Sunday, March 01, 2015

RIP Minnie Minoso

One of the great stars of the 1950s and a much-admired pioneer in integrating MLB. He was the first black player for the Chisox. 

The Chicago Trib obit mentions that he had  finished 4th in the MVP voting 4 times and had a WAR of 8.3 in 1954. 

He had a career WAR over 50 despite getting to play regularly until he was 25. He never played in the postseason.

"Cain looked sharp"

That's the word out of Arizona from Chris Haft at mlb.com

He's been so reliable for so long except for last season --

 Emphasizing that nothing is physically wrong with Matt Cain, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Saturday that the right-hander won't appear in a Cactus League exhibition game until sometime between March 10-14, enabling him to work more extensively on his recovery from surgeries.
Bochy still expected Cain, who had bone spurs and chips removed from his right elbow and ankle during the offseason, to be ready to start a game in "the first go-round" -- during San Francisco's opening five regular season contests. Cain looked sharp in his first two throwing sessions off a bullpen mound and is expected to pitch live batting practice Sunday.
"There has been no setback," said Bochy, explaining that Cain will accomplish more by working a little longer under the supervision of head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner instead of limiting himself solely to pitching.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

"That was huge"

That's BB, Brandon Belt, talking about the 18th inning HR he hit in Game 2 of the NLDS.

Here's part of the SF Chron's story --


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Brandon Belt walked into the Scottsdale Stadium clubhouse Thursday morning carrying a lime green soft-sided cooler. The kind your kid might carry to school.
Inside the cooler could be the secret to the Giants season: a chorizo scramble, parmesan-crusted turkey and fruit.
Belt has been on a serious nutrition plan for most of the past three months. In consultation with the Giants’ performance dietician Danielle LaFata, Belt has relied on prepared meals to help him become leaner, stronger and healthier.
“I don’t trust myself to make those meals and make the right portion sizes,” Belt said. “So I let this company do it.”
A new interest in health is usually a sign of a player’s growing maturity. Belt is now 26, and the Giants are ready for him to have a big season in 2015, his fifth in the majors.
“We’re waiting on a bust-out season from Brandon,” general manager Brian Sabean said earlier this week. “He’s capable of it. He might be poised to do it.”
No pressure there, right?
“It does not put any pressure on me,” Belt said. “I expect it from myself.”
Others have been expecting it for a while. Belt made the Giants at 22 (famously breaking into tears on camera, prompting Bruce Bochy to offer, “You need a beer? Grab a beer.”) It was probably too early and he went back and forth between San Francisco and Fresno. In 2012, he eventually became the full-time first baseman, played 145 games and helped the Giants win a World Series. After a slow start in 2013, Belt adjusted his stance and was blistering hot over the final two months of the season.
Last year, he seemed poised to pick up where he left off in 2013, to have a breakout season. Instead he broke his thumb. Shortly after coming off the disabled list, he was hit in the head by an errant infield throw and suffered a serious concussion, endangering his entire season. Belt played only 61 games.
“It was frustrating,” he said. “But I’m proud of myself because I came back and was able to contribute.”
When the playoffs started, Belt was healthy. He started all 17 playoff games and batted .295. His most memorable contribution was a winning home run in the 18th inning in Washington that put the Giants up 2-0 in the series against a Nationals team that was expected to win. It was October’s turning point.
“That was huge,” he said. “I think after that game we kind of knew. ... There was a good chance we were going to do this again.”

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hunter Strickland deals with his postseason record

Monday, February 23, 2015

SI gives the Giants a D for off-season

Well, the team shouldn't be too over-confident with reports like this. 

Along with the Mets and Rox, the Giants got a D from Sports Illustrated for their offseason moves.Here's the verbiage -- 

Preliminary Grade (Feb. 4): D
Final Grade: D
Key moves since preliminary grade: Signed LHP Clay Rapada to a minor league deal

Pablo Sandoval and Michael Morse are gone, Casey McGehee and Nori Aoki are here, and Jake Peavy, Ryan Vogelsong and Sergio Romo were retained. The Giants avoid the minus here because Morse didn't fit on an NL team with a good first baseman, and Sandoval is likely to prove a poor investment. San Francisco did technically replace both, and coming off the team's third championship in five years, there's only so much criticism that will stick to this organization. —Cliff Corcoran

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The 3 Buster Hugs

Henry Schulman of the SF Chron has a fine piece about Buster Posey being there for the final out of the 2010, 2012 and 2014 World Series. 

Here's part --

 The first thing when I see that picture is, I can’t believe Bumgarner just did what he did. What stands out to me is the conversation we had after Gordon got on third, and just how calm and confident Bum was. He just said, “I got this. I’m going to get him out.” There was no other thought in his mind. It definitely made me settle in a lot more once he said that.
Playing in a Game 7 was completely different. It’s the last game of the year. There are no other games for anybody else in baseball. As a fan, I understand how unique a Game 7 of the World Series is. They don’t come around too often. As much as I could, I tried to appreciate the moment. Once the game got going, it seemed to move pretty quickly.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Humble Pie for Timmy

Henry Schulman of the SF Chron explains that Tim Lincecum was so desperate to make his pitching motion work that he turned to his dad.

I'm thinking "What took you so long?" But that's easy for me to say  

He said a very Tim-like thing -- 
“It’s kind of like a kid with a bad report card,” Lincecum said. “You can’t hide it from (your parents) all summer, can you?”

 Lincecum’s inability to repeat his mechanics has been the main reason he has struggled. He still had the stuff to no-hit the San Diego Padres for a second season in a row last year but could not consistenlty pitch well. By season’s end, he was in the bullpen and was practically an afterthought in the postseason.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The biggest question marks for the Orange and Black