A Place To Talk About Giants Baseball

Yesterday’s Press Conference, A Few Must Do’s and A Great Pic to End The Season

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 30, 2011

Kind of a weirdo news conference from Bochy and Sabean yesterday. Things that stuck out:

1) He nixed the idea of Hector Sanchez being ready and yet they never really took a look at him. Bochy talked about him not being able to do the *little things* and I’m down with that, I trust his assessment on catchers. But when did he assess him? In practice?
2) Both Sabean and Bochy alluded to Huff not coming to camp in shape. I’m sorry, but this didn’t get explained enough. I can dig the Panda thing, he came in fat and got fatter and finally couldn’t play baseball anymore at the end of the 2010 season. But Huff looks exactly the same as he did in 2010 as he did this year. Was this just 100% a cardiovascular issue? What would that have to do with him hitting 46 million ground balls to second base? And if he wasn’t doing something in the offseason to prepare why wasn’t he doing it during the season? I guess what I’m asking is, what did Aubry Huff NOT do last Winter to set himself up for this horrible season? There weren’t enough questions asked about this *not being in shape* thing….
3) Sabean used Pill as an example for why Belt wasn’t ready. I used the same example last week to explain why Pill *looked* like the better prospect right now. But Pill isn’t a prospect and that’s an example from Sabean that concerns me. He is on record as saying Pill isn’t a prospect, he’s a filler guy who they brought up to reward him for his two big RBI year’s in the minors. And now he’s using Pill as a reference to Belt, their top position player in the minors? That makes no sense. He went on to say that he thinks the Giants are going too fast with these guys through the system. Sorry, but putting on the breaks on all the prospects is dumb. You bring guys up who are ready, they aren’t all on the same calendar. Belt got a chance and so did Crawford. They weren’t ready. Apparently, Hector wasn’t either though I don’t know how the Hell they figured that out with Whitey and Stewey getting most of the at bats in September. That doesn’t mean that ALL the prospects need to be brought along slowly………
4) I don’t pay a lick of attention to press conferences, everyone lies. But it’s interesting to try to read through the BS and try to sort out the semi-truths from the all-out lies. I’m not optimistic about the off season. I think Sabean is going to fall back on Posey and Franchez to fix this and that’s a huge mistake considering Freddy is a glass tiger and Posey is coming off a horrific ankle injury. Sadly, he might not have any money from the *rainy day guys* to sign anyone anyway. That could turn out to be a saving grace. The Free Agent market, outside of a few of the guys we’ve discussed, really sucks.
I have a feeling that this off season is going to have me doing a slow burn…….
A few moves (or non-moves) I’d like to see this year:
1) Don’t trade Dirrrrrty. At his lowest value and with us in huge need of a #5, it would be a mistake to trade him. Hope for the best with him. Surkamp will always be there if need be, laying in the weeds……
2) I think we have a better chance of signing Santa Claus than Beltran. Therefore we need to either fix the lead off spot or put another bat behind/in front of Posey. One of those things HAS to get down. I’d sign Josh Willingham to play LF and bat in the middle of our LU or sign Coco Crisp to play CF. I am far more interested in Willy than Crispy. I’d take the Crisp from 2010 with Oakland, much less enamored with the Crisp from 2011. But he is the only CF leadoff guy I can see on the FA market–his health is my biggest concern about him.
3) Find a back up catcher. A guy like Doumit, if the Pirates don’t pick up his option, would be fine. No more Stew-Whitey jibber jabber….
4) If they don’t sign Crisp find a way to sign Rollins. I don’t really see how a deal like this gets down, it’s more hope than anything else. He’d be much more expensive than Crisp and more years ¬†but would be much better at the top of the LU and if the Giants find a way to give JR a 3-4 year deal than maybe they start looking at the shortstops in their system as trade bait instead of *future star* guys. You can never have enough trade bait….

Sorting Out the 2011 Playoffs

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 29, 2011

On a day where Yahoo Sports had a red light blinking breaking news flash that said “Tom Brady Cuts his Hair” I gotta say, last night was pretty entertaining in the baseball world. The only team that ho-hummed it was St Louis. With the Cardinals and Rays both getting in on the final day of the season it’s difficult to guess how they’ll do in the playoffs since they were basically all-out to get in. Carpenter and Price both had to pitch yesterday so I’m not sure when they will come up in their respective playoff games.

The Rays have 3 legit stud pitchers they can throw out there to start a game (Price, Shields and Hellickson). St Louis isn’t built like that, they’ve got 4 guys who all have that “Storm Davis” feel to them. Carpenter has been very good the last month but the other 3 are just *guys*. Plus their closer situation is a joke. La Russa might hesitantly tell you that his closer is Salas but the truth is that there isn’t a guy down in that bullpen who La Russa trusts to close out a game. The Rays have Farnsworth closing this year and he’s been reliable but I just don’t like that guy based off what I saw from him earlier in his career. Dead straight fastball is what I remember. Maybe he’s changed his game, I don’t know.

That Rays game was just a wild ride, baby. I didn’t start watching it till someone texted me in the 8th inning. Did Girardi do anything wrong in that game at least in terms of *baseball book* stuff? I don’t think so. He obviously had a game plan of who the first 4 or 5 pitchers would be. They did take a 7-0 lead. His goal was obviously to prepare for Game 1 of the playoffs. Why should he be required to go all-out to win a game he didn’t need to win? I don’t have a problem with him pulling his starters as the game went on. Again, they were up 7-0. Once the Rays came back there was no reason for Girardi to change the game plan he had going into the game. If the team was good enough to build a 7-0 lead it’s obvious he wasn’t trying to lose the game last night. And why should the Yankees be required to keep all their aging players in a game that went extras and could have easily gone longer than 12? They did the minimum amount to compete in the game. That’s all you should be able to expect them to do in a game that was all about staying healthy and resting up for Game 1 vs the Tigers………

The FINAL Flap Fantasy League Standings

(a little gratuitous here, I am only posting the standings to highlight the 4 pt beat down I dropped on the league yesterday. Emphatic win for Team Flavor ūüôā ¬†I put the entire standings up so you can see how hard everyone played. “Moves” is the total number of waiver wire adds as well as any trade transactions that they participated in. Blade and G-Head played hard till the end. Fun playing with all you guys this year!)

 

 

What Will The Team Look Like in 2012?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 28, 2011

I’m marginally behind Jenkin’s Chron article this morning. I agree we won’t be going after any of the big FA guys. Not because we don’t need them but because we’re going to start seeing that *rainy day fund* start to grow. I suspect it’s a fund that will actually be 10 mini-funds that are kept in the back pocket of each executive board member.

I’d be fine with Jimmy Rollins at SS I just don’t know if the contract years can get worked out. He’ll be 33 this November, I would think HE sees this as his last big deal. Could he get 4 or 5 years from someone? Maybe. We should only offer him 2. We have a few guys (Crawford, Panik, and Twin’s guy) who are in the plans big time and will be here in 2013 at the latest.

Cuddyer would be fine. He’s a little like Ty Wiggington only better. Bring him aboard if the money works….

All those words written by Jenkins and not a single mention of the obvious need for a back up catcher…..

And we need a center fielder. Badly. I’m not even thinking of Gary Brown until 2013……

The Flap Fantasy Baseball League Standings

(With a game to go, it looks like most of the spots are wrapped up. It would take an epic collapse on the final day for me not to take home the coveted broken-headed Rich Aurilia Bobble Head (first place). After I win him back from Blade who won him last year (though kept him with me) I will attempt to glue that goddamn head back on and hope that this time it sticks. This Winter, he can give me a furious knowing dude head nod whenever I order him to.)

Go (away) Whitey and Voggy puts the Cherry on Top

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 27, 2011

Eli Whiteside is the luckiest man in the world. A man with no talent for his trade (at this level) has somehow managed to stay employed for 2 and 1/2 seasons and log over 500 at bats. He’s made over a million dollars. He’s got a World Series ring.¬†A guy like Justin Christian who is still trying to get a whiff of his 100th at bat in the BIGS must just look at Whitey and shake his head. With 2 games to go it’s stat-watch time. Will Whiteside keep his head above the Mendoza line? Probably. He’s at .201 right now and I don’t think going 0-8 the rest of the way would drop him below. It might, I don’t feel like doing the math. Bochy probably wouldn’t let it happen and Stew should get at least one more start.

Some of his stats the last 2 months are just mind blowing. How did Bochy continue to start him?

He’s hitting .103 in September.

In 58 at bats in Aug and Sept he has scored 3 runs. He’s got 2 extra base hits. He’s walked twice. His OPS for September is .271. Huh? .271? Just like they gave me 400 for writing my name on the SAT’s I thought they gave you an OPS of at least .300 for knowing where the batters box is. Apparently not.

I get that he’s the great clubhouse guy and everything. I would have been a good clubhouse guy, too. But for a team so bad at hitting a ball it was really just….unnecessary to have this guy continue to miss baseballs with such great frequency. Stewart or Hector the Collector would have been better. And I DO know that. Either would have checked in with an OPS over .271. Right?

Congratulations to Voggy on a fantastic season. He was better at home than on the road but in many ways he saved our season (at least in terms of keeping us in it for so long). He was a deserving winning of the Willie Mac Award, though if I had a say, I would have had Pablo and him split it…….

A Few Random Thoughts Before I Head Back to Room B

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 26, 2011

Baggs Blog noted the short list of players who had at least 200 K’s, a sub 2.75 ERA and a losing record.

Man, after taking a look at those 6 guys with the worst luck in the world I decided that Timmy didn’t have it nearly as bad as I thought. Check out good ol’ Ed Walsh who lost 20 games in 1910 while posting a 1.27 ERA. That’s insane. He went 40-15 in 1908. Oh well, different time, different game……….

It looks like Franchez finally bothered to show up to watch a game in Arizona (he lives there and is rehabbing, not sure why a guy under contract for NEXT year didn’t make all three games of that series). Once again, he might not be ready for Opening Day. It seems like every time that dude goes under the knife he waits about a month too long to get the surgery done. Who will the back up be? The obvious answer looks to be Keppinger. There will be something weird about basically offering him arbitration just to back up Sanchez. He’s a starter, or should be, on this club. He’s slumped lately but I am certain that has had something to do with a hand injury he suffered in Houston running into the first baseman. He’s a .300 hitter and this team needs all of those they can find. Anyway, he’s not a shortstop, so really he’s not versatile enough to play anything other than 2nd base. Actually, he’ll probably see a lot of time there in 2012 (assuming we offer him a deal). Franchez will be breaking down right around a week after Sabean trips over himself to offer him another extension……

Have a great day. I’m B-lining back to B…….

The Giants Have Officially Been Eliminated from the Playoffs

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 25, 2011

Well if you’re gonna get eliminated, get eliminated in style. 15-2. Didn’t leave much doubt with that stinker. I’ve been pretty pessimistic about Surkamp and yesterday’s start didn’t do anything to change my mind. He’s got a SO/BB ratio of 10/15 and that is just atrocious. You can’t hang at this level with that backwards-ass ratio. It’ll be interesting to see what they do for the 5 next year. It can’t be Zito. And I don’t think it’s Surkamp. Sabes might have to find himself another Voggy….

Surprisingly, being eliminated didn’t really bother me a bit. The writing has been on the wall for the last week or so. And the team kept this season *alive* as long as they possibly could. Making it to the 2nd to last series of the year with a shot at making the playoffs was about all we could ask of this broken-down, injured, no-hit team. It’s a shame we wasted a full season of a lights out pitching staff. You can’t count on years like this one being repeated too often….

Watching From the Rail: Pablo Sandoval, My Hat is Off to You

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 24, 2011

Everyone is boo-hooing for Cain and I’m with that group, too. But the guy I feel really bad for is The Panda. He’s had to sit on the bench a couple of times over the last week because he can’t swing right handed. It’s been like that for 6 weeks. His season of playing through pain hasn’t gotten nearly the acknowledgment that it deserves….

Last night, I went outside and swung Twin’s bat for a few minutes. It’s broken but I have re-taped in and it’s pretty swingable as long as it doesn’t make contact with anything. ¬†I was a switch hitter when I played (through high school). I probably had a little more power batting left handed, a better batting average right handed. Last night I kept going back and forth, right handed swing, left handed swing, etc. I imagined how Pablo felt at each point of his right handed swing. I wondered where the pain was. At what point does it get so bad that he has to shake his head sideways and say “I can’t go.”

Have any of you ever had shoulder pain? About 10 years ago I had awful right shoulder pain. It didn’t hurt at all unless I pointed my index finger at about a 60 degree angle. So I did what a smart man would be inclined to do and I didn’t point in that direction for a while. The pain went away. I wonder if Panda’s shoulder pain is pervasive. Does he feel it every time he jolts his body to get in front of a grounder? Does he feel it when he reaches for the salt shaker? Or is it just on right handed swings? Imagine how bad it must be for him to say “I can’t go.”

I didn’t have any interest in writing about last night or about the D-backs winning the NL West. But I did go to bed last night feeling bad for The Panda having to hang on the rail instead of start at 3rd base. His season of playing through pain and dealing with injury is something we should honor for longer than a moment…..

Going 6-0 The Rest of the Way!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 23, 2011

Ha. Oh well, I can dream. Honestly, the Giants have done just about as good as I could have hoped for after that pathetic month of August. Through all the injuries, the DFA’s, the silent bats and a surprise September boost from a ticketless sun dressed beauty, somehow this team is still alive with the most important series of the year about to start. Who didn’t circle this series as *critical* about 6 weeks ago? And sure enough, it still is. If we sweep the D-backs then it really will come down to the final series of the year for both teams. Granted, it’s an incomprehensible long shot that we force a tie in the division, but it is at least mathematically possible. And as I said, for a team that on Wednesday started a line up that didn’t have a single player on it from Opening Day, I find that astounding and will take this moment to appreciate how they didn’t quit when they could have easily done so. They kept the games meaningful until the 2nd to last series of the year. Not bad and certainly nothing to cry and complain about….

Going 6-1 The Rest of the Way

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 22, 2011

Lots of good things happened last night. To wit:

1) they beat up on Eveland allowing me to sleep last night

2) they ensured that the Dodgers couldn’t put a fork in us

3) the D-Backs “Viewing Party” was canceled

4) I got to use Pill as POTG again. I will never tire of searching for POTG pics for that dude…..

5) It kept the series this weekend relevant, at least for Friday’s game.

6) Oh, and they kept my 90 win total hope alive. It would have been technically *alive* even if they’d lost but I still like to have a game to play with since it looks like Surkamp is going to be getting a start in Arizona….

The Flap Fantasy League Standings

(things are sorting themselves out in the top 3 and Ed has pretty much locked up 11th place. That should feel like 1st place, my man, after the way your year started)

Frustrating Bump in the Road

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 21, 2011

That game sucked. The Giants weren’t facing the dominant 13K, 2 hit masterpiece that we often see from Kershaw. We had our chances. And each time they were scattered away. Three guys getting picked off 1st base in the first 2 innings ¬†(I’m lumping Torres in there since he was out by a mile at 2nd) is comically bad. We get a guy to scoring position in the 8th and Pablo swings through a totally hittable ball and Beltran doesn’t get a swing off, letting all balls go by peacefully, unmolested by his disinterested bat. He looked like Ryan Howard for a second. Then we get Burriss on 1st base and he doesn’t come close to producing the thing he’s there to do which is to steal 2nd and put himself in scoring position.

Meanwhile, AZ loses and last night would have been the PERFECT time to heap a boatload of pressure on them. Honestly, right now I just really want to make that series relevant and we can’t do that if we miss opportunities like we had last night. Execute or be executed……..

The only good thing that came out of last night’s loss was that tonight is a must-win (as are pretty much all the remaining games except maybe 1 if you think 90 wins gets it done). I’m glad The Dana Eveland Game is now a must-win. He is terrible, I don’t care what he did to us last time. This guy is a WALK MACHINE if you let him be one. The game he pitched against us on September 10th was the low point of the season, in my opinion. The next day the SDG took the reigns at The Flap and she’s been everything you could ask for from a dingy, huge-racked California girl. She doesn’t lose to “The Dana Eveland’s” of the world…….

Half Way Home

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 20, 2011

On September 12th, when I wrote “let’s go 14-2 the rest of the way and see what happens” I didn’t realize that I was being the voice of a doomer. Still with 2 losses to play with, now we only need to go 7-2 to get to 90 wins. And since we will probably be required to sweep Arizona to get there, I’m looking at both the WC and the division title as possibilities. Look, Atlanta is not playing very good ball right now. Watching Kimbrel wander off the mound in a daze after giving up that Infante bomb made me think they are in more trouble than losing a single game. They are still on the road and then have to finish with 3 against Philly. The Braves are a wide open target right now. I’m trying to get worked up to worry about the Cardinals but their pitching just isn’t doing it for me. True, they have an awfully easy schedule the rest of the way, but if Houston plays them like they played us we have nothing to worry about in terms of passing the Cards…..

Really, it’s a simple plan. Make up a game a day against at least one of those 3 teams and we might be playing the final game of the season with either the WC or the division on the line………

But first things first. We get Kershaw right out of the game. Then Eveland. Then Kuroda. Two of three is mandatory and I swear to God if the one loss is against that chump Eveland my infuriation (my made up word for losing to bad pitchers) will explode from here to the moon…….

Final thought: Does Bochy sit Huff for Pill tonight? My gut says he does and it’s the right call……

8 Straight and One Day at a Time……..

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 19, 2011

Quite a game delivered by our ticketless beauty yesterday. During the 4th inning, most of the patrons at First and Main were slapping themselves on the forehead and their buddies on the back as the Giants smacked bomb after bomb out of Coors Field. I must have heard “Where has this been all year?” about 15 times. I just smiled and quietly toasted each bomb to her royal highness…….

I’m not thinking for a second about how many games back we are or how many are left. The goal should just be to make up a game on at least one the teams in from of us (Braves, St Louis and D-backs) every single day. We’ve been doing that for over a week now. If we keep winning and make up a game a day on one or more of them, this will all take care of itself……..

Perfect time for a day off. After 4 games in Colorado the bullpen could use the rest. Actually, we didn’t get too chewed up but a day to re-charge is welcomed. And what a fantastic surprise to see Bee-Wheezy out there. Now he doesn’t have to wait out all Winter and into ST to see how that arm feels. I’m not certain about this, but I don’t think the bullpen blew even a single save in his absence. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong……..

She’ll spend the day dancing barefoot in a meadow dreaming up new ways to make us smile…….

 

Flap Fantasy League Standings

(extending my lead, Blade wills his way into 3rd place and then there is….the rest)

The REAL Reason Behind This Winning Streak

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 18, 2011

I’ve written a quick story (to the right under The Room B link) that tells the tale of the glorious Sun Dressed Goddess and all that she’s meant to this winning streak. It would be far too easy to give credit to the players or the coaches. In fact, most of the scribes are clueless as to the REAL reason the Giants are playing winning baseball. ¬†Yesterday, Ann Killion was on KNBR (right after Jenkins) and she noticed how the Giants didn’t start winning until all the pressure was off them and they felt as if their season was over. Jenkins said the exact same thing. Fools. All it really took was for me to anoint The Sun Dressed Goddess as the spiritual leader of Flavor Nation. From there, glory and destiny have collided into a perfect harmony and wins flow as freely as twigs on the shoulders of a gentle stream…..

Cainer going today against a guy (Rogers) who just isn’t a very good baseball pitcher. Normally, guys like that shut us down. Not today. She’s already hard at work scattering the particles into the universe and by game time will have the destiny of the day in perfect order. I’m hoping she spends a little time on this Niner game, too. ūüôā

Winning, Winning and More Winning…..

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 17, 2011

The Sun Dressed Goddess delivered us another victory last night. Six in a row since she became our leader. I bow to the greatness of her stupendous rack and would buy her a thousand train tickets if given the chance……

Weird to see Zito join the party last night. I appreciated Raggs comments about him. Next year he’ll be 34 and it’s just not realistic to expect that, even were he to re-capture a shadow of his former self, he would be able to make 33-34 starts a year. Who knows? If he came in as a reliever for 1 hitter or an inning he might be able to find some extra velocity. I don’t think it’s fair or even smart to NOT give him as chance to show us whether or not he can be a marginally effective reliever…..

Cody Ross goes down and that sucks. He was really hitting the ball well the last week or so. I’m assuming this is another chance for Torres to rise from the dead again. It just hasn’t happened for him this year but you never know, anyone can get hot for a week or two. We are going to need him to be productive at the top of the LU if we want to keep our Sun Dressed Goddess happy……

I’ve got no faith in Surkamp today. He could be one of our 2 remaining losses…….

 

*Steam Rolling to 14-2*, A Panda Cycle and A Final Thought on The Force Out of Bow Tie

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 16, 2011

On the morning of September 12th I made a casual reference to winning the Wild Card by going 14-2 the rest of the way. It wasn’t really a prediction, just a foggy thought as my morning coffee kicked in. Well, the Giants are making this a lot easier than I thought. They’ve won 4 in a row since that blog post (5 in a row total) and now we only have to go 10-2 the rest of the way to get to 90 wins. Will that be enough for the WC? Maybe. After they lay waste to the Mets they have 6 on the road and then finish against the Fillies. Will Bumpkin Manuel be resting his guys that series? We can only pray he doesn’t. But finishing the season strong with 90 wins would be a great accomplishment considering all of the adversity the team went through this season. May our Baseball-God sent Mascot, The Sun Dressed Chick, shepherd us through the valley of darkness and the tyranny of evil losses and gift us the 14-2 record that I asked for. She is 5-0 since being installed as The Flap Mascot…….

When Panda put his head down and turned 2nd towards 3rd base, I relinquished all thoughts of the Bow Tie Force Out for about 2 seconds. There are few things more exhilarating in baseball (for me) than watching Panda put his head down and look for another gear as he rounds 2nd and heads for 3rd. Great call by Kuip on that play. Miller’s call was a little underwhelming…….

I did some light googling on who the Giants 32 main investors are as well as who is on this 10 person Executive Committee and I came up empty. I’m sure it’s out there and if any of you can find the list I’d appreciate it. It’s obvious now that the organization will be run and directed by a Board of Directors and that is the 10 person committee. My assumption is that Baer wasn’t even one of the 32 main investors. Assuming that, Baer’s role will be to simply bring requests to the board and have them vote on it. What qualifies these 10 mysterious people to be voting on baseball decisions? And what qualifies Baer to present these decisions to this group? Baer is a salesman so that probably will work in his favor. And maybe he will just take what Sabean wants to do and present that to them. But this all feels very disconnected to me. It was probably hard enough to get one guy (Neukom) to sign off on major financial decisions, what will it be like to get 10 people to sign off on it? Do they have weighted votes based on their ownership stake? Do the “lower 32” have any say in this? Or is it just the “lower 22” since I am assuming the 10 executive committee people are part of the Main 32. Lots of assumptions going on right now and that’s tough to do with so many hazy generalities to deal with……..

 

Stunning News of Bow Tie’s Departure

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 15, 2011
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† I still haven’t been able to find out much more info than we heard last night. Neukom has been forced out by The Giants Executive Committee. The reasons have to do with poor communication and making decisions, mostly financial, without consulting the committee.
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† I’ve got no idea who is on the committee, what power they wield in day to day operations or what their expectations were of Neukom. Maybe he was brazenly shunning their input, ignoring their recommendations and failing to collaborate or even communicate major financial decisions ¬†to them. Since it looks like they hold some type of obvious power over whether he keeps or loses his position, that was probably a pretty big error on his part. I mean, how many of us could do the things listed above in our own workplaces and still retain our jobs? We’d all be fired….
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† So if all of that is true, I can at least see where the *committee* is coming from. But as a fan of the team and the game, this decision turns my stomach……
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† When Neukom took over for Magowan in October of 2008 he was walking into a disorganized mess. The team was still stuck in the transition from the steroid era, they were drowning in terrible contracts, the fan base was disillusioned and the team had just completed it’s 4th straight losing season. So he rolled up his sleeves, straightened his bow tie, and went to work. He wrote “The Giants Way” and made it the guiding constitution of the organization. At the time, it was mocked by many as some sort ¬†of corny Boy Scout pledge of allegiance. And yet as last ¬†season wore on and we ended up winning the World Series, we came to find out how important The Giants Way was to establishing order and purpose back to the organization….
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Personally, I was drawn to his appreciation of Sabermetrics. I think he had a huge influence in helping Sabean use these complex numbers that help evaluate talent and statistics in today’s game. I think this had a direct impact on the turnaround of the franchise…….
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Oh, and as a fan I was fairly happy with the fact that the team won a World Series on his watch. And since then he has made financial decisions with a clear intent to continue to try to help the team improve and not just rest on their laurels on last year. As a fan, that’s what you want your owner to do. As a *Committee Member*, you are angered by this and prefer the money be diverted to a Rainy Day Fund. Please, can someone explain to me what the hell that is?
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†But my full appreciation for Bow Tie came last August when I read one of WilcoJoe’s posts from the Houston Series he attended. I’ve re-posted it below. Besides the fact that we get a true glimpse of what kind of guy he is (a fan, just like all of us) I was struck by the metaphor of the moment: He’s sitting alone at a road game–no committee members in sight. While he’s consumed with the details of an 11 inning nail biter, the *committee members* and Baer are probably holed up in some office in San Francisco pouring over the latest financial statements of the team. I wonder if they even had the game on……
               
wilcojoe said, on August 21, 2011:

“‚ĶI was really enamored by him (Neukom) sitting there by himself for the entire 11 innings‚ĶYou know they always show shots of Larry Baer at AT&T and he‚Äôs always gabbing with someone.. It‚Äôs a wonder he‚Äôs never been hit in the head by a Cody Ross bat‚ĶThe Astros soon to be former owner McLane sits in the first row behind homeplate, so as to always be in the camera‚Äôs angle..Plus he leaves everygame around the 6th inning‚ĶBut seeing Neukom there, cupping hands to mouth, quietly cheering on his team was a revelation to me‚ĶThe guy is probably as big a fan as all of us here‚ĶThat‚Äôs the kind of leader you hope to have, but rarely will ever see‚ĶEspecially in today‚Äôs big business of professional sports.”

As a fan of the team and ¬†as someone who loves the game of baseball, I’m disgusted by the news that came out last night……….

A Sign of Good Things to Come: Another Walk Off Win

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 14, 2011

Earlier in the year it seemed we’d win games like last night at least once or twice a week. Maybe that’s a sign of something to come. We’ve won 3 in a row and are playing loose, crisp, winning baseball right now. I understand the odds against us but has anyone checked Atlanta’s schedule? Yes, they now get 3 against the Mets at home. But after that they go on the road for 6 and then finish at home against Philly. Imagine if the Giants keep winning and they are only a couple game out with the last home stand to play. How infuriating will it be to watch Country Bumkin Manuel rest half his guys on that last series. But you know what? In that situation, I don’t think he would. Philly is desperate to get a piece of us and show the East Coast that last year was a fluke. I think they would try to eliminate the Braves to get another shot at us in the playoffs. So if we keep winning and the Braves keep stumbling and my theory plays out in the final home stand of the season……

“so, you’re tellin’ me there’s a chance?”

Absolutely.

Today is fairly critical, they all are from here on out. Look, Colorado is completely *sweepable*. They’re already looking at Rosario at catcher for the rest of the year, their pitching sucks and Car-Go and Tu-Lo couldn’t be more focused on individual stats right now. If we head in there with a purpose and a plan we could easily sweep them…..

I’m just sayin’……

And finally, I’d like to point out that since I made the “Sun Dressed Chick” the official Flap Mascot, we have won three games in a row…..

Keeping the Dream Alive

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 13, 2011

I’ve spent the last month drowning in the misery of my own bad predictions. I was certain the D-backs would fold as the Summer wore on, we would steamroll past them in early September and head to our *now* rightful place in the playoffs. Whoops…..

So I’ve concocted a new dream and it seems infinitely more likely to unfold than the last one. It’s *The Wild Card Dream*. Atlanta’s lost 4 straight and if the D-Backs aren’t going to ever lose 2 games in a row again then why can’t it be the Braves who pull-a-Padres from 2010 and hiccup their way to an earlier than planned off season? In the dream, I have conveniently left out St. Louis since I really don’t have time to be dreaming of leapfrogging 2 teams at this point in the season. But right now, with 15 to go and 6.5 out, I’d rather take my chances against a team that’s lost 4 in a row than a team that has laid waste to everything in it’s path since the all star break….

If it’s going to happen, it’s going to have to happen like it did last night. Ross needs retain his one-game Bossness from last night, Pablo needs to keep crushing the ball and Beltran just has to pretend that he’s even slightly interested–despite last night’s game, he’s just gone through a week of paying less attention to the games than an entire class of unmedicated ADD kids. The good news is that he hates ATT Park so he will like the road trip they are about to embark on…..

In short, this is totally doable. It’s at least totally *dream-able*. Why not? Look, I’ve tried on the “Play the kids-Wait till next year thing” and it’s about two Falls too small. Uninteresting. And if you don’t like dream try some common sense. We are about to go on a 10-game roadie. Getting away from ATT could be just what we need. I know Carlos Beltran needs it. Playing on the road in half empty parks far away from the mind games that ATT has been playing on our hitters all year could just do the trick….

So I’ll get back to you guys a little later– gotta go dream out the rest of this and find out how it ends……

Winning the Wild Card, Finishing Ahead of the Dodgers and Alex Smith

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 12, 2011

Now that we are closer to winning the WC than we are to winning the division, let’s all turn our attention to some Braves score board watching. ¬†Come on! Who’s with me! Hey, let’s go 14-2 the rest of the way and see what happens. ūüôā

Do any of you really care if we finish ahead of the Dodgers? I mean, REALLY CARE. Are you scoreboard watching their games? Personally, I would like to see us stay ahead of them but I really don’t care much one way or the other…..

Alex Smith: I replied to Dennis’ post last night but only because he chose to take our discussion from Chuck’s New and Improved Blog to The Flap. But that will be THE END of the Alex Smith discussions here at my blog. I don’t mind some Niner talk and referencing Smith in that context, especially if the reference isn’t made the way a third grader or a serial killer would reference him. But if you have something ongoing to say about the Niners or the QB, say it over at Chuck’s blog. There’s a link to the right…..

Another Discouraging Loss

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 10, 2011

I don’t think I’ve ever stopped to acknowledge how brilliant Lincecum’s year has been. We’ve all heard about the “10 starts without receiving any run support” stat. I just looked up his last 7 wins. In those wins he’s given up 1,0,1,0,1,1,0 runs. That’s just what you have to do if you want to get a W as a starting pitcher on this staff. Ask Cain what it takes to get a win. He’s been here since 2005, has a career ERA of 3.35 and his record is 68-72. Voggy made a single mistake in his last start and took the L. Bumgarner has won 3 starts in a row–and he’s given up 3 total runs in those starts. That’s just what you have to do when you’ve got the worst hitting team flailing and failing behind you……

This is why I think Cain and Timmy, and eventually BUmgarner, will be leaving for the Yankees or Red Sox when they break free of the arbitration shackles. They’ve got their World Series ring, they have their place in history. If they ever want their place in the Hall of Fame, they need to start piling up the win total. Big time. Cain is in a much bigger hole than Timmy but it is an utter joke that Lincecum is 12-12 with a freaking 2.68 ERA…….

Extremely excited to see Voggy pitch in person tonight. He’s probably going to be over-amped as he’ll be feeling the weight of the Willie Mac Award as he takes the hill. But I am in the minority (and have been all year) since I think this is not a one-year wonder thing for him. He has decent stuff but what has always impressed me about him is how well he locates his pitches throughout a game. When he gets into trouble it’s because he’s trying to shave too much of the plate early in the count. He’s got the stuff to go after them early and finish them off late with the location. I wouldn’t hesitate to give him a 2 year deal for 6 million (total)………

The Flap Fantasy Baseball Standings

(I continue to lead, though my lead is dwindling, Blade gear up for one last assault on the top spots and Denny picks up 5 in one day? Very nice. Unlike the NL West, the Flap League Title could go down to the final day)

Dodgers Suck

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 9, 2011

Someone sent me this pic earlier in the season and I kept it for some reason. Anyway, here it is:

 

 

I’m going to the game tomorrow. Totally bummed to be missing Kershaw by a day, I’ve always wanted to see him pitch live. But hey, it’s the Dodgers and we hate them. I hope they somehow scratch a run off this dude tonight. He’s so freaking tough on us and this year I think it’s very possible he wins the CY this year. Pill plays tonight, right? How about two miracle bombs for him. OK, I’ll settle for one…….

 

Finding Ways to Lose Games + Thread Number 5-Hundo

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 8, 2011

There are lots of ways to lose baseball games: bad hitting. bad pitching. bad defense. Because of the historic *badness* of the offense, that gets most of the publicity for why we lose. But ther fact is, this team has been bad defensively this year, especially in the 2nd half of the season. Last year they had 73 errors for the entire season. This year, we’re already at 98 and near the bottom of the NL. Cabrera made his 5th error in his 32nd game as a Giant. That’s bad. Really bad. By now, everyone has read Bochy’s comments about Cabrera and why he will continue to play him. Sorry, but he’s just being stubborn. Last year he played the vets through rough patches because that’s what they would hit: rough patches. Cabrera has been horrible all season. He was bad in Cleveland and has gotten worse in San Francisco. It is an obvious mistake to keep playing him………

Another big mistake: not pinch running for Pill yesterday. It was the 7th inning and you’ve got a bench full of speed, Huff ready to come in and play first base (or Belt) and maybe your last chance to score in the game. If Burrell didn’t hit a no-brainer fly ball you simply HAVE to have your fastest runner barreling down the line. Pill has marginal speed, at best…….

Neither of these decisions seem complicated to me (sit Cabrera and PR for Pill). And yet BOTH didn’t happen and the failure to make either or both changes led to yesterday’s loss. And I don’t want to hear any drivel about me not being a major league manager and Bochy being freaking God because he is one and he won the World Series last year. I’m not questioning for a second his genius run through the playoffs last year. He was brilliant. But he’s not perfect, no one is and he’s made several questionable decisions down the stretch this year. With a team so barely on the margin of winning and losing right now, the tipping point sometimes is going to be the manager’s late inning decisions. Bochy, along with several of his players, needs to tighten up his game right now………

And now, it’s time to recognize a Flap Milestone: Today is the 500th Thread I’ve posted at wordpress. It’s actually more than that, but I’ve had to delete several whole threads due to, well, I’ll just say “sub-standard content”. But today there are exactly 500 out there to read. There are over 69,000 comments by all of you guys, I can’t imagine the number of total words written here. There have been some high points and low points for the blog but I really am proud of the overall 500 and I honor the contributions from all of you. Collectively we make this, in my opinion, the best Giants baseball blog out there especially in terms of fan interaction. If you haven’t been able to tell, my goal for the Flap has always been this: Create a place on the internet where Giants fans can come together and watch a game, share their informed baseball insight in an honest, sometimes raw way, without fear of mindless moderation but at the same time feeling protected from unnecessary troll abuse. For the most part, I think we’ve nailed that goal. Let’s make the next 500 better than the first………

Paying Your Dues Paying Off For Some

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 7, 2011

Remember Phil Nastu? Well, most of you Flappers do. And I’m sure Nasty’s family does. Apparently Baggs does, too, as he gave The Nasty One a shout out in his blog column today. I find that fairly gynormously ironic that Phil Nastu was the poster boy for our random retro-Giant of the Week 2 Winters ago. He was THE guy who stood for the big leaguer who almost no one remembered. I cranked called his house. His brother came to the blog and invited us to meet them at a game and buy their cheap asses a beer. Remember?

And what struck me was how it all intertwined with last night’s LU. I’ve said many times that I can’t remember another position player story like Andres Torres— a guy who doesn’t have a break out year till he’s 31 and would likely have never gotten a 2nd opportunity if it weren’t for Sabean taking a flier on him. Do you ever wonder how many guys like that are toiling in the minors who, if just given a chance, could do what Torres did last year? And he got paid, too, with a salary (2.2 mil) that will help him take care of his family. For a guy who has said publicly that he didn’t have shoes for a few years as a kid, he’ll probably be able to make that dough go a long way…..

Next connected twist: Justin Christian starts in CF last night. At the same age as Torres was last year, playing the same position with a similar skill set, and carrying a similar story as Torres– the forgotten minor leaguer who stuck with his trade, finally getting a shot at the Big Leagues. Actually, there a probably a lot of “Christian’s” who get 40-50 at bats at this level. But how many of them go “Torres” on the league? Christian would be the second to do so……..

And who’s hitting a few spots away from him? Brett Pill. Mr. 27 Year Old career minor leaguer who has been passed over more times than Chuck in a Whore House. And what’s he do? Bangs a bomb, A BOMB, in his first at bat. The smile on his face as he rounded third was priceless. And his family looked like they had just won the lottery…..

Who knows, that could be Pill’s last HR he ever hits and Christian might end up telling his kids one day about a couple of random September starts he got with the Giants in the final year he ever got a shot up here. Or maybe they go “Torres” on the league and find a way to will their way onto the team next year. Who knows?

I just found it amazing that you’ve got as Baggs blog reference to Nastu (a Flap cult character), on the same day you have Christian starting in Torres’ OF spot with Pill hitting his first HR in his first at bat after 2796 at bats in the minor leagues. There is some weird karmic connection to all of that….

And it’s a good kind of karma. Christian and Pill have ridden a thousand bus rides down there. They get called up for the last 22 games (maybe 24 or so for Pill). The mlb minimum is $414,000 a year in 2011. That will score them in the $58,000 range for the rest of the season. Hey, it’s not *Torres Money* but it’s a start. And you KNOW those guys need that kind of a payday. I couldn’t be happier for them, and I hope they are the type of guys who stopped long enough to appreciate this opportunity and that they honor every single second that they’re up here. The high fiving, bear-hugging Pill family looks like they aren’t missing a moment of this September ride……..

Missing that *Magic* Feeling

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 6, 2011

I think we are right around the 1 year anniversary of that 4-bomb miracle game vs LA. What a game that was. What a time that was. I didn’t get around to doing a new thread yesterday because I was busy but I think it also had a little to do with not wanting to think about the *reality* of where we are this year. ¬†Even though it’s only been a year, I forgot how underwhelming it can be to watch my team turn to “playing the kids”, especially when the kids we have up here are, in my opinion, not part of the core future of this club. I know we didn’t do that yesterday. It’s more of a mind set for teams that are out of it. And right now we are on the outskirts of the periphery of being *in* it……

Last September (and October), every day was filled with so much ¬†excitement and anticipation. I’m not just talking about the team, I’m talking about how it affected my daily life. Every morning I was getting out of bed, actually it was more like bouncing out of bed, driven by a fire I can’t remember ever feeling before. And for roughly 2 months, it permeated my life. If there were 6 people in line at the grocery store there’s a good bet that at least 3 of them would be sporting newly grown beards. Everywhere I went people wanted to talk about the Giants and every conversation was filled with energy and positivity. It was a trip, I was living in a world that was all-Giants all the time. The only world I’d ever known like that was at The Flap. And it had now become ¬†a part of my 3-D life. It was awesome.

Obviously, this September is a different September. It just feels kind of dead to me. Last year as the season passed into Fall I swear to God the trees at my house turned orange AND black. This year, it’ll just be the regular Fall colors. And I’m not *giving up on my team* or any of that nonsense. I will continue to carry with me a low grade level of hope until we are mathematically eliminated…..

But yesterday I was trying to figure out why I wasn’t that motivated to watch the game and why I didn’t go out of my way to put up a new thread. And then I figured out why. It might have had a little to do with a mild hangover of losing Sunday’s game but it didn’t have anything to do with effectively being out of the race. It had to do with missing that unreal feeling from last year. And my way of dealing with not getting to feel it was to put the game and the team out of my mind….

Nothing about this realization changes much for me. I still miss that feeling. I’ve gone through countless September’s that didn’t matter. Unfortunately, when you go through one like 2010 you never want to go through anything other than that ever again. I guess that’s the one main fall out from too much ¬†b-a-s-k-i-n-g….

But that 4-Bomb Miracle game, man, that was some game wasn’t it?

Waiting for the Final Death Blow

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 4, 2011

One thing has been established: Having a group of Flappers get together doesn’t bring any luck to the team. It’s not very good for your liver, either. My head hurts. I imagine that the Giants *team* head, if there was one, hurts today, too….

I’m sure a lot of you remember the Ali/Holmes fight in 1980. As a boy watching that fight, I remember marveling at the fact that Ali refused to go down, despite being battered by Holmes. Today’s game might feel a little like that. Ali just couldn’t make a go of it in the 11th (nor should he have). Had he gone out there, I suspect he would have been leveled with one last, powerful blow.

That’s what today’s game might feel like today for us. One more loss and it would be difficult to even *imagine* the Giants coming back and winning this thing. I’m not afraid to watch the game and I’m not worried about about facing the fact that the season is effectively over if we lose–I waved bye bye to confidence and reality a few days ago. It’s hard to even muster up any feelings of regret since I think we did about as well as we could have with the players we had this year. Last year was our year. This year appears to be the D-backs year. It’s not the end of the world or anything…….

I was going to fill this thread with several questionable decisions from Bochy and one huge one by Beltran but I’m just not in the mood. I feel like I talked that all out last night. I’ll tell you, even though we lost the game, I declare the First Ever Flap Party to be a huge success. We had a great time watching the game, getting to know each other and talking baseball literally the entire time–San Dawg challenged us with a few unreal trivia questions (ex: what unusual word is stitched into Tim Lincecum’s glove?), we took informal polls about in-game decisions, we talked Giants history and by my count our waitress DeeDee bent over and flashed us her cleavage approximately 372 times–it was a ¬†great night and it made the loss slightly easier to tolerate. This is a photo taken from my phone, I think there’s a better one floating around out there taken from an actual camera. From left to right you have: WillieD, James, San Dawg, Flavor, and Ewisco. I would guess that screen names were used about 75% of the time over actual names when referring to each other in conversation. That’s gold, baby……

Raising the Level of Intensity…..

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 3, 2011

While the D-backs were busy polishing off the finishing touches on that 9 game win streak, I doubt they ever had to face anything like they faced last night. They brought a strut into our yard and we gave them a smack-down reminder of what it takes to win at the *next level*. I’m hoping this is the reality-test they needed to break up the confidence they had generated over the last month or so. It’s one thing to sweep a dead team going through the motions in your own yard. It’s another thing to play baseball in a playoff atmosphere in a hostile yard…

Last night’s game reminded me a little of Kobe who would cruise through the regular season and then ramp it up in the playoffs (at least, minus the *cruising* part). Beltran absolutely took his game to another level last night. Burrell transformed the dugout into shades of October, 2010. Cain miraculously got through 8 innings of man-work and if you’d have told me in the 3rd he was gonna go 8 full I would have called you insane……

The team needed that game last night. We needed that game last night. And the D-backs found out last night that there’s a big difference between playoff baseball and dog-days of Summer baseball. I was so proud on my team last night……..

No More Excuses; It’s Showdown Time

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 2, 2011

I’m not sure what I’m more surprised by, the fact that we are 6 games back of them or the fact that the D-backs have won 9 in a row. I remember when Stephen Drew went down. I thought they were done. Drew wasn’t having the greatest year but he was one of their leaders, if not their main leader. And it just never happened. They got BETTER after Drew went down. I look up and down that line up and I still see a bunch of free swingers hitting .230-something chumps. They’ve obviously got a stronger line up than we do. I was on a Little League team that won the PA City Championships that could probably outhit this current crew. Montero can hit and is an obvious upgrade over whatever the Hell that is that we trot out at catcher. But mostly, they’ve got a lot of guys who can run into one on any given swing. And we can go 6 games without someone running into one. That’s a huge difference when the pitching on both sides is so good. And while I don’t really fear any of their pitchers and feel like we have a better staff across the board, the fact is, the D-backs have put together a nice team ERA this year. It’s mid-pack in the NL but pretty much every pitcher on that staff has an ERA in the 2’s and 3’s. That’s solid and a huge difference from what they did last year…..

So I am going to remain hopeful that we sweep this series. I still say 2 out of 3 keeps us with a pulse since we have 3 more vs them late in the month. If they stumble a bit after leaving SF and we start winning again, that could be showdown time in Arizona. But that’s a long way off. Tonight is all that matters…..

And I want to ask you guys a favor: If tonight is the same old stuff let’s try not to direct the venom towards each other. Everyone single one of us is frustrated by the output of the team this year. It doesn’t make it any less frustrating to have the blog turn on itself. If we do suck tonight it really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone so prepare yourself for a “big league hang with ’em”. Keep your expectations low and your hope high, if that’s even possible. But I really hope we win tonight, if for nothing else to keep the Flap Party tomorrow evening a little more interesting, at least in terms of the outcome of the game. If we lose, it is highly likely that The Flap Party could turn into a Wake and the irony of that is just stunning to consider……

What the Fall Out will be From the “Row-ada” Exits…..

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on September 1, 2011

Probably not much. The bloggers will have 2 fewer targets to direct their venom. But there are still plenty to take aim at as Beltran will be finding out soon enough. He’s probably at the front of the line with Dirrrrrrty and Zito on the DL and Row-ada getting let go yesterday. Ross, Huff, Torres and Burrell did too much for us last year to ever end up taking on the bulk of the fans furor…..

How will the loss of those guys effect team chemistry? Not as much as consistently winning would have effected it. Everyone talks about this magically 2010 and how all the guys came together with a common goal, arm in arm, etc…But that happened for one reason: a bunch of guys, many of who were outcasts and unwanted by their previous teams, all came together to have career years (or months as in the case of Ross) and they were winning games consistently. THAT is what builds chemistry. And I’ll tell you something, almost everyone is good at winning. Winners come together pretty easily when they were all thought to be losers and they are proving everyone wrong by winning. Consistently.

Then the off season came. Who knows what went down. Lots of celebration and extended partying. Maybe some of them weren’t working out as hard. A few guys got some very nice, “take care of your family” contracts handed to them (deservedly so). A couple of guys got married and/or had kids. Their priorities might have changed a little as they had crossed off “winning the world series” off the list of ¬†things they wanted to do in their lifetime. Then 2011 starts with high expectations but the core guys all get injured and last year’s miracle guys all took 3 giant steps backwards at the exact same time. New guys get brought in at the break sending a message to the guys currently playing that management is moving on from the magic of the 2010 guys. Maybe a little animosity about those moves. More losses pile up. And the guys that are so good at handling winning might not be as good at handling losing. Presto: you now have some shady team chemistry.

So losing Row-ada was nice. I enjoyed both of those designations immensely. But I don’t think for a second that the current team chemistry is going to improve much. That will get better when one single thing happens: they start winning consistently. And could there be a better opportunity than a weekend of Sept games against your division arch rival (at least this year) as their strut into town carrying a nine game winning streak (along with some fabulous team chemistry)? We’re going to be trying to beat them without the magic of 2010. And they have found the same magic in 2011. It’s gonna be tough……..

Anyone can be good at winning. How you act when you win doesn’t impress me. It’s how you act when you lose that shows me your true character. Learning to lose with class and dignity is something you are either good at or you’re not. If you’re not, it’s very likely that your team starts turning on each other. I don’t think that’s happened in SF. But the good vibes from 2010, even for the guys who still here, have been washed away by a season of losses and injuries and a National Media that is now collectively writing ¬†“they are who we thought they were.” That’s a misguided notion considering all of the key injuries we’ve sustained. But it HAS to have an impact on the attitude the players take day in and day out. Again, this is where the bad chemistry comes from, not from 2 guys like Row-ada……