Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Flan the Man

New caps to cap danger's Chris Haft has a good story on the Giants site about the new caps available this year, particularly to prevent pitchers from getting clobbered by a line drive.Dave Righetti points out how tough it is to be a pitcher at the pro level -- 

Righetti believes that overcoming fear of being hit by the ball is part of the challenge that separates Major Leaguers from other athletes.
"Being old school, I think that the big leagues should be tougher and, in a sense, a little bit dangerous," said Righetti, who pitched for 15 years in the Majors. "That's what separates you. It's a cat-and-mouse game as it is. If you make somebody blink. ... I know, firsthand, hundreds of guys who were scared to death to throw pitches out over the plate to certain guys because they didn't want the ball coming back at them and getting themselves killed. I'm sure it's the same thing for hitters. They won't admit it, but there are some guys that don't like the ball coming up near their head and freak out when it does."

Willie Crawford in the Orange and Black?

Yes, you can count yourself as a true Giants fan if you know that Willie Crawford -- who played in the 1965 and 1974 Series for the Dodgers -- was once a Giant for a short time between the 1976 and 1977 seasons. Nice story about him in the Hardball Times. Here's part of it -- 

While Crawford’s good-natured humor and his hitting stroke seemed like a good fit for St. Louis, his trade value had also reached a zenith. Furthermore, the Cardinals needed pitching. So before the winter meetings, they sent Crawford and left-hander John Curtis to the Giants for two promising young pitchers, Mike Caldwell and John D’Acquisto.
Crawford did not last spring training with the Giants. He became embroiled in a contract dispute, which fueled a series of trade rumors. One particularly lively rumor had the Giants sending him and starting shortstop Chris Speier to the Pirates for either Al Oliver or Bill Robinson.
On March 26, the Giants announced a trade, but it did not involve the Pirates. Instead, the Giants sent Crawford and light-hitting infielder Rob Sperring to the Astros for second baseman Rob Andrews, who was not exactly the second coming of Oliver or Bill Robinson. It was a strange trade for the Giants, to say the least. 


Monday, January 27, 2014

The longest homer ever

Sunday, January 26, 2014

David Huff in the Orange and Black

Thursday, January 23, 2014

"Going to the World Series"

Masahiro Tanaka is promising he'll get the Yanks to the World Series now that he's signed a 7-year deal. I think he's saying the right things. I'm stunned at the price tag -- 7 years at $155 mil

Tanaka should send a gift basket to the Giants for winning two World Series and spurring the Yanks and the Dodgers to start out-spending them like sailors on shore leave.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More hatred for A-Rod

Leaders of the MLB Players Association wanted to expel him after he sued the MLBPA, Yahoo Sports reports. 

I can hardly wait for Bruce Junkins of the SF Chron to report something idiotic along the lines of "Players hated Barry Bonds even more than A-Rod." 

Beyond that idiot, though, is the larger issue of whether the union did its job as one commenter on Baseball Think Factory notes --  ... the job of the union is not to enforce a moral standard preferred by the majority of it's members, it's to protect the negotiated rights of every single one of it's players. The union arguably did not sufficiently protect ARod's rights (which is why he's perfectly justified to sue them). Steroids are unpopular, but so are a lot of other things that certain union members do which I'm sure they don't want held against them in financial matters. Brett Myers hit his wife and probably 99% of the players have not done so, but do you think the union should support Myers to be punished beyond what MLB or the teams have the authority to do? If players want steroids out of the game, have them negotiate stricter drug laws. Hell I don't care if the next JDA has a ban for first time offense. But it has to be in there, you can't just make up #### as you go along.

Lenn Sakata back in the Orange and Black

He's been named the manager at San Jose, a key stopping point for Giants prospects. Chris Haft of details all the the hires on the minor league level.-- 

Lenn Sakata has rejoined the Giants organization as manager with San Jose, where his teams posted a 466-374 record in 1999, 2001 and 2004-07. San Jose won California League titles under Sakata in 2001, '05 and '07. After the '07 season, Sakata managed two years with the Chiba Lotte Marines in the Japanese Pacific League. He then migrated to the Colorado Rockies organization, where he managed at the Class A level for three years.

Sakata played 11 years in the bigs and got a World Series ring in 1983 with the Orioles, going 0-for-1 in the Series. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Bruce Junkins

That's why I've decided to call the SF Chronicle's insight-free columnist. He's now decided that the Dodgers are a groovy organization, not just one that's spending like George Steinbrenner. Here is the worst ...

The Dodgers have taken some potentially major hits in chemistry, losing Mark Ellis, Skip Schumaker, Nick Punto and Jerry Hairston.

Omigod. What an idiot sportswriter. When you can't provide any explanation of a player's value, just say they bring "chemistry." This is why Bruce Junkins thinks Barry Bonds is Satan -- bad chemistry, which is Junkins' way of saying "he was mean to me."

Yes, that's a far worse sin that driving in a way that endangers people's lives like Blockhead Puig going over 100 mph. Here's Bruce's "penetrating" analysis -- Puig seems to have changed his image, as well, at least for the moment. He still needs a ton of improvement in the fundamentals, but after picking up his second speeding ticket recently, he decided to let his cousin do the driving.

Hey, Bruce -- maybe you can get a job at Chavez Latrine.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The last of A-Rod?

A-Rod is more hated than Barry Bonds. It's interesting to speculate whether the Yanks will eat the $60 mil left on his contract when the 162-game suspension is over next year. Tony Blengino of Fangraphs has a long post about where he stands historically. 

He’s a paradoxical character who has been a consistent elite performer, but seems to be loved by no fan base, and has been derided for his postseason output though the numbers aren’t much different from those of Reggie “Mr. October” Jackson or Derek Jeter. He just might be the most universally hated superstar in US sports history.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sandoval in Venezuelan series again

Yeah, this is what passes for big news this time of year -- Pablo has lost a bunch of weight and will start playing with Magallanes in the playoffs, according to Chris Haft of

Wouldn't that be something for MLB teams to just add on a player during the middle of the post-season? Here's part of the story -- Sandoval did not require the Giants' consent to join Magallanes, for whom he has regularly participated in previous years. He was named Most Valuable Player of last year's VWL postseason, batting .333 with four homers.

Here's the thing; Sandoval had a pretty ordinary year for him -- consider that he had a 6.0 WAR in 2011 and and then followed that with 2.2 and 2.5. So his staying ordinary was one of many things that went wrong last year. MC O'Connor at Raising (Matt) Cain has a good column about how lousy 2013 was. Here's part -- 

I want fit and healthy ballplayers who can deliver 500+ plate appearances or 30+ starts. The talent is there, it just has to be on the field and in shape to play.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sandoval loses 42 pounds?

That's what Venezuelan sports reporter Rafael Rojas is tweeting, and I hope there's some truth to it

He lost a bunch of weight prior to the 2011 season and had his best year with a 6.0 WAR

Monday, January 13, 2014

Frenchy signing with Cleveland

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Dontrelle in the Orange and Black?

Remember this Angel?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Maury Wills argument

This is where dingbat Dodger fans get their ammo for the ludicrous argument that the incredibly over-rated Maury Wills should be in the Hall of Fame -- that he meets the standard because of comparable players in the Hall.

Here's an article in The Week that chooses the worst players at every position including Bill Mazeroski, Freddie Lindstrom, Chick Hafey, Jesse Haines and Rollie Fingers.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Ken Gurnick = Dingbat

Monday, January 06, 2014

RIP Jerry Coleman

Henry Schulman of the SF chronicle has a nice post about Jerry Coleman, a fine player and broadcaster. I found that he grew on me as I got older. 

Jerry played in six World Series as a Yankee. He won the MVP in 1950, mostly for his outstanding fielding. 

He flew over 100 combat missions in World War II and Korea. 

He was beloved enough in San Diego that the front office erected a statue of him outside Petco. Tony Gwynn has the only other statue at Petco.

USA Today has some nice quotes such as --

“Sometimes big trees grow out of acorns — I think I heard that from a squirrel.”

The Riot retires

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Aubrey Huff officially retires

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Cruz not in the Giants' Orange and Black

So says Jeff Sullivan on Frangraphs - a fine hot stove piece that examines the potential market for Nelson Cruz and concludes that the Baltimore Orioles look like the best fit. Now that the Giants have signed Michael Morse, there's no chance that Cruz will be a Giant. 

He's 33 and seeking 5 years at $15 million per. Here's the conclusion --

It’s almost impossible to see Cruz getting his money. There’s simply no need for that sort of desperation. It’s also almost impossible to see Cruz signing as a significant upgrade to a team. The fact of the matter is that, right-handed power be damned, Cruz isn’t particularly valuable, and every team has guys projected to be worth at least about a win or so. So when Cruz does sign, it’ll either be for very little money, or it’ll be a questionable move for a modest upgrade or a non-upgrade. There’s not a single team in baseball right now that ought to see Nelson Cruz as a difference-maker. Because, quite simply, Nelson Cruz isn’t a difference-maker. He’s a half-decent aging outfielder who’s going to cost millions and a draft pick. You won’t find many bigger gaps between name value and real value.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Ichiro in the Orange and Black?

I don't believe it but Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says it could happen. 

I suppose he's decent on defense but isn't he an older replica of Gregor Blanco? He had a 1.4 WAR for the Yanks last year.....

Anyhow, the info is DEEP in a column that goes on  for awhile about how messed up Peter Angelos and the Orioles are and how fans deserve better. Here's the verbiage .... 5. Ichiro Suzuki, OF, Yankees — It’ll be interesting to see whether in the next few weeks the Yankees can move him. With Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Alfonso Soriano, and Vernon Wells also in a crowded outfield, Ichiro, who can still play defense but can’t hit at the level he used to, could be a functional player for someone. The Giants always remain a possibility.

He also gave these 10 votes on his Hall of Fame ballot -- My ballot could have extended to 14 choices easily, but the 10 I voted for were: Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mike Piazza, Jack Morris, Alan Trammell, Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent, and Craig Biggio

My guess is that Bonds may get 50% this year. 

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy 2014!