THE San Francisco Giants Blog

Nori Aoki, Come on Down!!!!!!!

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on January 16, 2015

I keep remembering what this dude did in 2012— 37 doubles, 30 steals. .288 batting average. Unfortunately he’s been on a slow decline since then. He’s 33, the steals are unlikely to come back much.

But what the hell, I’m down with this signing. We need depth and The White Shark just found his way back to his best look–the bench.

But ask yourself this: Panda and Morse out, Aoki and McGhee in.

Does that make us better? Or does it at least keep us competitive?

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88 Responses

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  1. gianthead said, on January 16, 2015 at 10:13 am

    No Fear…All’s Well Now…Aoki is a Giant!

    Tongue Firmly Planted in Cheek.

    $4 mill for Aoki + $7.5 mill for Romo + $9 mill for Peavy = would could have been plenty of money for Nelson Cruz….

  2. gianthead said, on January 16, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Everything tells me this off-season that ownership had a salary cap on what Sabean can do and these deals and potential arb deals will put them around $160 mill in payroll.

    What else this off-season tells me is that Sabean will wait till 2016 when all these remaining contracts expire and the needs have the $50 mill or so to play with…

  3. Macdog said, on January 16, 2015 at 10:20 am

    I posted this on previous thread with talk of Aoki’s D: I remember seeing Aoki make a sort of lunging catch to save a run in one of the playoff games, and I think this is it against the Angels. Start at about 2:25 to see the catch, or start at 1:25 for another good catch he made in the same game.

    http://m.mlb.com/video/v36728903

    • xoot said, on January 16, 2015 at 10:30 am

      Aoki’s dWar isn’t great but his UZR is good. Wonderful. So maybe watching him in action provides more information. He did make some good plays in the 2014 PS.

  4. xoot said, on January 16, 2015 at 10:26 am

    8 errors in 3 seasons, playing every OF position every year. Morse had 7 errors last year–4 in the OF, 3 at 1B (and of course in the OF lumbering Morse got his glove on far fewer drives than a fleet guy like Aoki would touch). I like defense, so I’m biased in favor of this move–right now, anyway. The left side of the field will hit few bombs in 2015, but it’s not bad. Buster may see plenty of games at 1B. Etc. I just don’t see any reason for concern. This roster can be competitive, and Sabean can add as the season goes. I also don’t see clear evidence of budget problems. Room to move under the cap could be key later on.

  5. stickman said, on January 16, 2015 at 10:32 am

    So not everyone’s A-Okay with Aoki. Understandable. No punch. Japanese community in the Bay Area should be pretty happy. Ownership doesn’t hafta part with very much geld for this addition.

    Not my first choice, but he’s probably a player who will do well with the Giants. .287 lifetime BA means he gets on base a bunch. .349 OBP last season means more than one of every three plate appearances he becomes a duck on the pond ~ with 17SB’s last season vs 8 CS, he’s not only on the pond but with some propensity to keep the pitcher a bit on edge. Giants need that.

    I’d like to see Aoki batting leadoff and Pagan Baby batting sixth. Frankly i don’t really give much of a shit about the L-R lineup breakdowns. What strikes my fancy in this instance is that Pagan is a proven commodity as an RBI man and considering the current availabilities in the starting lineup he is the best fit for the 6-hole. Besides being able to knock em in and keep the line moving, Pagan’s speed comes into play when he does lead off an inning and followed by McGehee and Crawford, stands a decent chance of getting batted in.

    What really stands out in my mind about Aoki is his BB/SO ratio. Last season was pretty typical. He drew 43 walks while whiffing no more than 49 times. Contact hitter. Gets on base a bunch. Pesky type.

    Lineup reads:
    1) Aoki
    2) Panik
    3)Belt
    4)Posey
    5)Pence
    6)Pagan
    7)McGehee
    8)Crawford

    Punch and Judy offense with Judys batting 1-2 and 7-8. Punch comes in from 3-6. Moderately good team speed. Spotty power. No fear factor. On base a whole bunch. With Aoki and Panik both being contact hitters and Belt ditto (if so allowed) and Buster being a thinker at the plate, we could be looking at situations where opposing starters get worn down by the fifth or sixth innings on a pretty steady basis. Giants could be deadly when facing so-so bullpens.

    • dirtnrocksnomo said, on January 16, 2015 at 10:39 am

      Pagan will be at the top of the LU no? I see it as solid if not spectacular. Keep the line moving. Need more pitching.

  6. Irish Kevin said, on January 16, 2015 at 10:34 am

    giants-sign-norichika-aoki-to-one-year-4-7-million-deal

  7. unca_chuck said, on January 16, 2015 at 10:36 am

    The thing that gives me hope is that we get a full year of a healthy Belt. Meegeehee and Aoki just need to get on base.

  8. stickman said, on January 16, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Looking over my lineup proposal it strikes me that maybe Brandon should switch the “B” in his backname to a “P”. That way the array from 2-6 would feature five peas in a pod. Also, Pelt would suggest power almost as much as Belt.

    • ewisco said, on January 16, 2015 at 10:52 am

      stick you beat me to it. it just kinda jumps out at you. I doubt Nori wants to be called Poki though.

  9. unca_chuck said, on January 16, 2015 at 10:39 am

    I know I saw Aoki do something good. I guess it was the ALDS/CS

  10. dirtnrocksnomo said, on January 16, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Well, the price is right.

    I’d like to give you this!!!

  11. Alleykat said, on January 16, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Another PR move by Larry Baer.
    They can sell “Aoki Sushi Bowls” next to Orlando’s Cha Cha Bowl booth.

  12. dirtnrocksnomo said, on January 16, 2015 at 10:53 am

    I saw this on another site that will go unmentioned but I thought it was pretty good. Way to go Sabean.

    Nick Markakis, 2012-2014: .279 AVG, .342 OBP, .396 SLG
    Norichika Aoki, 2012-2014: .287 AVG, .353 OBP, .387 SLG

    One got $44M. One got $4M.

  13. Chipower9 said, on January 16, 2015 at 10:54 am

    I am okay with this signing. Didn’t knock my socks off. I have clamored for an OFer with some pop, and Aoki ain’t it. I think he will do some platooning with Blanco, and this inexpensive move provides depth in case Pagan is his usual Paganish self (cannot play the entire season).

    I think Sabes still has some payroll flexibility, and could add on more…even at the deadline as he often does.

    Agree with Dirt..I think the team needs another starter given Hudson’s age/bone spur operation, unknown of Cain and Timmy.

    • giants54 said, on January 16, 2015 at 11:40 am

      Wouldn’t expect a top starter to be added until the deadline. Maybe they get an insurance type like they had with Gaudin or Petit. Otherwise, they wait and see how things shake out with what they have.

      • Chipower9 said, on January 16, 2015 at 12:51 pm

        I agree, 54. And I doubt they do anything before ST and the start of the season. This is just more wishful thinking on my part, as I thing the starting rotation is shaky…

  14. giants54 said, on January 16, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Well obviously not their first choice but what are you going to do? Hitters don’t want to come here and teams want their best prospects for any real OF upgrade. This is a slight one over Blanco if he hits .280 again.

    I think he does lead off and Pagan can hit 2nd or 6th.

    • Irish Kevin said, on January 16, 2015 at 12:20 pm

      He can bat 6th unless Panik vaulters in the 2 hole

      • Irish Kevin said, on January 16, 2015 at 12:21 pm

        Faulters

  15. pawliekokonuts said, on January 16, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    I like it. If for no other reason his name is musical and poetic.

  16. gianthead said, on January 16, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    I can’t see Belt hitting 3rd. I can see it being Posey – Pence- Belt 345…is Aoki going to be an every day starter? Hell no. I don’t think we add an arm and let a couple of newbies and Lincecum and maybe they give Boggy a spring training invite…this gives them IMO flexibility to make a mid-season move for either an arm or bat or maybe the ownership parts the Red Sea and gets both if we are in t he hunt…

  17. dirtnrocksnomo said, on January 16, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    gh, I think you can pretty much pencil Aoki in as the starting LF. Agree with you on the arms.

  18. Chipower9 said, on January 16, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    I think Aoki will be the starter over Blanco, but I can see some platoon action here, too. Agree on the arms. I would “like” them to add an arm for insurance, but probaly not happening.

  19. Chipower9 said, on January 16, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Not that there was EVER a snowball’s chance in hell he would be a Giant, but David Price just inked a one-year deal with the Tiggers to avoid arbitration.

    Randy Johnson going into the Hall of Shame as a D-Back (the first).

    • gianthead said, on January 16, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      Rather have Cole Hamels Chi:)

  20. gianthead said, on January 16, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Wouldnt you still stick Aoki in cf and Pagan in left? But I am betting Blanco starts as often as Aoki….

    • Chipower9 said, on January 16, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      No. I think Pagan will be in CF. He has been adamant about wanting to play CF, and Aoki plays all three OF spots. I do feel he and Blanco will platoon quite a bit.

  21. gianthead said, on January 16, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Speaking of betting…doesn’t teasing the Pats and Seahawks to -1 and -1.5 respectively not seem like the lock of the playoffs????

    • unca_chuck said, on January 16, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      Hawks are a virtual lock. NE not ao much. I can see Indy pulling that one out.

      Depends on Indy’s pass rush more than anything.

  22. gianthead said, on January 16, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Someone please explain to me wtf is Scherzer and Shields waiting on?????

    • zumiee said, on January 16, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      Some MLB Network pundits speculated that they’re each waiting on the other to sign, so that the remaining one will get as big a deal as possible. There’s some skewed logic to that. The longer they wait, the more that teams are filling up their budgets, using their available cash.

      • zumiee said, on January 16, 2015 at 3:08 pm

        And a lot of GMs are getting increasingly SABR-focused, and are more concerned about ages and amount of innings pitched in careers.

  23. DJLoo said, on January 16, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Maybe Aoki will enable Pence to take a rest every so often. Those consecutive game streaks are nothing but albatrosses…

  24. paulinasia said, on January 16, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Aoki’s value might turn out to be a bit subtle, as he’s certainly not a huge game-changer. Giants have now replaced middle of the order power (Morse and Pablo) with top (Aoki) and likely bottom (McG) of the order “get on base” guys, more or less. This would seem to point to more “small ball” strategies. Will Bochy now bunt more, steal more, etc.? Giants have already demonstrated they can score without the long ball (often without even getting a hit). Aoki’s presence might also help Pagan, both in the field (covering more ground than any LFer we’ve had for awhile) and at bat near the top of the order. I often got the impression Pagan was trying to do *too much* with his speed to compensate for… not a whole lot of other speed in the lineup or in the OF. Maybe in some ways, having more speed in Aoki will tone Pagan down a bit, which might keep him on the field for more of the season. I’m thinking Aoki is going to be slappin’ hits all over the field; let’s see what his speed can help create in offense. Blanco will see a lot of playing time, but I’m guessing LF is Aoki’s.

    • stickman said, on January 16, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      Good take, Paul. Though similar to my own conjectures, your speculations are more fleshed out and more deeply considered. No doubt SF could have picked up a heavy bat such as Marlon Byrd for similar coin in prospects as he obtained for his former squad. But you are onto something here, a probable strategic decision to make the team a bit more lithe and limber than most previous versions during the Bochy years.
      As you point out and as i noted earlier, both the top and bottom of the lineup will contain some high OBP guys and with a bit more speed, may be cluttering up the bases more in a positive than negative sense.

      Your observations on Pagan’s role in all of this are fascinating and to the point. Again, my read is that Aoki should lead off and Pagan bat sixth. Both of them should be quite effective in those roles. With three chunks of heavy timber in the middle of the lineup the Giants will not be purely small-ball, but intriguingly balanced.

  25. paulinasia said, on January 16, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    I still, going back to the trading deadline last year, would’ve preferred Marlon Byrd… 🙂 But, I’m very ok with Aoki. Maybe we’ll get to see something we never really did get to witness from Shinjo. Ha.

  26. Alleykat said, on January 16, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Just want to know who’s are interpreted at 1B for Aoki to steal a bag?

  27. willedav said, on January 16, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Actually, Paul’s choice of Marlon Byrd would be a better fit than Aoki.

    Aoki’s 2012-14 numbers are skewed because, as Flav pointed out, he has been in steady decline now for the last 2 years. His OPS has dropped 75 points from that one good year for Brewers. This is red flag #1, which tells me the league has figured him out.
    You want triples? He hit a total of 6 playing all his home games in KC last year. Why would he get more at ATT?

    He is NOT a better hitter than Blanco and probably not a better OF either. So regardless of where he hits (and I highly doubt it’s leadoff while Pagan’s around) he’s another .700 OPS guy, like Crawford Mac G Blanco and Panik. Still one too many of these guys for me.
    As James pointed out, you have strengthened the bench and that’s about it. You also have to deal with the eye test, since Aoki is one of those lunging toward 1b LH hitters…just not near as good at it as Ichiro. Ugh.

  28. paulinasia said, on January 16, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Not sure we’ll see a lot of value from Aoki in the steals department; I would look for him to make a difference more in having the ability to go from 1st to 3rd, stretch singles into doubles, and doubles into triples… Although he ain’t a spring chicken anymore. If he plays “smart” baseball, to compensate for an aging body, he should add a lot on the basepaths. Providing he gets on base, of course, which seems to be one of his strengths.

  29. paulinasia said, on January 16, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Still would love to see a near-frontline starting pitcher added; and I’m thinking we will. And we won’t have to wait until July. Guess we’ll find out.

  30. willedav said, on January 16, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    Aoki’s HRs totals have dropped from 10-8-1 last season.
    Slugging pct .433 to .360.
    OPS from high of .787 to .710.

    Blanco last year hit 5 HRs and just as many triples, 6. Blanco has worse OB but higher slugging at .374 and slightly higher OPS + at 103 vs. 98 for Aoki. 2 yrs ago Aoki was at 109 for OPS +.
    Blanco stole 1 less base 16 vs. 17 but also go thrown out less, 5 vs. 8.

    Just don’t see this guy as being much of an upgrade, if that.

  31. DJLoo said, on January 17, 2015 at 7:21 am

    The 32 homers they got out of Morse and Panda could possibly be made up by better power numbers from Posey and Pence and a healthy Belt and Pagan. I’m also hoping Panik, who is not a little guy, develops a double digit home run stroke along the way.

  32. willedav said, on January 17, 2015 at 7:33 am

    In interests of fairness, there is interesting column by Jeff Sullivan on F-G that says Aoki will help Giants score runs even if they are not projected to hit many HRs as a team. Don’t be scared off by headline that says Giants might be least powerful HR team in all baseball. Column says that is not a bad thing and when Aoki does blast one it is often down the RF line, perfect spot for ATT. Plus he hits LHP well.
    Couple items of note were that Royals made it to WS without many HRs and STL only hit barely 100 as well. Neither of these teams projected to improve much in that dept. and still rated very highly in their divisions.

    There is also an interesting comment by Baer in the “comments” section that is referenced in a NY Times article that says Giants don’t purposely broadcast how much they are into analytics. In other words the Sabes anti-sabr stuff is mostly myth.

    • Macdog said, on January 17, 2015 at 9:00 am

      And of course Giants won it all in ’12 with the fewest HRs in all of MLB — 103.

  33. stickman said, on January 17, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Another factor in the one-year Aoki signing is the little matter of a sleeper candidate. Mac Williamson put up some excellent offensive numbers a couple years back for San Jose. En route to his takeoff season at Richmond last year he got sidelined by need for Tommy John surgery. As a position player this history would be of far less impact than on a hurler. Methinks the internal scouting and development people are predicting some loud music in Eastern League parks by this guy and that he could become a significant contributor next season and may even get the call by the Break this year.

  34. unca_chuck said, on January 17, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Buster isn’t going to hit a lot more HRs than he did Last year. 22-25 is his ceiling. Belt definitely can pick up a lot of that. Hopefully in the 25 HR range. Get 12 out of Panik and Meegeehee each and throw in some Ishi bombs and we’re fine.

  35. wilcojoe said, on January 17, 2015 at 11:17 am

    So I just returned from my six year old’s first little league tryout. I have to say it was quite an experience. I should have taken a Xanax before I left. Let me start off by saying that I was never the most gifted athlete in the house. My step-father played college football under Marv Levy at William and Mary after being all state at Bergen Catholic in New Jersey, so knowing that I never could match his athletic prowess, I preferred to partake in the sports outside the lines. My baseball career ended at age 14, and having played in West Marin county little leagues, our teams were about as competetive as the bad news bears. I mean, has anyone from Bolinas or Point Reyes ever made it to the professional level in any major sport? The lifestyle of kids in Stinson Beach is not exactly that of those from Newport or Laguna.

    Unfortunately I now live in the suburbs of Houston which have probably produced more major league talent than any other place in the country. So when we get to the filed, we notice a line of coaches holding clipboards and stop watches. Each kid had to take five pitches from a machine that threw about as hard as I did when I quit the game. After the fifth pitch they had to sprint to first base where they were timed for speed. Fortunately my boy wasn’t nervous and couldn’t see my heart pounding against my chest. The kid he hit after, I felt like asking for his autograph. He was a mini Mike Trout. Since two of the coaches holding clipboards were wearing Longhorn sweaters and one of A&M, I joked loudly ” No pressure Jack. You only have scouts from UT and A&M watching you. Go get ’em”. A few fellow nervous parents laughed while helped ease my tension. After the hitting drills, they had to field grounders and take fly balls. Jack had played tee ball the last two seasons and had no idea what to do when a ball was actually hit in the air. When it was all said and done, Jack did just fine. He wasn’t close to being the best player out there, but he wasn’t the worst either. I had never seen such structure and seriousness for a sport at such a young age. I don’t know how long he will continue playing compettive sports, but I am proud of him for taking it all in stride and as long as he countinues to have fun, that’s all that matters.

    • xoot said, on January 17, 2015 at 12:20 pm

      Wilco, one year the coaches of the team that drafted my 10 year old son videotaped every player they were interested in and broke down their swings and defensive moves in slo mo before making their decisions. At the first parents meeting, we all received reports. 1/4 through the season the head coach had fairly long meetings with each kid to discuss his BA, OPS and SO ratio, etc., so the kids could fine tune their private training sessions. Still, the coaches turned out to be good guys and the kids on the team all had huge fun–even those drafted in late rounds. Don’t be surprised if the intensity of your son’s coaches is just as well directed. Hope you both enjoy the season!

    • dirtnrocksnomo said, on January 17, 2015 at 1:57 pm

      Sounds crazy man. My daughter is on her second year of basketball. We’re going through the YMCA and they foster a pretty good atmosphere but I sort of disagree with not keeping score and giving everyone trophies for participating. They’re still young I guess but there are lessons to be learned there.

      I played baseball through HS and don’t remember it getting too competitive until the teen years. Sounds like your boy did well.

  36. snarkk said, on January 17, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    During the WS, I said that Blanco should hit like Aoki, slapping that S around the diamond, and use his speed. Now Blanco can watch how it’s done every day. And he still probably won’t do it…

    • stickman said, on January 17, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      Blanco not doing it could result in more playing time for Nori.

    • James said, on January 17, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      Actually, the thing that would make Aoki more valuable than Blanco is if he slapped a few balls into the RF stands. His game last year produced no more runs for his team than Blanco’s did.

      WillieD, just read the FG article you cited. It doesn’t really counter anything you’ve said, although the take is more positive. What it does underscore is that there isn’t much difference between Blanco and Aoki. And that Gregor is undervalued.

  37. DJLoo said, on January 17, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    A little disappointed to see that they’re only bringing the 2014 trophy to Finnerty’s next week. Would’ve been nice to have all 3 in one picture. I guess the other 2 are busy that day.

    • Flavor said, on January 17, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      agreed, that’s lame. They should all be together in one place creating one target to unload all that collective fan jizz on.

      • DJLoo said, on January 17, 2015 at 5:36 pm

        Well said…

      • Flavor said, on January 17, 2015 at 7:48 pm

        thanks. If no one had given me a “well said” on that post there’s a decent chance I woulda shut the blog down, or at least written haiku’s by myself with the curtains drawn in my bedroom for a few weeks……

      • James said, on January 17, 2015 at 8:19 pm

        My son’s bedroom is filled with trophies . . . for the countless soccer tournaments he participated in. It’d be kinda like changing my sexual orientation . . . .

  38. […] The rest of the article can be found here: THE San Francisco Giants Blog […]

    • xoot said, on January 18, 2015 at 10:10 am

      hey that’s pretty cool

  39. dirtnrocksnomo said, on January 18, 2015 at 7:40 am

    Blanco inkedfor 2 years @ $7.5M.

    That’s right snarkk. Two more years of botched bunts. Lulz. 🙂

  40. willedav said, on January 18, 2015 at 8:20 am

    I hope Belt has the break out year everyone’s been waiting on, but hitting 25 HRs would be a reach. And I would doubt that entire rest of IF combines for 25 either. As presently constituted SF as a team unlikely to hit very many HRs–this isn’t 2010 when you get 20 plus from Uribe and Huff on the IF.
    With a bench of lightweights too except for Susac, top 5 in order better have good to great seasons.

    What I want to see from Panik is better situational hitting ala Scut. Scut could take pitches with Pagan on 1b to allow chance to steal 2b, then knock a groundball to right side to advance runner. I ragged on Panik last year for hitting the ball softly in the air too often with guys on base. And it would help tremendously if he can slam an occasional HR down the line at ATT. This is a guy that 1 in 250 ABs last year.

  41. snarkk said, on January 18, 2015 at 10:45 am

    You’d think Sabes would have at least signed another LFer that was a RH bat to give Bochy some flexibility. Aoki and Blanco are both LHBatters. WTF?…

    • DJLoo said, on January 18, 2015 at 11:23 am

      With 3 titles, snarkk, I think Sabes is officially WTF-proof…

      • snarkk said, on January 18, 2015 at 11:25 am

        If Sabes is beyond WTF, then we’ve got nothing to talk about, other than who’s turn is it today to give Sabes his daily online blowjob…

      • DJLoo said, on January 18, 2015 at 11:33 am

        Well today was mine…

      • snarkk said, on January 18, 2015 at 3:46 pm

        Feel free to take my turn…

    • sam said, on January 18, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      If all there is too rag on Sabean, might as well shoot yourself.

      • snarkk said, on January 18, 2015 at 4:16 pm

        That’s not all there is at all. Basking is great, but there’s a new season to play. We’ve seen how sitting on hands pans out after a great season. Sabes has done squat, other than Aoki. He gets no credit IMO for re-signing Romo, I wouldn’t have re-signed him. He’ll need to be busy at the deadline, and I suppose he will be, as usual. This team looks like maybe a 83-85 game winner right now, on the edge of a WC berth…

      • DJLoo said, on January 18, 2015 at 5:25 pm

        He wasn’t sitting on his hands the whole time, snarkk. He got off them briefly to wave goodbye to Morse and Sandoval…

  42. dirtnrocksnomo said, on January 18, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    So Petit and Blanco avoid arbitration. I image Belt will be next to be extended. I think they’ll go for more years with him. McGhee one and done?

    • zumiee said, on January 18, 2015 at 2:28 pm

      McGehee could play himself into a nice contract.
      I think the Giants are a bit intrigued by Duffy, though. Duffy looked more like a major league hitter than Adrianza did last season. The Giants are liking their first round pick Arroyo a lot. He looked good in the minors last season. Another option is moving Crawford to 3b eventually (TF mentioned this) and putting one of those guys at short.

    • snarkk said, on January 18, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      If I were Belt, I’d sign for a year, and risk later FAgency. No way would I sign away any FA year. Don’t want to get screwed like Bum did…

  43. zumiee said, on January 18, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    A family friend gave us some books the other day, and one of the books is a baseball rules book. Just browsing through it, I came across the official definition of the strikezone. Everybody knows three of the sides of the strikezone well: the two sides of the plate, and the knees (the top of the knees, according to the rulebook), but what about the nebulous top part of the strikezone? I’ve heard broadcasters give varying definitions of it, and very few of them mentioned the actual exact definition of the top of the strikezone. The actual top of the strikezone, according to the rulebook (I was somewhat surprised to see), is an imaginary line, determined by the umpire, halfway between the top of the batters pants to the top of his shoulders. That’s a pretty subjective thing to be determining. But still well above the belt, and we’ve seen some umps who seem reluctant to call strikes above the belt. But, it’s also below the armpit level, below the nipple level, and probably low on most teams’ letters on the front of their jersey. So it’s not super high either. Plus, some players crouch down more than others, further mucking the water on that.
    Plus, the challenge the ump has of determining how high the pitch was when it crossed the plate, as opposed to when the catcher caught it. A lot of subjectivity to that. I wonder if umps are graded on that sort of thing, by MLB, comparing their strike calls to electronic analysis, like the K-zone type of things that are shown on some broadcasts.

    • DJLoo said, on January 18, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      What ever happened to Questech or whatever the hell that thing was called?

  44. zumiee said, on January 18, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    I hope Green Bay can hang on and humble the Seahawks.
    I’ve got a feeling New England is going to roll 42-17 or something over the Colts.

  45. snarkk said, on January 18, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Any question bout the East coast controlling things is put to rest by the crazy noon time start in Seattle. West Coast game should follow the East coast game, logically. The ratings game for the East coast drives it all…

  46. zumiee said, on January 18, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Green Bay fell apart at the end. You just can’t flub the onside-kick like that. That Green Bay dude is wearing some serious goat horns.

    • snarkk said, on January 18, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      He won’t be back next season. Bostick has to get cut for that. The ST coach was in his face having a stroke, because the coach may have just lost his job on that play…

      • zumiee said, on January 18, 2015 at 5:04 pm

        A lot of Packers fans are drowning their sorrows in cheese tonight.

      • Alleykat said, on January 18, 2015 at 5:07 pm

        He will be back Snarkk.
        Bostick just a rookie,fairly high draft pick I believe. Tough one to wear this off-season, like our own guy Williams who cost us an extra SB trip.
        And of course the original villain “Our own “Mr Onside Screwup “Preston Riley against Dallas& Roger Staubach’s heroics at the end. Oh the pain still lingers, John Brodie’s best and only chance to get us to our 1st SB in 71or 72? Under the tutelage of , yes,Dick Nolan, Mikey’s dad!!
        Crushing times for Dick Nolan, who could never get by them Cowpokes in the playoffs!!

      • zumiee said, on January 18, 2015 at 5:18 pm

        I don’t remember seeing the Niners on TV in those days. I heard a lot of the games on radio, with Lon Simmons providing the great play-by-play. I remember watching the Raider/Steelers playoff game on TV that ended with the amazing deflection touchdown to Harris. That was very exciting. The ball flew off screen, then suddenly Harris was running down the field for a touchdown, with the broadcasters scrambling to understand what just happened.

      • snarkk said, on January 18, 2015 at 8:25 pm

        Don’t remind me, Kat, of that monumental gag job by the Niners in ’72. Up 15 heading into Q4. Eerily similar to today’s gag job by the Pack, including the botched onsides kick…

  47. zumiee said, on January 18, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Hilariously cool….

  48. blade3colorado said, on January 18, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    “Sabes is officially WTF proof”

    Truer words have never been spoken. Fucker got Saint hood after the first title in my opinion. Second and third title? Dude is a God. I get it that it’s the “Hot Stove Season” and everything is open to discussion.

    However, I really think Sabes has been diligent with competitive offers, e.g., Sandoval, Lester, etc. Sandoval wanted to leave – probably due to the tax advantages of playing for Boston (versus the heavy schedule of AL West teams along with normal heavy schedule of Dodgers and Padres . . . The dude gets hosed by the tax man playing in California). Lester same thing probably.

    The other important reason for Sabes knowing not to go overboard and this has been discussed in the media (as well as pointed out by Zumiee) – is the fact that with the additional wild card – you only need to get to the dance (playoffs). After that, anything can happen, as the Giants have shown in all of their 3 World Series title runs. Shit, the GMen are built for the playoffs . . . give me the Crawfords, Blancos, and Paniks – all of whom are playoff and World Series battle tested versus any “pee their pants” Superstar. Giants know how to win.

    Most important reason for Sabes being circumspect about the payroll this season is probably due to many of the big contracts are coming off the books after next season, i.e., we might have been over the luxury tax this season if we had signed 1-2 heavy weight free agents. After next season, he’ll have more flexibility with these large contracts coming off the books such as Lincecum’s.

  49. paulinasia said, on January 18, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    I pretty much agree about Sabean being WTF-proof, although I do share a little of the frustration that not much has happened to improve the team this off-season (so far). It’s possible he might be a little frustrated himself, and maybe even a bit surprised: I’m guessing the team really thought they’d get Pablo back and had a really good shot at Lester, which means what they’ve done so far in adding McGehee, Peavy, et al, has been Plan B. It’s easy for us to think, why the hell wouldn’t these free agents want to come play for the best organization in baseball, in one of the greatest cities in the world? For players like Pablo and Lester, who both have already won multiple championship rings, it was probably more of “where can I make a difference”: for Pablo, helping to resurrect the Sox from the basement (albeit a short-term stay in the basement), and for Lester, helping to resurrect a permanently dead team and fandom. I don’t blame either of them for that; I’m just wondering if Sabean was a bit surprised about it. I’m still thinking there’s another Plan B move, and maybe even one from Plan A that he hasn’t pulled off yet. Hoping so, anyway. I don’t share some of the negativity that the Flap has seen about all this, but I do agree something more needs to be done.


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