A Place To Talk About Giants Baseball

The Contest is Over!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 31, 2013

Congrats to Denny for winning the PC and for showing back up at the blog after being gone for a year+ to thank Twin for the contest and the prize.

Congrats to my main man BirdDog for winning 2nd place and snagging the turntable with software that allows you to convert vinyl records to digital.

And congrats to the St Louis Cardinals for sending The Art Dealers back to their usual spot in front of the tv for the World Series. Twenty Five years and counting…..

Watching Baseball at High Speed

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 28, 2013

I haven’t spent much time on this World Series. Taping it. Fast forwarding through it. Man, baseball is not a game to watch with an ff button at the ready. It’s like an addiction. At first you’re just skipping the commercials. Then you run it a little too far into the first at bat of the inning. Then you want to see Big Papi bat so you’re skipping through entire innings…..

Anyway, I might start watching it live—at least the 9th innings. The last 2 ended predictably, right? Just when you think the baseball gods are shining down upon the Cardinals, and there was no other way to think after The MIddlebrooks Obstruction, along comes The Wonger and he does his best imitation of a dumbsh!t.

So now I don’t know what the baseball gods are planning. I guess I’ll have to go *old school* and watch it live.

2013 Roberto Clemente Award

Posted in Uncategorized by twinfan1 on October 26, 2013

Winner is Carlos Beltran.

“Beltran continued to operate the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico — which he established in 2011 with $3 million of his own money. The Academy offers high-quality education and athletic experiences for youth that otherwise wouldn’t get those opportunities. He even flew back this past summer on an off-day to congratulate the first graduating class.

That isn’t all, though. Beltran also raised $160,000 for the Carlos Beltran Foundation with his Night in Old San Juan Gala. The Foundation gives money to local St. Louis charities and helps to continue to fund the Academy. He also has a “Beltran’s Buddies” program to benefit underprivileged youth in the St. Louis area.

The first winner of the award in 1971 was Willie Mays — at the time it was called the Commissioner’s Award. In 1973, the award renamed to honor Clemente. Clayton Kershaw won the award last season. Some other past winners include David Ortiz, Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols. A litany of Hall of Famers have also won.”


Race to Save Face

Posted in Uncategorized by twinfan1 on October 24, 2013

i said i had some surprises in store. so here’s the scoop- i have 4 consolation prizes up for grabs. i thought about it and it’s always seemed unfair that people who are lousy at things get nothing but scorn for their pathetic stabs at competence. the guy who couldn’t spell ‘cat’ if you spotted him the ‘c’ and the ‘t’, the woman who submitted this at the ‘pillsbury bake-off’


you get the idea. well, this is for the contestants who demonstrated with varying degrees of ineptitude that they will never be nicknamed ‘( insert first name) the greek”. without further ado, the first prize in the “Race to Save Face” is a logitech washable usb keyboard– i have one of these, and they’re great, and yes, you really can wash it.


two Kingston Digital 8 GB USB 2.0 Hi-speed Datatraveler Flash Drives will be the next prizes. you all know what flash drives are- these 8 gb drives are great for sharing porn with your degenerate pals- what’s more disgustingly delightful than a senior citizen’s game of ‘limp biscuit’…
the final prize is a mystery prize. note- you’ll want to make sure you have a roof that can support 2.2 tons. you might to hire a structural engineer. our drivers and lift operators will always have your family’s safety in mind. since the unfortunate accident that we had NO WAY TO ANTICIPATE , the prize will not be situated above the children’s bedroom.

the race will be conducted in stages, the keyboard will be awarded after game 3, october 26 in st. louis. contestants will pick the runs scored by both teams. tie breaker will be total hits from both teams. this is open to all contestants with ‘none chance’ to win. it’s up to the contestant to determine if he has a chance. by entering the contest for the keyboard, you are not eligible for the two top prizes. those contestants who did not send in picks for the world series are also welcome to compete for the consolation prizes.
email your picks by game time october 26 to

The Final Contest Picks

Posted in Uncategorized by twinfan1 on October 23, 2013

Here are the picks for the World Series. Good luck to the contenders and a thank you to all for embracing the contest and making it so enjoyable for me to host the competition. and special thanks to craig for giving me the reins after he set up what has become a very exciting race with 7 of the 20 original contestants still in the running for the prizes. and lest the ‘losers’ think it’s over- i still have some surprises in store.

the contenders, current total in parentheses:
salty (9) cards in 6-33
rooster(9) cardinals in 6- 36
denny(9)- sox in 6- 49
chi (8)- sox in 7-58
birddog (8)-boston in 6 -37
chuck(7) -boston in 6- 33
macdog (7)-cards in 7- 47

the also rans, fighting for bragging rights as the best of the rest.
blade (5)- boston in 6- 55
kevin (5)-cards in 6 -26
kat (5)-boston in 5-30
sandawg(3) -boston in 6-49
wilcojoe(4)- cardinals in 7-72
pawlie(2)- sox in 7

lurking on the sidelines, hoping for a sandwich pick:
boxhead, sportsdude,flavor, wes,manny,winder, snarkk

Tim Lincecum: Aloha!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 22, 2013

Someone once told me that “Aloha” means goodbye and hello. That always always sounded stupid to me. Today it’s my way of disguising my “good bye” thread from yesterday.

And when I said “10% chance he’d return” I’d like to point out that I qualified that with “I didn’t spend a lot of math time computing that percentage.” Plus, I’m not very good at math. Still, my take on this is that 10% ain’t such bad odds as they used to be……

But seriously, this is a good deal for both sides. Timmy gets 35 more million dollars after spending 2 years being one of the worst starting pitchers in either league. And relax, I said “the last 2 years”. And I’m right, he’s in the bottom 10% of qualified starting pitchers, easily. Uh oh, there’s that 10% thing again……. But hey, no one ever contended that free agent pitchers get paid for what they’re gonna do, they get paid for what they did on the back of their baseball card. And Timmy’s card looks good if you read the whole thing……..

And I’ve bought into the Koolade that he is starting to change his approach to pitching, doing more research on hitters and hopefully developing his specialty pitches. His K’s are still there, the talent is still there. Once you display a skill, you own it for life. I truly believe that so I have to take the positive take on Timmy’s next chapter as a major league pitcher.

And 2 years is perfect. If I was a GM every single deal I’d do would be 2 years. Love the length of the deal……..

Tim Lincecum: Good Bye

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 21, 2013

Just a super quick Lincecum post before the ‘series starts Wednesday….

I see almost no possibility that he signs in SF. “No possibility” is probably too strong. I’ll go with 10% that he returns. I didn’t spend a lot of math time on computing that percentage. Here are my non-math reasons why:

1) Timmy is turning 30 next season, and while he’s definitely heading into what should be his mega contract free agent bonanza, he’s not exactly storming it with a yoked resume. We all know about his hideous ERA the last 2 seasons. His W/L record has always been abysmal for someone who boasts 2 Cy Young’s. But the biggie is that he just hasn’t found a pitch to replace his weakening fastball. What he doesn’t know (and what Ubaldo Jimenez figured out before he did) is that he needs a new approach to pitching, not a new pitch. The point of #1: this one’s actually a *support* for him re-signing. Pitchers staggering into free agency shouldn’t get monster deals. And yet those 2 CY Young’s are like liquid Meth for most MLB Gm’s. The reality…..

2) ….teams are starved for pitching. But they’re even more starved for PR moves that sell tickets. Tim Lincecum is still a rockstar, even minus the cropped dome. He’ll sell tickets and jerseys as he has continued to do with the Giants over the last 2 uninspiring years. Someone will throw 4 years/54 million at him. Book it. The Point of #2: The Giants won’t be that team.

3) He’s made around 60 million dollars in his career. He’s single, and by all accounts he’s a down to earth dude who doesn’t have a burning need to go build a monster palace next to Jeter in Florida (ha, go check that thing out some day when you’re bored). Timmy doesn’t need to accept the qualifying offer in order to parlay the value of a monster 2014 into an even more monster multi year deal. He can easily accept a 4 year/54 million dollar deal that will put his career earnings over 100 million and will guarantee him security for life, as well as the multiple as-yet-unidentified generations he will hand his fortune over to after he’s gone. The point of #3: He’s accepting reality that he’s no longer a CY guy, There’s no reason to accept the qualifying offer and risk another average year. That will only torpedo the 4yr/54 million dollar deal that he could get now. If he has a third underwhelming season in a row he’d be now looking at like a 2 year/16 million dollar deal going into 2015 and he can do that math easily in his head…….

4) and that makes this an easy call, he’s taking the 4 year deal that’s coming from someone other than the Giants this Winter………..

The World Series 2013

Posted in Uncategorized by twinfan1 on October 20, 2013

team stats regular season ( just some basic ones)
the cards, nl- 1st in offense, 5th in pitching, tied 1st in defense
red sox, al- 1st in offense, 6th in pitching, 5th in defense

starting pitching- boston 3.84 era .247 baa 109 hr
relief pitching -boston 3.70 era .250 baa 47 hr
hitting boston-.277 ba .349 obp .795 ops 178 hr

st. louis
starting pitching 3.42 era .250 baa 76 hr
relief pitching 3.45 era .247 baa 36 hr
hitting .269 ba .322 obp .733 ops 125 hr
st. louis home and road- 54-27 and 43-38, boston home and road 53-28 and 44-37

for more detailed team stats, hardball talk has more:

who has the big edges?
offense: boston- drew over kozma, ellsbury over jay, dh- if craig can go, ortiz has a slight edge, overwise it’s a huge boston edge
cards- holliday over gomez/nava, molina over ‘saltimbocca’, beltran over victorino- but not as big as their reps might indicate, beltran has the power edge and a great arm. victorino is a better overall defender and the baserunning edge. both were .290s batting averages.
starting pitching- Starting pitching: adam wainwright, michael wacha, joe kelly, lance lynn vs. jon lester, john lackey, clay buchholz, jake peavy
edge- even. most pick st. louis here and that will be the case if wacha pitches as he has. but he’s not *that* good. and kelly is very hittable. i like bucholtz to have a big series. wainwright/lester i see as a push. the key guys who can swing this either way are wacha and lackey, imo.
pen- closers- uehara over rosenthal- they can’t hit uehara and he doesn’t walk ’em 0.565 whip. that’s half a batter per inning, where’s eddie?
rosenthal is top notch but has limited closer experience. 1.102 whip- 1 batter on per inning. whip means a lot with these two.
pen total. both pens have been nearly unhittable in the postseason. st. louis .177 baa 0.84 whip boston .209 baa 1.06 whip

my take- st. louis in 7. and that home field will be big in this series. these are very evenly matched teams across the board. boston has a large edge in power, and the best closer. st louis has the better defense and better middle relief. and key edges with holliday, beltran, molina.
series mvp- yadier molina
series surprise- xander bogearts


The 109th World Series

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 20, 2013

The 2 teams with the best records are facing off in the 2013 World Series and that doesn’t happen too often anymore. Once again, the two highest payroll teams will not be facing off in the World Series.  Arguably the 3 best offenses (Boston, Detroit and St Louis) were in both Championship Series. Due to that, the pitching has to be considered MORE outrageous than it appeared to be. Seven of the 10 playoff teams had team playoff ERA’s of 3.63 or less. That’s absurd. For Detroit to have a 2.81 team ERA with that horrendous bullpen speaks loudly to how dominant their starting pitching was this post season….

And with that, I bid you adieu for a few days. Twin will take over the Monday thread with his contest details. Please forward all picks to him (not me). His email address is



Dodgers Suck

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 19, 2013

i realized this afternoon that we didn’t really spent the proper amount of time celebrating The Art Dealer’s demise in yet another season with someone else winning the World Series. 

I never would admit it, but all that “no WS wins in SF” shit did bother me as a fan. After we won 2010 I could give less than a turd about that angle. And after 2012….what’s less than a turd? 

I said it at the time, I could care less about franchise series wins. I don’t think i’d really even care about SF series wins had we won any before I was born. I’m old enough now not to count other fans, older fans, flags that fly. By now I’m far more concerned with the ones I earned as a fan….

So that’s why I LQTM at all the a Dodger fans who were born post ’85 or so. Maybe even a year or two earlier. Ya gotta be old enough to remember watching it. Think about it, most Dodger fans who are 30 or so have no concept of what it feels like to be a fan of a World Series champion. And I freaking love that….

The Dream is Dead

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 18, 2013

………At least the one I had about signing Abreu and then trading Belt, Crick and Romo for David Price. The White Sox gave Abreu 6 years/68 million. That was pretty close to my guess of 5 years/60 million. You knew he was going to get more than Puig based off his success in LA and the number of teams competing for Abreu. Sabean abhors competition ever since Boras hoodwinked him into an extra 30 million or so on Zito’s deal  so I didn’t really think we had a legitimate chance of signing him. But dreaming about it wasn’t too far fetched.

Whatever, he’s much better suited for the American League anyway. He can DH as his girth grows. And getting bigger is a realistic concern for a guy who’s weight is already bumping up against the brink of acceptability.

And, with a GM who doesn’t want to part with prospects of value I think there’s no chance we would ever see Sabean offer up the likely 3 top prospects that it will take to get Price.

So, I guess it’s time for a new dream……

What would a package of Arias, Affeldt, Villalona, Pill, Linden and Monell net us? You know that’s a puzzle that Sabean is trying to put together…..

Deja Vu All Over Again

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 17, 2013

The Cardinals might not say it out loud, but Game 5 was a near must-win for them. It was only a year ago that it was a must-win for them. But Barry Zito had other ideas and pitched the game of his life to send the series back to SF where it ultimately ended with manager Mike Matheny drenched in the downpour muttering to himself on the top of the dugout steps…

And while the weather might be better in St Louis than it was in San Francisco in 2012, he could easily find himself in the exact same situation at the end of this series (albeit, dryer).

By not getting the job done yesterday, now they have to face Kershaw and that “W” is already in the bank. So now they’re knotted at 3-3 and every single member of that organization as well as their unified, massive legion of fans will be thinking one collective thing: “Uh oh, not again….”

They’ll play tight in Game 7 trying to avoid losing instead of trying to win and the shadow of last season’s playoff meltdown will haunt them all the way to yet another blown 3-1 series lead.

This sucks, the freaking Art Dealers are going back to the World Series.

The Race for the PC Reaches Near Euphoric Heights!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 16, 2013

I’m not updating the standings since we still have 2 undecided results, but if St Louis holds sway it’s going to tighten up the standings big time. All three of the players in the top 3 spots took The Art Dealers. Several of the villagers took the Cards in 6, but nobody took them in 5. ChiPower could really use the Tigers to win in 7. And right now, Denny with the Cards in 6/Red Sox in 6 is poised for the biggest boldest move so far in the contest. If that happens, we’ll have 5 guys with a legit shot at the top prize going into the world series.


Contest NOTE:

Flavor said, on October 16, 2013 at 10:58 am (Edit)

Contestants: Please make sure you guys send all your remaining picks to Michael. Do not email me them anymore. Thanks. Craig His email is michael.scott2@mchsi.com

One. More. Win.

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 15, 2013

Ugh, I used the same headline when we were on the cusp of the 2010 championship. And while this doesn’t have the same energy or emotion to it, I am greatly looking forward to the Cardinals knocking out the Art Dealers from the 2013 playoffs. Sure, it’s a petty victory. But I’ll be chalking this one up as a W for our side.

First Question: If Puke flips his bat 30 feet in the air when he hits a triple, how far does he throw it when he hits a home run? 20 rows into the lower box seats? Next year is gonna be fun. This clown’s ribs are gonna take a beating in 2014.

Second Question: When did baseball teams decide to just stop scoring runs?

Third Question: Where has fanduel.com been all my life? Me likey…..

Benoit, Ortiz, Hunter Combine for an Incredible Moment in Time

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 14, 2013

Having zero emotional interest in either of the remaining AL teams, I’m struggling to rank the context of last night’s grand slam by David Ortiz in the overall history of baseball. That has to rank as one of the top, if not THE top, post season moments ever. And if Torii Hunter, one of the best guys in the game, makes that near impossible catch, would that count as the best catch in post season history? With apologies to Mr. Mays, I think it would be a legitimate question.

And here’s another question: if he DOES make that catch and still tumbles over the wall, is it an out or a home run? I think there’s a rule that you have to come back to the field with the ball so if he threw it back into the field of play from the dugout it wouldn’t count as an out. I’m not sure of this though. There was a similar play that happened 20 years ago at Fenway with Jay Buhner (I think)……..Just went and checked youtube. Here it is:

And the cop celebrating wildly in the background will be an imagine that will crystalize this as an iconic moment in post season history.


Anyway, you don’t have to be a Red Sox fan to get goose bumps watching that play…..


Zito’s ad in The Chronicle:



Enjoying the Playoffs From a Different View Point

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 12, 2013

I hate 2 college teams (USC and Cal), 2 footballs teams (Denver and Dallas) and 2 baseball teams (St Louis and The Art Dealers)….

So imagine my conundrum when the 2013 NLCS hit my screen tonight.

I actually think that if you put a cattle prod to my backside I’d admit that I hate the Cardinals more than The Art Dealers. Hating the ‘Artists is ingrained into my DNA. But that hatred has sustained itself mostly because of DNA, not recent history. For me, I hate players like Ron Cey, Don Sutton, Steve Garvey, Steve Sax, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell, Mickey Hatcher (yes, hated him), Orel GoFuckYourself, etc….. Even hearing the name “Ken Landreaux” pisses me off…..

But hearing the name “Steve Finley” doesn’t make my blood boil. It should, it just doesn’t. Same goes for *Adrian Gonzalez*. Or “Puig”. But I have quietly enjoyed his 0-10 with 6k’s this series…..

The St Louis Cardinals? That hate is real. It’s earned. The video of Will the Thrill getting blind sided by Ozzie Smith and Jose Oquendo (starting with a pussy short kick to the gut and a slap to the head and ending with wild hay maker misses) is the reason I will always love Candy Maldonado and his teammates more than the back of their baseball cards could ever make me love them….And I have actively talked shit to Jose Oquendo every single time I’ve seen him at a game. And I will do so whenever I see that fuck in person.

And now the Art Dealers and the Cardinals are playing each other. No possible good outcome, right?.

Yet….one has surfaced. I l just found out that I love any team that is beating the Art Dealers. It’s been a million years since I’ve cared, they haven’t won the World Series since I was in high school. And then we won 2 in three. And now that their owners have decided to dabble in an expensive hobby, it’s time that I start paying attention to them again because none of us want to start seeing The Art Dealers hoist a World Series trophy any time soon or in any future.

Hey, they can admire those old, dusty ones all they want. But “flags fly forever” is a lot more powerful when they’re actually flying freely instead of being stuck to a flag pole with a bunch of gunked up chemical aftermath of 50 years of dense smog….That one counts as do their other ones, just not as much as our *two in 3*. Nothing is more important than the most recent. In anything.

So yeah, I am super stoked that those Cardinal jackasses just took a 2-0 lead on those Art Dealin’ Pussy Fucks……



The Race for The PC is Nearing Combustible Levels!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 11, 2013

With the NLCS in process, I’m now going to release everyone’s picks for this round. I don’t have picks for Kevin but if he sent them to Twin before first pitch tonight or I somehow missed them in my inbox I will happily update this. Thanks to everyone for sending in both their picks, it’s a better thread if I can publicly post both Pennant winner picks. At this point, the game becomes very strategic. Let’s see who’s up for the challenge of this new, more difficult round. Note: The odds I set came out of my brain, they were not mathematically calculated……

Two Dudes Better Than You or Me:

Salty (8): Art Dealers in 6/Red Sox in 7

ChiPower(8): Art Dealers in 7/Tigers in 7

Odds of the Winning: 8-5

The Fuckin’ Dodger Fan: 

Rooster(7): Art Dealers in 6/Red Sox in 6

odds of winning: 3-1

Still in This From a Sneaky Spot: 

Bird Dog(6): Art Dealers in 5/Red Sox in 6

Odds of winning: 5-1

Long Shot Material: 

MacDog(5): Cards in 7/Red Sox in 4

Denny(5): Cards in 6/Red Sox in 6

Odds of winning: 15-1

Mathematically Still Alive: 

BoxHead(4): Ar Dealers in 4/Red Sox in 4

UncaChuck(4): Cards in 6/Red Sox in 7

SportsDude(4): Art Dealers in 6/Red Sox in 7

odds of winning: 26-1

On Life Support: 

WesFromRoseville!(3): Art Dealers 6/Red Sox 5

WilcoJoe(3): Cards in 7/Tigers in 7

Kevin(3): Cards in 6/Tigers in 7

AlleyKat(3)Cards in 6/Tigers in 6

Flat lining: 

Manny(2) Cards in 7/Tigers in 6

Pawlie(2): Art Dealers in 6/Tigers in 6

Winder(2): Art Dealers/Red Sox (he’s still taking the sneaky approach of not submitting # of games it takes to win. We’ll see if this rogue approach rewards him in the end)

Blade(2): Cards in 7/Red Sox in 6

Flavor(2): Cards in 6/Red Sox in 5

Two Corpses Getting Skull Fucked by a Group of Necrophiliacs: 

Snarkk(1): Art Dealers in 5/Red Sox in 6

San DiggityDawg(1): Cards in 6/Tigers in 6


Did he or didn’t he?


The Race For the PC Is Pushed to the Brink!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 9, 2013

LA/St. Louis begins tonight at 5:30. Detroit/Boston starts Sat at 5pm. I would REALLY like to release everyone’s picks in the next thread but I can’t do that unless you send me picks for BOTH of these series. But the only one you are required to send me is the pick for today. Remember, they play 7 game series from here on out. Please factor that into your prediction for “# of games won in”. There are 4 points up for grabs in these 2 championship series….

The Standings (and if I missed someone, let me know):

Salty:                           8 points

ChiPower:                  8 points

Rooster:                      7 points

BirdDog:                     6 points

Denny:                         5 points

MacDog:                      5 points

BoxHead:                   4 points

UncaChuck:                4 points

SportsDude:                4 points

WesfromRoseville(!): 3 points

WilcoJoe:                       3points:

Kevin:                             3 points

AllyKat:                           3 points

Manny:                           2 points

Pawlie:                             2 points

Winder:                           2 points

Blade:                              2 points

Flavor:                             2 points

SanDiggityDawg:          1 point

Snarkk:                            1 point

David Price: SF Giant

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 8, 2013

Of course, that’s just *the dream*. But after I saw a few weird tweets last night at 2am about the Giants being the *front runners* to land Jose Abreu my mind started wandering towards hot stove fantasies.

Chapter 1 of *the dream*: The Giants sign Abreu, probably overpaying but whatever. This is a guy who could realistically be compared to a right handed Ryan Howard.  I haven’t researched this for a second, but let’s say the Giants land him with a 5 year/60 million dollar deal. He’ll get more than Cespy and Puke mostly because of their success at the mlb level and the fact that Abreu comes with a good deal of hype.  I have no idea what Abreu will get but if he costs more or less, I’m all for it.

Now we have a legit power hitting first baseman who we can plug into the clean up spot.

Chapter 2 of *the dream*:  The Giants trade Brandon Belt, Kyle Crick and Sergio Romo for David Price. Now please don’t tell me this is an overpay. This is what Price will cost and possibly more if all the Rays want are 3 top prospects, which is likely (and we simply don’t have 3 top prospects to pay for Price). But this trade gives them an upgrade replacement for Loney at 1B (he’ll leave for a multi year deal like all their 1-year wonders do), a HUGE upgrade at closer, and another top pitching prospect that the Rays love to stockpile.

Chapter 3 of *the dream*: David Price becomes our ace, Abreu hits 44 bombs in 2014 and we win “3 in Five”.



update: opening mail and just discovered Twin’s Andres Torres signed pic that he sent me. Here it is. Rad.


When a Manager is Afraid to Pull the Trigger

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 8, 2013

Tough times for Fredi Gonzalez in Atlanta right now. He’s got the second coming of Mariano Rivera greased and ready in the bullpen and all Kimbrel can do is pace around the bullpen with a ball in his glove. In an elimination game, Gonzalez had a decision to make: use the best closer in the game for a 2 inning save or just keep everyone in their *role* and do what his book tells him to do.

Kimbrel had pitched once in the playoffs, a 1.1 inning save last Friday night in Atlanta. He was needed to come in and relieve an ineffective David Carpenter, the same pitcher Gonzalez had pitching the 8th inning last night. Kimbrel had pitched exactly 3.1 innings in the last 13 days. He was hardly overworked. Last night, as he stood in the bullpen with his hands on his hips waiting for a call that never came, he looked like a man begging to work.

Carpenter had a very nice year for the Braves but he’s no Craig Kimbrel. And with everything on the line, you don’t leave it up to David Carpenter et al. You bring in The Great Kimbrel…

Of course, if you have read Baseball’s Starry Night, you’ll know that not even The Great Kimbrel is immune to failure.

Sadly, the Dodgers have moved on to the NLCS–a round I thought they’d all be watching on tv. So far, this post season sucks.

A Day In The Wine Country – With A Giants Kicker

Posted in Uncategorized by snarkk on October 6, 2013

Yesterday, the birthday trip got started late, so we only got to Napa and stayed there all day – no Sonoma visit.   The wine country is glorious as October arrives, yesterday particularly so with temps in the low 80s.  Now, the white wine grapes are pretty much picked, pressed, and already working hard on their primary fermentation in steel tanks.   So, it’s center stage for the reds.  With the grape leaves starting to turn color in earnest, and some dropping, there is increasing space in between the branches.  So, in the soft afternoon sunlight, the globs of dark, purple berries of Cabernet and Zin and Syrah pop even more against the gnarled vines and rusty leaves.

The beautiful berries stand out so much it reminds of schoolyard days choosing sides to play ball — pick me, pick me! — nobody wants to be left hanging.  The best want to be picked for the estate bottling, or the vineyard designation bottlings that bring top dollar.  The second picking is for the 2nd line Cabs, the vineyards blend, and I imagine were the grapes animated, there’s less pride in that.   But, for me the wine lover, there’s plenty of love to go around at most price points.

Like us yesterday, when you visit wine country during the crush, you must pick a few grapes off the different vines and taste them.  There is no comparison between the taste of ready-to-pick red wine grapes with table grapes – the sweet, succulent flavor of the former, working their way to the winemaker’s perfect brix, is a tantalizing indication of what is to be to poured in a few years, after gently relaxing in the arms of French and American oak.

The only downside this time of year is the popularity of Napa.  The beauty, the hum of activity, the buzz of anticipation, is not lost on the wider population.  It attracts people from all over.  We talked to several couples from Texas — they must not agree with Rick Perry that our state sucks.   The main roads were jammed — with Maseratis to clunkers.  Tasting rooms full of chatter and jostle.   Cash registers ringing up their digital proceeds with alacrity.  The romanticism of the wine business that you can still experience in the smaller and family run wineries off the beaten path seems particularly shoved aside in the big producers near the main roads this time of year.   Sonoma and Mendocino, less so.  Mrs. snarkk and I remember the early days of “us” getting wine poured from Mike Grgich himself at his eponymous winery’s tasting room — for free.  Nowadays, its $15 a flight for the “regular” wines in many of the wineries.  And, unlike days of not too long past when a meager tasting fee would be waived if you bought a bottle, now in many of the places the tasting fee is just an ante that you wager to get into the game — it’s ADDED to the price of any bottles you buy.

We hit Girard in Yountville first, it has only a tasting room there.   Top end reds are its focus.  The winemaker guides and consults at several wineries.  We’re in its wine club, which has its privileges, and it should, when it comes to the “free” tastings for members.   After tasting a few choices out of the regular and top flights, the servers pulled out for us two 2005 cabs from the winemaker’s own private label, which he doesn’t make anymore.  They’re good at pulling out the “secret” stuff, that only you (well, you and all the other members) get.  One from Mt. Veeder, one from Diamond Mountain,  essentially from the West and East sides of the valley, respectively.  Best wines of the day, fantastic.  The mountain wines always have more character, because the grape vines are stressed to grow in a tougher environment than down in the valley proper.  I liked the Mt. Veeder, drinking well now, almost like a svelte 2nd growth Bordeaux, with the wet sock nose mimic, too.  Mrs. snarkk preferred the Diamond Mountain, still with a big backbone typical of Cabs from that appellation, a mere youngster, a pre-teen, with much developing to do in the coming years.

There in the tasting room, the Giants as sub-theme first inserted itself into the day, between the chatter about “nice nose”, “great legs” and “ooh, hints of blackberry and chocolate”.  We talked to a Walnut Creek couple who participated in Girard’s annual SF Giants day, just a few weeks back.   One day per year, you can take a bus with other wine lovers from its tasting room to and from ATT.   Wine flows during the trip down and back, with a ticket to the game and somehow, food included.   They said they had a great time.   Hell, if Voggy gets bombed, who cares?  Now, that’s my kind of wine tour.

Anyway, other places we visited were Cosentino, Trefethen, and Clos du Val.   I like to mix going to one or two places I know with some I’ve never been before – it’s not a total crapshoot, but still fun.  The first two I’d certainly heard of, but new to me to visit and taste and though fine, not much to write home about.   Cosentino was pushing a Chardonnay from the Russian River vineyard supposedly that supplied the Chard that won the famous 1976 Paris wine competition.  For a C-note per bottle.  For Chard?  And, with whites, likely not the same vines, maybe not even the same clones as nearly 40 years ago.   Uh, non.  You can get 5 bottles of really good Chard, 4 of super good, for that, elsewhere.    I’ve been to Clos du Val several times – pretty good reds.

With the afternoon sun and my sobriety sinking, we gave up the wine tasting and made our usual pilgrimage to the Napa Valley Olive Oil Co., a little shack of a store a couple hundred yards off Highway 12 and near Tra Vigne in St. Helena.  http://tinyurl.com/jvlhf6b   You’ll find hanging salamis, home cured olives, cheeses, all manner of canned fish and shellfish, and a cornucopia of Italian prepared and canned foods, sauces and dry pastas that you won’t find elsewhere.  The cashier rings up the total – in his/her head, or on a piece of paper.  The bill always comes out to a whole dollar number.  Cash and check, no plastic.  Oh, and local pressed olive oil by the half gallon bottle, too.   We got ours.  This is the way Napa used to be —  a throwback.  For mossbacks like me, it’s a slice of heaven.

After depleting the checking account in exchange for mass quantities of pasta and olive oil and salami, time for dinner.  We went over to the nearby place Oracle recommended, Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, in St.Helena.  (BTW, kudos to Oracle for the recommendation).  As it was only around 5:30, we were taken right in to a nice table not too far from the entrance and maitre’d stand.   Very nice menu.   For appetizers, we had a ration of mussels in a light coconut and curry combo broth – tasty good.  Plus, some baked oysters in shell with a Parmesan and parsley cover – yummy.   Mrs. snarkk is on a vegetarian kick the last 6 weeks, so for entrée she had the mushroom and polenta tamale – sounds weird, but fantastic.  I had the anticipated Hanger steak – tasty and very nicely prepared with yams and yellow sweet potatoes adding a sweet, fall complement to the savory tone of the meat.

Early on, as I was slurping my first oyster, I happened to glance over to the maitre’d table.  Again, the Giants as supporting theme entered the mix of the day.  There, talking to the hostess with a friend was — yep, Marty Lurie.  As he started to walk with the hostess down towards us to be seated, our eyes met, and I believe he did recognize me.  He stopped, we shook hands, I introduced Mrs. snarkk (she knows who he is) and we all just talked for a couple of minutes about our day, and the wineries we’d seen.   He said he was headed for Arizona on Monday.  In the course of the conversation, he thrust out his hand with the 2012 WS ring to Mrs. snarkk, without being asked.  She took a look, yes, very big.  He is obviously proud of it.  Anyway, we didn’t keep them long, as they needed to be seated.

Later, after we had finished our meal, I went back to the men’s room, and after, I snuck a look around the corner to find Marty.  There he was with friend in a table along the wall in the rear room.  I swooped in for one last conversation, like a sated troll.  He was again amiable, and his friend conveniently decided to go to the bathroom, so Marty graciously asked me to sit.  We sat for 5 minutes or so, chewed the fat about not much, including his upcoming trip to Cabo with Giants fans.  Gave me his private card.  He did remember I was in the group with “Paul Kocak” (he volunteered), and I was impressed.  We didn’t get  too deep into the Giants, I must say.  Just about how they’ve got a lot of work to do in the offseason.   Entirely an enjoyable conversation.  I got the feeling that this dude could talk baseball endlessly, never get tired of it.  The guy is as nice in person as he sounds on the radio.

All in all, an enjoyable  and memorable birthday, with Giants highlights.  If you’re a Giants fan these days, you don’t have to look far around here for reminders of how popular they are.  In tasting rooms, or at the restaurant, you’ll find Giants fans… and Marty Lurie.

Alright.   You guys should be re-loaded by now.  Back to the pitching vs. hitting artillery.

In Vino Veritas, and Go Giants!…

The Race for the PC is in High Gear!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 5, 2013

I’m actually really looking forward to the A’s game tonight. Huh. I don’t think I’ve ever said those words before. Anyway, Sonny Gray vs Verlander is a match up I’d pay to watch. Of course, it’s free on tv so that won’t be happening. I’d really like to see David Price shove a box of the Colonel’s best fried chicken down Lackey’s throat–I don’t like that guy. If I were a betting man I’d take the under in both of those games…..

Regarding the PC, you’re on your own figuring out who’s in the lead. I can’t make sense of the mess I posted in the last thread. I’ll clean it up for sure for the NLCS and the ALCS.

ps– A-ROID is an idiot. There’s just no other way to put it….

The Race for the Free PC Forages On!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 3, 2013

Flavor Note: I didn’t have time to collate this in an orderly way. I cut and pasted what you sent me with some minor editing to make it more readable. The standings won’t need to get adjusted for a week or so. At some point, I’ll re-do this so it’s more readable.

WesFromRoseville!!!!!! : Give me the Cards in 4, Braves in 4, A’s in 5, and RedSox in 5

Rooster:  Dodgers in 4, Cardinals in 5, Red Sox in 5,Tigers in 4

WilcoJoe: Cards, Braves, Rays. and A’s all in 4.

Manny: Pitt in 5 games, Atl  in 5 games, Tampa in 5 games, Oakland in 5 games

Salty: Cards in 5, Dodgers 4, Boston 3,Detroit 4

Pawlie: Tampa Bay over Bos 3-2, Atl over LA 3-1, Pitts over Stl 3-1, Oak over Det 3-2

MacDog: I’m picking Pittsburgh in 4, Atlanta in 5, Boston in 4, Detroit in 5

SanDiggityDawg: Pirates in 4, Braves in 5, Rays in 3, A’s in 5

ChiPower: Cards in 5, Bums in 5, RedSox in 4, Tigers in 5

BirdDog:  St. Louis in 4,LA in 4,Boston in 5,Oakland in 4

Snarkk: Pittsburgh in 5, Atlanta in 5, Rays in 4, Oakland in 4

IrishKevin: Pitts in 5, Boston in 4, Braves in 5, Oakland in 5

Sidewinder: Pirates,dodgers, Rays, and the A’s (he didn’t give me # of games so he misses out on those points)

AllyKat; StLouis over Pittsburgh in 4, LA  over Atlanta in 5, Tampa Bay over Boston in 5, Oakland A’s over Detroit in 4

UncaChuck:  Pittsburgh in 5, Atlanta in 4, Oakland in 4, Red Sox in 4

BoxHead: Dodgers in 4, RedSox in 5,A’s in 4, Cards in 4

Blade: Pitt in 5, Atlanta in 4, Boston in 4, Oakland in 4

SportsDude: A’s in 6, Bosox in 5, St louis, Atlanta

DUNKIRKWANTSREVENGE40 (denny) dodgers in 5, cards in 3, red sox in 5, tigers in 3

Flavor: St Louis in 4, Atlanta in 5, Tampa Bay in 4, Oakland in 5


Race For the PC Heats Up!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 3, 2013

We’ve finally got some data to crunch and as we head into the division series championships, the standings look like this:


Salty: 2-0

UncaChuck: 2-0

Pawlie: 2-0

WilcoJoe: 2-0

Manny: 2-0

SportsDude: 2-0

Second Place….

Rooster: 1-1

Allykat: 1-1

Denny: 1-1

ChiPower: 1-1

Snarkk: 1-1

SanDawg: 1-1

MacDawg: 1-1

Sidewinder: 1-1

BirdDog: 1-1

IrishKevin: 1-1

WesFromRoseville!: 1-1

Flavor: 1-1


Blade: 0-2

BoxHead: 0-2



Please send me BOTH your NLDS and ALDS picks BEFORE the first NLDS Game 1 on Thursday. I want to release everyone’s NLDS/ALDS picks at the same time. ALSO INCLUDE THE NUMBER OF GAMES IN WHICH YOU ARE PREDICTING YOUR TEAM WILL WIN IN. Don’t forget to do this, you will earn an extra point if you nail that cold. So, to be clear, your email to me (and I’m gonna be like the Soup Nazi on this stuff) before the first game on Thursday will look *something* like this:

“Dear Flavor:

I’m picking Pittsburgh in 5, Atlanta in 3, Boston in 4, Oakland in 4

Sincerely, A Card Carrying Member of Flavor Nation (or, insert name here)”

That’s 8 points that are up for grabs in the division series games. So even Blade and Boxhead are still technically in this if they go off in a couple (or all) of those 4 series.

Important Note: I chased after a couple of you for your correct wild card picks because the play-in game was a little confusing and not part of this contest. But my *chasin’ days* are over. If you forget to send me a pick or forget to send in the number of games you think your pick will win in or you forget the number of games they are playing in the series, that’s all on you. I will accept emails CHANGING your picks as long as I receive the email before the first game on Thursday. But try not to do that, it’s annoying to manage.

Second Important Note: Do not send me your picks for the NLCS or the ALCS. Those games haven’t been determined yet. Look at the schedule I’ve posted above. Those are the only games you are to be sending me picks for in this current round.

Final Important Note: the upcoming division series’ are 5 games each. The NLCS and the ALCS are 7 games as is the World Series. And that’s the last time I say that.

Good luck to all!

By the way, this is a cool map of all the hits the blog has taken  over the last 2 months. As I predicted when I first started this blog, when the aliens finally land on earth they will be greeted with a sign that simply says: “Flavor Nation. All Are Welcome…Except Dodger Fans Who Need to Head to 4th Rock from Sun”.


Wild Card Picks Are In

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on October 1, 2013

I’m only human, if I imputed any of this incorrectly just re-send your email and I’ll change it. Good luck to all!

Salty: Pirates and Tampa

Rooster: Pirates and Cleveland

AllyKat: Reds and Tampa Bay

Denny: Reds and Tampa Bay

ChiPower: Pirates and Cleveland

Snarkk: Pirates and Cleveland

SanDawg: Pirates and Cleveland

Unca Chuck: Pirates and Tampa Bay

Pawlie: Pirates and tampa Bay

Blade: Reds and Cleveland

MacDog: Pirates and Cleveland

Wilcoe Joe: Pirates and Tampa Bay

BoxHead: Reds and Cleveland

Sidewinder: Pirates and Cleveland

Manny: Pirates and Tampa Bay

Bird Dog: Pirates and Cleveland

Irish Kevin: Pirates and Cleveland

WesFromRoseville: Pirates and Cleveland

SportsDude: Pirates and Tampa Bay

Flavor: Reds and Tampa Bay