A Place To Talk About Giants Baseball

How We Used to Play “Kick the Can”

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 30, 2012

When we were kids we played a game called *kick the can*. While I know we didn’t invent the game, I assume our rules were unique to the way we played it on our street growing up in Portola Valley. Basically, 1 person was *It* and his job was to remain at home base (a big tree) and protect a coveted nearby can that the kids hiding were supposed to try to kick to win the game. To start the game, he had to cover his eyes and count to 20 while all the other players  hid. He was allowed call out, tag out or throw out a player. If he could see you from the tree and call out your name you were out. Poorly hidden players were often picked off early with this tactic. You could also get tagged out but *It* would obviously have to leave the base in order to do that. If he couldn’t tag you before you kicked the can, he was allowed to try to peg you with a dodge ball (he was allowed to carry 2 per game as his fire power) as a last ditch attempt to knock you out of the game. Face shots were not only legal but encouraged. And there was no greater indignation than losing the game by getting hit in the face with a fuckin’ dodge ball, lol.

The key to the game was to stay hidden well and to wait him out.  The game had a time limit of 5 minutes so he couldn’t just sit there hugging the base of the tree. At some point, he would have to leave his precious base and try to come find his prey. To signal to the hidden players that he was about to leave the base to come get you, he would have to yell out at the top of his lungs, “I’M GOING ON A JOURNEY!!!!!!!” When that happened, our peaceful little neighborhood would turn into a chaotic, disorganized mad dash to the can. All players revealed themselves and took off from all directions with a single destination in mind. You prayed that you (or one of your comrades) could get to that goddamn can before  you were tagged (or hit with a dodge ball). After he yelled *I’m going on a journey!!’ he was allowed to, at any time, return to base and begin trying to call out hidden kids once again. But he had to declare it by saying “I’m back from my journey!” to indicate to the other players that they must return to their hiding places. If you didn’t get hidden in time, he could call you out that way, too.

Anyway, that’s the childhood game that popped into my head when I heard about Blade’s *Around the World* trip that he’s leaving for on January 17th. He’s *going on a journey!!!!!*. And  he’s going to be writing a blog about it. I won’t detail it here, you have to go to his blog if you want to read more about it. I encourage you to bookmark it but I will also have a link to it in the blogroll to the right………


Steve, we are all looking forward to following along with you on your trip and I speak for everyone when I say that I’m looking forward to the day you say “I’m back from my journey.” Safe travels, my man…….

Champs or Chumps? — A Remedy for the BCS Folderol

Posted in Uncategorized by snarkk on December 28, 2012

Alright.  BF is a Bowl-maniac.  That’s cool, but not for me.  But, he got me thinking about this BCS bullshit.  Yeah, they’re going to a 4-team playoff next year, but however they are selected, and I think some humans will be involved in the new method, won’t these top 4 be the usual suspects that still get respect they often don’t deserve?  SEC and Big 12 teams, most likely.  Pac 12 gets reamed again.  Stanfurd this year should have a shot at playing for the championship despite two losses (one stolen one), but instead will be kicking Wisconsin all over the Rose Bowl in a fairly meaningless “Grandaddy of Them All”.   I’ve got some college playoff ideas of my own.

First, the playoff system starts with 12 “Division 1” or whatever you want to call the big teams, qualifying.  The top 12 are selected by first using a point scale system (see below), with the most points being the most qualified, followed by yes, actual human choice.  A selection committee somewhat like (but, better) the NCAA basketball playoffs will be appointed using 24 college football writers from across the country (no east coast or SEC bias).  Put them and a keg of beer locked in a room for no more than 8 hours at the “Bud” room of the St. Louis “Courtyard by Marriot”.  Potty breaks allowed.  If there are ties for the 12 highest point totals (and there will be), the committee selects the top 12 based on the point total AND totally subjective info – like the teams with the best looking cheerleaders.  😉

After selecting the top 12, the committee seeds them.  The lower 8 seeds play the first round, with the #5 playing the #12 at the #5’s place, etc.  The 4 survivors then play the 4 bye teams the next week, the bye teams all having home field, with highest seed playing the lowest, etc.  That round’s winners play round #3 = the Final Four, at the higher seeds’ home stadiums.  Then the two survivors of that play the Final Game for all the marbles at a neutral, warm city stadium.  Yeah, it takes four rounds.  So?  The lower divisions of NCAA football have a full playoff without players wilting and missing their classes, so the Division 1 can, too.  To argue otherwise is just Toilet Bowl protection talk, and has nothing to do with protecting the education of the “student-athuhletes”.

Here’s the ranking system.  Rank the BCS level teams based on objective performance on a point scale.  Severely penalize playing patsies and tomato cans, especially at your own house where such games are nothing but a payday for the sacrificial lambs that roll in.  No coaches poll – they play favorites and don’t know whatinhell is going on anyway.  No computer program that’s been coded by some wanker.  The writers use an HP calculator or Excel, along with some beer glass coasters.  The main premise is that you get more rewards for road wins than home wins, and more penalized for home losses than road losses, since you’ve blown your supposed home field advantage.  League wins and losses count more than non-league results. Here’s the deal.

+6  Road win against league opponent

+4  Road win against non-league, but BCS opponent

+2  Home win against league opponent.

+1  Home win against non-league, but BCS opponent.

0  Home win against non-BCS dogmeat (FCS) opponent.

-1  Road loss against league opponent.

-2  Road loss against non-league, but BCS opponent

-3  Home loss against league opponent

-5  Home loss against non-league, but BCS opponent.

-7 Home loss against non-BCS dogmeat (FCS) opponent.

Neutral site games are deemed road games.  Point totals are based on a 12 game season.  Extra, league championship game results are to be used only to assess seeding, not getting into the top 12.  Using this model, here are some point rankings for this year, through 12 games.  Since Notre Dame has no “league”, we’ll have to figure out a special ranking method for their wins and losses.  Maybe another keg of Fat Tire required for that.

Alabama  33

Oregon    35

Stanfurd   31

Kansas State  33

Cal  -14

Florida  31

The results very well could be that a good number above 12 teams regularly will get the same top aggregate ranking number or within 2 points of that number.  That’s OK.  The committee then decides who is worthy of the top 12 after the objective numbers weed out most teams.  Obviously, a 35 ranking number for Miami of Ohio might not be as worthy as a 35 for Washington or Texas A & M.  The writers will use their own subjective information to make the choices — like their experience seeing the teams, strength of schedule info and cheerleader cheesecake index (“CCI”).  I’d rather have 24 writers from all over the country decide who are the worthy top 12 out of 20 or 25, then play it off with seedings, than a computer decide the Final 2 out of 25, or whatever it is now.

Well, that’s my ranking method and playoff process for determining the NCAA football champs.  You got betta, and you probably do, go for it…

Bowl Game Mania

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 26, 2012

I’m one of the fans that wants more bowl games, not less. The one positive that came out of my surprise trip up to Tahoe on Sunday (10 hour drive) was that I got to lay down all of this year’s bowl game parlays. Fourteen parlays in all, 3 $ line parlays, 8 four- teamers, 2 five-teamers and a lonely yet promising 6-teamer (which is now a five-teamer after SMU put the smack down on Frez-No State).

I don’t claim to be a college bowl picking guru, but I have enjoyed a bounty of success the last 3 years. So much success that I’ve had 3 straight super bowl Reno trips (including gambling money)  paid for by the generosity of more than a handful of winning (or covering) D-1 programs. With three straight winning years it’s a little much to expect a 4th, but that’s exactly what I’m expecting because I’ve grown accustomed to my yearly Super Bowl trip to Reno and can’t imagine spending my own money on the trip this year.

So, in no real particular order, here are my future winning bowl game bets. Let the insanity ensue……

San Jose State to cover the 7.5 pt spread against Lawn Bowling Green. Yep, their coach bailed but they have a decent team this year and I think the players have something to prove.

Cinn to beat Duke and cover the 7.5 pt spread. Duke sucks.

Baylor to beat UCLA in a pick ’em.

Rutgers beating Va Tech outright

Rice also won’t need the pts and will beat Air Force.

Syracuse to beat West Virginia in the bowl game created just for them

Navy taking the 14.5 and covering that spread easily vs Arizona State— I actually tried to talk myself into Navy shocking the world in that one but couldn’t pull the trigger and just took the points instead.

Oregon State beating and covering 2.5 v Texas

TCU taking the 2.5 and covering v Michigan State just ’cause

Vandy rolling all up into NC State’s grill and covering 7 pts easily

Georgia Tech to not only cover with their 8 pts but maybe even beating USC. Please, if there is a God, make it so

Tulsa beating Iowa St just cause I need something to do before I go out for the evening on the 31st

I’m not betting on the Cardinal game. I was going to take the Cards and give the points but 1-trick offenses like Wisconsin’s are weird this time of year. Couple that with Stanford suspending one of their best run defenders and I think I’ll just watch this one with my heart pounding out of my chest.

Both the Florida schools to roll

Kansas State to upset Oregon– U of O just doesn’t play the same game in January as they do in the regular season

And Notre Dame to somehow take the 9.5 and cover for me. I hate Notre Dame but I greatly dislike the SEC, too. It would be a great story if the Irish kept this one close and a miracle of miracles if they won the game. And I do think they could win this game…….

All right, that’s it. The fridge is loaded up with Bud Lights, Round Table is on speed dial and I’m good to go for the next couple of weeks……..

Have A Merry (Giants) Christmas!!!

Posted in Uncategorized by snarkk on December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Flappers …


From Snarkk, Mrs. Snarkk, the Snarkkettes and the Snarkkdog


Updated by Flavor:

Hey guys. Merry Christmas. Sorry, I couldn’t remember how to upload a photo within a comment so I am posting this in the main thread instead. Snarkk, your post today and the story behind it brought tears to me this morning.

I just have a quick story to tell. The morning of the mass murder in Newtown, I arrived at my office around 7am and there was a small package at the doorstep. I opened it to find a handmade ornament that was quite striking. It was clear glass designed to look like a pine cone with snow on the top. Inside you can see a string of pine needles. An auxiliary group gave it to me as a *thank you* for a donation I made to a local non-profit. I put it aside and started my normal day.

Around 11am I checked CNN.com and started to read the horrific details coming out of Newtown, Conn. Just like everyone else, I have struggled greatly with comprehending the depth of this tragedy. To be honest, it has consumed me…..Anyway, when I went home that night I put the new ornament on the tree and said a prayer for all of the people who lost someone that day. The ornament itself looks a little out of place on our tree next to the more traditional ones we have on it. But I promised myself that night that I will hang this ornament every year in honor of the Newtown families who lost a loved one on that terrible day and say a prayer for them. And that’s gonna have to be a pretty big prayer. Because the one thing that I have taken from this event is that *Newtown* has become *Ourtown*. The only way to try to move past what happened is to come together with those close to you, both in and out of whatever you call your *community*, and love them harder than you did the day before. And continue to do that every day. Coming to believe this is the only way I’ve found myself able to overcome the unspeakable hate that unfolded that day. (I got the *love harder* theme from the article The Dead wrote about Flannery in SI)…..

Here’s a pic of our tree (it’s a cool pic, in the reflection of the window it makes it appear as if we have lit trees planted all over our backyard outside):


And here is a close up pic of the ornament :


I woke up a couple of hours ago, and in fact, my daughter still isn’t up yet (it’s 7:30am right now). She’s 10 and I know that this was the last year I get out of her believing in Santa. She and her friends have coordinated a *letter plot* to find out once and for all if he’s actually *real*. I won’t go into it here but it’s a fantastically organized scheme and it will surely yield them the answers they seek. When I got up this morning to make coffee, I looked at the undisturbed lit tree shining in the darkness of the room and got overwhelmed with the emotions of a little piece of my daughter’s innocence dying today. And then I did what I promised myself I’d do on the day of the Newtown massacre: I thought of ways to *love her harder* today. Merry Christmas Flappers. I love and value the community that you all have created here. I wish all of you peace and happiness and above all, please convey to the loved ones in your life how much you care about them, how much you love them and how much you value them. There are so many families in Newtown this morning who had that stolen from them, forever……

Rule the Day

Posted in Uncategorized by pawliekokonuts on December 23, 2012

Baseball as an enterprise is conservative, not crazy about changing traditions or rules. The most radical rule change of the last 50 years is the allowance of a Designated Hitter, or DH. It’s not something I have yet come to endorse.

What rule changes, if any, would you endorse?

And have you ever read the official rulebook? (Triumph Books puts out an edition.) (I know that Snarkk has made reference to it, natch.)

Would you approve of any changed rules regarding instant replay?

How about added rules prescribing protections for catchers in home-plate collisions?

I can’t think of much, but how’s this for a rule change:

— Ban the DH.

— Rosters shall consist of 27 players, two of which shall be Gamer Babes, preferably buxom twins.

Have at it.

Rule the day, Flappers.

Who SHOULD Win the Pennant vs Who WILL Win the Pennant

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 22, 2012

Here are the odds to win the pennant for both the NL and the AL:



The first thing that stands out is how much those odds suck. The Cubs at 30-1? If it was my site I’d put them at 10,000 to 1. Same with about 7 or 8 other teams on these lists. And the Yankees at 6-1 makes me lqtm. If I was going to bet on a team from each league it would be the Giants and the Rangers. But I definitely see why the Dodgers/Nationals and the Angels/Tigers are favored.

Future bets are dumb. I used to try to hit horse racing future bets on Breeders Cup races, usually the Juvenile. I’d usually take 50-1 and occasionally those horses would actually make the race. Never did they win it. Once I had a horse that made the race and went off at 60-1. I had him at 40-1 on my future bet. Oops. The only thing a future bet does is encourage your interest in the sport. And that’s not a bad thing, you follow along more closely leading up to the *big* day more than you would if you didn’t have any money on it. But all in all, it’s the fastest way to lose your money……

What’s Gonna Happen to Alex Smith?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 20, 2012

There’s not enough *Alex Smith* talk out there these days, certainly not at ninersforever.com 🙂 🙂 🙂  so I thought I’d write about it, too.

What I sorta know: According to what I’ve read and heard on the radio, if the Niners cut Smith before April 1st 2013, they owe him a 1 million dollar buy out. I think it’s a buy out. If  he’s on the roster his 7.5 million dollar salary for 2013 kicks in and I think the following 2014 deal for about the same amount also vests (though I’m not totally sure about 2014).

The thinking out there is that the Niners would let the base salary kick in so that they could trade him for a draft pick or two….

What I don’t know: how would that effect the salary cap? My understanding is that a big percentage of his newly locked in base salary would count against the cap. Chuck said last night that it would only be a million and I defer to him in principle but it still doesn’t sound right to me. The *cap $ against* rules are complicated and I seem to remember hearing about guys getting traded yet their salaries, or a portion of them, still counted against the cap. If so, that would be a huge deterrent to the Niners doing this. Cap room is sacred and certainly not worth taking a hit just to get a 2nd round pick (or whatever Smith is worth). But I confess to not knowing the cap rules in football well enough to do anything other than throw it out there for debate (and hopefully, clarification from someone).

What I suspect: Regardless of how your opinion of how it came about that Smith got replaced by Kap, I don’t think the Niners dislike Smith. By all accounts, he’s an outstanding person of integrity and there has to be ongoing gratitude for how close he took them to the super bowl last year. I just don’t see the Niners holding Smith hostage for the right deal and then just casting him away without getting him to sign off on the trade. I know they wouldn’t HAVE to but it would be the right thing to do after the screw-job he endured this year. Plus, don’t forget about the guys in the locker room. They’ll have an opinion on this, too. And if Smith gets traded to the Jets after getting summarily benched in the 2012 season while he was playing at an elite level how do you think that’s going to go over in the locker room? “Man, they bench him for playing great and then they banish him to Siberia, too? That’s fu*ked up…”

Ann Killion wrote something this morning about all of this and ended it with some sort of nonsensical idea of Smith starting the final game vs Arizona to *audition* for the Cardinals. Huh? Arizona has seen him play a billion times. They wouldn’t need an *audition* to sway their feelings. If they want Smith they already know why the want him. Plus. we need to win that game regardless of what happens in Seattle this Sunday. A loss could influence their playoff seeding. And I have great confidence in Smith to win the game but you don’t rest your starting QB in a game you need to win right before the playoffs start.

Since this whole soap opera started I’ve always felt that the final chapter hasn’t been written yet for Smith in San Francisco. I figured Kap would get injured and that Smith would come back to lead them to a super bowl win because that’s just how a story like this should end–I really hope the final chapter isn’t the Niners acting like a vindictive girlfriend and selling off Smith like a piece of meat for a draft pick they don’t really need anyway.

Just release him, shake hands and thank him for his time served and let him move on with his life where ever he chooses to go. If nothing else, he’s earned AT LEAST that…..

Bruce Jenkins Rights His Wrong

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 19, 2012

I’m not too sure if any of you read Jenkins’ short column last week on David Stern. He ticked off several points that were completely accurate about the NBA’s fraud of a commissioner. Stern is one of the worst, almost as bad as Goodell, and the NBA will get immediately better on his last day in office scheduled for the end of this season. But I definitely noticed the disturbing comment he made when he said, “Stern is Jewish and has no feel for Christmas in the first place.” It didn’t disturb me to the point of outrage, I didn’t even gather the muster to send off a complaint to the Chronicle.

But I guess a bunch of people did manage the muster to do so. Yesterday he issued an apology:


Bruce Jenkins is one of great columnists that the Bay Area has ever seen–it’s too bad surfing isn’t more popular here, it’s clearly his passion and while I don’t know a thing about surfing I always read and enjoy the Maverick’s article he writes each year around this time. I’d like to think he issued the apology on his own but he was probably pushed to do it by his bosses. Either way, I give him a pass on writing something stupid. He’s written far too many thoughtful and engaging articles over the years to hold one dumb comment against him.

As many of you know, my daughter is 50% Jewish. Her maternal grandfather escaped Europe during World War 2 and has some pretty amazing stories about *close calls* of being apprehended by the Germans. He doesn’t like to talk about it too much. And he is 100% all about Christmas. The tree, the presents, everything that has to do with Christmas, he’s all-in. If there is one man I know who *has a feel for Christmas* it is this man. And in some ways he showed me the meaning of Christmas, which I pass on to my daughter now, better than my own parents did (and they did a pretty good job of it).

So *thank you Bruce Jenkins* for standing up and writing something you wish you didn’t have to write. But it was the right thing to do……..

Time for Me to Cast MY HOF Vote

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 17, 2012

Jeez, I wish I’d been sent this email last night, it would have made for a far more interesting thread today….

As many of you know, I am a member of the Baseball Blogger’s Alliance– you can find their link to the right and if you haven’t checked them out you should—they have collected all of the best baseball blogs and organized them in one site. They have many expectations for you to be invited (and remain) in the alliance, but it’s all stuff I like do: post regular threads and vote on the different nick-nacky things they call for us to vote on. I think some of you remember they made me vote on the end-of-year awards and post it in a thread so that I would get credit for voting.

Anyway, now they are asking for me to cast my HOF ballot. They will compile the results and compare the BBA’s HOF votes to the BBWAA’s *actual* inductees for this year’s class. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Finally, I am at one with my *esteemed colleagues!* 🙂

Ok, so here I go. They say I can a vote for as many as I want. I’m posting the voter card here but it’s long so I had to break it up into 3 images. Here they are:




I’ll tell you right now, my criteria is pretty straight forward. I don’t care about steroid use unless it looks like it turned you into a completely different player (like Sammy Sosa). I don’t really care about your character but I did omit certain players like Fred McGriff just on the basis of hating him. I’m not super concerned with stats. I put more emphasis on how you ranked over the course of at least 10 years vs your peers. Did you perform at or near the top for at least a straight decade? Your post season game is also a factor (as in, did you step it up or produce in the post season).

I’ll just comment on the guys I waved through:

Jack Morris: He won 254 games and he was a beast in the post season (minus his ’92 post season). His ERA sucked but he’s the definition of a guy who you’d pick to start a huge game. In terms of dominance, he doesn’t really have it on numbers but he had it in terms of respect from the other players and, like I said, he was an ace of all aces if the criteria is “who do you pick to start this must win game”.

Lee Smith: 478 saves. He was an elite closer for 12 years straight. Plus, i don’t think closer’s get enough love in the HOF and he was also intimidating as fuck out on the mound.

Tim Raines: a triples machine with some power and the speed to steal enough bases to DOMINANT a game for 12 straight years. Rickey was better but that doesn’t mean this cat isn’t HOF-worthy.

Larry Walker: My two main *Hall of Very Good*  candidates were Walker and Murphy. I voted for Walker and not Murphy for one main reason. Murphy just didn’t keep it going at the top for 10 full seasons. He dominated from ’80 thru ’87 but ’88 onward were pretty dismal. I almost voted for him…..Walker on the other hand brought it for about a dozen straight seasons. Most of that was in Colorado and he was probably on steroids, but people forget how scary of an at bat he was. In his heyday (which was a pretty long heyday if you check the stats) Walker was Tony Gwynn with a lot more power, comparable speed and a little less average.  He was dominant for 9 straight years and I let my final year of criteria slide because he won me a shitload of money in fantasy baseball back in ’97……

Barry Bonds: the best hitter that baseball has ever seen. End of story.

Roger Clemens: tough one for me to send thru but 354 wins in this era is just impossible to ignore. But actually, if you look closely at his career, he was clearly petering out in ’93 thru ’96 and then all of a sudden he has an explosion for another 8 years that just looks out of place. And he didn’t have my required *decade of dominance* prior to that so…..screw it, I’m canceling my vote.. No HOF for Clemens. I’m literally drunk with power right now…..

Craig Biggio: Accumulating 3000+ hit while playing your entire career for the Astros is a green light all day long as far as I’m concerned. You’d think all of those 1-2-3 innings alone would prevent Bigg’s from even getting 3000 at bats, much less hits……

That’s it. i was on the fence on Sele and Klesko but in the end, I just couldn’t hit the box. 🙂


Who Has Been the Worst Free Agent Signing So Far?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 17, 2012

We could form a better opinion on this topic if we were discussing this in 2014 or 2015. But it’s cold and dark outside right now and I can’t think of anything better to float out there. You nominees for Worst Free Agent Signing of the Year(!) are…….

Josh Hamilton: 5 years/125 mil

Shane Victorino: 3 years/39 mil

Zack Grienke: 6 years/147 mil

BJ Upton: 5 years/75 mil

Brandon League: 3 years/22.5 mil

Of course, the Dodgers are still paying Manny (9 mil in 2013) and Andruw Jones 3 million in ’13 and ’14 so that makes these 5 guys look slightly more appealing. At least they’re playing…..


And for those of you who only read the main thread, here’s a plug for my main Pawlie Kokonuts who’s parlayed another Giants world series into another book.

PawlieKokonuts said, on December 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm (Edit)

Here’s the link on Amazon Kindle that just went live. $2.99.



The Most Anticipated Football Match Up of the Year

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 16, 2012

And I’m not just talking about Niner and Pat fans, this one should have everyone buzzing. This one has it all: a HOF QB on one side, a tattoo-kissing QB, who literally runs like a gazelle, on the other. You’ve got Aldon Smith chasing the sack record. Randy Moss returning to the place where he set the season td for a wide receiver (still can’t believe Jerry doesn’t still have that record). And no one really knows if the Niner D is going to be able to slow down Brady or not.

Brady is an amazing quarterback (though he has benefited greatly from being able to play in the same offense, with many of the same personnel, for 10 years). You can’t play a zone because he picks that apart. You can’t blitz him because he sees that coming from a mile away and beats it almost every time. I think the only chance the Niners D has is if The Smith Bros step up and get to him. If the linebackers drop back in into coverage and Aldon is bearing down on Brady, it’ll be much more challenging for him to find an open receiver with 7 guys covering his men instead of 4 or 5. We have good cornerbacks, I hope we play a lot of man coverage and then let the chips fall where they may…….

I’m like everyone else, I have no idea what’s going to happen tonight. I am hopeful and truly believe that the D is gonna get it done. I’m not that worried about our offense, we’ll get enough points to win if the D steps up. I could see us scoring 24 points no problem. If that’s not enough to win, we could be in for a loss tonight.

But right now, who cares? I am so stoked for this game and love it that the Niners are relevant in the eyes of the rest of the country once again……..

West Coast Dominance, East Coast Irrelevance

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 15, 2012

It’s going to be really interesting to see how ESPN keeps the spotlight focused on New York and Boston in this upcoming baseball season. The balance of power in baseball, almost any way you choose to look at it, has swung directly into the state of California.

1) The Giants have won the world series 2 out of the last 3 years and are nicely positioned to win it again next year.

2) The Dodgers has soared past the Yankees in terms of spending as the new ownership group has gone out and acquired some of the biggest names in the game.

3) The Angels have now got three of the game’s biggest names in the game in the same line up for 162 games. Their approach to building a world series team can be questioned, but Trout, Hamilton and Pujols as 3 or your first 4 hitters is about as imposing of a start to a line up as their has ever been in the history of baseball…..

How is ESPN going to ignore these teams from California and continue to talk about the Yankees and the Red Sox 24/7? Are they going to just pretend that the biggest names in the game don’t exist? It’s going to really test the patience of baseball fans who tune in to ESPN to watch Peter Gammons blather on endlessly about the aged and declining Yankees and the not-very-good Red Sox.

Honestly, they should just break the network up like they do on their website. Instead of one channel devoted to covering the Yankees and Red Sox 24/7 with sound bites and clips scattered to the other 28 teams, they should have four different channels: ESPN WEST, ESPN EAST, ESPN SOUTH and ESPN NORTH— they all come in your cable package and you choose which one you want to watch—different broadcasters for each channel. I’d watch all four but at least I’d have the choice to avoid the east broadcast if I chose to……

Ichiro Suzuki is Brain Dead

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 13, 2012

According to The New York Daily News, Ichiro is choosing a 2 year/12 million dollar deal over two other offers, one of those from the Giants at 2 years/15mil (the other offer being the Phillies at 2 years/14 mil).

So let’s look at I-Suz’s mlb career: He toiled away in Seattle for a decade and played in exactly two post season series, both back in 20o1. Otherwise, he’s on a .420ish  team for 10 years. Then he gets traded to the Yankees, gets to taste the playoffs again, but whoops, his team gets bounced in what might be one of the most embarrassing playoff losses ever, losing 4-0 to the Tigers and scoring a grand total of 6 runs in 4 straight losses—and 5 of those 6 runs were scored in the 9th inning of Games 1 and 3. That means that in non-9th inning games, the Yankees scored exactly 1 lone run (in the 6th inning of Game 4) over the course of 4 games. THAT is freaking pathetic. I was told you could buy a Game 4 ticket at Yankee Stadium for $12 online. TWELVE DOLLARS…..

So I think it’s clear that that Ichiro isn’t exactly motivated by the elusive high of the post season. Because no one with a brain thinks the Yankees will make the playoffs in 2013. Who are they going to beat to get in? They aren’t winning the AL East, I will book that bet right now. KC is probably going to do enough to win 88-90 games in 2013, likely losing the AL Central to the Tigers. And the wild card that looks to be a lock is going to come from the AL West. So how do the Yankees snatch a WC bid away from KC, possibly Oakland or the Angles OR the Rangers AND the three other contenders in the Al East?—-Baltimore, Tampa Bay and Toronto and I’m not even counting Boston who might actually be better than them. The Yankees could conceivably finish last in the AL east next year. It would be unlikely, but it’s possible. You know what’s not possible? The Giants finishing last in the NL West…..

This is very similar to what I wrote about the Lakers before this season started— the Yanks are a bunch of old, past their prime players trying to win games off the glory of their season’s past. It’s not happening in 2013 for the Yankees and it’s going to be a spectacular demise. I’m beyond excited to watch it all unfold…..

Ichiro and his dopey handlers have chosen to go back to New York, voluntarily and for less money, instead of joining the Giants, a team that’s about 50 times more likely to make the world series next year than the team he just signed with. For less money. Ha!

Since he’s already gone, I won’t waste time on detailing why ATT Park would be a dream stadium for him to hit in. And only a clueless fool could ignore the success of the Giants, the good vibes of where they play,  the team chemistry, along with momentum and a world series ring, going into 2013…..

But Ichiro still chose less money and more drama and more losses to go back to New York. Apparently, he enjoys the comfy comforts of an easy-breezy pacific northwest losing season except that it’s in New York in 2013. He’s a combination of stupid and egotistical and he’d rather be bedazzled by the sparkly lights of Manhattan and the false hope of a championship from the ghosts of season’s past than actually have a chance to win a world series next year with the likely winners coming from the NL West. The Yankees have less of a chance than the Royals and will finish with a worse record. Book it…..

Fuck him, he’s probably done anyway. lqtm……

The Return of Vungo!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 13, 2012

Though I believe he’s not the same guy he was in 2010, I love this move. He’ll be fine to spell El Caballo Loco and insurance if The White Shark takes a step back or gets injured. I also think he’ll have a better chance to manage his chronic leg problems if he isn’t playing everyday….

Now, when the Dodgers release Jose Uribe and he (hopefully) gets back in shape I would endorse signing him, too.

2010, meet 2012 and join together to form a greater 2013.

I can’t wait to see the world series ring design and post it next to the one that is currently up there…..

Pet Peeves, The Free Pass, And Other Consternations…

Posted in Uncategorized by snarkk on December 11, 2012

Alright. It’s been a while since I did a thread. I’ve been busy, so sue me. In what I do, lots of folks wait ’til year end to make up their minds to pull the trigger on some business decisions. Some waited until the election results. Surprise, their guy lost, so now they’re doing stuff in fear of what Uncle Sam will do next year. So, I get calls to pull their asses out of the fire so they can save lots of their own money. And, of course, I’m supposed to do that very quickly with no mistakes, while not charging them much. Phuck that.

Meanwhile, the winter meetings are done, and Sabean got stuff done we all pretty much agreed on, even though he apparently wasn’t even there in person. The electronic age is so — I dunno, convenient? Efficient? Or, bullshit. Whatever. Is Bobby Evans the guy that really does the heavy lifting now for the Giants? Anyway, now things are pretty slow on the baseball front, unless you’re the payroll clerk for the Dodgers. The Niners are in full gear preparing for the Pats and Mr. Bundchen, with a Qback controversy and suspensions of dudes that don’t play, but that’s another blog.

So, I thought just for Esses and Grins, since I was in a bad mood anyway, I’d just spit out a list of my Pet Peeves for you. Yeah. Things I don’t like in sports. Other things that piss me the hell off. Some not so bad, others that get me really in a froth. I’ll probably think of more after I post this, and that will piss me off even more that I didn’t think of them before. So, I reserve the right to add on. I offer the list as a welcome to your Pet Peeves, whether sports oriented or not. Which reminds me, I hate the word “orientated”. Is that even a phucking word? Whereinhell is William Safire when you need him? Oh, there. Anyway, so go ahead, chime in with YOUR Pet Peeves, baseball, sports, or otherwise. And BTW, whatinhell is a “Peeve”?…

Pet Peeves

1. NFL officials announcing on the field a time out or penalty: “…on the kicking team” or “…on the receiving team”. Why not just say “… on San Francisco” or “ … on Miami”. Or “holding, number 76, San Francisco”. I’ve heard quite a few officials say the team name, so there must not be a rule against it.

2. Announcers saying things like: “Well, when it comes to the Mayses, the McCoveys, the Bondss, the Morgans…”. Hate that. There are NOT more than one Mays, McCovey, Morgan, etc. That’s just lazy. Say instead, “Well, comparing him to Mays, McCovey or Morgan, he …”.

3. NFL replay where it is obvious immediately from the first replay angle what the call should be, yet they take a full two minutes or more to figure it out and announce the call. Totally bogus.

4. MLB umpire calls that are obviously, obviously wrong, and the other umps in the crew KNOW it, and do nothing. Phuckers…

5. Repeated TV shots in college football of the same student dudes with their shirts off in the cold spelling the college name or mascot. Usually yelling and pointing to themselves. One shot per game of the same group is enough. Always butt ugly dudes with crazy hair, too. Cheerleader shots can be endless, especially Oregon and SC and Ole Miss, that’s OK.

6. Halftime sideline reporter interviews of head football coaches. I don’t care if Erin Andrews is wearing a leather suit two sizes too small doing the interviewing. Almost always worthless.

7. Any sporting event on TV with Joe Buck. I always turn off the sound. The guy is just horrible, regardless of event.

8. The saying “back in the day…”. WHAT day? This is a fairly new bastardization of the language, maybe a decade and a half old, I should think. I don’t know where or how this started, but it’s terrible. How about what we used to say: “when I was younger…”, or “back when I was busy boinking co-eds…”. Either is much better, and more detailed.

9. I dislike the “continuation” foul calls in the NBA. If you’re fouled, you’re fouled. Continuation of what? Continuing on to make a play after you’re fouled, the result of which had nothing to do with being fouled? Should be outlawed.

10. While we’re on the subject of the NBA, I hate the “phantom” foul calls given to the superstar at home when he gets near the bucket. Why? So that we can see this dude make some free throws? Is it THAT interesting to see the home star get another 2 points free? Or, should we instead actually reward good defense by a no name defensive player? Another reason why I don’t watch the NBA much anymore…

11. “As far as apples and oranges, I like neither”. Another bastardization of the language. In real English, it shoud be “As far as apples and oranges ARE CONCERNED, both keep you regular”. Just use the complete phrase properly, please…

12. “Icing” in the NHL. As far as I can tell, this happens when the puck gets sent down to the OTHER end by the team that’s defending THIS end. Some sort of delaying tactic, I think. Has nothing to do with cake, that I know. I have no friggin’ clue what it means, or what the point of the penalty is, and it bothers me. Even though I don’t give much of an S about hockey, whether there’s “icing” once or 10X a game…

13. When you read a snack package or another food package of some sort and it says “100 calories per serving”, so you figure that hey, that’s not bad. Then you get home, and after eating the package, you look at it a little more closely, and it says “Contents: 3 servings”…

14. When I get home from the grocery store, and tear open the shopping bag that I think has that one item in it that I want to snarf right away, and it’s not there. Not phucking there! And, I quickly figure out that the checker at the store somehow did NOT get that one item into the bag, the ONLY ONE I really wanted to snarf down right then and there in the store, but didn’t, and thought about it all the way home…

15. The mixing of Pete Rose’s gambling with steroid use in MLB. Some say that if steroid users are “let into” the HOF, then it would be a travesty to keep Rose out. No, it wouldn’t. Rose bet on games. While he was a manager. He’s an admitted liar. So when he says he never bet AGAINST the Reds, I have reason to disbelieve him. IMO nobody that knowingly violated the #1 rule in baseball, with impunity, should enjoy HOF membership. That membership is a privilege and is important to many, though I don’t personally consider it that big of a deal. Since I think it is critical to keep gambling influences out of baseball, I agree with continuation of the rule that gambling in baseball gets you banned from the sport.

16. The intentional walk. The free pass. Though it’s been long a part of the game, and does add to the cerebral nature of baseball, as well as second guessing of managers, let’s get real. It’s a pussy move in a lot of ways. You can walk an 8 hole guy to get to the pitcher with two out. Smart, but bottom line, gutless. If you can’t get an 8 hole guy out, you deserve to lose. Walking Bonds 3X or 4X in a game? Pussy move, Clint Hurdle. You’re paying your pitchers to get guys out. The fans pay to see sluggers slug and pitchers strike guys out. Would the NFL let Bellichick tell the refs 4 times this coming Sunday game that he’s declared Aldon Smith persona non grata, so Smith can’t pass rush Mr. Bundchen on four 3rd and long situations? Hell no. Intentional walks should have a max per game, say no more than 2 per game. No more endless free passes.

17. The “good behavior” life tenure of federal judges. Granted by the Constitution, this supposedly allows judges to adjudicate free of political machinations, free from worries about their job and paycheck. Maybe then in the late 1700s. Not now. A 10 year term would be plenty. 20 years tops. We should not have the situation where any two-term president appointing two or three SCOTUS justices as well as hundreds of lower federal judges, can leave an ideological legacy for several generations. I’d also increase the number of SCOTUS justices to 13, from 9. Congress could do it, there’s no number in the Constitution. This would encourage better decisions from more points of view. It could be done by appointing an extra justice with every new president until you hit 13, that way no one president can appoint all 4 of the new ones…

18. ESPN …

Why it Doesn’t Always Pay to Try to Buy a World Series

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 10, 2012

I’m not looking any of the following up, so if I make mistakes feel free to call me on it. This is all just my opinion and I’m basing it off the way I recall free agency to work across all three major sports: Baseball, basketball and football. And no, I don’t consider hockey a major sport. It’s a majorly boring sport, but that’s a topic for another time. Every year that hockey strikes is my favorite year in hockey…….

And now, to the point of this thread…..

We all know that spending money doesn’t guarantee you a world series. The Yankees have the highest payroll in baseball every year and they’ve won 1 world series in the last 12 seasons. That’s not a sweet win percentage. The last few years their team payroll has been a little over 200 million. For the upcoming 2013 season, they have vowed to get their payroll under the luxury tax ceiling which I think is in the 185 (millions) areas (I told you, I’m not looking anything up tonight).  The Dodgers are expected to have a 2013 payroll in the neighborhood of 235 million dollars—and that’s assuming they do nothing else this winter and that is not a sound assumption to take. The Dodgers are making the Yankees look like penny pinching pussies.

Will it work? Sure, it COULD work. But we saw what happened last season when they tried to buy the series with a 250 million dollar add-on and the Giants countered with assuming the remaining 2 milllion of Marco Scutaro’s lil’ deal.

At some point, if you have no budget, it’s just a matter of time before you buy the right combination of players who come together and win a world series. But there is nothing to say that LA has put together the right team until they actually go out and win a world series. An infinite number of things can happen over the course of a season that can and will derail a team’s ultimate goal in baseball……

The thing about baseball though, and I’ve always said this, is that it’s idiotic to pay for the back of a player’s baseball card. That’s just time served. Baseball is a little different than other sports in that you have to wait 6 full years of service time at the big league level (or on the 40 man roster) before you get to take advantage of the bounty offered to unrestricted free agents. Up until then, players are mostly affordable.

You know what the average career of a major league baseball player is? It’s 5.6 years. Now, I didn’t look that up, I read it earlier today. I also read that only 10% of all drafted minor league players ever make it to the big leagues but that’s a discussion for another time. If the average career is 5.6 years and you don’t become a free agent until 6 full years served, you can start to see why so many big money free agents fail to ever live up to the contracts they sign. ESPECIALLY with steroid use on the decline, the days of the elite productive baseball player playing into his mid to late 30’s (at an elite level) is pretty much gone. And yet that’s exactly the time that most mlb players make all their money………

So if you’re 30 (or around there) and you finally hit your service time to get paid the big bucks in free agency, that is precisely the time that I would steer clear of you—especially if you’re a pitcher but really there isn’t a ball player on the planet that I could ever see wanting my team to sign to 8-10 year mega deal. Even a 6 year deal like the one Cain got makes me cringe but I’m not sweatin’ that because there are always exceptions to a rule and I love Matt Cain and we basically HAD to sign either Timmy or Cainer to a long term deal to anchor our pitching staff. I’m ecstatic that it was Cainer and not Tinny. But I could see the last few years of the Cain deal turning incredibly ugly. Whatever, if you’re going to have a 140 million dollar payroll, some guys are gonna get overpaid and if we win multiple world series’ I really don’t care……

The Dodgers can pick up A-Gone and Beckett and Carl Crawford and they can sign Grienke to a mega deal and sign whoever else they want. All those guys are on the back end of their career (and by *back end* I mean AT BEST on the last 50% of their career—possibly much lower than that). I don’t give a single fuck about what the back of your baseball card says. It’s not even remotely pertinent to what you are going to do in the future. That’s why I always think it’s funny when bloggers start trotting out career numbers. Why should I care about what a player did in the prime of his career? When the slide starts, if you don’t turn to performance enhancing drugs, you are simply not going to keep playing at the level you once did.

In baseball, almost across the board, you get paid for what you DID, not what you’re going to do. Owners don’t understand this or they don’t care, I’m not sure which. They’re making gobs of money, it’s probably that they just don’t care.

Until the Dodgers actually win a world series I don’t care either……

DJLoo (Non Retro) Update; We Need to Get TMZ on This ASAP

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 9, 2012

So I finally broke down and sent Loo an email this morning. Here it is:

Flavor <bigflavor77@gmail.com>
7:41 AM (8 hours ago)

to barn1661
Hey, so did you just take the season off or are you physically unable to visit the blog? Dead? I hope you aren’t dead. If you can read this encourage someone to get a message to me that you’re ok. If you’ve been captured by rebel forces just hold tight, they’ve almost overthrown the regime (at least that’s the word on the street).

Be well my friend,
4:00 PM (24 minutes ago)

to me
Dear Flavor:
Hi Flavor, my name is Anita and I am a very close friend of DJ Loo.  He asked me to write back to you to let you know he is OK.  Over the summer, he was experiencing eye pain and tearing whenever he would look at the computer.  DJ hates doctors but reluctantly went to an optamologist.  He was diagnosed with something called lenticular sclerosis.  None of us ever heard of it. The doctor claims it is very common in Persian cats and German shepards but he had never seen it in a human being.  He was prescribed some eyedrops and told he MUST stay away from the computer.  He’s followed that advice very well. He has to wear dark glasses most of the time and is trying to invent some sort of homemade goggles so he can use the computer again.  He is not going blind and lives pretty much as always.DJ has me check his e-mail every so often and was thrilled to hear from you and told me to respond to you quickly. I hope I haven’t been deleting your messages because most of his messages look like they come from dirty websites and I thought “Flavor” was one of them.  He wants you to please send his best to all the guys and said he really misses your blog. He felt bad he couldn’t share all the Giant excitement with everyone. He knows you like him but says most of them are happy to be rid of his nonsense.   Believe me he was delirious from the Giants and often goes outside in one of his many Giant uniforms.DJ says if you think anyone cares you can put this up for them to read. He hopes you’ll keep in touch and would still like to meet you someday if possible.  I will be careful not to delete anything from “Flavor” in the future.  Good luck and Happy holidays!


Now, I’ve got no idea if this is a joke or not–it reads like a joke but it goes on so long that now I’m not sure. This email clearly came from his email address. So what do you guys think? Is *Anita* for real or is this Loo playin’ one on me?

Post of the Day–Best Of…..In The Darkness of An Impending Winter Solstice, I Salute All Flap Vets……..

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 8, 2012

I just sent  (Asian) Paul’s post into the *POTD-Best of* and for the first time in forever (maybe *ever*) I just read through all 32 of them. About a third of the way into it I had an idea of doing a poll of  THE ALL TIME BEST(!!!) *POTD-best of* but then realized about halfway through to not even go there. Plus, that’d be way too many capital letters for most of you to process….

You guys post stuff that is simply not seen on a blog anywhere in the blog universe. I read some of your posts 3 or 4 times. But here’s the deal, The Flap is a place that is sustained by the collective brilliant output of a small, tight-knit group of bloggers who sometimes might lack a little definition (*Stable Boys*/*Unstable Boys*, it’s a fluid situation)  but who never lack for an absolute and genuine unconditional commitment to the process of this blog. And to the genuine, unconditional commitment to their team. Our team.

And I’m the first to admit that I ignore the *POTD–best of* too easily. Sometimes months go by without me kicking a post in there. But that’s on me and should never be seen as a grade of the literary composition at The Flap. That sh!t is ongoing and constant. It’s a flashlight shot into space. Underwhelming at first, but not after you realize the distance of it’s flight.

I’ve got no Haiku for any of this but I hope you guys know that I appreciate every single post you make here. And I could re-read them forever. And I can’t even tell you how much fun I’ve had doing the DJLoo *Retro–POTD’s*.  That’s been a gas, almost as much fun as picking the BBOTD-POTD’s (!)  I’m hopeful that he comes back soon, he always does, even when you think he’s gone for good (insert weird-o Haiku from this morning)……..

Time for a Haiku Pick-Me Up…….

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 8, 2012

Scutaro, Pagan–

Shade invades, my b-a-s-k weakens:

Loo, gone, a mirage

Winter Snoozings……

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 6, 2012

Jesus, talk about a boring week of nothing happening (at least, regarding trades). Did a single relevant swap even go down? I see Upton might get dealt in a block buster. Eh, uninspiring. He’s supposedly been about to get traded for months now…….

This week would have been more interesting if the GM’s had sat in a circle and written haiku’s to each other……

Easily the most boring Winter Meetings I can ever remember…..

The steaks and the strippers must have been a churnin’ and a  burnin’ this week in Nashville…….

Sabean and Bochy in the Driver Seat

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 6, 2012

As most of you saw, the Giants picked up the 2014 option on both Sabes and Bochy. So they are locked up with us for the next 2 seasons. Baer said he’s going to start working on 2015, but if you are Sabean and Bochy do you want to see what other teams would offer? I know they love working together and they certainly have a good thing going in SF. And whatever anyone thought of them before, it is impossible to deny their genius—-2 world series titles in 3 years is proof of that. And it makes you think that the biggest market teams who lost yet again last year will want to throw big dollars at these two men.

Do you guys think they would consider bailing on SF or are they happy where they are?

Is There Anything Left to Do?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 5, 2012

So is it just strippers and steaks for the rest of these Winter Meetings for Sabes?

Talk about nothing left to do. Maybe another bullpen arm? Or a left field compliment to The White Shark?

Blockbuster trade?

When you go *2 in 3* there isn’t too much you have to do to get your team right. Yesterday, Sabean won Baseball America’s *Executive of the Year*. Hardly surprising, but I can’t find even a blurb about it at the Giants website…….


The Impending Yankee Collapse is Like Waiting For a Tsunami to Hit

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 3, 2012

Now that A-Rod is going back under the knife there’s scuttlebutt that that Yankees will swoop in with a fistful of millions and steal Scutaro away from us. I don’t see that happening. This is not *George Steinbrenner’s* Yankees. The freaking Pirates outbid them for Russell Martin. Think about how absurd that sounds…..

A new approach to building a team is underway in New York. Well, I don’t know about a *new approach*. Their farm system sucks and most of the current players are into their mid 30’s—and Jeter and A-Rod are more concerned with recovering from their surgeries, not playing baseball…..

But they aren’t going to just go out and *buy* a team the way they have always done so in the past.  They have a documented plan to cut their payroll under the 189 million  luxury tax level by 2014. I don’t really understand this plan, they still make a boatload of money through the YES network. Why start cutting costs now, especially when the other teams in your division are spending and your team is looking old and hurt…..

But that’s cool, if they want to cut costs that’s their right. It’s their money. But when you’re losing out on signing your starting catcher to the Pirates and you sign and cut Eli Freaking Whiteside over the course of a week (he’s already been picked up by Toronto) then it’s starting to look like your *New Plan* has got some holes in it…….

Whatever, I really don’t care, but the 2013 Yankee season is going to be a hoot to watch from the safety of this side of this country. Yankee fans are not going to take this drop off well…….

Changing My Mind About The Closer Role

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 2, 2012

I’ve said many times that I think closing a baseball game is the most difficult job in all of sports. And in some ways, especially as it relates to pressure and not being allowed to fail more than a handful of times in a year before you lose your job, I still feel that way about the job. But I’ve definitely fallen victim to over-emphasizing the role as well as not widening my scope of who I think can do the job.

When Bochy decided to go *closer-by-committee* I was bummed. We all were. It doesn’t work! (we all cried). And then he went on to methodically make all the correct decisions in the late innings of August and September to ultimately manage the bullpen to the highest save percentage in the league.

So much for the closer role having to be a single guy…..

Bochy had an outstanding bullpen and that allowed him to go call on more relievers than most managers to close out a game. He put more of a consideration on match ups and intuitively it makes sense that a lefty would have a better chance to get out another lefty than a righty. Almost all of his decisions were correct in 2012 and ultimately the job ended up being taken by Romo, the guy who always had the best *closer worthy* numbers anyway. His strikeout to walk ratio was fantastic (6.3 to 1) and his WHIP was under 1.00 (0.85).

What I’ve come to realize is that there is no need to identify one guy and adamantly declare him to be *the closer*. Earning a save is really a dumb stat if you think about it. Today’s closer usually comes in with the bases empty and pitches one inning. For that, he’s paid as much as a front line starting pitcher who is far more responsible for a win based on the fact that he usually pitches about 7 times as many innings in a winning game than a closer does. Here are the requirements for a pitcher to earn a save according to rule 10.20 of the baseball rule book:

Rule 10.20 in the Official Rule Book states:
Credit a pitcher with a save when he meets all three of the following conditions:
(1) He is the finishing pitcher in a game won by his club; and
(2) He is not the winning pitcher; and
(3) He qualifies under one of the following conditions:
– (a) He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning; or
– (b) He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, or at bat, or on deck (that is, the potential tying run is either already on base or is one of the first two batsmen he faces; or
– (c) He pitches effectively for at least three innings. No more than one save may be credited in each game.

Rule 3.b is a hoot. Conceivably, a closer could enter the 9th inning with 2 outs and the bases loaded and a 5 run lead,  give up a grand slam, walk the next 3 guys, then get one out and still record a save. Does that make any sense?

I realize now why I have over-emphasized the importance of the closer role: It’s one of 5 pitching categories that count in a 5X5 rotisserie format scoring system for fantasy baseball (the only type I ever play). A save is  1/5th of the pitching categories. That’s huge in fantasy baseball and if you decide to punt that category you better not make any mistakes in the other 9 possible categories. Since it’s stupid to punt a category (for the reason I just listed) I have been forced to value the role of the closer as it is presently constructed in today’s game.

Fantasy baseball aside, what I now believe is that you want your best relievers pitching the later innings and I don’t see why that needs to get limited to 1 inning. Or 1 guy. Unless you only have one good reliever. In fact, it makes sense that if you have 2 or 3 stud relievers, they should ALL be used to close games depending on match ups and recent work load. One of the main concerns with Sergio Romo is whether he can hold up to the season long grind that a closer must endure. Most top flight closers are making 60-70 appearances a year—but usually they’re only pitching a single inning (or a fraction of that). What if Romo only made 30 appearances a year but pitched 2 or more innings? And another stud reliever, like Bee-Wheezy, could take the other 30 or so appearances. And if he’s good enough, throw a third guy in the mix. While they would still be pitching the same number of innings they would get more days during the season to rest their arm and i think that would go a long way towards keeping them healthy and effective over the course of a season. Think about the number of times a closer has an ache or pain, or his aarm is tired because he’s pitched 3 games in a row or maybe he didn’t get any sleep the night before or he’s got the flu— why not just send out the other guy to do the job?

Now, it’ll never happen because guys are programmed to believe that if they are closing out a game they should be getting paid the biggest bucks in the bullpen. And it’s tough to make a case for a big salary if you’re only saving 15 games in a season. Plus, most of these guys have created a persona to go along with the role, and 2 big personalities each vying for the save opp might be too much for that bullpen to handle…….

But I have now seen the light on the closer role and it doesn’t have to be reserved for just one guy— match ups, recent workload and always using your best relievers. That should be the criteria for who closes out a game, not who has the longest beard or who has the *wildest eyes* or who has the most intimidating song played as the enter the game………

Now, about that hold stat….

🙂 🙂 🙂

Bye Bye Bee-Wheezy

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on December 1, 2012

The fact that he got non-tendered is a non-issue. It was widely expected that the Giants would non-tender him and it was the right thing to do. Now they can go about offering him a deal that makes sense for both sides. I would think something along the lines of what Ryan Madson got from the Angels—a base salary with incentives. Both are coming off TJ surgery, and while Wheezy is a more accomplished closer than Madson, this is his 2nd TJ operation. I would think both deals would be at least in the same ballpark.

The problem is that the Dodgers, and to some extent the Red Sox, really don’t care about *deals that make sense*. And you KNOW the Dodgers would love to close out victories with Wheezy on the mound. And he does live down in LA during the off season.

So it’s quite possible that we have seen the last Brian Wilson save, at least for the Giants. He joins a long list of great Giant closers. My early two favorites were Gary Lavelle and the Moon Man. Rod Beck is one of my favorite Giants of all time. Rob Nen gave up his right arm and his career for the team. And in some ways Wilson gave up his arm for the team to. The only difference between him and Nen is that he gets to resume his career……..

I wish him well where ever he ends up…..