Friday, August 31, 2007

Daniel Ortmeier = Matt Holliday?

Here's why it should be re-named Mays Field


Can anyone look at this cover and tell me that AT&T would not reap some seriously great publicity if they could somehow work the Mays name into the title of the park? "Mays Field at AT&T Park." What's so hard about that?
I've re-done the blog roll to bring back the link to Mays Field -- which had been pretty quiet until recently. I also did so partly because of the astoundingly great photos being posted through the site by talented folks like artolog and peepshow.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Here's what's saving Brian Sabean's job


An astounding shot in July by peephole
No matter how badly the team plays, the scenery is often remarkable.

More stupidity from Colletti

Don't you wish that you had the kind of job security that Ned Colletti has? He just signed Esteban Loaiza after he cleared waivers -- meaning that Oakland's Billy Beane was so happy to get rid of him that he asked for nothing in return.

So the Dodgers now have Esteban -- a 36-year-old who's pitched a total of 14 innings this year -- for a few September starts and they're stuck with paying him $8 million for next year as well. Why is Ned so desperate? Because his idea of signing starting pitchers is to go after washed-up guys like Brett Tomko and Jason Schmidt.

Remember, Ned was part of the Giants Brain Trust that traded for Sidney Ponson, traded away Joe Nathan and Nelson Liriano and signed Blownitez for three years.

The future of the franchise


Another wonderful shot by Artolog
Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle is reporting that Lincecum may be rested from his spot in the rotation this Saturday. I have no problem with that -- it's not as if the Giants are fighting for a playoff spot. That's what happens when you're as good as this kid is. I wish I could do my job as well as he does his.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Rockies are a blight on baseball

They're not quite as disgraceful as the Dodgers. But I hate their dumb ballpark, their ugly unis, their right-wing dingbat alcoholic owner, their 1993 season-end laydown, their 1998 final-day comeback and their disgusting decision last year to go with what they regarded as only morally superior players -- at a time when they were carrying psycho headhunter Jose Mesa on their roster.

I also hate them for ending the Giants six-game winning streak today.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Six in a row!

Matt Cain humiliates the Colorado Rox, 3-1, with Rajai Davis supplying the excitement with the first two runs -- the second on a very shallow sac fly. That pretty much puts an end to the Rox stupid playoff hopes.

The Giants are now 61-72 after going 11-2 over the last 13 games. Where the hell was this team in June? And Cain is now 7-13 after winning three in a row. His ERA is 3.57. Can you imagine what his record might look like if Brainiac Sabean had 1. bothered to get a first baseman who could hit before the season started and 2. pushed Blownitez off the Golden Gate Bridge?

It also looks like Bochy's giving a lot more ABs to Fransden, who went 2-for-2 with a walk and is now 4-for-9 over the last 3 games. Durham's inability to produce has been a huge factor in why this team has been so lousy until the last two weeks.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Five in a row again

The Giants keep edging toward respectability with their second five-game winning streak in less than two weeks. Now they're 60-72.

On August 15, Bruce Bochy idiotically decided to start Russ Ortiz. The Orange and Black went down to the Braves for their fifth loss in six games and a 50-70 record. At that point, it seemed plausible that the team could go 12-30 for the rest of the season and wind up with a 62-100 record.

But Zito is now pitching like he should be and the team is getting a bit of timely hitting from unexpected sources -- Aurilia and Fransden. At this point, finishing at .500 would require going 21-9 during the rest of the season. It's a long-shot but that would take away a lot of the bitterness that's stemmed from being one of the worst teams in MLB for most of the year.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

How does that taste, Bud?

Hey, Commish -- how's it feel to have your pet team, the Brewers, gag away their chance at a post-season via a humiliating sweep by the Giants, one of the worst teams in MLB? Maybe it's a little payback for your thoroughly wimpy performance in deigning to admit that Barry Bonds had broken Aaron's record.

Eat it, Bud. Eat it raw.

It's the first sweep at home for the Orange and Black since May 21-23.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Dodgers gag again

David Wells must be wondering what he's gotten into as the Dodgers go down to the Mets, 4-3. El Duque did the honors today. The Dodgers are now only 3 games over .500.

Giants offense located!

Bruce Jenkins is an idiot, part 239

This time, the SF Chronicle resident dingbat weasel claims that pitch count doesn't matter ("the most worthless stat in baseball," he proclaims) for a guy like Tim Lincecum in a sniveling dismissal of those who think it does -- because that's the way things used to be. Yeah, Bruce, why not just ignore how guys like Jason Schmidt, Kerry Wood and Mark Pryor no longer have careers -- thanks to elevated pitch counts?

At least it was in a blog rather than in the paper, so hopefully less people are going to be infected with Jenkins' stupidty. How this guy keeps his job is one of the mysteries of the modern world.

Slugfest


Artolog has a wonderful series of shots of HR 761! A great night for the Orange and Black.

Friday, August 24, 2007

No surprise -- the Dodgers suck

At least they suck when they play a halfway decent team like the Mets, like they did tonight in a 5-2 loss. Brad Penney and Scott Proctor aren't going to be good enough -- letting in five runs -- when you have an offense that's almost as pathetic as the Giants.

Bonds at first?

Lefty Malo points out that Jeff Fletcher of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat got Barry to admit that he'd be willing to give it a try next year. Given how crappy the production has been out that slot -- except for the occasional exploits of Andres Galarraga in 2001 and 2003 -- for the past decade, it doesn't sound like a huge risk.

McClain to the rescue?

Chris at Bay City Ball has an excellent post in the wake of Tuesday's nightmarish 5-1 loss as to what the Giants should do for the rest of the year --

1. Bench Ray Durham
2. Give Brian Wilson a chance to close
3. Go to a 6-man rotation to give Sanchez a chance to start and
4. Call up Scott McClain, even if he is 35.

McClain has been under most people's radar, but he just had a 3-homer game and has gone yard 31 times this year. Why in the name of Jack Cust hasn't this guy already been called up? Don't you want to see the Giants win a few more times this season?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Another genius move by Colletti

No. 754



Artolog took these fine photos back on July27.


If you want something done right, do it yourself

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

That extra bit of agony

That would be the Giants' rock-hard ability to take a game into extra innings and lose it, like tonight, due to a combination of no offense (seven hits in 10 innings), shaky relief and veterans like Rich Aurilia blowing it in the clutch. The Orange and Black are now 6-12 in extras and 8-20 in games decided in the last at bat. So much for veteran poise!

The top two guys in the lineup, Davis and Ortmeier, went a combined 0-for-10. Can't anyone on this team work a walk except for Bonds (who had two walks and a double tonight)?

Brett Tomko is now 2-11

Man, did it cheer me up to write that. The biggest head case this side of Jeff Weaver helped the Dodgers gag again, 5-4. Grady "Genius" Little says he can't understand it. Let me explain it for you, Grady -- despite his great stuff, he sucks. He always has and he always will.

Signing Tomko was a typical stupid Brian Sabean move; he redeemed himself just a bit by letting Bomko walk after two awful years in San Francisco.

Bruce Bochy is an idiot

That was one of the worst games of the year in a year that's had lots.

Why, why, why would a supposedly intelligent MLB manager bring out Lincecum in the 9th with a 1-run lead and then keep him out long enough to allow three straight hits? What's so hard about getting him out of there when the first guy leads off with a double? At that point, don't you say, "The guys at the top of the lineup have seen enough of him, let's bring in Brad and/or Brian"?

Bochy responds by saying this -- "That was the first time he's been in that situation here. Experience helps out there. He might have been a little hyped up there and left the ball up."

Thanks a lot, Sherlock. Thanks for admitting that you're an idiot. And I hope YOU face the adversity of unemployment soon, Bruce. Oh, and by the way, thanks for bringing the dregs of the Padres -- Klesko and Roberts -- to stink up the Giants season.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

RIP Lee Hazlewood

Most of the recent obituaries highlight his authorship of "These Boots Are Made For Walking," but he was the first producer for Duane Eddy and co-writer of "Boss Guitar", "40 Miles Of Bad Road", "Shazam!", "Rebel Rouser" and "[Dance With The] Guitar Man." And his greatest song was also his first big hit, way back in 1956, performed by Sanford Clark --

The Fool
Written by Lee Hazlewood

Gather round me buddies,
Hold your glasses high,
And drink to a fool,
a crazy fool who told his baby goodbye.

Too late he found out he loves her,
So much he wants to die
But drink to a fool,
a crazy fool who told his baby goodbye.

He needs her,
he needs her so.
He wonders why he let her go-oo-oo.

She's found a new love, buddy,
He's a lucky guy,
So drink to the fool,
'cause I'm that fool
who told his baby goodbye.

He needs her,
he needs her so.
He wonders why he let her go-oo-oo.

She's found a new love, buddy,
He's a lucky guy,
So drink to the fool,
'cause I'm that fool
who told my baby goodbye.
My baby goodbye,
Who told my baby, who told my baby.......

Monday, August 20, 2007

Vizquel

It's hard not to like Omar Vizquel because of his glove. But it's a stretch to bat him at the top of the lineup this year when a team's been constructed as badly as this one has been. Opposing pitchers must have been pleased to see a lineup that started with Roberts and Viz when the Giants needed runs desperately. Even with a 5-game win streak, the team's scored only 539 runs -- third lowest in MLB, tied with the Dbacks. Only the Padres and Chisox have fewer.

At any rate, we'll get to admire a few more Viz gems for the rest of the season. ESPN reports that he didn't clear waivers and can't be waived again. Their guess seems right -- Cleveland put in a claim to block Detroit from getting him.

ESPN's also saying he's got a good shot at the Hall of Fame. I suppose so -- the 2,572 hits and 11 Gold Gloves are impressive. Get a load of the 1999 line: 144 games, 574 ABs, 112 runs, 191 hits, 36 doubles, 4 triples, 5 HRs, 66 RBIs, 42 SBs, 65 BBs, .333 average, .397 OBP, .436 SLG.

Rudy Giuliani is a liar

Slate magazine has a nice takedown of the lying hypocrite. It turns out he spent much more time at Yankee Stadium than at Ground Zero in the weeks after 9/11.

My friend Dan notes -- "If Rudy becomes president, he'll have a head start on DUH-bya for most days spent on vacation while in office."

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" -- Samuel Johnson

Five in a row!

Giants Fry Fish.

I appreciate Russ Ortiz trying to gut it out. But let's stop pretending that he's got anything left and give the kids a chance, OK? What good does it do to have him out there, proving once again that he's not the Russ of four years ago?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Here's how it is

Perhaps it seems a little silly to even mention that the Giants could go 27-11 to hit .500 this year. If that's the case, you're not a real fan.

Real fans want the team to win EVERY GAME. The only thing that would satisfy me is if they won their last 38 games to go 92-70. Here's how Muddy Waters put it --

Can't Be Satisfied
(McKinley Morganfield, aka Muddy Waters)

Well I'm going away to live
Won't be back no more
Going back down south, child
Lord now don't you worry ma
Woman I'm trouble
Trouble and all worried mind
Well I just can't be satisfied
Just can't keep on crying

Well I feel like snapping
Pistol in your face
Going to let some graveyard
Lord be your resting place
Woman I'm trouble
Trouble and all worried mind
Yeah I just can't be satisfied
Just can't keep on crying

Yeah Yeah I'm all in my sleep
Hear my doorbell ring
Looking for my baby
Lord seen a doggone thing
Woman I'm trouble
Trouble and all worried mind
Yeah I just can't be satisfied
Just can't keep on crying

Yeah I know my little old babe
She gonna jump and shout
That old train be late man
Lord I come walkin out
Woman I'm trouble
Trouble and all worried mind
Yeah I just can't be satisfied
Just can't keep on crying

Four in a row!

The Giants are now ruining the Marlins season, eking out a 6-5 victory in the joke stadium against a joke franchise. I will admit it was a lucky win, with three Marlin errors in the 7th giving the Giants a gift of 3 runs. And Ray Durham finally hit his 10th HR.

It also looks like the Giants are going to escape the ignominity of being the worst team in their 50-year stay in San Francisco -- the 1985 team, which actually lost 100 games. Bob Brenly led the team in homers with 19; One Flap Down had the top RBI total at 62; Vida and Krukow tied for the lead in pitching victories with eight each.

This team is now 54-70 so it would have to go 27-11 over its last 38 games to wind up at .500. Sheesh!

Three in a row!

Now, that's more like it. HR No. 760 for Bonds, a victory for Cain and some much-needed humiliation for the Marlins -- who can never be humiliated enough after amassing more good fortune in 1997 and 2003 than many teams see in a century.

And the good news continues from Chavez Latrine, where the Dodgers have just been embarrassed by the Rox, 7-4 in 14 innings. Nice to see Choker Kent with an 0-for-6!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Brian Sabean's little weasel

That would be the SF Chronicle's Bruce Jenkins. In a truly disgusting article that has little basis in reality -- except for Bruce's pathetic need to keep Sabean happy as a source -- Jenkins again apologizes for Sabean's dismal performance as a GM by insisting that the Giants lousy season is all the fault of Barry Bonds. The specifics --

1. He didn't hustle in the outfield earlier this week in Atlanta and
2. 12 of his last 15 homers have come in losses.
3. Bonds has also committed the egregious SIN of being friendly to the widow of one of the partners, apparently as a nefarious way of trying to stay on the Giants.

So, Bruce breathlessly asserts that his favorite GM will have even more money to spend because Bonds isn't coming back in 2008. He doesn't have to guts to name his source, by the way, but he does say that the team would be a lot better if it had a guy like Chase Utley at second base -- WHILE NEVER MENTIONING THAT IT WAS SABEAN WHO SIGNED RAY DURHAM TO ONE OF HIS INNUMERABLE TERRIBLE DEALS WHILE FAILING TO DEVELOP ANY DECENT OFFENSIVE PLAYERS LIKE UTLEY.

When I read an article about that purports to be an analysis of Sabean but doesn't mention the fact that the Giants have had 3 straight losing seasons despite having one of the top third revenue streams to work from; and doesn't mention the horrific signings of Blownitez, Alfonzo, Tucker, Zito, Klesko, Feliz, Durham, Aurilia, Hammonds, Neifi or the dumb trades for guys like Ledee, Pierzitzky, Hillenbrand and Ponson while giving up guys like Accardo, Nathan and Liriano -- I can only conclude that this guy is a shill for Sabean.

The truth of the matter is that except for the Bonds signing, the Giants front office is one of the the worst in the MLB right now. And if the Chronicle were a real newspaper with real principles, they would have gotten rid of a no-talent shill like Jenkins long ago. But this is a paper that lets its reporters collaborate with sleazeball attorneys to pervert the justice system and does nothing about it, so that's obviously too much to hope for.

What in the hell is going on with sportswriting getting this bad?????? My guess is that it's derived from the same idiotic mindset that has New York "reporters" blaming the Yankees' failures on the best player, A-Rod -- even though he's always one of the top five players in the entire game.

HEY JENKINS -- HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE A SHILL? DO US A FAVOR AND RETIRE SO YOU CAN SPEND ALL DAY DRINKING AT THE THREE DOT LOUNGE.

Where's this guy been?

Isn't this the kind of game -- a 3-0 victory over the Marlins -- that we were expecting Zito to deliver a little more often this season?

And now there's a 2-game winning streak. I wouldn't mention it except that this is the first time the Giants have won MORE THAN ONE GAME IN A ROW since they had a four-game win streak back in late July -- culminated by this nice 4-3 comeback win in the 9th with 2 runs on July 28 against the Fish. At that point, the team was 45-57; since then, they've gone 7-13.

True fans like me are now thinking "OK. If we have a 20-game win streak, we'll still have a shot...."

Friday, August 17, 2007

Rookie of the Year

That would be Tim the Enchanter. Now that he's got a 7-3 record after last night's laugher, it's something that should be seriously considered.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Offerman

Hey Jose -- get ready to spend the rest of your life apologizing, just like Marichal still does.
What a classy guy -- attacking players with your bat. Another Dodger success story!

Post HR 756

Bonds has gone 5-for-15 with three homers since getting No. 756 out of the way. Unfortunately, the rest of the team is playing like garbage. At this point, I'm reduced to hoping the team won't lose 100 games and the Dodgers won't make the playoffs.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My favorite game of 1989

I thought of this game tonight because the Dodgers came back from a 7-1 deficit in the 5th and had the tie run at the plate in the 9th before Sweeney had his brain freeze.

I had just broken up with a real pain in the neck girlfriend and had lucked into a far better girlfriend, who I saw one night in the late summer of 1989. The Dodgers were hammering the Giants 6-0 in the top of the 2nd when I got to her place so when I turned on the radio as I was leaving, it was 7-3 in the ninth at the Stick. They then got seven straight hits. Here's what happened --

Bottom of the 9th, Giants Batting, Behind 3-7, Jay Howell facing 4-5-6
--- K Mitchell Home Run
--- E Riles Single to RF
--- M Williams Double to RF; Riles Scores
--- T Kennedy Single to RF; Williams Scores
Mike Hartley replaces Jay Howell pitching and batting 9th; Chris Speier pinch hits for Candy Maldonado batting 8th; Mike Benjamin pinch runs for Terry Kennedy batting 7th
--- C Speier Double to RF; Benjamin to 3B
Greg Litton pinch hits for Trevor Wilson batting 9th
--- G Litton Single to LF; Benjamin Scores; Speier to 3B
--- B Butler Single to RF; Speier Scores; Litton to 2B
Final score: Giants 8, Dodgers 7

Mark Sweeney is an idiot

After the Giants choked in Atlanta tonight as the pen imploded once more and Klesko struck out with the bags full, Mark Sweeney lost the game for the Dodgers. He got doubled off first amid a Dodger comeback in the ninth. Like an idiot, he'd decided to run on a foul ball pop up by Juan Pierre with one out. He must have realized "Oh my God, I'm a Dodger. I have to act like an idiot now."

Charlie Steiner and Rick Monday could not stop whining after the game on KFWB, talking about how the Dodgers are now only game over .500 after going 5-21 over the last month. It's typical of how the idiot Dodger fans feel theat they're entitled to win all the time and then whine like babies when they don't.

Memo to Mark Sweeney -- Thanks for trying to pay back the Giants after playing like garbage for two years. Well, OK, you were decent this year as long as you were pinch-htting.

Monday, August 13, 2007

John Shea is an idiot

You already knew that. He's the lazy hack weasel at the SF Chronicle who told Giants fans last year that Nomar's comeback with the Dodgers was one of the "feel-good" stories of the year -- stupidly not recognizing that the only feel-good story for Giants fans, as far as the Dodgers are concerned, is when the Dodgers lose, like they did tonight. The worthless Shea Hillenbrand went 0-for-2 is his Dodger debut after Nomar got thrown for pathetically arguing a strike call.

Anyhow, John Shea has convinced himself -- just as the equally lame Bruce Jenkins has previously -- that Eric Byrnes would somehow solve the Giants' problems by being a clubhouse leader and the Dbacks are smart to be paying $10 million a year for three years. Unfortunately, John doesn't bother to look at his career stats. Even this season's stats at age 31 are unimpressive for a $10 million corner outfielder -- with 18 HRs and 66 RBIs at this point in what will probably be a career year. Career averages are .330 OBP, 19 HRs and 68 RBIs per 162 games. In other words, he's no big deal but he does give great quotes so he's seriously over-rated by hacks like Jenkins and Shea. One might call it the David Eckstein Syndrome, where a player's shortcoming are over-looked because of the idiotic notion of the import of "intangibles."

On the other hand, I must admit that Byrnes does put up better numbers than Randy Winn, but so does just about every other MLB corner outfielder.

MEMO TO JOHN SHEA -- THOSE AREN'T BIG NUMBERS FOR A CORNER OUTFIELDER, YOU STUPID IDIOT. By the way, he can't hit right-handed pitching worth a damn.

"He's a 4th outfield/platoon player overtasked with starting," was how Baseball Prospectus summed him up this year.

Next year

What the hell is going on?

How is it that this team can perform so pathetically against the dregs of the league -- losing 5 straight to the Nats and the Pirates -- and then start hitting like the 1927 Yankees?

I just saw that the score in Pittsburgh in the 7th was 10-1, Giants. I'll take any win I can get but it would have been nice to have had a few of those runs for the 8-7 loss on Friday, for example.

New poll

Giants Win has launched a new poll on what Barry Bonds will do in 2008. And let me be the first to say that if the sporting press had paid any attention to the poll here -- which correctly predicted that Bonds would stay with the Giants and break Aaron's record in 2007 -- they wouldn't have egg all over their faces now.

The fans are often much smarter than sportswriters.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Yes, it's true

I finally took down the "What Will Barry Bonds Do This Year?" poll. Over 80% of respondents said he'd return to the Giants and break the record.

I will probably put up a "What Will Barry Bonds Do Next Year" poll soon.

Go away, Joe Lefebvre

The Giants "hitting" coach is getting props for helping Bonds get his swing back last week in advance of HR 755 but on any other team, this guy would have been fired long ago. He had an utterly undistinguished career as a player. And he's clearly not doing much of a job now.

Let's take today's disgusting 5-0 loss to the Pirates, shall we? Zito wasn't horrible but all the offense could manage was five hits -- two by Feliz, one each by Winn, Bonds and Davis -- and exactly one walk. To Bonds, of course. Molina left four men on base.

What is about Joe and Bruce Bochy that they can't get guys to follow Bonds lead and work a count to get a walk from time to time? Besides Barry's .497 OBP, the only other guy with a respectable number is Davis at .425. Klesko's at .355, Winn's at .346 and five guys -- Feliz, Molina, Fransden, Ortmeier and Aurilia -- are under .300. That's disgraceful and it would be a firing offense on any other team.

Darrell Evans


Responses pinpointed the second card's game as May 28, 1978 at the Stick, in which Mike Ivie's pinch-hit grand slam led to a 6-5 vic and a great bit of insight from Josh --
Lost in my initial self-absorbed profile and in the ensuing discussion is any mention of the merits of Darrell Evans, ranked by Bill James as the 10th best third baseman of all time. James wrote that Darrell Evans was "the most underrated player in baseball history, absolutely number one on the list."

Saturday, August 11, 2007

At least the Dodgers lost

The Giants just keep getting worse and worse, getting humiliated by the Pirates 13-3. The crappiness virus has even infected Tim Lincecum, who gave up back to back homers in the 4th to Laroche and Freddie Sanchez.

On a cheerier note, Kevin Kennedy is calling Dodger manager Grady Little an idiot on Fox right now in the after-game recap of a glorious 6-1 loss to the Cards -- noting that they had guys on 2nd and 3rd in the 5th without an out with the Cards up 5-0 and couldn't get a run in. First, Pierre popped up, then Ramon Martinex took a called strike three down the middle and then Little inexplicably let Derek Lowe hit for himself and he tapped out. Uh, Grady, isn't that why Colletti got you Sweeney?

As long as Grady The Idiot is in charge of the Dodgers, Giants fans can be assued that they'll get to enjoy some Dodger suffering.

Peter Magowan is an idiot

Not only did he re-up Brian Sabean in spite of three straight losing seasons, he also gave $2,300 to John McCain -- a politician who's the very definition of a lying dingbat.

Why would I say such a thing? This is, after all, a baseball blog. But McCain is a true equivocator -- someone who will say ANYTHING to get elected. I find his position on Iraq to be reprehensible: he's a knee-jerk supporter of the war to appeal to war-loving hard-core Republicans (an blasts Democrats for opposing the war) but also says he'll consider a withdrawal after he's become president.

The stupidity of KNBR sports talk radio

I just returned from perhaps the worst loss of the year, an 8-7 nightmare victory for the Pirates over the Giants. Henry Schulman does a nice job in the Chron's write-up, noting that it was the 24th bullpen loss for the year -- tops in the majors.

What was perhaps worst was listening some dingbat on KNBR subbing for Damon Bruce (some guy named Michael Urban) and insisting that the Giants shouldn't sign Barry Bonds next year because 1. he doesn't play the late innings of close games and 2. it would free up money for other free agents.

This is why you shouldn't listen to sports talk radio. The fallacy of these arguments was on full display tonight: 1. When team's have a 6-2 lead in the 8th at home, it is STANDARD to make a defensive replacement -- in this case, to get Fransden into left because he has better range. 2. Why would you want for Sabean to have more money to spend when BONDS IS THE ONLY SPENDING THAT ACTUALLY PAID OFF THIS YEAR. Zito, Durham, Molina, Roberts, Feliz -- all have been anywhere from modest disappointments to spectacular failures. It's more of the same stupid signings along the same lines as Morris, Blownitez, Edgardo Alfonzo, Neifi, Tomko, Tucker, Hammonds and Vizcaino; more of the same inability to evaluate talent that allows guys like Accardo and Nathan to be traded while getting useless guys like Finley, Pierzitsky, Ledee and Ponson.

Man, that was an ugly loss. Unnoticed during the KNBR recap and calls was Durham's horrific error in the 8th that kept the inning going while the pen imploded again. In the 9th inning, with game on the line, the lineup consisted of Durham, Roberts, Klesko and Molina -- all Sabean guys and all hitting like garbage these days. Roberts lucked into getting on base via an error but the rest made outs. Durham made decent contact but Klesko's was a first-pitch pop up and Molina struck out swinging.

The only decent news -- Russ Ortiz pitched adequately, Bonds is on a tear, Rajai Davis may be the real deal and Omar makes up for his lousy bat with superb D. Who would I keep for 2008? There are six -- Lincecum, Lowry, Cain, Bonds, Vizquel and maybe Davis. The Giants are stuck with Durham, Molina, Roberts and Zito so it looks like more signings of useless guys like Klesko and promotions of guys like Fransden and Ortmeier who just can't play at the MLB level.

MEMO TO KNBR STAFFERS -- PLEASE STOP APOLOGIZING FOR BRIAN SABEAN AND BLAMING THE TEAM'S FAILURES ON BONDS. THIS IS SABEAN'S DISASTER. HE'S THE ONE WHO SIGNED THE GUYS IN THE PEN WHO KEEP BLOWING GAMES AND THE GUYS WHO CAN'T HIT WORTH A DAMN.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Whine, whine, whine

The SF Chronicle's Betting Fool does a nice job of mocking the Left Coast's lame coverage of HR 756 -- which basically consisted of writing "Bonds IS Satan" over and over again.

The Fool does an especially nice takedown of the Boston Herald's highly over-rated Bob Ryan --

Let's see if we can make Boston's Bob Ryan perishable while we're at it.
Ryan is a Boston Globe columnist who has seen his share of trouble for saying Jason Kidd should "smack" his wife and some other equally ludicrous angry-old-white-guy statements.
In an August 5 column, he talks of the "most joyless pursuit of a major American sports record" when referring to Bonds. I was there Tuesday, and the place was busting with joy. There was joy leaking into McCovey Cove and out onto the Embarcadero.
Ryan didn't come out here to cover the Bonds HR chase probably because he didn't want to watch Bonds when Barry came to Boston. He couldn't be bothered. Way to follow the news, bro.
Bob wants us to know about the Celtics' Big Three? Yeah, it's a Big One and Two Mediums. Most important record in sports or offseason NBA story? Another good call.
Stay Boston and write incessantly about the Red Sox and Celtics and Patriots. Whoop de flippin' do. And watch your mouth, Bob. I doubt any woman who's ever been "smacked" felt any "joy" during or after such a disgusting act.
The point in all this is that just because something big happened in baseball, and it didn't happen in the two East Coast hubs, that doesn't make it any less valuable. Unless, of course, you ask the people of Boston and New York.

Back to reality

After Wednesday night's glorious 5-0 victory, the Giants reverted to form with a typical loss on Thursday afternoon featuring --

-- Boneheaded base-running by vets (Roberts and Feliz)
-- A rock-hard inability drive in runs despite tons of opportunities
-- Starting pitching that was good enough to win

The differences were that the pen didn't melt down as it has recently. And the Giants traded Mark Sweeney after the game to the Dodgers for a player to be named later. My bet is that it's Willie Crawford or Chris Gwynn.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

A glimmer of hope

The Giants played their best game in memory tonight, humiliating the Nats 5-0. Bonds blasted No. 757 down the right field line; Cain's change was a thing of beauty, as was his HR; Vizquel dazzled all night in the field.

Keep in mind that the 1951 Giants finished the year 37-7. The hole is so large that it will take that kind of performance -- plus the 2007 equivalent of a young Willie Mays -- to obliterate the crappy year so far.

Good news from Cincy -- Dodgers gag again and have lost 6 straight! Now the Dodgers are in 4th, showing that Ned Colletti's as big an idiot as Brian Sabean. Which is not surprising, given that the duo managed to lay the groundwork for getting the Giants to this state many years ago. Or have you forgotten Michael Tucker, Edgardo Alfonzo, AJ Pierzitsky and Neifi?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Eat it, Bud Selig. Eat it raw.


Photo by Danny Moloshok of Reuters. Bonds hits No. 756.

756

MY JOY OVER BARRY BONDS FINALLY GETTING THE RECORD IS TEMPERED WITH DISGUST OVER LOSING YET ANOTHER WINNABLE GAME.

NONETHELESS, IT IS TRULY AN AMAZING FEAT -- EVEN THOUGH DODGER FANS AND THE MORALITY POLICE ACT AS IF BARRY'S WORSE THAN MICHAEL VICK.

I'd feel a lot better about it if Kevin Correia hadn't blown the game in the 8th. There was some pretty decent booing for him as he came off the field. He's now 1-6 in his 5th year in the bigs and is obviously never going to be anything special. In short, he's the perfect Brian Sabean player.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Selig jinx

Bud Selig decided not to go see the Giants tonight after watching the Padres sweep the Orange and Black. And look what happened -- the Giants finally won in extras.

Stay away, Bud. You are an incompetent dirty weasel. You don't even have the guts to come right out and say, "I hate Barry Bonds." Thanks again for ruining the 1994 season!

By the way -- it's obvious in this Rusty Simmons story that the SF Chronicle is edited by people who are illeterate. It's "could not have cared less" NOT "could have cared less."

Matty


When Giant fans say "Matt," this is the guy they remember, not the loser dingbat who got traded to Pittsburgh last week.

Monday, August 06, 2007

A-Rod's future

Nate Silver of Baseball Prospectus is calculating that A-Rod has a 47% chance to reach 755 homers -- by far the best percentage of any active player. The next two are Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols, both at 7%, followed by Dunn at 2.6%, ManRam, Cabrew, Andruw Jones and Ryan Howard. Fascinating stuff if you're interested.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Dodgers gagging over and over

At least there's some good news -- the Dodgers are falling apart. They've gone 2-9 and just got shut out by the Dbacks.

No excuses

One reason why most baseball fans don't realize that Brian Sabean is absolutely a pathetic failure as a GM -- they buy into the media's excuse that the Barry Bonds "sideshow" somehow makes it impossible for the rest of the team to perform up to their capabilities.

The reality is simple -- with 47 wins, the Giants lead only two other teams at this point: Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. This is a bad team, mostly because Sabean has made it that way. It has almost no offense other than Bonds. That failure was on clear display as the Giants got swept in San Diego by three consecutive one-run losses, two in extras. The pitching's good enough to win almost every game but the hitting is just not there -- which is why this team never seems to win in extras. Somehow, Sabean thinks that Ryan Klesko is going to start hitting like Ryan Howard, that Pedro Feliz is going to start playing like Chipper Jones and Ray Durham is going to start hitting like Chase Utley.

And the team keeps getting worse even though the pitching keeps getting better. This team was 24-22 after seven weeks.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Dodgers gag yet again

Jose Valverde of the Dbacks closes them out again, striking out Nomar at the end for an 8-7 loss. Dodgers are now 3 back in the NL West.

Why Dodger fans are lame

Aneel at the always excellent Trapped in LA blog points out in a link an article that goes against the grain of the media's Bonds-hating frenzy.

I've long contended that hypocrite Dodger fans want to have it both ways -- self-righteously hating Barry Bonds and yet embracing Eric Gagne -- while ignoring the obvious fact that the Fat Frenchie is one most obvious examples of someone who probably used performance enhancers.
John Klima of the South Bay Daily Breeze connects the dots and finds there's nothing but lameness in the self-righteous pose of Dodger fans considering how he went from a nothing pitcher to flame-thrower who could top 100 mph. Here are some of his salient points --

-- His closing skills were as epic as his people skills, but any objective baseball person has to think twice about how he did what he did. They have to consider the transformation that occurred. Say it aloud, stop thinking it quietly. It doesn't make him a villain. It makes him a ballplayer. The same conclusions that can be drawn with Bonds can be applied to Gagne.

-- Baseball people from around the league believed for years that he wasn't doing it alone. They respected his gamesmanship and couldn't put a price tag on his desire to shove the baseball down the opponent's throat. But they also recognized that Gagne, too, might have been a product of his era.

-- Can you say in your heart that you're positive that one of the most beloved Dodgers in years didn't have help? Does it matter? It shouldn't. Nor should it be for Bonds. Therein is the dilemma. Gagne is close to the hearts of many Dodgers fans, and his career here will take on folkloric stature long after he is finished.

-- Like Bonds, there's no proof. Like Bonds, there are only signs of change and a medical history that leads to speculation. Unlike Bonds, Gagne is remembered for being part of the family. After all, it's easier to forgive a friend than it is to forgive an enemy.

HR 755

It's so appropriate that Barry Bonds hit the homer to tie Aaron against the Padres, a team that's nearly as annoying as the Dodgers, partly because they have the most idiotic MLB announcer -- the lame Ted Leitner, who's like the super-boring guy in your office who thinks everything he says is hysterically funny.

I heard the homer with the Leitner's call on the Padres station. Following a perfunctory description of the homer, Ted the Loser immediately asserted that Bonds had tied Aaron, "one of the finest gentlemen to ever play the game."

I switched over to the Dodger game, where it's clear that Vin "The Shill" Scully is officially senile. He mis-identified the pitcher as Cla Meredith (It was Clay Hensley) and insisted that Bons had been remove from the game. My friend Dan agreed that Vin is losing it. Here's what he told me -- "I switched to the Dodger game after Barry hit number 755.....it sounded as if Vin was choking on his words as he talked about the homer. But that wasn't the biggest gag from the alleged greatest broadcaster of all time. Vin claimed that Fred Lewis had taken over in left field for the Giants. I guess no one told Barry that, since he was in the field the next inning."

Friday, August 03, 2007

Dodgers gag again

There was at least one bit of good news -- The Dodgers looked pathetic tonight, getting shut out by Doug Davis for eight innings and then closed down impressively in the 9th by Jose Valverde.

They started 3 guys under the Mendoza Line -- their highly touted prospect Delwyn Young looked totally over-matched; Olemdo Saenz looked awful and has gone 0-for-23; and Ramon Martinez being in the starting lineup provokes the question of how the hell is this guy still in the bigs.

In other words, watching the usually smug Dodger fans obsess over batting around beachballs -- partly because the on-field offense was so inept -- was a thing of beauty.

How stupid can you get?

I haven't been particularly impressed with Bruce Bochy's strategic acumen this season but tonight truly took the cake. What in the hell was Vinnie Chulk doing facing Scott Hairston in the 8th inning -- when the last time Hairston saw Chulk in Phoenix as Dback, he took him deep for a pinch hit 3-run homer back in April.

So tonight, the same thing happens -- another 3-run homer off Chulk. Believe it or not, it was only Hairston's fourth homer of the year. Then he won the game in extras off Jack Taschner with his 5th homer of the year. To make things even more ironic/horrific/stupid, it was another example of the bullpen imploding to take away a win from Matt Cain, who struck out 11 tonight. Yes, Cain was also the pitcher in the April game that Chulk gave away, again with help from Taschner.

So here's the question -- aren't Bochy and his coaches SUPPOSED TO KNOW that Chulk shouldn't be pitching to Scott Hairston? If they don't know, they're stupid and lazy.

Speaking of stupid, what the hell was Mark Sweeney doing getting thrown out by 25 feet (by Jon Miller's estimation) in the ninth inning? I thought the upside of having veterans was that they wouldn't gag in the clutch. Instead, you have games lost because Sweeney's too stupid to realize that that he's not 25 years old any more when he's on the base paths.

Still baffling to everyone

Chris at Bay City Ball has an excellent take on the Morris deal, which is that the Giants appear to have lucked out by getting rid of a guy who was fading fast and becoming a jerk. And he notes that ESPN's Jason Stark is also stunned in his recap of deadline deals --

The Giants' brass was sitting around its suite Tuesday morning, bemoaning the fact that it had no decent deals cooking whatsoever. And then, out of the blue, it happened. The Pirates called. And wanted Matt Morris. His 7.94 ERA since mid-June? Not a problem. That $9.5 million he's owed next year (not counting his $1 million 2009 buyout)? Not a problem. And so they swooped in and finished off a deal for Morris minutes before the deadline -- for a legit prospect (Rajai Davis), a second prospect to be chosen from an agreed-upon list and absolutely zero money changing hands. Well, it didn't take long. For the next two hours, after people around baseball learned of this deal, they couldn't stop calling, e-mailing and texting reactions that could probably be summed up with three succinct words: WHAT THE BX!GRZFDQ!!!!! Don't get us wrong here. We love Matt Morris. Terrific guy. Has had a wonderful career. Should be a fine mentor to those young Pirates starters. But the Giants were just about begging teams to take Morris and offering to chomp big chunks of his money if they had to. Then this team going nowhere dropped out of the sky and took the man and the money. What a country. "That move," said one incredulous front-office man, "is so far out of left field, it's in the Monongahela."

Dodger cowardice

The SF Chronicle's Gwen Knapp does a nice job of analyzing the trip to Los Angeles and how scared the Dodgers seem to be playing right now.

What's been missing from most of the coverage is actually very simple -- the observation of how difficult it's turned out to be for Bonds to get these last two homers and how it impacts the other teams. In this case, when you play like a chicken, and notch back your pitchers' aggressiveness, you're going to lose games to teams that you should beat (unfortunately, that describes the Giants right now). Hopefully, with a major idiot named Grady Little managing them, the Dodgers will continue to perform like the self-righteous frauds they are for the rest of the season. Here's what prompted me from Knapp's piece (boldface is mine) -

He took a lot of weak swings and looked stymied by some pitches that should have made him drool. But he played every day. He didn't take a break in Chavez Ravine, as everyone expected when he pulled out of San Francisco last weekend. That's more than anyone can say for the Dodgers.
They bobbed, weaved, ducked and avoided, avoided, avoided.
They walked him, a man who hit .186 in July, five times in three games.
The lowest moment came Wednesday night, when reliever Jonathan Broxton tried to pitch around Bonds, then gave up and walked him intentionally. Broxton had gone 85 innings - since July 24 of last year - without letting anyone take him deep. He has the second-longest current homerless streak in the majors, behind only the Orioles' Chad Bradford. Yet he didn't dare test himself against Bonds, not at the expense of having his grandchildren see him in an unflattering segment of Ken Burns' next documentary.

Go to hell, Matt Morris

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Dodgers gag again

The Giants tried to gift-wrap the game to the Dodgers tonight in 9th as Hennessey blew what should have been a triple play in the 9th by throwing the ball into centerfield. But the otherwise undistinguished Steve Kline bailed out Brad with two grounders to first as Gonzo and James Loney gagged in the clutch with the bases loaded.

Nothing is sweeter than the Dodgers coming up scared and losing a winnable game to the Giants. Nothing -- particularly since Bonds was integral to the victory tonight with both of his walks leading to runs.

Bad pitching

This sequence out of the Bronx begs the question -- Why wasn't Matt Morris dealt two months ago to one of these teams. As my friend Dan notes, "Bad pitching is contagious":

Yanks vs. ChiSox. Score is 0-0 after one inning, Clemens pitching for the Yanks, John Garland for the ChiSox:

Top 2nd: Chi White Sox
- P. Konerko singled to left
- A.J. Pierzynski singled to center, P. Konerko to second
- J. Dye doubled to deep center, P. Konerko scored, A.J. Pierzynski to third
- D. Erstad singled to first, A.J. Pierzynski scored, J. Dye to third
- J. Uribe singled to left center, J. Dye scored, D. Erstad to second
- D. Richar flied out to center
- J. Owens reached on fielder's choice, D. Erstad to third, J. Uribe to second on second baseman R. Cano's fielding error
- A. Cintron grounded into fielder's choice, D. Erstad out at home, J. Uribe to third, J. Owens to second
- J. Thome singled to left, J. Uribe and J. Owens scored, A. Cintron to second
- P. Konerko doubled to left, A. Cintron scored, J. Thome to third
- A.J. Pierzynski singled to center, J. Thome and P. Konerko scored
- J. Dye doubled to right, A.J. Pierzynski to third
- M. Myers relieved R. Clemens
- D. Erstad walked
- J. Karstens relieved M. Myers
- J. Uribe flied out to center
8 runs, 9 hits, 1 errors
Chi White Sox 8, NY Yankees 0

Bottom 2nd: NY Yankees
- H. Matsui singled to right
- J. Posada doubled to right, H. Matsui to third
- R. Cano singled to right, H. Matsui scored, J. Posada to third
- W. Betemit homered to deep center, J. Posada and R. Cano scored
- A. Phillips singled to shortstop
- J. Damon struck out swinging
- M. Cabrera singled to left, A. Phillips to second
- B. Abreu singled to center, A. Phillips scored, M. Cabrera to third
- A. Rodriguez singled to left, M. Cabrera scored, B. Abreu to second
- B. Logan relieved J. Garland
- H. Matsui struck out swinging, B. Abreu stole third, A. Rodriguez stole second
- J. Posada ground rule double to right, A. Rodriguez and B. Abreu scored
- R. Cano grounded into fielder's choice, J. Posada out at third
8 runs, 9 hits, 0 errors
Chi White Sox 8, NY Yankees 8

100 years ago today

Jaybird's Jottings blog points out a nice Washington Post piece about Walter Johnson that includes this disclosure: The Nationals are putting up three statues at the new park next year -- Josh Gibson, Frank Howard and The Big Train. As fans in San Francisco already know, it's a fine idea to honor the greats of the past with statues.

The Big Train broke into the bigs 100 years ago today as a 19-year-old and pitched over 800 games for the Senators, winning 417. Here's what Ty Cobb wrote about that day -- "I watched him take that easy windup -- and then something went past me that made me flinch," Cobb said. "I hardly saw the pitch, but I heard it. The thing just hissed with danger. Every one of us knew we'd met the most powerful arm ever turned loose in a ballpark."

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Past their primes

Tonight's game at Chavez Latrine truly symbolized the current state of the Giants --

1. Solid young starting pitchers delivering quality (Lincecum held the Dodgers to two hits in six innings.
2. An uneven bullpen that occasionally falls apart (Messenger imploded tonight) since it's worked so much due to
3. A punch-free offense that was led tonight by Vizquel's three doubles. With the game on the line in the 9th and the Giants down by 2, Saito faced this lineup -- Sweeney, Vizquel and Roberts. Not exactly a fear-inducing trio as they are all guys who have seen better days. They went down quietly and the game ended with Roberts lining out softly as his bat shattered.

I should admit that Molina did deliver a nice run-scoring single after Bonds was intentionally walked in the 8th to give the Giants fans at the Latrine false hope of a win. But with the pen turning in its worst performance in recent days, the Giants' four runs were not even close to enough.

So I got home and read the latest Sports Illustrated issue about Jack Cust, who's hitting the hell out of the ball for the Oakland A's with 17 HRs since his May 6 acquisition. It's a nice story about a nice guy persevering but it filled me with frustration, knowing that the Giants front office doesn't have the smarts to get this kind of impact player -- the kind who can get you a three-run homer.

30 years ago today

Stretch hit his 18th career grand slam against the Expos in a 9-2 win. A few interesting facts --

-- McCovey also hit a bases-empty homer
-- Gary Thomasson was hitting clean-up
-- Derrell Thomas was in CF
-- The middle infielders were Vic Harris and Tim Foli

Good riddance to Morris

I'm sure that Brian Sabean was pleased that he could get anything for Matt Morris, who's pitched like garbage most of the time he was in San Francisco. He actually got a potentially decent young player from the Pirates in Rajai Davis. During the game tonight, Dodger announcer Charlie Steiner was baffled by the deal in terms of how it can possibly help the Pirates.

Me too, since Morris has hardly provided much of anything -- decent pitching or veteran clubhouse leadership. He lied about his rib injury last year and joined with Blownitez and Finley to knock the Giants out of contention. Then he imploded this year after a lucky start. In short, I'm delighted that Morris is gone. After having a big hand in pushing the team toward losing seasons during the last two years, he had the brainlessness to say this after Bonds homered twice in Chicago -- "I don't know what the goal is here, winning games or is it -- I don't even want to say it," Morris said.

Gee, I bet that really built team spirit. My guess is that Morris was whining to hacks like Bruce Jenkins and Ray Ratto. Can't you hear him sniveling? -- "Oh, poor me. If it wasn't for Barry, I wouldn't be pitching like crap."

NOTE TO MATT MORRIS -- IF YOU WERE A REAL ADULT, YOU'D TAKE SOME OF THE BLAME FOR PLAYING LIKE CRAP INSTEAD OF BLAMING A TEAMMATE. GET LOST, LOSER. YOU AND PITTSBURGH DESERVE EACH OTHER.