Saturday, June 30, 2007

Another reason to fire Brian Sabean

He traded Jeremy Accardo for Shea Hillenbrand and Vinnie Chulk; Shea stunk up the joint for two months in the Orange and Black and managed to weasel his way onto the Angels. The Angels just DFA'd Hillenbrand; meanwhile, Accardo is lights out with the Jays.

Bitter like a cold cup of coffee

I'm not as bitter as I seem. In the aftermath of last night's takedown of Dave Roberts -- who is the latest in a long line of washed up veterans to wind up in the Orange and Black, following Steve Finley, Jose Vizcaino and Edgardo Alfonzo -- I want to stress that this year's team isn't unredeemable.

The starters have become good enough so that the team has a decent shot at winning any game and if someone in the lineup (Klesko? Durham? Benjie?) would just get hot, they could go on a winning streak. Gwen Knapp did a nice column earlier this week about how all this should toughen up Lowry, Lincecum and Cain.

"A non-hope year"

That's the description I overheard tonight as I was leaving the heartbreaking 4-3 loss. Yeah, it was exciting to watch Barry hit HR No. 750 and tie the game up. But what Schulman overlooks in the story is the disgust that lingered among many in the crowd tonight over Dave Roberts gagging away a victory again through one of the most awful errors I've seen -- an easy fly ball that ticked off his glove. He got booed by more than just a few soreheads when he came up; something I had not heard for a long time. I would never do that but who could blame them? You sacrifice and work like hell to get out to the game, which costs a pretty penny, and Brian Sabean can't be bothered to put a decent team together.

The collective thought is something like this: This guy signed a huge deal (3 years for $18 million) and can't hit worth a damn and ended the game Tuesday night on a bonehead play. He only gets to start because of his glove -- though he missed catching the game-winning HR Tuesday night, too -- and he makes a play that would embarrass a Little Leaguer. How the hell can the Giants contend with guys like this not just starting but leading off -- a guy who's probably the least effective CF in baseball right now?

FIRE BRIAN SABEAN NOW. AND TELL BOCHY TO STOP BEING SO IN LOVE WITH GUYS WHO USED TO PLAY FOR SAN DIEGO.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The real story on the Ball Dudes

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nothing but love for Matt Cain

There was a truly stupid guy in Section 108 last night -- loud-mouth who spent more than an inning barking into his cell phone "wave to me" and "We're waving" and "where are you?" and "We're in back of the Padres dugout." Like anyone around him cares. Then when Zito gave up his second run in the 7th, this jerk brays at the top of his lungs, "That's the way to melt down after getting $120 million!" Then he hassled the server for a mojito. "What's a mojito?"came the response. Then he ordered two beers, making me make a mental note to be extra careful on the ride home with my sis.

Why am I re-capping this unfortunate example of a human being? Because it struck me that most of the Giants fans aren't jerks like this guy was. And they proved it today with a nice ovation for Matt Cain as he came off the mound, trailing 2-1 in the 8th -- about to get his ninth loss due to Frandsen's awful error and Brian Sabean's inexcusable incompetence in assembling a team with no offense outside of Barry Bonds.

FIRE. BRIAN. SABEAN. NOW.

Live from today's game

Giants Win is blogging live from today's game, where Frandsen committed an egregious error that let in 2 runs in the top of 8th to give the Padres a 4-1 lead. Just plain awful -- right thru the wickets.

Bonds isn't playing but it occurs to me with 78 walks already and no protection in the lineup, he'll probably wind up with the 4th highest walk total of all time in a season; he already has the top three. --


1. Bonds* (39) 232 2004
2. Barry Bonds* (37) 198 2002
3. Barry Bonds* (36) 177 2001
4. Babe Ruth+* (28) 170 1923
5. Mark McGwire (34) 162 1998
Ted Williams+* (28) 162 1947
Ted Williams+* (30) 162 1949
8. Ted Williams+* (27) 156 1946
9. Barry Bonds* (31) 151 1996

Spin control

I can't agree with Dave Roberts, Bruce Bochy, Mike Krukow and the KNBR post-game callers that Roberts was right to try stealing in the 10th inning and end last night's game. I admire their restraint but the truth is that it was a total bonehead play. Everyone in the park could tell Roberts was going to steal, so why take the bats out of the hands of Winn, Durham and Bonds? What kind of message does it send to the rest of the team?

Dave -- We all know that you stole that base in the 2004 playoffs so get over it. And just because you can only hit .210 doesn't mean that the hitters behind you are that lame.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bochy's ejection

I realize it happened 3 days ago but Bruce Bochy's ejection after the blown call on Saturday did seem to have the desired effect of firing up the team. Gwen Knapp of the SF Chronicle, who I've hammered in the past, does a nice recap.

"These guys don't make it easy on themselves"

That was a comment that I heard last night in Section 123 by a guy who was pretty ill-informed most of the evening but spot on with that remark as the Giants pulled out a nail-biter, 4-3, in the 11th.

What he meant is that there's so little offense with this team that comeback wins like last night's -- with Sweeney, Winn and Roberts putting together an 8th inning rally -- are close to a complete surprise. After Schierholtz singled in the second, the Giants went hitless until the 8th with lots of one- and two-pitch ABs.

Much of the talk on KNBR after the game was centered on Tim Lincecum avoiding a trip back Frenso after four lusy starts. He did luck out a bit, thanks to a couple of liners that were blasted right at people. But he also looked overpowering from time to time.

I loved Luis Figueora's sliding catch in foul ground in the 8th after Kline and Correia had combined to gift-wrap the game for the Padres. Omar was out of the game at that point due to a pulled groin --maybe from blasting his first inning HR. Anyhow, I don't know if Omar could have gotten there.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The new guy

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Revenge

R.I.P. Rod Beck

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Another Sabean apologist

That would be Thom Brennaman, who began to run out of interesting things to say during Fox's telecast about midway through today's glorious 6-5 win in extras over the Yanks. Around the 8th inning or so, he actually began spouting what a success Sabean is as a GM -- ignoring the current sad state of the franchise, with 3 straight losing seasons in a division that's simply not that difficult to win. He also began talking about how Sabean has the sixth most wins of any GM in history, which can't be right.

Then he began talking about how Billy Beane is also a very good GM, even though he has a lower payroll. Let's see -- the A's went to the ALCS last year and the Giants won 75 games with twice the payroll.

What is about these guys covering each other's back when they get on national TV? Why do we have to hear this nonsense in the midst of an 8-game losing streak that's more Brian Sabean's fault that any other individual?

In short, it was the same sort of innaccurate, stupid and biased defense of the status quo that we've come to expect from Fox -- the same place that believes George Bush is doing a wonderful job as president despite 30% approval ratings.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Glenn Dickey nails it

The SF Examiner columnist finally brings some sanity to the Giants mess, where idiots like Bruce Jenkins and Gwen Knapp defend Brian Sabean for constructing a team that's fast becoming a punchline, following its eighth loss in a row tonight despite Bonds hitting a homer. I actually heard the Dbacks announcers on XM this week proclaiming the Giants were dead with the season not even close to half over.

Dickey makes excellent points, which I'll summarize --

1. Bonds was such a strong performer in his prime that he made other players like Kent and Aurilia better.
2. Sabean and Dick Tidrow have never shown any aptitude for developing or keeping young talent.
3. Sabean has constructed a roster that can't hit, other than Bonds.
4. Sabean and Tidrow should be fired ASAP.
5. Dickey predicts this team won't even win 75 games, which is what the 2006 team managed. Here's how Dickey puts it --

With Sabean putting together another old, old team — the last two Giants teams are the oldest in the last 50 years in baseball — and the reduced Bonds, this team will be lucky to match either of the last two. Bonds’ great play from 1993 through 2004 masked bad decisions. Now, the Giants have some rebuilding to do, and it should start with Sabean and Dick Tidrow, who has been overseeing the weak farm system. Bonds can no longer cover up the mistakes.

A-Rod's coming

The SF Chronicle's Henry Schulman talks with Bruce Bochy about Alex Rodriguez breaking the HR mark, on the eve of the Yanks coming to Mays Field. I don't care much whether or not he does hit 800 homers. What the article doesn't mention is whether there's even a ghost of a chance of A-Rod winding up in the Orange and Black -- at which point I would be very interested in him getting to 800.

Getting A-Rod would be the same kind of bold move the franchise made in signing Bonds in 1993 and trading for Jeff Kent in 1997. Those are the two moves -- more than any others -- that led to the 7 straight winning seasons and the 2002 trip to the World Series. I'm very skeptical that the Magowan has the guts to pull the trigger on that kind of move anymore.

Bruce Jenkins is also an idiot

You probably already knew that but his latest column in the SF Chronicle should solidify that conclusion -- a hysterical rant blaming Barry Bonds and defending Brian Sabean. Jenkins, who has always been an idiot, asserts that Sabean should be kept because of the seven straight winning seasons, which ended in 2004.

That's like me telling my boss that even though I have under-performed for the last three years, he should keep me on because I was pretty damn good in 1998.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Only one thing to say

I can't get no satisfaction
I can't get no satisfaction
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can't get no, I can't get no

When I'm drivin' in my car
And a man comes on the radio
He's telling me more and more
About some useless information
Supposed to fire my imagination
I can't get no, oh no no no
Hey hey hey, that's what I say

I can't get no satisfaction
I can't get no satisfaction
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can't get no, I can't get no

When I'm watchin' my TV
And a man comes on to tell me
How white my shirts can be
But he can't be a man 'cause he doesn't smoke
The same cigarrettes as me I can't get no, oh no no no
Hey hey hey, that's what I say

I can't get no satisfaction
I can't get no girlie action
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can't get no, I can't get no

When I'm ridin' round the world
And I'm doin' this and I'm signing that
And I'm tryin' to make some girl
Who tells me baby better come back later next week
Cause you see I'm on a losing streak
I can't get no, a no no no
Hey hey hey, that's what I say
I can't get no, I can't get no
I can't get no satisfaction
No satisfaction, no satisfaction, no satisfaction

Ann Killion is an idiot

Another incredibly lazy stupid hack weasel column, blaming Bonds and absolving Sabean. No insight here, just the suggestion that the team would improve by getting rid of its one offensive threat. No mention of the incompetence of signing overpriced contracts for Blownitez, Roberts, Winn, Feliz, Edgardo Alfonzo and Zito or trading Accardo and Nathan. No, it's all Barry Bonds' fault, according to this dingbat.

If Ann and the Merc-News were honest, this one would have given Sabean a co-byline.

FIRE BRIAN SABEAN NOW.

Here's why Sabean should be fired

Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman has a fascinating article in this week's issue, polling 14 GMs as to the five players they would most like to have -- absent any budget constraints. Jose Reyes leads the list, followed by Papelbon, A-Rod, Verlander, Mauer, Sizemore, Santana, Pujols, Jeter, Suzuki and Utley. Others getting votes -- Beltran, Mariano Rivera, Vlad, Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera, Haren, Putz, Saito, Russell Martin, Beckett, Fielder, Yadier Molina, Halladay.

What's my point? There's not a single Giant on the 23-player list, which consists mostly of players under 30. Not even Matt Cain or Tim Lincecum. It's clear that Brian Sabean's skills as a GM have become the laughingstock of the rest of MLB.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Another great Dodger inning

Bottom 2nd: Toronto
- F. Thomas doubled to left
- A. Hill singled to left, F. Thomas to third
- G. Zaun singled to right, F. Thomas scored, A. Hill to third
- M. Stairs walked, G. Zaun to second
- C. Thigpen singled to left, A. Hill scored, G. Zaun to third, M. Stairs to second
- J. McDonald struck out swinging
- A. Rios doubled to left, G. Zaun and M. Stairs scored, C. Thigpen to third
- V. Wells fouled out to third
- T. Glaus walked
- F. Thomas homered to deep left, T. Glaus, A. Rios and C. Thigpen scored
- B. Tomko relieved H. Kuo
- A. Hill popped out to left
8 runs, 6 hits, 0 errors
LA Dodgers 0, Toronto 8

(Many thanks to Dan!)

Seven in a row!

Let's see -- the Giants are now 11 games under .500. Next up are the Yanks. How long can this go on?

FIRE BRIAN SABEAN NOW.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Six in a row!

The Giants have now gone 6-18 over the last 4 weeks, including six losses in a row, thanks to tonight's debacle which saw the Giants bat Roberts as the leadoff with a .215 average and an OBP well under .300.

Can it get worse? Sure. Last year's team -- which wasn't that different from this year's -- managed to lose nine in a row. They were in first place at 51-47 on July 22, then Blownitez did his thing by gagging in the 9th in a 6-5 loss and that was pretty much the end of the season.

Only the Reds, Rangers, Royals and Orioles have fewer wins than the Giants.

Schmidt -- the new Robb Nen?

Jason Schmidt is going under the knife and probably won't pitch again this year. Anyone who saw him pitch during the last two years could have seen that he was starting to fall apart gradually. It's quite possible that he left his 95 mph fastball in San Francisco and won't ever get it back.

Given Brian Sabean's rock-hard ability to misjudge talent, it's a surprise that the Giants didn't get into a bidding war for the big guy during the offseason. The only upside is that Ned Colletti helped Sabean assemble this current Giants team -- one that's gone from nearly winning the World Series five years ago to a team that's now down in the dregs with Kansas City and Tampa Bay -- so hopefully Colletti's incompetence will keep the Dodgers out of the post-season.

The Chronicle reacts to the Merc-News

The SF Chron's Gwen Knapp does a nice job of debunking the San Jose Merc-News story about how Bonds might be traded. I'm a little surprised she doesn't mention that Sabean's going to get fired if things don't turn around.

Desperately seeking good news

It occurs to me that tonight's game -- with Tim Lincecum starting -- is plenty of reason to feel good. Last year, this game probably would have been started by a fast-fading Jason Schmidt. I saw Schmitty at Chavez Latrine on Saturday and it was pretty sad. No fastball over 88 mph and several pitches bounced up to the plate. He's obviously damaged goods in perhaps some sort of karmic payback for proclaiming his love for the Dodgers after signing a $48 million deal.

Right now, he's one of the most overpaid players in MLB. And he's just gone back on the D.L.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Falling apart on the inside

The Giants are now 5-13 since Brian Sabean's petulant outburst and a full 9 games under .500. Tonight, they managed to lose in the 9th in Milwaukee with the bases loaded, one run down and their best hitter in the on-deck circle after Randy Winn and Ryan Klesko failed to get the tie run home from third.

It all reminds of a very crappy 1965 Ford Mustang that I owned in 1976 -- back when you could get a used Mustang for less than $500. Unfortunately for me, this one had been driven into the ground. At one point, coming back from a ball game at the Stick, I couldn't get the car out of first gear as I was driving on I-80 and stopped in at a gas station to see if they could help. The mechanic told me, "I wouldn't give you $50 for this car."

What's my point? Just this -- the car looked OK on the outside but it was always dicey going anywhere because it was so run down. And that's how it's going to be with this team, it seems -- losing winnable games because of Sabean's inability to get any kind of significant offense other than re-signing Bonds, who's a few weeks shy of 43. The Giants had a definite need to improve the offense this year so they let Moises walk and signed Klesko, Aurilia, Benjie (maybe the one upgrade) and Dave Roberts; plus they didn't trade Winn.

I'm not giving up on the season until the Orange and Black are mathematically eliminated. But it's maddening that the same set of lovable losers keep getting sent out game after game.

By the way, I sold the Mustang for $100 and a 10-speed bicycle.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Little-noticed story

Only Baseball Matters, which has done a nice re-design, points out that Barry Bonds attorney has told the feds that it's time to put up or shut up in the BALCO case.

Why do I say" little-noticed?" Let's take the SF Chronicle's attention to it, shall we? After searching the paper's Web site, the only mention is at the bottom an AP story about the fired US attorney deciding that he will get into the biz of drug policy consulting -- whatever that is. Since the comments by Rains are obviously exculpatory toward his client, Bonds, it's not at all surprising that the Chronicle would ignore this development especially after giving a front page story -- which had no news in it -- last week to their disgraced reporters.

It's worth noting that Bonds was quite gracious today toward former teammate Tim Wakefield after the game.
But since that doesn't feed into the "Barry's a pscyho" mindset of much of the sportsworld, that probably won't get widely noticed either.

No All-Star Game for you

A lousy Matt Morris outing -- on a day when the offense finally kicked into gear -- ought to end all the recent talk about Matty Mo being named an All-Star. Frankly, I could not care less about the game and with this team, it's mostly a chance for whoever might get named to injure themselves.

I've linked to the MLB recap, but frankly, this one sentence will tell you all you need to know about how the Giants have been going -- Winn's hit broke San Francisco's streak of 28 consecutive hitless at-bats with runners in scoring position, dating back to Wednesday.

Let's not lose sight of Brian Sabean's role in all this. On May 30, the Giants easily beat the Mets 3-0 behind Zito to go to a 25-26 record. The season hadn't gone particularly well but Sabean then found a taker for Blownitez -- maybe the most positive development of the year until Sabean decided that he had to act like a 3-year old. Rather than take responsibility for the situation or just say something mature like "Good night and good luck" to Fatmando, he chose that occasion to lash out at the fans and the team, basically saying that it was their fault for not playing through injuries rather than his fault for assembling a team that can't hit and a team that's extremely susceptible to injury due to its age.

It seems that Sabean's remarks more or less completed the job of thoroughly demoralizing this team or whatever part of the team hadn't already been demoralized by the obnoxious presence of Blownitez. The team has gone 5-12 since then and wins now feel like finding an iceberg on the Caribbean. In any other business, Sabean would have fired by now.

But that probably won't happen until the end of the season. For now, it's time to put some pain on Bud Selig's old team, the Brewers. Make them suffer, guys!

It can't come soon enough

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Juan the Fraud

Happy Fathers Day

Friday, June 15, 2007

A guaranteed laugh

...for anyone who thinks this whole Roger Clemens business is getting a little weird. And Lord knows we Giants fans can use a laugh about now!

Many thanks to Lunatic Fringe for nabbing this one about a scenario in 2057.

How ugly was that?

The Giants were stomped so throughly Friday night at Fenway -- their first real game against the Bosox visit since the 1912 World Series -- that the Red Sox announcers were reduced late in the game to reminiscing about Jon Miller's three years in Boston and how well he'd handle a rain delay with impressions of Harry Caray, Vin Scully and Bob Shepard.

It seemed a little strange to me that it was only the 7th inning with the score 7-2 at Fenway Park -- a place that's notorious for comebacks. Then I realized that this team is probably one of the least capable in the MLB right now of staging a six-run comeback, even at Fenway.

Their batting average is the 25th lowest and their 279 runs is the sixth worst in MLB, trailing only the Cards, Chisox, A's, Nats and Astros. The pitching remains more than decent -- seventh best in all MLB.

Why most sportswriters are lazy weasels

I know a guy who's a diehard Bosox fan -- smart, friendly, a pleasure to be around. Yet he's convinced himself that Barry Bonds is done and that he's having a terrible year. I point out to him that his onbase percentage at .491 is the highest by far in MLB; Big Papi is second at .448. He looks at me like I'm from Mars.

There's no doubt in my mind that many fans have been influenced by the incessantly negative coverage about Bonds. Last night, when the Mets' Guillermo Mota came into the game at Chavez Latrine, there was no booing, no "steroids" chanting -- even though this guy is a proven abuser of banned performance enhancing drugs.

But even without the issue of steroids, baseball coverage is shabby in most quarters -- and that leads to fans being horribly uninformed. No writer one ever wants to mention OBP, or if they do, it's in an embarrassed manner, even though OBP's among the biggest contributions a player can make to his team's success. If I bothered to poll Dodger fans, I'm sure that a majority would assert that Juan Pierre is having a better season than Barry Bonds -- even though the truth of the matter is that the Dodgers would have been better off with keeping Kenny Lofton, and for a lot less money.

As I keep saying, Dodger fans are the stupidest in MLB. Part of the reason is smugness; and part is due to the coverage in the LA Times being so inept.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Thanks again, Brian!

The game stories I've read about today's 7-4 loss to the Jays all ignored the final out of the game, focusing on Tim Lincecum's sudden ineffectiveness and Guillermo Rodriguez' strange day in his first MLB start after 11 years in the minors.

So I will -- Barry Bonds pinch-hit for Omar and Jeremy Accardo struck him out. So, thanks again, Brian Sabean, for trading away a guy who's turned out to be a real closer and getting garbage (Hillenbrand) and a peripheral guy (Chulk) in return. Thanks for another stinker deal!

The stupidest fans in baseball

No question -- it's the dingbats at Chavez Latrine. How can Big D at Giants Win make such a sweeping statement?

Simple. I just got back from the Latrine, still astounded over the booing that Paul Lo Duca and Shawn Green get at every plate appearance -- as if they had somehow spurned some incredibly generous Dodger free-agent offer, when the truth is actually that they were both traded away after years of solid performance. It's not that they're with the Mets, either, as such stalwarts as David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado don't get any acknowledgement at all.

It's just plain stupidity -- the same kind that bats around beach balls so incessantly that the game usually has to be stopped 3 or 4 times a night because the damn balls have been knocked into the field of play.

The Mets looked awful, losing 9-1. I'm still pretty sure they'll make the playoffs, even though they are now dealing with the SIKOD (Sports Illustrated Kiss of Death). I just got my copy of the new SI with Omar Minaya, Endy Chavez, John Maine, Oliver Perez, El Duque and Willie Randolph on the cover -- just as the Mets have gone 1-9.

This explains a lot.

Nate the Great

In his first two MLB at bats tonight, Nate Schierholtz helped the Giants win the game simply by good situational hitting to the right side and advancing Dave Roberts. Both instances led to all three runs -- just enough to win a second a game in the row for the first time in almost three weeks.

Schierholtz sounded incredibly likeable during the post-game chat with Dave Fleming on KNBR, too. He gave big-time props to Randy Winn for a remarkable catch in the 9th of Aaron Hill's drive.

On May 23, the Giants had won 4 in a row and were 24-22 after humiliating the Astros, 9-1. Two days later, Blownitez did his thing and gave up 2 runs in the 9th for what turned out to be a devastating 5-3 loss to the Rox. This is why it was so important to get rid of the Fat Loser -- particularly with this impressive starting pitching staff, which has now delivered 41 quality starts in 64 games-- at least if the SF Chronicle is to be believed. I would double-check, given how lazy the reporters and editors are.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Two bits of good news

No shame, part 2

Rather than go to the front page with the story of the Giants finally winning a game, 4-3, and Bonds hitting HR No. 747, the San Francisco Chronicle relegated that news to the sports page.

What was on the front page instead? Rather than show any semblance of journalistic ethics, the S.F. Chronicle has decided to rehash the BALCO case in a front page story written by the two reporters who were complicit in manipulating the justice system for the benefit of a corrupt defense attorney.

Were this the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, the two reporters would have been booted off the story long ago and never allowed again to use confidential sources. Here's what I'm talking about.

In any case, the new story is pretty thin other than saying that the attorneys in the case have been talking to each other, that there's no cooperation with George Mitchell's probe and that it's an uncomfortable situation for all concerned.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Silly stuff by Ray Ratto

The SF Chronicle's Ray Ratto adequately recaps the awful stretch that's befallen the Giants but blunders badly by insisting that they don't show enough life, or some such nonsense. Here's the offending paragraph as part of his oh-so-helpful suggestions --


So they have 100 games left, which means they've shown us about 40 percent of a losing hand, so the question screams to be asked, "How do they save themselves from themselves?"
-- Stop looking so dispirited. They look like they expect to lose when they take the field, and though body language is a dangerous predictor of future events, they look blah and blue and bland. Zito said Saturday that they need have more fun, but this is not a back-slapping, shaving-cream-pie-throwing, have-fun type of team, and it wasn't that in the best of times. Still, a little more obvious interest in the work couldn't hurt; it even might inspire the true believers to think they're not seeing what they're seeing.

You can tell when sportswriters are getting desperate when they declare that a team is "dispirited" -- as if they can tell and as if that's measurable. Doesn't it seem obvious that the team that's winning a game might show a bit more life than its opponents? Not to no-talent hacks like Ray Ratto.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Brutal

With today's disgusting loss, the Giants have hit one of the worst stretches in memory -- 4-12 in the last 16 games. Hard to believe this team was 24-22 less than three weeks ago!

What in hell did Brian Sabean think would happen when he told the team after trading Blownitez that they sucked? Meanwhile, the team has now lost 23 games this year by two runs or less -- which goes to show that THIS GUY CANNOT IDENTIFY OFFENSIVE TALENT. If I had done my job as bad as he has, I would have been fired years ago.

With the team 28-34, the season can be salvaged but insisting on running the same offense out day after day is ridiculous. In two days, the offense has generated 11 singles -- NO EXTRA BASE HITS. Today's output consisted to two by Rich Aurilia, one each by Winn, Ortmeier and Molina.

Frankly, the best move Sabean made was letting Jason Schmidt walk. Toronto hammered The Traitor today at Chavez Latrine.

It's also worth nothing that Sabean thought it would be a great idea to sign Juan Pierre -- one of the least effective MLB offensive players with an OBP of around .300 and no power -- to a four-year deal at something like $9 million a year but fortunately, the Dodgers were even stupider and offered another year and more money.

Blame the ref!

The Giants season has gotten so lousy that they only good news is --

1. rejoicing over the Dodgers losing 1-0 to Toronto

2. finding an extremely funny blog by some Bowling Green students called Blame the Ref. Here's what they had to say recently about prior to the Cleveland-San Antonio game:

Get ready for the flopping clinic which will undoubtedly be put on by Anderson Varejao and Manu Ginobili - it's enough to make you want to vomit in your mouth really. All I can hope is that Bill Walton, and his brilliant insight, will be covering tonight's game for two reasons. One, he HATES Varejao and his flopping, which he will allude to on several occasions. Two, there is a great Bill Walton drinking game which involves taking a drink every time he says something dumb, uses the wrong word, studders or compares current players to old players. The game was so effective when Walton last covered the Cavs I hardly remember the fourth quarter.So be on the watch out for two All-NBA floppers and whether or not the referees play into their game. After you watch that, come back here and bitch about it.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Six singles

That was all the offense the Giants could manage this afternoon in a 6-0 humiliation by the A's -- two by Bonds, one each by Klesko, Winn, Molina and Feliz.

It's your fault, Brian Sabean. It's all your fault. If you were half the man you pretend to be, you'd resign on the spot.

Time to go to Fresno again

Nate Schierholz, Justin Leone, Clay Timpner, Patrick Misch, Dan Giese, Chris Begg....when you're 4 games under .500 and losing winnable games because there's not enough offense and the pen is ineffective, it's time to find out if these guys have what it takes.

Let's look at the Dbacks, shall we? They're 10 games over .500 -- even though they got hammered by J.D. Drew and the Bosox last night. One fairly anonymous member of their pen, Brandon Medders, was ineffective Thursday night against the Orange and Black; now he's in Triple A and some guy named Peguero is getting a shot.

I, for one, have had it up to here with the wildly inconsistent Jack Taschner. And Mark Sweeney isn't any kind of serious threat -- not that he has been for some time. I'm sure they're nice guys and all but the season's more than a third over and these two are obviously not the answer.

Friday, June 08, 2007

I hate Bud Selig

I have never forgiven Bud for canceling the 1994 World Series, for the All-Star game determining home-field advantage in the World Series, for the idiocy of the Expos sale, for letting Fox broadcast games and for continuing to own the Brewers while commissioner.

Tonight, I hate him for interleague play as the Giants had their win streak stopped at a red hot one.

Trapped in LA

Aneel's re-designed his always interesting Trapped in LA blog; it's got a great look and a sharp observation about how badly this team's performing in close games with a post titled Your Last Place San Francisco Giants --

... have lost 21 games already this season by two or fewer runs, the most in baseball. Ouch.
Taking it a step further, only one team since the strike (’94) lost more “close” contests through its first 58 games overall… the 2000 Astros, who lost 22. And by the way, the 2000 Astros finished 72-90.
What does that mean? Well, not much, except now when someone says “Man, the Giants have lost a lot of heart-breakers this season”, you can say, “Actually, you’re right! Only one team since the strike lost more close games through its first 58 overall.”

A thing of beauty

Let's review, shall we?
Here's the play-by-play of tonight's come-from-ahead Dodger meltdown. Dodgers lead, 5-1, heading into the ninth:

Bottom 9th: San Diego
- J. Broxton relieved J. Beimel
- G. Blum singled to second
- T. Sledge safe at first on first baseman N. Garciaparra's fielding error, G. Blum to second
- M. Giles singled to left center, G. Blum to third, T. Sledge to second
- P. McAnulty hit for J. Hampson
- P. McAnulty singled to first, G. Blum scored, T. Sledge to third, M. Giles to second
- A. Gonzalez ground rule double to deep center, T. Sledge and M. Giles scored, P. McAnulty to third
- J. Bard intentionally walked
- M. Cameron singled to center, P. McAnulty scored, A. Gonzalez to third, J. Bard to second
- K. Kouzmanoff struck out swinging
- R. Branyan walked, A. Gonzalez scored, J. Bard to third, M. Cameron to second
5 runs, 5 hits, 1 errors
LA Dodgers 5, San Diego 6

Veteran poise

Thursday, June 07, 2007

No shame

While Paris Hilton's release from jail is the story of the day, it's worth noting that the San Francisco Chronicle's conduct in the BALCO investigation -- with its reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada conspiring with a defense attorney to subvert the government's case -- continues to be shady, to say the least.

Now the paper's demanding release of the redacted names in the case against the former Mets clubhouse attendant, according to a story by Williams and Fainaru-Wada.

After their egregious conduct, these guys should no longer be reporting on this case since they were willing to sacrifice even the pretense of journalistic ethics. It's obvious that the Chronicle doesn't care about those kind of concerns. I'm going to repeat part of what Tim Rutten of the LA Times said about their conduct earlier this year --

Two San Francisco Chronicle reporters — Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams — have made themselves poster children for advocates of a federal shield law by risking jail to protect the source who leaked them federal grand jury testimony by three professional baseball stars, including Barry Bonds.Thursday, we learned just who they were protecting when Troy L. Ellerman, a defense lawyer for one of BALCO's vice presidents, pleaded guilty to contempt of court, obstruction of justice and filing a false declaration with a federal court. Ellerman leaked the testimony to the Chronicle reporters, then went out and argued that the ensuing publicity would deny his client a fair trial. Worse, he actually filed motions with the court alleging that prosecutors had leaked the testimony and that charges against the BALCO official should be dismissed.The two reporters maintained their silence while all this occurred. Worse, Fainaru-Wada returned to the defense attorney's office to obtain still more leaked testimony after their source had lied in public and to the court.
Conspiring with somebody you know is actively perverting the administration of justice to your mutual advantage is a betrayal of the public interest whose protection is the only basis on which journalistic privilege of any sort has a right to assert itself. Maybe this is how sophisticated investigative reporters navigate the ambiguities of "source management," but an ordinary person with no more than the sense of right and wrong that they learned at Mother's knee would call this conduct what it is: sleazy and contemptible.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Dodgers humiliated again

The Dodgers are everyone's favorite club for milestones -- Bonds getting his 71st in 2001 and 500th career homer and now, Trevor Hoffman getting his 500th save tonight.

In other good news, Fatmando Blownitez did his usual awful job last night for the Marlins -- 2 hits, a walk and an earned run in an inning. And Edgardo Alfonzo is now playing for the Long Island Ducks.

To the Dodgers, Sabean, Fatmando and Edgardo, I have one thing to say -- Eat it. Eat it raw.

"Wednesday's worse"

Another day, another disgusting loss. The Giants have now gone 2-4 since Brian Sabean's stupid blame-everyone tirade. Don't you think that the club might be a tad demoralized by what he said?

The Giants currently have the 6th best pitching in MLB but they have little ability to take advantage of that due to them having the 19th best offense, measured by runs scored. They've lost 21 games by 2 runs or less.

Only one thing to do -- It's time to post the lyrics from T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday":

They call it stormy Moday, but Tuesday's just as bad
They call it stormy Moday, but Tuesday's just as bad
Wednesday's worse, and Thursday's also sad

Yes the eagle flies on Friday, and Saturday I go out to play
Eagle flies on Friday, and Saturday I go out to play
Sunday I go to church, then I kneel down and pray

Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy on me
Lord have mercy, my heart's in misery
Crazy about my baby, yes, send her back to me

63 years ago today

On D-Day, MLB canceled its games. The season saw the St. Louis Browns going to the World Series for the only time.

Stupider and stupider

As I listened to the game on XM tonight, I could feel myself growing stupider and stupider. Because one of the Dbacks announcers noted that Steve Finley had been DFAd and expressed the hope that someone picks him up because "he's a good guy" who used to play for the Dbacks. or some such BS. And then he acknowledged that Finley had crappy stats but "needed to play every day" to be effective.

Isn't that the defense of crappy players everywhere -- that they need to play every day or they're just not going to be any good? That was Finley's contention last season, even though he got over 400 ABs and still sucked hard. This year, he had a pathetic 2 RBIs in 93 at bats.

I don't know which announcer it was but it's no wonder that Dback fans are almost as stupid as Dodger fans. And it would serve them right if the Dbacks are stupid enough to pick him off the scrap heap. Oh, and the announcers were pathetic enough to keep saying "We" in reference to the Dbacks.

Percy in the Orange and Black?

Fox News is reporting that the Giants are among the teams that attended Troy Percival's workout. My mind reels with sarcasm. While we're at it, why don't we get Garrett Anderson, K-Rod and Scott Speizio so we can have a whole bunch of the 2002 Angels on the team?

Because why bother trying to bring up a guy with a future from Frenso like Patrick Misch or Dan Giese when you can get re-tread who hasn't pitched in 2 seasons and who's going to be 39 soon? It's the Sabean way!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Go to hell, Brian Sabean

I've just re-read Sabean's idiotic comments from last week when he blamed everyone but himself -- INCLUDING THE FANS -- for the Giants' lack of success this year and singled out injured players for not playing after building one of the oldest teams ever to play MLB. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't still annoyed. Tonight's game summarized the year in a nutshell --

1. Matt Cain pitched well enough to win
2. The offense could only score 3 runs in 10 innings
3. Barry Bonds, the best offensive player even at age 42, couldn't get in the game because he has shin splints and
4. The bullpen got overworked and fell apart once again

HEY BRIAN -- THIS IS YOUR TEAM. YOU'VE HAD $90 MILLION IN PAYROLL FOR THE PAST 3 YEARS AND IT LOOKS LIKE YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE 3 CONSECUTIVE LOSING SEASONS NOW. HOW ABOUT GETTING A GODDAM HITTER AND SOME HELP FOR THE PEN? And by the way, in the Merc-News poll, 77% still believe you should be fired.

It would be the first time since the 1994-96 stretch in which the Giants have rung up three losing seasons in a row. Actually, they had one winning season in six -- the 103-59 year in 1993 -- between 1991 and 1996.

There's a bit of good news --
1. Dan Ortmeier hit another homer
2. The Dodgers gagged 1-0 to the Padres
3. Choker Kent is in a 2-for-36 slump

What took them so long?

Even the Rockies have standards. They just released Steve Finley. Of course, Finley's one moment of glory this year came against the Orange and Black.

Try not to trip on your wallet, Steve.

Let's go to Fresno

I'm unsure why Brian Sabean won't make a few more moves after whining about the team. Right now, the Giants are headed for a third straight losing season -- thanks mostly to his crappy GM skills.

I would say it's time to send Jack Taschner back to Frenso following his egregious performance in Sunday's winnable game. And how about giving Patrick Misch a try after he's been blowing away PCL hitters? What are we saving guys like this for?

Monday, June 04, 2007

A Sabean takedown

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury-News really lets Brian Sabean have it for his childish outburst in the wake of trading Blownitez. It's a fairly brutal takedown. Here are the first 2 grafs --

He can try, but I doubt Brian Sabean will keep blaming the fans, the media and the old, tired players he handpicked for this crumbling Giants roster.
I doubt Sabean will gather reporters in the middle of the Giants' summer swoon and announce with angry defiance: "I did my job."

There's also a poll on whether Sabean should go. 77% say yes.

RIP Mark Harris

The author of "The Southpaw" and "Bang the Drum Slowly" has passed on. In my opinion, baseball fiction doesn't get any better.

Bouncing back

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Still blaming Fatmando and Brian

More good riddance

Good riddance

Now that Blownitez is pitching for a team where there's nothing on the line -- there's no chance for the Marlins to make the playoffs with the Mets and Braves in the same division -- he's doing fine with another socreless inning tonight. What a worthless piece of garbage he is.

Speaking of garbage, the Giants offense turned in another pathetic performance tonight to end their win streak at a red hot one. But at least Barry Bonds is hitting with authority again.

And the Dodgers lost to the worthless Pirates though you would never guess that anything was amiss in the slightest by reading this Pollyannish nonsense in the LA Times. No wonder Dodger fans are the stupidest in baseball.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Best take on the Blownitez trade

...comes from the new blog Benitez Must Go, which was up for a mere 72 hours or so before Brian "The Whiner" Sabean pulled the trigger on the best trade of the year. Here's part of what Concerned Giants Fan had to say --

In case you haven't already heard the joyous news, Fatboy has been traded to Florida Marlinsfor a minor league pitcher, a pint of cuban-style black beans and an old dishrag. Bless their hearts for their generosity by throwing in the minor league pitcher when we all know the beans and dishrag would have been plenty by themselves!Sure, we paid the Florida to take Fatboy off our hands, but who cares? This is a classic caseof addition by subtraction. Sure, he might end up saving a bunch of games for the Marlins this year. Sure, our new closer (Hennessey?) or closer by committee might end up blowing more games than 'Mando would have. But, really, who friggin cares? At least the new closer(s) can blow saves with substance, class and humility. These guys officially have a free pass for therest of the season since no one
expects much from them anyway. We're all just ecstatic to see Blownitez long gone.

By the way, Blownitez pitched a scoreless inning tonight for the Marlins, who lost 8-5. Todd Linden pinch hit for him in the 9th & flied out.

And some poster named willriv22 at McCovey Chronicles simply said -- Maybe he was the Chupacabra.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Coincidence?

I don't think it's exactly a total surprise that after trading Blownitez, the Giants managed to humiliate the Phils, 13-0. And maybe Fred Lewis is the real deal.

Not a pretty picture

Paul Gutierrez of the Sacramento Bee (registration required) must have known the Blownitez trade was coming. Here's his lead --

SAN FRANCISCO -- Imagine Tommy Lasorda and Crazy Crab, two of the most reviled creatures in Giants lore, getting together one night, having a few too many and spawning a love child. Think Giants fans would ever warm up to that demon seed? Um, no. Which brings us to Armando Benítez.

The rest of the piece doesn't really live up to the opening, rehashing his career stats and asserting that Armando really cared. My reaction is "whatever," given that Gutierrez never mentions that 1. he never bothered to get into shape and 2. the saves earlier in this season were damn lucky, given the amount of runners put on base and lack of strikeouts.

Glory Glory Hallelujah

After having 3 seasons screwed up by this loser, the Giants traded Blownitez to the Marlins. I have two questions --

1. What took so long?

2. Why did Brian Sabean feel it was necessary to take a potshot at fans -- who do, after all, pay the freight -- for forcing him to do this? Isn't anyone accountable for their mistakes anymore? Here's part of what Sabean said --

"The first game here (in New York) we had three players who were not available. That was not Armando's fault. Tonight we had three hits and looked dead as a doornail. That was not Armando's fault. We are at a crossroads in my mind, and apparently the fans, the press and some people in the clubhouse felt he needed to go.
"Now we're going to find out what they're made of. We'll see who's strong enough to be the whipping boy now. ... We're going to find out who, when and how we're going to step up. Right now, as we speak, we're heading closer to last place than first place. I don't know that that was Armando Benitez's fault."


EXCUSE ME, BRIAN -- But this is your fault. Let's put aside all the blown saves and stupid comments and focus on what a crappy job YOU have done:

-- not getting a decent hitter to protect Barry Bonds since Jeff Kent left
-- trading away Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano and Jeremy Accardo
-- blowing $25 million on Edgardo Alfonzo
-- and blowing over $20 million on Blownitez -- a guy who can't perform at a big-league level.

If I had done my job as poorly as you have yours, I'd have been fired years ago. You've taken a team that damn near won the World Series and turned into one that's battling the Rockies for the cellar. And as for the fans feeling Blowntiez needed to go -- it would seem that those concerns are motivated by the knowledge that this team's had a crappy bullpen every since Robb Nen blew out his arm. And that's not the fans' fault. It's yours.