A Place To Talk About Giants Baseball

Saturday Grab Bag

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 31, 2012

**** It turns out that having Zito *watch* Moyer didn’t have the desired effects……..

**** How weird must it be for Theriot and Fontenot? You get reunited with your best bud to work together at the same job. Then, a couple of months later, he’s the reason you get fired. Tough business……

**** We have NONE back up at 3rd base. Theriot played a few games there in 2007. That’s it. Apparently Pill is taking grounders there and might have even played in a game there this spring. If Pill is the back up 3rd baseman than this, along with the fact that he hits right handed and is probably better suited to come off the bench, will be the reasons that he stays and Belt goes down to Fresno.

**** Apparently Jaime Moyer just locked up the #2 spot in the Rockies rotation. The good news is that this should allow Barry to do even more *watching*. Shit, forget Zito, how do the #3,#4,#5 Rox starters feel about this? I’m not too worried about the Rockies this year if their #2 is Moyer…….

Another Zito *Quick Fix* Bust and Ray Lewis is Hard Not to Follow into the Darkness

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 30, 2012

I read a *funny* article to today in The Merc–“San Francisco Giants Want Barry Zito to Pay Close Attention to Moyer”. Ha, everyone has an idea about how to fix Zito. This is the group who come with this basic message: “Pitch like Tom Glavine or Jaime Moyer”. Easier said than done. Pav’s article was all about Righetti encouraging Zito to watch Moyer and see how he changes speeds while not changing the look of his delivery. Again, easier said than done or there would be 49 year old geezers littered across the mlb landscape. But there aren’t, there’s exactly one of those dudes probably anywhere in the world……

Zito can start changing up speeds with the best of them. His problem is and always will be *location*. He knows it too. You can see it in how he pitches. He pitches scared. He’s afraid of contact. And developing pinpoint location isn’t something you can learn by watching a video of Glavine or Moyer. You either have that gift, or you don’t……..

And he doesn’t………

_________________________________________________

Man, I’ve had my opinions about Ray Lewis over the years but after watching his pre-game speech to the Stanford men before their game against Minnesota I have to say, he is a remarkable speaker. It’s no wonder to me at all that players revere him the way they do. When he’s done playing football he’s likely going to become an extremely well paid motivational speaker…….

And if you missed it, he’s pretty good at post-game speeches, too….

Could The White Shark Be The One to Send Nate Back to the Bench?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 29, 2012

With the team sending out signals that Belt could start the season in Fresno, I’m wondering if there’s a chance that Blanco could actually crack into the starting line up on opening day. Two of our supposed starting outfielders (Nate and Pagan) are having abysmal springs. I would be shocked if the Giants took Pagan’s spring at face value and sent him to the bench before the real season even starts. Just from a PR standpoint it would be surprising to see them waive the white flag on that trade so early. So whether he bats leadoff or not, it’s probably safe to assume that Pagan is starting opening day……..

Nate shouldn’t feel as comfortable with the same expectation. I think it’s clear from Bochy’s comments this spring that he loves Gregor Blanco. And on at least one occasion he’s spoken publicly with words that would suggest Nate isn’t a lock for the starting right field spot.

Could Blanco’s spring training performance actually propel him into a starting opening day gig? I think the Giants know what Nate’s value is off the bench. Maybe they think Blanco could offer the same thing, I don’t know. But it’s clear that Bochy is not happy with his hitters as a group right now. Maybe he sends a message to the team that hard work and results count for something. Just like with Burriss, if Blanco turns into a pumpkin once the real games start then you can move him out of there no problem.

Personally, I have very low expectations for The White Shark. He’s still nothing more than an amusing spring side note to me. But he HAS produced and at the very least he’s got a significantly better nickname that, um, *Nate*. And we all know how much the Giants like to sell stuff……..

So what would YOUR starting outfield look like?

Turning Over a Line Up

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 28, 2012

It was interesting to see how much our line up has changed since last year. Here was the starting line up the last time Lincecum threw to Posey (March 21st, 2011):

Torres CF
Sanchez 2B
Posey C
Burrell LF
Ross RF
Huff 1B
Tejada 3B
Fontenot SS

There’s the possibility that Buster is the only guy from that LU starting in the same position on Opening Day (Huff might start in LF)….

As I type this, the A’s just went down 3-1 in the 11th against the Mariners in the *season opener*. Spud Selig has made a lot of dumb decisions over the years, but playing the first game of the year in Japan at 3am might be one of his dumbest. What percentage of Mariner and A’s fans got up to catch this game? Was it even on tv?

The Dodgers sold for 2 billion dollars? Hey, Forbes was only about a half a billion off, right? lol.

The MAIN Reason Why The Giants Should Re-Sign Matt Cain

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 27, 2012

I just read Kawakami’s article at the Merc and I was surprised that he left out the biggest reason the Giants have to sign Matt Cain. I agreed with his 5, but the most important reason to sign Cain now is so that they don’t get bent over by Lincecum when it’s his *turn*.

I’m on record as saying I hope the Giants don’t sign both Cain and Lincecum. Together, it would probably cost in the ballpark of 250 million to ink them. That’s just too much. Especially for pitchers who are much greater injury risks than position players….

But they really do need to sign at least one of them. And if Cain walks there will be absurd pressure on ownership and Sabean to *do something*. We all know how they react when they feel like they have to do *something*. Panic-mode sets in and they do something stupid. (see: Rowand, Aaron and Zito, Barry). If Cain walks, the Lincecum would likely get the 8 years he’s looking for and we would regret that deal forever……

With Cain OR Lincecum anchoring the staff, the Giants should be able to keep the pitching near the top of the league for the next half decade or so. Remember, Bumgarner isn’t a free agent till 2017 and he is going to be RIGHT THERE with Cain and Timmy in terms of production over the course of the next 5 years. That’s the other reason, by the way, that you can’t pay BOTH Timmy and Matt to stay here. Once Bum rolls into his arbitration years he could be making 20 million a year just like Timmy is now. There’s no way the Giants can pay three starting pitchers 65-70 million dollars a year. That is not happening……..

We’ve gotten spoiled here in San Francisco with rock solid pitching. We’re used to having 4 studs to trot out there every week. But that isn’t reality. We’ve had a window of unreal luck with our pitching but the window is closing. And the answer isn’t to pay 250 million to keep it open. If Sabean continues to misfire on his pitching draft picks (and all signs point to lots of misfires over the last few drafts) then he’s going to have to pick up some *Room B* free agent pitchers. It’s not all bad, lots of the Room B guys will want to come here. Pitchers love it at AT&T. And they get better, too. Our staff will be fine as long as we sign Cain and Bum does what we expect him to do. Let the Yankees or the Red Sox pay Timmy his 8 year deal and watch how that turns out……..

This is Zito’s Worst Spring as a Giant

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 26, 2012

I suppose the headline is at least arguable. Man, he’s had some doozies! In 2008, he had a 10.31 and a WHIP of 1.96. He walked 13 and struck out 4 batters that year.

But I still think this one is worse. His ERA is better (6.61) and he’s definitely crouching his ass off.  But he’s given up 25 hits in 16.1 innings. Opponents are hitting .379 off him and his WHIP is an incomprehensible 2.08!

If I wasn’t a Giants fan I would be totally intrigued with what he’s going to do once the season starts—like a *just how bad can this get* kind of moment.

People forget, he only started 9 games last year. And it wasn’t just because of his *injuries*. He didn’t start a game after July 31st and was reduced to 4 relief appearances in September. So when you hear fans say “he’s just as good as everyone else’ #5” that isn’t actually true. I’m not going to bother to look it up, but most teams have a #5 who makes more than 9 starts in a season…….

And most #5’s have WHIP’s that fall somewhere  in the 1’s….

So we’re going into our 6th season with Zito. Six long years. What to expect in 2012? Well, we know there’s going to be lots of crouching. Maybe he’s crouching so much so we can’t see him on the mound–can’t boo what you can’t see, right? I’ll let Clubber Lang handle this prediction:

Cerebral Sunday Morning Musings……..

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 25, 2012

* If BOTH Burriss AND Blanco are in the starting line up on Opening Day then I’d put the D-backs at about -200 to win that game….

* Can someone explain to me what the problem would be with Posey playing first base vs lefty pitchers and taking a day off a week to rest? That gives Sanchez 3 days a week behind the dish plus an outstanding switch hitting bat off the bench when Posey starts…..

* when the news broke that BOTH Fontenot AND Theriot were hitting the trade block, what was there more of, crickets chirping or hyena’s howling? Could be time for a little more *showcasing*…….

* Pablo is hitting .200 this spring……..

* Huff’s done enough to win the 1 bag job. Have Pagan (.191 ba) and Nate (consistently underwhelming) done enough to lose their outfield jobs? Who’s up for a Belt/Melk/Blanc starting outfield on opening day, lol.

* over/under on number of games Voggy wins this year: 7.5

* Kevin drafted 8 closers. Just sayin’…..

* Dirt drafted Pablo in the first round. When he wins the NL MVP, he will be the one laughing at us…….

Posey isn’t Getting Enough Innings Behind the Plate….

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 24, 2012

I just read that Posey has totaled exactly 27 innings behind the plate this spring. Flavor Nation, listen up: this is not good. I worried about this in my March 7th thread:

https://oneflapdown77.com/2012/03/07/posey-needs-to-start-catching-soon/

It still blows my mind that no one is worried about Posey’s current lack of *catcher conditioning*. And I mean NOBODY. I haven’t heard a coach wonder about, Posey wonder about it, talk show chumps wonder about it….nobody.

Except me……

From that, you might draw the conclusion that Big Flavor is a gynormous-worry-wart-pussy. And you might be right about that. I’m not saying you ARE right about that, just that, you know, the possibility exists that I’m overreacting to Buster’s lack of conditioning behind the dish this spring……

But all signs, at least to me, are pointing to us starting a catcher on opening day who doesn’t have *catcher legs* under him. And if that’s the case, at BEST he will be underwhelming with his bat and his defense for at least a month or so to start the 2012 season. At worst? See: Mauer, Joe>>>>Bi-lateral leg weakness>>>>>DL>>>>>lost season.

Here are Mauer’s career spring training numbers (just look at the innings):

And I’m going to re-post what the Twins trainer said AFTER Mauer went down last year 2 weeks into the season with bi-lateral leg weakness:

“He, I don’t think. has had the repetitions for catching or anything else,” McWane said. “Once the season started, he started to wear down. He wasn’t strong enough to handle the everyday catching…..”

Buster Posey 2012 spring training catching innings: 27, as of today.

And Mauer, who went down 2 weeks into the season, at least played the entire 2011 at catcher. Posey hasn’t played catcher in a major league baseball game since May, 2011.

The good word coming out of Bochy is that we will see Buster playing a decent amount of first base. Keep *easing* him back into the job. That might save him and allow him to get his *catcher legs* under him as the season starts and progresses. We’ll see. But I think the prospect of 3 automatic outs at the end of the line up (Crawford, Whiteside, Pitcher) will deter Bochy from playing Posey at first base a often as he is planning on doing so. Again, we will see…….

Buster Posey has caught 27 innings in the last 10 months. Starting catchers need to be able to get in the squat and catch around 250-260 innings A MONTH during the season. Does anyone seriously think that he’s ready to carry that type of load?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 24, 2012

I was disappointed, along with probably most of you, to see that Joe Torre has taken back his job working as Executive VP of Baseball Operations for major league baseball. That job lay dormant and unfilled while Torre tried unsuccessfully to buy the Dodgers. It’s a super critical job that as far as I can tell has no duties and no expectations and a fat salary. The only time I’ve EVER heard the job referenced before was when we got to listen to Torre’s idiotic response for why he wouldn’t even pass the possibility of a home plate collision rule change on to the rules committee. That smug-fuck could barely contain his derision of Bochy who had been logically pushing for at least a discussion of a rule change. My #1 Pacific Northwest Flapper “Bird Dog” sent me this photo. I’ve posted it before but it is much more dramatic when you add in the lines. Posey was blocking the plate? My ass:

I’m sure Torre would get a kick out of this picture, probably calling Posey a pussy at least 3 or 4 times…..

Yesterday, Buster had his first play at the plate since the accident. I didn’t see it, but it sounds like he is doing as instructed, going with some absurd swipe tag. My gut tells me that at some point in the season his competitive fire takes over and he stands his ground on a home plate collision. Whatever the outcome is, I’m sure Torre will ignore it…….

When a Spring Training Batting Average is Something to Worry About

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 23, 2012

Yes, spring training batting averages are mostly meaningless. I don’t hold *bad ones* against a player if that player has proven that he can hit major league pitching. And if he’s too young or inexperienced, that’s another reason to give a hitter a free pass on their Arizona batting averages.

A lingering injury can also be a decent enough excuse (see: Schierholtz, Nate).

But at some point in a spring, you have to say to yourself, “if this guy can’t hit those guys I don’t want to see what they would do at the mlb level….”

We’ve got 5 guys in camp right now who are teetering on the brink of *spring batting average incompetence*……..

1) Brett Pill. Everyone seems to love themselves some Pill because of this *right handed power stick off the bench* that we need so badly. Well, he’s hitting .267 this spring. That’s right around his career minor league average (.279). At some point it might start becoming painfully obvious why this guy vanished on the prospect chart. But we’re desperate for his perceived bat off the bench so……

2) Coner Gillaspe. He’s hitting .207 this spring and while no one considers him a short or long term option at third base he is still a good reminder of what’s behind Pablo Sandoval should he get hurt. Yikes…….

3) Number 3 is sort of a hybrid of futility. Stew/Whitey have a combined OPS this spring of .1186. That’s still short of the .1266 OPS that Hector’s put up all by his lonesome……

4) Justin Christian. He’s hitting .214. I know he had a decent year in the minors last year and got a quick look in SF last September, but if this dude is anything more than AAA outfield depth, we are in trouble….

What’s scary about this list of 5 guys is that 2 of them will almost certainly be on the roster on Opening Day. Since NONE of them can hit, even 40% of this futility is something to worry about……….

Valuing a Major League Team

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 22, 2012

I’ve been waiting for the latest Forbes issue to come out. With the Dodger’s rumored to have a dozen legitimate buyers all willing to go north of 1.5 BILLION dollars to purchase them, I was curious to see what Forbes would say they were worth. Last year they said the Dodgers were worth a pedestrian 800 million—And yet there’s a bunch of cats out there that are saying with their offers that the team is worth much more than that.

Here’s Forbes latest *attempt* at valuing mlb clubs. This is just the top 11:

well, whattya know, LA just increased their value by 75% in a single year! Wow! Hey, Forbes says that’s what they’re worth so that has to be what they’re worth, right?

Obviously, Forbes has no idea what any of these teams are actually *worth*. If the Giants were put on the market today, I bet they couldn’t predict within 100 million dollars of the final purchase price. In fact, I bet they aren’t within 100 million of the Dodgers final purchase price, and that’s with their lame attempt to reassess their value on this year’s list (I say “lame attempt” because they’re obviously just going off of the current publicized rumors of what the Dodgers will ultimately sell for).

If every single team was suddenly put up for sale I would bet that a Flapper Prediction Contest could come as close or closer than Forbes would to the final sale price for each team……

Different Options for Glass-Chez

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 21, 2012

What’s more surprising? Joe Lacob finding out that Warrior fans don’t really, really like him or Glass Sanchez finding out he isn’t going to be ready to play second base on opening day? There are often surprises in the sports world, but neither of these should be a surprise to anyone.

What will the Giants do about the 2-bag come opening day? Glass will hit the DL the same way he has so many times before and Theriot will start at 2nd base. If RT looks like Tejada 2011 then I guess I could envision Bochy giving Burriss a try but that seems unlikely.

I would like to know if this is just Sanchez’ should not quite being ready, maybe missing by a few weeks or if this is something that is going to signal the end of his career at second base. I think that HAS to start being considered. And if that’s the case then maybe it’s time to consider a move to first base. That couldn’t be THAT difficult of a move for him, could it? Of course, I’m sure he hasn’t taken even a single grounder over there this winter. And it’s not like we have a spot for him over there, we’ve got got guys 3 deep already at first. But in terms of extending his career, I think that’s something he should consider……

The Giants will start him on the DL but I think that’s a mistake. he’s got no problems at all swinging the bat. Brett Pill seems to be about to snag a roster spot because of his coveted “right handed bat off the bench.” I’m fine with Pill and all, but wouldn’t Sanchez be a better option off the bench? He’s an infinitely more accomplished major league hitter. And if the chances of him hurting himself swinging are low (though with *Glass* there’s never anything *low* about a potential injury) I don’t see why he can’t keep re-habbing his shoulder while sitting on the bench waiting to help out in an actual game……

But maybe that’s just too obvious of an option to consider………

Enough with The Posey/Glass-chez Watch. Let’s Talk About the Pitching

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 20, 2012

Felled with a vomitous flu yesterday, I wasn’t able to get a main thread or a BBOTD up. But I’m back, mostly, walking upright with the rest of the humans. We’ve spent all Spring talking about the hitting, who plays where, how the rehab for Buster and Glass-chez are going, etc. Discussions related to the pitchers has been almost non-existent. And I’m not just talking about the blog, I listen to a fair amount of KNBR talk radio and neither the hosts or the callers seem to have to much interest in talking about the pitching. Part of that is because we don’t have too many jobs up for grabs. There might be one, if Bochy decides to go with 12 pitchers which he’s likely to do. Here are the pitching stats so far this spring. I reorganized it by *innings pitched* so we could see who is getting the most work and, therefore, who is getting the longest look…..

The first thing that jumps out at me, and I’m really astounded by this, is the fact that we don’t have a single *blow up* ERA until you get all the way down to someone named “Fitzgerald. J” who checks in with a 9.82 and a ticket to Fresno. Usually in spring if you have one bad appearance that pretty much does it for your spring ERA. So while we all know how awesome our pitching is, I don’t think anyone envisioned EVERY single pitcher of consequence having a solid spring. I haven’t seen more than a few innings a week and maybe an inning on the radio now and again so I don’t have a personal opinion about who should get that 12th spot, should there be one available. I know that no one has stood out this spring the way Voggy did last year. But here are the stats and you guys can kick them around today if you like. It’s good to be back, I definitely noticed the disruption to my daily routine by NOT getting a thread up yesterday……

The Looming Burriss Decision

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 18, 2012

Manny Burriss sure is going out with a bang, isn’t he? Or maybe he’s not going out at all. Through yesterday, here are the hitting stats for our 2nd basemen this spring:

He’s out of options and I’m sure it would irritate the Giants to no end if they had to waive him after all these years. He likely would get claimed by another team. You would think that Theriot would be on the bubble but with Glass Sanchez still not able to throw a baseball overhand it’s unlikely that Bochy would feel comfortable with THAT much Burriss in the mix.

Since we don’t need a 5th starter until the middle of April, I fully expect the Giants to start Voggy on the DL and that would allow the Giants an extra roster spot of flexibility which could easily go to Burriss. So maybe it’s not time to wave goodbye just yet….

And now for a random pic of Brandon Belt and his wife. He’s hoping she goes the *low-carb* route as she gets older……

The Curious Case of our #2 Catcher. Why Should this be So Difficult?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 17, 2012

Last year, we were force fed a heaping dose of pain. Down the hatch went El Presidente and his untrusted VP. All season we waited for Sabean to find a competent, major league replacement for Posey but none were to be found. Picking up someone like that, mid-season, is just not an easy thing to do……

At the end of the season we saw Whiteside STILL playing, even in meaningless games. Hector Sanchez watched quietly from the bench probably wondering to himself “How could THAT guy be playing in front of me?” The season ended and we had all learned a good lesson about the back up catcher role. When your starting catcher is a  star, you simply have to have a back up for him that is competent. It was ugly and obvious: there was just too great of a drop off from Posey to the deep depths below of Whitey and Stewart………

Sadly, the off season brought us nothing except the same guys. A lesson that I thought was so obvious to learn clearly wasn’t and from the start of spring training all signs have pointed to the same 2 numb skulls fighting it out for the back up catcher spot……

And with Posey getting almost no game conditioning behind the plate this Spring it would seem obvious to me that having a competent back up would be critical going into the 2012 season. And I think we all know that he’s going to be seeing a lot of time at first base this year. Again, unless the Giants are planning on having an orange back stop as their replacement player, the writing on the wall seems to be the back up spot going to Whitey or Stewart…..

Here’s what the catchers have done this spring:

Toss Susac, Williams and Joseph out since they were just in Arizona to smell the air and be seen by the coaches. The obvious player who is tearing up the Cactus league is Mr. Hector Sanchez. The current belief is that he’s getting better at calling a game but that he’s not ready yet. Apparently, he won’t know what to throw Braun in a 2-2 count. I don’t think this should be the reason he isn’t our #2 catcher on opening day. For starters, he’s not going to learn what to throw mlb hitters if he’s catching down in Fresno. Like anything else, at some point he’s going to have to do it in a game and there will be some bumps along the learning curve. A possible response to this would just be to have our veteran stud pitching staff shake him off if he calls the wrong pitch. I know this sounds like a WILD plan but come on, is it really that hard to have the pitcher over rule the guy a few times over the course of a game?

With Posey playing a lot of first base, the back up catcher WILL get some regular playing time. And when Posey is catching, Hector can sit in the dugout, watch and learn. Hell, have Decker come sit next to him for a month or 2 and teach the kid everything he needs to know. Daily catching lessons from watching and talking to Posey (as well as Mr Former Catcher Bochy) will accelerate the learning curve. And while he’s learning and playing a couple of days a week he’s doing something completely foreign to Whitey and Stewart—he’s *hitting*.

Maybe Bochy and Sabean are cool with 3 automatic outs at the bottom of the line up (Crawford/Whitey or Stewart/Pitcher but they shouldn’t be. How can you win consistently if you are literally giving away 1/3 of your outs every game?

Hector Sanchez should be the back up catcher when the team breaks for San Francisco. But we all know he won’t be………

Poll Results: Looking Back on Your Votes

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 16, 2012

Since one of my great skills in life is coming up with awesome baseball polls that cause zero controversy and are completely fair and devoid of bias,  I thought I’d look back and see how past polls shook out. How did the consensus do on actual *outcomes*. The last one doesn’t have an outcome yet. And a few don’t have outcomes, they just show how everyone felt *at the time* the poll was taken. Anyway, let’s take a look:

July 7th, 2010 What should the Giants do with Renteria?

10/30/2010 Who will be *your guy* from the 2010 team?

11/30/2010 Who will be our 2011 shortstop?

2/24/2011 What will the Giants do with Rowand?

6/26/2011 Would you trade Dirrrrrrty for Jose Reyes?

7/22/2011 Who do you think is going to rebound this year?

11/8/2011 As a Giants fan, do you support the trade of Dirrrrty for Melky?

12/7/2011 Do you support the trade of Vungo for Pagan?

This next one is long, sorry, but I wanted to fit the entire roster in and I had to snip it twice because it was too big.

11/23/2011 From the 2011 Giants roster, who will never play in the major leagues again?

Anyway, just a reminder that you might forget about the poll you vote on but the results never go away. Muhuhahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Blanco Train is Officially Out of Control

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 15, 2012

Hey, I’m down with Gregor Blanco. If the baseball thing doesn’t work out he’s ready to roll as a bull fighter with that great name. Maybe he teams up with *Fab Melo* on some pay-per-view project. And I can say with near certainty that the official fan club, and I’m talking about in the world, started here at this blog by our own Bozo the Clown. So we here at The Flap have been in Blanco’s corner before pretty much anyone else…..

But Bruce Bochy’s comments about him yesterday were bordering on the absurd…….

“He can be a great starter, too,” Bochy said. “With those tools — I’m not going to pencil him in, but the player that you see is young and I’m sure at some point in his career he’s going to be starting.”

OK, first of all, this is a career minor leaguer.

I’n not sure if Bochy was paying attention to the question or even the answer that he delivered, but this guy is not considered *young* he’s older than Brett Pill. He’s got not power and he doesn’t hit for average. Bad combo. His best minor league OPS year was his FIRST minor league season: .776. That was in 2002. And he batted .201 in 252 minor league at bats in 2011. I suggested a few weeks ago that this mind blowingly bad batting average could have been due to a hidden injury. But even still, .201 in the minor leagues is….just….not….good…….

I’ll be both mildly amused and moderately supportive if Blanco makes the team as our utility outfielder. I like speed and he’s got speed.

But if Gregor Blanco is ever starting for us for an extended period of time, we have some enormous problems on our hands………

Checking in on 5 *Other* Giants

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 14, 2012

Quick post this morning. I thought I’d round up the stats of some of our former players and see how they’re doing this spring:

Vungo: he’s dealt with a minor hammy thing but has gone 5 for 13 so far (.385) with a .967 OPS.

Ross: Cody’s crushing the ball. He’s 7 for 14 (you do the math) and that’s not including the 2 homer game he had to start the season against a college team.

Dirrrrrty: I’m gonna miss typing his name this season. 2 appearances, it’s not starting well. 3 innings, 21.00 ERA. 2 walks, 2 k’s. He’s also shaved the beard. There is an interview he gave recently (don’t have time to find it) where he must have said at least 3 times that he doesn’t care how many walks he gives up in a game. He was basically just defending his wicked stuff and how confident he is in it. It was just weird to hear his opinion about walks. If anyone finds that interview, feel free to post it………

Rowand: he’s 1 for 17. ‘Nuff said……..

Beltran: 3 for 11, hitting .273.

 

Our Time is NOW…..

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 13, 2012

I enjoyed reading last night’s thread (this morning). Good points, respectfully delivered, from both sides. I’ll attribute that to the video of my daughter getting everyone in a nice, friendly mood……

But to add to last night’s discussion, and to quote Snarkk’s final post of the night…”they are here this season. Giants need to make hay THIS season.”

And I couldn’t agree more with that point. We are in the midst of an incredible run of pitching, one that few teams every get to experience over the course of their entire FRANCHISE. The window is still open in all it’s glory. Barring injury, and at least on paper, we have an offense going into the season that looks like it can at least hold the jockstrap of our pitching staff. With a deft add at the break, as well as some good luck rollin’ our way, there is reason for great optimism for the 2012 Giants…..

But the idea of keeping the staff together the way the Braves did in the 90’s is short sighted. For one, a staff like that has been kept together and performed at an extended, collective level very few times over the course of the last 20 years. In fact, I’ll say it’s happened that one single time, but maybe I’m missing another team that did it. And for all that, they won exactly the same number of world series’ that we have.

It’s also a different time. Smoltz, Glavine and those guys were each making around 6 million a year through the mid to late 90’s. You aren’t getting Timmy for less than 22 a year, I don’t think, and probably closer to 25. Cain won’t be less than 18 and will probably be 20. And both deals will be a minimum of 5 years. So you’re talking deals that would be between 200-250 million.

And I’m positive that another pitching starved, big market team looking to make a media splash would offer either of them more than the Giants would offer them.

Do the Giants have the dough to pull it off? Probably. But how much would be left to field the rest of the team? And how many examples have we seen of a pitcher throwing up huge production through his arbitration years only to fall flat backwards after he signs the giant free agent deal. As I’ve said a million times, it is idiotic to pay for the back of someone’s baseball card. Spend your money on advanced scouting throughout the world and make skillful draft picks and foreign signings that hit. That is how you do it in today’s major league baseball world.

The way the ownership has set up their “board of directors” with Baer as the requisite bobblehead, it is clear that the payroll is going to be watched very carefully going forward. You throw 200-250 million at 2 players and you’re digging yourself a potential hole that takes forever to get out of. I would sign one or none and I really would be fine signing neither. We’ve got some fantastic bats in the system for the first time maybe ever. Draft hitters who HAVE to play for us since we can’t get them to come via free agency. Free agent pitchers will want to sign here. We just haven’t had to explore that because of all this fantastic run of pitching. And I don’t mean sign the “Tim’s and Matty’s”. Second tier free agent pitchers will do fine here…….

The Flap Bracket Contest

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 12, 2012

If this goes anything like setting up my ESPN fantasy league this should take about 3 days to complete…..

I’m doing a Flap Fantasy Bracket Contest–bragging rights and a spot to the right honoring your genius over the rest of us is the prize.

Here’s the link to the cbssports group I created. Click the link and it SHOULD take you to a place where you can sign up. The password is: worldbfree

Try to use a name that I will recognize, I don’t want random lurkers in on this. Once you’re set up you can click under “options”>>>*personal* and hide your email address and change your *name* to whatever you want. But like I said, have it be something I recognize…….

Here’s the link: http://flapmad.mayhem.cbssports.com/e

 

A quick video of my baby doll rockin’ out and playing a video game on the computer Twin game me…..

Spring Rolling Along, Questions Still Lingering

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 12, 2012

I’ll try to avoid any sarcastic comments today and just fire straight away on 2 specific topics we’ve covered but continue to have no resolution….

1) Glass Sanchez. According to C-Stew, he’s hitting rockets in BP but still isn’t throwing and yesterday was “soft tossing the ball gingerly back to Wotus.” I have exactly zero faith in GS to pull off the impossible exacta of getting healthy/staying healthy this season. What sucks is that he could probably be useful as a pinch hitter since hitting isn’t a problem. What I think is going to happen: he comes back, plays ok for a bit and then re-injures himself diving or tumbling somewhere on the infield. Then we get Theriot and some Font for the rest of the year. Certainly not a downgrade, as I’ve suggested for a while now, but we will lose the one value that Glass still has left in him (his bat)…….

Buster is going to catch 4 innings on Tuesday. I hope everyone remembers my March 7th post. Posey is NOT going to get enough innings catching this spring and I am absolutely leery of it affecting the conditioning of his legs when the season gets underway. I haven’t read one article (except mine) that remembers the mistakes the Twins made with Mauer last season. The Giants are doing the same thing with Posey by trying to *ease him* back in and it’s going to bite them in the ass. According to C-Stew, he thinks that The VP is going to get the nod as the back up to Posey due to his defense. I don’t think C-Stew has placed adequate value on the furious love Bochy has for El Presidente. Does someone want to hazard a guess as to just how bad Hector Sanchez is at catching? Because for whatever reason his awesome hitting skills are not going to be able to make up for his deficits at catcher. He’s DHing more than he’s catching. With the great concern there should be about who our back up catcher is this season, it makes no sense to me why a major league ready bat isn’t being considered as Buster’s back up…….

Leading the League with Our Bats……

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 11, 2012

About a week into Spring Training, I think it’s safe to say that the offense is hitting on all cylinders. When was the last time you saw an SF Giant team stat line that looked like this:

Melk has a 1.667 OPS. Crawford, Burriss and Blanco are all hitting in the mid-400’s. El Presidente is rollin’ with at a .364 clip……….************Note to Readers***********: I don’t actually think these Giants hitters will continue to hit at this clip. This was a sarcastic swipe at the offense. That is, unless you think me lumping Crawford, Burriss and Blanco together as *mid .400* hitters is an indication you think I think they’ll keep that going……..

Zito is crouching along with a 2-0 record, 3.60 ERA. Tom House says he can pitch for another 10 years. Tom House must have been drunk or high when he gave that interview to Schulman……

I think Surkamp is pitching today. Definitely interested to see if he can reverse that horrendous bb/so ratio we saw last September. Word was that he was fatigued and I can buy that one time. We could be turning to him when Zito’s Law kicks in…….

Hey! Curry hurt his ankle again! I’m wondering if Jackson’s plan is to turn that ankle into something that resembles uncooked hamburger meat left out in the sun for a few days— that’s where this is headed. Sit him down for the rest of the season already……..

Spring Training Results Mean Nothing Except When They Mean Something

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 10, 2012

As I’ve said before, I really only worry about the *bad* doing *good* not the other way around. If someone like Zito goes out and has a good spring it just gives Bochy, Zito the team, everyone, a false sense of what’s to come in the upcoming season. Normally, I wouldn’t care what Aubrey Huff hits in ST but Bochy is telling everyone that there is an open competition at first base. I think that the core of Giants management WANTS Huff to win that job. Besides the dough they’re paying him, Bochy and Sabean want their team to be as vet-laden as possible.

So I’m starting to wonder what Belt and Huff would have to hit the spring for the job to actually fall to Belt. Some would say, “well, Belt already won a starting job last spring, why couldn’t he win another?” Last spring he won the job because Ross was hurt, not because he tore up the spring. Belt hit .282 last spring……

As of today, Belt is hitting .389 and Huff is checking in at a ho hum .214. I thought something like .400 > .200 might do the trick and they’re just about there.

And as weak as our bench is I don’t think an unhappy Aubrey Huff would strengthen it at all. He’d be terrible coming off the bench both from a creaky physical side as well as a psychological “F-this” side. I also don’t think Belt would be too good coming off the bench, though probably better than Huff…..

So if it came down to batting average differential, what would it have to be for BOCHY to pull the trigger and go with Belt at first base?

The A’s Moving (or Not Moving)– I’m SO Over all of This

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 9, 2012

The two statements (or emails or whatever) put out by the Giants and the A’s were of little interest to me. As far as I can tell, the A’s released theirs because they’re tired of waiting on Selig. A couple of years ago, when I found out that Wolff and Selig were actually frat bros, I figured the move to San Jose was a done deal. I guess being your frat bro just doesn’t mean as much as it used to. It’s also possible that Selig doesn’t hold that much clout in the decision. If the move has to be approved by a majority of ownership then I could see many, if not all, not wanting to set a precedent by overturning another team’s territorial rights. Why set it up to screw yourself down the road when a team wants to move into your *area*?

I’ve got no idea why the Giants released their statement. Public opinion? Trying to bully the A’s? It’s clear that they are ready to do battle in court over this and if that’s the case I don’t know why they would care about a single A’s public statement (unless they were trying to show the A’s that they are ready to throw down with them on this issue. A “you can’t handle the truth!” kind of moment……..

Personally, I could care less if the A’s move to San Jose. I actually think I’d like it a little. It would make attending an AL game much easier to do. If the Yankees or the Red Sox were in town they would actually *be in town* and I could attend the game. Actually, that would be a lot of coin. But if The Royals were in town and I wanted to go see Dirrrrty pitch again, hey, it would be about a 15 minute car ride for me. Easy. Driving to the Coliseum to see a game? Screw that. I-880 is a complete nightmare. They ought to change the speed limit on that road to *7 mph*— that’s about the average speed I seem to travel when I’m forced to use that road……..

If the A’s moved to San Jose, I don’t think the Giants would have a single thing to worry about in terms of losing a meaningful percentage of their fan base. I know a lot of Giants fans down there—they are hardcore, there’s no way in hell they’d flip over to wearing an A’s cap. NO WAY. Maybe the Giants are worried about losing their corporate luxury box guys–I could see that being a concern……..

But really, none of it is the slightest bit interesting to me anymore.

Posey Needs to Start Catching Soon

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 7, 2012

Word out of Bochy is that Posey is going to be starting Friday. Hopefully, that date doesn’t get pushed out. Catching is a unique job with different conditioning requirements than the other position players. You’ve got to be able to squat on and off for 2-3 hours and you’ve also got to be able to get into and out of the squat approximately 180-200 times a game. Stop reading this post and go put yourself in a catcher’s stance for a 6 or 7 seconds……Ok, that’s ONNNNEEEE…..Not easy, is it? Time for a trip to the mound before your back goes out……..

Let’s rewind to last season and remember what happened to the great Joe Mauer. He had a terrible year. And it started off with the team *easing* him back into his role as catcher. Mauer had surgery in December of 2010 and the team decided to give him a light work load with the hopes that it would ease him back into the grind of a season’s worth of squatting. He played in only 8 spring training games last year.

Whoops….

About 2 weeks into the season he was diagnosed with something called “bilateral leg weakness”. Owning him in a fairly high end fantasy league at the time, my diagnosis was “huge pussy”. But looking back on it, clearly he wasn’t ready for the rigors of every day catching…….

Here is what the Twins head trainer, Rick McWane,  had to say about it at the time: “He hasn’t had the repetitions for catching…Once the season started, he began to wear down….He wasn’t strong enough to handle the every day catching….He had weakness and soreness in his body just from catching….”  (Those quotes were compiled from a single ESPN article, that’s why they seem a little disjointed.)

So it’s good to hear that Posey is going to start catching on Friday. If he played in the rest of the ST games that would be 13 games. I highly doubt they play Posey in every spring training game once he’s set to go on Friday. So what’s he gonna get? 10 games? Everyone’s body is different and just because Mauer only played in 8 ST games and developed bilateral leg weakness doesn’t mean Posey will suffer the same problem. But Buster hasn’t played since last May. He is WAY further away from his last catching day than Mauer was when he went out and got diagnosed with bilateral leg weakness 2 weeks into the season. As of today, Posey’s conditioning as a catcher is simply not there.

I actually don’t have super high hopes for Buster this season. I think, at best, he starts off slowly and really gets going by June (or maybe even the 2nd half of the season). At worst, he re-injures the ankle and he has to hit the DL. Look at the going on 2 years running rehab that Kendry Morales has undergone in his ongoing attempt to come back from his leg injury. Consider the absurd number of recurring ailments that Steph Curry has dealt with this year on his foot….

I just think it’s foolish to think that a guy who suffered a horrific ankle injury will just hit the ground running both mentally and physically after 10 (or so) games in Spring Training in the most physically demanding position on the diamond. It’s a huge concern that’s exacerbated when you see that El Presidente and The VP are on the roster. I’m telling you, when push comes to shove and it’s time for Bochy to pull the 2nd catcher trigger I will be shocked if he’s able to do anything other than offer up a long, warm embrace for good ‘ol reliable *Whitey*. Texting him daily and taking him on several off season fishing trips just won’t be the same. Whitey ain’t goin’ anywhere…….

And if you think this is no big deal and I’m worrying about nothing, take a peek at Mauer’s 2010/2011 seasons:

Posey really wasn’t having that good of a year when he went down last May. It certainly was respectable for a catcher but his OPS was off more than 100 points from the year before (.862 > .756). Mauer dropped about 150 OPS points off his 2010. Could we really tolerate a Posey season if he dropped 150 OPS off what he was doing last year?

Not likely…….

How Deep Are the Giants? *Skin Deep* at least According to Jenkins

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 7, 2012

Jenkins wrote an article at the Chron today that suggested the team lacked depth and that it was *shallow*. He called the team a “fragile product” and included a quote from a major league scout who said “when it gets late…..I’m not sure the Giants scare anybody.” He also said “the Giants bench would be one of the weakest in the league” and that another Freddy Sanchez set back would *be devastating at second base*. He spent a few paragraphs worrying about Zito. There were other quotes but you get the point…

I’ve already blogged recently about my feelings about Freddy Sanchez—there would be nothing *devastating* about replacing him with Theriot (and some Fontenot). It would be a mild drop off at worst. And in some cases, it would improve the position since Theriot can steal you a bag and both players are healthy enough to play every day and throw a baseball without risk of their arms falling off. You can’t say the same for Freddy, at least at this point in his career……

Regarding the bench: It does look a little light, especially late in a game. But that is an area you could easily improve by sending Nate BACK to the bench and having Belt start. He’s far more effective coming off the bench, both as a pinch hitter and a late inning defensive replacement.

Another way to improve the bench with a *never gonna happen* idea: Have Freddy Sanchez come off the bench and start Theriot at 2nd base. Freddy can hit right now, his problem is, he can’t throw. I am 98.47% convinced that even if he gets healthy enough to play 2nd every day, at some point he’s going to re-injure himself. I also think he’s going to be a general liability in the field because he can’t throw. Having him come off the bench as a pinch hitter would preserve his fragile body and give us a good bat to use late in the game…..

But I get that the likelihood of that happening is just about zero……

Now, back to Nate. If he stays the starter I’m about 83.67% sure that the Giants will send Belt down to Fresno to get regular at bats. Unless Huff really implodes this Spring I see the Giants giving him the starting 1-bag job to open the season (and I disagree that there is any REAL competition going on at first base. The Giants are saying there is, but something polarizing would have to happen for their to be a change on opening day– ie, Belt has a monster Spring and Huff has a terrible one)…So, if all that goes down the way I suspect it will, then yes, you are now probably are talking about a weak bench made up of guys like Blanco, Burriss, Pill (pure conjecture that he would be a power hitting clutch pinch hitter) etc. All I’m saying is that it doesn’t NEED to go down like that if you do the Belt start/Nate bench thing (or the shocking consideration of sending Freddy to the bench)….

Jenkins spent the last third of his article discussing Zito. He didn’t really slam him, he just described him as who he is and seemed to infer that this was another *shallow* part of the team—but that is really a misguided point since almost all 5th starters are liabilities. We more than make up for our 5th guy with our 1-4……

I think the Giants can still get by with a weak bench. Remember who are designated hitter was in the World Series vs the Angels? It was Shingo. So we had a weak bench that year and still made the World Series…..

What I don’t think we can get by with is an injury to Pablo or Posey–certainly both going down would be devastating since we have nothing behind them at their respective positions. But now I’m just worrying about bad luck and that’s not something anyone should spend much time worrying about. If it happens, THEN I’ll worry about it.

Bottom line: I just don’t think the Giants are as *shallow* as Jenkins is suggesting they are………

Taking a Gander at our 5th Outfield Spot

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 6, 2012

So we know that Pagan, Melk and Nate are going to be our starting outfield. I hope that’s a fluid thing, if Belt has a monster spring and Nate just kinda pushes the ball around I see Belt as a far more productive *starting* player. Nate is a secret weapon off the bench. I don’t see why the Giants keep trying to force him into the starting LU. Anyway……

I’m taking Huff out of the discussion for the outfield because I just don’t think that at this point in his career he should be playing anything other than first base. Bochy probably sees this differently but he’s not writing this blog post so….Huff’s not an outfielder. There. It’s been said……..

Peguero and Kieschnick are the two home grown guys. I put very little value on what players do BEFORE they get to AA. Any A-league is really made up mostly of pitchers who have one pitch, usually that’s a fastball, and the hitters down there just sit on it. AA and AAA is where you start to see the ball bend and that’s where you find out what kind of a hitter you’ve got.

Peg’s and Keesh are 23 and 25, respectively. Peg’s has been in the org since 2006 and just hasn’t been able to take the next steps necessary to make it out of *prospect zone*. They finally moved him up to AA last year and he had a very nice year.

Here’s what he did in 2011 between San Jo and Richmond (I’m assuming you can figure out what these numbers are):

Keesh is probably considered a lesser prospect. He’s older and at 25 he needs to get it going in a hurry. He did ok at SJ in 2009 but he’s been kinda spinning his wheels in Richmond the last 2 years:

I don’t believe that either of these 2 guys have a shot at the #5 OF spot this year. Possibly Peguero…….

That leaves 2 other guys, Tyler Graham (who’s actually on the 40 man roster) and Gregor Blanco, Bunter Extraordinaire. Tyler is homegrown out of the 2006 draft. He is freakin’ f-a-s-t. At least, from a stolen base standpoint. 2010 was his *monster* year and last year he stole 60. That’s an inflated number because of Decker’s directive to run seemingly every time a player got on base. But you’ve still got to be fast to steal 60.

Blanco is interesting. He’s fiddled around in the minors since 2002 but he did play for Atlanta and KC for parts of 2008 and 2010. Here are his major league stats:

Last season he hit, impossibly, .201 in the the minors. At 28. that does not exactly put you on the fast track back to the major leagues. BUt a weird year like that hints at a possible injury he was playing through. Career minor leaguers who are on the wrong side of their 20’s don’t have the luxury of relaxing in the training room and healing whatever ails them.

And who could forget his magical 2010 when he led the major leagues with a .706 batting average? Ok, that was his bunting average, but he still led the entire league in something. That counts right? Plus, he’s got Bozo the Clown in his corner and I KNOW that counts for something…..

Assuming Belt takes over the starting OF spot and Nate goes back to his rightful seat on the bench, who do you think our 5th OF is going to be?

Bees Swarm and My First Draft Results

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 5, 2012

The early returns on Alex Pavlovic are in: he’s a keeper. This guy works just as hard as Baggs and he’s coming up with some good stuff along the way. I’m assuming you’re all reading his blog posts. Yesterday’s game got  delayed by a swarm of bees. Bees are a trip. I get a swarm of bees at my house every single year in the Spring time. They show up, buzz around the backyard for about an hour and then hit the road. No idea what they’re doing…….

OK, I realize this next topic will be of interest to few but the few it will interest should find it interesting. Huh? I am going to carry 5 fantasy teams this year (one more than usual) and yesterday I had my first draft. The benefit to drafting this early is that you don’t get swayed by ST performances and you can swoop in and pick guys up before the *buzz* gets going on them. Sorry, had to get one bee-joke in, everyone else is doing it. Anyway, yesterday was a 12 team league, 30 round draft. That’s likely the same one we’re doing for The Flap League, by the way……

Below is a list of my picks in round 1-30. You have to start 2 catchers.If you don’t want to punt the saves category you need 2 closers, though 3 is preferable. Drafts are unpredictable, you can have a plan that implodes at any point based on what the other owners are doing. I am mostly happy with my team though my *closer plan* fell apart quick……

I won’t go over every round, but here are some of my comments for each player taken.

I think Upton is going to have a monster year. The draft is KDS and I chose #8 specifically to get him. I didn’t want to have to take Tex in Rd 2 but other players I liked didn’t fall to me so I snagged him there (I probably could have got him in Rd 3). People are put off by his BA but it’s going to rebound big time this year to around .275. I’m not going to get into *Fanalytics* so you’re just going to have to trust me on his batting average prediction. Plus, he’ll hit 35 bombs with 100 runs scored and 100+ rbi’s. If he hits .275 that 2 pick will be absolutely justified……

TImmy was still around at pick 31 (my round 3 spot) and I had to take him. I wasn’t planning on taking a pitcher before round 7 but Timmy in round 3 was just too much value to pass on.5 pitchers went before him.

Pablo was going in round 6 in most mock drafts but I snagged him with my next pick in round 4.

I took Mauer in 6 because I don’t like worrying about catchers in the later rounds and I’m betting on him being healthy this year. He was going in round 2/3 last year. Buster was still available when I made this pick so that should tell you my concerns about him this year. I took Doumit as my 2nd catcher because he’s going to get a lot of at bats for Minn this year (DH, C, 1st and maybe even some outfield but he’s still qualifies as a catcher for the entire year) and he won’t drag my BA down as most 2nd catchers do……

Darvish is going around round 10-11 in most mock drafts. I took him in 7 and watched the draft room message board light up with cat-calls of what an idiot I am. I think he’s going to have a huge year and this is the same deal as a Euro horse who nobody knows what to do with. They’ve heard he’s good but the handicappers don’t know how good. Spring training is the horse racing equivalent to *workouts* and I think by the end of ST Darvish will be going at least 3 or 4 rounds higher than he’s going now. We’ll see….

I took Corey Hart in round 9 as a value pick. I had been checking the updated injury lines every 10 minutes and of course, a few minutes after I picked him, the news about his knee surgery broke. Bad luck.

I had planned to take either Madson/Hanrahan or Bell in round 10 but all 3 went just before my spot so I went with Anibel and I’m fine with that, he is going to have a monster year. But that meant I had to pick up Putz in 12 and that is a huge risk to count on him as my #1 closer. (Bee Wheezy went in 11, by the way). That’s the reason I went with Reed, Marshall, Koji and Cashner in later rounds, I need at least 2 of those guys to assume the closer roles this year (I’m hoping the A’s trade for Koji thus giving him that value).

Despite his Valley Fever, I took Davis in 14 because I think he’s going to hit 30+ bombs this year. I’m betting he beats the fever. If it wasn’t for the fever I was prepared to take him in 11 or so. 14 is where he’s been going in most mock drafts….

I took Pagan in 19 because he’s been going in 14 and that was just too much value. Plus, I do think he’s going to have a good year and he’s a Giant so I snagged him in 19.

I took Marshall in 24 because I had WANTED to take Madson in 10 but couldn’t get him. Marshall’s a stud, if Madson falters (and news broke last night that he’s dealing with an elbow *thing*) he’s the guy and with an opportunity, I think he’ll be money and either way, he’s got a fantastic skill set to own.

Speaking of value and *Giants* I took Torres in 25 and Ross in 27 because either or both could have nice bounce back years and  in those rounds they were worth the risk. Plus, in theory, I could now field an outfield that includes Pagan, Torres and Ross (you have to start 5 each week) though that would be unexpected. In the rounds I picked them I just need one of those guys to work out……..

Porcello in 28 was a steal.

Cashner should take over the closer spot in San Diego after Street’s first injury of the year. Plus, dude throws 100 and that’s just frickin awesome to have chillin’ on your bench…….

So there ya go. I’m sure you’ll find something else to talk about today and that’s fine, I just did this thread for the fantasy baseball guys……..

The Best Bunters Learn the Skill? Or are Born That Way?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 4, 2012

Does anyone actually care about the answer?

Last night, Michael posted an interesting stat about bunting for a base hit and the associated batting average. I think we were all surprised at how high those batting averages were.

2011 best bunters:

Here were the 2011 best sac bunters:

Check out Livan. 15 for 15. Now THAT is gettin’ it done, baby.

 

Find anything interesting about this list of the 2010 Best bunters?:

We plucked a dude batting .706 off the waiver wire. What a pick up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who is the Giants Most Vital Player

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 3, 2012

I was at CSNBayarea.com looking for Baggs’ most recent post and I stumbled upon an article written by someone named “Grant Cohn”. I’ve never heard of the dude and I’m new to this website so maybe he’s a well-respected columnist though I find that impossible to believe based on the article I read. It was titled “Who is the most vital Giants player?” and you can find it here:

http://www.csnbayarea.com/blog/giants-talk/post/Who-is-Giants-most-vital-player?blockID=662166&feedID=5879

I skimmed through it and he rattles off the usual suspects: Posey, Timmy, Wilson, Cain. But the 5th guy he listed was freakin’ Huff. And there’s a vote for the readers to share their opinion.

He didn’t mention Pablo Sandoval anywhere in the article….

Who the hell is *Grant Cohn* (I’m praying he’s not related to Lowell Cohn, a writer I’ve enjoyed for many years) and how could his editor let him get away with writing an article like this that didn’t include Sandoval in the discussion? Any half-baked Giants fan could come up with a list like this to vote on. Posey, Timmy and Bee Wheezy are probably locks to be on everyone’s list. Cain, too. But Aubrey Huff? Is that a joke? Huff is imminently replaceable by at least 3 guys at first base (Belt, Posey and maybe even Pill) and there’s no reason to even discuss him in the outfield. Huff is a 4th outfielder and probably more of an emergency outfielder at this point. If he doesn’t hit he’s a candidate to get freakin’ benched by May 1st, possibly released by June 1st. There’s zero that’s *vital* about Aubrey Huff.

Meanwhile, if The Panda goes down we have Conner Gillespe waiting in the wings to replace him. That’s a nightmare that should wake up ANY Giants fan…..

Sandoval is our best hitter. Case closed. Couple that with the fact that we have no one behind him if he goes down and it’s a simple path to follow to see that he is the “player the Giants can least afford to lose” (Grant’s quotations there). He also plays everyday, something the pitchers don’t do. Posey could easily be argued as most vital, too, for the same reasons….

So let’s have a vote and I’ll use the same players Grant Dilwad used but I’ll include Panda, too. Let’s see how he does…….

My order of most important goes Panda, Posey, Timmy, Cain, Bee Weeezy and a distant 5th so far down the line you’d need binoculars to read his name…wait a minute gimmie a sec, just tryin’ to…make……this…….out..I dunno I THINK that reads “Tawdry Bluff” but I can’t be sure. It’s something like that……..

Look, to me this is pretty simple, Panda and Posey play everyday and neither have anyone remotely replaceable behind them. Timmy and Cain are also impossible to replace (at the level they pitch) but they only play every fifth day. And while I love Bee Wheezy I think we’ve got at least 3 guys on the roster who can close adequately for an extended period of time. Huff is replaceable with a bag of baseballs and a cleaned out ash tray…….

But who knows, if Grant Cohn makes the rounds through the cubes at the csnbayarea office Huff might just pull this off……..

Disappointment, thy name is *Freddy Sanchez*…….

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 2, 2012

Does anyone REALLY care if Sanchez comes back or not? Of course, we all appreciate him for his role in helping bring the World Series to San Francisco. He hit .320 in the series vs the Phillies and who could forget Game 1 of The World Series (that I attended) where he had 4 hits, 3 of them doubles? He was a monster that game. And he’ll always be remembered by me as one of those great men who was integral to that amazing year…..

But the rest of his time in SF has been largely underwhelming. He showed up hurt in ’09. He was hurt almost all of last year. And as I type this, he’s still hurt. Of course, you all know about the injuries. At 34 years old, in a fairly demanding physical spot on the diamond it’s not like we’re going to see a new, re-built Freddy Sanchez. He is who he is at this point in his career. Held together with many surgical repairs, an unexpected, hard cough could send him to the DL again.

Amid reports that he finally has started throwing from 2nd base to 1st base (Woo hoo, get out the rally towels!) we now find out that he’s been taken out by back spasms. Hardly a terribly injury, back spasms are more unpredictable and annoying than anything else, he probably won’t be out too long dealing with this latest ailment. If he’s not starting Opening Day, barring any more set backs, he’ll be in there fairly close to it…..

I just don’t really care one way or the other if he is………

Second base is a super thin position throughout all of baseball. Outside of Cano who towers above the rest with Pedroia a distant 2nd and maybe Uggla 3rd (if you can put up with that batting average) there aren’t that many 2nd baseman that I get too excited about. My point being, after those guys, it’s a position of below average production. At this point in his career, even if he’s healthy (which is silly to assume) we’re talking about a guy who has no pop (outside of the occasional shoulder) and no speed who might hit around .290 if all goes well and who will move a runner along with a *good at bat*. He’ll play average defense, probably a little less than average when you realize he can’t throw anymore and those double plays aren’t gonna get turned as often as they would have if he had the arm he had 3 or 4 years ago……

Ryan Theriot, also uninteresting from a statistical perspective, at least gives you a healthy body. He’s not running on the bases the way he once did but he can at least give you a steal now and again, something Freddy can’t do. I’m also pretty confident that when he throws a baseball, his arm isn’t going to fly off along with it. I could even get behind a platoon of The Two Cajun Boyfriend’s. At least you get the left/right thing going in your favor every game. If those 2 hit a combined .275 with 5 or 6 home runs and 10 steals would that be THAT much less than what you envision Freddy giving us this year? Actually, you could make an argument that those 2 might be MORE productive than Sanchez, even if he’s healthy. You could also argue it the other way, too. I don’t know what Bill James’ projections are for those 3 but I would assume they’re all in the same ballpark, at least in terms of production………

Look, I don’t doubt Freddy’s commitment to the game, he sounds like a *gamer* and a great clubhouse guy and all that. I just don’t think that at this point it’s that big of a drop off from Freddy to *whoever* might be next in line. If he comes back, fine. If he doesn’t, I really don’t care………

I’d rather have Melky hitting 2nd anyway………