A Place To Talk About Giants Baseball

How Much Emphasis To Give To A Spring Training Performance

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 4, 2013

I place almost no value on spring training performances. The ball doesn’t break in the dry Arizona climate and most of the vet pitchers are just trying to find a routine, build a little arm strength, bang a few broads, belt a few beers and try not get injured. If they don’t care about the results on the field, how valuable are the stats accumulated in the Spring?

Brandon Belt’s hitting .500 this spring. I bet he hit .500 at some point last season over the course of 22 at bats,too. I’m not suggesting it’s a bad thing to be hitting .500, just that the sample size is so small it’s tough to get too jazzed up about it. Was it a bad thing when he hit .378 last Spring? Of course not. But he’s left his bat in Arizona two straight years when the team breaks for SF, I hope he doesn’t do it a third time……

The Giants had a 23-12 ST record in 2011 and missed the playoffs. KC went 20-10 but went on to go 71-91 in the regular season. Last year, Toronto went 24-7 in the Spring and then went 73-89 in the regular season.

Timmy’s LOWEST ERA in the spring has been 4.03 (back in 2009). Only last year was his crappy spring an indication that his regular season would be crap as well.

In 2012, the spring HR leaders were Freddie Freeman, Matt Hague, and Albert Pujols, who all had 7. Pujols then went the entire month of April without even hitting a single home run making 240 million look worth a lot less than it looked the year before. And I’m sorry, but who is “Matt Hague”?

In fact, because I don’t want it to color my view of the players when it comes time for fantasy drafts I now intentionally ignore spring training stats. I learned that lesson in 2010 after Carlos Gomez rocketed up my draft board by leading the Cactus League in stolen bases with 11. That pick did not turn out well for me. Gregor Blanco led the league last year with 13 steals.

The health of the team should always be celebrated louder than any stats the players accumulate……

78 Responses

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  1. pawliekokonuts said, on March 4, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Can you provide the sort of balanced, sane approach as described above vis-a-vis ST to my 3-D life?

  2. Nipper said, on March 4, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    I concur.

  3. twinfan1 said, on March 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    No one does put much weight on ST numbers, but it is how the iffy guys have to make their mark. As far as Belt, I wouldn’t pay any attention at all either way.At least we’re not hearing about his black hole and disobeying the Bammer…

  4. Flavor said, on March 4, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    I’d probably put even less emphasis on this spring (so, less than zero?) since so many major leaguers are going to be playing in the WBC. Spring training might as well be Fresno right now……..

    • Nipper said, on March 4, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      Does anyone ever say “lets go to Fresno?”

      • Flavor said, on March 4, 2013 at 5:43 pm

        I had to drive to Fresno once a few years ago, I had sold a Control 24 to someone on Craig’s list. They’re expensive and I didn’t want to risk packaging it up and sending it UPS (plus that would have cost a shit load). I spent about 20 minutes in Fresno that day. It was the longest 20 minutes of my life….

    • Chico said, on March 4, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      Yeah, nothing cool about Fresno. Last time I was there, I was visiting a friend’s family property which consisted of a Walnut orchard, a couple head of cattle and an irrigation canal on the west side of the property. As we were cruising towards the canal on quads, there was a big explosion off in the distance.. A meth house had blown up, and I’ll never gorget the scene when we made our way up the side of the levy.. 4 or 5 kids, whose ages seemed to all be under the age of 14, crying incoherently as the police arrived.. The best thing about that trip to Fresno was seeing two officers comforting the kids and one radioing into dispatch to contact Child Protective Services.. Don’t mean to bag on Fresno’s reputation, but I saw a good example of that bad reputation with my own eyes. Kind of sucks that people like that have to ruin it for other good people who are proud Fresno inhabitants.

      • pawliekokonuts said, on March 4, 2013 at 6:23 pm

        Do they still have Grizzlies on their hat? I have one of those hats.

      • Chico said, on March 4, 2013 at 6:33 pm

        Not sure Pawlie, but the guy who I sat next to at the civic center (during the WS ceremony) was the owner of the Grizzlies, and he was sporting a very cool jersey.. Orange, with ‘Grizzlies’ across the front with some cool green vines and leafs mixed in. You could definitely tell that the team played in AG country.

      • chipower9 said, on March 5, 2013 at 8:12 am

        They have an “F” with bear claw marks across the F.

  5. pawliekokonuts said, on March 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Is Control 24 some black box of secrets on pitching to Willie Mays?

    • dirtnrocksnomo said, on March 4, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      I was thinking redneck repellant hence the buyer in Fresno.

    • Flavor said, on March 4, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      It’s technically a control surface. It’s a mixer.

  6. eddacker said, on March 4, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    I had my computer store (Alien Computers of Fresno) there for 9 years. I lived a ways out of the city and every day the drive into work was beautiful. And it changed everyday as the farmers went about their business. All the free raisins you could eat, don’t forget. University town and AAA Giants baseball. Yosemite not far away, a day trip to sooth the soul.


    • pawliekokonuts said, on March 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      A Fresno defense from the U.K.!

    • zumiee said, on March 4, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      You tell’em, Ed! We Valley folk gotta represent!!

    • chipower9 said, on March 5, 2013 at 8:16 am

      I agree with Ed. Now I would not make it a place that I want to live (I love it up in the Sierra foothills), but as Ed pointed out, it is close to Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and also not too far from Monterey. And yes, they do have our AAA team, the Griz, and the Fresno State Bulldogs, who usually play some pretty good baseball (they went to the Regionals for the College World Series last year) and football.

  7. zumiee said, on March 4, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Regarding Spring Training…..it’s interesting to hear the different broadcast teams talk about their teams. Sure, everyone is drinking the Optimism Kool-Aid in ST, but there are voices of reason out there. I’ve grown to like the Mets broadcasting team. Kevin Burkart (sp?) and Ron Darling. They call a nice game. And….over the years, I’ve been kind of rough on Dick Enberg and Vin Scully, but heck, after the Giants winning the World Series 2 out of the last 3 seasons, I’m feeling like a magnanimous SOB, and I’m really just appreciating that they’re still around, still broadcasting after all these seasons. It’s a pretty cool thing, actually. And if Scully’s stories sometimes go nowhere, and Enberg gushes non-stop about the greatness of Chase Headly, well, that’s all right. It’s all good.

    • eddacker said, on March 5, 2013 at 1:51 am

      you are correct sir,, the mets team is quality. When the Giants played them and I listened to their broadcast they really knew about the giants and were fair and quick to point out successes of the visitors.

  8. dirtnrocksnomo said, on March 4, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    My step dad grew up on a farm in Fresno and still has family there so I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the armpit of California. Summer highlight included dumping fireworks and gasoline into those irrigation tubes at the end of planting rows to create some pretty nice flares, shoes melting to the pavement due to the unbearable heat and water skiing in the irrigation canals behind an ATV. Ahhhhh, the memories….

  9. snarkk said, on March 4, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Sorry, but I can’t listen very long to Doug Greenwald broadcasting Giants. IMO, he’s like listening to drying paint, except more irritating. If he’s waiting for somebody in SF to leave, good luck. No way he’ll ever get a job bcasting the big Giants. He’s probably a nice guy, I have no idea. I just don’t want him ever to get near an SF Giant’s bcast on a full time basis…

  10. xoot said, on March 4, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    I’ve only been to Fresno a couple of times. Once I headed in through early morning valley fog that was almost opaque. Didn’t dare slow down much, even though in my mirror I could barely see the car tailgating me at 60 mph. I guess he figured I’d act like some sort of bumper for him. On the other hand, the trips outta town and back to the Bay were ok. I could relax, so I found a local radio FM radio station that played loud metal and punk, with very sharp, irreverent djs. The city itself looked ok to me. I’d prefer Palo Alto or Berkeley or Santa Cruz, but Fresno seemed to have some character.

    • GrizzledF said, on March 17, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      That radio station is gone now sadly. Bought by ClearChannel and destroyed.

  11. Bozo said, on March 4, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Crash Davis: Yeah, I was in Fresno. I was in No for 21 days once – the 21 greatest days of my life. You know, you never have to take turns driving the bus in No, somebody else drives it for you. It was great. You hit balls not wadded up socks for batting practice, the ballparks are like drive-ins, the motels all have complementary continental breakfasts, and the women all have fluffy hair. Did I mention the meatloaf?

  12. twinfan1 said, on March 4, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    I did purchase the Willie Mays farewell specch.I will let you all know whan I get It. I have have a feeling I’m stuck with it, Loo doesn’t want it now. What the heck, if I can watch Shane 500 times, I can watch Willie a few hundred times…

    • Flavor said, on March 4, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      He doesn’t want it? WTF?

      • twinfan1 said, on March 4, 2013 at 8:50 pm

        Well, he didn’t actually tell me to get it, I just assumed he did. 37 bucks, no biggie, I’ll just eat cat food this week πŸ˜‰

      • DJLoo said, on March 4, 2013 at 9:01 pm

        OK, Twin – but paying you is tacky. I’ll e-mail you one of my famous trade proposals within the next day or two.

      • twinfan1 said, on March 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm

        I already said I changed I mind ( on the last thread ). I couldn’t charge you, Loo. Just tell me if we’re getting a good 5th OFer for MadBum and Buster..

      • DJLoo said, on March 4, 2013 at 9:30 pm

        I’m a little confused and very tired. I have a good deal in mind. I’ll get back to you soon.

    • chipower9 said, on March 5, 2013 at 8:21 am

      Michael – let me know when you have it ready, and we can figure out the logistics of how to best get it to me. You have my email, I believe, and if you shoot me your address, I will drop a check in the mail. Thanks! I look forward to hearing it.

  13. willedav said, on March 4, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Sorry, but as a Jose State guy I’m not gonna listen to anyone defending Fresno. One of the reasons I like Bosie State (despite that dumb blue field) so much is because they hammer the bs bulldogs football team every year. Every year, without fail.
    My co. used to have a store on Blackstone, off Shaw. For a while we had to drive a delivery truck (without AC) from San Jose to Fresno on a Saturday morning….doing that in June is a nice way to ruin 6 hours.
    Then one decembe a kid ran the truck off the road on 152 trying to avoid an accident, and I had to go get him and complete the delivery in the f-ing fog. Driving back in the dark in that fog from fresno to los banos until it let up was about the most freaked out I’ve ever been behind the wheel.

    • Flavor said, on March 4, 2013 at 8:40 pm

      Well, at least you were driving away from Fresno when the fog hit. But it still probably beat driving down there in 100+ degree heat. I had AC, but still.. …Fresno

  14. snarkk said, on March 5, 2013 at 12:55 am

    I spent some time in Fresno. As a kid. In those days, you could see the Sierras in winter like you could grab them with your hand. No gangs, not much hellacious smog blowing down from the Bay. Fig trees all over the place, not subdivisions. It was a much better place in those days, of course. Saw the ol’ Fresno Giants, as I’ve said before, of the old Cal League at John Euless Ball Park. Here’s a coupla later MLB players (1970 per baseball reference) off the old Cal League teams like the San Jose Bees (Doug Bird), the Bakersfield Dodgers (Lee Lacy, Doug Rau, Bobby Darwin), the Reno Silver Sox (Alan Ashby, Jim Kern, Dick Tidrow), Visalia Mets (George Theodore?) and Fresno (Jake Brown, Ed Goodson, Gary Matthews, Randy Moffitt). I think Kuiper went through Reno, if I’m not mistaken. If you spend some time growing up in a hot place, you can handle it. You guys are all just pussies… πŸ˜‰

    • eddacker said, on March 5, 2013 at 1:55 am

      well said
      go bulldogs

    • willedav said, on March 5, 2013 at 7:16 am

      I had a roommate and long time buddy who spent his early years in las vegas (and said what you did, you get used to it) before he moved here to bay area to go to HS. He married a gal from the phillipines, and they vacationed in LV once. She told him Vegas was the only place she knew hotter than phils.

  15. blade3colorado said, on March 5, 2013 at 2:54 am

    Like Flav, I was in Fresno for less than a “nano second,” but it felt like forever. Almost like my experience today at the Grand Palace in Bangkok (I have a new post on that experience). It’s no wonder that I love the Thailand night life here so much. Isn’t that right, Paulinasia? πŸ™‚

  16. zumiee said, on March 5, 2013 at 8:18 am

    It’s kind of weird how small some of the crowds are at the WBC. You can’t even call them “crowds.” Some of the games have big, lively crowds. It’s a mixed bag. MLB network is doing their best to try to rev up interest in it all, in the U.S. But…..there’s very little interest in this thing, in the U.S. I’ll be more interested in it when Venezuela, Mexico, and the U.S. start having games on TV.

  17. zumiee said, on March 5, 2013 at 8:24 am

    It’s funny R.A. Dickey admitting he doesn’t even know what they get if they win the whole thing.
    What do they get? A medal? A certificate? A t-shirt?

  18. Alleykat said, on March 5, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Fresno the armpit of the valley.That and it’s neighboring town Clovis.

    • snarkk said, on March 5, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Kat, if Fresno is the armpit, Bakersfield is the crotch. That place is just nasty. The air there is cuttable.
      Merced is pretty rough. It’s been smoked by the recession, big time…

    • xoot said, on March 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      The first operable part of the California High Speed Rail system will run back and forth between Merced and Fresno. Groundbreaking is set for this summer. They say they’ll initially use that first section to test and tune the rolling stock. The top running speeds in passenger service will be 220 mph, so they need to test at 249. That’ll be something to see.

  19. chipower9 said, on March 5, 2013 at 8:48 am

    I put little or no credence in ST stats for a majority of the players. Belt is a prime example…the dude IS going to be the first baseman this year. I am more interested in seeing what the youngsters on the bubble do, and seeing who makes a case for one of the few coveted spots on the big club.

    I try to go down to Scottsdale every year. It is just a ritual for me and my daughter…a way to kick-off another baseball season. And while it has become much more popular (and expensive), I still just dig the ST vibe, and love Scottsdale. We have a grand time in the post-game evenings grabbing a bite/drinks and people-watching.

    Only 10 days and 4 hours until the first pitch of our first ST game (not that I am counting, or anything). (grin)

    • salty said, on March 5, 2013 at 9:13 am

      Agree about the stats. Exciting time for the kids. Also important for journeymen like Arias Blanco last yr, Gillespie Tanaka this year to open some eyes and turn some heads. So the numbers do matter for some. Anything seems possible in March.

  20. salty said, on March 5, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Chi, Look forward to your on the scene reports from Scottsdale.

    • chipower9 said, on March 5, 2013 at 10:57 am

      NP, Salt…will try to do some real-time updates to the Flap if I see something that really jumps out at me (you know..Kieschnick or Villalona hit three bombs in one game)… πŸ˜‰

      And you are right…the stats don’t mean much to the journeyman (or even the young dudes who have a spot on the team…aka Crawford, etc.)…it is really about the guys on the bubble who are either trying to take one of the few remaining spots on the team, or to at least crack the 40 man roster.

  21. twinfan1 said, on March 5, 2013 at 10:25 am

    I’ll Email you,Chi. It’ll be a couple weeks, I’m not charging anything. Anyone who gets the clip, please remember- they are owned, and can’t be used on the web. It is technically loaned to me for a personal project.

    • chipower9 said, on March 5, 2013 at 10:54 am

      Gotcha, Twin. Thanks. But seriously, I would have no prob dropping you a check for $20 to help with the initial cost.

  22. Macdog said, on March 5, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Not even Pa Joad could get excited about going to Fresno:

    • chipower9 said, on March 5, 2013 at 11:41 am

      That was fucking hilarious, Mac…thanks for sharing. I have a friend who lives down in Clovis (he and his wife have horse property outside of town)…will have to send him a copy of this…I am sure he will get a laugh out of it…

    • xoot said, on March 5, 2013 at 11:52 am

      “dullest airport” — that was pretty f’ing funny.

  23. snarkk said, on March 5, 2013 at 11:11 am

    It’s pretty common for movies to drop a line about a character going to or through or a joke about Fresno. As for ST, IMO this ST should be one of the most interesting in a while. With this WBC going on, the minor leaguers are playing way more, and that’s cool, especially for a team where there are few spots available. Maybe a new paradigm for ST is developing. The vets think ST is at least a week too long, maybe two. Why keep playing position vets for 30 ST games? Let them get work in, and the occasional start, but use ST way more as an evaluation tool for AA and AAA players. Maybe if you’re a fan paying $$ to see games, that’s not so hot, but I’d rather keep vets fresher for the long season. Once Scutaro is in game shape, why should he be playing much more during ST — nothing to prove, nothing to gain, just risk of injury in meaningless games…

    • chipower9 said, on March 5, 2013 at 11:40 am

      Agree, Snarkk. And I would still be interested in going, because as I said earlier…I like it more to check out the dudes on the bubble…and Scottsdale nightlife is pretty damned fun too…just hanging at a good watering hole and taking in the scenery is fun in and of itself…

  24. twinfan1 said, on March 5, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    There will be quite a few players who will not make it but are capable of playing here, IMO. Not front line statters- but valuable role players. It will be tough making the cuts.

    • snarkk said, on March 5, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      I am all for adding a 26th player to the rosters, especially if that helps keep the DH outta the NL…

      • chipower9 said, on March 5, 2013 at 2:08 pm

        Fuck the DH! Bastardized version of the game…NOT the way the game was originally developed or intended to be played. You put on a glove and play in the field…you fucking bat, too.

        What’s that? Me, passionate or opinionated about the DH? (Nothing personal, Nipper…but the DH SUCKS.)

  25. zumiee said, on March 5, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    And intriguing player in Dodger camp- the young Cuban Yasiel Puig. It’s so hard to judge young players. Can they cut it at the major league level? You never really know for sure until they have the opportunity. Crawford is questionable, so maybe Puig gets a chance at leftfield.

  26. chipower9 said, on March 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    What a waste by the Bums (Crawford). Even if he does play some…they flat-out tanked on that deal. He is still owed 100 mil-plus through 2017 (at which time he’ll be 35). I love it.

    As jacked-up as I am for my trip to Scottsdale and Opening Day…I am especially stoked for tomorrow night…will be seeing the Alabama Shakes live at the Mondavi Center in Davis. I stumbled upon these guys (and gal) last year about the time they released their debut. Have seen them on Austin City Limits, and most recently on SNL..cannot wait to see them. Have read a number of reviews and every one of them says they just absolutely slay it live. Brittany Howard can rock it with ANYONE and look/sound stellar doing it (awesome once in a lifetime voice and she can pick it some, too)!

    • snarkk said, on March 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      Sounded like a Shakespeare Repertory group out of Alabama.
      “All that glitters is not gold – y’all”….

    • Alleykat said, on March 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm

      Chi, might have mentioned this place before to you called Greasewood Flat in Scottsdale up by pinnacle peak.Great burgers,nice selection of beers, dollar bills hanging all over the ceiling.music on weekends,it’s outdoors,BBQ pits with fires roaring. Kinda of a local’s hangout.Had a blast there a few times.Daughter might get a kick out of the surroundings. Above that place is a fancier place that golfer Tom Wieskoff owns that have ties hanging from the bar ceiling.

      • chipower9 said, on March 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm

        I think you have mentioned this place, Kat. We are meeting an old Air Force friend of mine and his wife that I have not seen in years…sounds like the perfect place to meet. I’ll check it out and get back to ya with my thoughts. Thanks.

    • xoot said, on March 5, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      I saw that SNL performance. Absolutely terrific.

    • Bozo said, on March 5, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      Chi, have fun in AZ and seeing the Alabama Shakes. I’ll just console myself by going to see Aretha on Sat. at the Norfolk Opera House.

  27. chipower9 said, on March 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Not sure when you were last there, Kat, but it appears they have added a tap house. I’m definitely in…burgers, beers…baseball…


    Also appears (from the photos) that it is a scooter tramp hang-out…so I will fit right in! (I have thought a number of times about taking the old lead sled down to Scottsdale).

    • Alleykat said, on March 5, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Damn Chi, Yeah that Tap Room wasn’t there last time I was hanging there.14 Taps of Beer Heaven.Yummy.
      Yeah it’s been a combo of bikers and cowboys but really a great atmosphere up in the hills with killer views.

      • chipower9 said, on March 5, 2013 at 3:47 pm

        Looks like a great place to meet my friends on Friday night. There are a couple of ales on there that sound quite tasty.

  28. twinfan1 said, on March 5, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    A family friend lived up that away. An owl swept his poodle away, no word if the Greasewood head cook had something to do with it.

    • chipower9 said, on March 5, 2013 at 3:48 pm

      Now that would bring new meaning to the culinary delight known as the hot dog.

      • Bozo said, on March 5, 2013 at 6:30 pm

        As long as it’s not a stir fry. No wokking the dog in the desert please.

  29. PawlieKokonuts said, on March 5, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    1. Twin, were those nicknames in the “anthem” your arrangement? It is delicious. Reminds me of the whimsical year-end poem Roger Angell used to pen in The New Yorker.
    2. I’d be up for the Mays clip and would reimburse you as needed.
    3. Loo, how was the pre-toast?
    4. I have a glove on the porch, somewhere. After the winter, we would rub up the glove with Wesson oil. Now I rub myself up with it. hahahahaha
    5. I too throw left and bat righty for the sole reason my dad taught me. My brother became a switch hitter and hit ’em a country mile when we “hit ’em out,” which I always preferred to a real ballgame. less pressure.

    • DJLoo said, on March 5, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      It’s real good, Pawlie. I highly recommend the double fiber:


    • twinfan1 said, on March 5, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Alas, the arrangement was that of the author…
      As far the video of Willie’s speech- I’m not going to charge anything, Paul. I had a fine time going about getting it…

      • DJLoo said, on March 5, 2013 at 7:32 pm

        Nevertheless, I sent you a trade proposal which you would be crazy to turn down. It’s better than Minton for Healy…

      • twinfan1 said, on March 5, 2013 at 7:51 pm

        I’m mulling over the choices, Loo.

      • PawlieKokonuts said, on March 5, 2013 at 7:59 pm

        ok; danke.
        Intriqued by this non-smoke-filled-room, backdoor deal between Twin and Loo.

  30. twinfan1 said, on March 5, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    Loo inquired about the video. I presumed he’d want it if could be found. I inquired at NBC where the archives supposedly resided. It turns they’re at a university. Originally I was going to suggest splitting the cost, But I didn’t feel right doing that and Loo then suggested some sauces from a strore he frequents. I’ve chosen the “Filetto di Pomodoro” and “Putanesca”…

    • DJLoo said, on March 5, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      OK. Enzo will know right away it’s not for me. I’m all Arrabiata.

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