Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Whine, whine, whine

What a crybaby Brad Penny is. After throwing a chest-high fastball out of the strike zoneto Bonds, he whined at the home plate ump and proceeded to gift-wrap the game for the Giants by then walking Klesko, giving up a single to Molina, then giving up a two-run single to Feliz.

I Know It's Only Rock and Roll

....But I like it like it yes I do.

From Variety -- Little, Brown has scored world English-language rights (outside the U.K.) to the memoir of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. The publisher declined to disclose the cost of the deal, but published reports put it between $7 million and $8 million. The first authorized Stones tome, to be written with James Fox, is expected to be out in fall 2010, senior VP and publisher Michael Pietsch said Tuesday.

Bill Plaschke -- an idiot and a crybaby

The good old days

This is one of my favorite SI covers of all time, featuring the best player on the 1962 Giants -- probably the best team since they came to San Francisco. He drove in the first run in the Giants' epic 4-run rally in the 9th inning of the final playoff game against the Dodgers.
Top of the 9th, Giants Batting, Behind 2-4, Ed Roebuck facing 9-1-2
-- M Alou Single to RF (Line Drive)
-- H Kuenn Groundout: SS-2B/Forceout at 2B
-- W McCovey Walk; Kuenn to 2B
-- F Alou Walk; Kuenn to 3B; Bowman to 2B
-- W Mays Single to P (Line Drive); Kuenn Scores; Bowman to 3B; Alou to 2B
Stan Williams replaces Ed Roebuck pitching
-- O Cepeda Flyball: RF/Sacrifice Fly; Bowman Scores; Alou to 3B
-- E Bailey Wild Pitch; Mays to 2B; Intentional Walk
-- J Davenport Walk; Alou Scores; Mays to 3B; Bailey to 2B
Ron Perranoski replaces Stan Williams pitching
-- J Pagan Reached on E4 (Ground Ball); Mays Scores
-- Bob Nieman pinch hits for Matty Alou; Strikeout
4 runs, 2 hits, 1 error, 3 LOB. Giants 6, Dodgers 4.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

What an idiot

That's what I thought as Matt Morris got hammered today. He won his 7th game on June 11 and he's been garbage since then. Meanwhile, the Giants offense has been one of the worst in MLB. Even with a 4-1 record in the last 5 games, the Giants have won more games than only the Pirates and the Devil Rays.

Q. What kind of an idiot doesn't go out and get some offense in that situation -- when teams are desperate for starting pitching? A. The kind who's in the Giants front office and has let Morris' trade value decline to such a degree over the last month that he's nearly worthless.

There's still hope that Morris could be traded to the Dodgers, given Ned Colletti's willingness to pick up washed up ex-Giants (Schmidt and Tomko) and the currently desperate state of the Dodgers starting pitching. How about Russell Martin and James Loney for Morris?

I'm joking, by the way. This is the same incompetent who traded away Joe Nathan and Jeremy Accardo and signed Edgardo Alfonzo to a 4-year deal. My expectations are in the sub-basement.


That's the Giants record in games this season that they've trailed after eight innings. It was 1-48 before tonight's stirring comeback.

Best thing about tonight's game was Matt Cain coming back after giving up 3 runs in the 3rd, two of them on a horrific hanging slider to Miguel Cabrera. After that, he was lights out -- solid, aggressive pitching that looked like the Matt Cain of the second half of 2006. Maybe he'll even get some wins now.

The greatest Giant

Bonds is a close second. But it's still No. 24.

Excellent column on Duane Kuiper

Jayson Stark's written a nice piece about Kuip and his one homer. There's a fascinating chart with it. Note that three of the 10 guys started for the SF Giants --

• With at least 3,000 at-bats:
1. Duane Kuiper 1 3,379
2. Frank Taveras 2 4,043
3. Roger Metzger 5 4,201
4. Dal Maxvill 6 3,443
T5. Doug Flynn 7 3,853
T5. Jerry Remy 7 4,455
T5. Sonny Jackson 7 3,055
T5. Greg Gross 7 3,745
T5. Bud Harrelson 7 4,744
10. Hal Lanier 8 3,703
11. Jose Lind 9 3,677

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Shut up, Orel

I always though Orel Hershiser was a bit hard to take as a player -- not just because he played pretty well for the Dodgers but also because of his overbearing smugness. Ok, he did have a decent year for the Giants, so I can't despise him completely.

But during tonight's broadcast on ESPN, Orel and the other guys on the announcing team embarrassed themselves through their spirited defense of the idiotic construction of the team. Orel insisted that the front office had gone with all the vets because they needed to have guys who can handle media scrutiny. There was no mention of Brian Sabean having chosen the wrong guys, having decided to pay people on the assumption that they were going to chip in with career years; no followup that they're not producing in line with those expecations -- just the implication that it's all Barry's fault because of all the "media distraction." What a load of garbage!

It got worse, too. Orel later insisted that it would be wrong for Bond to break the record at Dodger Stadium next week because of the potential for some kind of disruption. He didn't specify but the implication was that if the Giants and Bonds were truly righteous, they wouldn't let Bonds play until the team leaves LA. What's idiotic about that is that Orel apparently feels it's not really the responsibility of Dodger management to keep the Dodger Stadium thugs -- and there are plenty of them -- from throwing crap on the field or running onto the field when and/or if Bonds hits HR 755 and 756.

By the 5th inning, I was ready to barf as Orel talked about how there's not really that much interest in Bonds and that baseball "severed its connection" with the fans because of the "age of enhancement." No mention, of course, how MLB keeps setting attendance records or how ESPN has hammered fans relentlessly about how evil Bonds is. The implication is pretty simple -- things obviously used to be better when Orel was his prime.

"I thought we were doomed"

After attending last night's wild 12-10 win at Mays Field in Section 223, that's how a conversation got started as we were filing out. The speaker was referring to Zito's complete ineffectiveness in closing out Marlins hitters. Even with the massive inspiration of the historic first inning, there was some serious booing of Zito in the 3rd and 4th innings as a 2-1 lead devolved into a 6-2 debacle. I never boo but the tone was very much on the order of "Get it together, dude, because we know you can do better than this and right now, you suck!" He's now the least effective starter the Giants have.

I've always thought that sportswriters were insane for writing that Bonds and the record chase was distracting the rest of the team but their opinion certainly got validated last night once Bonds got HR 754 out of the way. If Durham, Molina and Feliz had been hitting like this all year, the Giants wouldn't be stuck in last place.

Also, Peter Magowan gave an interview that indicated he's not expecting a trade by the deadline.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Stallone promotion

While Barry Bonds tries to break Aaron's record in San Francisco, the Brooklyn Cyclones have their own Sylvester Stallone festivities on Saturday, according to the Brooklyn Eagle --

1. The team will show a variety of Stallone-themed entertainment throughout the night.
2. Fans are invited to dress up as their favorite Stallone character, with the winning costume receiving a prize pack.
3. Anyone named “Sylvester” will be admitted to the ballpark at no charge.
4. In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the 1987 movie “Over The Top” . . . the New York Arm Wrestling Association (NYAWA) will host over 100 men and women competing that day for the 25th Annual White Castle ‘Kingsboro’ Golden Arm Wrestling titles, featuring a championship match taking place on the dugout during that night’s game!
5. In addition to all the Sly festivities, the first 1,250 kids that night will receive Thunderstix.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Blownitez does it again

On the same night that Brad Hennessey racked up his 8th save for the Giants, here's Blownitez did against the Dbacks --

Score tied, 4-4, entering the ninth.

Bottom 9th: Arizona
- A. Benitez relieved T. Tankersley
- M. Montero singled to center
- S. Hairston hit for T. Pena
- S. Hairston sacrificed to first, M. Montero to second
- C. Young walked
- M. Montero to third on wild pitch
- C. Young to second on fielder's indifference
- O. Hudson struck out swinging
- E. Byrnes homered to deep left, C. Young and M. Montero scored
3 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors
Florida 4, Arizona 7


Surgeon General's opinion

"It is the opinion of the Surgeon General of the United States that having a rooting interest in Major League Baseball teams that have won one more postseason game since 1988 than the Tampa Bay Devil Rays is hazardous to your health.

In other words, the Dodgers Suck."

(Thanks, Dan!!!)

Tim the Enchanter does it again

Lincecum beats the Braves to go to 6-2. If he keeps this up, he's got a real shot at Rookie of the Year, no thanks to Brian "Brainiac" Sabean -- who decided it made more sense to keep Tim in Fresno for the first six weeks of the season.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Von Hayes All Stars

Chris Jaffe has a superb post about players who used to be All-Star level good and suddenly suck. The best part of it is that Nomar is on the list; the worst part is that so is Barry Zito. Nice going, Brainiac Sabean!
I remember seeing Hayes take a Giants pitcher deep -- truly deep -- into the top deck of the Stick early one night game for one of his 143 career homers. One of the longest homers I've ever seen.

The best thing about this year....

...came into sharp focus tonight when Brad Hennessey closed out the Braves on an infield out and two strikeouts after giving up a long double to Francouer. Does anyone seriously think that Blownitez could have managed that? I think not!

Unfortunately, trading Fatmando was one of the very few decent decisions that Brainiac Sabean's made recently. Still, Lowry now has 11 wins. I can't think what a disaster this season would have been without Noah.

It's notable that this was only the 7th save for Brad -- due to two factors: 1. Brainiac's insistence on keeping Fatmando on the team until he melted down and 2. Brainiac's having assembled a team having the close to the worst offense in the entire MLB.

Texeira in the Orange and Black?

ESPN's Buster Olney's reporting that the Giants are interested in Mark Texeira of the Rangers. If Brainiac Sabean had moved with any kind of dispatch earlier in the season, he could have traded Matt Morris plus prospects and gotten a guy who might have salvaged the year.

Instead, we have an endless series of nightmare games like tonight's with a stirring 4-run comeback in the 9th and a 3-run meltdown by Jonathan Sanchez in the 13th. Hard to believe that a team can't get a run home in extras until they're 3 down in the 13th. The Giants are now 41-57 and in danger of losing 100 games. The negativity even seems to have infected Matt Cain, who no longer can dominate and may wind up losing 20 games at this rate.

What did Klesko do tonight? 1-for-6. He's got a .368 OBP -- second highest on the club -- and a .438 SLG with 5 HRs and 29 RBIs in 226 ABs. Considering that he bats in back of Bonds, that's not particularly impressive.

Texeira has hit 153 HRs in four a half seasons and is 27. He's a proven power hitter having a down year this year -- 13 HRs, 48 RBIs, a .404 OPB and a .537 SLG. Isn't this the kind of guy you want when you are losing because you keep running out lineups of guys (Durham, Roberts, Viz, Aurilia, Feliz, Molina, Klesko, Winn) that don't put any FEAR in any MLB pitcher?

It's a good enough idea that it's unlikely to happen with Brian the Brainiac in charge.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The cry of poverty

Next time you hear of an MLB owner whining about how he's been held back by player salaries and other expenses, remind yourself that the Cubs are probably going to fetch more than $1 billion, according to this Reuters story.

What does this have to do with the Giants? Nothing and everthing. The idea that the team can't pursue top-tier free agents is nonsense; but the team has been run so incompetently by the front office that a bit more money would simply mean more stupid signings like Zito, Matt Morris, Blownitez and Dave Roberts. On the other hand, a bit more money could have gotten the right player -- Vladimir Guerrero, Aramis Ramirez or Jeff Kent (as much as I hate the pornstache and the lying).

Monday, July 23, 2007

Another reason why Sabean is an idiot

The Boston Herald is reporting that the Bosox are scouting the Giants for tradeable players. Unfortunately, Brian "Brainiac" Sabean has managed to let the team go into the dumper to minimize any trade value that anyone still has -- such as tonight's embarrassing 4-2 loss to the Braves. They're routinely starting four guys with OBPs well under .300 (Feliz, Aurlia, Vizquel and Molina) and a No. 3 hitter (Durham) with a .310 OBP. the leadoff guys (Roberts and Winn) have embarrassing OBPS of .322 and .349. In case you're wondering, Bonds is leading the MLB with a .497 OBP as idiot hack sportswriters shift the blame for this lousy team from the Brainiac to -- who else? -- Bonds.

Here's what the Boston Herald's Tony Massaroti says -- While San Francisco has one of the worst records in baseball, it also has a decent nucleus of good young pitchers, including Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Barry Zito and Noah Lowry, which means the Giants might be willing to take young positional players in any deal. One major league source recently said the Giants might be willing to move just about any player on their roster. Among the most likely to go are Matt Morris, Omar Vizquel, Randy Winn and Dave Roberts, all of whom might have some value to the Sox.

Another lousy move by Brian Sabean

Early on in the season, the signing of Benjie Molina looked pretty decent but now it's looking lousy. Pitchers in the NL have figured out that the guy has NO plate discipline -- as if 8 walks all season and a .290 OBP weren't an indication. So now they just throw pitches outside the strike zone and his production keeps sliding as the Giants keeping losing. He managed another 0-for-4 today with two LOBs to prevent any comeback in the 7-5 loss to the stupid Brewers.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The stopper

I feel a little silly writing this, but the Giants' two-game winning streak is over. It's especially aggravating that the very annoying Craig "Look at My Stupid Batting Stance" Counsell got a key hit.

I don't think this is what Brian "Brainiac" Sabean had in mind when he committed $126 million to Barry Zito but today's 7-5 loss to the stupid Brewers is the fourth time this year that Zito has stopped a winning streak. The other games were on May 12, May 18 and July 8. Ok, so it was only a one game streak both times in May and a two-game streak earlier in July. He also lost the second and seventh games of that eight-game losing streak that pretty much put the whole season into the dumpster.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

"Don't trade ME"

The Giants offense is finally playing like they know that they're all in danger of getting shipped out, scoring 8 runs for the third game in a row. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have a guy who may wind up being Rookie of the Year pitching.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The turning point of the season

It's hard to believe that less than two months ago, the Giants were 24-22. They'd just swept Houston and had the Rockies coming into town for the weekend with Matt Cain starting.

The Giants got Cain 3 runs in the first but the Rockies came back with 2 in the 7th, one in the eight and two in the 9th as Blownitez blew the game. The Rockies went on to sweep the series and the Giants haven't seen .500 since.

Despite tonight's stirring win over the Brewers, the Giants are now 14 games under .500. So since Fatmando did his thing that night in May, the Orange and Black have gone 16-32.

But there's some good news out of Chavez Latrine -- the Dodgers gagged again to the Mets, thanks Ned Colletti's latest genius move to sign 42-year-old Roberto Hernandez as a reliever.

The Bonds effect

David Pinto at the indispensable Baseball Musings points out that even a Bonds strikeout can seem to help sometimes --

Bonds went 0 for 4 tonight with a walk. However, in both the seventh and eighth inning, Bonds made the second out. In the seventh he hit a long fly ball to centerfield; he just missed getting all of it. Villanueva then walked three in a row, and a wild pitch and single brought all three around to score for a 6-4 Giants lead.
The in the eighth, with men on first and second and one out, the Brewers go to Turnbow to get Bonds. He strikes out Barry looking on a beautiful fastball that cuts across the outside corner. But then Turnbow falls apart, giving up two single and a walk to plate two more Giants runs. It was almost as if trying to get Barry out drained the pitchers.

Not all sportwriters are idiots

ESPN's Jayson Stark, for example, does a nice job of dissecting the situation surrounding Matt Morris --

Five weeks ago, it would have been tough to find anything about Morris that clubs could grumble about, other than his contract ($9.5 million next year, with a $9 million option or $1 million buyout for 2009). After his first 13 starts, he was 7-3, 2.56, and had given up more than three earned runs just once all year. But in five starts since, Morris is 0-2 with an 8.13 ERA -- the highest ERA of any NL starter who can match his innings pitched. So it's obvious, says one scout, that "the wheels are starting to come off a little bit." But for teams in a big ballpark (Dodgers, Padres, Braves, Mariners, etc.), he might still be a fit. At least, said an official of one club with a laugh, "He's one of the best of the worst."


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Jon Heyman is also an idiot

It's hard to believe how poorly written and reported SI's baseball coverage has become. After posting earlier today about the lameness of its Aaron cover story, I noticed that John at Only Baseball Matters has pointed out the egregious errors in a Jon Heyman column that sanctifies Brian Sabean.

Heyman gets it wrong as to when Joe Nathan was traded (it was in 2003, not 2002) and then asserts that Sabean hasn't made a bad trade in six years, ignoring the crappy trades and/or signings for Neifi, Dave Roberts, Matheny, Edgardo Alfonzo, Bernard, Blownitez, Hillenbrand, Damian Moss, Matt Herges, Sidney Ponson, Ricky Ledee, Dave Burba, LaTroy Hawkins, Alex Sanchez, Michael Tucker, Dustin Hermanson, Wayne Franklin, Jeffrey Hammond, plus paying Robb Nen and Kirk Reuter for not pitching for several years.

And here's the worst -- “…. just about all of the big leaguers they’ve developed are pitchers. The failing of the Giants — and this really isn’t Sabean’s fault other than he’s the boss of the scouting director and scouts — is that they haven’t produced any real offensive talent in recent years.
This isn’t really Sabean’s fault other than he’s the boss of the scouting director and scouts….”


Kent gags

There's nothing that takes the edge off a Giants loss like a Dodger loss. NOTHING.

Despite near total ineptitude by Mets pitchers, the Mets still kicked the Dodgers around, 13-9. Guillermo Mota managed to get Choker Kent to fly out at the end of the game with two guys on and the tying run in the on-deck circle.

Preview of coming attractions

What ought to happen --
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers have traded young sluggers James Loney and Matt Kemp to the San Francisco Giants for Matt Morris. The deal continues the practice by current Dodgers GM Ned Colletti of taking washed up Giants pitchers like Jason Schmidt and Brett Tomko.

What will happen --
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers have traded retired outfielder Willie Crawford and a bag of used baseballs to the San Francisco Giants for Matt Morris.

Sports Illustrated loses its mind

The latest SI has Henry Aaron on the cover but the issue's just yet another in SI's endless series of Bonds IS Satan stories. Don't believe me? Try this one on -- at one point in Tom Verducci's story about Aaron, Bonds is actually compared to OJ Simpson.

I suppose that SI feels that they need to liven up the story about Aaron since they're using the piece to push a coffee table book that they're publishing. But it's this relentless demonization of Bonds that's led to the public feeling as if Bonds is far more evil than someone like Michael Vick, despite Vick being indicted for massive mistreatment of dogs.

I'm sorry for the serious tone here, but I'm more than a bit offended about SI's lack of perspective. The issue also has an extremely lame column about Bonds from the extremely over-rated Rick Reilly. How does this hack keep his job?

I'm also ticked off that Brian Sabean hasn't yet traded Matt Morris -- who gift-wrapped a 9-8 victory to the Cubs today. Bonds hit two homers but it wasn't enough.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Brian Sabean really IS an idiot

It's not just me. I thought I'd been fairly brutal about what a terrible job he's done but I haven't even touched the surface. John Perricone, who runs the outstanding Only Baseball Matters, makes a thorough and convincing case that Sabean is an utter failure who's succeeded only by having had the good fortune to have Barry Bonds be the best player in the MLB for most of the time he was GM.

I'd forgotten how bad the contracts were for Snow, Neifi, Tucker and Moises Alou; I'd also forgotten the abuse of Schmidt and Reuter inflicted by Felipe. John doesn't mention Blownitez but maybe he's trying to minimize our pain. Anyhow, here's how he starts --

I sometimes wonder if Sabean isn’t trying to prove that he’s smarter than all of us, by building a team that is, in essence, the exact opposite of what today’s “experts” say you are supposed to look for, hitters who can get on-base, and who aren’t obviously on the downside of their careers. The list of mediocrities that have worn the orange and black the last four seasons is simply beyond belief, and virtually all of them share two things, a sub .330 OBP, and an AARP card.

He's back

The Braves just signed Julio Franco.

So Clemens is no longer the oldest guy in the bigs. The third oldest guy, Jamie Moyer, sure looked like garbage at the Ravine on Monday.

A lousy day

Nothing like spending all day at work with deadlines, so much so that I didn't get a break to even check the Giants score until after 6 p.m. PDT, only to discover a total humiliation at Wrigley today, 12-1. The Dodgers also won their day game. My friend Dan the Mets fan had the only positive contribution via his NOTE TO VIN SCULLY--

The second baseman for the Philadelphis Phillies' name is CHASE Utley, not Chad Utley, as you said about five different times today. Time to start taking Ginko.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ron Santo is an idiot

No wonder Cubs fans can be so annoying, what with listening Ron Santo's constant whining about how "we" need a hit and "we" have been playing well. No insight at all. He's worse than the Cards' Mike Shannon and the Astros' Milo Hamilton but not quite as bad as the Padres' insufferable Ted Leitner.

So it was with a considerable amount of delight that I got listen to Santo go silent as Brad Hennesey closed the door tonight after a leadoff 2B to Aramis with three straight groundball outs.

Henry Schulman's story in the SF Chronicle makes the interesting point that the exertion that Bonds put the Cubs reliever through during his pinch-hit appearance might have had something to do with why he walked the next two batters to let in what turned out to be the winning run.

And the Phils butt-kicked the Dodgers tonight 15-3 with 26 hits. The annoying Charlie Steiner was telling jokes that made no sense but at least he's nowhere near as painful to listen to as Santo or Leitner.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Charlie Manuel's also an idiot

Back from the Ravine, I'm stunned at how stupid Phils manager Charlie Manuel is. He basically gift-wrapped a game for the stupid Dodgers tonight.

He let Jamie Moyer bat for himself with the bases loaded and his team down 6-1 in the fourth with 2 out. Moyer made an out and went on to give up 4 more runs in the 6th. One swing and you're back in the game. But no, Charlie Manuel worships at the altar of "The Starter Must Go at Least Five." What a dip! What the hell is he saving the pen for?

This is getting ridiculous

It's like a re-run of a bad situation comedy ("The Beverly Hillbillies," "Gilligan's Island," "Mad About You," "The George Lopez Show") that keeps getting on the air even though it's utterly predictable and a waste of time:

1. The Giants get good enough starting pitching to win. Tim Lincecum is tonight's victim.
2. But there's not enough hitting to win and
3. The bullpen can't hang on to a late-inning lead

Who's fault is it? I'd say the people who put together a team that's fundamentally flawed and is now in the process of imploding.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Two songs for Brian Sabean

Mean Old World Blues
By B.B. King

This is a mean ole' world
Baby, to live in all by yourself
I said a mean, mean, mean ole' world
To live in all by yourself
When you can't get the woman you're loving
Because she's loving somebody else

I smile to keep from worrying
And I laugh just to keep from crying
Smile to keep from worrying
Laugh just to keep from crying
Trying to keep the public from knowing
Baby, what I've got on my mind

Someday, baby
When the blood runs cold in my veins
Someday, baby
When the blood runs cold in my veins
You won't be able to mistreat me no more then, baby
'Cause my heart won't feel no pain


"You Don't Love Me"
Words and Music by Willie Cobbs
Copyright 1962, 1990 Frederick Music Company and Katrina Music

You don't love me, pretty baby,
you don't love me, yes I know.
You don't love me, pretty baby
you don't love me, yes I know.
Well if you leave me, pretty baby,don't you know you're gonna hurt me so.

Well I'm gonna tell my mother,I'm gonna talk to my father too.
Well I'm gonna tell my sweet mother,I'll have a word with my father too.
Well I'm gonna tell everybody,what those young girls will do to you.

Goodbye now, pretty baby,if I don't see you no more.
Lord, goodbye now, pretty baby,if I never see you no more.
Well if you think I'll be your fool, Lord,you better be on your merry way.

Can it get any worse?

Yes because it looks like losing is contagious. Now Barry Bonds is looking like he's forgotten how to hit. Here's what he told the AP --

"It's an embarrassment for me to be wearing this (expletive deleted) uniform 'cause of the way I'm playing. There, that's it. Now go away," Bonds said at his locker.

This team looks like it may wind up losing 100 games. The Giants have just shown why Brian Sabean deserved to get fired.

Ray Ratto and Bruce Jenkins are idiots

The SF Chronicle appears to be home to some of the worst sportswriting on the planet right now. Ray Ratto's insisting today that Sabean's re-hiring means that Magowan has decided to get rid of Bonds, having calculated that people won't be interested in Barry once he gets to HR 756.
Of course, this is all said by inference so who knows if it's true?

Bruce Jenkins is even more sure of himself as to what this means but he hasn't got the guts to name his sources. Maybe it's the voices he hears.

What's annoying about these kind of pieces is that they ignore the essential dynamic of why people show up -- they want to see the team win; and when it has won, Bonds has been a big factor. And despite what the Chronicle writers think in their fevered little brains, Bonds isn't really the reason why they've lost 50 games this year. And they didn't lose 50 games this year because Bonds decided not to do the Home Run Derby. These guys haven't got the guts or smarts to say that it's Sabean's crappy decision-making that's led to the team losing just about every game. Signings like Edgardo Alfonzo, Dave Roberts, Feliz, Durham, Zito and trades for guys like Ponson, Pierzitsky and Hillenbrand mean that this team is in danger of a 90-loss season. Yet idiot hacks like Ray Ratto and Bruce Jenkins obviously feel that if only Bonds would just go away, this team would magically become a pennant contender.

Today's heartbreaking game was emblematic of how stupid Brian Sabean is. Any sharp GM who needed offense would have traded Matt Morris by now, especially during his hot streak, to get some badly needed offense. Instead, he's gone back to being the Matt Morris of last year with a trade value that ought to get the Giants the 2007 equivalent of Shea Hillenbrand.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Forget about Ichiro

He just signed a five-year deal with Seattle. Idiot/hack SF Chronicle columnist Bruce Jenkins has mentioned in the past what a fine idea it would be for Ichiro to be in the Orange and Black, so he'll probably write something particularly lame along these lines, while sucking up to the worthless Brian Sabean --

If you were Ichiro Suzuki, how would you like to spend eight solid months with the wreckage around Barry Bonds? We now have our answer to that question and it fills us with pity for the task faced by Brian Sabean.

What's not wrong with the Giants

I listened to Dave Fleming and Jon Miller last night while the Dodgers were putting up their two runs in the third -- which turned out putting the game out of reach -- and both were remarking as to how four of the Giants starting pitchers (Cain, Lincecum, Lowry and Zito) all are walking batters at a rate of over 4 per nine innings.

So I checked and it's true that the Giants have a higher walk total than all but three other teams (Orioles, Marlins, Rangers). They also have the seventh lowest ERA in the majors right now, so walking batters at a higher rate than other teams doesn't strike me as the root cause of why this team is so lousy.

Laughing to keep from crying

The Baseball Gods are laughing at the Giants right now.

After giving an utterly unmerited job extension to Brian Sabean -- following four years of demonstrated total incompetence -- Peter Magowan got exactly what he deserved tonight: a humiliating loss to the Dodgers at home via the usual pattern of starting pitching that was good enough to win and a non-existent offense. If you don't feel like clicking through to the story because the score was 9-1, keep in mind that it was 3-1 until the Dodgers scored six meaningless runs in the 9th. I say "meaningless" because I'm trying to be accurate -- because any team starting Dave Roberts as the leadoff hitter is probably not going to overcome a 2-run deficit.

Actually, Roberts got two hits and is now batting .233 and has gotten his OBP up to .302. The 3 thru 7 hitters -- Durham, Bonds, Klesko, Molina, Aurilia -- did not get a single hit, though Bonds got his usual two walks. Durham got one walk and the rest of the team -- no walks.

Well, at least there's a nice stadium to go to. And given the promise of personnel shifts -- more deals for marginal guys like Blownitez, Sidney Ponson, Pierzitsky, Edgardo Alfonzo, Dave Roberts, Jose Vizcaino and Shea Hillenbrand? -- it sounds as if that's what us Giants fans had better focus on. Hey, have any of you guys seen Brian Johnson? Say it with me now:

-- Isn't the view great?
-- How about all those boats?
-- I love garlic fries.
-- How about another beer?
-- The statues are really cool.
-- Man, this place beats the Stick by a mile.
-- I guess they're going to walk Barry again.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Proof that Peter Magowan doesn't read this blog

Brian Sabean's had his deal extended for three years. What a drag!

Notice how the press release doesn't mention THREE STRAIGHT LOSING SEASONS -- only that Magowan is "disappointed" at the current season. "Disappointed" hardly conveys how I feel.

My friend Dan has a great take on this -- If he gets rewarded for putting this bad product together, does George Bush get an extension, too?

Julio Franco DFA'd

The Mets decide to go with Lastings Milledge instead. Franco had gone 10 for 50 with 1 homer, 8 RBIs and a .328 OBP so far this year.

I would not be surprised if Brian Sabean is considering signing the 48-year-old -- a guy who's performing about as well as Mark Sweeney.

I'm pretty sure Roger Clemens and Jamie Moyer are now the oldest guys in MLB at 44 years old.

The shame of the SF Chronicle

Troy Ellerman is sentenced to prison for lying in the BALCO case. He's the lawyer who leaked the grand jury documents to SF Chronicle reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada and then manipulated the justice system by asserting that the leak had prevented his client from getting a fair trial.

Meanwhile, the newspaper and the reporters spent several years egregiously abusing their First Amendment privilege by enabling this criminal conduct. They allowed Ellerman to stay anonymous and continue to maintain his scam by using him as the source for more grand jury testimony.

The Chronicle and the reporters continue to act as if they haven't done anything wrong -- though it's telling that they are now having another reporter (Bob Egelko) do the coverage on Ellerman. It's their one admission that even a paper as ethically slimy as the Chronicle has journalistic standards.

LaRussa: clearly an idiot

It's not just me, either. The Betting Fool, who's often kind of lame, nails it as to what a self-important dingbat the Cards manager is. Saving Pujols in case the game goes into extras? So you can bat AARON ROWAND with the game on the line? GIVE ME A FREAKING BREAK!

I've disliked LaRussa ever since he mis-managed the A's into being humiliated by the Dodgers in 1988. His crybaby reactions this year to questions about Josh Hancock's death show he's a whining loser, not willing to take accountability for his earlier drunk driving arrest.

Sounds like someone needs some rehab.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The vote of confidence

I don't believe that Magowan can possibly be pleased with how Sabean has performed his job with three straight losing seasons. Henry Schulman reports otherwise in today's Chronicle, but I believe it may simply be an old-school type of move by Magowan to end the speculation and buy some time to get someone decent.

As for the Sabean apologists, who seem to want to ignore the dismal performance -- keep in mind that guys like Walt Jocketty in St. Louis and John Schuerholtz in Atlanta face similar restrictions and manage to put good teams out there every year. Don't even get me started on Billy Beane.

What is it with you people? Sabean has done a terrible job. Most other GMs would have been fired by now. This is the guy who signed Jeffrey Hammonds, Neifi Perez, Edgardo Alfonzo, Blownitez and traded away four excellent pitchers for Pierzitsky and Hillenbrand.

Bill Plaschke = Most Valuable Idiot

Don't you hate it when you have a crappy job where you have to be nice to people who are jerks -- especially those who complain about their far easier jobs?

I had to attend a work-related function tonight so I'm now just catching up to reading about the All-Star Game. The SF Chron's Henry Schulman did a nice job of re-capping Bonds performance and reaction. And the LA Times Bill Plaschke proves he's a complete idiot, whining about how he missed part of the game so he could write more of his lame Bonds' hatefest. Yeah, Bill, it must be rough having to attend an All-Star Game and then have to write about it. You're such an idiot that the only thing you can really manage to say is how much you hate Barry Bonds. Thanks for wasting everyone's time!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Why Barry didn't do the HR Derby

Martin at Obsessive Giants Compulsive has a smart take on the stupidity of complaints about Barry not doing the Home Run Derby. He doesn't mention Ann Killion's stupid column of last week in the Merc-News. Here's his conclusion --

So I'm glad Barry still thinks about what really matters, the regular season, him playing his best, which means him playing at his healthiest. Some critics say that this is not fan friendly, but it is only not friendly to baseball fans who are watching the All-Star festivities - it is very friendly to the fans that mean the most to him: his fans and fans of the San Francisco Giants.

Barry being Barry

Barry Bonds and I agree on this -- we don't care whether Bud Selig or Hank Aaron show up to watch him break Aaron's record.

We're not on the same page about respecting Bud Selig, but it would appear that Barry's a much more gracious guy than I am.

I can hardly wait for some lazy hack dingbat like the SF Chronicle's Bruce Jenkins or John Shea to point out that if Barry sounded civilized and gracious during the interview, it's because he's 1. evil 2. in it for the money 3. a hypocrite and 4. not on steroids anymore. Hey, guys -- I just wrote your column.

Greatest SF Giants pitcher

A wonderful shot of Juan Marichal, a few weeks before the attack on Roseboro. Juan's still apologizing.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Zito deal looking bad

Today's game should be the final nail in the coffin for firing Brian Sabean. Zito stunk up the joint. Even Sabean apologists should be able to see that he's incompetent and has been for a long time.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Lucky lucky

The Cards have gift-wrapped two straight one-run wins for the Giants, which show how badly things are with this team -- even with back to back quality starts by Lowry and Lincecum, the Giants would not have won either game without egregious Card errors by So Taguchi on Friday and Aaron Miles tonight.

Notice how the MLB writeup manages to belittle Bonds' contribution of two walks -- even though the rest of the team got only one walk tonight: Barry Bonds had another uneventful game, going 0-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout before being pulled on a double switch in the seventh inning.

Excuse me, but isn't it his job to GET ON BASE, especially when the team has as lousy an offense as this one? How bad is it? The Giants have only three guys -- Klesko (.387), Bonds (.517!!!!) and Lewis (.345) -- with OBPs over .340 right now. Can't anyone on this team take a walk besides Barry, who has 91, and Klesko, who has 30? The team has a total of 285 walks, which is middle of the pack in terms of the 30 MLB teams -- it's only the 14th highest despite Barry's contribution.

Their onbase percentage right now is a stinky .320 -- sixth worst in MLB, ahead only of the Pirates, Nats, Padres, Dbacks and Chisox. And in runs scored, the most important category, they're at 365, ahead of only the Pirates, Nats, Cards and Chisox.

Bruce Jenkins is a complete idiot

Some things are utterly dependable -- garlic fries at the yard, Meryl Streep and the stupidity of the SF Chronicle's Bruce Jenkins, thanks to his irrational hatred of Barry Bonds and his endless sucking up to Brian Sabean.

Jenkins insists today that the Giants would have done better this year without Bonds. It's an assertion that's not only impossible to prove but also highly unlikely, given the incompetence of the current front office and how Brian Sabean would have probably spent the extra $20 million.

He doesn't mention how the worthless signings of Blownitez, Pedro Feliz, Dave Roberts and Rich Aurilia (plus the highly questionable ones for Zito and Durham) ate up a good part of the budget but he obviously feels that the money spent on Bonds would have been better spent on someone like Juan Pierre or Steve Finley -- players who Sabean obviously thinks would have been great additions to the team.


The Dominican Dandy

Even though registration's required, I must recommend a nice story in the Sac Bee by Nick Peters about how Juan Marichal dominated in All-Star Games. In eight appearances over 18 innings, he went 2-0 with an 0.50 ERA. Here's a quote from the master --

"I tried real hard, not only in All-Star Games, but in every game because people were paying to see me pitch. Every game was important to me, whether it was an exhibition or a World Series."

Who is stupider?

I think I'll title this post "Who is stupider?" if blogger.com ever gets it act together. I just saw massively over-rated Juan Pierre pop up with the bases loaded to end the game in a 6-5 Dodger loss -- even though the Marlins reliever had just walked three straight batters. Brett Tomko had coughed up the winning run in the top of the 10th. He's now 1-7.

Given that Ned Colletti and Brian Sabean are the last two guys to give Tomko employment and got into a bidding war over Pierre, it's a good question as to who's the dumber of the two.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Brian Sabean could be a bigger idiot than we already thought

No title for now for this post because http://www.blogger.com/ is screwed up. I'll come up with one as soon as blogger.com gets it act together. I think I'll go with something like "Brian Sabean could be an even bigger idiot than we already thought."

Sondog at Lunatic Fringe has a nice post about Lowry's win tonight, warning that he'll change the blog name to "Brian Sabean is a ******* asshat" if he trades him. The temptation to trade the guy who's been the best pitcher on the staff this year, now at 9-6 with a shot at a 20-game season, must be enormous -- especially if you're as stupid as Sabean is.

The Merc-News headline writers = also idiots

If you read a Merc-News headline that says "Giants Fire Sale Draws Nearer," you'd naturally conclude that the paper's learned that the Giants are definitely going to start trading guys like Matt Morris and Ray Durham to get some decent young talent or some real offense. Instead, Andrew Baggerly's story actually asserts no such thing.

What he actually writes is a game story that uses the 6-3 loss to the Reds to say that Morris is the most likely Giant to be traded IF THERE IS A FIRE SALE. Here's what he says about Morris -- He'll also be their most valuable part once general manager Brian Sabean decides to junk his rusted-out team. With 25 days until the non-waiver trade deadline, the Giants continue to give Sabean no reason to bolster the roster.

And he doesn't make the point that it would have made a lot more sense to trade him earlier before he started pitching like the Matt Morris of 2006.

At any rate, the headline shows that the Merc-News is being edited by shovel these days. "Can you do better?" a reader of this blog might ask. How about "Fire sale chances grow hotter" -- something that's actually accurate in terms of reflecting what's in the story?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Ann Killion is an idiot

The San Jose Mercury News, which has been getting rid of decent journalists to satisfy the souless rapaciousness of owner Dean Singleton, continues to allow Ann Killion to foist her stupidity on the sporting world. She's decided that it's more important for Barry Bonds to participate in the Home Run Derby rather than to GETS SOME REST so he can win some more actual games.

Of course, Ann's such an idiot that she can't be bothered to write what readers actually care about -- which is why the team is so lousy this year and what might be done to improve the situation. Tonight's 6-3 loss was a perfect example -- Matt Morris was awful early and the team didn't have enough offense to catch up. A smart sportswriter might conclude that Brian Sabean's an idiot for signing Morris in the first place and then not dealing him when he got hot earlier this year for a bat so that on the Giants can stop losing so many games by scores of 3-2, 4-3, 2-1 and 1-0. But do the local writers care? No, they mostly subscribe to the idiotic school of thought that it's all Barry Bonds' faiult. No one except the Examiner's Glenn Dickey has suggested that Sabean should be fired, even though it's obvious that he's the one to blame for constructing a team that's doomed to frustrate its fans.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Freddie's back

Not a bad way to start the 2nd half of the season after a pretty dismal first half -- with a 9-5 victory. And Fred Lewis is celebrating his return to the bigs with his second grand slam to go along with hitting for the cycle earlier this season. He's certainly making the most of his opportunities.

Now Matt Cain has as many wins as Tim Lincecum even though he didn't pitch as well as he did in many of his nine losses -- 9 hits, 4 earned runs, 2 walks, 6 Ks in 5 and two thirds innings.

The LA Times embarrasses itself

One of the problems of being a Giants fan in Los Angeles is trying to get baseball news from the L.A. Times, which is a pretty solid paper in most respects outside sports. In this case, hack columnist TJ Simers acts like an idiot in trying to provoke Dodgers pitcher Mark Hendrickson. How is this an appropriate role for a journalist?

A poster named Darren on the Baseball Primer Newsblog captured my disgust with this reaction -- This is worth a read, just to see how well Hendrickson keeps his cool with Simers. No matter how ridiculous and insulting the question, every answer is polite and reasoned. Simers looks even stupider when he's trying to bait someone who doesn't respond.

As I've said again and again, it's no wonder the Dodger fans are the stupidest in sports.

Slamming ESPN

Big kudos to Chris at the excellent Bay City Ball for pointing out ESPN's idiotic coverage of Bonds being voted on to the All-Star starting lineup, featuring the teaser headline -- Despite a lackluster season and a cloud of suspicion hanging overhim, Barry Bonds will be right at home in the 78th All-Star Game.

Chris titles the post "ESPN is really, really dumb." He takes apart the contention Bonds is having a lackluster season and also notes that John Kruk asserted idiotically that Sammy Sosa should be on the All-Star team. Here's part of his post -- Watching anything baseball related on ESPN over the last few years has been excruciating. This is the same network that hires guys like John Kruk, Steve Phillips, and Joe Freaking Morgan to shovel “baseball knowledge” down our throats. This is the same network that would have you believe that the only thing that exists anymore in baseball is the Yankees Red Sox rivalry.
Baseball Tonight is one giant punchline to a sad, sad joke.

HR No. 751

When he's not unaccountably sucking up to Brian Sabean, the SF Chronicle's Henry Schulman is a pretty decent reporter. His game day story did a nice job of expressing how brutal this season has become, as Zito and Correia gift-wrap a win to the Reds, who are even worse than the Giants right now. The writing about Bonds' quote is particularly good, I think --

The Reds remain the worst team in baseball, but they were celebrating Pete Mackanin's first victory as manager. Bonds celebrated nothing, at least publicly. He sat in a clubhouse office having his home-run bat, uniform and other gear authenticated, and then admitted the unrelenting losses have sucked some joy from this chase.
"It's hurting right now," Bonds said. "We know we're a better team. We know we can play better. It's just unlucky breaks right now not going our way."

DePo time

A couple of bloggers much smarter than me -- the guys who operate El Lefty Malo and Only Baseball Matters -- have pointed out a recent well-written Hardball Times article which suggests that the currently unemployed Paul DePodesta is largely responsible for the recent success of the Dodgers. I completely agree with their suggestion that the Giants would be far better off with DePo than they are with Brian Sabean.

It's notable that the author, Jacob Jackson, points out that DePo was fired thanks partly to the hysterical rantings of LA Times sports columnist Bill Plaschke -- one of the biggest idiots in sports today.

Jacob doesn't mention it, but it's also worth noting that DePo traded the now-worthless Dave Roberts away to the Bosox before getting canned as GM.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sticking together

Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle has a lame column today about how it's not really Brian Sabean' fault that the Giants are so inadequate, asserting that his hands were tied in terms of making the Zito and Bonds deals. My guess is that Henry needs to be able to get Sabean to keep talking to him.

I'm of the mind to wait and see on the Zito deal; as for the Bonds deal, he's probably worth every dime. Given that he signed Blownitez, Dave Roberts, Rich Aurilia, Edgardo Alfonzo, Brett Tomko, Ray Durham and Pedro Feliz to badly over-priced deals; hasn't developed ANY position players of note in a decade; traded for Sidney Ponson and Shea Hillenbrand; and traded away Nathan, Accardo, Bonser and Liriano, I'd say that he's been a bust as a GM in the last 4 years.


Scummy Steve Garvey

The Garv's in the news again, this time as a friend of a scam artist running a Ponzi scheme that ripped people off for $32 million. This lame LA Times story says Garvey didn't know about the criminal activity -- which is a big laugh unless you were one of the marks who got scammed.

What's a bit bizarre is that the story fails to mention that Garvey has made an entire post-MLB career out of suckering people out of money, as the Times itself reported in April 2006 in a fine story detailing the Garv's extensive financial problems --

At the website promoting him as a motivational speaker, it says that Garvey's "playing field has changed from the baseball diamond to corporate boardrooms and lecture halls, but the integrity, intensity and the devotion for which this future Hall of Famer is famous for is the same." A promotional DVD shows him standing at a lectern in a sharply pressed suit, the picture of success. In speeches laden with baseball analogies, he talks about teamwork and setting goals. But that image is at odds with Garvey's financially turbulent private life. A review of more than two dozen court files in California and Utah shows that he's had money troubles dating back at least a decade.The Garveys drove luxury cars, shopped in upscale boutiques and traveled extensively even as they were pursued by creditors. Garvey’s gardener took him to small claims court to recover $1,773. A mirror installer did the same over $809. A caterer received a court order to seize valuable artwork from the Garveys until they paid her $14,000 bill.Garvey owes attorneys more than $300,000, according to court records.Many a former athlete has fallen on hard times, but Garvey — known during his Dodger days as “Mr. Clean” — is different. As his own financial troubles deepened, he continued to cast himself as a principled and accomplished businessman, charging up to $10,000 to give motivational speeches.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The best thing about this year's All-Star Game

I'm fine with Barry Bonds getting voted on to the team (although some idiot on a NY Times blog compared the vote to the embarrassing spectacle of Bush pardoning Scooter Libby today). But the real deal for the All-Star Game is a well-deserved tribute to Number 24.

One of the reasons I've liked Barry Bonds from the start of his career in the Orange and Black is that when he signed up with the Giants in 1993, Willie Mays said that Barry should wear Number 24. Bonds said something like fine, that's great and then decided a few days later that the Number 24 should stay retired and chose instead to go with the number 25, just like his dad. Now, that's serious respect for baseball history.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Give 'Em Some Stankeye Returns

One of the better Giants blogs has returned. Here's Paul Rice AKA John Ryder's comment --

While I do want to encourage some debate and argument over the Giants and where the team is going, this is basically just a fun thing for me and shouldn't be taken seriously. I'm here to root on the Giants, make some jokes, get mad at Pedro Feliz, and link to the occasional pic of an insanely hot woman. Your input is always welcome so don't hesitate to throw me a comment or two.

Tim the Enchanter

Lincecum turned in a dominant performance today with 12 Ks as the Giants scored 13 runs. He's clearly in the bigs to stay. And he has one more win than Matt Cain.

Even with the 13 runs added in, the Giants have scored only 343 runs after 80 games; according to MLB, that's lower than all but 3 teams -- the Cards, the Nats and the Chisox.

Still another reason for firing Sabean

I don't know what it is that dingbat GMs like Brian Sabean and Ned Colletti see in Brett Tomko, who continues to gift-wrap games for other teams. Last night, he gagged up 2 runs in the 12th to the Padres.

My guess is that Tomko is a good looking guy with a 95 mph heater. Unfortunately, he's got lousy movement and doesn't fool MLB hitters. He is now on his 6th team at age 34, which should tell you that he wears out his welcome pretty quickly.