A Place To Talk About Giants Baseball

Opening. Day. Finally.

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 31, 2014

Still can’t get enough of that meme I posted last night….

And opening day is finally, ultimately, upon us. I think the Dodgers just hit the all star break. Not sure, someone should check on that.

Predictions? A prediction thread used to be one of the most polarizing threads I would run each season. Now? Eh, not so much. Last year I think everyone took about 92 and look where that got us.

How many wins will the Giants have this year? I’ve come to realize that predicting wins for a season is ludicrous. The opening day line up is usually nothing like the line ups in August and especially September. If you don’t know who’s going to be playing for the team in August and September how can you rationally predict a win total for the year?

While I’d like to go contrarian and say 75, I just can’t bring myself to do that— not with the potential of this current team. They are one or two injuries away from 75 wins, make no mistake about it. And no one gives up quite as easily as “Bad Penny” Sabes. Last year, I think he waved the white flag in June. But I digress…….

Here’s the bottom line reason why I can’t go with 90+ wins for the Giants this year (even assuming good luck with good health all year): The NL West is rock solid from top to bottom. And while we did have the best record last season against fellow NL West opponents, all the teams in the division have improved themselves over last year. We don’t have anyone to “Astro-slap” along the way this year. No breaks. No one to pad our stats against. I just think this year is going to be a grind in our division. Not to mention that, on paper, the Dodgers are probably the best team in the National League.

So I’m gonna go with my old faithful “88” and hope for the best.


anyone want to guess the collective IQ of the 2 chicks in the bottom left of this pic? 180+/-?





Almost. Here.

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 30, 2014

I have something exciting and brand new to tell you all:

The Dodgers are playing a regular season baseball game today….

I’m half thinking that we could be 18 games out of first place before we play our first game. Whose idea was it to have one baseball team play 3 games before 27 teams have played one?

And they’re playing the Padres?  Because as we all know, Padre fans span the globe. Just from a national ratings perspective, this game makes no sense. ESPN has programmed me to expect Yankee/Red Sox games over and over until time stops.

If I told you that Madison Bumgarner went on the DL yesterday and Bochy had to hold a closed door team meeting to “clear the air” about Brandon Belt’s affect and impact on team chemistry, how bummed would you be?

I’d be “Dodger bummed.”



and for the pm crowd….


A’s Dominate

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 29, 2014

The Giants are really wielding some big wood right now, eh? One run in 2 games? Pav at the Merc had a great line: “the hardest hit the Giants have had (in this series) was off Lincecum’s knee.”

Luckily, we have a high tolerance for putrid, impotent hitting (having put up with it all last season).

One of the new not-so-subtleties that we will be treated to at ATT this season is the “Yahooooo!” noise every time a Giants hitter blasts a home run. Who decided that this was a good idea?

I just wanna get this season started already……

Displaying Some Blue But Rocking The Orange and Black

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 28, 2014

This is one of my favorite people in the world. She grew up in LA. Tommy Lasorda went to her wedding. She married a Giants fan. She is battling Leukemia. And she is at AT&T tonight. Two Flaps up for “Smackers”. I love you, Krista.


Good Times

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 27, 2014

Yesterday was quite the day for Giants fans and Stanford Cardinal fans. Kershaw gets an MRI on his back and is scheduled to miss his next start. Then Donnie Two Trips has to hold a “clear the air” closed door team meeting about Puig. How rad is that? They are already holding “clear the air” meetings and the season hasn’t even started yet.

Then I get home to watch Cal get bounced out of the joke NIT on a buzzer beater.

And tonight I get to watch my Cardinal with the possibility of beating Dayton and making it to the Elite 8. Stanford isn’t very good this year, this run they’re on is fueled by good luck and sketchy opponents. I will say they would have destroyed the NIT and marched to an easy victory in that bullshit—if they would have even accepted the invitation.

My mind is blowing sideways at the possibility of 3 Pac 12 teams making it into the Elite 8.


They open in 10 minutes….



Second Base, We Have A Problem

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 26, 2014

If you ever believed that Marco Scutaro would be playing on opening day, you probably also believe some of the bs coming out of Malaysia about Flight #370. Scoots playing was just never going to happen. And I think he’s done everything he could do to get ready to play. Sometimes, the body just won’t respond. So we turn our collective Giant eye towards J-Arias who will likely be the starting 2nd baseman on Opening Day. I don’t have a big problem with this, I like Arias, I can still see him with my mind’s eye set his body like a rock and heave a mighty strike across the diamond to save Cain’s perfecto.

But this does weaken our bench substantially.

Brandon Hicks is a name we haven’t talked about too much but he’s likely going to make the team as a utility player. Who is Brandon Hicks? Drink a cup of coffee or two while you read the rest of this paragraph. He’s a 28 year old who crafted his trade at Texas A&M. He was drafted by the Braves in the 3rd round of the 2007 Amateur Draft. He was waived and picked up by the A’s in 2012. The Mets bought him from Oakland 6 months later and he was released by them a year later. We signed him last November. He is not on the 40 man roster.

His most recent mlb experience was with the A’s in 2012 where he got 70 plate appearances, hit 3 bombs with a .172 batting average. His minor league career has been far more decorated, at least in comparison. In 7 minor league seasons, he hit 91 bombs, swiped 69 bags and hit an underwhelming .247. Pfffftttt…..

Personally, for me, I’d rather see Kevin Frandsen take his spot.


Time For a Zito-vention…….

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 25, 2014

What if the Giants ‘zitoed Voggy? Remember that slick move? You suck so badly in spring training that you have to stay behind while all your teammates break camp and head for SF. It worked in 2012. Remember when Zit’s came into camp crouching his way through his starts? That lasted about 2 weeks. They kept him in Arizona to continue to work on mechanical flaws. I was certain he was done.

And then he showed up in Colorado for his first start of the year and, naturally, through a complete game shut out.

The Giants could do the same thing with the underperforming Vogelsong. I don’t think it would help him the same way Zito benefited, but I’d rather see a guy like Petit go out there and take his lumps against the Dodgers than Voggy. If Vogelsong goes out there and gets lit up again, that could be the final straw. No more blow jobs from Nicole. Gnashed teeth scattered randomly around the mound. It could literally be the end of him.


Scott Baker just got released by the Mariners. He didn’t have a great spring but it was better than Voggy’s. And he’s got the built in excuse of shaking off some rust having not pitched for a year. He could be a nice stop gap while we figure out what to do with our Numero Cinco.


B-Ad Said it Best

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 24, 2014

Driving home this evening, they coulda sworn they had it all worked out…

That’s what Dan Runzler, George Kontos and Heath Hembree were thinking to themselves the night before they got sent back down to Fresno.

Boch had those boys believing, beyond a shadow of a doubt….

Then they heard it on the street…..

Sometimes being a major league baseball player just cuts like a knife.

Maybe Runzler just needs to change his name to *Strikezler” or something like that?

It sounds like there are some “organizational reasons” that are keeping those three players off the roster to start the season. I like all three, I hope they get called up quickly.

Tough Cuts, A Gold Comment and a BBOTD Update

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 21, 2014

Rough day for fan favorites. Mark Minicozzi and Brett Bochy got the ax today. Five other guys got the boot too, but after those two I didn’t feel like seeing who the rest were. It’s been long enough of a day, as is.

Minicozzi’s story is epic and he hit a bomb in his first at bat of the Spring. But he dialed it way back down after that hitting .194 for the Spring. The scribes like to follow how Bruce Bochy cuts his son every year. Last year, he lowered the boom over dinner. This year he kicked him to the curb over breakfast. So naturally there was this GOLD comment from Baggarly:


And that’s about it for today. Hope your brackets are still breathing. I did 2 of them, failing pretty bad in the Billion, holding a very solid 3rd (out of 48) in my work pool. And outside of slapping another BBOTD up there, it’s just one more day we can X off the calendar till we hit March 31st.

Bring it.

Midnight Madness! Midnight Baseball!

Posted in Uncategorized by zumiee on March 21, 2014

An hour past midnight, anyway, tonight (Pacific Time.) Thus starts the 2014 season. In Sydney, Australia. In a cricket stadium. And speaking of cricket, has there ever been a sport more impenetrable to those unfamiliar with it? What are those people DOING?!! Just trying to read a wikipedia article about the sport made me weep for mercy.


A baseball diamond has now been carved into the grass, and there looks to be about 9 miles of foul territory for Kershaw to work with. Although, the word is that the ball carries very well in the….ballpark. Yeah, let’s call it a ballpark. Cricket uses a ball, too. That part I understood from the wikipedia article.


No less an authority than Dee Gordon was quoted by ESPN as saying there’s going to be a lot of homeruns hit in the two games. Who knows more about hitting homeruns than DEE GORDON?!! Here’s the dimensions of the outfield according to ESPN: “328 feet down the line, with the power alleys at 370 feet and straight center field at 400.” Game time temperature is expected to be 84 degrees, with a slight breeze blowing toward the outfield. How about Goldschmidt hits 6 homeruns in the 2-game series, and the D-Backs put the Dodgers in an early 0-2 hole to start the season; thus putting the Dodgers in a “sticky wicket,” like I know what that means. I’m assuming that means something bad.

SF Giants Blogs Weigh in on the Most Important Questions (Maybe of All Time)

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 20, 2014

Well, maybe not *of all time*.

A few days ago, I told you guys about the Cardinal blogger (Daniel Shoptow) who was putting together a Q/A thread for other Giants blog writers. Here is the link to it with 3 other Giant blog writers giving their *esteemed* opinions.


Surprisingly, three of us agreed about Zito.

I don’t read very many blogs that aren’t my own. It was nice to read a snippet of what other Giants fans are writing about, or at least experience a slice of the non-Flap world (like one even exists, right?) 🙂 All things considered, it sounded a lot like what we say around here.

But for me, it’s all about Flavor Nation.

Let’s fire this be-atch up and get the season started already.


I’m not sure when this pic was taken, he only looks about 14 or so,  but I thought it was time we gave ourselves an updated vision of what Darren Baker looks like now—last time I saw him, JT was scooping him up at home plate. Anyone got a better one?


Figuring Out the Cause of all of These TJ’s

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 19, 2014

Listened to a very interesting Kruk segment on KNBR this morning about his take on what is causing all of these elbow injuries to pitchers. I had always attributed it to young pitchers playing year round and never giving their arm a break. Slowly, attrition on the elbow is inevitable.

But Krukow offered a different explanation that seemed quite plausible. He said that when he was a kid, pitchers threw like 2 pitches— fastball and curveball. Bruce Sutter (Kruk’s name, I’m sure it was someone else)  introduced the split finger fastball and that pitch became quite popular. And Greg Maddux, among others, popularized the change up and cutter.

Kruk said that all of these new pitches, over the years, are responsible for too much stress on the elbow region because the pitcher has to speed up their arm speed to properly throw them.

Anyway, it made sense to me. And if that’s truly the cause, I’m not sure there’s a way to fix this unless they stop throwing the pitches. Right?


On another note, if you are supportive of Bryan Stow, check out how this tragedy has affected Tim Flannery. Powerful 5 minute video. “Live Riveted”. It’s great advice.

Batting Second……

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 17, 2014

In a shocking development, Marco Scutaro is going to play in a game today. This, despite having not faced live pitching yet. I’m assuming Scoots is gonna take his at bats with his bat firmly attached to his right shoulder.

I think it’s clear that this is a back that cannot be fixed enough for him to be an everyday major league baseball player. I doubt he’ll even be able to tolerate the pain enough to play even as a utility guy. When you can’t get out of bed or you can’t walk in the morning, that’s a pretty good sign that you’re done. And Scoots and his medicos had all off season to figure this out and they are no closer to fixing his back than they were when he started.

But I admire the hell out of his effort to try to play through this thing.

just a great pic:


Question and Answer Time

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 15, 2014

I did this last year, and I’m doing it again this year. Daniel Shoptaw writes a blog for the Cardinals  (www.cardsconclave.com)  and I have put my feelings aside about the Cardinals to write a thread answering 6 questions. I don’t know Daniel personally but he’s featured in Pawlie’s book “Baseball’s Starry Night”. I met Daniel through the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and we connected those dots from there. His upcoming segment is called  “Playing Pepper” and he asks different blog owners from different teams to answer specific questions about the off season and the season ahead. Here goes:

1) How would you grade the off season?

answer: I grade it a B. I love the Huddy signing and Morse is a low cost answer to the black hole we call left field. Locking up Pence early was brilliant as it turned out he would have gotten significantly more had he tested the market. People scoffed at the dough thrown at Timmy but it was only 2 years and I expect him to have a very good year. I would have liked to have seen them sign a “Kelly Johnson” because he’s affordable and the one thing the Giants can’t afford to do is suffer injuries and have to turn to the farm system for long term help. It is not there.

2) How strange (and perhaps liberating) will it be to not see Barry Zito on the roster this year?

answer: I won’t miss Barry pitching for us, it was often disastrous. But I will always hold Barry Zito  in the highest esteem for what he did in Game 5 vs the Cardinals in the 2012 playoffs. They do not win the 2012 World Series without Zito pitching in Game 5 of the NLCS. And his final game as a Giant will go down in history, for me, as one of the most emotional single “walk off the mound” moments in Giants history.

this is far from the best video of that moment, but considering how much he was hated for so many years, this send off is most awesome. These fans “get it”. Somebody else might be able to find a better video of the moment. It’s barely addressed anywhere but this is Mark Kotsay’s final at bat as a big leaguer too, and I can’t say enough about Kotsay’s character to take this strike out for his old buddy.

3) What roster battle will be the most intriguing during spring training? (he sent me this a while ago, I apologize for just getting to it now)

answer: Marco Scutaro’s battle vs his own back. I said back in Feb 2011 that Freddy Sanchez would never play again and people laughed at me. I do think Marco will play this year but he’s utility material at best. I’d take The Wonger from the Cardinals in a nano-second. Or even Mark Ellis.

4) What rookie, if any, will have the most impact on the team in 2014?

answer: Probably Adrianza just because he’s out of options and might fall into the 2nd base gig as Scoot continues to battle his back.

5) What will be the final record of the team and where will they finish?

answer: total homer call here, we have to stay healthy across the board, but I am predicting the Giants win 92 and the division. I’ve nailed too many other final win totals cold over the years, I’m allowed to take a flier like this now and again. 🙂

6) Which player from your team do you most enjoy watching?

answer: The Pagan Salute. If he’s saluting at second base, we’re winning and that’s all this Giants fan cares about…….

Hoping no one ties or breaks that record!

Posted in Uncategorized by zumiee on March 15, 2014

We fans can feel protective of certain sports records. The record I have the most concern about is Joe Montana’s 4-0 record in Super Bowls, in which he also threw a total of ZERO interceptions. Terry Bradshaw shares the 4-0 record, and I really dig how exclusive that club is. As a 49er fan, I get nervous about barbarians approaching the gate on that one, though. Tom Brady is 3-2 in Super Bowl wins. I do NOT want Brady becoming part of the same conversation with Joe Montana. But Brady has a few good years left in him, so…..every season is a kind of gauntlet to be traveled. Especially considering the patty-cake division that Brady plays in. He’s guaranteed a pretty easy playoff spot every year. Fortunately Peyton Manning is a long way from the conversation. The only positive thing about that last Super Bowl was the door slamming shut on Peyton’s chance to enter the conversation. Whenever talk starts about greatest quarterbacks of all time. Montana and Bradshaw’s 4-0 stands alone, pure and dynamic, a beacon of greatness, a kind of north-star of coolness.

But what about baseball? What record do I care about THAT much in baseball? It’ hard for me to think of one, and I’ve given it some thought. None of Barry Bonds’ records mean that much to me anymore. They’re nice memories, but those memories are now tainted, for me. I literally don’t care if any of Barry’s records are broken. Maybe I would feel differently if the 2002 team had won a championship. That would have given me more emotional attachment to Barry’s records.

A baseball record I would not like to see broken is Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak. It’s a really cool record,  and the monument of his legend. He won the World Series 9 times, but it’s the 56-game hitting streak that takes his legend to the stratosphere. But it’s a record that no one needs to feel nervous about. It’s a record that will never be broken. So….I would say the record I care most about isn’t really a “record” in that sense. It’s simply: World Series Championships, Giants 7, Dodgers 6. As a Giants fan, that gives me enormous satisfaction. The Dodgers have made moves to get back to the World Series, and it will happen at some point again in human history. But for now, Giants 7 Dodgers 6. Beautiful.

And here’s to that amazing hitting streak again. Here’s a great book about it:


Those 1971 Giants; my first Giants team

Posted in Uncategorized by zumiee on March 13, 2014

In 1987, Don McMahon was pitching batting practice to the L.A. Dodgers, and collapsed with a heart attack and passed away. And we lost Bobby Bonds in 2003 and Dick Dietz in 2005. That’s the sad part of the story.

I was curious about the current whereabouts of the ’71 team; the team that created a Giants fan out of me. My relatively quick and unimpressive research also shows that Tito Fuentes is a Spanish language broadcaster for the Giants, as he has been for years; Chris Speier is some kind of special assistant for the Reds; Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, and Juan Marichal rule the world as baseball royalty; Gaylord Perry rules his own particular world of retirement somewhere in North Carolina; Alan Gallagher and Hal Lanier may or may not still be managing obscure independent minor league teams in towns only slightly bigger than Bodie, Calif.; Ken Henderson is retired in Pennsylvania, or not.

Obviously there were other players on the team, but these are the guys from the ’71 team that stick in my mind. It was only last season, as I was walking along that really cool walk-of-history on the McCovey statue side of the Cove, which has plaques with the starting lineups from the first game of each SF Giants season, that I was reminded that Hal Lanier started at shortstop that first day of the season, and Speier took over later at some point.

But as much as anything, it was Lon Simmon’s play-by-play that drew me in. Who knows- if the awful Monte Moore hadn’t been the A’s broadcaster, there’s a chance I could have ended up an A’s fan. Certainly the A’s were winning more in those days. But Lon had it just right. He was obviously awesome, and the world of Giants baseball enveloped me that summer. Lon’s call for a Giants’ homerun, on paper, doesn’t sound like much: “You can TELL it goodbye!” But it was the hoarse crackle in his voice or something. He made it dramatic and memorable.

Of course, that season ultimately ended in disappointment, and we had no way of knowing that the Giants wouldn’t make the playoffs again until SIXTEEN years later. But I now had a shared history with the Giants. I had been through a lot with them in that ’71 season. So, here’s to the ’71 team. Not a World Series winner, unfortunately; but still a pretty cool team in my mind. And now that the SF Giants won rings in 2010 and 2012, I can thank the ’71 team for helping to set the stage.


Minor League Plate Appearances – And I Don’t Mean Doubling Back To The Spread

Posted in Uncategorized by snarkk on March 12, 2014

I cogitated about BF’s thread the other day about how many draftees make it to the Bigs; then got an idea about my “at bats” blather.  We all know Will Clark played in only a small number of minor league games and then came up and hit that dinger off Nolan Ryan in Houston, and the rest is history.  Obviously, the Thrill was an outlier talent.  But, is there any magic to minor league stints; a basic, empirical rule about the number of minor league ABs a kid needs before he has a shot to stick in the Big Leagues?

To wrap my arms around this a little, I reviewed some data on plate appearances (PAs) to make things easy for comparative purposes. (PAs = ABs + BBs, sac bunts & flies, etc.)  First, surprise — I looked at some Giants.  Willie Mays had 470 PAs in the minors (only 164 at AAA Minneapolis) with an OPS of 1.017.  Add that to PAs with the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro Leagues (not sure really how many, it’s likely at least a few hundred since he played with them over several seasons), and Willie had a pretty fast track to the Bigs, getting there at 20.  Stretch started out in D ball (rookie league) as a 17 year old, and surprisingly had a total of nearly 6 seasons and 2457 PAs in the minors, with 1073 at AAA Phoenix over 3 seasons there.  If you remember, he actually got sent back down to Phoenix after coming up the first time – looks like that was a good idea, because he never went down again after he came up the second time.  As a big guy, looks like it took a while to groove that swing, but once he did, he grooved it all the way to the HOF.

Jack Clark, IMO a very good player, not a star, had what I’d call a traditional, stepped rise through the minors.  Starting at 17, he spent time in the rookie league, then one full season each (over 500 PAs) at A, AA, and AAA ball, with a total of 1902 PAs in the minors.  Bobby Bonds, beginning at age 19, had just under 1900 PAs in the minors, with 714 PAs at AA and less than a full season at AAA Phoenix before he got called up at age 23.  Jimmy Davenport had 1641 minor league PAs, with 581 at AAA Minneapolis, coming up to the Big Club at age 23.  The Thrill played in all of 71 games in the minors before getting called up at age 22 – with 289 PAs in 65 games at A ball Fresno, and just 6 games at AAA Phoenix for a total of a meager 313 minor league PAs.  Let’s just say his outsized talent met fate in a horrible SF Giants team badly in need of that talent.  He had at least two full seasons at Mississippi State (one as the Golden Spikes winner), so I’d throw in at least another 600+ college PAs to that pro total (couldn’t find actual MSU stats). And, Matt Williams had 1178 minor league PAs before sticking with the Big Club at 23.  You’ll remember they brought him up and down several times to SF from AAA until Matt finally figured out how to hit AND lay off the curve ball.

Derek Jeter started in the minors at 18, had 2009 minor league PAs, with 558 or so at the AAA level, coming up to the Bigs at age 21.  Freddy Sanchez stuck in the Bigs at age 26 with the Bucs in 2005, after around 1700 minor league PAs and some prior cups of coffee with the Big Bucs.  Freddy spent 4 years in JC and NAIA ball, so he probably had around 1000 college PAs before he hit the minors – making Freddy kind of an outlier guy who made it late to the Bigs, but turned into a batting champ and had a nice, though fairly short career, with a Giants ring.  Freddie Freeman, he of the new, big fat contract with the Braves, came up to the Bigs at age 21 after 4 seasons in the minors and 1771 minor league PAs. 


A / A+



Total Minor League PAs

Age to  Bigs













J. Clark






Bobby Bonds




< 1900


J. Davenport






The Thrill






Matt Williams


















F. Freeman


469 (incl. A+) 






644 (incl. A+)
















Gary Brown





Not yet







Our buddy Brandon Belt when first called up in 2011 had just under 600 total minor league PAs, with only 61 at the AAA level and a half season at AA.  IMO (and JT Snow’s) he was up way too early, but with Huff unpuffing, SF rolled the dice.  Sent back down to Fresno, Belt had 212 more PAs there, for an overall total of 825 minor league PAs before he came up to stay.  Now he’s got 1252 MLB PAs heading into this ST, so when he started to go nuts hitting the ball last mid-season, he was around 1800 total pro PAs.  He had about 475 ABs at Univ of Texas before he got drafted by SF.  Panda had 1899 PAs in the minors before sticking in SF, with just 184 at AA, nothing at AAA Fresno.  Mike Trout of the Angels, maybe the best all around player now, had just 1312 PAs in the minors after starting at 17, and up to the BigA just before hitting 20. 

All the above guys don’t seem to show too much in common in terms of PAs history, other than it looks like having a good stint at AAA is critical to batting success in the Bigs for most players.  Good ol’ boy Charlie Manuel said something I think is to the point, when he talked about a struggling player in the Bigs that was brought up without much time at AAA:  “That played a big part in him struggling the past couple of years,” Manuel said. “You miss Triple A, you miss seeing good breaking stuff from 28-, 29-year-old pitchers. Breaking stuff with control.”  http://articles.philly.com/2013-05-31/sports/39631521_1_cesar-hernandez-charlie-manuel-chase-utley

So, my take here is that NO, there is no hard and fast rule about how much time you need to spend in the minors to stick in the Bigs.  Depends on talent, and stardust.  But, unless you’ve got a natural Nuschler or you’re Willie Mays or Trout or another phenom, you probably should get AT LEAST 1500 overall PAs in the minors for a chance of success in the Bigs.  Of that, you better get at least 600 to 700 PAs at the AA and / or AAA level.  That gives you facetime with enough tough pitching to have a shot at not getting smoked by big league arms.  So, a full season each in AA and AAA each is going to serve you real well.  How college or JC PAs translate into minor league PAs, I don’t know.  Maybe one college PA is worth .50 of a pro PA.  Depends a lot on the quality of the league you’re in at college, and the quality of your college instruction, which can vary a ton.

BTW, Gary Brown (age 25) has 1910 total minor league PAs coming into this ST.  That’s after an All-American stint at Cal State Fullerton.  Likewise, Kieschnick (age 27) has 1995 minor league PAs, including over 700 PAs at each of AAA and AA, with a career minor league OPS at .816 (after a stint playing at Texas Tech).  At the similar minor league PA point in Bobby Bonds’ and Jack Clark’s careers, they were already up to stay with the Big Club, and they came straight outta high school.  Kieschick’s minor league career shows that there’s nothing like MLB pitching to humble you, even if you’ve done pretty well in the minors. And, if the Brown hitting light bulb doesn’t go off soon at Fresno, the PA prediction machine says unless he channels Freddy Sanchez, he’s got a snowball’s chance of making it in the Bigs…

Angling for Bask

Posted in Uncategorized by pawliekokonuts on March 11, 2014

The point of spring training, or spring break, for that matter, is: hope springs eternal. (With spring break, the hope is that one’s sprong sproings eternal.) Hope springs eternal. That means whether you are a Cubs fan, Astros fan, Yankees, Red Sox, or — wait for it — Giants fan, you indulge in hope. You go for the lie. You fall for the bait, the lure. You believe in the shiny bauble that says, “We can win it all.” You’re angling for bask. The ironic thing is, to be honest, I sort of gave up that sort of childish hope years, decades, ago. Sure, sure, we could win it all. But did I really believe that in the spring, in March? Unlikely. And then, when IT happened, TWICE, it was still an infinitely sweet surprise. The double bask made me a believer in this sense: the God (or Goddess) of Surprise still has some tricks up his (her) toga. It could happen again. Despite all odds. It could. Hope springs temporal.

Spring Boring

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 10, 2014

I admit it, I am one of the weirdos. I like the clock switching twice a year. I live in California, we really don’t have seasonal change. An hour forward or an hour back? That’s as good as it gets out here when it comes to change. Plus, I’m awfully good at remembering “spring forward, fall back” so I’m never in danger of being 2 hours off the pace of society. That shit counts when you’re walking the earth with other people.

I read something today that said there is an uptick in heart attacks on the two days a year we have a time switch. To that I say, “So long, old friend.” If the time change sends you into cardiac arrest, you are either a hampster or someone that was gonna get picked off sooner or later anyway. Might as well be the clock changing that takes you out…..

What I don’t like is spring training. I enjoy hearing Jon Miller’s voice the first time I happen to catch a game in early March, but that novelty wears off in about 5 minutes. There is NO REASON for 7 weeks of spring training. Sure, back when ballplayers had to work second jobs it was a necessary thing, you needed 7 weeks to get back in shape. But today’s ballplayer comes to camp with ass cheeks tighter than a giant rubber ball band. They’re good to go on day 1. The pitchers need a few weeks to get their arms going but they don’t need seven weeks.

There is one, single reason that spring training continues to be 7 weeks: money. Everyone makes a shitload of money. If they could pull it off, owners would make spring training 30 weeks. Seven weeks is nearly a third of the regular season. Think about that…..

I could care less about spring training. I’ve got twitter to update me on injuries and that’s the only thing I care about when it comes to spring training. Wake me up when the games start to count……


Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 8, 2014

And they did that without Robinson Cano. I think this one was on tv, I’m glad I missed it. Between Romo, Petit and Voggy I’m not sure who’s sucking worse. I know it’s spring training but I’d prefer that my closer not get lit up like a Christmas Tree every time he takes the mound. I know he’s not throwing sliders but has anyone asked WHY he isn’t throwing sliders? I hope the answer isn’t ominous….

Chi picked a hell of a game to catch today, eh? I’m sure all the beers, dogs and rays got him through this forgettable game…….

No Morse and Pence tomorrow. Morse has a tight calf and Hunter hurt his elbow swinging. Both are expected to be fine in a couple of days…….


Quick Scutaro thought: you know, the dude wasn’t a starter for the first 5 or so years he was in the majors, he was a utility guy. Just cause he’s making some dough doesn’t mean he HAS to be a starter. Heck, Andris Biedrens is making 9 million dollars this year, he’s been healthy since middle of December and he still hasn’t played a minute for the Jazz–and the Jazz stink.

Obviously, you have to have something better than what Scoots could give you but maybe playing a couple of days a week against lefties and pinch hitting is how he could best serve the team this year.

How Hard is it to Ever Play in the Major Leagues?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 6, 2014

Among others, Joe Panik, Gary Brown and Angel Villalona just got sent down. I was a little surprised that they didn’t give Panik more of a look but when you think about the Giants and their near utter failure to develop mlb position players, it’s not that surprising. Brown is a complete lost pick and Villalona is never, EVER going to do anything other than be famous for beating a murder rap back home. His bat is slow, so is he, it’s anybody’s guess why they still have this dude on the 40 man roster…..

The Giants pathetic position player development got me to wondering about the league averages with all teams and how often a player drafted, who signs, makes it to the big leagues at some point in their career.

According to  a Bleacher Report article I read (huge, huge disclaimer being thrown out there since this is the extent of my research for this thread), 66% of first round draft picks make the major leagues at some point. That number isn’t a surprise one way or the other. Maybe sounded a little high to me.

Second round draftees reach mlb 49% of the time.

There’s a significant dropping point for rounds 3-5 with only 32% of those players ever making The Show.

Rounds 6-10 see 20%.

Rounds 11-20 is 11%.

The chances of a player reaching the majors from round 21 onward is a dismal 7%.

Just taking a look at the Giants drafts since 2006 when they started actually giving a shit about the draft, I’m not sure if our numbers line up with the major league averages. I don’t feel like sorting out the non-signings from the 50 picks drafted to figure out the % of players who have made it to the big leagues. But here is some preliminary research. If you want to dig deeper, go for it. Keep in mind, the draft was always 50 rounds until the new collective bargaining agreement and now the draft is 40 rounds.

In 2005 they didn’t have a draft pick till round 3 when they took the (low)esteemed Benjamin Copeland. That was the same draft they took Minicozzi in the 17th round. Sergio Romo got drafted 28. Thomas Neal was 36 but I don’t think he has ever appeared in the major leagues. That’s it for 50 rounds.

In 2006 they started off with a bang nabbing Timmy. Burriss was 2, Rohlinger and Pill  went 6/7.  Bigcock 9. Nobody else out of their 50 picks, at least in my quick scan of the list, has made it to The Show (yet).

In 2007, we again started off with a winner (MadBum). Tim Alderson was next but while we did flip him for Freddy Sanchez he’s never thrown a pitch in the major leagues. Noonan and Culberson went next and while they are worthless, they still count as “mlb hits” of players who have made it to the big leagues. Runzler was 9, Edelfsen was 16, Otero was 21. Jonny Monell went 30. Nuthin’ else.

In 2008, we drafted G-Dizzle (Posey), followed by Gillespe, Kieshnick and Crawford. That’s a pretty solid first 4 if you’re just talking about guys to make the major leagues. And Surkamp was 6. Juan Perez was 13. Nobody else though.

I’ll look at 2009 last since drafts after that are filled with lots of guys who are still developing now. Zach Wheeler went #1. Tommy Joseph 2 (he hasn’t made it I don’t think but we did trade him for Pence). Belt 5. So far, nobody else.

I know I said I was done, but 2010 was Gary Brown in the first round. I suspect he’s going to be minor league roster filler forever and that sucks since he was a first round pick. Hembree was 5.

2011 was Panik who sucks but they followed that up with Crick who is the best prospect in our system.

2012 was Chris Stratton and I haven’t checked recently but is he even pitching?

2013 was Christian Arroyo and Ryder Jones, two dudes we won’t know about for 3+ years…….

Hey, the mlb draft is kinda a crapshoot, we all know that. Still, when given 50 picks, we have proven nearly incompetent (especiually at hitting on position players). From 2006 through 2009 we had 200 draft picks (not sure how many didn’t sign). And the *hits* listed above are few and far between……


and now for something fun. Here’s what Timmy looked like today. Must have a gay porn set to hit after the game. I kid, I kid….




A side note— I’ve been preoccupied with some other stuff this Winter, life shit, normally the BBOTD and the BBOTD-POTD is one of my primary focused points in the winter solstice. Secretly, for me, it’s my favorite part of the blog—off season. I dropped the ball this year a little bit but I promise to double up next year. I re-set the last chick to the new chick tonight. And to make up for my slackardness, I might just keep this widget going all year. We’ll see, it’ll depend mostly on all of your rad captions. But Snarkk, Unca, Pawlie, DJ Loo, Dirt, Bozo, MacDog, WillieD, E-wisco, Chi, Zummie, and whoever else I’ve missed….you guys produce more gold in a BBOTD caption than is produced in an entire year at any place that, you know, *produces gold*.

Keep that golden shit coming…….

Chugging Through Spring Training

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 6, 2014

I haven’t checked the spring stats yet. That’s by design, I don’t want to get too jazzed up one way or the other about anyone. I did hear on the radio that Minicozzi’s batting average dropped to .556 after he *only* had 2 hits yesterday.

Freddy Sanch….I mean, “Marco Scutaro” has had his timeline pushed back again. He won’t be playing this weekend. The Giants say this is all part of their plan for him. Yeah, right.

Our good friend ChiPower is representing the Flap in Arizona this weekend and I’m hoping he sends us lots of pics of all our favorites!


Minicozzi is Back From Nicaragua

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 4, 2014

By now, most Giants fans (not in Vietnam) have heard about Mark Minicozzi and his improbable return back to, well, baseball in the United States. I wanted to see how he fared in the Nicaraguan Professional League and I’m not sure if I found the right league though I can’t imagine there are too many professional leagues in Nicaragua. The original NPL shut down in ’67 but was re-opened in 2004.

Finding their stats are on the internet isn’t an easy thing to do. Minicozzi didn’t dominant any of the obvious offensive stats. Someone named Yurendel de Caster hit .416 in 2012/2013 stamping himself as the “Ted Williams” of the NPL. He also won the triple crown that year blasting 13 bombs and 56 ribbies….

But enough about Yurendel de Caster…..

I’m sure the Minicozzi story is more of a big deal to Minicozzi and his friends and family than to anyone else. It’s a fun story to follow. He makes Voggy’s path back to the majors look like Will Clark’s fast track to the bigs back in 1986. But he will provide some nice, necessary minor league depth and he’s probably fine with that. Wait till he gets to meet Bonds. Imagine how blown his mind will be during that encounter……

Barry Bonds is Coming Home

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 2, 2014

Barry’s coming back next week. Does that do anything for ya? Who knows, maybe he can say something in a way Muelens can’t. It’s always hot or miss with the mortals trying to glean something from the gods. Since it’s almost inconceivable that Bonds would come back and start being a dick to everyone, I see this as nothing but a good thing. He wants to get back into the game in some capacity, he will HAVE to turn on “good Barry” and keep him turned on 24/7.

He might really be able to help a hitter like Brandon Crawford….

I’m not sure what he can do for Scutaro who not only hasn’t played in a game yet, he hasn’t even swung a bat yet this Spring. I hope the private discussions about 2nd base are long and focused at the highest levels of Giants management…..