THE San Francisco Giants Blog

The Mass Grave That Never Was

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 19, 2021

So, uh, the thrashing didn’t end up happening. Unless you consider getting doubled up by one of the shittiest teams in the league a thrashing. I guess we got thrashed.

We also made our 20th error of the spring. I’m not obsessive about defense but that leads the ML’s and that’s not going to fly.

One idea that isn’t going to happen: If you think the hitting is still strong wouldn’t it be intelligent to start the Grave Duggar at least vs right handed pitchers? The offense should be able to withstand his shortcomings with the bat and if our defense is going to be substandard maybe he becomes critical?

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  1. sandog said, on March 19, 2021 at 7:35 am

    Makes all the sense in the world, Flav. Especially in a big park like Oracle.

    • Flavor said, on March 19, 2021 at 7:37 am

      i know some of us have let our enthusiasm for The Grave Duggar color our judgement of his actual skill set, but it really does make perfect sense—assuming you think the offense will be productive around him

  2. Winder said, on March 19, 2021 at 8:41 am

    Errors will kill you in baseball. At the major league level errors should be far and few between.

    • djloo27 said, on March 19, 2021 at 8:43 am

      Especially in the OF where screw-ups lead to XB hits…

  3. Macdog said, on March 19, 2021 at 8:57 am

    Most of the errors are from players who won’t be in Seattle on Opening Day:

    Luciano 3 (no)
    Alcantara 2 (no)
    Basabe 2 (no)
    Crawford 2 (yes)
    Dubon 2 (yes)
    Ramos 2 (maybe?)
    Wilson 2 (no)
    Bracho 1 (no)
    Ruf 1 (likely)
    Sherfy 1 (no)
    Solano 1 (yes)
    Wade 1 (maybe?)

  4. James said, on March 19, 2021 at 8:57 am

    Clearly, the game is broken. We need to see more Ks, BBs and HRs to cut down on all those embarrassing defensive plays.

  5. xoot said, on March 19, 2021 at 9:58 am

    I’m sure the fielding will mellow down easy when defensive studs Wilmer and Solano play more.

    • James said, on March 19, 2021 at 11:33 am

      Solano made 11 of last year’s 42 total errors. Ouch. Wilmer only 3 with similar number of chances, although he did play a lot of 1B.

      • xoot said, on March 19, 2021 at 11:40 am

        Just what I thought. Donnie bobbles.

  6. snarkk said, on March 19, 2021 at 10:26 am

    Check this link.
    I think Verducci has it pretty well set out. He’s preaching to my choir. Without changes, baseball is in trouble as a game, heading to the future.
    It’s turned into a boring effort to watch it. I can listen on the radio when I’m outside in my yard for a few hours keeping busy. But, I don’t watch it, except 2-3 minutes of highlights at night. Now, it’s not close to the game that I grew up with. Mays’ athleticism would be largely wasted in this game. Few frozen ropes to run down in deep center, hardly any steals. I brought my snarkettes to Giants games over the years, but the game didn’t stick with them at all. They liked the spectacle, being outside. But, too boring, too slow to keep any interest. Look at the average number of Ks per game — it’s just too much. And, that’s only one thing that sucks. What’s the point of having great athletes in the field if they rarely field the ball, throw it, or go from 1st to 3rd? Young people are not into entertainment that is more often than not akin to watching paint dry for 3 1/2 hours. Nor am I. Baseball now is like college basketball with Dean Smith coaching the 4 corners before the NCAA had enough and brought in the shot clock from the NBA. Long periods of agonizing boredom. Management and labor better get it together in this next CBA. If they are collectively stupid, and I think they will be, and paint themselves into some extended work stoppage with no substantive changes coming out of it, that could be curtains for the game — well beyond the body blow of ’94…

    https://www.si.com/mlb/2021/03/17/baseball-preview-pace-of-play-crisis

    • alleykat69 said, on March 19, 2021 at 11:37 am

      Great post Snarkk and thanks for the article..
      2 Balls put into play in the last 26 minutes of the final W/S game tells it all how boring the game has gotten!
      And yes when I was younger and seeing that BS Dean Smith would pull with that 4 corner offense before the NCAA said we have seen enough and installed the 24 second clock, I was tuning out in disgust as I’m sure many fans were also..

    • Bozo said, on March 19, 2021 at 12:06 pm

      Interesting article. Baseball used to have a nice flow to it but does come across as more robotic to me now days.

      The funny thing is, it seems to me that many of baseball’s issues were created by the MLB Commissioner(s) in the first place and some of their fixes have made the situation worse.
      The DH was created to keep some stars in the game longer but it also made games go longer. The steroid use in the Sosa and McGwire HR race was ignored because of the attendance issues following the strike. The ad, “Chicks dig the long ball” added to that mentality. To gain a few big spender bucks, the HR derby was heavily promoted and pretty much has over shadowed the AS game now. They added a pitch clock to hurry the pitcher along but also added a live baseball, which created more HRs and longer, higher scoring games. In so many ways it seems to me that MLB is the cause of this current “Elevate to Celebrate” attitude.

  7. alleykat69 said, on March 19, 2021 at 11:19 am

    March Madness just starting up makes up for boring ST games for now..
    Kotter is just checking out all kinds of combinations to see if players can help out at certain positions which is fine in ST but will need to get the regular starters in there more with a week to go are so.
    I remember last year at the start they were the worst team on defense with like 19 errors in there first 20 plus games(easily leading the league) but that was without Longo out early no Posey,Belt if he’s not in there also this D suffers.There good hitting helped overcome their shitty D a lot early and the D improved in the end to be middle of the pack I believe, but they need to clean it up better then how they started last year..

  8. James said, on March 19, 2021 at 11:43 am

    I suspect the less lively ball will reduce the number of HRs without having any impact on the Ks and BBs. The attempts to engineer the game away from the effects of rational analytics-based strategies are going to fail. If you don’t enjoy the contest between the pitcher and the batter — the very essence of the game — you will be bored by baseball.

    • snarkk said, on March 19, 2021 at 12:19 pm

      17 Ks now per 9 inning game compared to 10 in the ’80s. That’s a huge increase.
      That’s not a contest between pitcher and batter, that’s a rout…

    • xoot said, on March 19, 2021 at 12:29 pm

      I like hitters who don’t strike out much. Once, every other game, say. Willie Mays: 22 seasons, 12,497 PAs, 1,526 SOs. Barry Bonds: 22 seasons, 12,606 PAs, 1,539 SOs.

    • James said, on March 19, 2021 at 12:42 pm

      Sure, Bonds is easily my favorite player of all time. He reduced the game to the at bat, nothing else mattered. It was awesome. He did draw a few walks. Mantle was pretty good, despite the Ks.

      Snarkk, the Ks aren’t simply a product of the upper cut. Pitchers, with their ever increasing velocities, get some credit, too. Likewise, the BBs aren’t solely pitchers fucking up.

      They could ban off speed pitches, that would fix things.

      • snarkk said, on March 19, 2021 at 2:12 pm

        I’m not saying the upper cut causes more Ks now. That’s part of it, but bringing in 98 mph arms every other inning certainly is a huge factor. In the golden age of baseball through about the 90s, starters were key to the ball game, how long they could last without getting knocked out. Now, there really isn’t any such thing as a starter in the historical sense. Just an initial reliever. Somebody figured out the 3rd time through the rotation is dangerous, now maybe even the 2nd time through. So, just have a 98 mph fresh arm ready to go and use them much earlier and often. Result — a shit ton of pitch and catch with the catcher, much less contact and balls in play, and boring-ass baseball. At this rate, baseball will make cricket look frenetic…

      • James said, on March 19, 2021 at 2:37 pm

        I guess what I’m saying is that there’s a logic to what you describe that puts any team that doesn’t follow it at a disadvantage. So, everyone will continue to do so, unless you make some truly fundamental changes to the way the game works, like my half-joking suggestion above to turn every team into the 2019 Astros. All the stuff that they are talking about doing, e.g., bigger bases, isn’t going to fix the “pace of play” issue. (I already hate that phrase.) And at this stage, the one thing they’ve done, deadening the ball, will potentially create an imbalance in the HR/K/BB Triumvirate of Evil that will turn off even more of the casual fans.

  9. alleykat69 said, on March 19, 2021 at 11:44 am

    What’s great about March Madness besides my Brackets LOL 😂
    is most teams are never out of it with great basketball till the end are OT.
    Just now VT had a nice lead late, blew the whole lead as Florida roars back to take the lead by 3 and just when u think they have it won a VT player hits a scrambling run up court 3 at the buzzer to send it into OT..Crazy March Madness I love it!!

  10. Winder said, on March 19, 2021 at 1:02 pm

    Unless you are at the park baseball is better on the radio IMO. You can be doing things and still not miss much of anything. And, you can go grab a beer and take a piss without traveling very far.

    • James said, on March 19, 2021 at 1:08 pm

      We can all use some boring baseball.

  11. unca_chuck said, on March 19, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    Speaking of errors . . .

    • zumiee said, on March 19, 2021 at 2:47 pm

      The mid-’70s Reds’ everyday players were so dominant they were able to overcome the limits of their good, but not great, pitching staff.

  12. unca_chuck said, on March 19, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    Mays could have stolen about 500 more bases if he was given the go-ahead. Steals weren’t as big a deal as they are made out to be back in the day. At least the 50’s anyway.

    But I get the point. Swinging for the fences every damn AB is beer league softball. Best thing to do would be to eliminate the OF fences, and just let hard- hit balls roll as far as they can. Then these lard-ass guys would run.

    • Winder said, on March 19, 2021 at 1:30 pm

      If Mays had played in Atlanta he would be the home run leader.

      • alleykat69 said, on March 19, 2021 at 2:27 pm

        For sure Winder(Stick was awful for HR hitters, not like the launching pad in Atlanta) plus the 2 years of his prime to the military which cost him close to 100 bombs!

  13. djloo27 said, on March 19, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    #15 Oral Roberts knocks out #2 Buckeyes.
    Bye bye bracket…

  14. snarkk said, on March 19, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    No infield shifts allowed — two men on each side of second — always.
    Pitch clock, like the 24 second clock in NBA.
    No stepping out of the box more than once during the AB, else it’s an automatic strike penalty.
    Robo umps call the balls/strikes.
    Automatic safe/out call at first using blue tooth technology between player’s glove and bag — cut down on the most useless piece of replay review.
    And so on…

    • Winder said, on March 19, 2021 at 2:46 pm

      Those are some pretty good ideas.

      Also Nunez will miss the year for Tommy John surgery.

    • James said, on March 19, 2021 at 2:51 pm

      These are all more or less fine, but they won’t disincentivize hitters who try to maximize OPS by putting the ball in the air and not swinging at shitty pitches nor pitching that makes it increasingly difficult to make contact and hit for a high average.

      • alleykat69 said, on March 19, 2021 at 3:13 pm

        Jesus move these games on faster! Dump the shift and go back to real baseball from the 60’s when the games averaged 2:25 hours to this damm freaking boring 3 hours average now! Never leave the Batters Box even on a foul ball to adjust your stupid gloves and your cup!!

    • zumiee said, on March 19, 2021 at 2:53 pm

      Snarkk, I’m onboard with all of those ideas. Some of them I wasn’t keen on in the past; but I agree, some things have to change.

      • zumiee said, on March 19, 2021 at 2:56 pm

        Getting rid of the shifts would have the hitters hitting more singles again, and more base-running would be happening.

      • djloo27 said, on March 19, 2021 at 2:59 pm

        More bad base running probably…

      • zumiee said, on March 19, 2021 at 3:05 pm

        Ha! True.

      • James said, on March 19, 2021 at 3:07 pm

        The impact of eliminating the shift won’t be that noticeable. Look at the stats for hitting the ball on the ground in the pre-shift days. You were still a lot more likely to make an out than if you hit it in the air.

  15. alleykat69 said, on March 19, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    Yeah a Bracket Buster for sure Loo! Congrats to Oral Roberts
    Only 9 times has a #15 beat a # 2 and then the only#1 seed Virginia( would not like that title hanging over me forever)losing to UMBC in 2018..
    15 seed winners
    15 Richmond Def 2 Syracuse (1991)
    15 Santa Clara Def 2 Arizona (1993)
    15 Coppin St Def 2South Carolina (1997)
    15 Hampton Def 2 Iowa St (2001)
    15 Lehigh Def Duke (2012)
    15 Norfolk St Def 2 Missouri (2012)
    15 Florid Gulf Coast Def 2Georgetown (2013)
    15 Middle Tennessee Def 2 Michigan St (2016)
    #16 UMBC Def 1 Virginia (2018)
    And now #15 Oral Roberts Def 2Ohio St (2021)

    • djloo27 said, on March 19, 2021 at 3:04 pm

      12/5 upset brewing in the Midwest…

  16. zumiee said, on March 19, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    I was going to say something about last night’s game, but I really couldn’t think of anything to say about it, other than Krukow trotted out his usual phrases, getting them ready for the season. “Horse-laugh” and “jimmy-jacking around” made appearances, and some others. The game seemed tired, and the broadcasting seemed tired.

    • James said, on March 19, 2021 at 3:10 pm

      You missed “they’re releasing the hostages, time to go back to the lunch room” or something like that.

      • zumiee said, on March 19, 2021 at 5:57 pm

        lulz

  17. zumiee said, on March 19, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    For the zillionth time Krukow asked Kuiper if he preferred going to his left or right on defense. Kuiper gamely answered again that he used to prefer going to his left. He did add something new by saying that it’s the only situation in life where he felt like he was a good dancer.

  18. alleykat69 said, on March 19, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    Yeah Krukow needs to warmup with his season long saying of “Arm Slot” for pitchers..

    • snarkk said, on March 19, 2021 at 6:23 pm

      Don’t forget the umpteenth description of tonight’s strike zone for the home plate ump du jour…

  19. gianthead said, on March 19, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    Mgmt toys with the thought that Yaz Slater or others can man center. Just play Dubon with the Great Duggar backing up and getting starts against some righties..

  20. unca_chuck said, on March 19, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    The fastest way to speed up the game is to call the correct strike zone. As it is now, the strike zone is the waist to the upper knee. Call high strikes, and these fucking Belt-type guys taking so many pitches will be 0-1, 0-2, 0-3 before they can adjust their gloves, lick their bats, and scratch their balls.

    Forcing players to play in certain areas is absolutely ludicrous. If players can’t adjust to the fielders, fuck them. The shift doesn’t affect the speed of the game.

    Then again, there’s no penalty for being a guy who bats .195 but has 28 HRs and 80 RBIs. In fact he gets a shit ton of money for doing just that. And not even playing in the field. Stupid.

    I swear, they may as well load the bases every inning and see how many runs teams can limit the damage to.

    32-28 will be the norm. Isn’t that what they want?

    • djloo27 said, on March 19, 2021 at 4:55 pm

      The only time the shift gets noticed is when it obviously worked or was obviously beaten.
      Baseball needs more of the latter…

      • James said, on March 19, 2021 at 5:16 pm

        “Noticed” is the key word there.

    • James said, on March 19, 2021 at 5:05 pm

      In 2020, Belt had 19 pitches called strikes high and outside the zone. He had 6 pitches called balls that were in the upper part of the zone. The statcast graphs rely on the official strike zone.

      If anything, when the roboumps come, guys like Belt will be celebrating the invasion.

    • snarkk said, on March 19, 2021 at 6:28 pm

      The shift is designed to defend ground balls and line drives to the extent their trajectory is predictable per batter. The shift takes away the randomness of hits caused by hard contact to open spaces.
      In other words, the shift’s purpose is to defeat the successful randomness of “hit ’em where they ain’t” to “hit ’em to me where I can predict you will because you won’t adjust your swing for where I stand”. Batters are not and will not change their swings to block or to pull a ball to defeat the shift. Result = fewer hits rewarding hard contact, and boring ass beer-league baseball …

  21. zumiee said, on March 19, 2021 at 5:57 pm

    Chris Hayes tonight: “One of the things we learned here, right?, is that …..(etc., etc.)”

    Oh man, I can’t stop hearing “right?” everywhere.

    • zumiee said, on March 19, 2021 at 6:00 pm

      It’s something that, right?, I get annoyed by.

  22. xoot said, on March 19, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    Everyone at the park notices a shift; on tv, they put color-coded pie charts over the IF with % numbers to explain a shift. What’s amazing is that computers finally made it possible to game the IF distance. And that distance is the sort of tradition that may save the game. 90 feet; 60 feet, 6 inches. Limits still scaled to the human range. Keep them. And outlaw the shift to keep the perfect dimensions perfect.

    The Nego Leagues invented night baseball. The teams trailered light stands from town to town to play as many games as possible, for the money. mlb soon thereafter embraced the huge numbers of great African American players coming up from their communities and into the Leagues, for the money. People in Chicago, I hear, resisted night lights for decades. People in Boston (and elsewhere), African American players. But the industry changed. It has continued to change. For the money.

    Did the roots of African American baseball culture begin to die without the Negro Leagues to need them?

    • unca_chuck said, on March 19, 2021 at 7:11 pm

      The shift has nothing to do with dimension. Baseball dimensions differ in EVERY park. That is part of the charm.

      They shifted Williams and McCovey.

      • xoot said, on March 19, 2021 at 7:13 pm

        The diamond doesn’t change. The whole point is to overload one side of the dimensions. And the constant shift is new. Without computers, only the obvious faced it. Mac Ted W etc.

      • alleykat69 said, on March 19, 2021 at 7:37 pm

        What good is the shift when dumb ass pitchers don’t hit the spot to help the shift by pitching away from the shift to left handed are right handed hitters?

      • unca_chuck said, on March 19, 2021 at 10:04 pm

        The only reason teams shift is because EVERY hitter is trying to pull the ball. They play into their own demise. But since it’s all about the long ball, nobody cares.

        No one shifted on Tony Gwynn. Or Rod Carew. They would have both batted .420 against the shift.

        If the players are too stupid to use all the field, why penalize the defenses facing them?

      • xoot said, on March 19, 2021 at 10:22 pm

        Yeah god dammit be tony Gwynn you damn sluggers.

      • unca_chuck said, on March 19, 2021 at 10:30 pm

        Point still is, you force the defense not play to their advantage because the hitters are too lazy to hit to the opposite field? It’s like the NFL saying that safeties can’t blitz.

      • xoot said, on March 19, 2021 at 10:37 pm

        Yeah. That’s what it is.

    • xoot said, on March 19, 2021 at 7:41 pm

      Ask the computers.

  23. djloo27 said, on March 19, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    13/4 upset brewing in the South…

    • xoot said, on March 19, 2021 at 6:50 pm

      Roy Orbison, Meatloaf and Norah Jones all attended North Texas. As did about ten blonde miss americas iirc.

      • Flavor said, on March 19, 2021 at 7:16 pm

        i was in France having the time of my life when I heard about Ray Orbison dying. Didn’t appreciate it at the time. I didn’t know anything about anything when I was young……

      • xoot said, on March 19, 2021 at 7:29 pm

        Salad days

      • unca_chuck said, on March 19, 2021 at 10:27 pm

        Is that near Port Arthur?

  24. zumiee said, on March 20, 2021 at 9:15 am

    When I was a kid, one of the records we had was Roy Orbison’s Greatest Hits. An amazing collection of songs. I played it many many times. Timeless recordings.

  25. zumiee said, on March 20, 2021 at 9:22 am

    On the Beatles’ first U.S. tour, they were the opening act for Orbison. As the tour went on, and the Beatles were exploding so hugely, concert promoters switched things, and made Orbison the opening act. By all accounts, Orbison was very gracious about it and became friends with the Beatles.
    Many years later, of course, George Harrison recorded some things with Orbison.

    • zumiee said, on March 20, 2021 at 9:24 am

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