A Place To Talk About Giants Baseball

Cain and Bum Are the Key

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 31, 2013

With Cain going tonight and Bum going Saturday, both need to pitch deeeeeeep into these games with the *bullpen game* looming on Sunday. Personally, I wouldn’t mind at all if they brought Kickham back for the start (not sure what schedule he’s on) or even Loux. Turning to Chad Gaudin and saying “that’s my guy” is not a very comforting feeling. Plus, he’s done well in the role he’s had and I don’t really trust Ramon Ramirez or even Kontos to take over for one of these starters should they spit the bit by the 5th inning.

But worrying about Sunday’s game will take care of itself then. Miller and Wainwright have both been lights out this year. Our greatest chore seems to be figuring out how to hit them rather than who’s going to pitch for us after a starter goes down……

Gaudin’s List

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 30, 2013

While watching Lincecum fail last night, suddenly, a movie idea just CAME to me. It’s about an American born pitcher named Chad Gaudin who is called on time and time again to save the asses of the starting pitchers on the San Francisco Giants. One by one, he relieves them, sparing their ERA’s from ballooning into horrific territory. But Gaudin can’t save them all and this ends up haunting him. If only he had more pitches in his arm! The movie ends with him on the DL recovering from Tommy John surgery. I was thinking of asking Spielberg to direct it…..

Gaudin’s List is now in serious jeopardy as Bochy has tabbed him to start Sunday against the Cardinals.

Trip out on this fact: Chad Gaudin is an arm we can’t do without this year. He’s CRITICAL to the team’s success or failure. And the kicker is that we simply don’t have enough Chad Gaudin’s to go around!

Chad Freaking Gaudin…..

The Starting 5 Need to Stop Sucking

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 29, 2013

The pitching line for young Kickham was ugly:

kickham

But if you look past the numbers and just use your eyes as a guide, he clearly has a lot of talent. His ball has a lot of life on it and his slider is fantastic. He walked guys, he k’d guys and he was gone before he could finish the 3rd inning. All in all, not an unexpected start for a talented pitcher who isn’t quite ready yet.

It does speak to the looming desperation that’s slowly but surely finding it’s way into the Giants reality. They thought long and hard about who to pitch in place of Voggy and the best guy they could come up with went 2.1 innings. Gaudin had to get burned up anyway.

And the 5th spot in the rotation normally wouldn’t be this big of a deal, but with a few others pitching *like* a 5th starter we’ve got a bullpen that’s getting ridden harder than most ho’s in the Castro on a busy Friday night. You simply can’t keep sending your long guy out to pitch every other game.

So the issue right now isn’t who will fill the next #5 spot. Whether it’s Loux or Kickham or Gaudin isn’t the question to answer. The other four guys are the key to this. If they can start pitching deep into games we can afford to run Kickham out there for weeks straight.

If not, this season is going to get ugly, early.

Kickham, Come On Down!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 28, 2013

It’s rare that the Giants invite a newcomer into their elite group of five. But Voggy’s injury has created the need and the Giants have turned to young Michael Kickham as his replacement. What do we know about him? Well, I’m glad you asked:

He’s 24, a 6th round pick from the 2010 June Amateur draft. I never know what to believe about listed height and weight. He’s *listed* at 6’4 220lbs. He’s also left handed so while he probably will look a little lanky out there he can’t be a very comfortable at bat. He’s got a plus fastball that will run in the low 90’s and a plus slider. His curve is average and his change-up is developing (this is all in the opinion of Marc Hulet of Fangraphs).

The K is a big part of his game (9k/9inn in 2013) but so is the walk (3.7 per 9 inning). The good news is that he’s brought his walks down from 4.5 per game last year. So he’s trending in the right direction.

I think the A’s are probably the LAST team to pitch him against for his debut at this level— combined with the almost certain nerves the kid will probably have and the A’s penchant for walking (once again, they are leading the AL in bb’s) things could start to unravel for the youngster quickly if he has trouble finding the strike zone. For some unknown reason, I remember listening to Todd Van Poppel’s mlb debut (it might have been his first start of the season, I can’t totally remember)— It was against Boston, he walked the bases loaded in the first inning and then Mo Vaughn cranked out a grand slam.

Let’s hope for better results from The Kick today. 🙂 🙂 🙂

San Dawg’s call on Kickham’s twin bro:

splitthat’s an epic pull on such a random ex-player.

 

Happy Memorial Day!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 27, 2013

Time for Inter-lame games. I don’t like it and find A’s games to be particularly boring. Plus, I think they might be better than us and that’s also irritating. Anyway, here’s the game time thread that so many of you covet. 🙂

San Diggity Dawg’s sister lives in the same building as The Panda–she snapped this photo of him today. This made up for him seeing him yesterday and failing to get a pic when he had the chance!) lol

No idea who the dude is with him.

pablo

____________________

 

The Most Exciting Ending Ever (To a Giants Game)

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 26, 2013

I think it’s easy to argue that yesterday’s game at AT&T was the most exciting ending to a game that any of us have ever seen. Think about it. How likely is an inside the park home run? If you’re talking about *unexpected*, and an inside-the-park jobber is the LAST thing anyone could predict, this one wins hands down.

Factor in the time elapsed, too. Pavlovic (Merc) has the ITPHR timed at 14.8 seconds. I’ll take his word on it. What’s a normal home run time out at? Four seconds? Pagan’s game winner lasted 10 seconds longer. My favorite part of that bomb was when Flannery sends him and Pagan looks at him and gives him a definitive head nod–like, “ok, I got this.” You can see it clearly at the 1:56 mark in the first video I posted below (and a couple of times after that). Epic.

The calls on this were great. Kuip seemed to pick up on it possibly happening a little earlier than Fleming did and I think that’s why I might like Flem’s call a little better. Judge for yourself:

And Flem’s:

http://vimeo.com/66987933

The Rockies broadcasters seemed completely unprepared for this outcome until about the 12 second mark:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_05_25_colmlb_sfnmlb_1&mode=video&content_id=27433633&tcid=vpp_copy_27433633

And now for my *unexpected* take on this:

Did Flannery forget how many outs there were? I’m not saying he did. I’m just throwing it out there. He’d never admit it. But unless he was suddenly struck with Autism, I can’t imagine what would possess him to send Pagan with only one out unless he was absolutely certain that he would be safe. And how many ITPHR’s are no doubters?

Whatever. I don’t really care. But there’s at least an inkling of a possibility that Flannery bone-headed that play into a glorious outcome.

I’ll listen to anyone else’s nomination, but I can’t imagine a more exciting ending to a baseball game for a Giants fan…….

Here’s the last walk-off ITPHR– it happened in 2004, Rey Sanchez hit it (naturally, it was against the Rockies)–and I submit that it wasn’t nearly as exciting as the one we saw yesterday……

Voggy’s Replacement Getting Named Soon

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 25, 2013

Bochy says he’s going to wait until after Sunday’s game to declare a starter for Tuesday as a replacement for Voggy. That makes sense. See if the starters get chewed up this weekend. If the bullpen doesn’t take too much of a hit they could roll with Gaudin and then decide what to do in the days after that start. If the bullpen does get used a lot this weekend, it’s likely we’ll see Kickham make his major league debut on Tuesday. Santiago needing surgery has complicated this possibility of turning to Gaudin as the starter.

Even if Gaudin gets the start on Tuesday I’d be surprised if he got more than one. We need a solution that lasts at least 2 months, maybe longer, and Chad Gaudin is not the solution. But if he starts on Tuesday that gives Sabean more time to evaluate all the options—and really, at this point, if they dip into Fresno they’re deciding on Kickham or Loux. Do they want to go with the young prospect or the boring vet?

We’re talking about the #5 so it’s not as critical as everyone is making it out to be. However, if Timmy doesn’t start pitching better than a #5 and if Zito starts pitching at home the way he’s pitching on the road then we are now looking at three #5’s and you can’t win a division with three gaping holes in your starting rotation…….

What the !#%%&!@?>>?! Is The Monty Show?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 24, 2013

I tuned in to KNBR on my way to work this morning expecting to hear Murph and Mac doing their show from Hawaii but instead I had to listen to someone named “Monty” who apparently has a *show*. At first I thought it was some syndicated thing acting as a plug- in for Murph and Mac who are probably on their way home.

But then he interviewed Krukow so it’s obviously a local guy. Has anyone ever heard him?

He can’t stop name dropping his show and he shouted out his twitter handle twice in a 15 minute span. He was very deliberately talking to the listeners about the 5th starter hole and he was doing it in a way that felt like he was educating us, like we haven’t ever thought about the possibilities of Voggy’s replacement. It was hilarious.

I am a big Jim Kozimor fan and don’t understand why he doesn’t get a regular show on KNBR.  He’s witty, funny, seems to understand sports across the board….Maybe he’s in Hawaii with everyone else?

The Monty Show needs to be hit high and deep to left…..outtttaaa hereeeeee!!!!!!!!!!

Off Day and I Still Miss The Thrill

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 23, 2013

Off day. Pfffttttt….

At the racetrack they’re called *dark days*.

Dark indeed.

Voggy went down. Then Crabtree REALLY went down. It’s always interesting to see how different people handle a player from their favorite team getting injured, getting traded or retiring suddenly.

Will Clark was probably the last player to leave one of my teams where I was truly bummed–I don’t think I ever got over it. I’ve always thought that my love of horse racing allows me to tolerate players suddenly leaving or getting injured easier than most fans. Your favorite horse can be gone in a single bad step on the racetrack. Happens all the time. Can’t dwell on it. And the sport is bigger than any individual so….you just move on.

Still, even as I type this I’ve got 3 Will Clark baseball cards taped to my monitor– nobody else, just Will.

Voggy and Crabs will be back so the only thing I’m feeling is a slight bit of frustration about who and how they will be replaced……

What player leaving (either through injury, retirement or trade) hit you the hardest?

NASA, Fear of Walls and Bad Haircuts

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 22, 2013

I didn’t get to catch the end of the game last night. So thank you, MLB.com

Wow, what a game. NASA is following Sandoval’s bomb and has promised to shoot me an email of it’s ultimate landing spot.

Bryce Harper continues to amaze me in the outfield. It’s like he has no awareness at all of where the wall is in the outfield. But man, Blanco hit a rocket, didn’t he?

I’d probably cut Harper some slack if he didn’t walk around with the one of the worst haircuts in history:

harper

Dudes who walk around with that ‘doo are almost always d-bags. They’re like guys with neck tats only they fuck a little less shit up…..

At least we know he’s a classy winner:

How many of you would be surprised if Harper got a spider tattooed on his face at some point in his life? Of course, if he stays in Washington he’d probably get a gnat tattoo. Hmmmm, might wanna put up the stop sign for that idea. But as we know, Harper doesn’t roll with stop signs…..

Replacing Ryan Vogelsong

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 21, 2013

Anyone want to change their vote in yesterday’s poll?

Voggy’s WAR for the year is -0.6 so doesn’t that technically mean he’d be super easy to replace? Just pull something off the scrap heap in Frez-NO and we’re good to go? Well, it’s probably not as easy as WAR would have you believe.

Anyway, here are the stats from the starters in Frez-NO:

fresnoUnderwhelming. Heston and Kickham have potential but they clearly aren’t harnessing it in Fresno yet and the other 3 guys suck.

And now for a look at Double A:

doubleaa

Fitzgerald is having a nice year and I like the K-totals but he’s from the 2008 draft and he’s probably just hoping to one day be AAA roster filler material.

Not that they’d go there, but here is what’s going on in SanHo:

sanHo

There are a few other pitchers who had a start here or there but basically, this is it.

Unless we want to see The Chad Gaudin Show– it’s one of those *alternative ending* movies that I don’t recommend any of us watch….

Here are the free agent pitchers listed by mlbtraderumors.com:

freeagents

 

I think Pavano is still in intensive care following his spleen surgery and Jamie Moyer might have passed on due to natural causes….

Brad Penny anyone? I might roll with that just to get a look at how fat he’s gotten…..

Maybe a trade? Does Sabean have the Astros phone number? Bud Norris?

The thing to remember is that Voggy is our #5. On almost all teams, the #5 is expected to suck. In fact, no where but within the SF fan base is there more deliberate discussion, panty-bunching and hand wringing about the state of our #5 pitcher—Zito a few years ago, Lincecum last year and Voggy this year.

Another thought: this isn’t about filling a 6 week gap. Voggy has been terrible this year and the fact that he breaks his hand during his single good start of the year is a sign pointing to this just not being his year. The flip side is that a lot of people thought he had a tired arm from the extended 2012 season and then the WBC. So maybe the break (pun intended) will be good for him.

But just in case, I’m preparing myself to tolerate what almost every other team in the league has to put up with every 5th start:

pain.

Where Do You Rank on the Freak Out!-o-Meter?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 20, 2013

The Giants return after a 1-5 road trip that could easily have been 0-6. It wasn’t just the 5 losses, it was the spectacular failure that accompanied them. Horrendous defense, pathetic pitching, deep holes early; rarely filled.

I use KNBR callers as a good barometer for the mental state of the fanbase–it’s almost always a guy overreacting (or pitching some half-baked theory or idea for how to fix things) but it’s a pretty good example of how your run-of-the-mill fan will react to the good and the bad during the baseball season. The over/under on how many times I mutter “idiot” to myself is usually 1.5 per caller. For some reason the line moves to 2.5 on the weekends–I haven’t figured out why….

I listened to KNBR several times this weekend and was shocked at how positive most of the callers were. It was nearly uniformed: “the team will work this out, no reason to jump ship, it’s a long season”—all that jazz.

So either KNBR callers have suddenly gotten smarter or all this b-a-s-k-i-n-g  is now  m-a-s-k-i-n-g  the true reality that this team might not be who we thought they were.  Winning 2 of the last 3 World Series can cloud your judgement, right? Or not, let’s see.

Time for a Poll:

“Catch the Ball, Throw the Ball”

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 19, 2013

Though it’s a fairly instinctive human quality, our guys seem to be having a tough time this year with the basics of *catch and throw*. The defense has been atrocious on this trip so I wasn’t surprised to see where we ranked across all of mlb in *errors made*:

errors

 

It’s not too much of a stretch to say that all of these errors are effecting the pitching break down–errors cause the pitchers to get frustrated which in turn impacts their focus and concentration and that’s not the way you want your pitchers pitching. But though they’re professional ballplayers they’re still human beings and they’re clearly having trouble  pitching through all these mistakes–although they should be able to do it, they committed a lot of errors last year too (4th most in NL) and they still managed to win the World Series.

Zito seems to fall apart on the mound the quickest when errors are made behind him. That’s just my opinion, I don’t have stats to back that up. I’d say Timmy is the next guy to implode the quickest.

Zito has been horrendous on the road this year so despite his decent numbers at Coors Field we could be in for another high scoring game today. And if the Giants keep fumbling the ball this one could be over quickly.

Brett Pill? Sure, Why not

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 18, 2013

As you know, Pill’s back. Yawn. He was tearing up triple A so they brought him back. Hitting 2 doubles in your first start of the year is a good way to get yourself another start. Brandon Belt has nothing to worry about, he just got a day off.

Gregor Blanco and Andres Torres, however, should start worrying. Through 176 co-at bats this year they have cobbled together a single dong. The Q’s got that equaled all by his lonesome and he did it in 25 total at bats.  Pill has actually hit righties better than lefty’s in his mlb career .291 > .217 so it’s not a given at all that he’s just going to get starts vs a lefty.

I can muster zero excitement about Brett Pill being back, but when your LF spot hasn’t hit for squat this year it’s not the worst idea in the world to plug a guy who’s hot in there and ride him for however long he can keep the torch lit.

And hitting is something we absolutely need if we’re going to win baseball games consistently. Our pitching staff is tattered and torn after this road trip implosion. And unbelievable but true, our gloves might actually be worse than our pitchers.

So keep on hacking Brett, we need every hit you can muster right now. If Blanco or Torres have to sit in his favor, so be it.

When Do We Pull The Trigger on Trading For an Established Starting Pitcher?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 17, 2013

I reads a headline at Yahoo (not the article, just the headline) that suggested the Dodgers should trade for Jake Peavy (assuming the White Sox continue their slide out of contention). If I’m Brian Sabean, I’m doing everything I can to beat the Dodgers to it. Peavy’s a bit of an injury risk,  he’s making 14.5 next season and he’s got a player option for 15mil in 2015 if he meets certain criteria. But that’s a very reasonable salary for a top flight starter (and Peavy has definitely re-established himself as one of the better starting pitchers in the game).

But stats are facts, and there is growing evidence that our starting pitching isn’t going to be able to duplicate the collective success they’ve had in recent years. He could fit anywhere into our starting 5, replacing any number of SF Giant starters who are either ineffective or injured.

Plus, I really don’t want to see the Dodgers build their pitching staff up this Summer. I don’t think it would take a lot to get Peavy since his future salary, while manageable, will scare off most of the lower market teams. But you only need 2 buyers to bid against each other. So honestly, I’m not sure what Peavy would cost.

Thoughts?

WAR–What is it Good For? Absol….

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 16, 2013

Ok, I’m not going to finish that headline. It must be a stat that has value. I don’t understand how’s it’s calculated. Most people don’t. It’s a number (expressed in runs–about 10 runs to one win) that is called  a player’s *worth* over the course of a year.  This number (runs saved or produced)  is seen as value to his team over a hypothetical replacement player from AAA. It measures things like how good of a base runner he is, did his ballpark help or hurt him, his walk rate, extra base hit rate, his defense….it goes on and on.

Because it factors in defense and other metrics that don’t count in a 5X5 roto league I pay very little attention to WAR.

Here are the current top WAR players in MLB:

WAR

There are some nice names on that list but any metric that has Russell Martin ahead of Miguel Cabrera is going to have me tune out in a nano-second.

Fangraphs.com and baseball-reference.com calculate WAR differently but they are considered the top 2 sites for WAR calculations. I took this example from an espn article that I read this morning: Heading into this season, Fangraphs gave BJ Upton a 13.9 WAR over the last 4 years–that is considered all-star worthy, one of baseball’s top 50 players over the same time period. Baseball-reference gives him a 7.2 WAR over the same 4 year period, which is actually a little worse than an average major league player.  After giving him 5 years and 75 million, Braves fans are probably anxious to see which site was correct. After his terrible start, Braves fans probably feel that both sites are FOS.

40 games into the season, here’s where BJ Upton ranks in terms of WAR compared to all other outfielders:

BJU

That’s not a misprint. He’s dead last.

So excuse me if I don’t find the WAR stat as titillating or tantalizing as the math geeks do. Here are the current standings from my NFBC league:

balls

It’s a 12 team league but the overall competition is comprised of 1140 teams. $350 entry fee. In addition to the $1400 you take home if you win the league, there are bonuses for the top 20 overall (70K to winner, 15K for 2nd, 10K for 3rd…on down). As you can see, I’m destroying my league and I’m 25th overall (out of 1140 teams) Sorry, in advance, to those who don’t find humor in my team name.

Anyway, I don’t have a single clue what the cumulative WAR number is for this dominant team. And I could care less……

Playing Baseball on the Road

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 15, 2013

I get why playing at home is such an advantage for football and basketball teams. The noise level is off the charts. And in basketball, the fans are almost literally on top of the players. And they sound guy is constantly screwing with the road team with annoying music.

But I’ve never really understood why it’s such an advantage in baseball to be the home team. The fans are kept at a distance. Usually the park is outdoors. And baseball is mostly a calm event with crowd noise contingent on specific plays occurring—it’s not constant noise like with basketball or football (where fans are constantly reacting loudly). Thus, players should be able to concentrate on their jobs.

Is it just the travel repercussions? Do the players miss the home cookin’ that much? Or are they just too distracted by all the road-whores?

I dunno.

The Giants went from playing fantastic baseball vs the Braves to playing crap baseball against the Blue Jays. Did they get distracted by having to present their passport at the airport? Are they having trouble with the local language? Are the streets too clean?

And don’t even get me started on the Rockies home/road splits….

Why is it so hard for baseball teams to play on the road?

23.4 percent down…and a long way home…

Posted in Uncategorized by twinfan1 on May 13, 2013

As we approach the 1/4 mark of the season, here’s how the guys would do at their current pace. (4.2 is the multiplier). The first three numbers are BA/OBP/OPS ( which remain as is, of course) The HR and RBI totals are multiplied by 4.2. I’ve added runs in addition to RBI if the run total is significant. Only two players have SB numbers of note. After the projected totals, I’ve added my mini-commentary.

Posey .294 .399 .920 21 HR 101 RBI
Belt .233 .300 .688 17 HR 76 RBI
Scutaro .305 .349 .774 4 HR 38 RBI 84 R
Sandoval .320 .363 .845 25 HR 109 RBI
Crawford .279 .352 .840 21 HR 71 RBI 84 R
Blanco .289 .363 .729 0 HR 55 RBI
Torres .246 .300 .626 4 HR 17 RBI
Pagan .259 .314 .673 8 HR 67 RBI 105 R 21-34 SB
Pence .281 .319 .809 29 HR 92 RBI 84 R 29-29 SB

Cain 8-8 5.04 1.16
MadBum 17-4 2.18 0.93
Zito 13-4 2.75 1.30
Lincecum 13-8 4.07 1.38
Vogelsong 4-13 7.78 1.73
Romo 8-8 3.12 1.04 50-59 SV/SO

Posey: that looks right.
Belt: the HR/RBI numbers bode well for the rest of the way, considering his slow start.
Scooter: I was more pessimistic about him than any of the position players. I’m still very skeptical of his defense. I’m not ready for my “Corvus Fricassee” yet but I’m looking wrongo so far.
Sandoval: Looks good to me. Hit like he does and he ain’t fat, he’s cuddly…
Crawford: Can’t see him maintaining this pace but he sure looks solid. Craig said he should hit 15 dingers. Sounds right. .260 15-65 and GG defense.
Blanco- better than I expected.
Torres – Game winner one day, hat trick the next. I need to see more to make a call for the rest of the way.
Pagan- runs and RBI are outstanding numbers. If he picks up his BA/OBP it should be a banner year.
Pence- everything considered, he just may be the MVP at this point.
Cain: looks to be baaaaaacccckkkkk. 14-8.
MadBum: squarely in the CY picture.
Zito/Lincecum: 13 wins 10 losses 3.90 ERA 1.35 WHIP. That’s right- the Vulcan Pitcher Meld- they put up the same numbers.
Vogelsong : can his game day scowl be enough? Is Nicole tiring him out? Good sign: he lost over 3 MPH FB velocity over the winter. It’s coming back. 9-10.
Romo: I still think he’ll end up setting up- for Hembree.

hunter

Awe or None

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 12, 2013

Kokonuts sent me an email the other day and I liked the title as well as the topic so in honor of “Mr Awe or None” himself pitching today, I decided to make it today’s thread:

Awe or None
The all (or awe) or none aspect of baseball is hard to explain. In Ryan Vogelsong’s last start he had 7 strikeouts in 4.1 innings. He also gave up 7 hits, 1 HR, and 6 earned runs. Last year many of Tim Lincecum’s starts exhibited this same black-white bipolarity. If the pitcher gets a batter out, it’s by a strikeout; otherwise, it’s a walk, filled with pitches wildly out of the strike zone, or a catastrophic hit.
This reminds me of two other notable players, both at the end of their careers. I don’t have specific stats to cite, but I am rock-solid sure about this. Toward the end, Mark McGwire’s at-bats consisted of either a whiff or a bomb. That was pretty much it, to a stunning degree. Strikeout or homer. All or nothing. Similarly, in his last, sad days — some with the Giants — my favorite pitcher of the Seventies, Steve Carlton, either struck batters out or yielded a homer, to a degree that it sticks out in my mind. Again, all or none.
What does it tell us? It’s hard to say it’s merely a matter of concentration. How could it be turned on or off so readily? Is it mechanics? It baffles me. If it is not at the end of someone’s career — in other words, if it is fixable — how do you fix it? When Bruce Bochy put Timmy in as a secret weapon reliever in the postseason, it seemed to reset everything about Timmy. Is that the solution for Vogelsong? What’s the answer? To paraphrase Gertrude Stein: more important, what’s the question? In other words, do we even know what the problem is?
_________________________________
Pawlie, to respond to your McGwire and Carlton references, I’m not looking it up either, but I remember it the same way you do. Here’s my take: The greatest players are great for a reason–they have skills that other players don’t have. Once they start to erode, we see a decline in production like we do with all players. However once you display a skill, you own it for life. Now, that doesn’t mean you can get the exact same production out of that skill forever. But even with the window closing on your career (and your skills) the great players can still display their greatness as long as they *tighten up their target*. For McGwire, it might mean looking for nothing but fastballs or pitches in a specific spot in the zone–one of those balls comes in, he blasts it. If it doesn’t, he strikes out. Same with  Carlton. If he lost his heater, maybe he had another specialty pitch that he was still able to throw at a HOF level even as his career was ending. Sadly for him, the rest of his pitches would get feasted on by eager hitters waiting out that last great specialty pitch he had in his arsenal.
Anyway, thanks for the thread idea. Happy Mother’s Day to all of your mom’s, the mom’s of your kids and any other mom’s you know in the world……

Major League Umpires– How to Make Them Better

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 11, 2013

I’m still blown away by the ump crew that didn’t know that simple rule having to do with in-game pitcher replacement. And then you have buffoons like Angel Hernandez who couldn’t even make the right call when shown indisputable video evidence.

I know it’s hard to become a major league umpire and I’ve heard they go through lots of training. I’m not sure what kind of tenure they enjoy or how difficult it is to fire them. According to some light googling I did, they make $120K to start, up to 300K. If it were up to me, I’d triple those salaries; at least.  Pay these guys to be the best of the best. And if they screw up, fine them heavily or fire them. And if there are any umpires who are involved with fixing games, that might *fix* that problem, too.

These guys aren’t teachers who don’t make sh!t and who *work down* to their salary. I’m not sure who pays the umpires but I’m quite certain that there’s plenty of money to restructure what these guys get paid as well as re-write what they’re accountable for and install stiff penalties if they fail to live up to higher standards.

Game Time Thread!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 10, 2013

There’s a lot going on tonight at Casa de Flavor, and it’s all on tv. Giants coming up, Warriors coming up, and in the background, looming….. Hisashi Iwakuma!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m tabling my parental duties for the evening and embracing Sierra Nevada  and chicken.

You?

Mr. Vogelsong, Where Have you Gone?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 10, 2013

Trying to search for positives, he did have 7 strike outs in 4.1 innings.

But again, it was another poor pitching performance and is it time to start officially freaking out about Voggy?….Assuming, of course, that freaking out is something you’re prone to doing.

His BABIP is .367 this season and that’s awfully high. If you think that’s coming down, maybe you hold off on getting your freak-out on.

Voggy’s turning 36 this July and he put a lot of miles on that arm traveling around the globe trying to make it back to the major leagues. He’s says he’s going to come out of this:

“I’ve been here before and come through the other side and I will again”.

Well, we all hope you do, Ryan. The Giants don’t really have any other options other than to skip his turn and hope he “bullpen session’s” himself out of this funk.

I’m holding off on freaking out. I believe in Voggy. He’s just a man who’s lost his chainsaw. He’s sprinkling sugar on his cereal instead of rusty nails. But I believe he’s gonna get

all of that back.

 

Ending Losing Streaks/Winning at EVERYTHING

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 9, 2013

In case anyone has trouble remembering it, the Warriors had lost this many games in a row in San Antonio:

curry

As to the Giants, they were dealing with a losing streak of their own:

jack

So here’s to *winning*….

Between the Niners (Super Bowl appearance), the Giants (World Series win), the Cardinal (Rose Bowl win), the Sharks (playoffs again) and now this improbable run by the Warriors, I think it’s not going too far out on a limb to call the last 8 months the best in Bay Area sports history. In fact, has an area/region ever had an 8 month stretch like this, ever?

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Speaking of *winning*, who has a better winning %, The Great Zumie or Anna The Real Estate Agent?

They Beat Us, We Lose

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 8, 2013

Sometimes this is an incredibly simple game. They pitch better, they hit better, they win.

It’s like, “we score, we win” only much, much lamer.

Or just say, “Cliff Lee and Kyle Kendrick were better than MadBum and Lincecum”.

It’s frustrating, I don’t think the Phillies are a very good team. They’re old. Their hitters are largely underwhelming. And they haven’t pitched up to expectations this year.

At least, until this series.

At least we miss Hamels. I know next to nothing about Pettibone other than he’s a pitcher…..

2013 Surprises in Major League Baseball

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 7, 2013

A little over a month into the season, I’m going to list off the players who have surprised me this year. I’m just going across the stat lines and seeing what jumps out at me:

Stolen bases: Juan Pierre. It’s not surprising that he’s leading the league. It’s surprising that he keeps finding enough playing time to do this at his age. He has a single redeemable skill (as a base stealer) and despite how old he gets he keeps on gettin’ that done.

HR’s: the top 3 HR guys in MLB are Justin Upton, Mark Reynolds and John Buck. (12, 10, 10).

RBI’s: Miggy and Prince being 1/2 in RBI’s (36, 32). How does Detroit ever lose a game?

Batting Average: Carlos Gomez hitting .368 with a 1.059 OPS.

ERA: Jake Westbrook leading all of MLB with a 1.07 ERA? Westbrook sucks, how is he doing this?

My current favorite hitter (non Giant) and pitcher (non Giant):

Starlin Marte: hitting .325 with 5 bombs and 10 sb’s, he’s one of the only bright spots in an incredibly shitty line up. He’s the next “Andrew McCutchen”

Hishashi Iwakuma!!!: I can’t say his name without at least 3 exclamation points after it. This dude is just reliably, dominantly consistent. 1.61 ERA, 0.76 WHIP. And that’s in spite of a blister he’s fought through all season long.

My favorite add: Nolan Arenado–I can’t believe I was able to pick this dude up in all 5 of my leagues.

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So what’s surprising you so far this season?

Spoiled With Riches

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 6, 2013

You know I’m getting spoiled when I’m bummed that I don’t have a walk off/late inning heroic video to post. You mean all we did is win 4-3? No come from behind? How does that even work?

sweep

Who sells off faster at the break? Blue Jays? Angels? Dodgers?

Brandon Crawford is 2 for his last 29. Just sayin’.

Cliff Lee in town tonight. One of the great memories of my baseball life was October 27th, 2010. Man, what a game….

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Side note example of why hockey sucks. Outside of the bald dude who seems to know he’s surrounded by 4 d-bags, it’s hard to not both laugh and cry at this picture. The dude with the sign should be fucked with in as many ways as is disturbing possible to leave him with a litany of emotional problems. The 2 hair idiots are the worst possible fans you could ever be forced to sit next to. The black guy just makes me smile, it’s almost like he’s getting paid off to look like that.

fucktoronto

Time for A Change; Anna, We Salute You

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 5, 2013

I’m not sure I can remember a more awesome trip around the bases than the one I saw last night. It was like the Budweiser Beer truck driver stole Quiroz’ uni, strapped it on, and then this happened:

Quiroz? Sure, why not. Belt (multiple times), Panda, Crawford, Posey, Quiroz….who am I forgetting? Feels like I’m forgetting 37 other guys…..Can you imagine what this is doing to the Dodgers collective psyche? It’s almost like they’re getting eliminated in May. Or a ghost has stolen their soul. Or a Chinese organ thief has…well, you get the idea. I’m not sure how LA(me) comes back from this string of devastating injuries and brutal walk-off losses.

And after careful consideration I’ve decided to take Anna down. Yes, I realize I’m going against the will of the people. Sometimes that’s what great leaders are forced to do. As much as I’d like to have her lead us to a 137 game win streak to close out the season, I’ve got to do the right thing and give her a rest. Christ, have you seen that pic? Anna is worn out, man. Although some may claim she came to us that way. Also probably true.

For those of you who don’t know who she is, here’s the story. Every day I change out the BBOTD to a new BBOTD. Sometimes they’re babes. Sometimes they, um, aren’t. It’s how I keep my BBOTD brethren on their toes. 🙂 . Last year, with us down 3-0 to the Cards, I glumly posted a non-descript bikini babe and went on about my day. That pic can be found in The Story of a Sundressed Goddess Page here (she’s the 2nd one down, below the Sundressed Goddess and her story):

https://oneflapdown77.com/the-official-flap-mascot-the-sun-dressed-goddess/

But there was magic in that bikini, my friends. We won a couple of games and I thought to myself “leave her up. She’s a good luck charm”. Angry calls from the BBOTD crowd began to surface. They demanded change. They were firing at me from all directions! But I stayed strong and true to the mission. If I didn’t waver, she would take us home. And that’s what she did. After reeling off 8 straight wins and another World Championship, the cat-calls turned into cheers and the cheers turned into a  standing ovation for this great BBOTD rally-babe. Bozo named her “Anna the Real Estate Agent” and she was retired to the Sun Dressed Goddess page for the Winter.

I hadn’t thought of Anna in months but decided to once again crown her the BBOTD, this time with the fairly unflattering picture that you’ve seen recently. We had just been swept by the Padres and I felt like we needed a boost. So I did it. And she has responded by bequeathing Flavor Nation with 5 straight wins! All epic, all attributed to her awesomeness.

But 13 wins in a row is enough. I can’t think of anyone appropriate to replace her so I’m going to leave the BBOTD page blank for a few days. Think of it as a form of reverence. I will place her current BBOTD photo in the SDG widget where she, the SDG and Daisy the Bartender can look after each other. At least until we need more magic. Then I shall call on her again. I have no doubt what her response will be.

So don’t think of her as gone, my friends. And despite the furor that will surely come my way for taking her down, please try to remember that I’m doing this with an eye to the future. We will need her later this year. Her aura is everlasting; her powers overwhelming. She is “Anna the Real Estate Agent”, and all she does is win…….

Derby Day and Another Giants Win

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 4, 2013

My current biggest problem: While I should be pouring over data trying to figure out who’s going to hit the bottom rungs of the super in the Derby, I find myself consumed with the question of when to take down Anna the Slutty Real Estate agent. I know, I know, no one knows *third world* problems like I do. 🙂

She’s 12-0 as the BBOTD (8 wins to close out last season + the last 4 played this season). Part of me wants to take her down so I could use her during the dog days of August. Part of me misses searching the internet for a new BBOTD. And then part of me says, *leave her up there till we lose. Squeeze every last win out of her that she’s got to offer.”

Pfffftttttt…..I can’t decide. Maybe a poll:

I was gonna do a Derby thread but I really don’t have the time. If you read yesterday’s thread you know I’m alive in the Oaks/Derby Double with 3 live longshots today (#6, #12 and #19). The field is 19 strong and the weather is gonna be bad–a certain recipe for chaos. The best thing about this live ticket is that I can leave all three out of my pick 3 and pick 4 as well as the win end of my tri’s and super’s. Anyway, it promises to be a weird, wild race, as it often is. I’m excited.

Oh, and the Giants won another one late with a bomb, This one was a walk off by Posey. Yawn. So predictable. And Salty, you’re going to have to tighten up your predictions if you want to hang with this crew. League instead of Belisario? WTF is up with that mistake!?!?!?! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Dubs Advance, LA(ME) in Town for Huge Series

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 3, 2013

I’m still struggling to appreciate the advancement of the Warriors into the second round of the NBA playoffs. Forget the ref’s, if anyone seemed to be part of a *fix* it was the Warrior players. Mindblowingly stupid turnovers and bad shots in the 4th quarter. And the number of times that Jackson calls a TO only to have his team turn the ball over coming out of the TO (or not being able to even get the pass in) seems to happen way too often. I guess just chalk it up to the Dubs being a very young team and mistakes are going to happen. Still, the only reason they won last night (and taking nothing away from Bogut who was a man-child) was because the Nuggets couldn’t knock down a shot. They were horrible, offensively.

Giants going against Kershaw tonight. *Dumb-ass Eye Goggles* is back. Early May games don’t get much more exciting than the one tonight at AT&T. Anna needs to start scattering her particles into the universe NOW.

Winning the Hard Way

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 2, 2013

April 21st was the last time the Giants won a game flag-fall-2-that’s-all. After a come from behind victory on April 22nd, they lost 5 in a row before *closing escrow* on 3 straight vs The Snakes. This was easy to see coming, right? Get swept by the pitiful Padres and then storm Chase Field with 3 late inning miracle wins?

I said this last week and I’ll say it again. I love every hitter in this line up. I wish there was a *Rowand* to call out but there isn’t. The line up is stacked with competence and on any given night a new hero will likely emerge. And getting swept in your home park after leading all three games is not exactly the way to generate team chemistry.

The Giants are sending out notice to every team in the league: If you want to beat them, build up an insurmountable lead. Right now, the definition of *insurmountable* is fluid.

Anna’s winning streak just hit 11.

And another fantastic call by both Kuip and Miller:

Thank You Anna!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on May 1, 2013

One of the best things about mlb.com, and its awesomeness is hard to measure, is their “Must C” videos. You get the tv call and the radio call of the play. The only bummer about this one is that you don’t get the muted, sad-sack call from the AZ broadcast. Sometimes they include that, too. I never get tired of hearing a Kuip or Miller HR call, especially one as important as last night’s:

Some scribes are giving Hunter Pence credit for whispering into the ear of Pablo Sandoval in the on deck circle. Yeah, right. Flap vets know where to attribute the REAL credit for that game winning bomb: Mass kudos to Anna the Slutty Real Estate Agent who is now riding a 10 game Giants win streak (8 to end last year and both of these games in Arizona).

So she’s gonna stick around till we lose……