A Place To Talk About Giants Baseball

The Flap is Back

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 30, 2011

Ok, we are back on track, back in the saddle, back in black, whatever you want to call it. I’ve been patiently waiting for some big Giants news to come out and it finally happened: Boof Bonser has signed a minor league deal with the team! This coming on the heels of the El Presidente re-sign deal and we have now REALLY got it rollin’ here in December……

One of old friends, *Chi Power* emerged from his self imposed exile and it was great to see him posting again. He brought up a topic that isn’t new here (signing Lincecum) but noted the rumor of the Giants having offered Timmy an extension of 4yrs/80 mil last Summer. Apparently Tim’s reps shot that down and we’ve already heard about his desire to secure an 8 year deal. Good luck with that…….

It’s assumed that Timmy will go to arbitration this year but he could still work something out with Giants management. Maybe another 2 year deal. Personally, I think that a 4 yr/80 million dollar offer makes sense for both sides. For the player it offers lifetime security in case of injury. It would offer a type of security for the team, too. For starters, it locks up your ace-hole for the next 4 baseball seasons. That’s huge and 20 million a year is just what those guys make a year. Minimum. I wouldn’t be worried about a *Zito Regression* by giving him a deal like that. In fact, he would only be 30 at the start of the season in the final year of that deal. And you can’t worry about a player getting injured when they’re still pitching in their 20’s. Plus, 4 years isn’t really a *long term deal* like the one Zito signed. It’s long and probably feels longer because Sabean doesn’t seem to do more than a 2-year deal these days. But it’s not some *lifetime deal*. And the fact is, if Sabean keeps insisting on building a team around his pitching, he’s going to need all the stud pitchers he can get. After trading away Wheeler, as we know, there isn’t much left in the pitching prospect tank.

That should worry Sabean big time and he’s going to need Timmy locking down the peak of the pitching staff while he replenishes the minor league system with pitching rich talent through the draft. As a side note, I’ve always felt that the Giants should be drafting HITTERS instead of pitchers because it’s almost impossible to get a good free agent hitter to come here because of our park. If you draft them, and they sign, they HAVE to play for you. Regardless, Sabes isn’t doing it that way and it’s never really bothered me because the flip side is BUYING your pitchers through free agency instead of the draft and I’m just not really down with that. Pitchers have significantly more constant and isolated wear and tear on a very specific area of the body (arm/shoulder) by the time they hit free agency than a hitter who has more of a general wear and tear dispersed throughout their body. To me, it’s more likely that the player who has concentrated and consistent wear and tear on a single body part is more likely to get injured than a player who disperses the wear and tear throughout the body. But as a general philosophy it would seem to reason that if you would have no problem enticing a FA pitcher to sign with you that you build your team by drafting hitters and signing pitchers. Oh, well, got on a tangent there, sorry……

The other main reason I would sign Lincecum to a 4 year deal is because it would allow us to……..wait for it……..trade him. TRADE HIM????? Yes, that’s what I said. Look, the Giants are likely going to stay competitive over the next 4 years. But what if they don’t? Or what if Sabean DOESN’T re-stock the minor league pitching system? If we are 10 games out of it in July of 2014 wouldn’t it be nice to know that Sabes could trade Timmy for 4 or 5 stud blue chippers. And if he’s still got another year on his deal it would make him look much more attractive to a trade partner. It would be very difficult to trade him for a plentiful bounty if he’s only going to be a rental for the receiving team. And that’s what he’s going to be if we just go year to year with him before he reaches free agency……

The bottom line is, almost every elite team has an ace making 20+  million a year. We got burned on the Zito deal but a lot of teams get burned with big free agent signings. The key is to not put ourselves in a position like that again. And you’re just not risking that if you sign a 27 year old player to a 4 year deal. We’re likely always going to be paying a pitcher who makes 20+ million a season. If we aren’t, we likely aren’t competitive anymore. I would much rather pay that type of scratch to a player who I know and love than some free agent dude who’s given his best years to the back of his baseball card…… Now, if Sabean gives Timmy a full no trade clause in a 4 year deal I’ll be pissed. But if we get a pitcher in the prime of his career who I can trade for many prospects if I decide to at some point during the deal (excluding the final year)? Sign me up……. ______________________________________________________________________________

Retro Game of the Day It’s been about a week since we did a RGOTD and I’ve lost my interest in 1982. Let’s move on to 1983–another below average year, we finished in 5th place with 79 wins. But today it’s Opening Day and there’s no other day of the year that brims with more positivity and confidence. Kruk and Kuip joined the team in ’83. Krukow pitched the opener and did not look like an ace. He didn’t make it out of the 2nd inning. We lost this barn burner 16-13…….

Merry Christmas, Flapper Nation!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 25, 2011

This isn’t a very Christmasy post, but it’s better than the one I had planned on writing. No polls, none of that stuff. Let me be clear about something: When I have banned someone, it wasn’t because I’m was on some power trip. I did it to protect the integrity of the blog. Having a different opinion is one thing, but when you cross the line and become a *sh!t disturber* there is no place for you at The Flap (or in The Nation 🙂 )

I think I do a pretty good job of monitoring this place….

I’m not on a power trip…..

And I’m not banning anyone today. Look, the sh!t disturbers can get under my skin the same way they get under yours. I WILL do what Twin taught me to do: If I see a post that I think is a designed sh!t disturbing post from a known sh!t disturber, I will simply edit the message to something that makes you look stupid. So go ahead and take your time crafting the perfect sh!t disturbing message—I will ruin it with something clever of my own…..

Having different opinions is fine. Arguing with someone is fine. Even putting someone down or using curse words directed at someone, it’s ok if it’s in moderation……

But saying the same goddamn thing every goddamn day and getting the same goddamn reaction from your fellow bloggers, is something I won’t tolerate here at The Flap from today until I shut this bad boy down some time next Winter. Post 1000 will be almost cathartic for me, I think……

I hope you guys have a good day. Find something or someone to appreciate. I’ve been up pretty much all night keeping the dream alive. I am fairly certain this is the last Christmas I get with my little girl believing in Santa. She already figured out the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy earlier this year, mostly due to my carelessness, and she has been sketching hard on Santa. Her plan was to stay up all night and see if he did, in fact, come down the chimney. I did a lot of work to keep the legacy of the jolly fellow in tact. I think he got more sleep than I did 🙂 But she still believes, at least for today, so my work here is done. And at the end of THIS day, that is the only thing that matters to me and the best present I could get. Yes, shockingly, even better than The Forecaster. 🙂

An Early Christmas Present: The Baseball Forecaster has Arrived……

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 24, 2011

My 2012 Baseball Forecaster showed up at my door yesterday–it’s the one Christmas present I look forward to each year. You can certainly find a lot of the information on the internet for free–fangraph’s is one site, you can find that in my link column. But there’s something I like about having it all right in front of me, every sabermetric number you could ever want for every single player in the league last year. They also do an outstanding job of translating the numbers as some of it is hard to understand. I won’t bore you with the numbers, but the Forcaster does give a blurb for each player and I thought I’d share some of the more interesting ones. They aren’t always kind and sometimes are rather funny. These blurbs may seem incomplete, they leave the numbers crunching to you and couldn’t fit all that into a little blurb anyway.  They also don’t factor in things like medication imbalances (Torres) or bad attitudes (Pagan) and they went to press a couple of months ago I think so they don’t mention any trade outcomes or FA destinations. Some of players I’m listing off are fairly obvious, I just thought you’d like to see what they say about our most interesting SF giants—just for shits and giggles.

They don’t nail every player’s upcoming season but they often do and I wouldn’t be able to compete in fantasy baseball without the direction given to me by the ‘Forecaster…….

Eli Whiteside– (obviously Whiteside won’t ever play on anyone’s fantasy team but I figured there would be some here who would be interested in his *blurb*): “Blame Posey for having to subject us to this debacle. Back up catcher saw more playing time than expected and showed conclusively his bat is unworthy of anything close to regular at bats. Lacking power, his extreme FB% (flyball %) merely resulted in a ton of routine outs. Can be safely ignored.”

Chris Stewart: 5th mlb team in 5 seasons. “This caddy just doesn’t have the pop to offer any any value with the bat. Even if insanely low h% normalizes at all , we’re still talking spitting distance of Mendoza line. Meanwhile, RC/G R$ shows he’s equally pestilent in any game format.”

Angel Pagan: “Another year, another 30 sb’s, but be careful. Spd decline, especially in 2nd half, suggests those days could be numbered even if aberrant h% normalizes. Poor health says we can’t bank on 500 at bats anymore. Some will look at 30 sb’s as his baseline. You’ll heed warnings and look for premium wheels elsewhere. ”

Andres Torres: “Early season achilles strain cost him a full month. Hit more fly balls merely producing more outs as 2010 power outburst was unsustainable and Xba plummeted accordingly. When a career year comes at after age 30 the odds of a comparable follow up year are almost nil.”

Ryan Vogelsong: “After an absence of 4 full major league seasons, this was as unlikely a return to mlb as we may ever see.  xERA says it wasn’t quite as good as it looked. Age and utter lack of support for this level of success says to not bank on a repeat.”

Mad Bum: “Hard to find a discouraging trend here. Gains in DOM and CMD, particularly exciting. Closed with a flourish in 2H in part by minimizing struggles with RHB. Last year, we said “sign us up.” This year we say “Renew our membership.”

Brian Wilson: “Fear the beard? Should have feared the regression instead. ERA corrected to a level more consistent with his xERA history. Injuries likely drove the CMD erosion. But if elbow is sound, he should remain in upper echelon of closers.”

Brandon Belt: In between frequent rides on the SF/Fresno shuttle, he continued to flash appealing skills. MLB contact% of 70% isn’t good enough but mle’s say he can do better. It may take a while for him to hit .300 but power stroke Px 154 minors/125 majors says power stroke may be here now. Up: 30 hr’s”

Aaron Rowand: “Eye and Px erosion have sent him into a downward spiral. Full time days are long gone. A fine target in leagues that don’t have use for BA, HR’s, RBI’s, or sb’s….”

Panda: Fractured hamate bone zapped power in 1H but boy did it return in 2H. That 2010 power outage looks like a blimp now. I mean blip. .625 road slugging % gives us tease of his upside and his power wasn’t affected by ATT before ’11. With health, fitness and a few more fly balls his upside is .330/35/110″

Melky Cabrera: “Rode expanded PT and career at bats to *break out* season. But most skills were just a slight improvement on 2009. Prorate his ’09 stats to 658 at bats at see for yourself. BA spike was driven by hit rate and will regress. SB spike driven by more opps–prime regression candidate.”

Matt Cain: “Exemplary DOM/DIS splits. Even added more ground balls to an already ultra stable skill set. For 3 years he’s been riding a bit of a hit-rate hot streak, but nonetheless, he remains a very solid investment. ”

Sergio Romo: “skills for the ages. 200+ BPV for 5 of 6 months, along with a 32/1 so/bb over his last 32 innings. slider remains untouchable and he throws it 54% of the time now. late season elbow inflammation bears watching. But if health/opportunity align….up: 30 saves”

Nate Schierholtz: “Pro: mlb career highs in both hr’s and sb’s. Con: they were both in single digits. 1h sb *binge* was an aberration but that small sample 2h px spike, which xPx says could have been even greater, is enough to hold our attention for a little longer. But this is your last chance Nate. UP: 20 hr’s”

Huff: In his last 4 seasons he’s channeled his inner Saberhagen with virtually carbon copy skills in even and odd years. Can he continue the pattern? With plate skills fairly stable, stat output is at the whim of h% and hr/f. He’s 35 and if his 2H at bats become the norm, he may not have a chance to rebound. Bid cautiously.”

Dirrrrty Sanchez: “How bad was it? He walked 4 or more batters in almost half his starts, and only went one start without issuing a walk. But until a rough patch in June (before hitting DL) he was maintaining a 2.0 CMD. If he’s healthy, treat his 2011 as his downside and bid accordingly. ”

There might be others I could have hit, but I’ve got other stuff to go do now. Have a good Christmas eve…….

A side note: Today was the 600th post here at The New Flap. When I hit 1000 I’m walking away…….

Who Will Never Play in the Major Leagues Again?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 23, 2011

Yesterday’s RGOTD got me thinking about this one. Jose Barrios got a start in his third day in the big leagues after playing in the minors for nearly 7 years. He was gone 2 weeks later. Last year’s roster had an awful lot of players on it who might never play in the major leagues again. Zumie threw this question out there the other day. Taking a look at the roster from 2011, how many players do you think will never see The Show again? All of these guys played in at least one game last year.


Retro Time……………..

It’s June 8th, 1982 and Nolan Ryan is pitching for the Astros. Was Nolan Ryan a juicer? Go look at his stats. He was fiddling around in the 190-200 strike out range from ’83 tthrough ’86. Then all of a sudden he goes 270—228 and finally 301(!) in 1989 (at age 42), the same year that MANY A’s juiced themselves silly. That Astros LU looked a little less than imposing, didn’t it? Hayyymaker struck out 1 in nearly 7 full…..

Slow Off Season Stays Slow

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 22, 2011

Dark morning. Haiku morning. Maybe later……

It’s tweets like these that keep this blog quiet:

“The Giants aren’t looking for a free agent to replace Jonathan Sanchez, but are interested in adding pitchers who are willing to accept minor league contracts, tweetsHenry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.”

Lost amidst the “Melky Hysteria” is the slowly developing but definitely growing “Zito Perturbation”. If we were living in Indonesia, it’d be like if the Tsunami Sirens have gone off. You don’t know why you’re running but you’re running. Fast. Cause it’s coming.

I loved the bloggers (last year) who would tell me, “Aw, you’re being to hard on Zito! He’s a great #5! You’d see that if you weren’t blinded by the money he makes! Forget the contract! Idiot!”. Then he checked in with a 5.87 ERA for the year. The Giants tried to hide him twice on the DL and I actually thought that was a reasonable plan given their options with him. But now he’s back. He is the #5 until the tsunami finally hits the shore.

I’ve refrained from looking at the available free agent pitcher list for the upcoming season. It must be frightening.

“Well-rrendous”. “Supp-marish”…..

And waiting for the cast offs from Spring Training doesn’t seem like a prudent thing to do– with almost every other team lean on pitching I can’t imagine too many rejects that aren’t at least as bad as Zito hitting the waiving wire.

Of course there’s always Eric Surkamp if a horrendous bb/SO ratio strikes your fancy…..

And we haven’t even gotten to the worry warts who predict misery and failure for Ryan Vogelsong (not me, I think he’ll have a fine year)….

But the Zito Implosion is coming. Some would argue it’s already happening, just on another level undetectable by the human ear or eye. And when it does hit, I am not seeing anything that can fill the vast void left in it’s wake.

4 man rotation anyone????????








It’s Sunday, APril 25th, 1982. The Dodgers are throwing the Rookie of the Year at us and we are countering with Rich Gale. I actually always liked Gale, can’t remember why. He only pitched for us one year and he wasn’t very good. He was a big son of a be-atch though, and today that would be enough as we took the Doidgers 6-3 behind a monster 8th inning (5 runs scored) powered by a Hacman grand salami. I have nary a clue who Jose Barrios is or how he made the starting line up. “Enrico Palazzo”, anyone?

Barrios was drafted in ’75 (amateur draft) and didn’t make it to the big club until April 23rd, 1982. Today he got a start and did nothing. His last game in the big leagues would be a couple of weeks later on May 7th. Sometimes, you only get one shot up here………

Curse on the Warriors Continues and My Worst Baseball Memory

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 21, 2011

Yesterday was a hell of a day for the W’s, wasn’t it? Ellis gets caught up in an ugly sexual harassment suit and Curry goes down with a bad ankle injury. They’re calling that a sprain but I’m telling you, he’s gone a while. Luckily the team has Charles Jenkins and Ish Freaking Smith? I’ve never heard of *Ish Smith*, I had to look him up. His scouting report finished with this: “Best attribute? Guys like playing with him.” Wow, that’s some high praise. I’m sure that will translate well into success in the NBA……The Warriors are f**ked………

I’ve tried to take the time to pick the perfect *worst* memory I’ve got about baseball for Twin’s link to the right. It just never came to me. *My* worst baseball memory was probably being 12 years old and losing the PA City Championships after we only lost a single game in the regular season and everyone had expected us to walk to a City trophy. But my worst Giants memory? Hey, I can take a loss with the best of them. I can bellow out the cuss words. I shake my head violently and have been known to kick a thing or two (non-living of course). And I feel the sting of a loss for probably a full day afterwards. But then I let it go. I remember all the games that the guys have listed off in the link as *worst memory* but I just don’t have any feelings connected to them. It could be the great power of *denial*. It could also be that the World Series victory allowed me to let go of so much of the pain from past failures. I don’t know.

I still feel the pain of past 49er losses. The playoff game vs the Redskins in Jan of ’84 still makes my blood boil. Two phantom calls erased one of the great comebacks in playoff sports history. The Roger Craig fumble in the 1990 NFC Championship game vs the Giants has me doing a slow burn to this day. I see Roger Craig all the time around town, he struts around with a big smile and everyone wants to talk to him. Not me. I’ll never forgive him for that fumble…….

There are so many more games played than football games. A football game is magnified because there’s such a big build up to the game and so much time afterwards to lament the outcome (or celebrate it). Baseball games can tend to string together sometimes. And as crushing as a defeat feels in the moment, there’s always a new game with a new, more positive memory to take it’s place.

I think that’s why I don’t have a memory for Twin’s thread………


Retro Game ‘o the Day………..

I’m skipping the rest of 1981. The strike year was dumb and isn’t worth our time. It’s opening day, April 13th, 1982. Alan Fowlkes is pitching for us against John Montefusco. That doesn’t seem right, does it? We traded the Count for Doyle Alexander, actually a decent trade if you just look at the single year Alexander pitched for us: 11-7, 2.89 ERA in the strike year. We turned around and flipped him to the Yankees for Andy McGaffigan. Whoops. He was not very good for us. Was it just me, or did the Giants make some spectacularly horrible trades in the early 80’s? Anyway, it was Fowlkes vs The Count today. We won 3-2. Minton relieved Fowlkes and went 3 innings for the save. Those were the days when a save was an earned save. I gotta admit, I like the first 6 spots of our line up……..

The *Great* Battle of 2 Terrible Back up Catchers

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 20, 2011

I would like to just talk about the Niners game but I realize this is a Giants baseball blog and I can’t talk about football every day. Harbaugh’s comment last night that “Alex was on the money all night” was a joke. He was horribly inaccurate in the first half. But his first touchdown drive was magnificent. I’m not sure if I could get behind his “Pro Bowl” nomination given to him by Harbaugh, but he’s been very, very good. I think the defense looked a little better than it actually is teeing off on a 1-legged QB all game. But I thought the offense didn’t get ENOUGH credit for how it performed against one of the best defenses in either league. All in all, a signature win in this epic re-birth of a season……

Anyway, enough about football. Like the rest of you, I gnashed my teeth at the news that Whiteside is being brought back, according to Bobby Evans, to “compete with Chris Stewart for the back up catcher job”. After seeing how pathetic that 2-headed monster was last year I can’t believe the team would risk it happening all over again. I truly believe they are going to bring up Hector once he sharpens his tools a bit more down in AAA. They can’t have an automatic out every time the C position comes up in the LU (if Buster is at 1B or if he gets hurt again). I would be ok with Stewart backing up Posey at least for the first 6-8 weeks of the season before he just can’t do it anymore—then Hector comes up. Seriously, just how bad can Hector BE defensively? If he’s that bad then there’s almost nothing he could do offensively to make up for his weaknesses. I’m going to hold out hope that he got to this point in his career by being able to at least be passable defensively as a catcher. At least until we see otherwise.

It HAS to be Stewart, right? Is it possible that Whitey could actually beat him out? How? For starters, Stewart is better offensively. It’s not by much, they’re both awful, but he’s better, at least looking at last year’s *production*.

batting average: .204 > .197

OPS: .592 > .574

OBP: .283 > .264

strikeouts: Stewart struck out once every 9 at bats, Whitey an astounding once in ever 3.6 at bats

Stewart can bunt better than Whitey (in fact, this is a strength he can bring to the team, it’s not like he’s just BARELY better than Eli at bunting– he’s one of the best bunters on the team).

Stewart has a better arm than El Presidente. Again, it’s just not a little better, he’s got one of the best arms in the league. This is an actual strength he brings to the team, not just “better than Whitey”.

Stewart can actually catch balls thrown to him by pitchers. I don’t know if they keep stats on this but Whiteside dropped easy to catch balls ALL THE TIME! Many of them would have been called strikes had he caught them. This is a basic skill that any catcher, even in little league, HAS to have. It’s inconceivable to me that a major league catcher could have trouble catching a ball throw to him that wasn’t a knuckleball. And yet there Whiteside was, dropping fastballs in the strike zone with great regularity……..

So Whitey doesn’t win a single category above. And now we’re supposed to believe there’s going to be an actual competition? What a joke. The back up catcher job IS an important one. It’s probably MORE important on a team with an excellent starting catcher because of the huge drop off you suffer if that guy goes down. It makes me sick to think that Sabean and Bochy can actually envision a scenario where Whiteside is getting regular at bats next season………

Baseball Still Shrouded in Haiku, Football Looms

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 19, 2011

I am pretty excited about tonight’s Monday night game. I think I took it for granted during the Niners heyday when they were on Monday night so often. There’s just something about night football–the jersey’s are brighter, every play seems THAT important– pizza and Monday Night Football, bring it on.

I’m fairly pessimistic about the Niner’s chances of securing the #2 seed. Beating Pittsburg will be hard enough, then we’ve got 2 tough divisional games on the road. Seattle and the Rams are playing much better. In fact, I watched the Rams game yesterday and that team isn’t quitting a lick despite being out of the playoff picture. Meanwhile, the Saints play their remaining two games at home. We probably have to win all 3 games to keep the #2 seed. Unlikely…….

I’m tepid on the Amundson for Rush trade–mostly I just liked Amundson, it’s nothing against Rush. But RUsh seems to fit the player that Coach is looking for and I’ll back him until he proves he’s just as bad as all the other W coaches.

Retro Action>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


1981 is upon us-The Strike Year. Another bad season for the Giants and a black eye year for baseball. Here’s a rare high point for the team. It’s June 2nd, 1981 and the Reds are in town. Frank Robinson was at the helm and we destroyed a good Reds team 15-7. Soon-to-be Giant Mike LaCoss started for the Reds and got hammered, as did those who succeeded him. I don’t recall Cabell or Jerry Martin playing for us, but they did in 1981 and today they combined to go 5-10 with 5 runs scored and 6 RBI’s. Whitson went 5 innings for the win, Holland pitched the final 4 for a save that you just wouldn’t see these days…….

The Fascination with Tim Tebow

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 18, 2011

The Tebow Phenomenon is interesting to watch each week. Rarely has one player inspired so much debate and interest. I think it’s great for the sport to have so much discussion, however misguided, about one man. I’m not as interested in the actual discussions as I am in WHY Tebow has become such a talked about topic.

Is he a good quarterback? That’s a terribly simplistic question to ask. I suppose you could look at his passer rating. He’s ranked 14th in the league in the traditional passer rating at 83.9. ESPN has a new passer rating this year that’s attempting to compete with the established rating. Personally, I think it’s a gimmick. It’s designed for simple people since 158.3 is a cloogy-looking number. ESPN just goes with a 0-100 scoring system. They factor in more stats to their formula than the traditional rating but the truth is, neither number tells the whole story about the performance of a quarterback. But comparing the two stats is a different discussion for another time. ESPN says that Tebow’s QB performance in the first 3 quarters is a 15. That’s horrendous. In the 4th quarter it’s 94. That’s outstanding.

And that differential is one reason why Tebow is such fodder for blogs and talk shows. How can you play the same position and yet perform between a 15 and a 94 in the same game? Is he horrible or is he outstanding? He doesn’t ever seem to play in between.

Most discussions about him get heated because religious people like to start yapping about his/their faith and that his performance is somehow guided by God. I think that’s funny. What’s God busy doing in the first 3 quarters? Is he stuck in traffic? Cause he sure ain’t helping Tebow out. Any time you get religious nuts entering the discussion by explaining answers with “God stepped in and did  *X*” you are going to see things get heated since most sane people understand how idiotic that sounds.

The reason that Tebow is getting so discussed this year is because of two things: 1) frequency and 2) intensity. The sheer number of *football experts* who went out of their way at the beginning of  the year to declare what an awful QB Tebow is have been spending the last 6-8 weeks trying to explain how it is that such an awful QB is able to win so consistently in the NFL week after week. But the experts were so brutal with their criticism of him and they repeated it with such frequency, that you now have a whole bunch of guys who have to try to explain what’s going on here. Otherwise, they look like idiots. But so far, I haven’t heard a credible explanation from any of them that explains how they could have been so wrong–or even if they are wrong at all…

And that’s the reason that Tebow is such an interesting topic. There is nothing that can explain this. Most people like the world to make sense. They like to be able to point to A or B as a reason that C exists. And in Tebow’s case there just isn’t an explanation except that laughable one about *God taking over in the 4th quarter*.

What most people are missing is that Tebow isn’t winning games any more than Alex Smith is winning games. Teams win and lose games. Quarterbacks don’t win or lose games all by themselves. Last week, in the 4th quarter, supposedly *Tebow Time* it was 3rd and 10 with about a minute to go. Tebow drops back, scurries around, ultimately throwing an incomplete pass at the referee. On 4th down, he rambled around, finally running out of bounds gaining no yards. The Denver kicker came in and kicked a 59 yard field goal. So I don’t want to hear about how brilliant Tebow is. He’s just a man. If anyone deserves credit for all these Bronco wins it’s their defense. They’re outstanding……

Tebow has one thing that separates him from normal qb’s and it’s the same thing that Joe Montana had: he’s the coolest, calmest cat on the field at the most critical time of the game. That contributes to his ability to execute plays. You could argue that it’s because of his faith that he’s able to be so calm and collected and that’s actually something that makes perfect sense…..

And I will be watching the Bronco game today because, just like everyone else, I’m fascinated with this story. To me, it’s the same reason I watch Yankee games. I don’t root for or against them, I’m intrigued by the drama that unfolds after the games end. And the outcome of today’s game will absolutely fuel more Tebow debates on blogs and sports talk shows everywhere. If the Pats destroy the Bronco’s and Tebow checks in with his usual 15 passer rating (for the 1st 3 quarters) everyone will say “See! I’m right! Tebow sucks!”. But if the team pulls out another late win (notice I said *team*)  we get to listen to another week of everyone back-tracking and reaching for answers to explain not just how Tebow could be doing this but how they could have been so wrong with their original criticism of the man.

I hope the Bronco’s pull out a win today. To me, I’d rather see the experts stammer and stutter their way through another week of *explaining* than see them nodding their collective head with an annoying  “I told you so.” –that’s worse than having to listen to the Christians tell us it’s because God swooped down dramatically from above and magically guided the Bronco’s to a win……..

Anyway, Retro Time………


Let’s steamroll to the end of 1980. It’s September 30th and the Dodgers beat us 6-3. Minton and Lavelle combined to butcher the 9th and 10th innings. A young Fernando Valenzuela pitched 2 scoreless (4’s) for the win in relief. Someone named Tom Griffin was our starting pitcher. He combined for 29 starts over a 3 year period and yet I still have no recollection of him…….

Joe Torre is a Freaking Numbskull

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 16, 2011

The article in The Merc about Torre squashing a potential rule change for catchers had me doing a slow burn. His comments were at best dismissive and at worst condescending. When asked about Bochy’s arguments for a rule change (and according to the article he called Torre several times to discuss it last Summer) he said, “Well, listen, I knew it was more emotional than anything else…..Being a catcher for a lot of years, I knew what the consequences were.”

I wasn’t there but the “Well, listen” start to his sentence is the first thing that pissed me off. People that say this usually have their head cocked a little sideways and slightly forward, they might have a trace of a smile on their face like they know more than you do and there’s often a dramatic, slight pause before they bestow to the listener the great honor of hearing their pompous rhetoric—they’re about to educate you on something–*tell you what time it is*, so to speak.

He then proceeds to use the word “emotional” to describe Bochy’s intentions, despite the fact that Bochy called him “several times over the Summer” not immediately after the incident occurred when you would expect *emotions* to be at their highest and most influential. Degrading someone’s argument as “emotional” completely invalidates any rational foundation it might have.

He then ends the sentence by pointing to his great and storied career of “being a catcher” and of knowing “the consequences”. Well, dumbass, Bochy was a catcher, too. And what *consequences* is Torre referring to? That you can suffer horrendous, career ending,  physical injuries to all parts of your body, including your brain, by standing in a motionless sometimes blind position while you wait for a human missile to take flight and ultimate aim at your defenseless body without any intention of touching the plate whatsoever?

I am more convinced than I’ve ever been that there needs to be a rule protecting catchers at home plate. You aren’t allowed to blast your body full speed into a player at first, second or 3rd base in an attempt to dislodge the ball from an infielder’s glove. Why home plate? Because that’s the way it’s always been? Bullshit. Bochy noted that “these players are getting bigger, stronger and faster.” And what about the facts we now know about the brain and impact? Concussions are being taking more seriously than ever before–the NFL is considering having a freaking neurologist on the sidelines of all games. So either Torre is either too uneducated to know what *the consequences* actually are or he’s been hit in the head so many times he doesn’t even understand what the hell is going on anymore. Which one of those guys do you wanna be, Joe?

And yet Torre is so filled with hubris that he can’t even recommend that the Rules Committee take up the matter? What an ass. He ended his comments by saying, “Well continue to listen….We’ll listen to anything that makes sense.”

That’s just more jibber jabber language designed to demean the intentions of Bochy. The fact is, there needs to be something that protects catchers at the plate from these type of violent collisions.

His decision to not even send this to a committee to discuss it further is reckless, ignorant and short sighted…..

My idea: there are a ton of rules in baseball that have to do with “in the judgment of the umpire*. I think there should be a rule that *in the judgment of the umpire, if the runner makes no attempt to tag home plate he is automatically called out.” This would address the runners who turn themselves into human missiles who obviously have no intent of trying to tag home plate but rather are trying to dislodge the ball from the catchers glove by essentially running him over and hoping for the best (or *worst* which often includes a concussion or some other type of injury). Conversely, the catcher would no longer be allowed to physically seal off the plate. If he sealed off more than 50% of the plate, the runner would be called safe automatically……


Reeeeeetro Game of the Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s August 14th, 1980 and the Giants are playing the Braves. 5,448 showed up to watch Al Hargesheimer take on Larry McWilliams. Ok, so it wasn’t the most exciting pitching match up. For some reason, I always loved Al Hargesheimer. It was probably his name. He only won 5 games in his career, and this was one of them. Moonman pitched 2.2 innings for the save and we won 5-1. Jim Wohlford is now leading off. Hey, that could be his ticket to the big contract, he went 3 for 3 and a walk on this breezy, freezing Thursday evening………

Giants Re-Sign Mota

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 15, 2011

This signing got very little press when it went down. 1 year, around a million bucks. But this man’s contributions last year can’t go understated. Instead of trying to *state* them today, I’m just going to re-post what I wrote about him last August 22nd, the day before my now-hollow “August 23rd!!!!!!!!” call to arms……..

Your 3rd Place Willie Mac Winner: Guillermo Mota

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on August 22, 2011 Edit This

I was discussing this 3rd place finish with Pawlie yesterday on the phone. I know the players and coaches vote 0n this esteemed award, I’m just not certain how the votes are cast. Do they just get to submit one name? That would be tough. Looking at the list of past winners since 1980 is a wild ride down memory lane. Clark won it the first year. Krukow won it back to back. Speier won it in 1987 and I only remember him playing for us in the 70′s. Tiny Felder in 1992, I loved that guy. Mark Carreon who I dimly remember playing for us at all won it in 1995. The 2 time winners are Krukow, Snow and Molina. It’s awarded to the player who “best exemplifies the spirit and leadership consistently shown by McCovey throughout his long career”.

I think Pablo wins it this year fairly easily with Vogelsong and his long road back to the big leagues snagging him 2nd place. And I don’t know how else to honor Mota’s thankless contributions to the team this year so I am handing him 3rd place right now. This is a guy who didn’t get an offer from a single team last Winter. Think about that. With pitching staffs torn up across the league, Mota didn’t even get a major league offer. The freaking Giants didn’t even offer him an MLB deal! He had to come back on a minor league deal. He’s making $925,000. This is a guy who’s made a little over 16 million in his career who is hardly doing this now for the money.

I’ll spare you all the disgusting details of Zito’s contract. One of them is that it calls for him to get a luxury box on every single road game the Giants play. Meanwhile, Guillermo Mota is busy saving our bacon time and time again. When Zito went down with his owey foot, Mota comes in to eat up innings and get the win. When Bumgarner gave up 137 runs in the first inning against the Twins, Mota comes in and saves the bullpen (as well as the next couple of games by resting the bullpen) and pitches nearly 5 innings. And yesterday, after Runzler did his best impression of a scared 3rd grade girl, Mota comes in and rights the ship with 3 scoreless. There are 39 other games he’s appeared in that will go unnoticed by everyone except Mota and his friends and family.

His contributions to the team this year can’t be understated. And while I don’t know if 3rd place in the Willie Mac Award is the proper way to honor him, I’m doing so anyway. So take your cap or use a pretend one and doff it to this man today. He’s never going to get paid market value for the games he saves for us. He’s 38, he might get another year deal with the Giants if he’s lucky. But while Zito is packing his whores into those road luxury suites, Mota is quietly waiting in the bullpen for Bochy to call on him. He almost always delivers the goods…..

And speaking of delivering the goods, I want to give a huge public shout out to WILCO JOE. While I am pathetically titling the  main thread “To Watch or not To Watch?” my main man in the state of Texas was busy doing  it all this weekend: He went to all 3 games giving us live game time updates. He had a player toss him a ball (not his first) as he was congratulating the team from the rail. He tracked Bow Tie’s every move, and ultimately got his picture taken with him. He even took a break from the rum and cokes and took his family to a game. And this is unconfirmed, but I think he’s the first double-POTD we’ve ever had. You, dude, are one hell of a Giant’s fan and an esteemed member of Flapper Nation. Well done……


Retro-Action Time…………

The 1980 death-march continues on. Someone named John Fulgham shut us out (4-0) in complete game fashion on an unfortunate Businessman’s Special Wednesday afternoon game. George Hendrick was one of the great bad-asses of the ’70’s–I collected imposing baseball cards of that dude. Eli White…er, I mean, “Dennis Littlejohn” was our catcher. This year just needs to end………


Guest Post!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 14, 2011

DJLoo said, on December 12, 2011 at 5:51 pm (Edit)

How about (just for the off-season) try discussing all things non-baseball? The best and worst of anything. Great bosses, shitty jobs, best girlfriends, worst dates, a memorable stranger, a crazy neighbor, a good vacuum cleaner recommendation, anything!….No one can discuss Giant baseball incessantly…..


Retro Game of the Day! (baby)


June 22nd, 1980. The team is going nowhere and Steve Carlton is facing Vida Blue and the Phillies would beat us 4-3 today. With Jim Wohlford batting clean up I was surprised it wasn’t worse. Seriously, take a look at the LU after Clark—that’s goddamn near 6 automatic outs in a row. Carlton threw a complete game and ran his record to 13-2.

Putting the Finishing Touches on the 2012 Team

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 13, 2011

As I expected in the December 9th thread, the Giants tendered Fontenot and waved bye bye to Keppinger. Based on their fiscal considerations as well as the strengths of each player, this makes sense. We also took one step closer to a living a life without El Presidente–anarchy never felt so good. The plan appears to be to let Stewart back up Posey and I’m fine with that for a short time. Stewey has a rocket arm and can lay a bunt down with the best of them. But he’s not a season-long answer. And if Bochy follows through on his plan to play Posey at 1st base vs lefties then Stewart isn’t going to fly behind the plate at a minimum of twice a week. I think the Giants just want to make SURE that Hector is ready for the job and they’ll watch him closely in the first month of the AAA season. If he’s hitting, he’ll come up some time in May.

E-Burriss looks like he’s also going to make the team as a super-utility guy. I’ve always WANTED to see him succeed at this level. He looks like a player, walks like a player, runs like a player; he just can’t seem to hit or field like one. The most surprising thing about him: 651 plate appearances and only 1 triple. You’d think he’d get credited with at least 3 or 4 just rolling out of bed in the morning. Anyway, this is probably his last shot at the mlb level. If he learns how to bunt, plays smarter defense and steals a bunch of bases he might have a nice little career when it’s all over. If not, he’s an ugly cross-breed of Joe Strain and Spook Jacobs…….

There are other utility guys out there. Ryan Theriot is available. He and Fontenot played together at LSU and actually won the College Baseball World Series in 2000 beating my Stanford Cardinal. Bastards. But if they didn’t tender Keppy they certainly aren’t going to sign Theriot who hits worse and would cost about the same. Burriss is the guy, for better or worse…….

Retro-Action Time…..


I’m trying to skip through 1980 fast. May 31st caught my eye. The Astros are in town for a Saturday game and JR Richard faced off against The Count. Richard threw a 3 hit complete game shutout running his record to 6-3 and his ERA to 1.85. What a bad-ass this dude was. He was dominating in 1980, by the middle of the Summer he was 10-4 with a 1.90 ERA> Sadly, he suffered a stroke on July 30th before a game. His survived but his career ended. He would go on to pitch in the Astros minor league system for a few years but never made it back to the big leagues. He would end up losing everything and became homeless in 1994, living under a bridge in Houston. In ’95 he became eligible for the mlb pension. I’m not sure how much that is a year…..

Bad Weekend for Bay Area Sports

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 12, 2011

Andrew Luck didn’t win the Heisman. It wasn’t surprising to me but it was still a bit of a buzzkill…….

The Raiders got destroyed again. I can’t put my finger on it but there is something that I’ve never really liked about Hue Jackson. It’s like he’s all words and no substance. Anyway, he’s annoying and I wonder how many times he will take responsibility for this blowout loss. And what exactly is taking responsibility to him? Just saying the words? When you’re getting blown out and destroyed in back to back weeks there is something majorly wrong with everything….

The Niners lost and clearly that was because God was engineering the Bronco’s comeback win. Must not have had time for the Niners. 🙂 Smith didn’t play well. He was less accurate than usual. That could have had to do with a ferocious blitz coming from all sides every single freaking play. I hope Harbaugh et al. sees what everyone else saw and makes adjustments. With no time to throw and a receiving core that either can’t separate and/or can’t catch when it hits them in the numbers, well, you’re not going to score points consistently. Smith’s scramble on their final play of the game was magnificent. Hunter HAS to catch that ball……

The Bronco’s won. I’ve never liked them all the way back to my college days when my roommate was a rabid Denver fan. He was devastated and embarrassed by their 55-10 thrashing at the hands of the Niners and I still remind him of that game. Over the years, my feelings about them have dulled a bit, I haven’t had a good reason to dislike them. Until now. I don’t have a problem with Tim Tebow, he seems like a nice enough guy. I enjoyed watching him play in college. It’s the praise and the credit he gets that bothers me. The team isn’t winning because of Tebow. They’re winning because of their defense. He’s definitely resilient and a winner, a warrior, all that. But the credit he’s getting is more annoying than a Hue Jackson press conference.

At least nothing bad happened to the Giants. Manny Ramirez said something funny this weekend. When asked if he would consider playing in Japan he goes, “We are the working class and where ever there is work, we must go to work.” Um, dude, you’ve made 200+ million in your career in salary alone. What *working class* do you belong to? LQTM……

Retro Time……..


It’s 1980 and this was not a good year. We never led. I don’t think I’m gonna spend to much time on 1980. Dave Bristol is the manager. Today, is the home opener. We won 7-3 on a Vida Blue complete game. The Rennie Stennett Era has begun…….

The Collective Fall of the Hero’s 2010 Team

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 11, 2011

Last night’s *great* debate prompted me to notice just how many players from the 2010 team fell from the peak they reached on November 1st, 201o. The collective fall is shocking, really.

Let’s take a look at what happened to the main hero’s from the World Series team:

Posey: suffered a horrific ankle injury, gone for most of the year.

Freddy Sanchez: Was plugging along with his passable season until he broke down again and wasn’t seen after June 10th.

Edgar Renteria: outside of one glorious swing that will cement him in SF glory for eternity, he didn’t have a very good 2010. He managed to have a worse 2011 for the Reds. His ba dipped from .276 to .251 and his OPS dropped from .707 to .654.

Aubry Huff: his OPS was .891 in 2010. Last year it dropped to an unbelievable .691. Even that seems a little high from what I remember about his 2011.

Cody Ross: He got hurt in Spring Training and then went on to have a similar season to the rest of his seasons. But was still a far cry from his explosive 2 months he spent with us when he first arrived.

Juan Uribe: Just a horrible, horrible year for the Dodgers. He got hurt and only played in 77 games but his HR total dropped from 24 to 4. His batting average was .204 for the year. Total break down.

Pat Burrell: He only played in 92 games hardly mattering in any of them. His career is now over with a terminal foot problem.

Andres Torres: his 2011 vs 2010 season has already been discussed. He’s looking to re-start his career in New York.

In fact, the ONLY position player from the 2010 team who didn’t tank in 2011 was Pablo Sandoval who took his game to a new level this year. However, I don’t count Pablo as an integral piece of the World Series title. He just wasn’t…….

And I think the pitchers had a BETTER 2011, especially in terms of consistency. They were immune to the fall that hit the batters……

So that is 8 position players who were the MOST responsible (not counting pitchers) for the 2010 season. And all 8 took gynormous, epic steps backwards the following year. Who knows what the reasons could be that all 8 fell back in such collective, horrendous fashion. Some of it might have been within their control. Some of them didn’t do what they needed to do in the off season to prepare. Some of them might have gotten to *big* for themselves and that might have led to some false hubris. Then there were the things that they couldn’t control: injuries, teams gunning for them, pressure. Or in Torres’ case, struggles with appropriate levels of medication…..

Years from now there will be a better frame of reference for the place these men have in Giants lore. Time passes and you tend to get more nostalgic about the things and the people that have made up the experiences in your life. It would be difficult for me to put any of them on a list that includes McCovey and Mays, at least until their careers are complete. And to me, they don’t go on a list of *great* or *good* Giants. They transcend either, in my opinion. Just as I don’t feel that Torres or Huff could ever go on a list that includes McCovey or Mays, I wouldn’t ever put McCovey or Mays on a list that includes Torres or Huff.

As I said after they won the World Series: that team is a supernova that will never burn out. It’s just flying a little far away from us right now–the burn is more of a distant glow. But it’ll come back as time passes. No matter how many titles we win there is nothing like your *first*…….

A Few Loose Ends as we Wait for P/C’s to Report

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 9, 2011

Well, the Winter Meetings have come and gone–mostly free agent signings, no big trades, lots of tweets that led to nothing, as I suspected.  Our LU is now basically set with just a couple of minor decisions to make. Here’s what I would do:

1) Sign Chris Stewart to back up Posey and send Hector Sanchez down to AAA. Stewart backs up Posey while Sanchez gets a month or two more of valuable playing time. If Stewart is showing he’s a glaring weakness by the middle of May, bring Sanchez up then–he can play twice a week against left handed pitchers with Posey moving to first base……..

2) Fonte-yes! Offer him arbitration instead of Keppy. I think they’ll do this just to save a little money but it’s probably the right call just because Font can play SS with more predictability and probable success than Keppy can. Plus, he’s got more pop than Kepp and can PH better than he can…..

3) I’ve been kicking around the outfield scenarios and there’s one that I just don’t think has gotten enough attention: Bochy is saying Nate is his starting RF but the more I think about it, the more I could see the following develop: Belt has a monster spring and Nate has a bad/mediocre Spring. Belt wins an outfield spot (either playing LF or RF with Melky playing the *other* corner spot) and Nate resumes his accustomed 4th OF role. In my opinion, Nate is a better late inning PH weapon/defensive replacement than he is a starter. He’d be more durable that way, too. Anyway, I think this could easily happen………

With the additions of Melky (a 200 hit player. Will Clark never had 200 hits in a season) and Angel (stolen base artist extraordinaire) as well as the return of Freddy Sanchez, Posey and an *on* year from Huff (or a coming out year for Belt) that is FIVE additions to the offense that we didn’t have last year. I’m fine with the team as it is now. When you upgrade 5 of the 8 possible LU spots, and you actually managed to drop your payroll a little bit, you have done more than any reasonable fans could expect you to do as a GM. I’m feeling very confident about the 2012 season on December 9th………

Retro Time……….


I’m growing weary of 1979, so let’s fast forward to the third to last game of the season. It’s September 28th and exactly 2,861 fans showed up for this one. If that’s correct, that’s hilarious. We lost 2-0 by a complete game gem from Eric Rassmussen. Winfield banged his 34th bomb. Besides The Boney One turning 9 years old today, it’s also exactly 32 years before one of the most electrifying and memorable days in baseball history: September 28th, 2011.

The Payroll Ceiling and *Why Can’t We be the Marlins??* (use your best whiny voice)

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 8, 2011

KNBR callers were boo-hooin’ yesterday about the Giants payroll ceiling of 130 million. “Why can’t they do what the Marlins are doing?????” caller after caller whined to Ralph and Tom. Shockingly, The hosts didn’t respond with an answer, they almost seemed to feel the same way…..

They didn’t remind them that the Marlins are moving into a brand new stadium with accompanying new revenue streams. They didn’t remind them that the Marlins had a payroll of 57 million last year. In 2010 it was 47 million. In 2009 it was 36 million. That’s a total of about 140 million in three seasons, 10 million more than the Giants will be spending this year alone….

And is anyone stopping to look at how the Marlins are spending their money? Reyes for 106 million. Buehrle for 58 million. Bell for 27 million. And they tried (and look to have failed) to give 32 year old Albert Pujols a 10 year deal.  Assuming they’ve dodged the Pujols bullet, let’s see what those other 3 are going to cost this year (approximately): Reyes 17 mil, Buehrle 14 mil, and Bell 9 mil. That’s 40 million more added to the 57 million they spent last year and they still aren’t to 100 million. In 2012 there isn’t a reason in the world why a team with a brand new stadium shouldn’t have a payroll of AT LEAST 100 million. Maybe they will after all there other guys settle in arbitration. The point is that The Marlins aren’t doing anything extraordinary. It just seems that way because it’s, you know, THE MARLINS.

They’ll be good next year but not JUST because of those additions. And they are NO LOCK by any means. J-John is going to have to come back and be healthy and be the ace of that staff. It sure as hell won’t be Buehrle who’s like a *rich man’s Carlos Silva*. Granted, he’s better than that guy, but he’s cut from the same mold, an innings eater who scored a big deal with Seattle a few years ago for no good reason. Mark my words: Buerhle’s dukey-crap isn’t going to fly in the NL. he’s an AL pitcher. 58 million not well spent, in my opinion.

Heath Bell? Yeah, I like Bell. But it’s not like he’s filling some huge hole from last year. Leo Nunez (or whatever his REAL name is) saved 66 games for them the last 2 years. My point is that Bell isn’t going to measurably impact that side of the game for them. He’s just going to step in and keep it going. 27 million is a lot of cheese to spend to just keep the status quo…….

And then there is Jose Reyes. If you think Reyes is going to stay healthy for the length of this deal then you have more faith in him than I do. He could be great next year, a super star. Or, his hammy could go on him at any point in the season and he’ll be turned into a cheerleader (and probably a bad one).

So while everyone is marveling at the Marlins this off season I’ll be LQTM at them. We will have a better record than they will in 2012………

Retro Action Time……………..


It’s Augst 12th, 1979. Giants win 4-1. The wheels have fallen off pretty good this season so I’m skipping through it rather quickly. We are in 3rd place but 12 games out. The Dodgers are in town for this Sunday afternoon game and they’re in 4th place, 15.5 games behind. Vida Blue is going against Jerry Reuss. Vida isn’t having the best year but he manages to go the distance in this one lowering his ERA to an unsightly 5.19. No pinch hitters or relievers used in this one by the Giants.

Torres/Ramirez for Pagan: Who Wins?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 7, 2011

To me, this is a fantastic trade in terms of what a trade SHOULD be all about. Both teams are taking some risk here, both could obviously reap a big reward, either could end up looking bad, and the main component isn’t about shedding salary (well, a little bit for the Giants). We obviously won’t know the winner and the loser in this one until the season plays out. It’s possible that neither Pagan or Torres return to their 2010 glory. Both players are getting a fresh chance with a new team but if both stay fizzled in their 2011 form it won’t be the biggest surprise. Obviously, both Sabean AND Alderson think their *guy* won’t bounce back or they wouldn’t be making the trade. And since Pagan had a little bit better year than Torres and it could be argued that he has a slightly better chance to return to being a productive player at the plate, Sabes had to throw Ramirez in, too. I’m fine with that.

Here’s another thing, assuming they’re both healthy in ST, I think they will both be starting outfielders for their respective squads when camp breaks in 2012. Torres is going to slide right into the CF position for the Mets. And despite the early talk about Pagan being a 4th OF for us, I think that’s a bunch of poppycock. Huff will be starting at first base with Pagan in CF and Melky in LF. I don’t care what you hear out of Bochy and Sabean TODAY, barring injury, this will be the plan on Opening Day. Feel free to copy and paste this back in my face if it doesn’t happen.

I think Sabean has been fairly brilliant with his “Melky/Pagan” moves. Three things we didn’t have last year (well, AT LEAST 3 things we didn’t have last year): 1) a lead off guy 2) speed/stolen base threats 3) reliable right handed bats. Melky and Pagan improve us in ALL three of those areas. Now, I’m not certain about what this does to the LU, but IF it goes Pagan/Melky/Panda then we now have 3 competent switch hitters in a row in the first third of our line up— that is huge, especially later in a game when managers try to go *match ups* on us. Now, Freddy will probably bat 2nd but you can at least see the possibility of our line up looking like that should Bochy decide to go that way.

Defense really isn’t taking a hit here. If this move pushes Huff back to 1st base then it has IMPROVED our outfield defense. Torres wasn’t going to start for us in 2012. So while it cannot be argued that Pagan is even in the same ballpark as Andres defensively, it’s not really something to compare since our ACTUAL outfield defense just got better (unless you think that Huff is a better defensive outfielder than Pagan and if you think that I can’t help you)……

Another thing I’m not worried about: The fact that the Mets were willing to part with Pagan. For starters, the Mets suck. Bad teams make bad decisions, that just what they do. Alderson is trying to fix that mess and it can’t be argued that his sole opinion is that Andres is more like than Pagan to bounce back to 2010 form since he got Ramirez in the deal, too. It can be argued that it is far more likely that Sabean feels Pagan is the more likely bounce back candidate since he’s the one throwing in the *extra* into the deal. And Sabean has made way too many good decisions over the last couple of years to not give him the benefit of the doubt on this. Again, I’m on record as liking both the Melky and the Pagan acquisitions, and if they both fail then feel free to remind me later. Just remember, we had one of the worst offenses in the history of baseball last year so it’s not like Melky has to reproduce 2011 or Pagan has to be Pagan-2010 for this to be considered a success for Sabean. Coming close to either year will be enough to make us better offensively. Considering the financial restrictions that he’s under, I think he’s having a fabulous off season so far……..

Weird First Day of the Winter Meetings

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 6, 2011

Lots of tweets. Not a lot of action. Most of these rumors have me shaking my head sideways. I feel like the Giants are in the cat bird’s seat if they do NOTHING at all. This is like watching the start of the Running of the Bulls in Spain. I’m watching safely from above from some hotel roof. Down below are scenes like this one:

For those of you unclear on the metaphor, you see the bull is the free agent and the two dudes….oh never mind.

There is some major insanity about to go down in the free agent world. Albert Pujols will be 32 next month. And he’s got a 10(!) (t-e-n) year deal on the table from the clueless Marlins……CJ Wilson has a SIX year offer from what could be multiple teams–mark my works, CJ Wilson will be the *Barry Zito* of this free agent class. Book it. Mark Freaking Beuhrle has 14 teams interested in him. I would be BUMMED if Sabean signed Beurhle to even a 2 year deal. Beurhle sucks, he’s an innings eater at best but could probably  fill our #5 slot adequately…..J-Roll’s agent got pissed off and shut down a meeting when the Phillies continued to balk at his 5 year mandate for a contract……

Meanwhile, Ned Coletti has cornered the market on below average utility infielders. Seriously, what type of team is he trying to field next year? Is he planning on Kemp wheelin’ it big in the outer outfield, Ethier play rover and 5  underwhelming infielders scurrying around covering the rest of the defense? That dude has lost his mind………..

Sabean simply can’t do anything that would come close to the madness I’ve listed above. At worst he signs some sh!tty utility guy for a year (that is, assuming one gets past Ned). Personally, I’m going to have fun sitting back and watching the insanity unfold. I take great pleasure in watching other teams make dumb ass mistakes. Whether it’s the Nationals signing Werth to a 7 year deal or the Angels trading FOR Vernon Wells, other teams idiocy can only directly or indirectly help the Giants…..

Retro Action. Baby.


It’s Sunday, June 17th 1979 and the Cardinals are in town. Bad Ass names abound in their starting line up. Yet we still beat them 7-4. Clark ripped his 11th on the year and McCovey went 3-4 running his average to an impressive .291 (he would end the year at .249). This win nudged us to 4.5 games out of first place, the last time we would be this close the rest of the season. The wheels fall off pretty good in 1979…….

What to Expect from the 2011 Baseball Winter Meetings

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 5, 2011

Well, don’t expect much. At least in terms of trades. I haven’t researched this, but it FEELS to me like the Winter Meetings haven’t had the same excitement to them that they had in years past. I think that has more to do with the deluge of information that we get now. Back in the day, all you heard about was a deal getting done once it was consummated.  Now you’ve got a million-fold media guys tripping over themselves to be the first to tweet out anything that even remotely resembles a rumor—it skews what’s really going on in Dallas this week: steaks and strippers. At least that’s what my Winter Meetings in Dallas would look like…..

Reyes signed his 6r/106 million dollar deal. The Marlins will regret the deal in the long term. Fast guys with injury problems who sign giant contracts don’t get more durable or more productive  into their 30’s. But they aren’t really worried about production at the plate, they’re worried about his impact at the gate, and signing Reyes isn’t a bad move at least initially for a team moving into a new ballpark……..

At least we don’t need to worry about Sabean signing anyone long term– he learned his lesson a long time ago and the new *board of directors* wouldn’t sign off on one anyway. I do think we will see a lot of free agent action this week. The  Reyes deal probably will get the domino’s to fall for the bigger free agent targets—Pujols, Fielder, Wilson, etc….

If I were writing out a wish list for this week, I think I’d like to see Sabean sign either Coco Crisp or Josh Willingham. We’ve already discussed the reasons here before so I won’t go over them again. But Coco at the top of the LU (with Melky in LF) or Willingham in LF (Melky in CF) would really get me excited about the 2012 LU. If neither deal happens I’m cool with it, and I don’t think either will go down, they’re just small moves that I think would make us better next year. I’d give either guy a two year deal. But they’re probably find more dough somewhere else…….



On May 25th the Giants were 25-20 and tied for first place. It was the last time they would see 1st place that season. They proceeded to lose 10 of their next 11. They fiddled around a little more, trading a win and a loss. Today it’s June 13th, 1979, and the Cubbies are in town. We lost 3-2. Mike Krukow started for the Cubs and Dick Tidrow followed him with 2 innings of relief. 9,284 showed up for this Wednesday game—it’s not listed if this was a night game or a day game. The Count pitched for the Giants. It was an extra inning game that ended in the 10th when the Cubs went ahead against Randy Moffitt. There was no magic in the bottom of the inning as Clark, McCovey and Madlock all went quietly, as most did at the time, against HOF closer Bruce Sutter. Sutter actually won the Cy Young award in ’79.Joe Nieko, JR Richard, Tom Seaver and Kent Tekulve filled out 2-5……

The Retro Games of the Day and Ed Halicki Ruled……..

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 3, 2011

I’m posting this because I’ve got nothing for tomorrow except Niner sh!t and many of the regs aren’t down with that. And don’t take this post the wrong way, I’m not mad or bent, I just don’t understand the Halicki Raggers……

So what if he’s coming up a lot in the RGOTD? Go check the games, he pitched every 4th day, not every 5th,  and he was a freaking loss-stopper-extraordinaire……Plus he seemed to go 8 innings and/or complete game more often than the rest of  many of  his peers. The fact that I know that from a couple of weeks of casual baseball-reference.com research is fantastic. Plus he pitched a no-hitter in the first game I ever attended. He was also a  long, lanky, memorable dude from the 70’s and WE all rule. His last name was rad, too…….

Here’s how I come up with RGOTD (In order of importance):

1) It’s got to be a home game

2) I look for streaks of wins, losses or broken streaks of wins or losses.

3) I check the LU’s. I’m trying to vary it with some LU’s that get everyone talkin’ and that’s easy to do since I just started this Winter Side Bar widget……..

4) I look at the pitching match ups or the pitching winners and losers. You see some pretty sweet and epic names there…..

5) I’m trying to tell a story.

In summary, and at risk of *over-responding* to the Halicki Hysteria, I will end today’s thread with this: you’re going to still see a fair number of Halicki pitched games, at least for the next week or three. I’ll pick out tomorrow’s RGOTD when I get up tomorrow. I realize and accept the pressure I am now under to go with a *Jim Barr* game. LQTM…..


It’s May 25th, 1979. The Braves are in town and they suck. Matthews? Burroughs? Horner? Can you spell B-A-D-A-S-S? We won 6-4, The Ripper banged another one in the 8th off Phil Niekro who went the distance but took the loss. Shockingly, Ed Halicki did NOT pitch. Knepper did and he ran his record to an impressive 5-2. He would go 9-12 on the year…….

A Quiet Saturday Before Sunday’s Divisional Crown Celebration

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 3, 2011

Unless Sabes does something unusual, today will be a quiet day in my sports world. Club tryouts for soccer are dominating the day. I would have watched the Ducks/Bruins game but just found out that was played last night. I think LSU should handle Georgia fairly easily but Georgia’s got one thing going for them– they ALWAYS cover and sometimes win as the underdog when I bet of their opponent. I’m not betting today’s game so I guess they don’t have that going for them. I’ll probably catch some of the Ok-y/Ok-y St game just to find out who the Cardinal will be playing. I hope it’s Ok-St, that would be a more interesting game. I wish Stanford could get a shot at LSU or ALabama and we could see how a good QB would do against those defenses. I’m not saying they’re overrated or anything, but every time I watch them play they are facing a QB who has no business QBing a D-1 team against a defense that good……..

Baggs doesn’t think there’s any truth to the rumor that Sabean might trade some relief pitching at the Winter Meetings, citing the fact that the Giants signed Lopez and Affeldt, why would they turn around and trade them? Actually, I could see a scenario where Sabean decided early in this off season that the free agent market for relievers, utility guys and back up catchers was thin. So, instead of pick up a *Barmes* for $10 mil why not secure a section of the market that he could use as trade bait at the Winter Meetings? I’m not predicting he does this just that I could see him thinking ahead and doing it. Actually, I see it as  a great approach to this particular off season. If I had to sign one of the available free agents I think I’d puke first–they’re either grossly overpaid in years and $ (the Reyes’, Fielders’, Pujols’ etc…) or they suck (Bloomquist, A-Gone, Barmes etc…). If Sabes has his eye on someone and thinks he can trade some relief pitching for him more power to him. The Yankees, by the way, are still desperate for a left handed reliever…..

Without further ado, Retro-Action, baby……….


After starting 7-2 we then proceeded to go 2-12 over the next 14. Ouch. Today, let’s take a look at May 12th, 1979. Halicki pitched a complete game 4-1 victory over Randy Lerch–super skinny tall fellow if I recall correctly. Roger Metzger’s meager hold on SS the last couple of years was starting to erode as a new young buck by the name of *Johnnie LeMaster* was starting to take over the position more regularly. Though he’d been with the big club for a few years, he was 25 in ’79 and Altobelli must have thought it was go-time for “J– Boo”. He got 3 hit today. He hit .254 for the year in ’79. For some unknown reason, I willfully collected a bunch of Del Unser baseball cards this year. I have no idea why……..

A-Gon or Hairston Jr?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 2, 2011

Those seem to be the 2 most likely utility guys that Sabes will target. Hairston is WAY more of a utility guy than Gonzalez, who is really just a shortstop. The only upside for either, if you could call it that, is that they could platoon with Crawford and at least have a chance of hitting lefties, pitchers that Crawford has proven can befuddle him with ease. I don’t know how a platoon situation would go over with a young guy like that since he doesn’t hit righties all that well either and I could see him pressing in games, especially when he knows a lefty is pitching the next day. But really, if you are worried that Alex Gonzalez or Jairy Hairy Whoever is going to take your job from you than you probably didn’t deserve the job in the first place.

I had a nightmare last night that had something to do with Buster Posey sliding into homeplate but just as he got there homeplate turned into a tidal wave that Barry Zito was surfing, engulfing both of them. The only living person left in the wake of the disaster was Eli Whiteside who was signing a 10 year extension outside of Hoover Tower at Stanford–don’t ask questions, it was just a dream……..

I can’t bring myself to cut and paste the list of remaining back up catchers. Blade posted it yesterday. It is underwhelming. And I’m not interested in a poll of Whitey(?) or Stewey(?) because they are both abominable. And this isn’t just about having a back up plan in case Buster goes down. He suffered a horrific injury, it is just not realistic to think that he’s going to come back after not playing almost an entire season and just slide easily behind the plate and start squatting down 200-250 times a game  for 150 games on that surgically repaired ankle. It makes far more sense to have an adequate back up (like Iannetta or Hernandez, both of whom are gone-zo) and let Buster play first base once or twice a week (especially against lefties). I hope Sabean keeps this in mind at the Winter Meetings where he can find a catcher who can actually play the position at the major league level………

Retro-Action Time, baby………..


It’s April 13th, 1979 and the Astros are in town. Friday night, 16822 show up to see Halicki vs Joe Niekro. The Giants won 8-7 to run their record to an impressive 6-2. Unlike today’s Astro team, I recognize every single name in that starting LU. A couple weeks ago I said that everything from the ’70’s was either *badass* or *old school* and that Astro LU is both of those from the top to the bottom. Jack the Ripper banged a bomb and a triple and Mad Dog had 3 RBI’s to help with the win. A young, soon to be nicknamed *Hacman* Leonard entered midgame for the Astros, took over center field and went 1-2 with a run scored……..

Signing a Utility Infielder and we Kick Off the 1979 Season at The Flap

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 1, 2011

Brandon Crawford’s vice-like grip on the SS job looks like more and more of a reality every day. Let’s look at The Flap Up to the Minute SS Free Agent Tracker:

Barmes: Off the table!

Santiago: Gone!

Adam Kennedy: Adios!

Willie Boomquist: Arrivederchi!

Alex Gonzalez: Ominously available……

Listening to Bochy on Ralph and Tom’s Show the other day, he did not sound too optimistic about Keppy coming back. His Spetember was ugly. It was *Rowand-like*, hitting .177. But the rest of his season he was right around .300. On a team that hits so poorly, I would think that .300 hitters would be welcomed back with open arms. He’s basically a healthier version of Freddy Sanchez. Anyway, Bochy’s interview was actually uncharacteristically revealing except for when he slipped back into auto-pilot on Keppinger with his usual array of cliche’s and generalities. That told me he’s not in their plans for 2012. Just a guess, though………

The available options are slim pickins’ unless you fancy *Slim* Gonzalez. I’m starting to think (hope) that Sabes pulls a rabbit out of his hat at the Winter Meetings–maybe tap into our bounty of relief pitching and pick up a utility guy that’s better than any of the 2011 FA utility players? It’s possible that Sabes deftly assessed the market for relief pitching, locked up all of his, and now he intends on trading Affeldt or Lopez for Jed Lowrie (his 2010 had me drooling on him in 2011 until more injuries hit him). Hey, it could happen……….

And now, Retro-Action Time


Let’s *fast forward* to 1979….It’s April 10th, the Home Opener. The season starts full of promise as the Giants win 3 of 4 from the Reds in Cincinnati to start the season. Vida Blue takes the hill against the iconic Gaylord Perry. 56,196 maniacs took the day off work for this ice-cold, windy (I’m just guessing here) Tuesday afternoon game. It was 2-2 going to the 9th, both hall of famers (well, Vida is in the BAHOF) were locked in an epic pitching battle, but Perry was the first to blink and he gave way to John D’Acquisto in the bottom of the 9th. Hot dog wrappers and other general debris swirl around home plate as he takes over for Perry. He gets 2 quick outs by striking out Ivie and getting Hill to ground out to 3rd. The crowd noise starts to swell as they see their hero, Willie McCovey, slowly emerge from the dugout and into the on deck circle to pinch hit for the light-hitting Metzger. Fifty-six thousand fans dream of the perfect ending, a walk off  HR by a man who’s delivered the gift  so many times before. But baseball’s a funny game, the unexpected is far more usual than the expected. Stretch doesn’t end it with a bomb but he does manage to muscle a single into right field. The inning stays alive and Altobelli turns to the little used and barely known “John Tamargo” to pinch hit for Vida. A now-grumbling crowd exhales and prepares for the likely inevitability of extra innings.Venable pinch runs for the aged McCovey…..

He lets the first pitch sail past and it’s called a ball. D-Acquisto winds and delivers. Tamargo swings…..And that’s hit deep!!!! This one has a channnnccce……. Gone!!!!!!! It’s Gone!!!!! John Tamargo has WON IT  for the Giants!!!!!!!!!!!

Walk off. Giants win 4-2. An epic baseball moment unfolds. Tamargo went on to hit one other HR for the Giants that season. He hit 4 total in his 5 year major league career that ended the next season in 1980 in Montreal. But what a *moment* he delivered that day. I doubt that any of the 56,196 ever forgot the day that John Tamargo sent them home happy  on that glorious Tuesday afternoon…..