Saturday, March 31, 2012

Stinking it up in Arizona

Friday, March 30, 2012

Fish cut Rowand

Miami has parted ways with Aaron Rowand, the Miami Herald reports. He was once a pretty good player but he stunk as a Giant -- largely wasting $60 million of the Giants money. It's interesting to note that his contract is still less than half of Barry Zito's One of the commenters on BBTF's Baseball Primer notes --

In his youth he was a remarkable defensive center fielder and good base runner, and had enough power and a decent enough average to be an excellent player.

Uh, I guess so. He had a 6.0 WAR in 2004, 3.1 in 2005 and a 4.2 in 2007 -- two-thirds of the career WAR of 20 in a dozen seasons. In the other nine seasons, he was pretty lousy.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dodgers = losers

Omar gets another shot

Well, I always got a bang out of watching Omar play defense for the Orange and Black for the 4 years he was in a Giants uni. Obviously the Jays feel the same way. He had a pretty good year in 2006 with a 3.1 WAR -- the 4th most valuable that team after Bonds (4.6) and Ray Durham and Jason Schmidt, each with 3.9.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dodgers still evil

In case there's any doubt, the Los Angeles Dodgers are forever evil -- even if a respectable guy like Magic Johnson is heading the new ownership group. The LA Times reports that the deal is for $2 billion.

Still, I suppose that as a Giants fan, I don't have to worry as much about getting beaten up at Chavez Latrine as I have under the super-classy McCourt ownership, which cheaped out on security big time.

The Panda walkoff

Monday, March 26, 2012

Upbeat Orange and Black tweet of the day

Vogelsong very pleased with 39-pitch outing. No back issues. Like that be was better in 2nd and 3rd innings.

MY COMMENT -- Vogelsong was the single best development for the Giants last year and underlined Dave Righetti's genius status. If he can't straighten out Zito, I'm skeptical that Tom House can either

Depressing Orange and Black tweet of the day

A bad omen: Freddy Sanchez is off for a couple days. At this point, it's not an overreaction to think shoulder is career threatening.

"The fear is coming on"

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Too much value on MLB experience

Despite the fact that Barry Zito can't pitch at an MLB level any more -- the Chisox hammered him today -- he will be on the opening day roster. Meanwhile, potential All-Stars like Gary Brown and even possibly Brandon Belt are going to the minors.

John Perricone at Only Baseball Matters has a good post about the fundamental problem of Brian Sabean's stewardship of the Giant -- which stems from placing far too much value on previous MLB experience.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Avoiding the Rox?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Is Brett Pill reading Giants Win?

Brett Pill?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I don't believe what I just read

Spring training is not just about getting players ready. It's also about getting managers ready for the essential positive spin on the goings-on so that fans will buy tickets.

Anyhow, Bruce Bochy's been at this for a long time so anyone want to guess who he was talking about in Chris Haft's story on --Link"He got better as he went," Bochy said. "He started locating better, getting a better rhythm there. Earlier he got some balls up, and he wasn't quite hitting his spots, but he threw good his last couple innings."

If you guessed Barry Zito, you'd be right. He threw five innings and allowed three runs on seven hits while throwing 83 pitches. And it's nonsense. He's been a disaster since 2007 and he's going to keep being a disaster. His WARs are as follows --

2007 - 1.5
2008 - -0.6
2009 - 2.0
2010 - 1.5
2011 - -0.6

In other words, the Giants have gotten 3.8 wins above a replacement player in five years for $90 million.

Monday, March 19, 2012

5-year deal for Matt Cain?

That's what Lefty Malo is predicting. As I said last week, I still believe that if the Giants hasn't signed the awful Zito deal back before the 2007 season, the Matt Cain signing would have already taken place.

According to Cott's contracts, Zito is owed $19 million this year, $20 mil next with $18 million at the club's option in 2014 with a $7 million buyout. In other words -- $46 million guaranteed. Here's the key verbiage from Lefty -- I do think the team wants to get this deal done before the season starts. It'll probably take more years and dollars than fans or team executives are comfortable with, and it might cripple the team's chances of having both Cain and Lincecum to infinity and beyond, but it's always been unlikely both Cain and Lincecum would be Giants for life. An expensive Cain extension now at least gives the team both of them for 2013, Cain beyond that, and, well, November 2013 is November 2013. My guess: Cain agrees to five years guaranteed, with sixth and seventh option years triggered by fairly easy milestones, plus lots of lush bonuses for innings pitched, All-Star nods and post-season performance.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Winn back in the Orange and Black

Randy Winn retired after getting in limited playing time in 2010 with the Yanks and Cards. He's in the Giants camp as a baserunning instructor, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area --
The Giants lead the majors with 20 stolen bases this spring. They’ve also been caught 13 times.

This is an area where Mr. Dwight Randolph Winn might be of major assistance. He’s in camp as a special instructor and loving it. He told me just putting the uniform on again is a thrill, and working with minor leaguers has been a great experience.

Winn always ran well during his playing career, but it wasn’t until his later years that he turned into one of the most efficient baserunners in the game. He was 25 for 27 in 2008. The following year, he was 16 for 18. Even in 2010, when he struggled for the Yankees and Cardinals, he swiped six bases without getting nabbed.

He's still only 37 and was racking up decent WAR numbers in his last two years as a Giant, but then was really lousy in 2010. It shows how players in the mid-30s can become ineffective in a hurry, racking up a -0.9 WAR in his last year --

2005 -- 3.9 in 247 plate appearances for the Giants
2006 -- 0.3 in 635 PAs
2007 -- 2.1 in 653 PAs
2008 -- 3.7 in 667 PAs
2009 -- 3.1 in 591 PAs
2010 -- -0.4 in 71 PAs for the Yanks, -0.5 in 162 PAs for the Cards

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Holding an ace

Another Sanchez in the Orange and Black?

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Matt Cain problem = Zito

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Linden back in the Orange and Black

HR by Posey

Doesn't that make you wish you were taking the day off and hanging out in Arizona?

It's first hit of the spring and went out to right field. Here's part of John Shea's recap for the SF Chronicle --
“I still think it’s about getting ready and preparation and getting at-bats and seeing pitches and trying to work on timing,” he said. “I’m just glad I hit it hard. That’s the goal coming up every time, just to hit it hard.”

The homer was down the line in right — a fastball by lefty Tony Sipp, who made 69 appearances for Cleveland last year and held batters to a .201 average.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

15 triples for Angel Pagan?

The Franchise gets ready

Monday, March 12, 2012

If Crawford doesn't work out...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

"I was really happy"

I'll believe it when I see it

"Everything feels good"

Thursday, March 08, 2012

The 22-year-old veteran

I think back to the strange things I did when I was 22 -- same age as Madison Bumgarner, who's now in his 4th season with the Orange and Black.

Anyone who wonders about the future of the Giants franchise just has to look at Madison Bumgarner blew through the Padres today, striking out five.

CSNBay Area has some good veteran-worthy quotes: "My command feels pretty good," Bumgarner said. "Everything seems to be on schedule. It's better than usual. I'm just trying to focus as if it's the regular season."

Rael Enteen has a story about how the Twins game last year, where he got hammered in the first, may have been a turning point for Bumgarner, who was 3-9 at the time

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

"You're going through dead arm"

That's how Bruce Bochy described Tim Lincecum's lousy outing today, when he got hammered by the Rox. I guess I'd be more concerned if it happens again.

I avoid going to Scottsdale because I can't afford it, I can't take time off from work and there are games like today's.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Giants 8, Dodgers 4

Monday, March 05, 2012

Honoring the 2002 Giants

Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle reports that the Giants will have a ceremony on July 1 to honor the 2002 NL champs. He points out that Robb Nen ended his career in Game 6 of that World Series --

The memories are that much tougher for Nen, who surrendered the rest of his career for a shot at a World Series title. His final major-league pitch came in the eighth inning of Game 6. His wrecked shoulder allowed him to throw no more.

"That's the type of team we had," Snow said. "That's the type of guys we had. Guys were willing to give everything they had."

Sunday, March 04, 2012

The Beard is back

Here's something to make you wish you were in Scottsdale RIGHT NOW -- Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury-News reports that Brian Wilson's thrown a 20-pitch batting practice session and looked good: “All of us were saying he looked pretty good,” said Emmanuel Burriss, who faced Wilson along with Brandon Belt and Gary Brown. “It looked like he knew he looked good — he had his confidence back.” Wilson threw four-seamers and cutters and mixed in his slider.

He declined from a 3.3 WAR in 2010 to a 1.0 last year.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

"Toughest call of the spring"

Really? Here you have a team that could not score runs last season -- 29 out of 30 -- and there's already speculation from Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area that Brandon Belt will open the year in Fresno? It seems pretty clear to me that Belt is ready and the Giants need bats. I flat out don't understand why you'd send your best bat after Sandoval to Fresno. I'm not in Scottsdale but this seems really bizarre to report --

All kidding aside, Bochy acknowledges that Belt presents the Giants’ toughest call of the spring. Their roster, already stuffed with lefty bats, actually fits together easier if he starts the season in Triple-A Fresno. It means Aubrey Huff would play first base instead of left field, where he’d be a question mark.

9 swings and misses

Tim Lincecum had 9 swings and misses in 33 pitches today against the Dbacks, according to the Chris Haft story on Sounds pretty good to me.

Tim struck out two in two innings and the rest of the staff struck out one -- Uno -- during the rest of the game.

Friday, March 02, 2012

A new Surkamp?

Alex Pavlovic of the Merc-News has a post about the prospects for Erik Surkamp making the club as a No. 5 starter this time after being unimpressive last year. I've given up on Barry Zito, so it was a good read.

I think Zito's done and beyond the salvation of Dave Righetti -- and the Giants brass has to know that they can't afford to give away games. Surkamp racked up some mighty good numbers in the minors last year; the optimistic view is that he was worn out when he finally got to The Show.

Surkamp managed an awful -0.5 WAR in just 26 innings.

Zito was pretty bad with a -0.6 WAR in 53 innings.

The hypocrisy of Bud and his buddies

Where Have You Gone Joe has an excellent post about Crybaby Commissioner Bud Selig and his cronies not getting their way in the Ryan Braun case. He points out that they abhor "the letter of the law" in this case as a way of trashing Braun reputation but that they adhere to "the letter of the law" in order to trash the reputations of Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens --

So Bud and the media want it both ways. They want the rule of law, however obscure or nonsensical the law is, to apply when it suits their purpose. They want broken hallowed records meant to be broken, to be considered tainted because the rule of law was allegedly not followed by Bonds, Clemens, McGwire and others. And they want the old records reinstated retroactively.

And yet when it comes to Ryan Braun's ludicrous piss test, they abhor the "rule of law" calling the arbitrators decision a mere technicality and that once again, as a result, they are declaring jihad on all players records'. My oh my. How indignant they can get.

And Bud still doesn't get it. Rather than represent the game, which is the players, Bud wants to represent the owners and needs the media and politicians to help secure those big stadium tax-breaks and cable TV deals to satisfy his owners. See Bud hasn't learned what Hitler taught Neville Chamberlain and the French. You can't appease a dragon with an insatiable appetite by feeding him your neighbor in the hopes he will get full, before he gets to you. The dragon never gets full. Just ask St. George the Dragon slayer.

As long as there are edges to be gained, athletes will figure out a way to get that edge. "Just Say No" was a Nancy Reagan campaign slogan, not a blueprint for controlling ballplayers competitive super-egos. Feeding the media-dragon chunks and pieces of Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Clemens, and other unpopular celeb-aletes, is not going to get Bud the love he craves from the public. But he is self-absorbed and obsessed enough to keep trying anyway. The latest sacrifice, one of his own, Ryan Braun; to demonstrate how diligent and serious and heroic MLB is in tracking down horrible evil greedy cheating ballplayers. And to no one's surprise except Bud's, the Grand Mullahs of baseball media are sermonizing up a shitstorm of holiness.

Starting in left field for your San Francisco Giants

Josh at Splashing Pumpkins says it needs to be Brandon Belt. The ZiPS projection has him with a slash line of.258/.355/.452 along with 17 HRs and 67 RBIs -- better than anyone on the team except Sandoval. Here's what Josh says --

Giving Belt an everyday spot in the lineup and having him know he’ll be in the same position everyday, I believe, will give him some more confidence and could help him break out. Just my 2 cents.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

"He has electric stuff"

Man, there's nothing like reading to make me want to take a day off and journey to Scottsdale to check this guy out!

Who am I talking about? Heath Hembree, that's who!

Chris Haft of has done a nice profile and the quote is from catching prospect Tommy Joseph, who knows how to give good quotes --

"Catching him is not as hard as people think, because his command is a lot better than what I thought it was going to be," said Tommy Joseph, another Giants prospect who caught Hembree at San Jose. "He has electric stuff. In the California League, there weren't too many guys who could hit it. As soon as we got past the eighth inning, it was pretty much locked down that we were going to win that ballgame."

Hembree complements his fastball with an effective slider. But he seems to know what's going to bring him to the big leagues.

"Most of the time when I'd try to call a slider, he'd just shake to heater," Joseph said. "He just wanted to let it fly. And there's no sense in him getting beat with his second-best pitch, you know? If he was going to get beat, he might as well get beat with his best. And he never got beat."