…but this time he’s on our side of the bay.
He’s here to meet with Brian Sabean. There are confirmed reports that Sabes will have multiple barf bags at the ready when Lester tells him how much $$$ he wants.
The Cubs have already offered this dude 135 million so I’m not sure what the point of this meeting is.
Maybe Lester is just in the mood for some sick clam chowder? How do they get it to not soak through the sourdough bread bowl? It’s Wicca or magic or something……
Watching the Niners go so willingly into the bent-over position vs the Seahawks last night, I noticed three similarities between the two San Francisco franchises with the main difference being the outcome. Over the last 3 seasons the Niners went to the NFC championship twice and the Super Bowl once. They lost all three. The Giants, well, we know what they did with their three chances.
And as a Niner fan, with 5 SB’s already in the bank, I can tell you that I absolutely took those 3 recent playoff appearances for granted. After each excruciating loss (and each one was brutal) I just told myself “No big deal, we’ll just get it done next time.”
But watching the 49ers descend into chaos I now realize I should have been more bummed about those 3 losses. There are no guarantees for your sports teams.
I talked to a Royals fan at dinner last night–a legit Royals fan who lives there and grew up rooting for the Royals. He’s older now, probably in his 70’s. He was like most of the Royals fans we saw on tv during the post season. Polite, gracious, happy to be there. He was unyieldingly positive (surprise) about the prospects of the Royals going forward.
With the 49ers falling apart on a tv in the background of the conversation and this Royals fan telling me how stoked he is about his team next year, I quietly thanked (again) the baseball gods for what they gifted us over the last 3 in Five.
In the Giants Dugout store the other day, I predictably found nothing to fit my 6 foot 6 frame. There were tons of shirts with different mantras scrawled across the front. One of them said simply: “Champion Blood”. Even if it fit, wearing a shirt like that isn’t really how I roll. But it told an accurate tale. And after last night, impossibly, I’ve found an even greater appreciation for what the Giants have accomplished. I think I might go back and buy the shirt, have it framed and put it up in my office. No two words set next to each other describe our team better.
No more Panda thread. Need new things to talk about.
The prevailing scuttlebutt seems to be what will the Giants do with the 100 million they’re saving on Sandoval going to Boston. The problem is, Sabean doesn’t like to compete for coveted free agents. And those are the only ones I’d want him to go get. So on the eave of this great holiday, rather than lament the players I don’t think we’re going to acquire I’ll just stop and appreciate the ones we have and the unbelievable gift they gave to us in 2014.
I still can’t believe the Giants won the World Series this year…..
Reflecting back, why should we have expected Sandoval to stay here? For loyalty? Hogwash. Fans have a very skewed version of loyalty. First of all, this is his job. He does this primarily for money. And before you mount your high horse, we all do that. And he grew up in Venezuela, this isn’t his home. He probably liked playing here and living here 6 months out of the year (really though, 3 months of that was on the road) but we’re not talking about a guy who ever looked at San Francisco as his childhood home. This isn’t a “LeBron” thing.
Newsflash: We loved him more than he loved us. We don’t get paid to love our sports heros. That love is stronger. It’s better.
If you think I’m FOS about that, here’s what Sandoval posted on his Instagram as soon as he signed the dotted line:
Excuse me while I puke……..
Still, we aren’t saints. Our love comes with strings attached. If the Giants don’t win *3 of 5* (with Sandoval largely responsible for 2) would we give him the same love we gave Edgardo Alfonso or Pedro Feliz? So there was never any real reason, related to emotion, that should have led him to decide to stay here. The player was here for money, the fans loved him because he gave them rings. That’s not a *love* that’s based in a very healthy place.
I was wrong about David Ortiz being a thorn in this deal. He was a big part of the decision. What’s that old saying? “Bros before ‘Friscos?” Hmmmm. I don’t think that’s it. Close.
Another possible bonus for him: he’s about to get the media spotlight shined on him like a motherfucker. Maybe that’s a big deal to him. Can you blame him for wanting that? Throw the DH thing in that he’s going to slide into like a warm XXL winter coat and you find yet another reason for him to leave.
My final Panda fat joke: I feel like a big weight has been lifted off me. Now we *know* and that’s a lot better than twisting in the wind. And honestly, I’m totally fine with this. With him and Big Titty gone, the fat jokes are going to be few and far between unless you want to take aim at Hector Sanchez and that just seems like overkill……
Few things last forever. Thanks for the memories Panda, your status as a “Great Giant” will last generations. And I don’t throw that term down loosely the way Krukow whimsically tosses a baseball in the tv booth. I mean it. I’ll never forget what you did for this team. And that final out, where you fall on your back clutching the ball in your glove shaking on the ground for what seemed like as long as all the years that I’ve lived? It’s all part of the supernova, baby. As I’ve said a thousand times a thousand, that bitch burns forever……
Timmy’s public goodbye to Panda
The Panda has accepted that relatively modest deal offered to him from the Red Sox. Thoughts?
The Red Sox only offered 5 years/95 million? If that’s true, this should be a done deal on coming back to SF unless there’s something we don’t know about. The Giants should be able to match that without even blinking.
San Diego offer coming in today and I’m not worried about that one.
95 million? He can feed his family on that.
If the Giants don’t make the post season in 2014, would everyone still be gaga over The Panda? If you say you’re paying for what he’s going to do in the post season, I wouldn’t (and really couldn’t) argue with that line of reasoning. But Pablo didn’t have a very good year in 2014–and with it being his contract year as well as coming into the season with the body of a taut, pre teen Swedish boy (credit: Kramer from Seinfeld) you would expect he would have a monster year. But he didn’t.
Pretty much all of his statistics were his worst since 2010.
And yet teams are tripping over themselves to give him 100+ million dollars.
So I ask again, if the Giants don’t make the post season in 2014, what type of contract would the Panda be getting offered? Three years/40 mil still sounds about right.
Serious question: Assuming they had the option, would any of you guys have wanted the Giants to give Johnny Stanton 325 million over 13 years? This just makes no sense to me. Why pay a player you don’t have to really pay for 2 more years all that dough? Wouldn’t it make more sense to sign, you know, good players to put around him? Even if the Marlins did it just to sell their new cable deal to their fans, are the fans really that brain dead that they’d rush to sign up now just because Stanton became a 325 millionaire?
And Billy Beane: good luck with Billy Butler. For a guy who supposedly cares a lot about his players getting on base, here are BB’s last 3 years of OPS: .882/.787/.702. I’m no math wiz but that be trending downward.
And some people thought it was a folksy throwback story when it came out that Butler went to a KC rib joint and powered down a plate of ribs with all the fixin’s just prior to Game 7 vs the Giants. I thought it was stupid. If that’s how this dude gets ready for the biggest game of his life….um. You can have him.
Pretty happy with where the Giants are so far this off season.
Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of Sandoval’s pros/cons as seen from the eyes of a non-Giants fan. Well written, I think:
Ok, no more Ashkon talk. Not that the internet was abuzz with it anyway.:)
New word from the underground is that the Padres are dipping their toes into the Panda sweepstakes. If true, that means the Giants, the Red Sox, the White Sox, the Blue Jays and now San Diego are considering competing for Sandoval.
I can’t imagine the Padres will be making a competitive offer.
But it’s November 17th and there’s nothing else to discuss unless you want to talk about the latest Isis video. Jeeeeezus, don’t click on that if you haven’t done so yet.
I’m a big Ashkon fan. Well, I should say that I enjoy 3 of his videos, I don’t really know anything about him. I’ve been hoping for a new one to come out commemorating the 2014 championship but I haven’t seen anything yet on youtube.
Here are his 3 videos, all epic in their own way.
The first one was great because of it’s novelty. I also love the Will the Thrill impersonations he does.
I loved the vibe of “Feeling Like a Giant”. I also loved the slo-mo’s of the fans–super-ass confident and proud. Knowing dude head nods in motion….
“We Are the Champions” is probably my favorite. His Freddy Mercury impersonation, especially when he’s talking about Verlander, was epic.
Which of the 3 were your favorite? Or did you hate them all? Maybe this is more your speed:
This one was really good, wasn’t it?
The Cy Young Awards were won by Clayton Kershaw and Corey Kluber– both were worthy winners. And really, can you remember a CY winner who wasn’t worthy?
CY bonus awards are what I always find interesting. If I was a GM, I would build huge bonuses for MVP and CY awards into every contract I write. Why wouldn’t you? Give the players something to shoot for. It would also fix salary inequities. As it stands, the bonuses are largely underwhelming. Take Kluber for example. He made $514,000 last year. He scored a 10K bonus for winning the CY. That’s about 2% of what he made in 2014.
ClayKersh made 4 million last season and got one of the biggest bonuses I’ve ever seen for winning the CY— 1 million. Not bad. By the way, next year CK starts making 30 mil a year…….
And here’s the biggest bonus I would offer: World Series MVP. Make that 20 mil for every player on my roster. What GM wouldn’t gladly pay that out? And yet I never see WS MVP bonuses written into contracts. Isn’t being the WS MVP the most esteemed award any baseball player could win in a single season?
CK won the CY and he is a most deserved winner. I think he should win the MVP, too. No one was even close to more valuable during the regular season, in either league, than Kershaw.
Listening to Kuiper on KNBR coming into work this morning and he was commenting on The Panda going to Boston to visit with Red Sox brass. At one point he said, “hey, if we’re lucky they’ll take him to an all-you-can-eat place.” Clearly, he was making a joke about Pablo “eating out his welcome” with his new potential employer. At first I couldn’t believe he said that on the air. It just seemed so juvenile. And then I remembered the countless Pablo-fat jokes that I’ve made here at the blog and elsewhere. And in that moment, I regretted those comments.
But still, I don’t understand how a team employee gets away with making comments like that on the air.
Did anyone else hear that? I’m sure it’ll be on the KNBR website later today……
Looks like James put a fair amount of work into this and rather than leave it to die as the last post on yesterday’s thread, I’m turning it into today’s thread. Enjoy.
It’s treated as a given by many that Morse did a fair bit of damage to the Giants defense while playing LF. I’ve always thought this was pretty suspect, especially in absolute terms. LF gets relatively few plays, and most are routine.
I also think the Fangraph defensive stats like UZR that downgrade the WAR value of players like Morse are suspect. I noticed that FGs now has a section called “Inside Edge” fielding. It looks like what they’re doing is categorizing each ball hit to a fielder into degrees of difficulty, ranging from Routine to Impossible, and giving the percentage of outs recorded in each. For LF in particular, a very large percentage of all plays fall into those 2 extremes, which is kinda what you’d expect. What’s remarkable is the very small number of actual plays that fall into the other categories. This aligns with my own hunch that a handful of missed plays can highly exaggerate the view of a player’s defensive shortcomings.
Here are Morse’s numbers:
Here are Matt Holliday’s:
I swapped out the percentage of balls Hunter Pence got to in the various middle categories for Morse’s. The difference between Pence and Morse is about 4 more outs made.
There’s some light hearted chatter about the Giants being “in” on Torii Hunter. Here’s hoping that’s not true. The Giants should be “out” on Hunter. Besides there being competition for his services, we already have an outfielder with an iron glove who can hit. His name is Mike Morse. And while you could certainly argue that Hunter has been more durable I’d rather sign Morse who is 7 years his junior. And while I can appreciate a good dick joke as much as the next guy, Hunter spends way too much time talking about his junk to the media. I’ll take the dude who’s banging out NLCS game tying home runs over the dude who’s firing off junk-jokes. Right?
This is the first year I’ve missed playing the free agent contest @mlbtraderumors.com. I always do badly. That’s the contest where you try to predict where the top 50 free agents (as ranked by mlbtraderumors) will ultimately sign. The contest is closed, but here is there top 50 list:
Hanley Ramirez is projected to get 4 years/70 million.
James Shield is projected to get 5 years/95 million.
Romo is projected to get 3 years/21 million.
See anything out of line with any of those projections? Looks reasonable to me…..
Pablo’s agent says he’s firm on 6 years and if that’s the case, “bye bye Panda.” I thought it funny that he cited his age as the reason to do 6 years and that if he was 32 or 33 years old, less years might be accepted. As I have repeatedly pointed out, there is chronological age and then there is how hard that body has had to work over those 28 years. Organs, joints, muscle tissue—- all those things have been under major pressure sustaining his super-sized body throughout year-long baseball programs (with no breaks) since he was a kid. That body is EASILY 32-33 years old, maybe older.
So while I appreciate all that he’s done for the franchise and I wouldn’t be devastated if he returned on a multi-year deal, I am more than happy to move on from The Panda. Holding on to your sports heroes when common sense should prevail is one of the shortcomings on most fans….
A couple of Giants fans sent me this. Love it.
This “3 in 5″ thing….more basking…..it’s changed me as a fan and the way I look at sports. It makes all the individual awards like gold gloves and similar individual awards look just so…..secondary. There’s probably a better word. I guess if you’re a fan of a team like the Dodgers or the A’s, and you haven’t won the World Series in decades, you get excited about trivial things.
And I’m not just using this thread as a way to dog Dodger or Oakland fans.
Do any of you care even a little bit about a freaking Gold Glove award? I seem to recall that I used to care. But with all these rings piling up, I dunno, I just don’t see the importance of them anymore…..
I love Rich Aurilia, always will. And I think it’s rad that he’s actually doing something with a career after baseball that doesn’t have anything to do with baseball. But I can’t support him re-tweeting a review of his wine that uses the word “pretty”. lol. Even if he just hit 90 points for the first time. You’re a baseball player god dammit, baseball players don’t use the word “pretty” unless they’re trying to score a whore past their prime in a bar that’s beneath them…..
Now for some baseball talk: I am against signing The Panda. 100 percent >
I have been against signing him for a long time. We got the best years out of him. Celebrate that, don’t pay 100+ million for shit that’s already happened. I love him for what he’s done, will never forget him, but I don’t want to watch him play 5 more years, into his 30’s, while he’s fat and living off the back end of his baseball card. I do think Sabean will try to resign him, although his star power and post season production might sway dumb GM’s into overpaying. I will just sit back and hope the latter unfolds. You don’t pay 120 million and hope a guy won’t get fat(ter) and keep producing in the playoffs (if you get there) into his 30’s. Pay that type of money to someone who will be consistent and take you over the top. This year, that’s a pitcher. #freePanda
Play *anyone* at third base and sign a monster pitcher. That’s what this team needs to keep it going for the next 2 years. And keeping it going for 2 years at a time is all you can hope a team will do in this age of baseball……..
You’ll all champion me at the top of Flap Mountain after his demise, as long as we don’t sign him, trust me. Be the guy who laughs at the Yankees for fucking this up.Unfortunately, likely, you’re all still hammered off this 3rd trophy. But handing over 100+ mil to Sandoval is not the answer. Trust me and throw this thread in my face in the future if I’m wrong. It’ll be here, just like me. I’m rarely wrong.
Baseball is over and we rule the world yet again. The NIners suck and the Dubs haven’t gotten it going enough yet for me to care and hockey is eternally on strike in my world. So today, it’s time for a funny story.
Back in 2012, I worked with this dude named Tre– very cool guy except for one thing: he was a huge Raider and A’s fan. I used to needle him (nearly ever week because they sucked) by wearing a Raiders shirt and posting a pic of myself on facebook every Monday after a Raiders loss. Here’s one of the pics:
Haha, funny motherfucker, this is the type of friendship you get out of me. :)
So he leaves after about a year and I haven’t talked to him since but we follow each other on facebook and I noticed that this year he got a job working at a college in Missouri (he played college football somewhere).
Then Game 7 starts and Tre is at the game and posts a pic. Here it is:
I was like, “Right on, Tre-mendous (his nickname) is at the game. Kinda funny cause he’s an A’s fan but he lives there now so it’s not that surprising.”
He then posts a pic of the big screen:
actually that was a movie clip but I can’t get it to transfer to the blog so I just snapped a screen shot of it.
Now the game is over and to my shock, Tre is on the FIELD! Here’s a video screen shot he took WHILE ON THE FIELD:
Lucky ass A’s fan is now on the field after the Giants win the World Series? This ain’t right. But still, I’m happy for him. Can’t wait to ask him how he got his ass on to the field.
But Tre-mendous takes it up a notch. Now he’s in the locker room. About an hour later, here’s the next pic he posts:
Um, WTF is going on? And now he’s drinking a beer with Pence?
And for good measure, a pic with the World Series MVP:
And finally, this A’s fan who doesn’t even like the Giants and who hates the Niners is seen holding this:
You have no idea how hard I was laughing out loud looking at these pictures. As far as I know, he has no connection with the Giants, he’s just working as a football coach or something for some college in Missouri. But I’m giving you the 2-flap up Flapper salute my man. If I didn’t know better I would say you photoshopped yourself into these pics and frankly that would make it even funnier.
Driving home yesterday listening to the Niners game, KNBR came off a commercial break and the crowd was going wild. I thought something good must have happened. No such luck. The big screen was showing Bochy and Sabean. It was an awesome reminder of what just happened. What I still am having trouble processing.
And after Colin Kaepernick decided to hold his own personal sack party in the backfield yesterday, it was also a reminder that I’m gonna have to wait a while to see one of my teams win another world championship–cause it damn sure ain’t gonna happen with the Niners this year.
NFL day. Had a fun interaction yesterday. I was in a sportsbook, turned a corner and literally ran into 2 dudes also turning the corner. They were both totally decked out in Dodger gear. At first I put up my hands to give out a halfhearted “my bad” but I think it looked more to them like I was pointing to the jersey I was wearing. One of them just shook his head, said “fucking Giants” and both kept on walking. I’m sure they heard me say “3 in 5″ as they got further away.
I’ve said “3 in 5″ a lot this weekend….
Watching the parada on tv, it was so clear what a special group of men these guys are. As improbable as it all was, there were several enduring post season memories for me in 2014. I think I’d rank mine like this:
1) The Perez double. Seeing where that ball went on the wall, basically taking a divot out of it, on a day that was devastating for Perez might be my most enduring moment. Knowing he had to swing the bat against that sick reliever fighting back tears throughout…..jesus.
2) Pence on the Fence. I changed my facebook pic to the black and white of Pence on the Fence (thank you DIRT) and I don’t see that coming down. I said at the time, it was as if the fence caught HIM. If it was possible to burn a single image on to my soul, that would be it. I gotta see about turning that into a shirt.
3) Ishikawa’s blast. I mean, how is this not # 1, right? It easily could be I just think the other 2 might be slightly more enduring. For me.
4) The Panik double play. I still can’t believe that play was reversed. But I’ll take it and gladly ask for seconds. We’ve all seen a flip like that a hundred times but the timing was impeccable, Crawford’s turn rock solid, and all under the great magnitude of Game 7. Just a stunning display of grit and skill by both men.
5) Morse’s bomb. I could have seen bumping this one up a space or two. Miller’s home run call nearly brought tears to my eyes, as did the child-like jaunt around the bases by Morse. For a guy who had to wait and wait and wait and still come back and not me completely healthy—to do THAT in THAT moment. His homerun gave us something we were desperate for: hope.
I know there were others but I have to get ready for a big BC day. List off or rank your favorites, it’s a fun thing to do.
I won’t be there, I’ve had a prior commitment planned outside the Bay Area for the last couple of months. But there’s nothing like a parade. Sounds like some members of The FU are gonna storm The City. If you go, take pictures and send them to me.
Not to “rain” on the parade, but I laughed a little bit to myself yesterday every time I heard someone tell me this is a dynasty. Call it that if you want but I’m not seeing it. We have exactly ONE dominant starting pitcher. We have exactly ONE healthy, high level playing outfielder. Our 3rd baseman is about to bail. I like our infield good enough. That is not a dynasty. We are fucked next year, lol.
But if you want to give someone props for this 3rd one you might want to thank Dan Uggla. Seriously. Had he not sucked so horribly and completely Sabean never would have called up Panik and given him a daily shot at 2nd base. And Joe Panik is absolutely one of the top 2 or 3 reasons that we won it all this year…..
Have fun today wherever you are and whatever you’re gonna do. Knowing dude head nods for all!
There’s a lot of chatter about the word “dynasty” going on right now and I honestly don’t get it or care about it. To me, a dynasty is 1 team of most all the same players who win at least 3 championships over a short period of time. And that isn’t what’s going on. Each of these 3 were gifted to us by different men in different ways. Having a few of the same players on this team who were on the last team or the team before that doesn’t make it a dynasty. To me. But feel free to debate the definition of the word. I’ll be busy raising a third flag in my soul and these absolutely fly forever. That’s not just some bullshit I say because it sounds good. It’s what’s up.
Besides the obvious contributions of one man, I still don’t understand how any of this happened. I’m just so thankful that it happened. When stuff like this happens, even if you’re a cynical, negative person, you start to realize that anything, truly, is possible.
I’m not going to the parade, I’m headed east on a 2 day vacation. Breeders Cup on Sat. World Series win last night. Still can’t type that without shaking my head and smiling…..
The biggest problem I have going right now is finding room on that > side of the blog for another World Series ring picture. Somehow, I’ll make space. :) :) :)
for those of you who don’t listen to KNBR–a long time ago, some dude wrote a Bumgarner haiku. He read it and had some background drums beating, it’s pretty funny. Anyway, here it is sans music
“Your expanding pants
Now accommodating balls
Big as tractor wheels”
I still don’t have words to describe this. So here’s a video. Of me listening to the radio.
I couldn’t take watching the game anymore so I went out to my car in the driveway, in the dark, to listen to the Perez at bat.
It ended the way I wanted it to….
Well, whoever wins tonight can say they genuinely earned it. Nobody plays 6 weeks of spring training, 6 months of baseball plus nearly a month of playoff ball to find out they “lucked” into the crown.
This will be the 38th Game 7 in World Series history (I counted that myself so it could be off by one or two). It’s the second Game 7 since 2002 and I have blocked out that game from my memory bank.
Truly, I’m not really sweatin’ this game. I think we will win. You know who also isn’t sweatin’ it? These guys…..
Lost in all the drama approaching tonight is this sad fact: no matter what, this is the final baseball game of the year and that bums me out a little bit. Here’s to a great season FU—-whatever happens, happens.
Four years ago, nearly to the day, twin posted this:
and even with one win still yet unsecured I feel the same way about the guys on this team. I’ll never forget this team….
God dammit. This post season finally got to me. I’ve spent each series trying to convince myself that I’m just happy to be here. I’ve kept my celebrations muted. I’ve avoided expectations. I’ve been more like “Painfully Awkward Rob Lowe” than the ebullient Big Flavor.
But with but one win to go, I can no longer keep this charade up. I want what is rightfully ours. I want another flag flying at the top of Flap Mountain.
And make no mistake about it, these championships are as much for us as they are the players. There is no flag without the fans. With each championship we bank, our identity gets stronger, our head nod gets tighter and the supernova burns its brightest yet.
Enjoy all of it, FU. Let’s go get our 3rd in Five….
Yesterday, some time during the first inning, I had this text exchange with my buddy (A’s fan) –I’d asked him if he was watching the game. After the first run crossed the plate in the 2nd inning I texted him “game over.” And I wasn’t blowing fake confidence. I truly believed it. Madison Bumgarner has become the most reliable pitcher in the major leagues and you could make a pretty easy case that he’s the best post season pitcher in baseball history.
On the cusp of our 3rd world championship in five years I’m having trouble coming up with the words to explain any of this. I’m just enjoying the gifts this team keeps giving me…..
For fun, I dipped into the archives to see what we were saying with one win to go in 2010 and 2012:
The Giants are 7-0 in playoff games started by Voggy so clearly Bochy knew what he was doing. :)
Don’t forget that Petit’s dad, who hates to fly, got to watch his son win that game yesterday.
I’m quite positive that I’ll never forget that game. That one will stand out among the rest regardless of the outcome of this series. What did they have? 14 singles? Never have that many singles been louder.
So here we go. Critical Game 5 with Country Breakfast on the hill. I feel confident about our chances……
I wonder what it feels like to shell out $700 for a seat to a World Series game and watch your team lose. Serious question. I’ve been to one game, in 2010, and the memories from that game are as strong and as awesome as the day of the game. But would they sustain over the time had the Giants lost? It’s gotta feel like a win, as fan, to not pay the $700 and to not have to watch your team lose (in person).
It was fantastic to see Pawlie Kokonuts and Sarge yesterday. Freaking Pawlie was getting interviewed by someone associated with the Giants within the first 5 minutes that we hung out. Sarge braved the knot hole experience. He sent me some photos that I’ll post later….
Last night’s loss felt like a lot of regular season losses–can’t hit, can’t win. The pitching was fine. If the Giants can’t figure out a way to score some mid/late game runs against the Royal bullpen I don’t know what to say. Other hitters have broken through against them. This “HGH” stuff is overblown. They’re just men.
The weather stinks right now. Cold. Windy. It was raining earlier this morning. Weather God’s say the game isn’t in jeopardy. I know that several Flappers are hooking up pre-game to toast The FU and to socialize. Have fun up there, boys, sorry I couldn’t make it today.
Days like these are some of the favorite of my life. I don’t know if I’ll get into the game. Likely not. But the anticipation of the train, the swell of excitement ebbing and flowing, the spontaneous chants that the train drunkards start—I love it all. It’s a 55 minute joyride. I’ve got two train stubs (2010/2012) pinned to my wall at work. After today there will be a third.
I’ve got no expectations for the day and no real plans. But I can’t wait to get up there….
As usual, if you want to follow “Big Flavor’s Day Off” you can follow on twitter up until the point that I have to turn my phone over to the officer at SF county. :)
I’m in a pretty + mood today. See, all Strickland was doing was merely announcing his presence with authority. He’l be back.
The Royals are going to be lost trying to play the NL game at AT&T. Yost has his work cut out for him.
And this guy? This is my guy.
We got too used to sweeping World Serieseseses’.
Play hard. Wait for mistakes. Win.
As a fan, the difference between this World Series and the other two is easy to pinpoint: I’m as calm and cool as a cucumber. We’ve got 2 in the kitty so it’s not the end of the world if we don’t finish the job. And, unlike Royal fans, this isn’t my first rodeo. (apparently, I’m trying to break the record for most cliches used to start a Flap thread). Sorry, I’ll stop.
Twinfan had a brilliant post at the end of the last thread. Here it is:
“It’s not surprising that we’re underdogs year after year. Bochy preps for the postseason from Day one. His patience pays off when the guys he stuck with come up big.None of the experts think of Blanco, Arias, Perez, Ishi- the game is all about the stars to much of the media whereas the postseason is won by a 25 man team, not 3 or 4 guys. Juan hasn’t done anything sexy- he’s just helped win games quietly. Ishi was a *little* louder but how big was it that Bochy trusted a 4 time castoff to start in the playoffs? This a team game and we’ve fielded the best team. and the best manager.”
I couldn’t agree more. The brain dead lemming national media spends their time learning the names of the stars like Puig and Miggy. They don’t understand what it takes for a team to coalesce and win. “ALL THE WAY” win. That’s why so many of them spend most of the season debating who’s going to win the MVP in each league.
I’ve watched this “team thing” happen for 3 straight now and it seems obvious to me. Experience absolutely matters in games like these. Why don’t the national chumps understand this?
As for the Royals, as I said, they should have lost at least one post season game before last night. Their fans looked broken after UnderPants hit his monster bomb. And Ned Yost has no business managing against Bruce Bochy. NONE BUSINESS.
Everyone here at The Flap is familiar with the “Knowing Dude Head Nod.” It’s an interaction that 2 strangers wearing the same Giants gear might have in passing on the street. It’s always done silently. A fist bump or high five may accompany it. The phrase itself was popularized by our own Ted-Spe after we won the 2010 World Series. And for true Giants fans, it wasn’t just something we did. It was something we had earned. You root for a team that’s lost for 50 years, and then they finally win? That’s earned. And there is no championship harder to win in all of sports than baseball. That’s not even arguable. In any given year, to win the World Series, you have to win significantly more games throughout the season and the playoffs than any other sport….
While I was doling out my coveted head nods this week to the worthy, I thought of what it must be like to be a Royals fan right now. They must be positively giddy. They don’t know what a knowing dude head nod is. Right now, they’re doing an “Excited Guy Hello!!!!!!” that includes vigorous waving. Make no mistake, they’re nodding. But there’s nothing cool or knowing about it. On closer inspection they aren’t really nodding, their whole body is shaking with excitement. Their face is locked in a perma-smile and their gaze is at least a thousand yards. Combine that with the brand spanking new merchandise they’re rockin’, and there just isn’t a single thing “knowing” or “dude-like” about them.
But that could change. If they win, they’ll finally “know.” They’ll chill the fuck out and an organic “knowing dude head nod” will begin to evolve in the fan base.
Now, I don’t think that’s going to happen. My guess is that Royals fans are gonna be bathed in their brand new baby blues while they helplessly watch us win our third world championship in the last five years. After that, the only blues left will be the ones they’re singing……..
And our nod just gets stronger. It’s gets more knowing. Enjoy the game tonight. This is our time….
Still gearing up for tomorrow’s game in KC, we are starting to see the FU Flapalooza come together a bit (but not yet enough for me to send out an email). I can tell you that I am meeting Kokonuts in the City on Friday probably by 1:30. I can only stay for a couple of hours, I have a commitment in Los Altos Friday night, but there was no way I was having PK come out to SF and not drape him in black beads (our customary greeting ritual). He has to leave Sat morning. For those that will be around the yard on Friday, hopefully you can hang with PK after I bail. Location: still not determined.
Sat I will definitely be up there for the game. Probably several hours before the game. And it seems like most of the FU is planning on descending upon The City on Saturday. But I’m basing that just off emails I’ve gotten, if you’re going Friday shout it out so PK knows about it……
I loved Hunter Pence today. He said he didn’t know, until they landed, that Kansas City was in Missouri, thought it was in Kansas. “I wasn’t a geography major.” Now, he had to have been kidding since they played a 3 game series there earlier this year and few people are probably that dumb. Still, awesome way to f**k with the national media.
With Game 1 closing in on us tomorrow, Flap Universe (FU) is closing in on San Francisco. After Ishikawa sent us to our third World Series in five years, Flappers around the world deliriously clicked through airline websites trying to match up their love for their team with their available funds. I know for certain that Pawlie Kokonuts is coming out from NY and WilcoJoe is saddled up and coming in from Texas. There may be others. I also know that there are several local Flappers who are coming to AT&T for both Friday and Saturday’s game.
Today is all about coordinating a mini Flapalooza or two, likely outside the park, but who knows?
So email me if you are planning on being up there Fri or Sat (or both), let me know if you have tickets and/or what time you’d be available to meet for beers and knowing dude head nods. Please don’t share details of your trip within this thread since Flapalooza’s are for Flappers who have already attending such gala events as well as for Flappers who have been verified as legit bloggers who frequent The Flap. Known shit disturbers or trolls are not invited.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send out a group email tonight once I hear from everyone….
Still enjoy the break from baseball–been basking my ass off. I swear to God, it feels like we already won the World Series. Ishi’s bomb was that powerful. The game was that intense.
I’ve taken the “knowing dude head nod” up a notch. I’ve added a high five. I still don’t say a thing. Occasionally I’ll grunt out a “yep” or something with a single syllable.
Today is for football. Niners vs Denver—easily my most despised NFL franchise that goes all the way back to my college days and the non-stop shit talking one of my Denver buddies would engage in.
Anyway, I need at least one more day before I can talk about baseball again. But feel free to kick it around today. Or whatever is on your mind.
There aren’t any words that I could add that you all didn’t already write last night. So I’ll just share 3 things you probably won’t read or see anywhere else on the internet today:
1) After Game 4 I was surprised that Matheny never went to Wacha in the 4th inning, choosing instead to blow through the best arms in his bullpen in the middle of the game. Yesterday morning I emailed our resident Cardinals expert with that question and this was his response:
It appears Daniel knew more than the manager of the Cardinals did.
Just prior to Ishi’s bomb the camera had an upclose shot of Wacha with the strangest head shake off of a sign I’ve ever seen. It was like he knew this was all about to end. Since most of you re-winded that play as many times as I did you probably don’t even have to go back to look at it to know what I’m talking about…….
#2: I’m assuming there are a lot of liars out there on blogs but just in case anyone thinks the Flap isn’t comprised of straight shooters, here is the pic of San Dawg’s kid with Joe Panik’s homerun ball. In the middle is his nephew and the girl is Chuck’s daughter.
#3: Here’s what you do with a homerun ball that you catch at an SF Giants playoff game. You trade it for a signed bat from the guy who hit it to you:
Those are my 3 unique contributions to the celebration (the pics came courtesy of SanDawg, the moments of a lifetime, courtesy of his son). I want to thank Daniel Shoptaw for entertaining us and educating us on the St Louis Cardinals. He was as classy as his team and he’s a lifetime friend of The Flap. The link to his blog will remain in the blogroll to the right. http://www.cardsconclave.com/c70/
And now it’s off to my day where about 500 knowing dude head nods await……
The Panik ball . . .
I continue to force myself to not have any expectations about this post season. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying the ride. I just don’t understand the ride. But I absolutely BELIEVE in the ride. And when it comes to *magic* that’s about all you really need, right?
What do the Giants do best? Before this series started, I said “they compete.” And while I still believe that, what they really do best is “whatever it takes.” That’s not a very sexy quality to have until you realize that you can make up for a lot of shortcomings when you do “whatever it takes.” In some ways, it’s all you need.
So I accept, without reservation, the imperfections of the 2014 San Francisco Giants. I celebrate their heart and soul. And I honor their innate will to do….”whatever it takes.”
And whether they lose 3 straight or win 5 more games this year, or do something in between, this is one of my favorite teams of all time. Make no mistake, it’s certainly one of the ugliest. But it’s the easiest one in the world to believe in…..
Yesterday, Daniel and I had this exchange:
And while the end of the game certainly had a fortuitous feel to it, it wasn’t entirely “luck”. As I said after the game, when you drop down and rush a throw to first base like that the chances of it tailing on you is high. You might be able to pitch that way off the mound in your usual wind up, but jumping on a perfect bunt and rushing a sidearmed throw to first base? Advantage: us.
Krukow said something interesting this morning on the radio: “Two World Championships has bought them ‘calm’.” And that’s a perfect comment. If you have good pitching and can maintain a sense of calm in a high pressure situation, more often than not good things will happen. You can call that luck if you want but I think there’s way more to it than that. The minidset of the team is, “keep it close, stay focused and calm and more often than not, it will work out in the end.”
And it works both ways. As the game creeps along you know it gets in the collective mind of the Cardinals a little bit. Like, “what new thing is going to go against us now?” And I think the Cards are about as professional as they come. But this has become a way of life for the Giants this year. We score runs in the stupidest of ways.
It’s gotta have the opposition doing a slow burn. Again, advantage: us.
Here are the questions he asked me with my answers:
Daniel: What are your thoughts about the series so far? Are you content with the split?
Flavor: I am totally content with the split. We just needed one to have a realistic shot at taking the series. Now, playing at home is almost a negative for this reason: If our bats are silent, which is usual, the crowd gets quiet and there’s a lot more pressure on the hitters to perform. I’ve watched it happen for going on 2 years now. I would PREFER to play all of our games on the road.
Daniel: The Giants have seemed to score a lot of “fluky” runs this postseason. Is there a concern that the offense could be in trouble if they dry up or is the attitude they are doing well now, just imagine if the bats start going?
Flavor: The offense stinks (as I said before the series started). I don’t think anyone expect the bats to suddenly wake up. That’s why advancing will be such a longshot. It’s going to happen with outstanding pitching and fluky runs or it’s not happening.
Daniel: What should we as Cardinal fans expect out of Tim Hudson and Ryan Vogelsong?
Flavor: They should expect both to pitch very well. The pitching staff is locked in. Huddy’s waited his whole life for this oopportunity and Voggy never turns in a bad playoff performance.
And my questions for him:
Flavor: What are your thoughts about the series so far? Are you content with the split?
Daniel: I don’t know if content is the word, but it’s a far sight better than what it could have been. I feel like the Cardinals could have taken the first game with a more Wainwright-like performance, but most everyone expected that this series would go at least 6 games and taking a game against Madison Bumgarner can be a huge task anyway. So, all in all, the split is fine.
Flavor: Aside from his game winning HR, Wong seems to make a lot of mistakes. Do Cards fans like him or do they find him too inconsistent?
Daniel: I don’t seem to hear a lot of a groundswell against Wong, for a number of reasons. One, he’s just a rookie and we know there’s going to be a learning curve. Two, he’s not holding anyone back. If Wong didn’t play during the year, it was Mark Ellis and Daniel Descalso, neither of which got the fan base excited. They’d much rather have Wong out there than anyone else. Plus, with two big postseason home runs, he’s built himself up a little baseball capital.
Flavor: What do you think the final score will be for today’s game? I’ll say 2-1 Giants
Daniel: That’s a reasonable prediction and while I think the Cardinals will win, I can’t imagine the scoring being much different. Maybe 3-1 if someone gets crazy. There’s already been a backlash over Mike Matheny using Randal Grichuk instead of Peter Bourjos, given Bourjos’s superior defensive capabilities, so it’ll be interesting to see how that goes over. Plus the Cardinals don’t have Yadier Molina which will likely play a factor as well. If more than four runs are scored in total in this game, I’d be stunned.
Flavor: To an outsider, Yaddy seems to be comparable to Buster Posey in terms of his leadership and importance to the team. How devastating is it to not have him out there?
Daniel: It’s pretty rough, there’s no doubt about it. It’s good that Molina is still able to be with the team, to travel and be in the dugout to impart some wisdom and leadership. Not quite the same as having him behind the plate, though, especially when it comes to getting close calls. The Cards will miss him, definitely.
Another day playoff game that I will be missing. Can someone explain the deal with playoff baseball during the day of a work week? Kids are all in school. Adults are all working. So who benefits from this? The fans who lie to their bosses and go to the game and the small percentage of the adult population who doesn’t work who get to watch it on tv?
The Giants are making it rain on me. Seriously, how much more house money could we be playing with? We showed up in the NLCS series with very little expectation and a wheel barrel full of house money. I asked the baseball Gods for but a single win out of these first two games. We won Game 1. Boom. More house money.
I would like to take all of this house money and slide it *under the table* to MadBum to thank him for his epic pitching skills. He’s simply become the best, most reliable playoff pitcher in the history of the franchise. Overstatement? Prove me wrong.
Today is a very busy day but I will sit down at 5:07pm ready and focused. See you guys then.
I won’t bother you guys with analysis of this series since everyone here probably knows as much as I do. I would say the biggest difference between the Cards and the Nats is the playoff experience the Cards bring to the table. I doubt we will see any of their relievers piss themselves on the mound and throw an intentional walk pitch to the backstop. We aren’t going to see any hitter throw his helmet to the ground in protest of a strike he failed to swing at. And I don’t see Matheny getting kicked out of any games.
I’m just stoked beyond belief for whatever comes our way. I don’t take a single trip to the baseball playoffs lightly. I honor and respect what these men have done to put us in a position to enjoy the drama and the excitement they have given us and will continue to give us while Dodger fans get nothing and like it.
So do whatever it is you do to get through the day and I’ll catch you guys on the flip side at 5pm….
Here’s a funny pic making the rounds on Facebook
Everyone is saying that these playoffs will be the lowest rated ever. I don’t get that. How many people in the US are actively watching the baseball playoffs if their favorite team isn’t in it? Is some guy in Wisconsin going, “There’s no way I’m missing a Yasiel Puig at bat tonight.”
“But I thought your team was the Brewers?”
“Yeah, they are. But apparently that dude goes crazy if you even breath on him in an at bat. I can’t miss that…”
I don’t think that’s how it goes down…….
I could care less what the ratings are for Giants playoff games. It’s not like you win the Series and mlb says, “Um, sorry, you didn’t pull a 10.0. So, no trophy for you.”
These games are for the players and the fans of the teams. I’m addicted to the drama and the scene. If some chump in Minnesota heads to the gym instead of watching the Cards/Giants game I could literally care less…….
I was approached by a St Louis blogger about doing a Q/A for our sites and thought it sounded fun. Here are the questions I generated for him (as well as some from Flap Universe). I had never actually conversed with a Cards fan before and I found his answers to be thoughtful and interesting. It’s always nice to see where the “other side” is coming from. I answered 10 questions for him, I’ll forward you the link to his blog if he writes a thread related to it. Daniel, if you’re reading this, the headline was generated by one of my vet bloggers, Mr Dr Loo…..
The blog owner is named Daniel Shoptaw and coincidentally he was interviewed by my main man Pawlie Kokonuts for his book Baseball’s Starry Night. Daniel is also one of the founding members of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance of which I am a member. I posted a link to his blog in the last thread and I’ll do so again in the comment section of this thread (he requested I do it that way to avoid this thread getting flagged at his work).
Sorry for having to piece the interview together, I couldn’t get it to copy and paste with his answers in red and I like that so I did it this way. I really appreciated the time Daniel took to answer all of our questions.
Why did it feel like we won the World Series last night? Advancing to the NLCS? With THIS team?
No Scutaro all year. Belt hurt for much of it. Cain? Broken. Timmy? A ghost. Romo? Lost the closer job in June. PaGONE. Left Field? A black hole.
So when everyone talks about “playoff experience” and how that’s an advantage for us, I have to look at everyone who ISN’T a part of this NLCS team and think, “what playoff experience?”
Buster. Pence. Bumgarner. Bochy. I guess they were enough to coalesce into the rock of the foundation.
I am probably underestimating the power and the strength and the faith and the drive of TheHeartofAGiant. Besides the men who accomplished this improbable feat, that collective heartbeat was bigger and stronger and better than you or me. Or the Nats. Or, obviously, the Dodgers.
Where do we go from here? I don’t know, we probably don’t belong too much farther than *here*. All I know is that we earned it, no one gave us a thing. And just like every day you wake up still alive, still breathing, so it goes for the San Francisco Giants.
I went to bed feeling like we won the World Series last night. What’s it gonna feel like if we actually get there?
I’m just taking this one (Giant) heartbeat at a time……
I was watching ESPN early this morning. They were showing highlights of the Dodgers losing again. After that, the talking heads got together and blathered out a theme of “the Giants look like they might be in trouble.” One of the guys said it with a sly looking smile on his face.
That’s really some great insight, Jerkoff. The Giants are in trouble? Why? Because they lost their first post season game in their last eleven? Actually, his reasoning was “The Nats look like they’ve finally got their pitching in order.”
Really? The Giants have scored 6 runs in this series. I think the Nats pitching has been “in order” since Game 1. Anyone with a brain knew the Giants were going to be run-challenged in this post season. The Giants can’t hit? Jimmy crack corn and they don’t care. Did Flavor really just drop a “Jimmy crack corn” on us? Fuckin’ right I did. I’ll throw any pitch at any time……
And I don’t need some ESPN dickhead in a suit telling me what the Giants shortcomings are. The team knows what they are better than anyone. It’s probably one of the things that fuels them.Because I guarantee you that the views of dipshit blowhards on tv go a long way towards motivating our players. And sometimes, that type of motivation can go a long way.
Gio Gonzalez is nobody’s big game pitcher. I’d take Voggy and his raggedy-ass arm over him any day. Sprinkle some nails over your Cheerios, dawg, and go get ‘em……
For me, this is another #noexpectations game. It’s much easier for me to admire what the Giants have done so far this post season than to expect them to continue doing it. After all, it’s almost unarguable that this is the worst of our playoff teams (comparing 2014 to 2010/2012). Our hitters stink and we have 1.5 reliable starting pitchers.
And yet here we are on the cusp of advancing to the NLCS. And we have the best starting pitcher in the playoffs going for us today.
It’s a day game, the wind will be blowing out a bit and it’s warm enough that the ball should be lubed up enough to leave the yard now and again.
Who will be today’s hero?