A Place To Talk About Giants Baseball

Big Flavor’s 2012 National League All-Star Team

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 30, 2012

Since the Giants starting LU is set (the guys who should be starting are starting, the guys who should be on the bench are on the bench) I thought I’d break down this year’s NL All Star Team—at least the one that I would assemble. I’ll pick one position player, 7 starting pitchers and 3 closers. Defense isn’t factored into consideration for the position players. And all players picked have to be currently healthy and playing.

1st base: Joey Votto. I started off with an easy one. He’s probably the best all around hitter in either league. That 1.114 OPS ain’t too shabby either……

2nd base: Aaron Hill. For a weak position, I’ll take the guy who’s had 2 cycles this year. He’s got power and a little speed, he’s hitting .302 and his OPS is 80 points higher than any other qualified 2nd baseman. If *spectacular defense* was a category, my pick would be Brandon Phillips.

Shortstop: Jed Lowrie. He’s been slumping for the last month which makes his season all the more remarkable. He continues to lead all NL shortstops with 14 bombs and his .839 OPS is still 50+ points higher than the next guy. Plus he’s from The Farm and that alone qualifies him as an all star (to me).

3rd base: David Wright is a little too brittle for me to ever trust drafting on any of my fantasy teams but he’s hitting .359 and currently isn’t suffering from anything “owie” enough to send him to the DL.

For the OF category, I’m just going to pick 3 regardless of where they play in the OF:

There are a lot of outfielders having a good year and I’m glad Kemp is hurt since it’s makes it a little easier to add my 3rd guy. My #1 all star outfielder is Melky. He’s not blasting the ball out of the yard but he’s got a whopping 109 hits + 10 stolen bags. I’m also warming up to the Melk Men since they now have a stable of Melk Maids who are hot.

My #2 outfielder is Andrew McCutchen. He’s dominating in the middle of a shitty LU. That’s tough to do since you’d think opposing teams would walk him all day long. Maybe they’re worried about him stealing 2nd and with 14 swipes that’s a legit concern. But he’s hitting .344 and he’s got 15 bombs. If I was pitching to him I think I’d *free pass* him and hope for the best…..

My #3 outfielder could be a lot of guys. Car-Go is having an excellent season as is Ryan Braun, Michael Bourn continues to play over his head, too. But the third  outfielder on my all star team is Bryce Harper. He’s an idiot and doesn’t have the stats of the other top guys but he’s a *stop everything you’re doing and watch his at bat* kind of player.

And now, for the national league catcher at Big Flavor’s All Star game, 2012. He can’t hit a lick and base runners steal on him seemingly at will but he’s straight money getting the ball back to the pitcher:

The Pitchers: For no reason in particular, I’m going to pick 7 starting pitchers and 3 closers. And they are in order of who I think has had the best year in terms of dominance and consistency.

#1: RA Dickey. I don’t get it but some things you don’t have to get. He’s 12-1 with a 0.88 WHIP and he’s thrown 2 one hitters (back to back). He’s having a dream season that he may or may no ever repeat again.

#2: Matt Cain. End of story.

#3: Stephen Strasberg. What are the Nationals going to do in September if they’re still in this thing? They are vowing to shut him down. That would be a sickening call to have to make if you’re management.

#4: AJ Burnett. He doesn’t have the dominant, eye popping numbers as the first 3 guys. But he’s 9-2 with a 3.31 ERA. That doesn’t sound to impressive until you check out his pitching line. This guy has been a rock all season long except for  his May 2nd start against the Cards where he went 2.2 innings and gave up 12 earned runs. You take that horrific start out and his ERA on the year would be 2.05.

#5: Voggy. Backing it up in year 2, his story, his wife, all that stuff……..

#6: Mad Bum. To have 3 Giant starters in the top 6 is unreal.

#7: James McDonald. I like this guy just because the Dodgers trading him away for nothing (Octavio Dotel). He’s having quite a year with the Pirates. At 7-3, he’s got a 2.62 ERA and a WHIP of 0.98 and opponents are hitting .200 off of him. He’s dominating and the Dodgers can do nothing other than watch silently and get dominated by him when he pitches against them. Baha.

The Closers:

Kimbrel is head and shoulders above everyone. I would put Casilla #2. Clippard at #3. For both Casilla and Clippard to step in and do what they’ve done this year is more impressive to me than a guy like Hanrahan or Papelbon who have just held down a job all season. And I would probably put Jansen in for Clippard but I’m not in the mood to bestow any Dodgers with the an honor as great as being picked to  Big Flavor’s All Star Team.

That’s it. Felt good to bang on the keyboard again……..

Baseball Superstitions

Posted in Uncategorized by Del Mar Dennis on June 29, 2012

We’ve all seen them. Players go out of their way not to touch the foul line. A pitcher has a no-no going late in the game? Players don’t dare talk or sit next to them in the dugout. These are just a few of the most common ones. How about some of the more eccentric even borderline pathological superstitions that baseball has given us.

Most know of Wade Boggs and his obsession of eating chicken prior to every game. Former NL reliever Turk Wendell had to have exactly four pieces of black licorice in his mouth while he pitched. Then Wendell proceeded to spit them out and brush his teeth each time he returned to the dugout. Larry Walker had a thing with the #3. Besides wearing #33 his entire career, Larry would always set his alarm clock to 33 minutes past the hour. Walker even went so far as to get married at, you guessed it, 3:33 PM.

Then there was the strange case of former Indian outfielder Kevin Rhomberg. Rhomberg only played a total of 41 games for the Tribe back in the early ‘80’s, but he used that short time to make a name for himself. Kevin “Touch Me, Touch Me” Rhomberg was his nickname. When touched or tagged on or off the field of play, Rhomberg felt compelled to touch the other person in return. This led to players playing mean-spirited tricks on Kevin. Former teammate Rick Sutcliffe once touched his foot underneath a bathroom stall causing Rhomberg to touch everyone in the clubhouse having not known the culprit.

Now, I’ve made it known that I’m a superstitious person myself. Not Kevin Rhomberg superstitious, but I have my quirks and slight oddities.  Just the other day when Flav spoke glowingly about my Flap fantasy team I knew I was doomed. I purposely had said nary a word for weeks as not to squelch their good fortune. I told Flav that morning thanks for jinxing them. Sure enough, later that night my Pussies had dropped a full 5 pts. in the Flap fantasy standings. Was it just a harmless coincidence?  Maybe so, but my Pussy sure was sore the next morning.

What do you think about ballplayers and their superstitions? Are you Superstitious (IRE) [by Bluebird out of Stellar Empress] yourself? Did I just jinx our red-hot first place Giants and their current 36 IP scoreless streak by broaching this subject? You’ll know who to blame if we’re on the short end of an 11-1 thumping tonight. [no jinx]

Awesome Day At The Ballpark!!

Posted in Uncategorized by zumiee on June 28, 2012

By the end of the game, the “Beat L.A.” chants had morphed into “Sweep L.A.” chants. The few Dodger fans there had quietly dried up and blown away in the breeze. Romo struck out Abreu and that was it! The epic and historic three-game shutout sweep was complete! This was the most pleasing and joyful baseball game I’ve ever attended. I’m still buzzing from having been there. I’ve never been to a playoff game, but this game had playoff atmosphere, in my opinion.

Section 315 is in the upperdeck, straight back from homeplate. It’s a majestic view of the Bay and the stadium. A view unmatched in the baseball world. Yeah, I wasn’t sitting close to the field, but I felt very close to the action anyway. The fans in my section were hanging on every pitch. It was thrilling. 

Timmy looked like ol’ Timmy again. The defense continues to be solid and dependable, much improved from earlier in the season. The offense continues to find a way to get it done; different heroes every game. The team, day by day, continues to forge its identity. And its identity is a winner.

And now, today….a new day, a new ballgame, a new challenge! Baseball’s everyday-ness! Bask in the Dodger series today, and then….the Giants start a four-game series against a very good Reds team. Can’t wait for tonight! I’ll enjoy watching the DVR recording of yesterday’s broadcast, and compare it to my experience at the ballpark yesterday. Always a fun thing to do.

Giants baseball is gnarly old-school hardball, NL-style. It’s winning baseball, and it’s fun to be doing a lot of winning again! Go Giants! Beat the Reds!

Back in First Place

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 28, 2012

Zumie’s up later today but until he posts his thread I thought I’d say this……..

Let us Pray

Posted in Uncategorized by ewisco on June 27, 2012

For my sermon today, I shall consult the Book of Armaments, Chapter 2, Verses nine to twenty one:

And St. Attila raised his Hand Grenade up on high saying, “O Lord, Bless this thy Holy Hand Grenade that with it thou mayest blow the Dodgers to tiny bits, in thy mercy.”

Wait, wrong sermon.  Let’s try the Book of Numbers.

As we approach the “half way” mark, the only numbers that count at this point are:  42-33, 1game out of first.   Other numbers can be used for illustrative purposes but those two (three?) are the only ones that really matter.  Numbers like:  5th in the NL in hitting, 11th in OPS, 4th in ERA (3rd amongst starters, 5th amongst bullpen), last (or first depending on how you look at it, either way, bad) in errors, 12th in double plays etc. can be used to parse the 42-33 but are in a way irrelevant to the ones that matter.  They are right where they need to be in the two that count:  42-33, 1 game out.  The thing I love best about THIS team is that they haven’t hit their stride yet.  Pablo out, Posey needing off days, batting order in flux (until now), starters struggling who shouldn’t, relievers coughing up hairballs on occasion etc.  This is exactly what I want.  I want to see struggle, harsh lessons learned, and failure.  But I want to see that early.  I want to see them grow, mesh and begin to dominate as the season progresses.  THIS team needs to find it’s own mojo, it’s own credo, it’s own thong.  The parts are all there.  Like every team, they are a couple of key injuries away from crashing and burning.  But from where I sit (type?), I wouldn’t want to be anybody else.

So, to recap: “First shalt thou take out the Holy Thong, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less.”

I leave the rest as an exercise for the reader.

What are YOUR Thoughts?

Posted in Uncategorized by chipower9 on June 26, 2012

First, I want to thank Flavor once again for this opportunity to contribute to the continuing metamorphous of THE absolute best San Francisco Giant blog. Sincerely, thanks Craig. I also want to thank the other 12 Stable Boys, Dirty Dozen, or as Ted penned, Twelve Knights, for “stepping up to the plate” to assist in “Keeping the Flap Flappin.” And with that…I toss you your next bone.

As we near the mid-point of yet another entertaining year of Giant baseball, and watch different Giants “rise and shine,” there is a topic on which I have been reflecting recently. I thought this particular topic would make for “good Flapper discussion” at this juncture of the season.

One thing that could potentially have an impact on this topic is the wholesale changes to our Giants team this year (yep, Sabes was at it again). There were many changes to this year’s team in comparison to the 2011 squad. Some of the new Giants have unequivocally and consistently contributed, such as Melky Cabrera. Melky not only leads the Majors in hits and is fourth in BA, but he has also spawned the whole “Melk Man” craze, and is on the verge of being voted to the All Star team. You also have the likes of Gregor Blanco (The White Shark) who unexpectedly made the team out of ST, and when given his chance, has overall been a pleasant surprise in the lead-off spot. Blanco’s historic catch was one of the big reasons Cain chalked-up the first Perfect Game in franchise history.

Then you have guys who have been rocking the Orange and Black for some time. At the top of this list you have the longest-tenured Giant on the team, the man that most refer to as “The Horse” who quietly and consistently gets it done, and also tossed the only “Perfecto” in Giant franchise history this year.

If you haven’t yet figured it out…the topic I throw out for discussion today is the Willie Mac Award. Per the Baseball Almanac “The Willie Mac Award is named in honor of Giants Hall of Fame slugger Willie McCovey. The Willie Mac Award is bestowed upon the San Francisco Giants player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership consistently shown by theSan Francisco legend throughout his career.”

As we all know this award is voted on by the Giant players and coaches, and is awarded to the recipient by Stretch himself. Many Giants have said it is the award that means the most to them, because again, it is voted on by the Giant players and coaches.

The first Willie Mac was presented to Jack “The Ripper” Clark in 1980, who at the time was almost exactly in the middle of 10 years of representing theOrangeand Black. And in contrast, last year’s recipient Ryan Vogelsong was in his first year back with the club after being drafted by the Giants, subsequently getting traded, and then bouncing all over the baseball landscape (hell, he even did a stint in Japan).

In between? Well, there are many who most Flappers would knowingly give the Flapper Dude affirmative nod, such as Robby Thompson, Jose Uribe, or even Bob Brenly. Then there are a few who were a bit of a head-scratcher (or, at least they were for me) such as Mark Carreon who shared the award with Mark Leiter in 1995. (By the way, the award has been shared between two players only twice.) And then one thing that I still cannot believe…Will Clark never won the award.

This blog is filled with those who love theOrangeand Black…who live and breathe all things Giants…and who are passionate about this team. I truly love talking baseball with all of you and I value your perspective and thoughts. And with that, I ask you…

Right now in 2012…

74 games in…

Who would be YOUR vote for the 2012 Willie Mac Award?


Twelth Night (or Twelve Knights)

Posted in Uncategorized by tedspe on June 25, 2012

The last few days, these intros to The Flap have been filled with prologues encompassing heartfelt emotions, statistical anomolies, anecdotes, stats, amusing pondries and pure class…bottom line? Quality.
And for all you loyal Flappers out there expecting same, allow me to assure you—this comes to a screeching halt right now.
Such are the stuff that dreams are made when a blog goes AWOOOOGAHHHHHH and hence the blog Pappa says…I’M BEAT and beseaches “Willies, Mays and McCovey, why hast thou forsaken me?? I loveth thee and ask only for thine assistance.”
And, as begotten… the disciples didith come upon the pained wretch what wasith a Flav and askedeth “How mighteth we heal thee, oh Flav?”
And the Flaveth answered “I’m freaking beat! Dids’t thou not heareth me??!!”
But the disciples sayid “NAY oh Flav NAY!! The Flappeth cannot be done. Who shall giveth the Posey OBP?! Who wouldst giveth the Sandoval weight of stones?! Who wantonly should summon the expected DJLoo POTD?!”

Big Flavor pondered, wracted and reeked with guilt of betraying his nation whilst stilleth thinking “What the fuck have any of these assholes done for me?”

(to his credit, he did not sayeth… “lately”)
But thus, yeah or yay, behold, The Flavorish thought upon himself…Johnny Carson!!
“Of course (he sayeth) If I were to wean and allow guest hosts visa-a-vi a Leno or Joan Riverish, yay, darenth I say nostalgically…a Joey Bishop, thus the vacant premise of my being yet the token of my soul. This royal blog of Giants fans, this sceptred blog, this cyber earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-paradise,This fortress built by Nature for herself!!!!!
(gaaaaaasssp…he theneth take a deep breath, and realized his digression)
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in McCovey Cove,
Which serves it in the Sabean office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a triples alley,
Against the envy of less happier lands, preferably the Dodgers—
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this San Francisco”

And thus, my children, my brethren and my bitches and hoe’s, doest go on into the 5th chapter of oneflapdown77.
And thusly anon, The Flavor Nation relished, mustarded, garlic fried, catsuped and continued. The torch, summoned by Big Flavor was to pertain through the mighty apostoles Pawlie, Chuck, Snarkk, Dirt, Chi, Twin, Ewisco,Zumie, Dennis, Willie D, Bozo and—TedSpe—

Oh shitteth…..
(to be continued)

The Greatest Unknown Home Run Hitters

Posted in Uncategorized by twinfan1 on June 24, 2012

Scott McClain ? Steve Bilko? Nah- these two are Ruth and Aaron in name recognition compared to the few members of the “400 Club”- minor league sluggers who hit 400 or more home runs.

The all-time leader is Hector Espino, who hit 484 home runs in the Mexican League from 1960 until 1984. He’s considered the greatest player in Mexican League history.He was offered MLB contracts by the  St. Louis Cardinals, Mets, and Padres- rejecting all. One rumor was that he wanted a piece of the franchise in St. Louis.He did play briefly for their AAA club and was invited to spring training. He never showed.

In 1988 he was inducted into the Mexican League HOF. He died in 1997 at the age of 58 of a heart attack.

Buzz Arlett is the all-time minor league home run king in the United States, with 432. Buzz played one season in the bigs with Philadelphia in 1931 and hit very well- .313 BA and 18 HRs, 4th in the NL. But he was overweight and supposedly a very poor fielder- it would be his only MLB season.Buzz was inducted into the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame in 1945 . He died of a heart attack in Minneapolis in 1964.

Andres Mora (444), Nick Cullop (420) and Merv Connors (400) are the other members of the 400-homer club.

But maybe the man  who personifies the great minor league sluggers and baseball as it was in much of the country “back in the day” was Mighty Joe Bauman ( “Mighty” is my designation). Joe set the single  season  professional home run record with 72 for Roswell in the Class C Longhorn League in 1954. He held that record until Bonds broke it- Joe hit 337 minor league home runs- many of them while suiting up in a different uniform for his “real Job” – running his gas station…

The Joe Bauman Home Run Award is given to the minor leaguer who who hit the most regular season home runs that year. It was begun in 2002, winners have included Ryan Howard, Brandon Wood, Dallas McPherson, and Bryan LaHair…

Joe continued running his gas station after he retired. Joe passed away in 2005 at the age of 83. Some say the aliens who had landed in Roswell and infiltrated the townsfolk had taken a liking to Mighty Joe and returned to bring him home to New Andromeda..where the children delight in the tales of his legendary blasts..

( Joe at 80 looked like he could still clear a fence or two)

Orange Friday Across The Bay

Posted in Uncategorized by dirtnrocksnomo on June 23, 2012

The curiosity that is inter-league play resumed last night with the Giants visiting the a’s.  I was fortunate enough to catch the game at a local watering hole that apparently supports the a’s.  Unbeknownst to me the male a’s fan likes to bedazzle his cell phone and talks a lot about something called territorial rights.  The female a’s fan is superficially knowledgeable and likes white dudes with greasy hair on her team.   The game itself had all the things Giants fans have come to expect in 2012.  A Lincecum meltdown inning, Panda rolling around in the grass making plays, steals, a double, long droughts between runs scored and Santiago Casilla. The Giants gained ground in the NL West with the win last night and can continue to build steam towards the showdown next week against the hated ones with a series win.

Looking around me at the pub and into the stands on TV I saw people in yellow and people in orange pulling for their club and I thought hey this inter-league play thing isn’t so bad when there is a real local rivalry and the a’s and Giants have that with ’89 and the stadium issue and all.  Then I thought about being from the bay area and choosing the Giants over the a’s.  What made you choose the Giants?  Just a preference for the NL?  Family allegiance?  Your cable package?

Summer Weekends With The Sounds Of The Giants — And Life

Posted in Uncategorized by snarkk on June 22, 2012

Yep, today’s the first summer Friday.  Looking-forward-to-the-weekend smiles for most.  Back in the murky past for the growing-up-guilty Catholics among us, like me, Friday was Fish Day.  Ugh.  But, for me as a baseball fan, summer Fridays did then, and still do, signal more — the anticipation of a great summer weekend — when listening to day-game ball was and remains more than just comforting background.  Yeah, with baseball as backdrop, everything’s good – mowing the grass, playing ball and eating home made Kool-Aid pops with the kids, even working on Mrs. Snarkk’s endless honeydo list made way more doable via the miracle trio of Jon Miller, that little pocket Sony, and earbuds.

I can’t now imagine a summer weekend without listening, at least some of the time, to the Giants on radio.  Well, actually, I can.  I’ve lived in a few places in and out of this country too far away to get Giants radio, and before internet streaming.  While in those places and times, the irresolvable lack of a Giants summer weekend connection somehow completely uncoupled me from baseball and where and how I grew up — like Valentine Smith in “Stranger in A Strange Land” — but, with no special powers.  Now, transported back for good to my native Giantsland for well over a decade, the connection’s been patched.  The Giants on weekend TV are great.  But, compared to TV, there’s something special about disembodied voices describing a summer weekend day game.  Call it nostalgia, imagination, soppy sentimentalism, or a lovely languorous rhythm.  Whatever.  In my brain the radio waves jump start exaggerated images while I chop the weekend weeds, or better yet, pound a cold Red Tail on the deck after the weeds succumb.  Belt’s radio strikeouts are more distressing.  Melky’s radio doubles more exciting, Crawfish’s miscues more critical.  Vendors barking in the stands.  Those audio images get mixed up and spiced with kid memories of listening to games on past, hot summer weekends while I slugged my ice cold, canned Shasta cola and ran in sprinklers with my first dog — all long gone, but never forgotten.  And, with memories of those broadcasts that, as I grew up, gave me dependable summer friends — Lon, Bill Thompson, Al Michaels.  Hank and others came a little later.  But, even the odd abominations of the lesser lights added welcome background color to landscapes of my youthful summer weekends before mortgages and other nonsense — Art (“ground hugger”) Eckman, Phil Stone, David Glass, Joe Angel (he announced in the late ‘70s, too), Fairly, and yeah, even Lindsey Nelson.

Now, my Snarkkettes ask “How’re the Giants doing?” while I’m sweating and listening in the summer back yard, this time, my own.  “Ah, they’re up by two in the 7th, looking pretty good”, or some such I say.  They nod back, hopeful, knowing that a Gyros win always puts Daddy in a good mood.  And that a loss means, well, you all know how that is.  Then, they get on with jumping rope and laughing and playing with Snarkkmutt the Avatar lab, that big, brown doofus who will someday star in their own memories of Giants summer weekends.

Got any memories of YOUR Giants summer weekends?  Let’s hear ’em.  And, go out this weekend and make some great new ones…

Hangover III

Posted in Uncategorized by unca_chuck on June 21, 2012

Well, since the emotional high of Matt Cain’s perfecto, the Giants are mired in a field of quicksand as they slog their way through this 2-4 roadie. 2-5 since Matty’s perfect game. Losing 2 of 3 to the Los Anaheim Angels of Angeles California is one thing, but losing 2 of 3 to the lowly Mariners is pretty (wait for it) pathetic. The White Shark is cooling off in a big way, Pablo is still looking for his power stroke (4-37, 1 double), and the pen, which was unhittable in Matty’s last win, has suddenly gotten wobbly. Melky and Buster have been holding their own, but the rest? ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzz. These guys are playing like it’s the dawg days of August, not the first day of summer.

To add to the malaise, the Giants get to play their next 3 at Crumbledome. 2 teams enter, 50 men fall asleep. On top of  that, we get the anti-stopper in Tim Lincecum. By my count he’s stopped 5 winning streaks. The hope for me was that, while Timmy was trying to find his Tim-ness, Zito would cover for him until their magnetic field reversed themselves into the correct positions. Well, not quite. They are both caught in some sort of black hole of mediocrity. Zito is hurtling back to earth faster than a subatomic particle, and Timmy is buried under 30 feet of dirt and expectations.

But hey, the boys are coming home tonight. 3/5ths of the rotation is looking unhittable, Santiago Casilla is rolling along, and Melky’s hammy looks to be OK. Plus, the A’s are doing their part by beating the LA Dogs of LA. The Giants get to rest up before taking on the team that Wolff Schlitzer waylaid. Still and all, this road trip so far just like a short-hop throw to the oblongs . . .

Wake up G-men. It’s time to start winning again.


Posted in Uncategorized by twinfan1 on June 20, 2012

Ted accidentally deleted the thread, an honest mistake. Too bad, as there were great  comments despite the lousy ballgame. Paul: I’m sure I’m not alone-if you want my Sunday spot one time, I’d be happy to cede it to you. I’ve searched for the thread that was deleted but it seems to have vanished. Maybe Craig can help on that.

Nothing to See Here; Move Along, People

Posted in Uncategorized by pawliekokonuts on June 20, 2012

How did you watch the game? Maybe “watch” is the wrong word for this unwatchable swatch of whatchamacallit. (Call it “dreck”?)

Via MLB.com I followed it for a while. I *heard* the unexciting and so-laid-back, SoCal Angels announcers.

I unminimized my window every now and then only to *see* Mr. SoCal Himself, Barry Zito, getting clobbered or to *see* Senor Sandoval make a nifty play and then have Bruce Bochy argue the safe call or to see Brandon Belt take a called third strike with runners at the corners or to *hear* — you can just go by the crowd sounds — George Fecking Kontos give up a blast and then wincingly *see* Angel-ic Pagan devilishly misplay that blast, and then the unwatchable Giants were down 9-1 and it was time for a change of venue, i.e., BED.

WTF is a Kontos?

When did we bring him up?

This is a terrible way to go to bed, I mused, unamusingly.

I went to bed unaroused by the pornography of ineptitude — KNOWING I was committed to blog about the game the next morning, holding on to the sliver of a thread of a ghost of an irrational psychotic fugue delusion of a dream of a chance that I would wake up and discover that the GIANTS WIN! GIANTS WIN! GIANTS WIN! 10-9.

No such luck.

Bring On Chapter 4

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 19, 2012

So if my blog experience had been a book, I’d probably say the table of contents looked something like this:

Ch1: The Splash

Ch2: blogger.com

Ch3: wordpress.com

Ch4…..The Stable Boys

And while it could not be argued that I’m a creative title writer, it is an accurate description of my blogging experience that starting a few days into the 2007 baseball season when I stumbled on to the Splash one day by accident. I didn’t even know what a blog was, I was looking for a Bruce Jenkins article and found a long list of blogger comments about the game that day. I got worked up over something I read, created a username and presto, I was blogging my ass off……..

Chapter 4 starts off like this: A bomb has been dropped on Flavor Nation. There are few survivors. Twelve to be exact. But they’re a resilient group and after wandering around The Nation for a while they somehow all make their way to an abandoned stable on the outskirts of town. Inside, there isn’t much. No furniture. No food. No water. But there is electricity and a laptop. One by one they enter, shake hands and discuss what to do next. There names, in no particular order, are: Snarkk, Dennis, WillieD, TedSpe, Twin, Ewisco, Dirt, Bozo, PawlieKokonuts, Chuck, Zumie, and Chi. They decide they need a nickname and one of them blurts out “The Stable Boys.” A few of them snicker quietly to themselves. Ultimately, they decide to be known as “The Dirrrrrrty Dozen”. They all gather around the laptop and stare at each other, silently. Time passes, maybe a few minutes. It seems like hours. Finally, the group gives themselves a collective *knowing dude head nod* and make a plan on who’s going to go first. I’ll stop now and let the rest of this chapter get written by them…….


Anyway, there is a schedule that Dirt came up with and it’s been emailed around. Most of the ‘boys either can’t open it or can’t view it. If I was clever I would now say something like “Chapter 4 is starting off a little tough to read.” Bahahahahahaha!!!!! Ahem, sorry. At some point this will all work itself out. A schedule that everyone can view will surface. The group might find out that the schedule is great or maybe it’s a bit too limiting to their creativity. Some of them might discover that they want to post more often or less often. And that’s cool, I’ll fill the gaps and consult with them as we get this up and running. I will also keep managing the widgets to the right and moderate this place……..

And really, there isn’t much left to say. I want everyone to give this a chance and be positive about it. The 12 guys who’ve stepped up to keep this place running have earned my utmost respect. The blog isn’t going anywhere, I’m not really going anywhere either. I’ll still be around I just won’t be the protagonist that I was in the first 3 chapters. Chapter 4 is not the epilogue. It’s simply what comes before chapter 5……..

Rounding Out the Stable

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 18, 2012

I know I said yesterday was my *final post* and that was dramatic and everything but as I hand over the reigns to The Stable Boys I’m going to have to take care of some loose ends first.

As I said yesterday, I want 10-12 editors to handle the daily threads. I currently have accepted the *applications* of 9 esteemed Flappers who want to keep this place going so badly they are willing to pen their daily thoughts for your reading consumption. I will post a thread introducing The Stable when it’s completely filled.

I want to add at least 1 more  *esteemed colleague* (and maybe up to 3 more) before I leave. So if you enjoy and read the blog regularly and your grasp of English (or at least the ability to construct a sentence) is at a break even level, email me with your interest.


Once we fill the stable, I’ll create an email group (that I will be part of) that will be used to communicate with each other (who’s going to post next, topic ideas, BBOTD nominees 🙂 , etc). By the way, make sure it’s an email address you won’t mind others in the stable seeing/using.

I’m Stepping Down From The Flap Today

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 17, 2012

I’ll make this short and sweet. Today is my last post. I guess you could say I’m retiring. Whether it’s permanent, short-term or long-term, I don’t know. I’ll decide that at another time. The reason is simple: I don’t enjoy doing this anymore.

I will keep the blog going if the following conditions are met:

10-12 Flap vets need to volunteer to be *editor’s* here at the Flap. This group will be my stable of writers and they can work it out among themselves who posts what and when. I would like to see that group get connected in an email group contact list that communicates with one another who promises to put up a new thread for the following day. It will be more organized that way and I’ll be part of the email group to oversee it and make sure it’s happening.

I want to see at least 1 new thread each day (or very close to it). In my opinion, one of the reasons this place has stayed so active is because I slap a fresh new topic up each day. It doesn’t have to be something that “wow’s the crowd” but I believe bloggers are more likely to post a thought on a fresh thread than one that has been sitting around a few days. If I’m not seeing new threads or if they turn into “Today is Wednesday, Start blogging!” I’m going to delete the site.

I’ll stay around to moderate a little and post now and then, but the site will be run and moderated, by and large, by the stable of editor’s (if one can be assembled). I will be the only one with *administrator* powers so if this doesn’t work or it starts to blow up I can come back, shut the place down, and come up with a new plan for the blog. I might get the BBOTD going again and manage that bad boy. Me likey that widget 🙂

If you want to be an *editor* and you feel like you can throw a post up every week or two (if everyone did that you’d still get a fresh thread every day) then email me at bigflavor77@gmail.com. You need to be someone I recognize as a Flap vet. And I’d like to get this stable together ASAP.

I’m not disappearing and I’m not dead so don’t get all sappy about me leaving. I’ll still be around. In what form, I don’t know yet. This place has been like a second kid to me for a long time so I don’t want to leave it without direction and I don’t want to leave without saying that I appreciate all you guys for sticking around all these years. While recognizing my bias I declare the core group of fans here to be the best group of Giants fans anywhere in the world. And I mean that. I’m happy about being able to provide the venue for all of us to connect and for this *family* to grow into what it is today. Some of you I know personally, I know that Flappers have coordinated many face-2-face visits too, and I am extremely proud to have connected Giants fans the way you’ve all connected. When I think about each of your handles, whether I know you or not, I have assigned a personality to each one of you. Each of you plays an essential role here. We are different in many ways but there can be no doubt that we all share one thing in common: a burning love for the game of baseball and for *our* San Francisco Giants. And I know that at the end of the day, no matter what is said in a thread, this group cares a lot about the group itself. I can say that without hesitating about even the slight possibility that I’m wrong………

Go Giants.


The Flap is Two Flaps Down

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 17, 2012

….until further notice. I’m re-tooling, re-thinking, reloading, re-modeling—stuff like that. I’ll show you what that is going to be when I figure it out. In the meantime, I’d like to point you in the direction of an alternative blog but I find most of them to suck. Anyway, catch you guys on the flip side. Go Giants—Flavor

ps— comments are closed, they just go to my inbox, so don’t try to post.

Seattle Up Next

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 15, 2012

Go get ’em….

What a Perfect Night

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 14, 2012

I still can’t believe that game was even real. And hey, it’s not like I predicted he’d throw a perfect game. Now THAT would have been impressive. 🙂 🙂 🙂

There were obviously 3 plays that stood out—the Melky catch, of course Blanco’s and then the final play. Cain’s total rock-like focus throughout the game, but especially before the final batter, should be studied by a team of sports psychologists. Of course, no one could ever teach or impart that ability, you either have it or you don’t. And few do. For the guy who everyone boo-hooed about never getting any run support in his career? How about a 10-spot for him, just to make sure he doesn’t have to worry about that side of the game……

Blanco’s catch obviously reminded me of the one Rowand made to save Dirrrrty’s no-no. The White Shark’s was better and I think he shook out about 2 pounds of dirt from his belt buckle after he got up. Arias fielded that ball deep and really had no momentum on his long throw. But after he carefully caught the ball he let the throw fly with his trademark slingshot motion and while it looked scary it ended up being perfect. What was last night like for those 2 guys? Found off the scrap heap, they end up preserving a perfect game. Some of the best books in the world are written about baseball but you can’t write stuff like this. It just happens…….

Today Prediction: Well, I don’t think I can top the last two so I’ll go with a higher percentage prediction: If you are a Giants fan you will savor this one. You will honor the beast of a man that Matt Cain is. And you’l love this game because it is the best. There is no other sport that produces moments like last night, especially in a game that’s a blow out…..

Belt Blasts Off! (thanks to Big Flavor)

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 13, 2012

Sorry it took me so long to get around to sending Belt some of my special mojo. Last night’s call conjured up my *A’s 6 Giants 0* prediction from 2008……

Hopefully that bomb is enough to bump him into 3rd place in the all star voting. Hit 2 or 3 of those bad boys and he’ll relegate Votto to the bench. 🙂

Since I’m hot right now, I’ll say Cain pitches a no hitter tonight. Why not?

Today is post 768 for those of you keeping score at home.

Ok, gotta bounce………

Houston Series

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 12, 2012

All right, better late than never……

chipower9 said, on June 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm (Edit)

Melky is back in the line-up:

1. Blanco (L) CF
2. Theriot (R) 2B
3. Cabrera (S) LF
4. Posey (R) C
5. Sandoval (S) 3B
6. Schierholtz (L) RF
7. Belt (L) 1B
8. Crawford (L) SS
9. Bumgarner (R) P

I’ve got  a graduation to go to so I’ll pick this game up sometime after it’s started. Melk back but Pagan out. Any LU that has Nate in it depresses me. Houston isn’t terrible. In fact, though you couldn’t tell it looking at his ERA, I would argue that Bud Norris is their best pitcher so we need to come out hitting tonight. Norris has got good stuff, he’s a K machine. He seems to be able to be had third time through the LU though so hope for us to strike around the 7th…….

For all of you who think Houston is such a push over you could make a case that when Pablo was out their infield of Johnson, Lowrie, Altuve and Lee (who is on the DL now)  are all more productive hitters than our infield of Arias, Crawford, Theriot and Belt.

We SHOULD beat these guys with our dominant pitching but I don’t expect this series to be a cakewalk……

According to the Merc, Brandon Belt is 4th in the NL in AS voting at 1st base. That’s hilarious. Well, he has to hit a bomb at some point this year so I will make my first positive Brandon Belt prediction of the year. He hits a bomb tonight. Possibly 2….

The Differing Definitions of *Close*

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 11, 2012

Another bad Lincecum loss brought out the typical responses from Bochy, Timmy, radio host guys, etc. “He’s thhhhhhhhis close! He’s juuuuuuuuuuust about there! Just one more tiny tweak….”

The only problem is that they’ve been saying the exact same thing for about 8 weeks now. And after 8 weeks of hearing the same nonsense  it’s time to consider an alternative position: maybe Tim isn’t as close as everyone keeps saying he is…..

He continues to have very little command. Major league hitters are NOT going to chase balls tailing away from them at their eye level or balls that bounce four feet in front of them. They might chase once in a while. But they’re going to let most of them go by and will usually be able to work the count in their favor. You simply can’t pitch an entire game and win with the suspect command that Lincecum brings to the mound each and every start……..

Timmy’s fastball is about the same as Voggy’s. Nothing too special, both hover around 90-91. But you don’t see Voggy miss so badly with so many pitches as you see with Lincecum. Voggy throws the ball exactly where he wants it to go.

And the ONE thing I’ll give the *velocit-ologists* is that Timmy got away for too long with NOT having good command because he had such an electric fastball. He probably never had to have *Voggy focus* in a game where every pitch you make is methodically played out in your mind before you throw it.

And I’ve got no idea if Lincecum can ever do what Voggy does in terms of focus and execution. The only thing I do know is he’s not *this  close* to being able to do it…………


Is it All in Tim’s Head?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 10, 2012

He hasn’t won a game since April 28th. The K’s are there: 72 in 66.1 innings. Some people think it’s a velocity issue. Maybe. But take a look at his average FB since 2007:

(this is an inaccurate chart in terms of pitch type %)

This year his FB is averaging 90.2 mph. In 2010, by all accounts a fantastic year that ended with him celebrating a World Series win, his FB averaged 91.3 mph–a whopping 1.1 mph difference. I’m telling you, this is not a velocity issue……

I have said for quite some time now that I believe this to be a *headcase issue*. He’s looked unsure and beaten on the mound since Day 1 of this season. All his starts are weighed down by a tightness that everyone in the ballpark is feeling–I’ve likened it to a tightness that we used to feel during a Zito start (pre-2012).

Once he gets his blow up inning out of the way, he’s usually ok. In fact, his last start was a perfect example of that. He was brilliant against San Diego after they dropped 4 in him in the 2nd inning. To me, that’s another example of how the pressure to get back to being the *old Timmy* is too much for him to handle right now. He takes the mound hoping to recapture his glory and he can’t settle down until he blows up an inning. After that, in a weird way, the pressure is off a little bit. The game is lost (or out of reach) and now he can just pitch *mad*. That seems to work, I wish he’d take the mound angry today……

This is a great test today. No offense in baseball will get into a pitcher’s head more than the Rangers. They are on their way to destroying the run differential season record. But they can be beaten, as Voggy showed yesterday. Heck, the woeful A’s took care of them earlier in the week.

But Jerod Parker and Ryan Vogelsong didn’t have to take the hill with the weight of an entire fan base expecting, or hoping, to see a return to past glory. Because of his track record, he takes an added pressure  to the mound that other pitchers don’t take with them. And as April 28th gets farther and farther away and the blow up inning becomes impossible to avoid, there is a specific reality that becomes impossible to ignore: In 2012, Tim Lincecum is the worst starting pitcher we have. And it’s really not even close……..

The Panda Needs to Sell that Weight Loss Plan to Jenny Craig

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 9, 2012

Apparently, he lost 40 pounds in the last few days. Wow, that’s some serious dedication to getting yourself in shape…..

The Giants, obviously going with need over principle, have decided to activate The Panda NOW instead of keeping him in AAA until he could get in the physical shape necessary to play 3rd base at the major league level.

It’s probably better than putting him at first base. The sight of a portly Panda dragging his largeness over to first base is just too awkward of a scene to process. Knowing that the ONLY reason you’re at 1B is due to you own inabilities to satiate your appetite, well, that just would seem *wrong*.

But so does calling him up now. Hey, if he shows up pushing 275 lbs and plays a stellar 3rd base then all will be forgotten. Miggy Cabrera and Price Fielder don’t seem to have any problem fielding their positions at close to 600 pounds combined. But the pressure is ON The Panda. If he’s fumbling balls (or worse, he can’t get around his round mound to field a ball) it’s going to be tough to ignore the *pink Panda* in the room…….

It’s obvious now that the only thing the Giants intended to do by calling him out publicly was to call him out publicly. The closed door “You’re too fat” convo’s didn’t seem to go anywhere, maybe telling the fans about it might, in some strange way, motivate him to exercise some restraint during  feeding times.

All I know is that defense just took a huge hit over at third base……

I wouldn’t want to be the guy responsible for getting the post game spread into the locker room. Just the logistics of it, how many tables to add, where to stack all the butter……And what if you’re late getting it out there? A hungry Panda is an angry Panda. Careful not to anger it…….



So I didn’t go to the Belmont, as you know, and I was having trouble with my tvg account so I went to the Bay Meadow’s satellite wagering spot. Man, there are some down on their luck cats at that place. Here’s a pic of some dude who was lying like this for 2 hours. I kept checking him to make sure he was breathing. I considered rolling him over at one point. I didn’t even notice the guy in the background till I saw the pic, lol. It was like an outdoor Shawshank Redemption moment……

Texas Returns to SF

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 8, 2012

My memories of the 2010 World Series are crystal clear but my feelings about the Texas Rangers are staid and subdued. A lot of the same players are on their current team but when I think about them it’s hard for me to get too worked up. Maybe that’s because we kicked their ass.

On the other hand, our team is completely different than the one who won it all a couple of years ago.

Wilson and Franchez: hurt.

Burrell, Renteria, Uribe, Torres, Ross: Gone.

Huff: ghost.

As you all know, I went to Game 1 of that bad boy. Here is the box score. That night, Freddy was the best baseball player the world had ever known.

The energy in the yard that night was like nothing I’d ever been a part of. Pawlie, who I met before the game, watched it from the knothole section in right field. Here’s a video I took from our seats after what I think was a Huff hit. It may also have been after one of Freddy’s many doubles. I can’t quite remember:

Anyway, I’m out for the weekend, off to New York to take in The Belmont Stakes and what I hope is a historic triple crown victory. If you guys want to check out the pics I’ll be posting from Belmont Park you can follow me on twitter. I rarely use that account for anything but it appears that pics are easier to upload there than at facebook. Anyway, I’m @1flapdown77

catch you on the flip side…..

A Day to Honor Brian Sabean

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 7, 2012

I hadn’t updated the *Ex Giant Watch List* in a while. It could just as easily be called “An Ex Giant Wasteland”. Look at this:

For starters, look at health of those guys. I put Pagan and Melky up there just for comparison sake, but 6 of the 10 of them are on the DL. And the other guys might as well be (excluding Beltran). It wasn’t until the World Series year that I ever gave Sabean the credit he deserves. But whether it was luck or foresight, he was near brilliant in getting rid of all of the players on this list. Beltran is coming back down to earth pretty fast, by the way. In his last 9 games he’s scored 1 run and has 1 measly RBI.

So today at The Flap it’s  “Brian  Sabean Day”. If he had held on to the guys on this list we’d be screwed right now. And he added the brilliant tandem of Cabrera and Pagan without increasing payroll. I still don’t understand how the idiot blogger in the blogosphere can continue to criticize him. They should build a freaking statue of him outside of ATT Park…….


Scrappy Loss

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 6, 2012

Lincecum reinforced my belief that most of his problems are mental after he got the 2nd inning *out of the way*. He was brilliant after that inning and was seeming to pitch with a *F-this* attitude. Of course, I don’t see how that’s going to help him next time since every start begins with an uneasy tightness that doesn’t relieve itself till he has that blow up inning. From a pure *interest* standpoint, I don’t think there are two more anticipated starts in baseball than a Zito or Lincecum start………

It was impressive how the team fought back after being down 4-0. They were reminded later in the game that in a close game they’re always going to have to fear the long ball. Not only do we not hit home runs anymore, it feels like we don’t even hit balls to the warning track anymore….

I’m loving The Riot’s hot streak right now but remember, this is a super streaky hitter, he’s done this his entire career (and I’ve followed his career closely since college). He’ll come back down to earth soon. But even on earth he”’ be producing far more than any of our other possible 2nd basemen…….

I don’t fault Bochy at all for using Edelfsen in the 9th. With Casilla down the entire bullpen is getting shifted and there are going to be games where any pitcher on the squad is going to need to step up. Since we know Lincecum is likely not going to get into the 8th or 9th inning any time soon, everyone in the pen is going to need to be ready in his starts…….


How Did This Happen Again?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 5, 2012

I still don’t understand how Sandoval got fat again. It’s not like he had to travel to Club Med to find the greatest hamate bone specialist the world has ever known. He’s been HERE the entire time. He’s been in the freaking dugout waving rally towels. It’s incomprehensible to me that the Giants are just now reacting to this problem.

I understand that The Panda is an adult and needs to be accountable for his actions, etc. And after thinking it over, I now agree completely with what others said on the thread last night—don’t play him until he’s ready. Send a clear message to him and the team that you take your job seriously, act professionally or you don’t play at this level. Got it. I’m on board. Besides, we are 19-12 since he went down. It’s not like the Giants can’t win without him.

But this fine *message* that’s been sent doesn’t make up for the fact that the team remained silent while Pablo was powering through half the post game spreads game after game and did nothing about it. My God, if Bochy ever needed a reason to *flip the spread* after every game THIS was it! 🙂 🙂 🙂

But even if I look past the food addiction problem that he obviously has I don’t see why the team trainer wasn’t on this guy’s ass to participate in a serious cardio program every single day that he’s been out. It’s his hand that was hurt, not his legs. If he wouldn’t listen to the trainer then Bochy and Sabean could have said “Dude, go run your stairs. NOW”. And it’s not like he ballooned up overnight. If they witnessed this happening over the course of his month on the DL then they should have said something to him way before Saturday. There should have been a plan in place the day he went down to prevent this weight gain from happening.

The team showed him a lot of faith in the off season when they game him a 3 year/18 million dollar deal. They didn’t have to do it, they could have kept going year to year during his last few arbitration years. Sandoval clearly has not reciprocated the same faith with his half assed approach to maintaining the conditioning necessary to be a professional baseball player. In hindsight, the Giants should have written something into the contract that would allow them to void it if he ever succumbed to his food addiction again. Drug addict athletes have to have to have stipulations like this written into their deals, food addicts should be treated the same way. Do any of you think there won’t be something written into Josh Hamilton’s monster deal that says if he falls off the wagon the deal is voided? Book it, that will be in there.

We all love Pablo Sandoval for what he does on the baseball field. But during the last week he taken some major blows to his personal and public image. After he signed that deal last Winter it was universally supported by everyone. Little did we know, it turned him into this guy:

He still has time to be this guy:

But to do so he better get his ass re-focused on his craft, start acting like a professional and drop the fucking weight. Again……

Barry Zito: My Theory on Who This New *SLI*(der)-E Guy Is……

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 3, 2012

Let me start by saying, I am nothing more than a humble *Thirteen  Percenter*. An outcast, really. Last week, I had the audacity to vote in Denny’s Comcast poll in favor of Zito having a better end of year ERA than Timmy. The horror. It’s not easy rollin’ with such a sparse crew. Those who mock us don’t understand us. Yet. But you might at the end of this thread. I believe that Barry Zito will continue his usefulness for the rest of the year. Though he teased us (falsely) into believe his string of 5 starts in 2010 were signs that he was *back* I believe that 2012 is different. Allow me to explain:
In 2010, he had 5 very good starts to start the year and then the lemmings all fell off the cliff into the ocean. That can be explained simply: the beginning of a season  is weird, you’ve got the transition from ST to the regular season, some guys don’t like hitting till it warms up, and 5 games just isn’t that representative of your year. Plus you’ve got a lot of players coming and going, teams are sorting themselves out, it’s just a time of year that sees a lot of fake numbers pop up. And that’s what I think his start to 2010 was all about. Twin did an excellent job of pointing out an example of this when he educated us on the *under .200 batting averages in April compared to the end of the season* debate.
But 11 games, for a starting pitcher, is definitely statistically noteworthy. That’s 1/3 of his starts and he’s only had 2 bad ones: the game he walked 7 vs Miami and the game in Milwaukee where he’s never pitched well.
Most people (I’ll say *exactly* 87% of Giants fans) don’t expect this run of success to continue. But not “The Thirteen Percenter’s.”  Most of those visionaries  point to the theory that lefties get *craftier* and *wiser* when they get older and THAT’S the thing that can explain Zito’s success this year.  But that’s an incomplete statement.  I think that’s just something guys like Marty Lurie like to SAY all the time, It’s not just for lefties. Any big leaguer, regardless of their dominant hand, will tell you that their baseball IQ is higher at the end of their career then at the beginning or middle of it. At least the smart ones will tell you that. Stubborn players might not make use of the knowledge that comes their way over the years but most do and that’s why their careers are long and prosperous…..

So I am now going to explain why Zito is better this year and why I am *predicting* that he will continue to be useful for the rest of the season. And if he implodes for the rest of the year, smear the egg all over my face.

The Theory:

Zito finally accepted that the fastball is not his friend and that if he’s going to pitch at this level he has to stop trying to re-capture those long lost  3 miles per hour. Now, if you’re going to stop throwing pitches you suck at throwing they need to be replaced by pitches you’re good at throwing. Otherwise you’re just standing on the mound doing nothing.  Keeping all that in mind, here are the pitch type % that he’s thrown each year since he came into the league:

Now if you look at this, you should notice 2 dramatic numbers. This year, he’s throwing his fastball (2 seam+ 4seam) only 31% of the time. And you know what? When you throw a shitty hit-me fastball that’s probably a pitch you should throw even less often than that–20% less will do, though. The 2nd number to notice is the whopping 38% sliders he is throwing in 2012. He;s also throwing the CB and CU less as they are both at near career lows (17.6% and 16.7% respectively). Keep in mind that these percentages do not include today’s game but I went through the log for a few innings and they seem to match up. But those type of statistical differentials are not accidental. He’s doing  it on purpose, clearly. He’s replacing the fastball (~20% of the time) with a slider. The numbers support this…….

A final thought on this is that Zito has appeared to pitch *afraid of contact* in recent years. I think that’s because he’s been afraid that the fastballs he throws in the direction of the hitter will get sent the other way at a furious speed if they are allowed to stray into the strike zone with an ultimate outcome being some downed NASA satellites.  But if he’s only throwing it 31% of the time he doesn’t have to be afraid of contact anymore. They can’t EXPECT that a shitty fastball is coming when you only throw it 31% of the time. Now he’s got everyone off balance and even if they realize he’s throwing the slider considerably more often it is a pitch he clearly trusts this year. Boom, now you no long have to pitch afraid of contact…….

So maybe Barry Zito has just decided to give up on all his hocus pocus and crouching rain man dances to bring the fast ball back and he’s just out there throwing the pitch that is working for him this year: The slider. I haven’t done any research on this so maybe someone else has already written this theory into the blogosphere but when I went to fangraphs today I was shocked to see those percentage discrepancies (and if I was *shocked* then I haven’t heard anyone else note these glaring differences. I actually stumbled upon this, I went to the site to see if his FB and off speed mph averages were at a bigger gap than they have been in previous years (and they aren’t).

So that’s my theory on why he’s pitching well this year and if any of you have an alternative theory that’s better I will respectfully examine it….

Now, do I think Zito will have a better end of the year ERA than Timmy? I’ll continue to say yes on that because I think Zito has discovered a new way to pitch to save his career. And I think Timmy HASN’T discovered what adjustment he needs to make. Plus, Zits has a pretty big head start. But I wouldn’t put it past TL to figure this out so if he does steamroll by Zito in the ERA department I’m fine with that, it probably means are team is winning many more games.

But I’m going on record TODAY to say that I think Barry Zito has finally made an adjustment that is the *reason* we can look to to believe that this is real. And just as I said on December 7th 2011 that ” 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” I give you free reign to throw today’s prediction in my face *at the end of the year*.

Barry Zito has finally become serviceable……..

Quick Post Today

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 3, 2012

I don’t think I’ve ever been as confident in a SF Giant Zito start than I am today. He’s been throwing the ball decently,. most of the time, and he’s facing a shit offense. He cruises today 🙂

Well, Beltre took me down at BTS at 19 games. But hey, if you’re gonna go out, go out in style. 4 K’s in 4 plate appearances will get ya noticed……

Preparing for the Return of The Panda

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 2, 2012

I liked Bochy’s idea of putting Theriot in the 2-spot upon his return from the disabled list. He needs to find out ASAP if Theriot can do the job regularly. And there’s no better way to see if he can still hit than by putting him in the 2-hole where he knows he’ll get a bunch of fastballs to hit. To his credit, he’s succeeding. Crawford also benefited from that spot but if you have to pick between the 2 of them it does make more sense to have The Riot in that spot instead of Crawford. It will also fix a little bit of our infield when Pablo comes back.

Brandon is on the clock right now. If Theriot continues to show he’s healthy he’s probably locked up 2nd base and the #2 spot for more than a little while. That leaves Crawford as the odd man out with Panda taking 3rd base back and Arias then sliding over to shortstop. Although don’t look now but Arias is hardly tearing the cover off the ball—at .234 he’s fitting right in with the rest of our infielders: Belt (.230), Crawford (.222), Pill (.208), Huff (.160), Burriss (.212) and Theriot (.234). Wow, I didn’t realize how pathetic that group is until I typed it all out in one sentence. I guess “fitting right in” is an inaccurate way to describe Arias. He’s more like, “King of a Pile of Shit” with that .234 batting average…….


by the way, I totally agree with The 3 Dot Lounge this morning. A Kemp-less Dodger team for another month is going to be too big of a blow for them to withstand. Ethier can’t do it all by himself. And that starting rotation has already started to crack. Lilly is now on the DL and Chris Capuano, who’s been doing this with mirrors, finally started to get hit-up a little last night. I like Capuano, I even used him as an example in the off season as a cheap pitcher to target to fill your #5 spot, but he’s no 2.50ERA/1.08 WHIP guy. Both of those stats will start to rise, along with his loss column. We will  be in first place, maybe by 3 or 4 games, when Matt Kemp comes back in a month……..

Fixing The Right Side of the Infield

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 1, 2012

How big of a problem is it? Pretty big. Our 2nd basemen have scored 14 runs this year, last in the NL. Our first basemen have driven in 23 runs, tied for 11th in the NL. And let’s not even talk about that thing, what’s it called…..er…….a *home ran*? Or something like that? Combined this season, our 1st and 2nd basemen have 3 total home runs. Toss our SS’s in and that number swells to 4……

Anyway, Bochy and Sabean have pretty much reached the bottom of the well in terms of available players in the organization who could produce better than the current shoddy lot. Any rock they haven’t checked under is either too young and not ready or they’re just AAA filler, something every organization needs.

Sabean will probably turn to the available waiver wire  list next. I don’t know what that looks like and don’t really want to know. He DID find Burrell and Ross there a couple of years ago.

He could go the trade route. My main man on the scene in Houston, WilcoJoe, brought up Jed Lowrie and Carlos Lee as a possible blockbuster solution. Either or both would be fantastic additions–Lowrie can play pretty much the entire infield and Lee, besides being a 1b, can also play left field. He’s in the final year of a mega deal and we’d have to pay the remainder of the 18 million he’s owed this year. Lowrie isn’t a free agent till 2015.

Both of these guys are better options than every infielder on our roster except Sandoval. What would you have to give up? WillcoJoe threw out Brown OR Panic and Belt or Kieshnick. I suggested Belt and Surkamp (if his arm is healthy). Feel free to toss out your own ideas of what a deal like that would take but remember, you have to give up something good to get something good……..