Let's get back: together
1. A Giants win is a thing of beauty
2. Giants rule, Dodgers drool
3. Dodgers suck. Always have, always will
4. The perfect day -- a Giant win and a Dodger loss
5. Dodgers = Satan
Supporting the San Francisco Giants since April 19, 2006
The Giants’ risk on Lincecum is low. They are not saddled with a potentially crippling pitcher contract, and the worst that can happen is Lincecum walks in 2014 and the Giants have $25 million to spend elsewhere.
That said, the Giants should have plenty of money to play ball with Lincecum the free agent in 2014. Even if he and Cain consume $50 million of what should, by then, be a $140 million payroll (that no longer includes Barry Zito’s contract), they can build a pretty good team with the rest of the $90 million, particularly if younger players such as Brandon Belt, Gary Brown, Joe Panik, Kyle Crick, etc… pan out. They will be paid peanuts until they hit arbitration down the road.
-- The Melky Cabrera acquisition, on the other hand, might be the worst move of the offseason. The Giants are paying Melky $6M, which is a bit more than I was expecting. Jonathan Sanchez, in comparison, is getting $5.6M. Basically, the Giants didn’t save any money in making this trade. In retrospect, they essentially had the choice between $6M and Melky Cabrera, and they chose the latter.I imagine the justification for this move is as follows: they needed a centerfielder, and they didn’t see Andres Torres as a suitable option. They otherwise would have non-tendered Jonathan Sanchez, so this way, at least they filled a position of need by ridding themselves of a wild southpaw. The problem, however, is two-fold: firstly, Cabrera was not all that more appealing an option than Andres Torres, if at all, despite a much better 2011. Secondly, the move was rendered pointless when the Giants went out and got Angel Pagan to play centerfield. Now they’re stuck with a relatively expensive player who — either directly or indirectly — is blocking Brandon Belt.
The first of four pitchers' duels between the two studs. The Dodgers got a run in the sixth on errors by Miguel Tejada and Buster Posey. Bullpens exchanged runs in their last at-bats. Dodgers 2, Giants 1; snakebite loss for Lincecum.
Lincecum and Kershaw matched up four times in 2011, Kershaw winning all four contests, all four of them tremendous duels. In the four games Lincecum pitched 29 innings with a 1.24 ERA, but an 0-4 record. Kershaw was 4-0, pitched 30.1 innings with a 0.30 ERA.
The Giants know what Sandoval looks like 3 1/2 months after the final out of 2011. They put him through a physical before completing the deal. "I think we've seen Pablo's commitment grow," Bobby Evans, Giants vice president of player personnel, said. "He's still very young in the game and young in his potential. With time, I think he'll continue to prosper as he continues to find a balance of priority in his conditioning. We see a commitment. We know that Pablo understands there are still challenges that he is facing and will continue to face, yet this is a confidence that we have in him that he's going to do everything possible to earn that contract and the next one."
I saw Mays play a lot. My father and I were in the moderate crowd at the Polo Grounds in May 1951 when Willie played his first game for the Giants. My father was only a mild baseball fan, although he told me his favorite ballplayer when he was a kid in New York back at the beginning of the 20th century was a bearded outfielder for the Giants named George Van Haltren, which indicates a certain degree of baseball intensity. In any case he and I drove down from Tuckahoe to the Polo Grounds, bought tickets (which you could do then) and sat in the lower stands between home and first base. Willie had broken in a few days earlier in Philadelphia where he went 0 for 12 in three games. He was batting third which if it seems a high spot for a brand-new rookie seemed a proper spot to take a look at a rookie who had been batting something like .477 in the minors.
The top of the first took some of the fun out of the game right away. Warren Spahn was pitching for the Boston Braves and in the top of the first Bob Elliott hit a three-run homer for Boston, which took a lot of the starch out of the Giant fans. If Spahn was on, and had a three-run lead already, we didn’t have a prayer. Spahn set the first two Giants down in order and here came Willie, our fabulous new rookie. I forget what the count went to — a ball and a strike, something like that. Spahn threw the next pitch and Willie hit it on a line high and deep to left center field. I cannot recall if it hit the wooden façade high in left field or went over the roof and out of the park. All I remember is the electric excitement that shot through the park at the sound and sight of our precious rookie in his first at-bat in New York hitting a tremendous home run off the great Spahn. “He’s real!” was the feeling. “He’s real!”
With the exception of Torres’ remarkable 2010 season, the Giants have not had a quality center fielder or a legitimate leadoff hitter since Kenny Lofton, and he came only for one half of a (nearly triumphant) season to patch up the Shinjo-Calvin Murray debacle. That’s 10 seasons. Gary Brown, if all goes to plan, is the answer to a painful, decade-long problem. He puts the demons of Dave Roberts to bed.
Brown is lightning fast, has excellent contact skills with a surprising amount of pop (14 home runs, .519 SLG in San Jose), and his absolute floor as a defender in a premium position is probably around average. If he can polish up his outfield instincts and continue to draw walks and get on base at a respectable rate, he’s going to be a very useful player with more star potential than Panik. And finally, I can confirm that he’s nothing like Aaron Rowand, the only exceptions being their Fullerton alumni status and a penchant for being hit by pitches. And that particular skill might well prove to be pretty handy given how dangerous Brown ought to be on the paths.
|1.||Barry Bonds (39)||.6094||2004||L|
|2.||Barry Bonds (37)||.5817||2002||L|
|3.||Ted Williams+ (22)||.5528||1941||L|
|4.||John McGraw+ (26)||.5475||1899||L|
|5.||Babe Ruth+ (28)||.5445||1923||L|
|6.||Babe Ruth+ (25)||.5319||1920||L|
|7.||Barry Bonds (38)||.5291||2003||L|
|8.||Ted Williams+ (38)||.5256||1957||L|
|9.||Billy Hamilton+ (28)||.5209||1894||L|
|10.||Babe Ruth+ (31)||.5156||1926||L|
|11.||Barry Bonds (36)||.5151||2001||L|
|12.||Babe Ruth+ (29)||.5126||1924||L|
|13.||Babe Ruth+ (26)||.5123||1921||L|
|14.||Mickey Mantle+ (25)||.5120||1957||B|
|15.||Rogers Hornsby+ (28)||.5072||1924||R|
Trying to determine how an A's-Giants resolution might look is difficult. The most obvious template is the settlement received by Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos when the Montreal Expos were moved to within 40 miles of Angelos' franchise and became the Washington Nationals. As compensation, Angelos received guarantees from MLB on ticket revenue and franchise value.
Angelos was asked Thursday if he sees any parallels between that and the A's-Giants state of affairs.
"I don't have much knowledge about the situation," Angelos said. "But I wish them both luck."
John Bowker was, for a weekend or so, the slugger of the future. Then he struggled so badly that he was removed from the 2008 Giants' lineup. That was … hard to do. After returning to the minors, he put up a fantastic 2009 season in AAA, even by Pacific Coast League standards. He hit for average (.342) and changed his approach at the plate, leading to more walks (.451 OBP). He had 47 extra-base hits in 366 at-bats.
And he couldn't hit a breaking ball if he stood in front of home plate with the lid of a garbage can. But now we're ahead of ourselves.
At the same time he was demolishing Fresno, the Giants' right fielder was having an abysmal season, as was the entire team....
He's one-man shorthand for the nuttiness of Giants baseball, and why we love and hate it so.
Various injuries limited Sanchez, 34, to 111 games in 2009 and '10 and 60 games last year. If there's anything positive about this, it's that he has learned to pace himself and maintain patience as he rehabilitates. "Obviously you want it to go easier," said Sanchez, a .297 lifetime hitter who's penciled in to bat second in manager Bruce Bochy's lineup. "You still want to hurry up and rush things. But having gone through it, I know that I'm a lot further than I was last year or the year before."