December 2011

The Last of 2011: What if Brian Sabean believes the Mayan prophecy? #SFGiants

2012: The End?

Perhaps you’ve heard that there’s some sort of fortune telling that was believed to be told by the Mayan culture back in the days when Omar Vizquel, Darren Oliver and Takashi Saito were just babies. Supposedly they talk about how the world will end in 2012. More specifically December of 2012, and I believe they’ve set a date like the 21st or something. Whatever it is, we’ll hear about it all year and I’m sure the story will be told in a variety of ways. Remember we have survived previously perceived dates of rapture before though, so we have experience in freaking out accordingly.

But let’s have a little fun to end the year, because I obviously am not out getting crazy or watching any yahoos on TV ruin my night in San Jose and instead am hanging out on my computer writing about something that pretty probably won’t happen. Yes, you may use that. What if Brian Sabean believes the world will end in 2012? Clearly people like Kenny Williams do not, but what about Brian Sabean? What will he do to push in all the chips to make sure the San Francisco Giants win the last World Series ever? Let’s try to predict what will happen month-by-month.

January-March: Brian and company still working on Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum deals. Will do so until March. Arbitration hearings also scheduled with some of their athletes. Timmy gets a 2 year deal in the end. Matt Cain gets some 8 year deal. Spring Training going swell.

April: Brandon Belt gets demoted to AAA. Sabean and Bochy toast to a job well done. Boof Bonser gets the last bullpen spot because the Front Office “loves his story.” Melky Cabrera called a “great defensive force” by Bochy. Brian Sabean satisfied with team and has kept payroll under $130MM, pleasing the stakeholders. At the end of April, the Giants, D-Backs and Dodgers all tied for 1st. Sabean and Coletti start discussing trade possibilities for Juan Uribe and Aubrey Huff.

Love this guy's story

May: Aubrey Huff is off to a hot start and Sabes and Coletti notice. Uribe and Huff straight up swap with the Giants getting Frank McCourt to pay for the insurance on Uribe’s contract. Sabean feels smart until Uribe goes on the DL with a regular hernia and Brandon Crawford still struggling to hit above the .100 batting average line. Pitching staff doing swell and Barry Zito has been put in the bullpen in favor of Bonser (“I love this guy’s story!”). A somewhat tough schedule in May has the Giants 3 back of Arizona. Sabean begins to work his magic again, calling up other GMs but not responding to other GMs when they call him.

June: Barry Zito goes on the DL with blisters on his fingers from extreme jam sessions. Boof Bonser continues to take his place but is sucking. Eric Surkamp to the rescu– oh crap he hasn’t learned to hold runners on. Brian Sabean panics, trades Eric Surkamp and Francisco Peguero to the Marlins for Roy Oswalt. Marlins throw in Kevin Gregg because they hate him. Sabean tried to get Scott Cousins but Cousins vetoed the trade by charging his GM even though he had a path straight thru the doorway and could’ve just said “no.” Giants still have a problem at SS but that’ll be issued in July. Giants start getting hot while the D-Backs cool off, and now they’re 1 game apart.

"I'm so excited to play for a team that can win!"

July: All five Giants starters go to the All Star Game in Kansas City (Tony La Russa comes back, loves Bonser’s story), but no position players. Phillies fans upset at Ryan Howard for not trying to come back from the DL sooner. Anyway, the end of July comes and the Giants are only 3 up on the D-Backs. Sabean trades Gary Brown, Travis Ishikawa and the Rainy Day Fund to the Cleveland Indians for Asdrubal Cabrera. MLB Network saying Asdrubal Cabrera puts the Giants “over the top.”

August: Did I mention Brett Pill has been playing since the Huff trade? Anyway, Pill gets traded in August for cash, a PTBNL and a Rainy Day Fund to the Oakland A’s because they really need another 1Bman. Belt gets called up after hitting a record 50 HR for Fresno. Barry Zito comes back and dominates in the bullpen. Bochy says Zito “worth every penny” drinking his glass of wine after an August victory. The division is the Giants’ to lose. They’re up by 5 games on the D-Backs who lead the Wild Card over the Braves who are starting their collapse early. Brandon Belt does get traded at the waiver deadline, much to the surprise of Giants fans. Keith Law interviews with the Giants because he feels he can do better than Sabean.

He can't believe he gets injured either

September: Asdrubal Cabrera and Melky Cabrera get injured after realizing they have the same last name and creating some over the top stupid high-five greeting. They’re both out for the season. Boof Bonser and Barry Zito start dominating in the bullpen together in the 7th and 8th innings leading the bridge to Brian Wilson in the 9th creating the dreaded and predictable “Killer B’s” everyone could see coming. With the D-Backs not willing to surrender to fill the holes in their rotation and bullpen, they end up falling further behind the Giants and watch them eventually clinch on Tuesday, September 25th, which just happened to be “Boof Bonser bobblehead night.” Turns out the fans love his story, too.

October: Giants finish the season 95-67, 8 games ahead of the D-Backs (see what I did there?). They face the Phillies in the first round. Juan Uribe comes back just in time for the playoffs from his regular hernia to deliver multiple clutch hits to get the Giants to win in 5. They then face the Reds, who Sports Illustrated picked to win the World Series. Anywho, Brandon Crawford goes nuts on these guys with a HR in each of the 4 games the Giants win in a 4-game sweep sending them back to the Fall Classic.

World Series: Rotation of Lincecum-MadBum-Cain-Vogelsong/Oswalt faces off against who else but Nolan Ryan and the Texas Rangers who just love going to the latest point in the season without bringing home anything. Since the AL finally won the ASG the Rangers feel like this is their year. Well, they go down with 2 losses at home, and then Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval effectively end their dreams and reason for existing by hitting base-clearing triples on consecutive nights in Games 4 and 5 to lead the Giants to their 2nd World Championship in 3 years. Angel Pagan named WS MVP due to his name alone. Bochy calls him “a winner like Joe Saunders.”

M-V-P!

Giants fans can’t believe this has all happened. But you know who can believe it? This guy:

"Suck it, haters."

Because it was all apart of the plan. Last World Series ever belongs to us, baby.

Something to talk about on December 31st! #ChiSox #Padres

Kenny Williams, Josh Byrnes, thank you. Most teams take the holidays to be with family, but not you two. You have decided to sacrifice time with your family to do your job.

Carlos Quentin made $5.05MM in 2011 and has his last year of arbitration coming up in 2012 where he will make somewhere in between $5.05MM and $50.5MM. Somewhere in between. While this will save the White Sox some money, their payroll as of now looks to still be 9 digits. Peavy, Rios, Dunn, Konerko, Floyd and Danks will combine to make somewhere around $65-70MM in 2012. I don’t know if they’re trying to rebuild or what. Hard to rebuild when you have these plugs taking your money. Let’s not forget they also traded Sergio Santos for prospects because Santos was gonna get expensive in 2016, so you might as well trade him now, right?

The San Diego Padres have a deep farm system, which should surprise nobody being that they have traded guys like Jake Peavy, Adrian Gonzalez and… oh who cares, it’s the Padres. What they gave up were Simon Castro and Pedro Hernandez, who were born in 1988 and 1989, respectively which depresses me a little bit. Both Castro and Hernandez had statistically crappy 2011 and we’ll probably hear from more professional scouts that they’ll need more seasoning. With what specifically I have no idea. But the Chicago White Sox have no farm system so these guys will probably be their top prospects right away. Faster path to the bigs for these boys, which I’m sure they’ll be pleased about. Only catch is they’re going to be with the White Sox.

Carlos Quentin will probably bat cleanup for the Padres with his 50 HR in the last two seasons and while his BB% and K% have been inconsistent, you might notice his SLG%, wOBA and wRC+ has steadily risen since the big drop after his career year in 2008. So we’ll probably see the power continue to be there but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him have less than 20 HR in a division where you have the DBacks, Giants and Clayton Kershaw opposite you. He’ll probably destroy the Rockies though if they have the same problems in 2011. But then again, who wouldn’t destroy the Rockies AA pitching? Yea, I know: the Giants.

I don’t plan on doing the “This year in 2011 Baseball” that everyone else does so this’ll probably be the last one for me in 2011. Thanks for your support in the first couple months of what I hope to be a very long baseball blogging career.

What the heck, Oakland/Can you play OF in a football field?

So you might have heard by now that the Oakland A’s have traded Closer Andrew Bailey and OF Ryan Sweeney for OF Josh Reddick, RHP Raul Alcantara and and 1B Miles Head. To which you might have heard the sound of people hitting their heads on their desks but there are those that do like the trade. But we’re not here to talk about them. We’re here to talk about what their payroll is right now:

$23MM. For 2012. At this moment. That’s one team. ONE TEAM IN 2012. Let’s remember some of the baseball players that will make that or more in 2012:

1. Alex Rodriguez ($29MM)

2. Albert Pujols ($More than 23MM)

3. CC Sabathia ($23MM)

4. Joe Mauer ($23MM)

5. Probably Prince Fielder ($TBD)

6. Possibly Tim Lincecum

Oh, by the way, Oakland’s gonna probably need somebody to play OF.  So if you can cover this much ground, they’ll be lookin’ to hear from you:

Don’t worry about hitting. They won’t need that for a couple of years.

Maybe a move out of Oakland won’t be so bad #Athletics #SFGiants

Let me begin with what I came up in 15 seconds to be what I believe the baseball rooting demographic looks like in the State of California:

I’m from San Jose. You may not be, but that’s where I grew up, where my heart is (sorry, San Francisco) and where I want to live when I grow older. You may know me as a Giants fan as well. This is true. My family has spit rumors on me that when I was young (before I could think logically) I rooted for the Dodgers and all I have to say to that is: kids do stupid stuff. Those kids grow up to be more intelligent people, and if that part of my life were true then I know I have grown up to be a more intelligent man, now being a Giants fan. So when I heard that the Athletics of Oakland wanted to move into San Jose I became furious: witches from Oakland, San Jose is Giants territory. We even have a high-A minor league team to prove it. You have Stockton, go move there. But when guys like Bob Nightengale start saying stuff like this stuff I start freaking out:

And then I freak out some more and think the baseball rooting demographic will shift to this upon an Athletics move to San Jose:

However, this may not be the case. If you’ve read Susan Slusser’s stuff or even from the Bay Area Sports Guy you know that: 1) this move could take forever and 2) maybe a move to San Jose won’t be so bad. Think about it: Oakland moving out of Oakland would probably create animosity to the fans in Oakland (all uh… 10 of them) giving the Giants that region. It might also create a newer, better competitive balance between the two teams making baseball more attractive in Northern California. Having two kickass ballparks in the Bay Area would make the Bay a more baseball hot spot and if you live in between or nearby San Francisco or San Jose all of a sudden baseball is more accessible to you, and I don’t care where you’re from but that’s never a bad thing (unless it’s Dodger Stadium. Get that sh– out.). Maybe this is what it will look like in 2014-2016:

I apologize for making it look like California has come down with a disgusting case of chicken pox. Right now it’s hard not to say NorCal doesn’t belong to the Giants. Winning does things like that. A new ballpark will expand the A’s fanbase, sure, but they’re going to have to do some serious winning to change that. Before you go all out #OccupySanJose on the Athletics, think about how things could change for the better and not just from what the San Francisco Front Office tells you. Change can bring about good things, and I think a move to San Jose would do that for baseball, especially in the Bay Area.

Back to 2010: The 12 Days of a #SFGiants Christmas

Inspired by many posts of the “12 Days” variety, I present to you mine and it may focus on one specific team’s postseason from a year ago:

On the first day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:

A Commissioner’s trophy.

On the second day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:

Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.

On the third day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:

Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.

On the fourth day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:

Four Cody homers, Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.

On the fifth day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:

Five Wilson Saves. Four Cody homers, Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.

On the sixth day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:

Six to freeze HowardFive Wilson Saves. Four Cody homers, Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.

On the seven day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:

Seven Edgar base hits, Six to freeze Howard, Five Wilson Saves. Four Cody homers, Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.

On the eighth day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:

Eight MadBum innings, Seven Edgar base hits, Six to freeze Howard, Five Wilson Saves. Four Cody homers, Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.

On the ninth day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:

Nine Bravo Zeroes, Eight MadBum innings, Seven Edgar base hits, Six to freeze Howard, Five Wilson Saves. Four Cody homers, Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.

On the tenth day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:

Ten pitching changes, Nine Bravo Zeroes, Eight MadBum innings, Seven Edgar base hits, Six to freeze Howard, Five Wilson Saves. Four Cody homers, Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:

Eleven Post-Season wins, Ten pitching changes, Nine Bravo Zeroes, Eight MadBum innings, Seven Edgar base hits, Six to freeze Howard, Five Wilson Saves. Four Cody homers, Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.

On the twelth day of Christmas, Baseball gave to me:

Twelve straight balls in Game 2, Ten pitching changes, Nine Bravo Zeroes, Eight MadBum innings, Seven Edgar base hits, Six to freeze Howard, Five Wilson Saves. Four Cody homers, Three Freddy doubles, Two Cliff Lee losses and A Commissioner’s trophy.

It may not be the best rendition, but this is my gift to you on this Sunday of 2012. I wish I could’ve got Cainer in there with his historic outing, and Posey with his rookie record 4 hits in a game, Bochy’s moves, Dirty’s Game 162, etc. etc. etc. I hope you have a wonderful set of holidays. Especially all you in Texas, Philadelphia and Atlanta.

2011 Final Team Payrolls #MLB

Back in the Bay so of course one of the first things I do in the morning is grab the Merc Sports Page and look through all the stuff. I saw that there was also a fun little clipping of the Final Team Payrolls for all the teams in MLB. So without further ago, the stuff you came here to see:

New York Yankees: $216,044,956

Boston Red Sox: $174,116,280

Philadelphia Phillies: $165,313,989

Los Angeles Angels: $143,099,729

New York Mets: $142,244,744

Chicago Cubs: $140,608,942

Chicago White Sox: $125,814,762

San Francisco Giants: $125,111,390

Minnesota Twins: $115,419,106

Detroit Tigers: $113,230,923

St. Louis Cardinals: $113,156,467

Los Angeles Dodgers: $109,865,640

Texas Rangers: $103,967,140

Seattle Mariners: $98,067,684

Colorado Rockies: $96,145,529

Milwaukee Brewers: $93,234,011

Atlanta Braves: $88,128,545

Baltimore Orioles: $86,856,480

Cincinnati Reds: $81,621,587

Houston Astros: $81,139,621

Toronto Blue Jays: $75,851,382

Washington Nationals: $72,022,999

Oakland A’s: $70,476,206

Arizona Diamondbacks: $65,603,602

Florida Marlins: $61,940,280

Cleveland Indians: $53,533,393

Pittsburgh Pirates: $51,784,810

San Diego Padres: $45,620,873

Tampa Bay Rays: $44,969,740

Kansas City: $44,566,470

Total: $2,999,557,280

And here’s another way you could look at the salaries:

Take from this what you will. I always have fun looking at the low payroll teams doing well in the standings (Rays, Indians, DBacks) and the high payroll teams doing poorly (Cubs, Mets, Twins).

Timmy and Matty: The Case for #1 #SFGiants

Two of the Gentlemen Aces of the Giants

Look at that, would ya: two, nice looking gents. Matt Cain sporting the tie I’ve been trying to win off of eBay for years and Tim Lincecum sporting that not so long hair. A fanbase could fall in love with these two guys. The fact that they’re both stellar pitchers on the mound makes things even better. Most of the bloggersphere has been focusing so much on other players and sometimes the contract extensions of these two guys (and the fact that it’s December) I just tend to forget things. Like how good these guys are. I even pondered at the possibility of Matt Cain being the #1 instead of Timmy, but I don’t know if that’d be considered very much just because of the spotlight that tends to go naturally towards TL55. Anyway, here are the past 3 years for the Freak and the Horse:

When you look at Timmy you see a decline in the K/9 and a rise in BB/9 along with a rise in FIP. Is it a concern? Sure. Are we worried? Hell to the no. This is back-to-back Cy Young Award winner and World Series champion and still growing up Tim Lincecum we’re talking about here. Even if he averages just 8 K/9 next year, I’m sure most of you would take that. Did you know that even in an “off year” like this one, only 5 pitchers had a better K/9 than Timmy? (Greinke, Morrow, Kershaw, A. Sanchez, C. Lee) Not worried. He’ll just need to keep making adjustments because after all that’s what the hitters are doing for him.

For Matty it’s a little bit of the opposite of Timmy: a rise (albeit a small one) in K/9, a lowered FIP and a Tim Lincecum 2009-like HR/9 in 2011. This makes me realize how good Timmy was in 2009. Also, only Charlie Morton had a better HR/9 in 2011 at 0.31. But you know how you were hearing at the end of the year people talking about how Matt Cain might’ve had the better year? This is the kind of stuff they’re talking about right here. Matt Cain as we know, is the silent Giant that does his job and does it well.

The guy I’m leaving out is Madison Bumgarner and the only reason is because he’ll be entering only his 2nd full season playing in the bigs and I’d rather have him break up two RHPs than have him have to pick up Zito’s mess then three straight RHPs. Maybe that’s stupid though.

I think the spotlight needs to shift to Matt Cain, though. Seriously, I think it might be better for Timmy to have some of the attention get shifted a bit. Why not have Matt Cain go against Ian Kennedy on Opening Day? If you’re wondering about run support, Timmy had 18 games of 0-2 runs with a 3.02 ERA while Matty had 14 games with that support and a 3.38 ERA. That will more than likely continue to be an issue. The only reason why Matt might not get to be the #1 is because there will be someone else other than Zito on the staff getting paid more money than him. What would that say if you get paid $19MM and you’re pitching ahead of the guy getting paid $21MM who’s about the same age? Those are the little political games I think will play into why Matt is not the #1. But don’t get me wrong, I love Timmy. I’d just like to see him 3rd.

So in conclusion, My Rotation: Matty Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Timmy Lincecum, Ryan Vogelsong, Barry Zito.

The Dynamics of AL/NL West Baseball Changing

Some of the faces that could be affecting the play of the AL West in 2012

Miami had its 15 minutes of fame. Jose Reyes? Oooooooh. Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle? Ahhhhh. New stadium? Ooooh. Federal investigation? Ahhhhh. And then the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim — or as I like to call them: “The Anaheim Angels,” come in and take CJ Wilson and Albert Pujols almost at the same time. Holy moly, we all thought. But are they better than the Rangers yet? I don’t think so, but I know the bandwagon in the Orange County side of town has a lot more members now for a reason. This division is going to get interesting. Meanwhile, Gio Gonzalez could be traded to just about any team needing prospects as the A’s gear up for the 2014 season and no, that’s not a joke. They’ll fit right in with the Houston Astros. The Seattle Mariners are up to a load of nothing but the reigning back-to-back AL Champions have been busy adding more pieces to their bullpen because they’re freakin’ loaded with cash. Oh and that stud in Japan everyone’s talking about? They just won the bid to have exclusive contract negotiations with him at a cool $51.7MM. Even though only 2 teams have done some big-league-ready additions, the focus of baseball fans are shifting west a bit to watch some big names play. We don’t even know where Prince Fielder will go. Just imagine if he lands in that West division somewhere.

Think of the matchups you’ll see: Darvish vs. Ichiro, Feliz vs. Pujols, Hernandez vs. Fielder (maybe). That just sounds cool.

Here are guys who have made news for the NL West for 2012

And then here we have the NL West. You liked it in 2010 when two offensively challenged teams fought for the title in Game 162. In 2011 Arizona used its offense and up-and-comers to take over the division from the crowned champions. So naturally every team goes into the offseason thinking, “We have to get better. How do we do that without signing a big name?” Every team has done their due diligence. One has done a great job doing it in one trade, and that was the Padres in trading Mat Latos to the Reds. The Giants have improved their offense in my opinion with Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan but the health and the back end of the rotation along with Brian Wilson’s elbow remain question marks for me. The Rockies were convinced Michael Cuddyer should be overpaid, especially after Josh Willingham was given a fair 3/$21MM deal. The DBacks did do a good job of getting Takashi Saito to a 1/$1.25MM but then trade for Cahill and then sign Jason Kubel? Confusing considering they’re considering platooning a Gold Glove defender (I understand that these awards may not be the best, but still a testament to Gerardo Parra being a better defender). And then there’s the Dodgers, who are adding every AAAA middle infielder known to man and signed Capuano and Aaron Harang and those AAAA all to 2 year deals just about.

Now imagine these matchups you could see in the NL West in 2012: Aaron Harang vs. Melky Cabrera, Edinson Volquez vs. Jason Kubel, Huston Street (as a Padre) vs. Michael Cuddyer. Doesn’t exactly have the same ring the AL West does, now does it?

So excuse MLB Network and ESPN when you see an overhaul of AL West games, especially involving the Angels and Rangers or both over games involving the teams in the NL West. Things are about to get exciting in the AL West, while in the NL West we’re left scratching our heads wondering what’s to come.

The sun is shining on the West, for sure. Just not in the parks that have the pitcher batting 9th.

 

The King and I: What to do with Barry

Bonds

The Beautiful Swing of Bonds

I remember being in a store as a kid and seeing some Bon Bons. I thought that’s what I would call Barry Bonds if he ever came to the Giants. Eventually, he did and for a lot of people my age, Barry Bonds is what we remember about the Giants. Sure, we remember Will Clark, Matt Williams, Billy Swift, John Burkett, Rod Beck, Bill Mueller, Robb Nen, Benito Santiago, Jeff Kent, Rich Aurila and the like, but as is the HR mark, Barry is probably #1 with most of us in terms of how often he appears in our memories of experiences with the San Francisco Giants. Hell, he may even be the reason a lot of the older teens and 20-somethings have been lifelong Giants fans.

I remember reading an article about Barry Bonds really leading the Giants out of the sewer and blessing AT&T Park — a park with a body of water waiting in right field begging for him to take a swim in it. It reminded me of what a hero Bonds was in leading the Giants to big things. Division titles and playoff appearances, and you may remember his 2001 campaign of 73 HR the most, but I remember the 2002 World Series the most. Game 2 in Anaheim, the slugfest. The one where Barry Bonds killed crap out of a Troy Percival pitch and put it out there so far into RF a camera caught an Angels player saying something to the effect of, “I’ve never seen anyone hit it that far.” That’s my Bonds memory. I know people have theirs (Bonds vs. Gagne, 756, his HR with a spin move, etc.). Others, especially outside of San Francisco have a whole ‘nother set of Bonds memories.

His insistence on what he claimed to be unknowingly using steroids was an act we wanted to believe but most of us knew it probably wasn’t true. Sure the fact that we don’t exactly know what PEDs contribute to a player’s ability is something, but how he was vilified and lied has stuck with me. The name “Pedro Gomez” is always thought of with “Barry Bonds” for me and I find that unfortunate because I’d rather just associate Pedro with ESPN. The media has put a perspective on steroids and baseball that using it is an unfair advantage over those that aren’t, health risks, etc. etc. etc. A lot of the things I used to “know” were put to rest thanks to the research done in this essay. I recommend reading it, but it will take a little while to read. So now I am confused: Barry Bonds has lied in court and to the public. He also was an amazing baseball player, probably the best I’ve had the pleasure of watching in my lifetime.

First Pitch

It's so difficult to NOT embrace Barry because of the Giant he was

As Jeff Passan has written, it’ll be a lot easier to embrace Barry if he comes clean with everyone once his business with the government is over. That will make life easy for me. But what if he never does? I will probably still support him and I will hope he does gain entry into the Hall of Fame although it may not happen while I’m young. As time has gone on, I think less that “Barry’s a bad guy” and more of “Barry lied more than he should’ve” which has made my view of him more positive but still not 100% supportive. I know it’s probably dumb, holding an athlete to the same standards I would a friend, but I just want him to come clean.  I would love to be corny and say I support Barry on a scale of 0 to 1 “.762″ but… actually let’s just stick with that. 762.

If Barry comes clean with the fans, I think more people will come back to him with open arms. I’m not going to say he owes it to the fans. No. This man has loved the people of San Francisco, and so I will say he owes it to himself to come clean. I can’t think of any one person that it would benefit more than him. We’ll be waiting, Barry.

What I learned from Wednesday’s #SFGLive

Who's been sending pictures of his abs to Bruce Bochy?

So on Wednesday night there was an “Inside the Clubhouse” complete with a live and active applause track. If you’ve been following the Giants closely throughout the offseason, you didn’t hear anything breaking about what’s going to happen this offseason. You really just learned more about the character of some of the individual characters, which is better than nothing. It’s better than being forced to listen to news about some other inferior sport.

Brian Sabean talked to the audience about everything we already know: pitching is the priority. Bullpen ever so important. Injuries plagued us in 2011. Nothing new, really. He did say if they see a bargain in January they’ll keep an open mind. I think that pertains more to pitching (like a long relief, #5 guy) than a bat. I’m sure they’ll sign a cheap bat if they could though. Rehab stuff nothing new, Freddy on schedule and Buster ahead of schedule. Looking good and of course we’re all hoping for the best. RIGHT, AUDIENCE? (this happened about 10 times over the course of the conference)

Larry Baer told us he hates the term “cap” in “salary cap” since it sounds like the number won’t move. He left room for the salary of the club to be bumped up ever so slightly year-by-year but didn’t talk about any new revenue streams like I dreamed of hearing about. He talked about the importance of keeping the celebrities of the Giants in San Francisco and specifically mentioning Timmy, Matty, Panda, Posey, MadBum and BRIAN WILSON. I think I started crying. If you know me, you know I hate paying too much for closers. We’ll see what happens though — he did say he’ll leave the baseball stuff to the baseball operations guys like Sabes and co.

We could be STACKED for years!

Dave Righetti can’t really tell us too much about what’s to happen with the team because that’s not his nor is it Bochy’s department. He did tell a nice story about how Juan Marichal shook Buster Posey’s hand before Game 5 and knew they were going to win. I learned that Rags likes to talk to the catchers about gameplan more than he does the pitchers.

Bruce Bochy same thing and a lot of talk about the close games and his receding hairline. What else can he really talk about? He did talk about the Taiwan All Star Trip and how fun that was with Pablo in LF for an inning. He talked about Aubrey Huff sending Boch shirtless pictures of himself to prove he’s working hard over this offseason. He didn’t lay down speculation that Pill and Belt could be competing for a spot though, much to the discontent of people that want to see Belt in the starting lineup everyday. Boch brought up the importance of getting through to the team that they can get back to the top and knowing that the 162 game season can be a long season.

Lots to be excited for, lots to be nervous about. The lineup’s pretty much set and so is the staff. It’s all about arbitration and dolling out cash now. Until the next set of crazy news, enjoy the closing shot of the Inside the Clubhouse episode.

 

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