THE San Francisco Giants Blog

Jean Machi is The Boss

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on June 16, 2014

Do middle relievers ever get Cy Young votes? Holds are about the dumbest stat out there so I’m assuming they don’t. But Jean Machi is quietly putting together a set up pitcher’s dream season.

He’s given up 1 earned run in 31 innings this year. His ERA is a microscopic 0.29. But check out his ERA+. That’s his ERA adjusted to the ballpark. Average is 100. His is 1180. I decided to compare that to some of the great relievers of the past.

The Eck: His best ERA+ was 603.

Mariano: His best ERA+ was 316.

Bee Idiot: His best ERA+ was last year (562) but he only pitched 13 innings. His previous high was 2010 when he checked in with 217.

Greg Minton: His best ERA+ came in 1979 with 196.

I could do this all day and not find anyone with 31 innings who hold an 1180 ERA+.

That’s just incredible.

He has a 95% LOB rate. What? How could that be?

There are other stats that say he’s not having one of the greatest reliever seasons of all time. And he’s 32, I get it. But still, if the bullpen continues to waiver, it’s nice to know that Jean Machi is having a career year to calm the waters……


San Dawg had Gwynn sign this for his son many years ago. By the way San Diggity, I really enjoyed your post about Gwynn in the comment section of this thread.



122 Responses

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  1. blade3colorado said, on June 16, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Barbara Billingsley will have season-ending surgery next week to repair a partially torn flexor tendon in his right elbow. This coming after his TJ surgery. All that money down the rabbit hole. HAHAHA. The Dodgers signed Billingsley to a three-year, $35 million contract extension in March 2011. They have a $14 million option for next season with a $3 million buyout.

  2. Flavor said, on June 16, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Our old buddy Edd, who doesn’t really post much anymore, wrote a thoughtful post on Facebook today. I didn’t ask him permission to re-post it. If he’s not cool with it, I’ll take it down.
    Here it is:
    “I don’t pay much attention to wars. I don’t like them – they harsh my mellow. It is uncomfortable to see masses of ordinary people, most likely people just like me, fleeting for their lives and losing basic human dignities like food and a place to sleep safely. It all seems so backwards to me in a world where modern life has the ability to provide for all people everywhere education, food, shelter and comfort. I have enjoyed those things and I want others to have them, too.
    Jesus said: ‘Ye will always have the poor among you” and I imagine it could have been ‘conflict’ and several other aspects of human life. This fact is a great opportunity for charity, benevolence, and acceptance; building bridges and mending fences. War is a tactic, a temporary option. That is why it goes on and on. It starts because of money and religion. Then ordinary families suffer.
    But I have my own problems. The traffic to and from work; the neighbours dog that barks too much, the San Francisco Giants lost another game (and that really sucks). My local reality takes up a lot of my time. I will _speak_ of injustice and war. I will have faith. And sometimes I will cry. Life does go on.
    I know the crusades started over 900 years ago and lasted 200 years. If I had lived then I probably would have joined them. I have no idea why Muslims in Africa, India and the middle east are fighting each other and entire governments. I doubt the reasons have changed much. I read in the news today that an aircraft carrier is going to Iraq. Yet there was no involvement of the west in Syria. Iraq is a top 5 oil exporter, Syria exports almost none.
    WAR! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.”

    • Bozo said, on June 16, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      Fucking brilliant. Edd.

    • dirtnrocksnomo said, on June 16, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      Well said, edd.

    • Chipower9 said, on June 17, 2014 at 8:16 am

      Could not have said it better myself. So damned true. So damned sad.

      I miss Edd. I have pinged him a few times on FB encouraging him to join the fray here on The Flap, again. Hope to see him back here at some point in the future.

    • eddacker said, on June 17, 2014 at 8:36 am

      Of, course your decision is fine Magnus. I have never know you to make a bad move. 🙂
      When I saw the FB notice about this I assumed you where bringing the cartoon that accompanied this short rant over. hahaha. mea culpa.
      BTW, you probably have noticed that I have been on the flap most game-days in the wee hours when I awake. My routine this season has been enjoy a bagel and coffee while reading the news stories about the game. Then watching the video highlights, then coming on the flap and reading the flappers take. It sure has been a season so far.
      I am taking my Romo bobble head to a historic castle that has healing powers at the end of June. He should be in the AS game and he will get 40 saves plus this year.
      peace, out.

      • Chipower9 said, on June 17, 2014 at 11:55 am

        Hope to see you posting here more frequently, Edd. Looking forward to some pictures of the trip to the castle with Romo’s bobblehead in tow.

  3. blade3colorado said, on June 16, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Heartbreaking story about Tony Gwynn, written by Tom Friend, who saw him last month in the hospital where he was being treated for cancer.

    • Flavor said, on June 16, 2014 at 7:22 pm

      man, what a great read.

    • Chipower9 said, on June 17, 2014 at 8:26 am

      Great story…a real heartbreaker. Best I have read yet on the man. Thanks for sharing, Steve.

  4. Flavor said, on June 16, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    and if there’s any question about who the best beat writer is in the bay area….

    • blade3colorado said, on June 16, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      You’re right – another great read. I definitely want to know SD’s take on Gwynn, as well as his perspective on the brouhaha between Gwynn and Jack Clark (albeit, I know the story). Although Clark’s a former Giant, I didn’t like how he acted regarding Gwynn.

      • Flavor said, on June 16, 2014 at 7:46 pm

        watched some Kirby Puckett interviews tonight, some Gwynn interviews…those dudes were born the same year, 1960. Hard to accept that they’re gone. So strong and vibrant during their careers. Oh well, it’s life, right?

    • Chipower9 said, on June 17, 2014 at 8:34 am

      Thanks for another great read, Craig. You guys are killing me, but glad I got the opportunity to read both of those articles. Awesome stuff…and so sad that Tony is no longer with us. RIP.

  5. UncaChucks NinerPage said, on June 16, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Easy to say from this side . . .

  6. unca_chuck said, on June 16, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    Blade/Flav, what was the deal between Clark and Gwynn? Was it something on the field, or after the game?

    • zumiee said, on June 16, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      My understanding of it (and I could be wrong) was that Clark didn’t feel like Gwynn got very bummed out about losses. Clark said something like “If we lose, but Tony gets some hits, he’s still upbeat in the clubhouse” or something like that. Clark was pretty “old school,” I guess, and players just have different personalities. Gwynn was a tough competitor; he just had a personality that came across more casual.

      • blade3colorado said, on June 16, 2014 at 8:26 pm

        Agree with your take Zum. Tony was a very positive and happy person, with a laugh that has been described as something between a cackle and a giggle. I do think he cared about loses. He was a people person, e.g., made time for everyone. Conversely, Clark has had problems with a host of people, including many other baseball players.

  7. Macdog said, on June 16, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Very sad about Tony Gwynn. A much-respected adversary who did the near-impossible in helping the Padres get to not one, but two World Series. Aside from all those hits and that sweet swing, the guy never struck out more than 40 times in a season. Amazing player.

    • Flavor said, on June 16, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      i think the most times he struck out against any pitcher was 6.

      • Macdog said, on June 16, 2014 at 8:24 pm

        Yep, Baggs story said 6 times vs. Ryan. Thanks for posting the link.

  8. zumiee said, on June 16, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    “Holds are about the dumbest stat out there”

    To put an exclamation point on it, I think Gutierrez got a hold yesterday, believe it or not. The Rockies didn’t go ahead until Lopez gave up the hit to Morneau.

    • Flavor said, on June 16, 2014 at 8:24 pm

      Hey, ERA+ could be the dumbest stat out there but it looks pretty good to me. I’ve got no idea how they calculate it

    • DJLoo said, on June 16, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      Is there such a thing as a blown hold?

  9. zumiee said, on June 16, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Ah, baseball, what goes around, comes around. The Rockies gave up an inside-the-park-HR to the Dodgers tonight to Gordon. Well, technically, a triple plus error; the Rockies leftfielder Blackmon butchered the play in leftfield. It should have just been a double.

  10. unca_chuck said, on June 16, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Yeah, for all the angst and damage that smoking causes, I don’t hear too much about smokeless tobacco. I mean not nearly as much as smoking. Then again I guess a lot more people smoke than dip. Have that many ballplayers died from it? I don’t remember any. Besides Gwynn now.

    1.5 cans a day is a lot of dip, though.

    • DJLoo said, on June 16, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      I think Brett Butler got cancer from it but is okay. Murcer used to do commercials for Skoal and Copenhagen.
      He died of a brain tumor – no connection, I guess.

  11. blade3colorado said, on June 16, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    There’s more Zumie . . . Blackmon butchered another play in the same inning for an error with Kemp at bat. Figures that the Sherpas would go back to their bumbling road ways once they left here.

  12. unca_chuck said, on June 16, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Shit, I completely forgot Clark played for the Pads. Thanks for the Clark story. I think I remember that now.

  13. zumiee said, on June 16, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Thanks for the two articles, guys. They’re excellent.

  14. pawliekokonuts said, on June 16, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Wasn’t Gwynn also an announcer for a while? His voice bothered me. Alas, he was a masterful hitter, and from all accounts an even better human being. Just fair warning: when Mays dies, I think I’ll go to the funeral. Wherever it is.

    I liked Edd’s piece above, but do not conclude it is only about oil. Would it were that simple. I think it is more complicated and overshadowed by geopolitical/ethnic/religious power struggles and ideologies. I may be wrong. Still just as tragic. The innocents are just as dead, no matter what the so-called cause. Pope Paul VI said it at the U.N. in 1965: “No more war. War never again,” echoed recently by Pope Francis. The older I get, the more the lyrics of “Imagine” by John Lennon resonate with me.

    • DJLoo said, on June 16, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      The older I get the more this resonates with me:

      • paulinasia said, on June 16, 2014 at 9:30 pm

        Too funny, Loo, I’d forgotten about that one….

    • eddacker said, on June 17, 2014 at 8:44 am

      Cheers, pawlie, the thing that prompted my comments was a report that the west’s refusal to help in Syria led directly to the conflict now playing out in Iraq. All that damn geo-political stuff is bringing me down. What are the Kardashians doing lately, anyway? I understand the kids call them “first world problems”?

      No, really, Bruce Jenner and the Kardashians?

      • Chipower9 said, on June 17, 2014 at 9:04 am

        It was a great read, Edd…spot on. There are many contributing factors in what is happening over there, but none take away from the facts you mentioned…people like you and me who want nothing more than food, shelter, safety, ect. for themselves and their loved ones.

  15. dirtnrocksnomo said, on June 16, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Gwynn was a joy to watch at the plate but what always stuck out to me was he that in all the interviews I ever saw he came across as a real genuine human being. Godspeed Tony Gwynn.

  16. SanDawg said, on June 16, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    Real sad vibe down here with the news about Gwynn. I first came to SD in 1984 and he was a good looking young player at that point. Then he just got better and better and I learned about him being a great point guard at SDSU (still holds game, season, and career assist records there) and you mix in what a great dude he was and he became a legend—even a guy like me who has never had any feelings for the Padres really liked and respected Gwynn. Yeah, the thing with Clark I always put on Clark. JC seemed like a jerk even when I rooted for him on the Giants. Then he comes down here and starts dissing T Gwynn? Bad move. You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask off the ole Lone Ranger and you don’t come to SD and talk shit about Tony Gwynn. In what…20 months? SD has lost Junior Seau, Jerry Coleman, and Tony Gwynn—arguably 3 of the most beloved sports figures ever in this town.
    I had just dropped off the kids at school this am and was listening to the alt rock station when the DJ came on sounding obviously shaken and said he had to pass along some bad news. I honestly thought he was gonna say there had been another big scale school shooting, and then said Tony Gwynn had died. Everyone I came across today was so bummed out. Wednesday will be their first home game since the news and I already have my tickets. I have a feeling it will be pretty special.

    • blade3colorado said, on June 17, 2014 at 6:44 am

      Outstanding post SD, especially your comment, “SD has lost Junior Seau, Jerry Coleman, and Tony Gwynn—arguably 3 of the most beloved sports figures ever in this town.”

    • Chipower9 said, on June 17, 2014 at 9:17 am

      Awesome post, San. My heart goes out to you and all of the other fine folks in San Diego. I have never been a Padres fan, but was always a big Tony Gwynn fan (except perhaps when facing our Giants). I never met him, but so many people talked about him being a genuine caring person. The human race lost a wonderuful human being. May your soul forever rest in peace, Number 19.

  17. willedav said, on June 17, 2014 at 7:57 am

    ChiSox haven’t been playing well lately and are 4 games under .500. Run differential is minus 30, and their pitching stats near the bottom of AL in ERA, runs hits walks and Ks. Giants will see legit ace Sale on Wed., but much more pedestrian Danks tonite. Sox offensive numbers general run btw 5th-9th for runs etc.
    Sox IF has outperformed the OF so far. Beckham Alexi Ramirez our old buddy Gillaspie and Jose Abreu all having nice seasons so far. The OF has a bunch of guys under .700 OPS, and they still use Adam Dunn to DH.
    One thing Sox hitters have done so far is K a lot…hopefully Cain and Hudson get their share and keep the ball in the yard.
    Interesting to see how Giants adjust to using the DH. Not that another AB was gonna happen anyway, but kind of funny this is when Casilla returns. Gotta say I’m not gonna miss Kontos. Last few times he’s managed to work out of jams he’s gotten himself into, but imo he’s not a back end late inning guy at all.

    Just started a book by Feinstein on AAA, “Where Nobody Knows Your Name”, focused on a few well known former mlb players/mgr/ump in 2012 season. Good intro, see how interesting it is.

  18. blade3colorado said, on June 17, 2014 at 8:40 am

    The new guy, Carbonell we signed apparently has “80” speed (scouts measurement 20-80) . . . This is equal to Dee Gordon and apparently, a hair behind Hamilton (per scouts, their 20-80 measurement doesn’t adequately address his blazing speed). Here is a very good link on what we got . . .

    • dirtnrocksnomo said, on June 17, 2014 at 8:50 am

      I’ve read a few reports on the guy. Almost as if he’s a faster G Brown with a better arm.

      • blade3colorado said, on June 17, 2014 at 8:53 am

        Dirt, for what we got this guy for, I think it’s a good signing . . . Umm, sort of the Cuban Blue Light K-Mart Special. 🙂

      • dirtnrocksnomo said, on June 17, 2014 at 9:07 am

        El Cubano Azul?

      • blade3colorado said, on June 17, 2014 at 9:17 am

        Umm . . . Maybe this is more accurate – Cuba K-Mart especial de luz azul

      • dirtnrocksnomo said, on June 17, 2014 at 9:19 am

        I was aiming for something for the masses 😉

    • Chipower9 said, on June 17, 2014 at 9:25 am

      Good stuff, Blade. Thanks for sharing. Well, based on this, he does seem to have potential over what snarkk had him pegged (a potential 5th OFer):

      “Some scouts think that if his bat comes around, he could develop into a fourth outfielder, possibly along the lines of Roger Bernadina, though Bernadina was more advanced at the same age.”

      For the money, I think it was a good signing. What the hell…roll the dice, baby!

      • blade3colorado said, on June 17, 2014 at 9:41 am

        Yeah, agree . . . Roll of the dice.

    • snarkk said, on June 17, 2014 at 10:03 am

      If this guy were much good, they would have paid more than $1 million up front…

      • Bozo said, on June 17, 2014 at 11:57 am

        This report from MLB has them paying a guaranteed $3.5 million with another 3.5 in performance bonuses. I haven’t done any checking, Is this report screwed up?

      • Chipower9 said, on June 17, 2014 at 12:04 pm

        And I suspect that is exactly why he is, according to some scouts, projected as a fourth OFer. Fuck it…roll the dice and see what happens. Maybe the kid develops into a good OFer. Ya never know unless you try.

      • snarkk said, on June 17, 2014 at 2:45 pm

        Schulman said yesterday he’s getting $1 million, and a guaranteed $100K per year for four years if he’s in the minors. Anything else is based on him making the MLB roster. Schulman said today on KNBR that he’s headed for the minors, is a “project”. I wouldn’t hold my breath seeing this guy anytime soon…

  19. dirtnrocksnomo said, on June 17, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Gwynn on hitting. I enjoyed this because he was so knowledgeable but also because of the TWIB angle. I watched that show religiously as a kid. The intro was funny to me because Gwynn carried ‘video cassettes’ with him on the road.

  20. Nipper said, on June 17, 2014 at 9:07 am

    AH…….the DH……finally.

    • Chipower9 said, on June 17, 2014 at 9:26 am

      AH, and my ALWAYS standard reply…

      FUCK THE DH!

  21. willedav said, on June 17, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Nip, pls. The anti-POTD.

    Wow Dirt, thx that was really cool. Lesson there for everyone, about working hard and studying the good and bad to improve, constantly. And also to be able to vary what you do and handle different pitchers, their pitches and how they plan to get you out.
    Even on the Baggs story it’s interesting to hear bip Robert talk about Gwynn and their conversations about handling pitches in different zones than just your fav.

    Coaching b-ball in Asian community I always try to remind kids on what J Lin did even after great career in HS and college. He knew he had to get stronger physically and even went to local shooting guru to adjust his mechanics. There is just no substitute for hard work and regardless of how good you think you are you can always improve and vary your game…and make good use of your time spent.

    • dirtnrocksnomo said, on June 17, 2014 at 9:28 am

      Caught Bip on yahoosportstalk or whatever last night. He was clearly moved by Gwynn passing. To sort of follow on what you’re saying, one thing he said that stood out was Gwynn showed him that you could always be improving.

      • blade3colorado said, on June 17, 2014 at 9:48 am

        Dirt, who is Bip (Roberts)?

      • dirtnrocksnomo said, on June 17, 2014 at 9:54 am

        Yeah, Bip Roberts. He played in SD when he first came up and was a teammate of Gwynn’s.
        They played a promotional spot they had filmed together and he got a bit choked up. He said Gwynn was influential in helping him to smooth out some of his rough edges as a young guy. He had some real nice words about Gwynn.

      • willedav said, on June 17, 2014 at 11:31 am

        The commercial clip is pretty funny, “…mint condition 10 cents.” Not everybody would do something like that and goof on yourself. Roberts was pretty dang good ball player too tho neither he nor Shooty Babbit are commentators I care for.

  22. pawliekokonuts said, on June 17, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Um, anyone recall what he or she was doing on this day in 1972?

    • blade3colorado said, on June 17, 2014 at 9:56 am


      • blade3colorado said, on June 17, 2014 at 9:57 am

        I can’t remember (probably due to the drugs). 🙂

      • pawliekokonuts said, on June 17, 2014 at 10:04 am

        Watergate break-in. I think I was persiancarpetmunching.

    • Macdog said, on June 17, 2014 at 10:12 am

      Lamenting another loss?

      • pawliekokonuts said, on June 17, 2014 at 10:28 am

        Maybe Charles Colson was stealing the signs for the Cards.

    • Chipower9 said, on June 17, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      Um…that was in the timeframe in which I had my first street-legal motorcycle. So, chasing skirts would be a good guess.

  23. UncaChucks NinerPage said, on June 17, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Cutting school? Was just finishing up 7th grade.

    Dawg, that’s pretty powerful stuff. The whole deal around Seau’s suicide, Coleman’s passing, and now Gwynn dying, it must be a sad time down in SD. Like I said earlier, you just couldn’t not like the guy. Loved watching him play as I saw a ton of Pads games. His approach to the game was unparalleled. But he had so much fun. I remember watching the All-Star game years ago when Gwynn got all the other players to go out and greet Ted Williams. Those conversations they made together about hitting were a joy to watch.

    He will be sorely missed.

    This really bums me out. He was way too young. Then I get my son saying, dad, he’s only a year older than you. Then he says thank God you didn’t use chew or, uh, oh yeah. How long did you smoke?

  24. snarkk said, on June 17, 2014 at 10:15 am

    A tin and half of dip every day is crazy. That stuff is almost like mainlining nicotine. Gwynn was hooked, unfortunately. I think the culture of baseball is conducive to getting some addiction and/or PEDs usage. The daily grind, the travel, the need to be ready for games when somebody’s throwing 92 mph sinkers at you. Speed in the 50s and 60s, coke in the 70s and 80s, ‘roids in the who knows when time. Krukow always jokes about guys slamming down buckets of coffee before games. Caffeine jolt. With that much dip every day, Gwynn had to be on persistent nicotine buzz to do what he did, to do the work, the reps. He had the natural ability, but he used dip to keep himself on edge. It’s an unfortunate thing to think about, but the truth is harsh…

  25. pawliekokonuts said, on June 17, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Sandawg, thanks for the local report. Well painted.

  26. UncaChucks NinerPage said, on June 17, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Yeah, Snarkk. Chew isn’t even that concentrated. This friend of mine from Sweden had me try some of his smokeless stuff. It was like getting hit by a truck, and I was a pack-a-day smoker. He bought some Copenhagen here, and was like, What is this weak-ass shit? This ain’t from Copenhagen!

    Hunter Pence says he drinks around 15-18 cups of coffee a day. Guess that’s safer than the other shit, but man, no wonder the dude looks like he got hit with 20,000 volts all the time.

    • blade3colorado said, on June 17, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      Chuck, if that’s true – I’m wondering when does he take his piss break? Must be disappearing each and every between inning break to drain the vein.

    • snarkk said, on June 17, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      I doubt 18 cups of coffee per day is very healthy — is mega caffeine part of the Paleo diet?…

  27. Nipper said, on June 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Lets hope for a Giants win.

  28. Flavor said, on June 17, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    HOF stat of the day: Tony Gwynn had 297 3 hit games and 1 three strikeout game.

    • dirtnrocksnomo said, on June 17, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      434 SO. Total. Over 20 years and 9200+ ABs. Amazing. Just over 21 a year. In contrast, Hicks has 70 SO in 2014 already.

      • wswins said, on June 17, 2014 at 2:35 pm

        I wish it was only 31…it’s actually 70

      • dirtnrocksnomo said, on June 17, 2014 at 2:41 pm

        man, I must have looked at 2012. Crazy. 70. That’s 3+ seasons for Gwynn. lulz

  29. SanDawg said, on June 17, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    A few years back I was talking baseball with a good friend and we wondered what player we had watched bat the most times—either live or on TV over the years. He’s a big Dodger fan, but lives in the bay area and said for him it was probably Barry. For a lot of you, it is probably Barry as well. Obviously, it has to be someone good who plays for a long time and is constantly on TV where you live. For me, its Tony Gwynn mostly because there was a time in the 90’s before all MLB games were so easy to access that every Padre game was on cable and I watched pretty much every game. Even with the access now, I don’t watch nearly as much baseball as I used to and I bet there will never be another player who I watch bat more than I did T Gwynn.

    Glad to hear the bit about Bip. Bip came up when I was in college down here to much fanfare and pretty much did a face-plant on and off the field. He spent the whole next year in the minors and then came back later and turned himself into a solid player and a good teammate. I bet Gwynn had something to do with that and that’s cool that Bip paid his respects.

  30. Irish Kevin said, on June 17, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Great post by Ed. His writing is what is so great about social media, I get to read something well written. Good job Ed.

    Now Tony Gwynn, not much else to add here about what a great guy he was. The only comment I have about Tobacco. With all the medical advances man has made I still feel it is a persons genes that dictate their bodies abilities to handle foreign matter that ends up in their bodies. How else do you explain all the smokers, chewers whatever that live long lives. George Burns, Red Auerbach come to mind. You are born with the body you have. I had a best friend who I worked with, had a massive heart attack at age 38. I asked myself how can a person have a bad heart at age 38. I also work in customer service for the state retirement system. Took a call from a woman who needed to take her money in cash. I counseled her that she could collect a monthly benefit from this account for the rest of her life, that was when she burst into tears and told me she had Terminal lung cancer at age 56. Her last words to me as we were finishing was don’t let anyone smoke. Death of the young is so hard on all. When someone young dies I always wonder why god has let me live as long as I have. What makes me better than that person. Just not my time yet.

    • blade3colorado said, on June 17, 2014 at 1:05 pm

      Heartfelt post Kev . . . Good job.

      • pawliekokonuts said, on June 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm

        I second that.

    • snarkk said, on June 17, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      My father wasn’t into booze or beer. But, smoked Camels for over 50 years. Around a pack a day. Then changed to a pipe for over 20 more. I don’t get near tobacco, I smelled enough second hand smoke as a kid. He died at 89. Go figure…

  31. gianthead said, on June 17, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Not to get too political but foreign affairs was why I came to DC originally. And though I am not a fan of the president’s, I also dont think the worst of him and i am somewhat of a Hillary fan.

    I can get into how a vacuum of power and leadership was created by not acting in Syria originally (I have been told by very good sources that the president had given the order to launch an airstrike in Syria couple of months ago, but then went on his famous or infamous stroll on the white house grounds on that friday night and had a change of heart and cancelled his orders), but the Iraqi president asked obama to launch a drone strike against these terrorists in their training camps in northwestern Iraq near the Syrian border a couple of weeks ago and the president refused. Now we have this absolute mess where likely at least 2000 Iraqi soldiers have been executed. Not killed in action, but lined up and shot in the head. In my book that is genocide. And maybe just maybe a concerted action by drone strike that would have risked zero American lives may have stopped this entire onslaught. I will let you be the judge.

    But as Flavor passed on, there is absolutely no concern for the people in Syria, who continue to be starved and slaughtered…and Nero fiddles or at least plays golf…

    • gianthead said, on June 17, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      I should have noted as well that Flav was referring to Edd’s interesting post…

    • pawliekokonuts said, on June 17, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      Well stated. I recently attended a lecture on Syria by Rick Francona (not Terry), of CNN. He is a former CIA and military intelligence officer, now a TV analyst. i learned a lot. But was still depressed. One interesting fact was how Syria, and other regional “nations” were carved out after WWI. Artificial borders. The problems were apt to occur, given the colonial blunders.

      • blade3colorado said, on June 17, 2014 at 3:27 pm

        Agree with what you said about these “colonial blunders,” especially regarding boundaries – which didn’t take into account tribal/ethnic factors. In my opinion, this is the 2nd biggest reason for conflict in the middle east. The main reason being religion . . . To wit:

        The Arab League Secretary General Azzam Pasha, said on 1 May 1948 thus even before the Jewish State was born:

        “If the Zionists dare establish a state in Falastin, the massacre which will ensue here will dwarf anything which Genghis Khan and Hitler did.”

        By the by, not against Jews or a Jewish State – just stating the reason that there is conflict there. 🙂

    • snarkk said, on June 17, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      Pawlie is right. A lot of this strife, if not almost all of it, is based on religious conflict. The Sunni v. Shia thing. Bush was warned that invading Iraq could unleash a hornet’s nest of religious and tribal antipathy that had simmered under Saddam’s strong hand. Same thing under Assad and his bad news father. Dictators are bad, but if there was one good thing out of them, they kept religious warfare under wraps. It’s been unleashed now in Syria and Iraq. Iran is now saying it can or will come to the aid of the Iraq gov’t, which is Shia dominated — which sounds strange (Iran helping Iraq), but not when you notice that Iran is Shia. Iran wants to make sure southern Iraq, near its border, is still Shia dominated. The Saudis are Sunni, and they’re not that unhappy about these Sunni nuts running amok in Syria and Iraq. What a mess…

      • UncaChucks NinerPage said, on June 17, 2014 at 2:36 pm

        Cheney laid out exactly what came to pass in 1994. Why they went against what they knew to be the outcome still baffles me.

      • snarkk said, on June 17, 2014 at 4:11 pm

        Trying to forceably institute democracy in these countries with hundreds if not over a thousand years of deep tribal and religious hatreds is a fools errand, IMO. It’s not working that well here. Although, I did hear that the Afghans voted last week and it was estimated over 60% of those eligible to vote, actually did vote, some under threat of violence, of course. That’s better turnout than here where people don’t vote because it interferes with watching soaps…

      • gianthead said, on June 17, 2014 at 4:44 pm

        Snarkk, what is interesting to note was that Saddam and Pappa Assad both emerged out of the Bath political, or Arab Socialism, movement that gained traction in the 1960s and emerged from the military wings in each country. The militaries in both countries during this era were oddly dominated by the minority and poorer ethnic group s of the Alawites in Syria and the Sunnis in Iraq.

        Assad and Saddam took their minority ethnic groups and turned them into the dominate and powerful and wealthy elites of their nation who then subjugated the majority populations. So the Shiites after Saddam’s fall turned the tide on the Sunnis and took control of all aspects of military and government, which has been the big blunder. An early partition of Iraq would have changed the current conflagration by giving the moderate Sunnis their own state. And now the long oppressed Sunnis in Syria are looking for revenge and payback of the 40 years of Assad’s Alawite dominance.

  32. Macdog said, on June 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Posey at DH, no Pagan:

    Blanco LF
    Pence RF
    Posey DH
    Sandoval 3B
    Morse 1B
    Sanchez C
    Crawford SS
    Perez CF
    Hicks 2B
    Cain RHP

    • Chipower9 said, on June 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm

      Oops…did not see Mac’s post of the line-up…

  33. Chipower9 said, on June 17, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    1. Gregor Blanco (L) LF
    2. Hunter Pence (R) RF
    3. Buster Posey (R) DH
    4. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
    5. Michael Morse (R) 1B
    6. Hector Sanchez (S) C
    7. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
    8. Juan Perez (R) CF
    9. Brandon Hicks (R) 2B

  34. Chipower9 said, on June 17, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Pagan is out again due to his back. Hopefully this is not something that causes him to miss significant time. Yeah, he had a few brain farts of late, but I still believe he is one of the key cogs for this team’s success.

    • pawliekokonuts said, on June 17, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      We’d be in 3rd place without his contributions.

  35. pawliekokonuts said, on June 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    BTW, met me a new member of our fan club, a Giants partisan at the Syracuse Chiefs game on Sunday. My younger daughter simply tolerates my brazen entreaties to strangers wearing black and orange. (Actually, in this case, lots of black-and-orange-wearing O’s fans were there, too, because the Norfolk Tides are their AAA club.) It was a purely delightful day.

    • blade3colorado said, on June 17, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      As opposed to an AA club (inside joke).

  36. DJLoo said, on June 17, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Flavor said, on June 17, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    HOF stat of the day: Tony Gwynn had 297 3 hit games and 1 three strikeout game.

    Would you believe that the man who fanned Gwynn 3 times in a game was Bob Welch?

  37. UncaChucks NinerPage said, on June 17, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    Apparetnly Tony want to get to Bob and kick his ass . . .

    • DJLoo said, on June 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Well, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (2nd & 3rd U.S. Presidents) both died on July 4, 1826.
      That one’s really hard to believe…

      • zumiee said, on June 17, 2014 at 3:05 pm

        Exactly 50 years after they both signed the Declaration of Independence! It’s an insanely unbelievable coincidence.
        Lincoln was shot in Ford’s Theater. And Kennedy was shot in a Ford Lincoln! How about that one?

      • gianthead said, on June 17, 2014 at 4:53 pm

        And what that Adams mini-series showed was the falling out the two had had been severe due to Jefferson defeating Adams for a second term and the absolutely dirty race that Jefferson’s supporters used against Adams.

        They both sought to repair that bitterness late in their lives and came to appreciate their previous friendship and recognize the greatness in each other. Amazing they then died essentially together.

      • zumiee said, on June 17, 2014 at 5:15 pm

        Yeah, that’s an excellent series. I’ve seen it; but I haven’t read the book it was based on, but would like to; McCullough’s book. He’s an author I haven’t gotten around to yet. 🙂

  38. zumiee said, on June 17, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Thomas Ricks wrote an excellent book about the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, etc. choice to invade Iraq. The book title says it all: “Fiasco,” and that’s how history will record it. Haliburton and other defense contractors made a lot of money, so in that sense, it was “mission accomplished.”

    • gianthead said, on June 17, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      But dont forget zumiee that Saddam committed genocide on his own people with the Kurds and Sunnis. And his own son was raping 13 year old girls in front of their own fathers. They were rabid dogs and I am glad for one they were put down.

      Long story I will make short but my wife worked with a high school kid in McLean in the late 90s and early 2000s at a vet clinic. His father was Iraqi and had nefarious business dealings with Saddam. After 9/11 and before we invaded Iraq, Saddam was likely cleaning up loose ends and sent a hit man and killed not only his parents, but the poor kid locked himself in his bedroom after hearing the gun fire and the hit man kicked down the door and executed this innocent kid. This sounds like a movie but my wife had even known his parents.

      So what justice existed for this teenager who had his whole family executed? And that was in McLean, Virginia. Imagine the terror over 30 plus years that Saddam executed in his own country?

      • zumiee said, on June 17, 2014 at 5:13 pm

        I hear you, but that’s not how the invasion was sold to the American people.

  39. zumiee said, on June 17, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Gwynn was kind of the anti-LeBron. LeBron is remembered for the way he left Cleveland, to win a championship for himself. Fans like to feel like the players are out there doing it for the fans, too, and not just for themselves. It’s why some players are beloved and some are not. Players can’t force fans to love them; it’s one of the rights we retain as fans.

    • blade3colorado said, on June 17, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      In fact, one of the first times you heard the phrase “home town discount” was with Tony Gwynn. More recently, you hear it a lot with Golden Tate and Jon Lester.

    • peets said, on June 17, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      Uh? Who can force anyone to love?

      • zumiee said, on June 17, 2014 at 3:47 pm

        No one; that’s the point I was trying to make, if I wasn’t clear.

      • zumiee said, on June 17, 2014 at 3:53 pm

        Some pundits are perplexed as to why LeBron isn’t widely adored by fans across the nation. It’s no big mystery to me.
        It makes a big difference to fans how players leave a team, if they leave. Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott didn’t leave willingly from the Niners. They were dragged away kicking and screaming, and that means a lot to Niner fans, IMO.

    • blade3colorado said, on June 17, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      One other example in support of what you are saying Zum – The column I cited yesterday regarding Tony Gwynn – he would sign ALL AUTOGRAPHS and not leave until the last fan. Not too many players do that today.

  40. Irish Kevin said, on June 17, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Ha ha you guys are killing me.

  41. Irish Kevin said, on June 17, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    I made a comment on one of the Gwynn articles that some of the younger players today could take a lot from Tony on how to play the game. Puig came to mind

    • snarkk said, on June 17, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Highly likely Puig wouldn’t know Tony Gwynn from Adam, or pay much attention. I heard on radio the other day somebody told a story of how Kevin Garnett (I think it was him that was mentioned – not absolutely sure but you get the idea about younger players) first met Lenny Wilkins, and started out by asking HOFer Lenny if he’d ever played pro basketball…

  42. zumiee said, on June 17, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    New thread; I took the liberty of posting a Game Time thread….

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