3, 1, 4, 2, 9, 3, 1, 0, 2, 3, 5, 3, 0, 1, 4, 2
I’ll take ESPN’s word for it, so that all adds up to 154 runs scored since the all star break. 45 games. 3.42 runs per game.
0 runs: 3 times
1 run: 10 times
2 runs; 6 times
3 runs: 7 times
that makes 26 games (out of only 45) that they didn’t score enough runs in a game to win since most people would expect 4 runs should be given to the pitchers per game. Unless you expect them to have a team ERA under 3.00.
And I’m late so I can’t finish this thread, will try to get to it later today. Feel free to chime in on what I started…..
Some of my friends on Facebook were not feelin’ Kieschnick’s boddy language last night, Some examples:
“Who is this Kieschnick dude? He has as much enthusiasm as a corpse.”
“He stands there like a knot on a log.”
Admittedly, this wasn’t the hardest core Giants fan in the world. But she was still watching the game, she gets credit for that.
How much does body language matter to you? Belt’s slumpy shoulders are well documented.
Personally, I think it DOES matter, A lot. Especially when it comes to the other team perceiving your mind set. If an opposing pitchers sees a hitter slumpin’ it up or hang doggin’ their head I think it gives an edge to that pitcher. Same thing if a batter slams his helmet down or breaks his bat over his knee—
If you’re competing you like it when your competitor gets frustrated or *appears* frustrated. That’s a win right there.
And if I was a young player I would give an outward appearance that had a little more energy to it than what Kieschnick is showing these days.
It was noted here in the comment section last week (I think) but I wanted to shout out to Christian Arroyo who won the MVP of the Arizona Fall League. Sabean took a lot of heat for his first 2 draft picks and while this certainly isn’t an indicator of success at the MLB level, it’s certainly not a BAD thing that your 18 year old first round pick just won the MVP of the Fall league.
He hit .326 in 45 games with 39 RBI’s, an impressive 25 extra base hits and 47 runs scored. Sure, he probably saw nothing but fastballs but it’s still a nice outcome so early in this young man’s career.
Ryder Jones, who blew off my Cardinal to turn pro, hit nearly as well– .3176 in 37 games. Jones is going to take a shot at playing third base but he’s actually considered a good pitching prospect if it turns out he can’t hit at these levels. So far, so good though.
And Sabean and his staff, at least today, deserves huge props for drafting these 2 players much earlier than anyone else had them getting drafted……
After watching The White Shark’s impressive blast to right field, I was reminded that he doesn’t do that too often. It was his second bomb of the year. He’s got a legit shot at passing the now shutdown Torres. With 27 games to go, he just might win that HR battle (it’s *races* like this that you have to embrace if you’re truly behind #questfor4th). The other *race* I’m eagerly watching: Will we hit 100 team home runs this year? We’ve got 79. Can we hit 21 in 27 games? Um, no. Mathematically, I guess it’s possible. But one hundo is probably not going to happen this year.
I was going to write a thread about the pathetic HR production from our OF this year but it’s already well known and I didn’t really have it in me this morning to look up all the other NL collective outfield HR stats. And really, it doesn’t matter where your power comes from. Cano has 25 bombs for the Yankees and that’s obviously a lot coming out of 2nd base. They’re near the bottom of the AL in team bombs, though.
The home run is NOT an overrated scoring tool but it’s not the ONLY way to score. If you’re stealing a ton of bags that’ll put enough runners in scoring position to produce an effective offense. We have stolen 55 bases this year, that’s 11th in the NL. So being 2nd to last in bombs and 11th in SB’s and an ugly picture starts to paint itself….
Walks are another important tool for an offense (especially if you can’t hit home runs). Walks are critical for many reasons. Obviously, they put men on base. They can move a runner into scoring position. They put a pitcher in the stretch. And, most importantly to a fantasy player, they protect the player’s batting average. The only way to sustain the hit of a low batting average is if the hitter is a big bomber. Alas we don’t have anyone like that and it’s one of the reasons I get irritated when people jack off to Belt’s OPS. It’s nice that he gets on base but he’s the wrong guy getting on base. He’s supposed to be the guy driving guys in. Thankfully, since he made the necessary adjustments at the plate courtesy of Dominic Freaking Brown, he’s been doing that in the 2nd half. Anyway, I digress. What was this paragraph about? Walks? That’s right. Well, we don’t take those very well either. We’re 11th in the NL with 375. Belt piled up most of those in just a couple of games in June…..
The ONLY thing our offense does well is not strike out. We lead the NL with only 871 whiffs. Our problem is that we make contact with the ball but it stays in the yard. We also hit into a lot of double plays (110) and that’s 5th most in the NL….
If you do get a bunch of guys to 2nd base either by a double, a stolen bag, a bunt, a walk etc….. you still have to drive them in. St Louis is still hitting an out-of-this-world .326 with runners in scoring position. We’re ok, 7th, at .251. Same thing with RISP/2outs: .235 is good enough for 6th in the NL.
Throw in the dreaded *park factors* and it’s completely obvious why we have the worst offense in the NL (if you exclude Miami who kicked the shit out of us this year). We don’t hit home runs, we don’t steal bases and we are in Average-ville when it comes to hitting with RISP.
In short, this team has zero offensive identity. And when you don’t know who you are, you get a lot of guys standing around staring at each other waiting for someone to do something. Standing on 2nd base and firing off an inspiring salute to the dugout can only carry you so far……
How great was it to see Angel Pagan out there last night? He’s such a huge part of the heart and soul of this team. Imagine “what if” he had played all season? We’ll never know but I choose to believe that we wouldn’t be in the cellar had he not gotten hurt….
Speaking of that, our “Quest for 4th” is humming along quite nicely. With last night’s win coupled with a Padre loss, we have locked horns with our LowCal rivals. The pressure may be on but I have faith in our Live 25 that they will bring this home for us. #questfor4th!
Looking at the division standings I couldn’t help but notice that the Giants STILL have the best divisional record at 31-23. I pondered what this all could mean and came up with this: The NL West sucks balls.
Tim Lincecum: talk about a dude pitching without a net. On July 13th he pitched a no hitter. The Giants have scored 18 runs in his 8 starts since. It’s no wonder he’s 8-13. Come to think of it, that’s probably about what all the starters get from our pathetic offense, at least the last THREE STRAIGHT MONTHS……
The other day I threw out a topic about what the Giants will need to do going forward to keep up with the LA Art Dealers who have no fiscal plan or budget. The response was tepid, most of you said “stay the course, this was a one-off year” etc…
Baggs interviewed Bobby Evans who tried to sound like the team is shifting course a bit and will put more of an effort into scouting international talent. Baggs said: “The club’s scouting department is being mobilized like never before, according to sources. Even Pat Burrell has a plane ticket to Tokyo…”
Excuse me if I don’t jump for joy that Pat Burrell is headed to Japan to fire down as much sushi and bag as many babes as he can in a 48 hour period…..
Evans goes on to say (paraphrasing from what Baggs wrote): “The Giants did their homework on Cespedes and Puig along with EVERY OTHER INTERNATIONAL FREE AGENT.”
Um, that doesn’t quite fly with me. They scouted EVERY OTHER INTERNATIONAL FREE AGENT? Doesn’t that sound a little weird to you? I doubt any team had scouts take a look at every, single one.
And Bobby, if you *did your homework* why did Brian Sabean say this after the A’s signed Cespedes to a paltry 4 year/36 million dollar deal back in February of 2012: “We think the price tag is probably beyond what his talent level is.”
So what we can conclude from this is that the Giants do their homework, their problem is they take the “Jeff Spicoli” approach to studying…..
Spouting off words to the press means nothing to me. And the days of scoring guys like Puig, Ryu and Cespedes for 30-40 million dollar deals are gone-zo. Expect those deals to double or triple for Tanaka and Abreu (and I’m not talking about the guys standing next to President Obama in the team pic taken at the White House last month)….
All we can do is pray that Pat the Bat doesn’t have a thing for Asian chicks……
This has gotten brought up periodically in the second half of this season, but this series in Colorado is bringing to the forefront a sad possible reality: last place. Only one other team in the history of baseball has won a World Series and then fallen to last place the following year. That team was the ’97/’98 Marlins and they don’t count since their pathetic owner intentionally dismantled them after they won it all in 1997. Sabean certainly was trying to build a competitive team this year, attempting to become the first team ever (in the NL) to win 3 out of 4 World Series titles…..
Sadly, for most knowing dudes I know, that head nod has gone from vertical to horizontal. I’ve even seen some knowing dudes doing the horizontal nod with their head buried in their hands. Saw a couple of fellas doing it with tears streaming into their hands…..
So we won’t be making history by winning a 3rd WS this season out of the last 4 years. We are staring at the stark reality of making a different type of history: last place. And that’s why games against Colorado and San Diego are so critical. Maybe we can get some help from the Dodgers and the D-backs. Bochy abhors the role of spoiler but he’s missing what’s actually going on. We should be taking on the role of reverse-spoiler. Spoil the dreams of dipshit Dodger fans who are rooting for us to come in last place. Spoil the pathetic outcome of us finishing last.
Come on. We GOT this. The rest of this season is all about the “Quest for 4th”. It’ll feel just like winning it all except without the joy of winning anything. This is all about what we’re trying to avoid, like a ghostly demon trying to drag you down to Hades…..
Hunter Pence hit the longest home run of the season last night: 476 feet. That’s a foot further than Mark Trumbo hit one back on April 29th. I’ve always wondered how they calculate a *true distance* bomb. It shouldn’t be that difficult, especially with today’s technology. ESPN has now partnered with someone named Greg Rybarczyk–anyone with a last name so difficult to spell is probably very good at math and other calculations, right?
Anyway, I’ve never been to this website but it’s very cool. They calculate the distance of every home run hit in the major leagues. There’s more info than you could possibly ever want to process. And if you want to process none of it, they just give you the link to the video.
Here’s the link:
Instead of talking about the Giants sleep walking through their opening game vs the hapless Rockies, I decided to write a mini-rant about a late season ritual that’s always bothered me….
Claiming a player to *block* another team from acquiring him via trade: One of the dumber, more antiquated tactics allowed in baseball today. With almost every player placed on waivers in August, and teams getting a shot at each of them in reverse standing order, there is zero reason for a team below a team with a better record to NOT put in a claim on a player. Heck, put in a claim on EVERY player. There’s no skill in that, just keep clicking the claim button like a trained pigeon. And worse, there is no consequence.
And there should be. I think that if a team puts in a claim on a player in August, even if they aren’t able to work out a trade, they have to surrender SOMETHING. A 10th round draft pick. 25K. A hallmark card apologizing to the rest of the league for wasting everyone’s time with a bogus claim ticket. S-O-M-E-T-H-I-N-G.
Take Javier Lopez for example. I actually support Sabean for waiting till the end of August to try to work out a deal. Unlike at the July 31st deadline, true contending teams have now thinned themselves out. And of those teams, their playoff needs have coalesced. Lopez has proven his playoff value and it is high. Having a sure fire bullet like Lopez to fire at a tough left handed hitter late in a playoff game is like gold (baby).
Of course, because 5 other teams put in a claim on him, 4 of which have no intention of actually trading for him, the idea of trading him now is almost a pipe dream. And that’s too bad. He’s of little value to us for the rest of the year, he could pull in a decent prospect from a team who actually wants to work out a deal.
With the Giants winning a rare weekend series and the Dodgers losing one, it got me to thinking, what will Sabean have to do going forward to build a team that can compete year in and year out with the LA Art Dealers. After all, if you are competing against a team that cares not about a budget, it presents challenges to the builders of the teams trying to beat them.
Sabean built 2 World Series championship teams by putting together a rock solid pitching staff and making deft deadline (and pre-deadline) pickups along the way. Of course, both teams had to get hot in September and the playoffs and luckily, they did just that.
But does Sabes need a new plan? The payroll is already high, does it need to go higher? If the team gets younger, is Bochy the right man for the job? Or does Sabean just keep firing away on vet pick ups and hope for the best?
I don’t have the answer to any of these questions, maybe you guys do. And I’m praying Sabean does…..
I found this while I was cleaning up my desktop this morning. Forgot about it.
And here’s how the race is currently unfolding. At least Loo nailed the superfecta, albeit if he had boxed it. But hey, we were both so far off, I consider this a lost bet for everyone, including the team. A better pre-season question should have been, “what are the chances THE TEAM will hit 100 home runs?” They have 76 and have almost no chance of getting there but I think we all would have taken the over and gotten soaked on that one…..
The way things are going, it’s possible he’s going to legally change his nickname to “IrateBum”. Maybe “InfuriatedBum”. Anyway, he got his allotment of 1 run and that dope just couldn’t do anything with it. What’s up with that?
Since the all star break, the Giants are 1-6 in Bumgarner starts despite the face that he’s given up only 13 runs in those starts. I stole that stat from Carl Steward.
In Timmy’s 6 starts since his no hitter, he’s gotten a grand total of 11 runs of support from his offense. Pathetic, for sure. But I bet MadBum looks at that like the mother load of all bounties.
I didn’t watch much of last night’s game, I admit it. Had other things to do. It happens.
So what would you guys like to see the team try in September? I stole that one from Steward, too. Posey at third base? Brown in the outfield? Barry Zito on a surfboard in Santa Cruz?
At the downward rate of speed they are spiraling it’s quite possible that tickets to the Sept 7th game will be free. Up note on that event: there’s a 50/50 shot that my dad (“Bobby Bowden” as San Dawg has dubbed him) will be in town that weekend and if so he’s coming with me…….
Eric Byrnes spent a lot of time on his KNBR show yesterday trying to drum up support for his #Retire22 campaign. As anyone knows, there is no greater Will Clark fan than me. Growing up, he was the ONLY poster I had in my bedroom and I had like 6 of them. He was the main reason I became a switch hitter, I taught myself how to hit left handed because I had a man-crush on that swing.
The Thrill has no business ever being elected into the hall of fame and he probably won’t ever get the chance anyway having fallen short of the 5% vote needed to be included on future voting lists. The HOF is all about numbers and reputation. People visiting the HOF would get to Will’s shrine, look at his numbers and just go, “WTF is he doing here?”
But to a Giants fan base, he was everything. At least anyone age 8-21 or so who grew up in the mid/late eighties–and that grown up fan base makes up a large percentage of the season ticket holders today. And his number, 22, will be forever attached to his greatness in a Giants uniform. He was the sole source of pride for Giants fans at the time he burst into the major leagues by blasting a Nolan Ryan fastball for a bomb in his first at bat and he led the way as the team emerged from the darkness of their long time losing culture. That’s why I get irritated when I see guys like Roger Kieschnick wear it. And he’s not nearly the worst looking player to ever try to wear that number. Ryan Rohlinger? Keiichi Yabu? Dustan Mohr? Damon Minor? There are others but it hurts me to type their names.
NO ONE should wear 22 for the Giants ever again. No one should have worn it for the last several years. And yet Murphy continues to brainlessly dole it out to, well, pretty much anyone…….
And I’m not listening to the static about teams only retiring numbers if the player gets into the HOF. The Braves did it with Murphy. And they retired Chipper Jones # like a minute after he retired. There are probably many other examples across MLB of teams retiring numbers because of what the number means to their specific fan base.
And THAT is the core reason why the Giants should retire #22. Because of what he meant to the fan base. There is ZERO reason that teams should be held hostage by the stupid HOF and their elitist approach to those they accept or those they keep out.
You can read Byrnes’ blog post about this at byrnes22.com or you can find this worthy grass roots movement on twitter at #Retire22
Ichiro got his 4000th hit yesterday and we’re all left wondering what his hit total would be had he played his entire career in MLB. He has 2,722 hits here, 1,278 hits *there*. I’ve heard the rabble about his hits from Japan *not counting* but that’s short sighted and misses the point of “what if?”
Not only do I think Ichiro would have gotten 4,000 but I think he would have become The Hit King with more than a few hits to spare. True, he hit .353 in Japan and *only* .320 in his mlb career. But remember, in his Japanese career, he would only play in 135 games a year (at most) vs 162 in MLB (I think they have increased their season to 144 since he left). He routinely shorted himself 130 or so at bats a year playing in Japan. But some fans say, “well, you don’t know what he would have done had he played here all those years. Uh, ya kinda do. This isn’t like trying to translate Sadahara Oh’s 868 bombs into mlb bombs. He never played MLB we have no idea what he would have done here.
But Ichiro has played here 12 full seasons (this is his 13th). Going into this season he had 2,606 hits in his major league career. That’s an AVERAGE of 217 hits in a season. Anyone think Will Clark was a decent hitter? Maybe better than decent? Maybe one of the best you’ve ever seen in a Giants uniform? Ok, that last one is a little subjective but he is to me.
200 hit seasons that Will Clark had in his brilliant 15 year career: 0
If Ichiro averaged 217 hits a season (heading into 2013) I think we have a pretty solid idea of what he would have done over the course of a 21 year career.
And I love how people are throwing Ty Cobb in with Rose. Please, just stop. Ty Cobb banged out 4,189 hits? Before African American or Latino players were allowed to play? Excuse me, but where is that asterisk?
I salute the Great Ichiro with one of the highest honors the Flap can bestow upon another person: 2 flaps up. While we can unfortunately not count his hits from Japan to get him into The 4,000 Hit Club it’s easy to see that he likely would have easily gotten to 4,000 hits had he played in the States his entire career, and would have very probably passed Cobb and Rose. With the greatest of ease, he is a first ballot hall of famer…….
An Open Letter to Anyone Who Claims To Be A “Flapper”:
And I’ll preface this by saying you (Flappers) are the cornerstone of the blog and the main reason why random lurkers come here every day (that’s only creepy-sounding if we’re talking 3-D life). Stuff I write is part of it, but I’m a global guy, very little micro shit gettin’ written up in “heeee-ahhh” . I think that last part sounded hip hop.
But *WE* should get the same criticism as the players when things are going bad for the team. Not watching games to the end is expected. Turning your interests to something more tolerable is understandable (I like re-runs of iCarly (as long as my daughter is present). I also enjoy playing Othello, but I suck at it. I’m fantastic at chess and bejeweled blitz and they’re basically the same game so this vexes me. But nevertheless….. I don’t quit anything because I’m not winning. That’s pussy-shit. I try hard, till the *end* (whatever that is–and if you were at my house right now you’d be kicking my ass in Othello)….
We had a mantra in high school baseball: “you play hard, I play hard. You quit, I quit.” And we told that, quite directly, to opposing players who we were killing who gave us shit for not respecting the *baseball bible* of peeling off once our win was theoretically secure—stealing a bag, scoring from 1st, swinging on 3-0….hey, YOU play hard, WE play hard. YOU quit, WE quit. And “you try hard, I try hard” or “you quit I quit” is still how I live my life today. If you interact with people, it’s how all of us SHOULD live our life everyday…….
The Flip side, or how it relates to the blog, is that I’m challenging you to not quit–and the gravitational pull to quit is strong, non-Flappers wouldn’t sweat you for bailing on the team in 2013. they are impossible and horrible to watch…….
But the comments here at the blog are down yet the unique visitors are about the same. That tells me it’s been *quitting time* for Flappers who don’t like the fact that we smoke copious amounts of pole this year. Fact: we’ve gargled mayonnaise this season…..And while Twin’s current challenges are part of the negative comment numbers, the google map I’m looking at doesn’t say that’s the whole story. There’s a lot of people reading, looking, staring, and bailing. That’s not what real Giants fans are all about, by a long shot.
The strength of the fan base is in the definition of the base. And if you make up any singular cell of *the base*, and you give a shit about your spot in the unit, then don’t fucking quit now like the pussies who whined about my teammate back in HS (I stole no bases in HS) who stole a bag late in a 7-0 game with a few innings to go…..
My request is, as the blog owner who everyone *jacks off to* (using a recent *James* ref there and he was radly bouncing off an epic Flavoristic comment from before that) is that you keep firing away your thoughts, opinions, etc….
We are Giants fans. We Score, We Win. In or Out?
Last night, we were reminded of who we actually are when we don’t get to play the Marlins. A tired Boston team that should have been suffering at least a bit of a mental letdown after their gagged, emotional loss the night before, came cross-country into AT&T and embarrassed the former World Series champions. I couldn’t bring myself to write “reigning” or “current” after that pathetic, uninspired, weak, impotent excuse for a “performance”.
In the pre-game notes at the Merc (does anyone even read the Chronicle anymore?) the headline is “Bochy Finds No Inspiration in Spoiler Role”. That’s fine, I don’t have a problem with that. And his reasoning: “your job is to come out here and win every game whether you’re in first place or last place.” Again, no problem with that approach to playing the game. But the kicker is that your players have to adopt that sentiment, too. Or at least come up with their own genuine reason to put forth a professional approach to the game. And last night it was clear, this team is missing something massive in it’s approach to the game—whether it’s mental or cognitive or whatever you want to call it. There is NO EXCUSE to catch a Red Sox team in the state they were in last night and get completely run over in every aspect of the game.
Now, if you want to argue that the ‘Sox simply have better players than we do, that’s an argument that has some merit. But I have a hard time believing that the former World Series champions, only a year removed from their title, are so totally and completely worse across the board, from a talent standpoint, than the 2013 Boston Red Sox.
Motivation. Pride. Focus. Effort. Or lack thereof.
That’s the sad reality of what this season has become. And everyone, from Bochy to the coaches to the players deserve the blame for getting bitch-slapped by a Red Sox team that was primed to lose last night……
You have to find a reason, other than a paycheck, to play the game at this level.
I found the Merc headline rather amusing: “Giants Fail to Pick Up A Game on the Dodgers”. Indeed. Letting such a critical opportunity slip away like that will probably haunt the players throughout the off season……
If you were ever gonna catch the Red Sox in a downer mode it would be today. After a super emotional game in which they gagged up the lead they then have to fly cross country to play the next day. Timmy couldn’t have circumstances any more in his favor than he does tonight. I’m betting that Boston sleep walks through this game. That is, unless Lincecum does this: throw his first pitch behind Pedroia then threw 2 inside pitches before finally plunking him with the 4th one. I know, that would be absurd, right?
Here’s what dinner looked like last night at Merna’s birthday bash: