A Place To Talk About Giants Baseball

The WBC– An Opportunity for Many in SF

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on February 25, 2013

Maybe *opportunity* is too generous of a word. But with the Giants sending 8 players from the 40 man to play for the USA, there are a bunch of non-roster invitees who are looking at more playing time than they would have gotten if the WBC wasn’t happening in 2013….

I’d like to say that I’m looking forward to seeing these *unknowns* play but I watch almost zero spring training games. I’ll catch an inning here and there. But for Gary Brown, Francisco Peguero, Roger Kieschnick, Joe Panik, Jackson Williams, Nick Noonan, Kensuke Tanaka (pfttttt, that’s enough) this is their time to raise eyebrows. Some of them will get another spring or two. But all they really need to do in March is open some eyes. With one utility infield spot and a bullpen spot open, it’ going to be tough to snag an opening day spot.

But Blanco showed last year it can be done. Belt, too. Arias had a great spring but still got sent down to Fresno. He hit .400, got called up in May and became an integral part of the team. With a guaranteed contract this year and being only 28, he could have several years left in the major leagues.

So while these games mean very little to the average fan, you never know when someone is going to take off with an opportunity and turn his dream into a reality. Right now, it’s one of the only angles I can come up with to generate any interest for me in spring training. But for a few of these guys, it’s their last stand, their world series, their….well, Eminem says this better than I can:


43 Responses

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  1. Nipper said, on February 25, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Yeah ST is a snore unless one attends in person. Gots to be there!

  2. unca_chuck said, on February 25, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Too funny, Comcast is showing the Dodger Giants game that Timmy wins 3-0. Timmy tags Billingsly out on a wild pitch that Sanchez grabs and throws to Tim. Billingsly knocks the glove off Timmy’s hand, but he doesn’t drop the glove or the ball to record the out. Classic.

    • xoot said, on February 25, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      I watched part of it tonight. Strange watching one of Linecum’s few good games from last year. He had one vs. the A’s fairly early on, too. He never stopped trying, all season long, but the stories about his off-season training this year have to call into question how he handled off-season last year, before his plummet. That condo he rented in the MIssion District, the one he vacated in tatters, may have meant something after all. I get the sense that he’s left that bs behind now. He’s too old for it.

  3. unca_chuck said, on February 25, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    AS for the POTD, who doesn’t like home openers? I’ve on;y been to a few, and they are awesome.

    • Bozo said, on February 26, 2013 at 6:44 am

      unca, some folks don’t like the hoopla and all the non fans at an Opener. Some of those people at an Opener you won’t see again unless we make the Playoffs. For me, it was my New Year celebration.

  4. DJLoo said, on February 25, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Don’t feel like looking it up, but when I was a kid it seemed like Mays homered on opening day every year.

  5. salty said, on February 25, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Cole Gillespie raising a few eyebrows.

  6. ewisco said, on February 25, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    i’ve been to a ton (a highly technical term) of home openers. I was there in 2011, laughing, clapping and crying next to John Diaz of the SF Chronicle (my wife scored some Chron seats. John had one and some other stupid bastard from the chron didn’t show. John said he was going to hunt him/her down and see that they never got tickets again.). One of my favorites, though i abhorred night openers, was when i went to a night opener, left in about the 7th and flew to NY. A buddy was getting married in NJ and the california contingent represented. After the wedding, my buddies from Boston said lets go up to boston and take in the Red Sox home opener. Great! Sweet! I’ve been to Fenway, very cool, but a Fenway home opener would be epic. so we get up there, hit the bars and grab a couple of hours of sleep. the day dawns: grey and damp and cold. probably about 36-38 degrees with a bit of a wind and a very light drizzle. well, i’ve come from candlestick. so i put on my usual candlestick garb and we all head out. we get to the game, full of excitement, half in the bag, and lo: the game has been cancelled! not due to rain. not due to snow. too cold. and there i was in my candlestick garb, warm as toast, ridiculing the whole red sox nation. loudly declaring that they wouldn’t have lasted a minute in the NL if they’d had to come to the stick. the hearty new englanders, cowering in their homes while the wine and cheese californian was chanting: Play Ball!

    We went in search of the perfect Irish coffee.

    • xoot said, on February 25, 2013 at 10:42 pm

      helluva post. Now you’ve got me thinking about shelling out for some seats to this year’s opener. That’ll cost, however . . . .

    • Flavor said, on February 26, 2013 at 6:10 am

      what year was this? Great post.

      • ewisco said, on February 26, 2013 at 6:59 am

        had to be mid – late eighties. i’ll see if i can’t figure it out.

    • Bozo said, on February 26, 2013 at 6:40 am

      Great post Ewisco. Before moving to the East Coast, I had gone to about 20 Home Openers straight. This included those Night Openers they had for awhile at the Stick (just wrong), although for those, they were always followed by a day game which I also go to. In 2011, I got in touch with my buddy, Pete, who bought the rights to my seats and he said come on out. Now you have to understand, Pete is an amazing dude who is also the biggest fan of the Giants I’ve ever met. The first year that I wasn’t at Opening day, he left my seat open and put a Sierra Nevada in my cup holder. Amazing. So anyway, I make it the 2011 Opener and my emotions were completely gonzo. I try and hand Pete a couple hundred for the seat (I think the face value for that seat was now $85) and he turns to me and says the ticket is free because it’s my birthright. Unfuckingbelievable.

      • ewisco said, on February 26, 2013 at 7:20 am


    • ewisco said, on February 26, 2013 at 7:19 am

      So I went and looked it up. It was 1990, a Friday night opener against the Pads. We end up losing 3-8 so I didn’t miss much. It wasn’t the home opener for Boston but their second game against the Brew crew on Sunday. They ended up playing on monday. I still won’t let me new england buds forget though.

  7. willedav said, on February 26, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Me and a buddy saw sheffield play a night game (yeah, layers wisc) at the stick, might have been with the pads by then, not much crowd we had lower boxes 3b side. First time up he whistles one way deep to LF that hooks foul at last minute. Next time up he straightens it out by about 20 ft and it doesn’t hook, just sails on a line out of the yard like a rocket. From the lower boxes to watch a ball get hammered high and deep like that off the bat is really cool. Troubled guy, but man he used to destroy giants.

    • xoot said, on February 26, 2013 at 7:46 am

      I saw him hit a LD at China Basin that never got more than 10-15 feet off the ground but smacked the bottom of the CF wall. Marvin Benard actually moved in on it initially, then froze and watched it speed over his head.

  8. chipower9 said, on February 26, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Great thread…Eminem does put it out there in a grand way, Flav. I dig spring training (try to go every year). My daughter and I jet to Scottsdale on the 14th…CANNOT WAIT.

    The last couple of years there have been only a few open spots, as there is this year (there is an OF spot open this year too, Flav). Peguero and Gillaspie are making some noise, but it is early…time will tell. I am pulling for Kieschnick (have been for years). It sucks he got hurt last year, as he was having one helluva season.

    Other guys making some noise, albiet the wrong kind…how about Fabio Castilla: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 Ks…and get this, ERA = 135.00. WTF! I had no idea that a pitchers ERA could even go that high! Brett Bochy had a tough outing, too.

    i also like following the regulars in ST…seeing how they are gearing-up, etc. Nice story shared by Loo about Bum and his issues with his wind-up, etc. These are all the types of things I like about ST. And I rarely watch a ST game, but love listening to them on the radio…IMNSHO, you just can never have too much baseball on the radio.

    And I just ignore all the bandwagon wannabees on Opening Day. Fuck them. I have been to every home opener since 1978. Opening Day is my absolute favorite day of the year, as it is the true beginning of another year of baseball where the games start counting. Something about it…I just cannot describe it. And the flyovers always get me too.

    Great story John on your experience at the 2011 opener. I too was an emotional mess during the whole flag ceremony thing. I was in lower box like Section 129. This year I will sit in the Arcade (probably 146 so that we will be right by the flag pole). It will be an expensive day, but it will be worth every fucking penny.

    • Flavor said, on February 26, 2013 at 7:49 am

      you haven’t missed a home opener since ’78? That’s a fantastically impressive streak you’ve got going.

    • Bozo said, on February 26, 2013 at 8:00 am

      Agree with Flav, that is an awesome streak, Chi. Gotta keep that one going!!!

      2011, I was in my old seat in Section 212 Row B. Of the many things I miss about living in SF, I think those seats top my list (they were even listed in my divorce settlement, had to pony up some cash to my ex to keep them).

      • chipower9 said, on February 26, 2013 at 10:57 am

        Yep…been to every opener since 1978. Like I said…I have always loved Opening Day. Back when the team sucked and they were at the Stick, it was still cool as hell, as it was a new beginning, and you could always hope (still do) that the Giants would win it all.

        I had season tix for the first three years in the new yard. I was in Section 138 (bleachers), but had to cough them up when I got divorced (needed the dough to put towards buying a house, etc.).

    • Chico said, on February 26, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      Every opener since 1978? I was born in 1978.. THAT’S dedication, Chi.

  9. dirtnrocksnomo said, on February 26, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Whooaaaa, WHOOOAAA. I thought Big Flavor was the real slim shady.

  10. twinfan1 said, on February 26, 2013 at 8:11 am

    I ‘ve been to a couple dozen openers, the one I remember most was the first with Bonds in ’93. He went deep, we won in extras..the season ended on a different note..last one was in 2005- our new and exciting closer got the save. What’s his name? Help me out, boys…
    The pomp and ceremony of opening day was always a kick, but too many people…like two for one day at the ice cream parlor.
    What a sweet post, Eric, BTW..

  11. twinfan1 said, on February 26, 2013 at 8:36 am

    As far who who grabs the last spots this year, I’ve posted Pequero, Noonan, Ramirez.. but there are many ways they can go on this. As we all know, ST numbers don’t usually mean a lot but they’re still how those last spots are often chosen. Old Seal Clubber used to say that ST didn’t count until like the last 12 minutes or so, something like that. That wasn’t the worst thing he ever said…

    • unca_chuck said, on February 26, 2013 at 9:03 am

      Yeah, his Soph obsession was a little bizarre . . .

    • chipower9 said, on February 26, 2013 at 10:58 am

      Wasn’t he the one whose favorite concoction was chocolate milk and gin? Wonder what the hell ever happened to him…

      • Chico said, on February 26, 2013 at 2:17 pm

        Yep, chocolate milk and gin.. Barf.

  12. willedav said, on February 26, 2013 at 9:00 am

    One of the things that will open up is OF PT. Bochy said he plans to move Brown around out there, and i’m interested to see how that works out. I’ve posted a bunch I don’t trust Pence…I could see a scenario where Brown takes over his spot to play defense out there and sabes makes a mid season deal for a RH stick to play LF. sure, blanco and his d is great, but SF won with Burrell for 7 innings out there. If Pence can’t hit and protect Posey, scoring runs could be an issue and SF would be back in torture mode. And maybe Brown wins a spot anyway; if not, then I’m sure he’d go down with a clear idea what he needs to do.

    • twinfan1 said, on February 26, 2013 at 9:34 am

      They could go with just 4 OFers also depending on much they plan on using Posey at first. Pill might get his last shot, also. I doubt Brown stays until/if he’s ready to start. And Kieschnick probably needs a big AAA year to challenge for RF next year. The lives of these young men are forever changed in the Spring…wonder how Bowker likes Sushi?

      • chipower9 said, on February 26, 2013 at 12:29 pm

        I still like Kieschnick, and think with a really good spring, he could crack the line-up, although, I think he’ll probably start in Fresno. If he tears it up in Fresno the way he was up till his injury last year, I think he’ll get a call-up. John Barr (Giant’s scout) and Bochy had some glowing things to say about him in the following article (I think I may have shared this last week). Anyway…will be interesting to see how it all shakes out, and again, that is one of the reasons I like ST.


      • twinfan1 said, on February 26, 2013 at 3:06 pm

        I like Roger, also. I just think he needs a full year in Fresno.

    • chipower9 said, on February 26, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      I seriously don’t think Brown makes the team out of ST this year. He has fallen off the radar a bit, and I think he needs to really shine over the next couple of years to maximize his chances of being an everyday guy.

      And I am not worried about Pence. If he can do his normal/average of 20-25 bombs and close to 100 RBIs, it is all good. He proved he was up to playing RF in our yard last year.

  13. Macdog said, on February 26, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Looks like Bochy has a strong ally in Mike Matheny on trying to get changes to protect the catcher:


  14. Salty said, on February 26, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Pill with a second hr of the day to tie it in the 9th 8-8…meaningless but good to see the kids coming back

  15. paulinasia said, on February 26, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Memories of Opening Day (yes, it is happily a proper noun), good comments. Went to one at the ‘Stick but went to many at Fenway in the ’80s and ’90s during my Boston days, so I’m going to counter Eric’s great post just a tad…. :-p I didn’t remember an Opening Day there ever being cancelled, so I’m glad that was actually game 2 that he was talking about. Say what ya’ll will about Boston fans (and most here have said plenty), they are (or, were, I should say, since now I don’t know, it’s been many years since I lived there) actually very knowledgeable fans. The key thing there, really, at least for me, was that Opening Day signified so much, especially the unofficial end of another long cold dark winter in Boston. Even if there was still snow on the ground. And there often was. Several Openers I went to, they had to shovel snow off the outfield grass. Somewhere I’ve got old pics of being bundled up in scarves, mittens, and down jacket, but with a big smile anyway. The scene that is etched forever in my mind: after basically seeing only brown, black, and white all winter, no colors, it seemed, for 6 months, walking through the gate at Fenway, and then slowly up the ramp behind home plate, and the scene unfolds before you: all of that green….. the LF wall, the seats, the grass, all of that sweet bright green grass… the brain finally after long winter’s slumber wakes up to the colors of baseball. Anything seemed possible.

  16. unca_chuck said, on February 26, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    I’ve told my getting-arrested-with-my-girlfriend-(now wife)-on-opening-day-1989 story a couple times already.

    And I was at this opening day, 1993:

    Still have the shirt . . .

    • snarkk said, on February 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      I like the honesty.
      “Hey, whatever idiot club offers me the most ridiculous ass contract I can’t possibly ever earn, I’ll go there”.
      That’s the new player motto for the Dodgers…

  17. DJLoo said, on February 26, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Where’s Brian Wilson? Anybody know?

    • Bozo said, on February 26, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      Last I heard he was still rehabbing and didn’t do well in some tryouts (Mets gave him a look, I think). I’m not 100% sure, but I think he gets use of the Giants trainers and facilities for now

      • DJLoo said, on February 26, 2013 at 9:13 pm

        Thank you.

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