A Place To Talk About Giants Baseball

You Say What?

Posted in Uncategorized by chipower9 on July 31, 2012

Okay Flappers, over the past couple of days (probably weeks), we have beat to death what the Giants should do with their line-up. We have discussed ad nauseam who they should trade and for whom. And a couple of days ago, we even had a discussion thread on the Olympics. (I was out and missed that one, so I’ll get my two-cents in now…I dig the Olympics!)               

The non-waiver trade deadline in now only hours away. Sabes and crew have been relatively quiet (lots of rumors…little action). We know “what” they want to add, but Marco Scutaro (for Charlie Culberson) has been the sole trade to date. The Bums have added HanRam and Brandon League, and the latest is that Shane Victorino will slip into a uni of the Hated Blue today. With that, I ask you to turn your attention to yet another topic and offer your profound thoughts (as only a Flapper can).

So, regardless of whether the team signs a bat (Hunter Pence anyone), or a closer, or even if Sabes does nothing and the Giants stay as they are, what do you see as the top three (or say up to five) things that are most critical for the Giants to make the playoffs? And if you can list them in priority order, go for it.

My thoughts (not necessarily in ranked order):

  • Pablo must return ASAP, stay healthy, and continue to be a force in the middle of the line-up.
  • Blanco, Pagan, and any of the other regulars who have scuffled of late must get back to being consistently productive and stay that way. Granted, players can go through short spells, but I think the regulars must consistently bring it (think key base hit with RISP).
  • The bench must contribute. Nate, Arias, Huff…whoever the hell it is, we need some regular production from our bench (think 2010 and Pat the Bat, Ross or Renteria). It has been so pathetic of late that I almost always cringe any time the Giants bring up a pinch hitter.
  • Tim and Zito must pitch somewhere around .500, collectively, or better.
  • The bullpen has to be “NAILS!” Shit like we saw from Casilla last night just won’t cut it, and Romo has struggled of late.

I purposely left out the other starters, because I will be very surprised if those three do not continue to contribute as they have to date, and also “team health” because that is a given…the team needs to stay healthy.

And You Say What?!

61 Games Left. Giants Well Positioned?

Posted in Uncategorized by dirtnrocksnomo on July 30, 2012

Something about a trade deadline looming



San Francisco Giants
G Blanco RF 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 .247 .341 .366
R Theriot 2B 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 .268 .314 .317
M Cabrera LF 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 .353 .393 .520
B Posey C 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 .314 .377 .497
A Pagan CF 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 .277 .322 .395
M Scutaro 3B 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 .272 .324 .360
B Belt 1B 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 .237 .342 .375
B Crawford SS 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 .234 .288 .338
  a-J Christian PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .176 .222 .206
  S Casilla P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
  J Lopez P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
R Vogelsong P 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .056 .128 .056
  C Hensley P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
  J Affeldt P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
  G Kontos P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  b-J Arias PH-SS 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .243 .284 .322
Totals 31 0 5 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 1 7 8
a-lined out for B.Crawford in 8th
b-flied out for Kontos in 8th


Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: M Cabrera, B Crawford
GIDP: M Scutaro
Team LOB: 5
Scoring Opportunities: 0/3
SB: G Blanco (18)
CS: A Pagan (4)

E: M Scutaro (10)
Posey to B.Crawford
B.Crawford to Theriot to Belt


R Vogelsong (L, 8-5) 6.0 6 2 1 3 5 0 104 45-59 27 2.22 .218
C Hensley 0.1 2 0 0 0 0 0 6 2-4 3 3.19 .228
J Affeldt 1.1 2 2 2 1 2 0 25 7-18 6 2.66 .238
G Kontos 0.1 1 0 0 0 0 0 7 1-6 2 2.21 .253
S Casilla 0.2 1 0 0 0 1 0 13 5-8 3 3.05 .226
J Lopez 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 3-2 1 3.43 .294

When We HAD A First Baseman…

Posted in Uncategorized by snarkk on July 29, 2012

Yesterday’s loss was a mess, no desire on my part to beat that to death.  Still, after a loss it’s comforting to remember a bit of glory.  The other day when I went to ATT with the Snarkkettes, after the lousy loss to the Pads, we made the pilgrimage to the McCovey statue out on the point beyond McCovey Cove.  I’d actually never gone out there before.  And, for my favorite Giant, it was worth it.

The larger-than-life artwork well captures McCovey’s might, his gravitas, his presence.  We could use him now, for sure, with first base such a wasteland at the moment.  I’ve always wondered if to properly honor this gentleman, this great player, was that really the best place for Stretch’s statue, far away from the stadium?  It is windswept, barren, out of the way.  Quiet.  But, I now conclude, somehow fitting.  The uncrowded, unharried, focused look at his follow through reminds you, if you were a fan then, of how when Barry Bonds was in diapers, every single Stretch AB was always an event inside every game.  If you are young enough to only know him from old, grainy film, the statue does provoke a raw sense of the murderous majesty of his stroke.  The sweeping loneliness of the place where it stands gives you a shiver – likely how any opposing pitcher of his time felt peering in at that 6’ 4” of pure terror.

I harken back to 1969, his MVP year, records of which are set in a metal plaque on the way out to the statue among plaques for the other SF years.  Get a load of this 1969 line:

  1. PAs   623
  2. ABs   491
  3. BA      .320
  4. OBP    .453
  5. SLG     .656
  6. OPS     1.109
  7. HR       45
  8. RBI     126
  9. BB       121
  10. IBB       45
  11. Runs   101
  12. Doubles  26

In the days of no ‘roids and playing at the Stick, this record of the man’s highest accomplishment seen in 1969, culminating the  golden era of NL ball that was the ‘60s, is nothing short of amazing, beyond mind-boggling.  The 121 walks in those pre-Bonds days was astronomical, a testament to the fear Stretch put into pitchers and managers.  Here’s just a few of the arms he went yard against in ‘69:  Tom Seaver, Phil Niekro, Dick Selma (3), Rick Wise (3), Jack Billingham, Claude Osteen, Fergie Jenkins, Gary Gentry, Jim Bunning, Nelson Briles, Bill Stoneman, Ron Reed, Clay Kirby, Don Sutton.  Not a bad staff.   In his career, McCovey hit the most dingers (12) off Drysdale.  So, not only did Stretch mash, he mashed best against a Dodger HOFer– a praiseworthy Giant trait.

1969.  43 years ago.  What a year.   Nixon takes office.  Vietnam in full roar.  But, the first US troop withdrawals occur, and Nixon asks the “silent majority” to support his policies.  Spiro Agnew denounces Nixon’s critics as “an effete corps of impudent snobs” and “nattering nabobs of negativism”.  Earl Warren resigns from the Supreme Court.  Armstrong and Aldrin walk on the moon.  Sirhan Sirhan admits in court he killed RFK.  The Cuyahoga River catches fire in Cleveland.  Stonewall riots in NYC.   Judy Garland ODs and dies in London.   Teddy Kennedy and Chappaquiddick.   The Jets beat the Colts in Super Bowl III, the greatest upset in pro football history.  Monty Python debuts on the BBC.   Gaddafi orchestrates a coup and takes over Libya.   The My Lai massacre.  The first GAP store opens in SF.   The Manson family murders Sharon Tate.  The Boeing 747 makes its maiden flight.  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid opens.  The “Miracle Mets” win the World Series over the Orioles – 4 games to 1.   Whew!  The Santa Barbara oil spill.   The Beatles play their last public concert on the roof of Abbey Road studios in London.  Led Zeppelin releases Zeppelin I.   Altamont.  Jim Morrison arrested in Miami for allegedly exposing himself on stage.  Starting on August 15, one million people gather on Max Yasgur’s farm in upstate New York for a rock concert — Woodstock.   Janis, Jimi, CCR, Joan Baez, Canned Heat, The Grateful Dead, The Band, Jefferson Airplane, Sly and the Family Stone, Joe Cocker, Crosby Stills Nash & Young and many more play in a mind-blowing, 3-day climax to the priapismic decade that was the ‘60s.  The Who play at dawn on Day 2, and steal the show with a set of raw Rock for the Ages.   http://tinyurl.com/c87qop.   http://tinyurl.com/d76v2vnAnd, in the inaugural year of the Division system that accommodated expansion to Kansas City, Seattle, Montreal, and San Diego, the Giants finish 90-72, second to the Braves in the NL West.

Here’s to Stretch, a first baseman for the Ages, and remembering when we had him in that tumultuous 1969…

Stretch — A great player, a great gentleman, a giant Giant…

And Now For Something Completely Different

Posted in Uncategorized by unca_chuck on July 28, 2012

Cue the Monty Python music. Or Benny Hill. I know this is fairly blasphemous to be writing about the Olympics during a Giants/Dodgers series, but then again, tough shit. It was this or writing about my mom throwing away my 3 boxes of baseball cards (~1966 to 1974) and what kind of sports memorabilia you guys have.

To Edddddacker’s unbridled delight, the XXX Olympics have started. And mind you, these really ARE the XXX Olympics, as all the athletes were given 15 condoms to use at their discretion, and local surveys say that about 75-80% of the athletes hook up with someone(s) over the course of the games. Multiple times. They are really putting the “Ohhh” in Olympics.

Anyhow, are you guys thrilled about the games? Yeah, they only come every four years (I guess that’s why they make up for lost time . . . [OK, enough of that]) so it seems to be a big deal. The pageantry, the hoopla, the athletes themselves, stronger, higher, faster. Medals, prestige, world renown overnight. That being said, I think the games are nothing like they were back in the day. During the turbulent 60s there was the civil rights protest of San Jose State’s own Tommie Smith and John Carlos. Their stand cost them their medals for a long time. You had the underlying tension of the Cold War hovering over the competition between the Soviet bloc countries and western countries (the athletes themselves didn’t share these feelings. They were hooking up back then as well, I suppose). You had the massive Soviet weightlifters like Vasily Alexiyev lifting crazy amounts of weight. The enigmatic Cubans like boxer Teofilo Stevenson. The East German women’s swimming and track teams who could barely disguise their proto-testicles and growing Adam’s apples. And the cocky Americans like high jumper Dwight Stones and Steve Prefontaine. Throw in some kooky Brits, crazy Canucks, and the pixieish Chinese and Chezck gymnasts, and you had a miasma of excitement. Characters abounded. Just the fact that a lot of these athletes were behind the Iron Curtain added to the mystery of the athletes competing. You had the tragedy of the Munich olympics with 9  Israeli wrestlers being murdered by Palestinian terrorists. It seemed to be a much bigger deal, with much bigger implications back then. 1976 was the last of the Cold War games as the US and the USSR swapped boycots in 80 and 84. In an age of relative isolation  (read: no internet) between countries, the eyes of the world were truly on the games.

There was little corporate intrusion, and bare-bones coverage. Sure, there were the puff pieces, and athlete profiles (Which were usually brought to you by none other than the incomparable Jim McKay), but the focus was on the events. If it was time for the 100 meter dash, you got a minute of preliminary info. Nowadays, they start the hype of every race with 1 hour of in-depth analysis, talking head banter, and corporate shoe tie-ins to make you want to puke. The inclusion of professional athletes watered down what was always an exciting bunch of basketball games. The hastily assembled USA basketball team going against Soviet teams than had been together for years was always intriguing to watch. Typically, the US Olympic athletes were one and done. Maybe 2 games max. Soviet/East German teams had athletes competing in 3 or even 4 games. They were professionals out there. Supported by their governments and given all the advantages. There was a certain charm that the US athletes were not funded by the government (for the most part), but were subsisting on public money. Now, it’s all about the corporations, the sponsors, Visa, Coca Cola, MasterCard, on and on. Yay, the US basketball team will crush every opponent in sight. the Chinese gymnasts will lie about their age. Sure, there are compelling stories, like Usain Bolt may not even be the best sprinter on his team let alone the world. Another collection of plucky US gymnasts led by the old Soviet coach Carolyi will gather some medals. Track is usually exciting, but where is a guy like Michael Johnson or even (gulp) Carl Lewis? Boxing? I got nothing. Decathlon? Bring back the days when Bruce Jenner looked like an Olympic athlete, not Joan Rivers.

The Future Is Now. Or Maybe Not. No, Probably Not.

Posted in Uncategorized by pawliekokonuts on July 27, 2012

Enough of the obsequiousness. Enough of fellow Flappers saying, “Great thread! Good topic!” This lazily constructed bit of verbal fabric (i.e., “loose thread”) will put a leaden-thump of an end to that, for one day.

Girls, today we will prognosticate the results of this weekend’s series with the Dodgers. (If it is a four-game series, better yet a demonstration of my morning haziness.) You will notice in the following that I haven’t even bothered to name the Dodgers’ winning or losing pitchers or HR hitters. Can’t be bothered.


SF 5  LA 3

WP: Cain  Save: Casilla  HRs: Schierholtz, Belt


LA 7  SF 3

LP: Zito  HRs: None.


SF 4  LA 2

WP: Vogelsong   Save: Affeldt  HRs: Melky

Have at it.

Kicking the Tires…

Posted in Uncategorized by chipower9 on July 26, 2012

That was an excellent thread by Dennis yesterday about second favorite teams. There were a lot of interesting comments and hate for the Yankees. And I caught a small amount of grief from Flavor for even mentioning a small fondness for that team across the bay that wears those gay-assed white shoes! All good stuff from what I saw of the comments (which was limited).

Today I want to throw out two topics for discussion. And my apologies if you guys beat these like a dead horse yesterday. Speaking of horses, I was out of pocket most of yesterday with the girlfriend taking her horse for a follow-up appointment (resulted in good news for the horse’s future), and didn’t have much time to visit the Flap (so again…not sure to what detail you may have covered these topics).

Anyway…back to the two topics for discussion. First, did the hated Bums really make that great of an acquisition yesterday in Hanley Ramirez? Sure, he was the 2009 batting champ, averages 25 bombs a year over his career, and can play some tough short and 3rd (that and he is only 28 years old). On the flip-side, he was hurt for a decent chunk of last year (played in 92 games), hit .243 with an OPS of only .712 (10 dingers and 45 RBIs). This year? He is hitting only .246 with an OPS of .749. To top it all off, the Bums take on the remaining salary of approximately 6 million this year, and 15.5 and 16 for the next two. And to land HanRam, they gave up two young pitchers. Nathan Eovaldi has appeared in 20 major league games with 16 starts over two years (3.96 ERA/1.440 WHIP). The other guy, Scott McGough is a reliever with 5 years of minor league experience. His current ERA is 3.99 but he has a 10.45 ERA over his last 10 games). So, the question is when you look at all the details (performance, both past and present, and the coin involved) was it really a good deal?

Secondly, what should our beloved Giants do (if anything)? I know we have kicked the tires on this a lot. If they are going to make a trade, the deadline quickly approaches. Many of you have thrown out your takes on what is most important for the Giants to remain competitive, and more importantly, to go deep in the post-season. There have been the big “pie in the sky” proposals such as G-Head made a few days ago (the most significant piece being the acquisition of Willingham). I did not comment on that one much, but it had problems in that Huff (and possibly Freddy Sanchez) were parts of the proposal.

What do you see as the most glaring need? I think we need to shore up the bench. With the loss of Hector and Whitey filling-in, that hurt (hopefully Sanchez is back soon). And we all know Manny Burriss (probably more than we want to). There have been a few times of late where he and (pencil in any other bench player’s name) have come up where a key knock ties the game or puts the Giants ahead, with the result being another frustrating inning of no hit with RISP, and a loss.

And if the Giants do decide to make some moves, do they go big (and trade their few quality prospects such as Gary Brown)? I think not. I believe they need a RH bat that has some power, and who can play the corners, and possibly some OF (at this point, the corner IF seems the more glaring need). Outside of that, I think the bullpen could possibly stand a minor tune-up. I still get nervous at times when Hensley takes the hill, and am not entirely sold on Kontos.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts on Ramirez, and what do our Giants need to do to keep their grip on the NL West lead, and help ensure they can be competitive in the post-season. Flap Away!

The Second Choice

Posted in Uncategorized by Del Mar Dennis on July 25, 2012

No. I’m not referring to the Bob Baffert 3yo filly that’s sitting on the tote board at 5/2 at Del Mar. If I were, only Flav and Loo would continue to read on. No. I’m talking about your second choice in favorite teams behind our beloved Giants. Do you even have a second favorite? Maybe there’s one you still follow that you rooted for from your childhood before you were transplanted to the Bay Area. Maybe you enjoy following the new team in your current area after being transplanted away. Maybe you have a relative that plays minor league ball for a certain organization that you like to keep tabs on.


I’ve always had a second favorite team. And although I know it won’t be a popular choice, my second favorite club has always been the New York Yankees. Yes, the dreaded “Evil Empire” themselves. I can hear the booing now. How did the Yanks become my second choice? Allow me to tell you…


When I was about ten or eleven-years-old, Moms and I sat down one afternoon and watched “The Pride of the Yankees.” You know the movie. It starred Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright, and the great Walter Brennan. And who could forget The Babe playing himself. Lou Gehrig? Who the heck was Lou Gehrig? In the next two hours, I would learn his story. I was fascinated by his life as a baseball player, but I was even more deeply moved by his life as a man.


And so I started doing book reports on Lou Gehrig. I wanted to find out more about his baseball career and the disease that took his life at such a young age. That film had a profound effect on me. Funny how some pictures do that. So I wanted to know more. His story has been well documented, and this is not another Lou Gehrig book report, but I wanted to pass along one stat that still boggles the mind. In a three year stretch from 1930-32 Gehrig averaged 170 RBI a season. That’s unbelievable.


And so it began. At a point in life when each time I opened a Topps baseball card pack in hopes of finding a Darrell Evans, Jack Clark or a “Count” Montefusco, with Gehrig and the Yankees fresh in mind, I also started looking for a Graig Nettles, Roy White or if lucky, a Reggie. And they’ve been my second choice ever since.


So you guys know my dream scenario for the World Series. I know some of you are still waiting and wanting, perhaps even needing to avenge that loss back in ’62. Maybe this time our first baseman hits a liner in the bottom of the ninth in Game 7 that just goes over Cano’s head for the clincher. Who will be our first baseman in October? Your guess is as good as mine.

Box Scores

Posted in Uncategorized by willedav on July 24, 2012

  I love box scores.  Given the chance I’ll pore through them every day when the Chron arrives and scan them online on game day.  The merc one online gives both sides of OPS, while the cbs site you can follow along with game tracker which also has blogger comments.  In the Giants Philly finale their was an argument over Hunter Pence—one guy thought he should have been doing more this year at the plate,  didn’t care for his defense and thought Amaro should dump along with other non productive players while the other guy defended him.  I noticed last night with Utley and Howard back he hit sixth…and went 0-4.  Mayberry, btw, hit 8th.  

    First thing I usually check is all the HRs.  Sunday there were 39 hit overall, but only 13 of those came in the NL.  Of the 26 hit in the AL, one was the first of the year for Kurt Suzuki, a guy I’ve always liked whose offense has fallen on hard times last couple years.  HIs came off CC and he was pretty fired up about it.  I also noticed Rajai Davis hit his 5th…I think we were all ready to dump the guy off on waivers when he was hitting .056 for us, but he has managed to stay in baseball and currently has an OPS of .730 for the Jays.  He still racks up steals and hasn’t done badly for a 38th round draft pick by the Pirates, who traded him here.

  My next thing is to add up total amount of runs scored, usually just in the NL.  Last night, fairly typically there were 64 runs scored in the 8 NL games.  In other words, “4.3 runs” would have been enough, on average.  Would not have worked Saturday, however, when the total was 94.  This was night of the 11-10 comeback by the braves and a game in which the light hitting astros scored 8 and got blown out as the DBacks scored 13 at home.

  Blown saves have become a stat I always notice now. Last night featured an epic meltdown by K-Rod, newly appointed closer by the Brewers–two thirds of an inning, 3 walks 3 hits 4 earned.  Given the closer perfect situation, brought in just to pitch the 9th with a 3 run lead, instead the Phils get a walk off sac fly to send the Brewers home losers once again.   

 There are other things I find interesting, such as extra inning games where guys often have really bad nights like 0-6, or you see how bad some of the starting pitching around the rest of baseball is—the Twins, Royals, Orioles and Rangers all started guys last night with an ERA over 5.00. As you might guess, the Rangers guy Feldman was the only one who emerged victorious.

 I’ll leave with one more thought–the box score is also the source of that famous quote wherein a dribbler, bloop, or a misplayed ball from a fielder is charitably awarded a hit results in, “That’s a line drive in the scorebook. ”                                                                      

The Adam (I’m So) Dunn Award

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on July 23, 2012

Today, we’re going to vote on the First Annual *Adam (I’m So) Dunn” award. It’s a made-up award created by me and voted on by Flapper Nation. It goes to the player who has had an inexplicably poor year after the previous year. I realize it’s only July 23rd but just play along and cast your vote. Consider the plight of Adam Dunn: In 2010 he hit .260 with 38 bombs and a sparkling .892 OPS for The Nationals. After signing a 4 year/56 million dollar deal with the White Sox, he packed his bags and headed for life in the AL. The ‘Sox like the idea of getting  a hitter who you could basically pencil in for 40 bombs a year (he hit 40 each year from ’06 to ’08). Who wouldn’t like that? But after homering in his first game of the 2011 season, his season started to take a long, slow, downward turn. It was a spiral that would have no end. He hit in the .160’s to .170’s virtually the entire year. At one point, I noticed he had struck out 161 times and his batting average was .161. “I bet that’s never happened before,” I commented to The Boney One as we boarded a flight headed down to San Diego. He nodded his head in knowing approval……

Dunn went on to hit 11 home runs in 496 at bats for the ‘Sox in 2011. He had 42 RBI’s. His batting average was an unsightly .159 and his OPS a limp .569. It was a spectacularly bad season……

Life’s turned brighter for The Big Donkey. He’s had a decent bounce back year. Through 404 at bats this year he’s blasted 28 dingers and his OPS is a healthy .844. The ‘Sox will live with his .204 batting average if he ends up hitting 40+ home run, which it looks like he’s going to do this year…….


I will now give you the nominees for this year’s Adam (I’m So) Dunn Award. I identified 14 players and 5 will make the unceremonious cut to be voted on. A player qualified if they were having a much worse year this year than last year. If you had an extended injury I disqualified you and I didn’t pick any closers because they are all insane and no one knows why they pitch good or bad from year to year. In no particular order, here we go:

1) Jon Lester. Despite Fried-Chicken-And-Beer-Gate, Lester had a pretty good year in 2011. He was 15-9 with a 3.47 ERA. This year, he has not been able to overcome the dastardly ways of “The Colonel”. He’s 5-7 with a 4.80 ERA.

2) James Shields. In 2011 he went 16-12, 2.82 ERA, 1.04WHIP. He was a horse and known for reliably going deep into games. This year he’s still going pretty deep into games and his opponents love it, he’s given up the most hits in the league. His ERA has ballooned to 4.39 and his WHIP has jumped to 1.44.

3) Ricky Romero– 15-11 in 2011 with a 2.92 ERA/1.14 WHIP. This year? He’s lost 5 starts in a row, and his ERA is a bulbis 5.22. He’s rollin’ with a *Tyler Walker WHIP* of 1.50

4) Adam Lind. He swatted out 26 big flys in 2011 with 87 ribbies and a .251 batting average. This year, he went to the minors due to general suckitude and though he’s back now he’s only got 8 HR’s and 27 rbi’s for the year.

5) Carlos Santana—He hit 27 bombs and an .808 OPS in 2011. He was everybody’s wiseguy pick to have a big year in 2012. Who’s the wiseguy now? That’d be Carlos, he’s hit 6 home runs this year.

6) Dirrrrrrrrty Sanchez. I almost didn’t include him because he spent some time on the DL this year. But, he’s spent more time off it and plus, I miss typing that name. You all know the deal. In 2011 he was 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA/1.44 WHIP. He got flipped for the current NL hits leader and in return the Royals got 1 win, a 7.66 ERA and a mindblowingly unreal WHIP of 2.04. Her has since been sent on a one way bus ticket to Colorado…….

7) Albert Poo-holes. He hasn’t had that terrible of a year but I always enjoy the big dolla’ free agent signing taking a shit for their new team. Last year, he hit 37 bombs, .299  BA, .906 OPS. This year, he didn’t hit his first home run until May 6th. At the time, he was hitting .196. Since then, he’s bumped his HR total up to an *average*17 and his OPS up to .830. He won’t make the Top 5 to vote on but I thought I’d throw him into the Top 14……..

8) Mike Napoli. He went bezerko in the 2nd half of last year. After the all star break he hit .383 with an otherworldly 1.171 OPS. I loved what this guy did because it made The Angels look so impossibly stupid for trading Napoli *FOR* Vernon Wells. At the time of the trade, I remarked at how incredibly dumb it was to trade FOR a guy with 80 million left on his deal coming off a shaky, one-off bounce back year. Wells has sunk back into his customary spot in *the tank* and Napoli went on to bust out for the Rangers last year.

But this year has not been an encore year for The ‘Nap. He’s hitting .236 with a .783 OPS. His HR’s are still there (14) but that’s about it.

9) Jair Jurrjens– The guy with too many *j’s* and *r’s* in his name had quite a nice 2011. He was 13-6, 2.92 ERA and opponents hit .249 off of him. He made the all star game. Besides having a difficult name to spell, life was grand. This year, it’s the weird name and nothing else. He was so bad in 2012 that he got sent down to the minors. He’s back now and getting lit up like fireworks with a 6.20 ERA. Opponents are bludgeoning him at a .330 clip….

10) Cliff Lee. He went 17-8 in 2011 with a 2.46 ERA and a remarkable 1.03 WHIP. This year he hasn’t been pitching bad but he’s got 1 win. ONE. 1? Yes, 1……..

11) Justin Upton. He busted out last year for the Dirrrrrrrty Snakes by hitting .289 with 31 big flys and 21 sb’s. Hoping to take the next step towards *MVP territory* it has not happened for him in 2012. He’s got 8 measly home runs and only 11sb’s. He’s being booed by his home town fans and he’s rumored to be traded by the break.

12) Ian Kennedy. Another Dirrrrrrty Snake, he finished 4th in the CY voting going 21-4, 2.88 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. Like many of the D-backs, he’s having a down year. He’s 7-8 with a 4.33 ERA.

13) Cam Maybin. It never happened for Cam as a Marlin and they traded him to the Pads in 2010 for a couple of middle relievers. Boom! he went off in 2011 hitting .264 with 40 stolen bags. The Padres said “We Likey” and handed him a 5 year/25 million dollar deal. However in 2012, it has been a struggle. He’s been hitting .200 for most of the year, recently bumping his average up to .221. He’s stolen 18 bags. ZZZZzzzzzz. 25 million used to buy more……

14) Jesus Guzman. Yeah! I love this guy! He can’t field a lick but the Pads gave him a shot in 2011 and he had a very nice year at the plate. He hit .312 and had an .847 OPS. This year, he’s been caught between the moon and New York City: .240ba/.701 OPS.

I was going to include Timmy in the Top 15 and he definitely belongs there, but he’s had 2 nice starts in a row and it doesn’t seem right to include him on the list since this is a Giants blog. So that’s your list of 14 nominees for The 2012 Adam (I’m So) Dunn Award.

I’ve now cut that list to 5 for you Flappers to now vote on. The criteria to make the Top 5 was arbitrary and subjective. It took all of my mental strength to not put Dirrrrrrty Sanchez in the vote but I’ve managed to keep him out. I didn’t want him to skew the results….

By the way, Dennis deferred to me today, he will be taking my spot on Wednesday. WillieD, you are still up tomorrow……

Those pesky Dodgers….

Posted in Uncategorized by zumiee on July 22, 2012

John Nance “Cactus Jack” Garner, U.S. Vice President from 1933-1941, once famously said: “The Vice Presidency isn’t worth a warm bucket of spit.” Well, a Wild Card spot isn’t quite that bad, but it sure ain’t what it used to be. It’s all about winning the division title these days, and it looks to be a classic Giant/Dodger battle for the division crown in 2012. There are a lot of ways to compare the Giants and Dodgers at this point of the season- their strengths, and also the things that need improvement. But another way to compare them is the schedule they both have to play the rest of the way. Who does the schedule favor?

And speaking of baseball schedules (if I may digress), I dig baseball schedules in all their incarnations. Especially pocket schedules and refrigerator magnet schedules. Whenever I’m doubting the human race, I try to remember that a species that invented baseball and refrigerator magnet schedules can’t be all bad. At the beginning of the season, it all comes down to what the Jimmy Fallon character says in the movie “Fever Pitch”: “A new season is a clean slate.” And here we are now, with over half the slate now turned into boxscores. The Giants have 36 homegames left, 32 roadgames. The Dodgers have 32 homegames left, 35 roadgames. The Giants have a few more games left against under-.500 teams than the Dodgers do (although that depends on what the opponents’ records are at any given moment, of course.) So, it’s a modest advantage to the Giants regarding the schedules, except….for those last 3 games of the season being at Dodger Stadium. But, on the other hand, by a fluke of the MLB scheduling computer, L.A. has 8 games to play against the Cardinals left on the schedule, after already having played them 3 times earlier in the season; while the Giants have 3 games left with the lowly Astros, after already having played them 6 times.

Will the Dodger pitching hold up? Will Kemp keep up a torrid pace for the next 2+ months? Will the Dodgers get Dempster? How concerned are you about the Dodgers? 


Cain vs. Hamels, who’s cuisine will reign supreme?

Posted in Uncategorized by ewisco on July 21, 2012

Here we go, Ace vs. Ace (Spy vs. Spy anyone?).  These two are surprisingly well matched.  Hamels and Cain were both drafted out of high school in 2002.  Hamels, out of San Diego, was the number 17 overall pick and Cain, out of Germantown TN, was the 25th pick.  Cain was the first to pitch in the Majors when he started a game against Colorado on August 29th of 2005.   He went 5 innings.  Struck out 2 and walked 4.  Lost 2-1 on a solo HR by  Matt Holiday in the second and when, in the 4th, Todd Helton scores after a walk, 2 base hits, and a double play.  This would later be known as being “Cained”.  Hamels debuted on May 12th of 2006.  He also went 5 innings, striking out 7 and walking 5, giving up no runs.  Since then, Hamels has an ERA of 3.36 to Cain’s 3.28.    Their career stats stand at (Hamels/Cain):

GAMES     CG          IP                           HR        BB        SO                WHIP

199/222     10/15   1287/1444    155/120  322/498  1216/1209   1.136/1.175

Their 2012 Stats are:

GS               ERA            IP              HR        BB       SO        WHIP

18/18  3.07/2.56   126/126.2  14/12   30/25  125/124  1.087/.955

If we look at Hamels at home vs. Cain on the road we see:

ERA                                                      IP       HR   BB       SO     WHIP

2.76/3.28 (9 games each)  64/57.2  6/7  17/17  69/55  1.097/1.197

And yet Hamels is 5-3 at home!!

So, what to look for in today’s game:  In Wins:

SO/9        SO/BB           HR    WHIP

8.6/9.9    4.28/5.5      7/3  1.000 .929

In loses:

SO/9           SO/BB             HR       WHIP

10.1/7.7     4.67/4.50     4/5    1.360/1.238

A very intriguing stat is that in day games, Hamels is 5-4 (6-0 at night!!) while Cain is 6-0 during the day (4-3 at night).

A look at the umpiring crew reveals no news as apparently this crew has not officiated either of the two teams.

When I started looking at this game, it was from the perspective that this is a game where the bats go cold and the giants lose.  Their Ace defeats our Ace.  But Hamels’ day game stats (5-3) give a sliver of hope.  Truly difficult to believe that Hamels gave up 7 HR’s in games that he’s won.  Thankfully we have Brandon Crawford.  Interesting to note that Matt has more walks when he wins than when he loses.  Obviously he needs to keep it in the park though (Cole seems to give up more homers in wins, go figure).  It’s easy to predict a low scoring affair, after all it IS Cain on the mound.  But if it is, it’s also possible to predict that Matty, probably not getting the W, prevails in the end.

Now, does someone else want to go after Ted?

Peter O’Toole Announces He’s Retiring From Acting !!

Posted in Uncategorized by tedspe on July 20, 2012

Okay, get that glassy eyed, I need more coffee expression off your face. Just bear with me for a minute.

First off, yesterday’s game was a day game. Hell, here on the pacific coast breakfast game. And we all discussed it ad nauseum already. Today the Giants face the last place team in the NL East. There’s really not much to say right now so as is expected from TedSpe….a dull movie themed topic.Okay. Now back to Peter O’Toole. The man’s one of the most respected actors of the 20th-21st century. Nominated 8 times for an Academy Award. Also, a renowned and beloved raconteur.
Great story. May not be true but it should be. Perhaps apocryphal. And I only use that word because in my life there are so very few chances to use it.
Supposedly, O’Toole, at the height of his 1970’s drinking tenure, met a few friends for lunch at a restaurant in London’s Soho. As was his custom–a bottle of wine was ordered. Then another. Then several more. After the food they reconvened to various pubs throughout the afternoon. As evening rolled around, the group got the idea to go and see a play. The drunken crew stumbled into a theatre, bought tickets and took their seats. It was a good few minutes into the play that O’Toole froze, then turned to his companion and whispered “Bloody hell, I’m in this fucking play.” before dashing backstage, donning his costume and taking the stage.
I bring this all up because when he announced his retirement it dawned on me…O’Toole NEVER MADE A BASEBALL MOVIE!!!!
But let’s face it. With the exception of the Japanese, baseball is only *really* embraced by us ‘mericans. The only actor from across the pond I can think of immediately who actually made 2 baseball related films is Ray Milland. In RHUBARB, where he played, if memory serves, an attorney to a CAT…a fucking CAT that inherits a baseball team.
And IT HAPPENS EVERY SPRING in which he played a scientist that developed a chemical that made baseballs averse to ashwood so he became a no-hit phenomenomenom..menom.
Even some of the most revered classic American actors never appeared in a baseball movie. John Wayne? No. Henry Fonda? No. Clark Gable? No. Sonny Tufts? No.
James Stewart played Monty Stratton so props to him–Gary Cooper played The Iron Man Lou Gehrig but knew so little about baseball he looked like an idiot and was decidedly not a fan of baseball and required extensive coaching in order to look even passable on a baseball diamond. In fact, he had never played the game before, even as a youth, and had never even seen a baseball game in person until he was hired for this film. Plus, Gehrig was a southpaw, Cooper was a righty. So when they filmed the movie, they had to put Gehrig’s number backwards on his jersey and when Cooper pretended to have a hit—-HE RAN TO 3RD BASE!!!–And everything was processed in reverse in the film lab.
Ronald Reagan played Grover Cleveland Alexander in THE WINNING TEAM. In fact:
At one point during his Presidency or running for same, he started to tell a story about his own life when it was really a story from that movie–fortunately, Miss Nancy realized what was going on, grabbed his arm, slapped him upside his head, screamed “MOVE IT OLD MAN” and escorted Ronnie off the stage. Like a sad robotic Disney Hall of President.
Now, today’s actors.
Most think that Kevin Costner has a kind of monopoly on this terrain. And granted, he’s got a lot of quality in this genre–but quantity? Not really. He’s got 3 films. I won’t bring them up. I think you all know. But Charlie Sheen has 3 himself. Not just the obvious MAJOR LEAGUE film and its sequel but don’t forget—he was in EIGHT MEN OUT as well and he was pretty damn good. Dare I say—WINNING!!!—

Who else? What other American actor matches this 3 film baseball resume? Well, Robert DeNiro comes to mind. In an odd way, 3 baseball movies. 1st, his breakthrough role in BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY. Brilliant, sad and heartbreaking. 2nd, THE FAN. I think we all know this film so I won’t belabor the thoughts. But his 3rd baseball film?
Well, not really a baseball film per-se. But a film that showed his talent, proclivity and aim with a baseball bat—THE UNTOUCHABLES.Now, here’s the question–not what’s your favorite baseball movie. That’s been done before. But of all these people mentioned and all the folks I haven’t mentioned (William Bendix, Tom Selleck, Bernie Mac, Madonna, etc. etc.) which film actor looked like they not only knew how to play baseball but if they took another route they might have actually had a shot (and you might know this already but Kurt Russell *was* a pro-ballplayer. 2nd baseman, AA club for the California Angels. Was hitting .563 in 1973 but a shoulder injury forced his retirement. But him too. Has yet to make a baseball movie–Wanker)My personal choice? I reluctantly go with Charlie Sheen. Mainly because he had the guts to add HGH to his already existing tiger blood for MAJOR LEAGUE. Now *THAT’S* Stanislavsky!!!!

So in closing, God Bless Abbott and Costello.

Name Yours…

Posted in Uncategorized by chipower9 on July 19, 2012

No…no…no…not that…get your mind out of the gutter! WTF…I thought this was a baseball blog (you do have to wonder sometimes). Actually, in all seriousness, one of the things I love most about The Flap is the knowledge you all have about the Giants, and also some of the stories you share. There is some awesome baseball knowledge and great San Francisco Giant stories on this site.

Speaking of stories…the year is 1987. The previous year saw the Giants bring a winning record (and a 3rd place NL West finish) to the City (this after they lost a franchise record 100 games in 1985). There was excitement associated with two young players named Will “The Thrill” Clark and Robby Thompson, who as rookies, broke in with the team in ‘86. There was definitely a buzz in the air. The marketing slogan that year was one of my all-time favorites: “Humm Baby, It’s Gonna Be Fun!”

The Opening Day line-up had Chili Davis and Jeffrey “The Hack Man” Leonard (One Flap Down, Baby!) roving the outfield. Jose Ooo-ReeBay was at short. Bob Brenly was throwing down signs to the Big Right Hander, Mike Krukow. And of course, you had Chris “Coach I have a hang nail” Brown at third (SO forgettable). Oh, and let us not forget, a guy named Matt Williams made his major league debut that year (I still think he had one of the sweetest RH swings of all time).

This was a fun team to watch. You had to love the kids Clark and Thompson and the team also had its share of savvy vets…it was just a really nice mix. Then in July, General Manager Al Rosen worked his magic with a couple of astute trades that brought the team Dave Draveky, Craig Lefferts, Kevin “Boogie Bear” Mitchell, and Don “The Caveman” Robinson. Another trade in August bolstered the pitching staff when Rosen made a trade for Rick “Big Daddy” Reuschel.

To make a long story short, the team (behind the leadership of eventual Manager of the Year Roger Craig) went on to win 90 games AND the NL West Pennant. Of course, our Giants lost to the Cardinals in the NLCS in seven games, but the team had a created a new identity and the City was again in love with their Giants.

So, if you have not figured it out by now, the theme for today’s thread is “what is YOUR all-time favorite Giant team?” My motivation for choosing this thread is somewhat selfish, because as I mentioned earlier, you all have some great stories, and you also have wonderful knowledge of our team.

So, I have shared my favorite (those 1987 Giants), and now it is time for you to share that knowledge and some of those stories.

What is your favorite Giant team, and why?

Make it a great day, Flappers…and keep your brooms handy (never know when you might need one).

Humm Baby – Let’s Do it Again!

2012 Starting Staff Earning a Place in History?

Posted in Uncategorized by dirtnrocksnomo on July 18, 2012

With his performance last night Zito notched his 8th win. With Vogelsong going today and Bumgarner and Cain pacing the staff it got me to thinking that the Giants could have multiple ten game winners in 2012. Now, I know that in this age of stats, sabermetrics and fantasy league rosterbation the W is not what it used to be what with all the other fancy new measurements and what not. Still at the end of the day a W is a W and accumulating wins gets your club to the post season. Doing an exhaustive search of the inter webs I found that a staff of multiple 10 game winners isn’t something that happens too often. Free agency, league expansion, the decline in popularity of the sport driving the better athletes to different sports are just some of the reasons. Here are the numbers so far for this years staff.

2012 SF Giants: Bumgarner (11-5, 3.15), Cain (10-3, 2.56), Zito (8-6, 3.75), Vogelsong (7-4,2.36), Lincecum (double double animal style)

While not complete, 2012 is shaping up as quite a year of pitching by the bay. Take a look at the list below. It is littered with famous names and flashes in the pan, teams that won it all and teams that didn’t but the starting pitchers won a lot of games for their teams. From just a win/loss record where do you think individuals starters of the 2012 staff will finish? Where do you think this SF Giants staff needs to end up at the year to be included in the discussion?

1988 Mets: David Cone (20-3, 2.22), Dwight Gooden (18-9, 3.19), Ron Darling (17-9, 3.25), Sid Fernandez (12-10, 3.03), Bob Ojeda (10-13, 2.88)
2003 A’s: Barry Zito (14-12, 3.30), Tim Hudson (16-7, 2.70), Ted Lilly (12-10, 4.34), Mark Mulder (15-9, 3.13)
2002 Braves: Tom Glavine (18-11, 2.96), Greg Maddux (16-6, 2.62), Kevin Millwood (18-8, 3.24), Damian Moss (12-6, 3.42)
1929 A’s: Lefty Grove (20-6, 2.82), George Earnshaw (24-8, 2.82), Rube Walberg (18-11, 3.59), Jack Quinn (11-9, 3.97)
1954 Braves: Warren Spahn (21-12, 3.14), Lew Burdette (15-14, 2.76), Gene Conley (14-9, 2.96), Chet Nichols (9-11, 4.41), Jim Wilson (8-2, 3.52)
1972 A’s: Ken Holtzman (19-11, 2.51), Catfish Hunter (21-7, 2.04), Blue Moon Odom (15-6, 2.50), Vida Blue (6-10, 2.80), Dave Hamilton (6-6, 2.93)
1964 White Sox: Gary Peters (20-8, 2.50), Juan Pizarro (19-9, 2.56), Joe Horlen (13-9, 1.88), John Buzhardt (10-8, 2.98)
1927 Yankees: Waite Hoyt (22-7, 2.63), Urban Shocker (18-6, 2.84), Herb Pennock (19-8, 3.00), Dutch Ruether (13-6, 3.38), George Pipgras (10-3, 4.11)
1954 Cleveland Indians: Early Wynn (23-11, 2.73), Mike Garcia (19-8, 2.64), Bob Lemon (23-7, 2.72), Art Houtteman(15-7, 3.35), Bob Feller (13-3, 3.09)
1954 New York Giants: Johnny Antonelli (21-7, 2.30), Ruben Gomez (17-9, 2.88), Sal Maglie (14-6, 3.26), Don Liddle(9-4, 3.06), Jim Hearn (8-8, 4.15)
1966 Los Angeles dodgers: Sandy Koufax (27-9, 1.73), Don Drysdale (13-16, 3.42), Claude Osteen (17-14, 2.85), Don Sutton (12-12, 2.99)
1993 Atlanta Braves: Greg Maddux (20-10, 2.36), Tom Glavine (22-6, 3.20),Steve Avery (18-6, 2.94), John Smoltz (15-11, 3.62)
1986 New York Mets: Ron Darling (15-6, 2.81), Dwight Gooden (17-6, 2.84), Sid Fernandez (16-6, 3.52), Bob Ojeda(18-5, 2.57), Rick Aguilera (10-7, 3.88)
1971 Baltimore Orioles: Mike Cueller (20-9, 3.08), Pat Dobson (20-8, 2.90), Jim Palmer (20-9, 2.68), Dave McNally(21-5, 2.68)
1998 Atlanta Braves: Greg Maddux (18-9, 2.22), Tom Glavine (20-6, 2.47), Denny Neagle (16-11, 3.55), Kevin Millwood (17-8, 4.08), John Smoltz (17-3, 2.90)

You Playa Da Game, But You No Trada Da Picks

Posted in Uncategorized by snarkk on July 17, 2012

Alright you 8 balls.  No game yesterday, no stormy waves or flat calms.  So, with the Giants, as usual, needing bodies at the trade deadline (which ones is another discussion), I’m getting back to a pet peeve:  MLB does not allow trades of draft picks.  I mean full-on trading of picks for players and/or other picks.  There’s no crying in baseball.  And, no trading of picks.  Both verbotens are, in a word, horsemanure.

The Giants may be loathe to trade Gary Brown, Tommy Joseph or even a low minors guy like Krick, but they’ve got little else in the system others covet.  They can’t gut the big club that already has no depth.  So, how to get the player(s) that might put them over the top this season?   Trade PICKs.  Yeah, if they COULD trade picks.  The Giants could package their 2013 and/or 2014 #1 and/or #2 or whatever with a middling prospect and/or Nate or Huff or whomever, and get a decent RH bat or Houston Street or [insert your preferred target].  Trading picks would help clubs fill needs while still keeping core strengths and top prospects for a stretch run or the long term.  And, that increased flexibility could be a huge game changer for getting bodies before the deadline.  Especially now since with this bullshit second Wild Card, the increasing supply of pretenders and contenders likely prefers not to give a major league body to get one from the now-dwindling supply of bottom feeder clubs.   The new Snarkk’s Law is that trading picks keeps down the marginal cost of acquisitions in a tightly-supplied market.   (Hopefully more dependable than the Laffer curve — it got hit hard — early and often).

The arguments against trading picks are lame.  The rich teams like the Yanks and RSox will load up on picks they’ve cleaned out from the small market teams.  Answer:  Nah.  Just rule that picks can only be traded for major and minor league players or other picks.  No cash.  Small market teams will keep trading away top picks because they can’t sign them.  Answer:  The “slotting” system already offers mild protection against that.  More can be done.  Limit the number of picks tradable by a club in any one season and limit the number of future years to 2 or 3 so a bad team can’t piss away their next decade of picks.  And reduce the number of draft rounds to a dozen or so – that way there’s more FAs available for anybody to grab with good scouting.  Not everybody wants to play for the Yankees.  Drafted players sometimes won’t sign, so some picks acquired would be wasted.  Answer:  Unlikely for top picks, and if it happens, hard cheese (see Pirates with cheddar and Appel).  If you are a dogmeat team and want to trade your good, but too expensive MLB player to a contender to grab that club’s first round pick next year, sniff around and make sure your targeted player(s) is/are signable and whether they’re hooked up with Borasss.  You could also limit the tradable picks to the first 2 or 3 or at most, 5 rounds.  Manageable, and fan followable.  Trading your 21st and 36th round picks would be dumb, near valueless.  Picks after the first few rounds are not worth much in terms of projecting who is going to be a prospect – might as well be a PTBNL.

I’ve dropped links below to some related articles.  Trading picks would not be difficult to implement.  The NFL, NBA and NHL all do it.  But, then there’s the idiot Bud factor (see replay and 3+ years of the A’s/Giants “blue ribbon” territorial rights panel).  Under the new CBA, 2013 will see the first of a yearly lottery for the bottom 10 revenue and 10 smallest market teams where among them, 6 additional draft picks will be awarded.  Those teams alone can then TRADE the awarded picks once — they can’t be re-traded.  Why have a lottery for this?  It’s nonsense.  Just GIVE each of those clubs an additional, repeatedly tradable pick.  IMO, the new bottom feeder lottery is a throw-away bone, and predictably for MLB, needlessly contrived and complicated, but at least a baby step towards tradable picks.

Lots of NFL fans, like on Chuck’s blog, love to jerk off year round to the NFL draft, climaxing in April when Goodell hits the Radio City stage.  In stark contrast, because there are so many rounds and so many players, nobody but dopes like us gives a crap about the MLB draft.  But, it IS important.  Just look at the Giants and Nats first rounders on the big clubs.  Tradable picks (including compensatory ones) would fuel fan interest in at least the first few rounds of the MLB draft.

And, if picks could trade, this upcoming trade deadline activity would be far more volatile — and fun.  Across MLB, the use of picks in trades would promote more fan buzz for teams still in the hunt, and more hope to clubs out of it – they’d be holding onto players as late as possible to squeeze top picks for next year out of the stupidest contenders.  Hell, trading picks would be worth it alone for just energizing the sub-market for rent-a-players.  If Alderson could have given up Beltran in exchange for SF’s #1 and #2 pick the next season or conditionally (if he extended with the Giants) for both #1s the next two seasons, Wheeler might still be in SF’s barn…

1. http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/05/30/wisch-why-cant-mlb-teams-trade-draft-picks/                      2. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/380347-why-cant-mlb-teams-trade-draft-picks                                3. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20111130&content_id=26059392                                             4. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1196153-2012-mlb-draft-why-teams-should-be-allowed-to-trade-draft-picks

The Fine Art of Heckling

Posted in Uncategorized by unca_chuck on July 16, 2012

To conntinue Pawlie’s thread on talking at (or to) beasball games, the natural course of that leads to heckling. Heckling has been around since the Stone Age, when Ooog tried to demonstrate the art of fire starting to his esteemed colleagues in the cave. “Ooog! You stink. Fire don’t come from sticks. You dumber than rock!” Socrates (“Examine THIS, Socrates!”), Jesus (“C’mon, dude, turn my lake into wine”!), Caesar (“Watch yer back!”), Shakespeare (Thou suckest! I fart in your general direction!”) and on down the line, anyone on the proverbial stage has drawn the slings and arrows of hecklers.

Heckling at baseball games s truly an art form. As a kid, I heard them all.

Heckling opponents: “Whats-a-matter with Drysdale? He’s a BUM!!” “Who’s your Padre, Steve?”

Heckling umpires:”Hey blue! If you had one good eye, you’d be cyclops!” “Where’s yer dog, blue?”

Heckling the home team. “How many outs, Jack?” “Chili DOG!” ted’s story of the lady yelling Chili COME HOME was too funny!

Most of the time, I used to heckle to get laughs from the crowd around us no matter where we were sitting. Usually in the cheap seats or the bleachers. Things were always a little more raunchy out there. Getting the ‘Orel Sax’ chant going in the bleachers was always fun when the Dodgers were in town. Some of the most fun heckling was just sitting down the RF line at the Stick and heckling Jack Clark. Those cold lonely nights at the Stick, when the team was atrocious, we’d give him shit just to try and get a reaction. How many outs, Jack? was always the opening heckle. One night we all recited the holy hand grenade lines from Monthy Python and the Holy Grail. “One . . . two . . FIVE!!!” That got as a chuckle, and a quick finger as he jogged off the field.

I did manage to get to one opposing player back in the day, and it didn’t turn out well. Me and a couple of friends were able to sneak into good seats between home and 3rd base, about 12 rows up for a St Louis game. Darrell Porter, fresh off his rehab stint for booze, Coke, and Luudes, was catching that night. When he stepped into the on-deck circle, I yelled out “Don’t look down! That’s chalk, not coke!” That got a lot of laughs from the crowd around me, some ‘ooooh’s as well. Porter turned around and gave me the dirtiest look I’ve gotten in my life (well, next to my “break a leg, Joe!” to Joe Theismann at the 1998 Pro Boewl).. Porter walked up and jacked a three run homer. He had a big smile on his face rounding 3rd. Next AB I yell to him. Sorry ’bout that, Darrell. I’ll buy ya a beer after the game!” Another dirty look, boom! Another home run. 2 RBIs for that one. Another big smile.  When DP came up in the 8th inning, everyone around me yelled “shut up!” Porter turned around, laughed, and grounded out. Proud moment? No, not really. Did I get laughs? Oh yeah. Is it fair to play upon the foibles of our opponents? Sure, why not? I was young and crazy. Some hecklers, like the Washington Bullets b-ball fan who relentelssly heckled from behind the opponents bench for some 20 years, gain some form of notoriety, as with the bleacher bums in Chi-town.

The real pisser to me was the Giants lost that night, and Porter did the most damage, with 5 ribbies that night. Did I drive him to one of his best games as a pro? Could be. Did I seal the Giants fate that night? Possibly. The Giants sucked anyway, so the loss wasn’t a killer, and having endured so many losses around that era, it was a fair trade I suppose.

So, what are some of the better heckles you’ve said, or witnessed. And gimme anything. Comedian heckles, politicians, rock stars, whatcha got?

You talkin’ to me? (Talkin’ baseball.)

Posted in Uncategorized by pawliekokonuts on July 15, 2012

You talking’ to me?

As our resident movie maven TedSpe would likely attest (attest to?), it’s one of the great lines in the movies. Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. If you recall, he says it to himself, in the mirror, as he practices his gun moves. Wikipedia says that in Clarence Clemons’s 2009 memoir, Clemons reveals that DeNiro got it from Bruce Springsteen talking to his audiences as fans screamed his name out. Hmmm. Maybe.

Do you talk at games? Actual real, in-person, organ-blaring, hip-hop-song intro, hi-def scoreboard, 3-D games?

I do.

I’m a talker.

Are you?

Doesn’t baseball lend itself to discursive rambling, retelling of stories, reminiscences, digressions, commentaries, musings, strategy debates? Doesn’t it foster and nurture that more than other sports? Is that Victorian?

Or is it just me?

Is it good or bad? Does it disrespect or does it enhance The Game?

A tiny confession: when I was at Citi Field in 2009 when Matt Cain beaned David Wright, I was talking to one of our party in the upper deck in left field. Someone on my left, I believe. But I HEARD the ball hit Wright’s helmet. It’s an awful sound.

So, do you Flappers talk during a game?

(By the way, I still don’t know who won last night’s/this morning’s game. Are they still playing the Hector Sanchez Follies Fiesta Tournament?)

Is This The Final *ABL* Day for 2012?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on July 14, 2012

I think tonight’s start is *it* for Timmy. I can’t imagine the Giants running him out there in the sweltering Atlanta heat if he pitches poorly tonight, at home, against arguably the worst hitting team in the national league. I’ll discuss *options* a little later in this thread.

We have spent a lot of time discussing the causes of this spectacular collapse by the 2-time Cy Young award winner. It’s probably a combination of a lot of things–some that are fixable, some that aren’t. Personally, I think we are way past taking one good start and feeling like he’s turned a corner. There isn’t *one corner* to turn. Timmy is at the top of Lombard Street looking down. And if he pitches well tonight, I’ll be happy because we likely won but it won’t do a thing to change my feelings about where he is or where he’s going this year. I think this is a lost year for him and while it’s certainly unusual for a pitcher at his age with his resume to have an implosion year like this one, there a lots of examples of pitchers *close* to his resume who have had one-off years. And my feelings are, turn the page on this season sooner rather than later…….

I’ve never had a problem *turning a page* on a player and moving on. That might sound heartless but it’s not (to me). Growing up, horse racing was a huge part of my life. And despite the cynical take a non-horse racing fan would take to the sport, the fact is, I’ve never known a more *emotional* sport for true, die hard fans.  But in horse racing, you have to be ready to withstand the blow of your favorite horse disappearing at any moment. Whether they break down in a race or they abruptly retire, you can’t get too close to the horse as a fan or you’re just setting yourself up to be let down over and over. I had lots of practice moving on from a horse that I was emotionally connected to. Why? Because there is no horse that’s more important than the sport.

And it’s the same for me in baseball. There is no player that’s more important than the team. My problem isn’t “Oh no, what shall we do, we just *can’t* move on without our beloved Timmy!!!!”. My problem is, after we DL him, what will be the plan to replace him>>> And by *replace* I don’t mean replacing 2-time CY award winning Timmy. I mean replacing the guy who will be dragging a 6.42 ERA out to the mound with him tonight. The bottom line is that we don’t need Timmy to return to his long lost former self. We just need a guy who isn’t going to implode every start. The Giants have 3 rock-solid aces in Cain, Bumgarner and Voggy. And whatever your opinions are of Zito, he’s given the team a chance to win more often than not each time he’s taken the hill this year. Lincecum has not done that. He’s started 18 games this year and the team has won 4 of them. F-O-U-R. That can’t continue….

And I don’t think we have an answer in-house. I suppose the Giants could cobble together some kind of “Penny-Hacker” concoction but that likely wouldn’t be better than “6.42”–they might do it in Atlanta just to buy Sabes a little time. But at this point in the season, the answer is obviously a mid-season trade. If Sabean went out and got a guy like Wandy Rodriguez, I think all of our problems would be solved this year. Wandy might be a perfect target, in fact. He’s making 10 million this season, 13 million next season and then there’s a club option on him for 2014. So he is NOT a rental. And if he’s not a rental, I would give up Brown and a couple other lower level prospects for him. And remember, the long-term depth of our pitching staff is NOT looking good right now. In 2014 we have exactly 2 pitchers who will be on that staff (Cain and Bum). The Giants are going to seriously have to look at picking Zito’s option up if they don’t find some other arms. And I’d rather pay Wandy 13 million and Zito his 7 million dollar buy out than give Zito 18 million dollars……..

But that’s a discussion for another day. The point is, there are a lot of #2/#3 pitchers to target in a trade. Wandy is probably considered their #1 so you aren’t going to get him for a combination of “Nate/Burriss/Linden/any other shit you can think of.” Remember, if we don’t want them other teams probably don’t, either. You HAVE to give up quality to get something you want in a trade and no team is gonna get hoodwinked in a trade as the deadline approaches. The sellers have all the leverage at this time of the year (ESPECIALLY if they are selling pitching, something all teams need) and you’re probably going to have to overpay a little to get what you want……

But something has to be done NOW. We aren’t talking about a position player who’s having a terrible year who you can just hide somewhere in the LU. We’re talking about a key starting pitcher and we can’t continue to lose 78% of the time he pitches. I agree whole hardly that our season is probably toast if Zito *reverts* and Timmy doesn’t. So one of them has to go. If we can add a pitcher via trade who can at least go out there and give us a chance to win most of the time we are going to be good to go with our *3 Aces* + new guy + Zito and a competent offense leading the way. The Giants can DL Timmy with some phantom injury and figure out what to do with him sometime later this Summer. Either that, or just bring him back to replace an injury or Zito if he *reverts*……

A New Start

Posted in Uncategorized by chipower9 on July 13, 2012

I think Flavor is in the queue, but I am going to throw this up just to get something going.

Second half starts tonight. Clean slate.

Does Tim bounce back in the second half?

What do you guys think about the rotation (MadBum, Tim, Cain, Zito, Vogey) for the second half?

Sabean and Bochy have both said that if Tim struggles against the Stros, that they may skip a start (this is the first for that talk from the honchos).

Tim against the Stros: 5-0 with a 1.14 ERA and 59 Ks in 55 and 1/3 innings…


Posted in Uncategorized by willedav on July 12, 2012

Two teams that just don’t like each other.  Ever since high school, there has always  been one team you really wanted to beat more than anyone else, one game that gets circled on the schedule.  The Giants and Dodgers have been that way for 100 years, hated cross town rivals that bring something special to every match up.

I watched my first World Series in 1959, the Dodgers beating the White Sox.  The 60s brought SF to the mountain top in ’62, but little Bobby Richardson came up big enough to derail that one.  In the ensuing years since both teams came to California there have been countless heroes and villains on both sides.  Feel free to call up some of your favorites, or those you most loved to hate.

2012 is shaping up to be a another classic.  The Giants inflicted an epic beatdown of historic proportion in the Shutout Series when LA made it’s first trip into ATT.  You know they are primed for a payback.  Here’s Matt Kemp: “I feel like we’re a better team.”  And, from Buster Posey: “We definitely have the ballclub that can win.”

Ned Colletti—is he still paying Jason Schmidt, or Manny, Juan Pierre or Andruw Jones?–is sure to be a player in the FA market, for bigger fish than such as Placido Polanco or Ty Wigginton as we have discussed here. Dodgers name comes up continually on MLBTR site.  As is I’m positive Giants are the better team, so LA has to do something to back up Magic’s bluster. Unfortunately, missing out on Carlos Lee might have been good for them.

I will say this about Juan Uribe,  While that uni looks horrible on him and he appears near done, I’d rather have a guy with his flair for the dramatic on my side.  Especially at the end of a season, when unlikely heroes tend to emerge and come up big.  Giants/Dodgers…just doesn’t get any better than this, and knocking them out the box would sure be sweet. And then maybe another crack at those Yankees…..

What Exactly Did We Watch Last Night?

Posted in Uncategorized by Del Mar Dennis on July 11, 2012

Was it merely an exhibition of baseball’s best players from respective leagues? Or, as Selig and Co. have engrained into our heads since that 2002 fiasco of a tie, a game that really meant something with home field advantage for the World Series on the line?  First off, with each team having to be represented by at least one player, is each squad fielding its very best roster? I don’t think so. Was Huston Street or Bryan LaHair two of the best NL players this first half? Probably not, but the Padres and Cubs needed to be represented. So they were. Those are the rules.  And playing for home field advantage? There are players on each squad every year from teams that don’t have a realistic chance of getting to the playoffs, never mind the World Series. Why should they give a rat’s ass about home field advantage?

But none of those questions seemed to matter once the All-Star Game started. I was just watching another ballgame. It was still the same 90’ between the bases. It was still the same 60’ 6’’ from the mound to home plate. And I found myself blogging away with you guys here on the Flap and checking out Twitter like I would during the Giants and Padres on a Tuesday night in May.  Hell.  I was even checking on my MLB.com All*Star*Bingo Game to see if I’ve won a freebie.

Bottom line: it was just more baseball. And we all know that baseball is meant to be fun. And once the game started that’s all I tried to do.  I had fun watching the game last night. And as our hometown heroes did us proud, I’m sure you had fun too.

Btw, if you guys are wondering why I haven’t brought up the great performances by every one of our Giants All-Stars last night, well, I’ll leave that for you. I wouldn’t want it to be on me to jinx Melky, Pablo, Buster and The Horse to start off the second-half…


Posted in Uncategorized by chipower9 on July 10, 2012

I’m keeping it simple today, Flappers. No, not because I’m slacking or anything like that, but because this has been something that has been on my mind over the past month or so, and I am interested to hear your take. But before I get into today’s thread, I wanted to share a thought.

How Fricking Cool is it that our beloved Giants have FOUR players who will be STARTING (not just representing) for the Senior Circuit tonight? Not only that, but they represent the starting battery and an OF and IF position. Has a Giant battery EVER started an AS game? I am pretty good at digging up archaic bits of information, but not sure I can drill-down on this one (anyone game?). Regardless, I just think it is awesome that we have four starters in tonight’s game!

Anyway, what I wanted to throw out there for you all to chew on is what do you feel are the three most important things needed to make the Giants more competitive in the second half? What makes their chances of winning the West that much stronger, and of going deep in the playoffs that much more a reality?

My take on it has changed like drifting sands as the team plugged along in the first half. Is one of the three priorities signing a RH bat with some pop? Is it most important that Tim finds his mojo and becomes the Big Time Timmy Jim of old? Throw your thoughts out there in priority-order, or not (hell, by the time today’s thread runs its course, it very well may have changed).

Personally, and not in any particular order, my three are:

A right-hand bat with power (does not need to be a starter)…this could be a 4th OFer or a guy who can play the corners

A right-hand middle reliever (think Mota) who can come in for a tough inning, or give you multiple innings

Tim to find his mojo.

There you have it Flappers…let it fly!

What’s Next?

Posted in Uncategorized by ewisco on July 9, 2012

Obviously not a great east coast swing.  The panic button looks awfully tempting right now.  So let’s just give it a push:  Ahhwooogaahh, aahhwooggahhh.


Right-handed bat!  But who?  And really more importantly, whom does that bat replace?  It’s all fine and good to talk about more of this or that but the reality is:  who’s better, that’s available, than we already have?  In the outfield, I think Pagan is the most suspect, but that takes in both offense and defense.  That said, I think he’s actually quite serviceable.  Certainly not great but again, who are you going to get?  Blanco has been struggling but he sure looks good for them in the leadoff spot when he’s going well.  Crawford?  Not all that many shortstops with power and average on the old trading block.  Timmy Jim?  I think it’s far more likely that he fixes what ails him than someone comes up from the minors and takes them to the promised land.  Not saying he will fix it, just that for them to get to the playoffs it will more likely be because he found a way to get it done, not because we picked someone up at the trade deadline or brought someone up from the minors.  For better or worse, I really think that this is what we’re going to work with.  They might pick up a reliever.  They might pick up a bat.  But who is going to have to sit down is going to be the interesting question.  I think that there are times when it’s useful to say:  “you are it.  Quit looking for someone else.  You have the talent, you need to find the inspiration and get it done.”

The Book Tour

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on July 8, 2012

I’ve been out of town and pretty detached from all things technological. Not sure who’s day it is. If it’s *yours* and you have something for today then just post it after this post.

I got a voice mail from Pawlie yesterday that said he had gone to the Pirate/Giants game and met K/K and discussed his book with them. There were other details about the game that seemed to have him in quite a good mood.

Ok, let’s finish on a high note….

Ballparks….You Gotta Love ‘Em!

Posted in Uncategorized by zumiee on July 7, 2012

Pittsburgh has a mighty fine ballpark. It definitely goes on my major-league-ballparks-I’d-like-to-attend-someday list. The list is rather long. Not that I dream about being one of those folks you hear about who has attended games in EVERY ballpark. (Although that would be pretty darned cool to do that.) I’m not close to accomplishing that feat anyway. But I have been to a few major league ballparks to watch baseball games over the years. And here they are, ranked according to greatness, using my own criteria (which is obviously very subjective.) In reverse order:

5. Candlestick Park: I saw a lot of baseball games there; the place was a unique challenge. Night games, in particular, were Arctic adventures. But there were lots of great times there, too.

4. Oakland Coliseum: Its baseball atmosphere was greatly harmed by the mid-1990s re-design for football. It used to be a real good place to watch a baseball game.

3. Dodger Stadium: A terrific ballpark that has a tarnished image these days. Maybe that is changing with the new ownership. I don’t like the Dodgers, but I like their ballpark.

2. Safeco Field, Seattle: A beautiful and elegant ballpark, with a simple neo-retro look. And a train going by next to the stadium every few innings, blowing its horn, adds to the retro feel of the place.

1. AT&T Park: A work of art- a perfect convergence of city, geography, and ballpark. One of the many neo-retro ballparks that have sprung up around the nation, but it stands alone at the top. Many great things for Giants fans have happened there already in the ballpark’s relatively short history. The future will bring many more great things.

What major league ballparks have you attended over the years to watch baseball? How would you rank them? 

Barry Zito

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on July 6, 2012

That’s a name that should bring you in off the ledge after that 3 game implosion in Washington, right? Only if you’re a “Thirteen Percenter”….

He’s pitched 13 innings over his last 2 starts and given up only one earned run. Nice. But he’s walked 9 and struck out only 7 over those 2 games. Not nice. How will he do today? Well, I think The Pirates are completely overrated and Zito seems to pitch his best this year when everyone thinks he’s going to pitch his worst so I will go out on a limb and predict he’s going to pitch a no hitter tonight.


No, no no-no prediction coming from me today. But I think he’ll pitch well. I also think we’re going to be dragging in this game. I’ll say that “someone” wins 2-0…..

Private Trainers – Bet The House On ‘Em?

Posted in Uncategorized by snarkk on July 5, 2012

Yesterday’s MadBum game sucked.  Royal.  So, I’m not rehashing that HOT mess.  Instead, my topic is:  What’s the role of a private trainer in MLB?  This piqued my interest when Pablo came off surgery rehab directly from 6 weeks under the Giants’ nose — he looked like the Michelin Man wearing a custard-colored Gi with a Black Belt in midnight snacking.  Domo arigato, Panda.

First, a definition.  A “private trainer” is a third party (not a team trainer or employee) hired by an athlete OR his team to work with the athlete to improve his physical conditioning and/or specific sport’s skills or techniques.  You can define it your way, that’s mine.  No, Panda’s Mom does not qualify as HIS private trainer.  Chef, maybe.

You know these examples, maybe you’ve got more:

1.  Prospective NFL draftees engage specialized trainers, now a cottage industry, to get them in shape to ace the Combine tests.    2.  Panda worked the 2010 off-season in Phoenix at his own expense to get back in shape with former Bonds trainer Greg Oliver and former decathlete Dan O’Brien.  Plus, Panda supposedly hired his own healthy-eats cook — a 1 star “Michelin” chef?  3.  In the Clemens trial the Rocket’s private trainer McNamee testified he shot up Clemens and weirdly, also Rocket’s wife (which she admitted).   4.  Bonds had Greg Anderson, his connection, and Harvey Shields, his rub down guy, cuckolding Stan Conte to the “hear no evil” Sabes.  5.  In Zito’s first Giants’ ST, he showed up with a new motion from Planet Zitoid.  That freaked Rags, who put a quick stop to it.  This past off-season, both Zito and Alex Smith went to LA for advice from Tom House, the career Pen journeyman who is now somehow a throwing motion expert on things he didn’t master himself.  Zito “cratered” early this ST, and jettisoned the House Crouch.  But, maybe some of that House voodoo diddoo what it was supposed toodoo given Zito’s subsequent improvement this season.   6.  Timmeh shed 20+ pounds last off-season and swamalot, a new thing for him.  Did anybody tell him to do that?  His Pops?  The mirror?  Did the Giants approve or supervise that “plan”?  There’s a stationary lap pool in Timmeh’s Seattle luxe condo building — so, now the scope of the off-season conditioning program of your Ace, uh former Ace, depends on what’s in his condo building’s training room?

My 10-minute “exhaustive” Internet search didn’t turn up much gossip on this topic.  Leading me to believe few care, or at least aren’t talking.  Momentarily nonplussed, I trudged ahead anyway and looked at the new MLB Basic Agreement, which is just a few Bezukhovs shorter than War and Peace.  I found nothing in the MLBBA about teams controlling private trainers in non-injury situations.  Same with the MLB Uniform Player Contract (MLBUPC link below).  In general, players must follow the team medicos’ advice and be in condition to play, but players have the right to get second opinions on injuries from their own docs.  The club must pre-authorize procedures by non-team quacks and others where there is a player “disability” due to work-related injury.  But, where there is a non-work related disability, injury or “condition” (altogether a Non-Work-Related-Injury) no advance notice to the Club or consent by the Club is required for treatment of the player by a non-Club provider unless the NWRI “may affect the player’s ability to provide services” to the Club under the MLBUPC.  The Club will not pay for treatment of these NWRI’s by outside parties.  That leads me to believe that since Panda reportedly paid for his outside rotundity rehab, his girth is considered a NWRI condition over which the Giants do not have official contractual control – though Panda has no limitation on voluntarily coordinating his outside training (treatment) with the Club.

So far, my conclusion is that the Clubs handle this private trainer activity on a case by case basis, because where no injury is involved, the MLBBA and MLBUPC are non-specific in this area, maybe purposefully.  I would argue a team should have greater official control than just “keep us posted” over how the player trains and maintains/improves his skills and techniques with private trainers the player hires, especially during the off season.  If Tom House tells Zito in December that he’s got to lower his arm angle and crouch like Carlos Castaneda, then what if that contradicts Rags’ advice?  Rags gets paid a lot to tutor the pitchers and build their confidence; he’s got a pretty damn good track record doing that, and he was a lefty.  In the tort world, I’d call that interference with contract.  To me, the vague to non-existent official Club oversight of private trainers risks injury and anything from slight to major interference in managing the performance of highly-paid players.

If you guys have some inside dope on this, let’s hear it.  Tempest in a teapot?  Eh, probably.  Unless your team has a Frequently Fat Panda and a Failing Freak…


1.  MLB Basic Agreement.  See Art. XIII E. and G.   MLB Uniform Players Contract starts on page 277, see its Regulation 2 on medical care.  http://mlb.mlb.com/pa/pdf/cba_english.pdf.   2.  Stan Conte and predicting injury:  (ironic tidbit at the end about Kemp and his great non-injury history).  http://tinyurl.com/7jgqfgv  3.  Now, kids get private trainers to improve scholarship chances.  http://tinyurl.com/8x62ugx

Your First Baseball Game

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on July 4, 2012

This is authored by Chuck. He’s out of town and I’m posting it for him. I will be out of town, too, in a few hours. Have a good 4th everyone. Try not to light yourself on fire. 🙂


Since this is all about the nostalgia trip (at times), let’s hear about your first actual game memories. This being an off day and all (I’m writing this on 7/2), I’d love to hear stories of the first game you remember going to. Where they were, what went down, who played Anything that you remember about that first time you walked (or crawled) into a big league ballpark to see your first real-live ball. I’ve heard a coupe of your stories (Flav’s Ed-Haliki-no-no springs to mind), but let’s hear ’em.
Mine was pretty cool. For my 7th birthday, my mom, who was as far from a sports fan as could ever be imagined, took me and about 10 classmates to Bat Day for my 7th birthday in 1968. Bat Day always fell around my birthday, so I guess my mom thought it would be a great idea to take a bunch of kids to a ball game. The details of the game are hazy, I’m pretty sure the Giants played the Cards, but I’ll never forget walking through those double doors, getting that blast of air in my face, and then seeing the impossibly green field for the first time. It looked perfect. The Stick back then was still grass, and not yet enclosed for football, and I guess it was still relatively new. I don’t think it was a sell-out, but the crowd was pretty good, and we made our way to the upper deck, 1st base side. All us kids had our full sized (none of this puny half-assed bat shit) bats (I got a 32) , and were busily trying to stab each other and bash each other’s brains out. The coolest thing happened though when the Giants leadoff hitter (Jesus Alou? Bobby Bonds? No idea) came to bat. EVERY kid that got a bat started bouncing it off the ground. After 3 seconds, the whole place had the timing down. Whap whap whap! Whap whap whap! Whap whap whap! 10,000 kids beating out a rhythm. It would break out during rallies and other random times, but it sounded so cool. The two old guys in front of us didn’t like it so much, but there wasn’t jack that they could do about it. They were too busy getting their buzz on and throwing one-liners at us.
The game? Weird thing is, as cool as it was to be there, I don’t remember much about the actual game. We all ate a few hotdogs and drank all the soda that the vendors could give us. Got bags of peanuts. We got those malted things with the little wooden spoon (NOTHING reminds me of childhood more than that taste of that spoon when the ice crem’s gone). Best part was trying to see how many peanut shells we could stack onto the hats of the two old guys in front of us (who were dead asleep by the 6th inning) without them falling off or the oldsters waking up.
But there they were: Mays, McCovey, Bobby Bonds, Jesus Alou, Jimmy Ray Hart, Jimmy Davenport, and the rest. Guys whose baseball cards I had, but had never seen play. The place, and the game, seemed so impossibly big. The Giants won the game, we all left happy, and for some crazy reason, my mom thought this was such a good idea that we did this for the next 3 years. Crazier still. I still go to ballgames with one of those guys.

Quelle Surprises?

Posted in Uncategorized by pawliekokonuts on July 3, 2012

Surprise. According to the Online Etymological Dictionary, “surprise” came to us in English by way of the Frogs, I mean the French:

Late 14c., “unexpected attack or capture,” from M.Fr. surprise “a taking unawares,” from noun use of pp. of O.Fr. surprendre “to overtake,” from sur- “over” (see sur-) + prendre “to take,” from L. prendere, contracted from prehendere “to grasp, seize” (see prehensile). Meaning “something unexpected” first recorded 1590s, that of “feeling caused by something unexpected” is c.1600. Meaning “fancy dish” is attested from 1708.

What is sweeter, or more painful, than surprise? Bishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, and many others, speak of “the God of surprises.” A friend of mine, Joe Bergin, gave his retirement sermon as an Episcopal priest using that theme. Jay Bruce improbably missing Angel Pagan’s fly ball on Sunday was a gift from the gods and goddesses of surprises. Quelle surprise! It’s a surprise we celebrate. Undoubtedly Jay Bruce and Reds fans felt punished by the gods and goddesses of surprise.

You might easily say the huge, unforgettable sweet pleasure of 2010 was how much of a surprise it was. How was it that the Giants won it all in a year when others supposedly had more talent, skills, and drive?

Which brings me to this year. What are the biggest surprises of the 2012 season thus far [in medias res, as classicists at Edddddddacker’s Oxbridge might say]? Here’s my surprise short list (SSL):

1. The Time of Troubles for Tim Lincecum. I am hoping the worst is over, but the duration and dire drama of his slump were alarming.

2. Ryan Vogelsong’s 2011 performance is not a fluke. He’s for real. Really for real.

3. I thought Freddy would be back.

4. Barry Zito’s performance being this good even this late in the season.

5. Melky.

6. Brian Wilson being sidelined for the whole year and Santiago Casilla doing so superbly.

7. Speed. The Giants with speed?

Speaking of surprises, the Sun Dressed Goddess was a chimera, a dream, an illusion, a trickster. She surprised us into thinking she was an oracle. We were led by lust, not wisdom. Surprise, surprise. Who will surprisingly take her place?

What would you add to the list of surprises for the 2012 season?

p.s. You Francophones, does my title need an S added to “quelle”? RIBBIT.

p.p.s. Time for my meds.

Report Card

Posted in Uncategorized by twinfan1 on July 2, 2012

As the team heads east for two series against contenders Washington and Pittsburgh- yeah, no misprint- I said “contenders”, I’m doing my midterm report card early. The scores are generally high, reflecting the team’s performance- but  I think they’re fair. What do you think?

Blanco- been up and down at the plate. I think he got a little Vungo-itis after popping some long ones. The Cain catch moves him up to a solid B, though.

Theriot- along with Belt and Crawford turned three very iffy spots into assets by the end of June. Another B.

Melky- what more need be said except A+ ?

Buster- I don’t think many expected he’d be this good this quickly- B+

Panda- tough to rate.He’s up, he’s down, he’s lunging, he’s.. an All-Star! C+

Pagan- still iffy in the field but much better. A rough June put him right about at his career numbers- which are pretty darn good. B

Belt-his big June solidied his job, then a mini-slump raised some more doubts. Looks like he’s baaaaaacccck and that would be huge for the second half C+

Crawford- has hit better as the season has progressed and has recovered from some real shaky defense early  C+

Hector- unpolished defensively, a real hacker- but who misses Whitey? C+

Burriss- gee, I hate to give him a grade. Can I just say he seems like a nice guy and he’s perservered and I hope he has a nice time being back home this week? Oh, alright-D-

Nate: well, he even lost his defensive relacement gig. About the only things keeping him here are probably the uncertainty about Pagan and Melky for next year and Kieschnick’s injury. C-

Arias- been a sold defender and respectable at the plate C

Huff- I want to say incomplete, and I’m very sympathetic to his illness.I’m also skeptical that a couple weeks on the DL cured it if it was serious enough to sideline him in the first place. D- because I honestly don’t remember any significant contribution.

MadBum-it’s strange to feel that a guy with his record has under achieved a bit. But he still has a tendency to get too much of the plate. 6 games with 4 or more runs allowed. In between he’s brilliant B+

Vogie- I think Nicole keeps him mean and fit, Seriously, I couldn’t figure the reason for his success last year but that’s it- he’s just a mean, focused  SOB- we’ve got our Jack Morris B+

Cain-the Horse. Perfecto. The former Dixie Headcase is now the rock and a team spokesman. A

Zito- I’m sorry, still waiting the other shoe to drop -but he’s even a little more than “serviceable”  B

Tim-simple. If he’s back, we’re laughing. If not-lotsa Lonely Teardrops D

Otero, Edlefsen- separated at birth. D-

Loux- had pitched well, then woke up and remembered he was in the bigs C-

Kontos-Been the best of the long guys. His was the trade we hadn’t a clue on. The Yankees evidently really wanted Stewart and we woudn’t give him to them unless we got Kontos C+

Hensley-pitched well at first, fallen lately.He’d been pretty much the 7th inning guy, no surprise if Penny grabbed that soon C

Affeldt- been solid, all around better than Lopez. B

Lopez- despite today, still gets LHers out. Rhers over .450 BAA. C+

Romo- as I noted yesterday responding to a great post by “I don’t know who it was”, Sergio is really a “roogie” more than a true set up man. But he’s the best roogie  A

Casilla- we’ve been waiting and now we got it- torture B+

Penny- incomplete

Return of the men who almost did it!

Posted in Uncategorized by twinfan1 on July 1, 2012

And here they are, your 2002 NL pennant winners:

Trey Lunsford, Tony Torcato, Calvin Murray, Cody Ransom, Tom Goodwin, Damon Minor, Troy Brohawn… oh, and some unknowns like Bonds, Kent, Snow, Schmidt, Nen..

They almost did it. Who woud you like to have a beer with? Dump a beer on? The guy you’ve wondered about? I always liked Reggie Sanders- had sort of a Hac-Man demeanor about him. Didn’t realize the guy hit over 300 HRs- and over 300 stolen bases.The Reggie Sanders Foundation supports children and adults with autism.


If it was worth nothing else, and even if there were no lonely Russian girls waiting to meet us… the Internet enables us to find out more about men like Reggie Sanders- and settles a few bar bets to boot…