April 2012

There our stupid fans everywhere

So I’m walking around in Sports Authority today with my Giants polo and cap on, just talking with my buddy and notice the National-Doyers game is on. I see the score is 2-0 in the 8th. I’m walking through the workout equipment area, and action:

Me: Man, they’re losing? Can they win a freakin’ series?

Sports Authority Staff Member: Who the Giants?

Me: No, the Nationals, my man.

SASM: Yea, the Dodgers are at the top of the standings!

Me: You guys haven’t even beat anybody yet.

SASM: Don’t worry you can come back later and I’ll give you a discount on the Giants stuff when they’re still losing to the Dodgers!

And cut.

I hate fans like this. Fans that ride that bandwagon hard in April, like they’ll be there all year when we all know bleacher losers like this will not. There are probably people like this in Baltimore, Washington DC, Cleveland, and yes, especially Los Angeles. Coming into this weekend, the Nationals were 14-5 and the Doyers were 13-6. Mighty good records, yes, but who have they played? Glad you asked:

LAD: Padres (6), Pirates (3), Astros (3), Brewers (3), Braves (3). The teams with the “B” in there? The Dodgers lost 2 of 3 to both of them. The teams they beat up on (Pads, Bucs, ‘stros) are a combined 24-42 after tonight.

WASH: Cubs (3), Mets (3), Reds (4), Astros (4), Marlins (2), Padres (3). They had lost no series going into this weekend’s.

Give these teams credit: They beat teams that they were supposed to. But it’s April. Smart baseball fans realize about how much more of the season is left. That’s a lot of time for the predictable and the unpredictable. It’s only fair to say any city would have the fans spewing the type of stupidity I got to hear today, but don’t be that fan. Be smarter than that. You make your team, and the sport of baseball look bad when you talk standings this early in the season.

It’s OK to be human #SFGiants

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Best wishes, Aubrey

Aubrey Huff is on the 15-day DL with anxiety, and we cannot be sure from what. I’m not going to bother to speculate because that wouldn’t be right. What troubles me is the inevitable comments of happiness from the casual sports fan that’s out there. Hank Schulman disclosed his own struggles, which no one asked him to do, and I think was quite brave of him to do that. Hearing about Hong-Chih Kuo struggle through it last year was tough for Dodger fans and their staff because they had no idea what to do. For all people know, Huff’s struggles could be due to his anxiety, so to celebrate his being out has the potential to make you look even dumber than you would for celebrating his absence.

Life happens to all of us, and if you’re just going to point your finger and criticize someone for every little thing that happens, it’s time for not a little, but a lot of self-reflection. We all just wish good health, and happiness upon the people that influence our lives, and Aubrey Huff is part of the team that influences ours.

#SFGiants Lock Up MadBum through 2017, Options Until 2019

Left-handed pitcher, and current #2 in the order, Madison Bumgarner has been signed through 2017 with two club options for 2018, and 2019, and we have yet to hear how much those options are worth. We do know the two options as for what will be paid out over the next 5 years. Why 2, you ask? Well, there is a question of whether Madison Bumgarner will reach the infamous “Super 2″ arbitration status that give MadBum an extra year of arbitration (Buster Posey has it) that would pretty much make him more expensive had the Giants not lock him up. Here are the two scenarios:

No “Super 2″ (this is the option many think will happen):

With the “Super 2″:

Reporters also noted that MadBum has a limited no-trade clause to which he can name eight teams where he cannot be dealt to.

There are two ways people can look at this: Jonah Keri’s way of there wasn’t much savings to be had, or a lot of other people’s way of extreme happiness. I’m a little of both. Consider what Madison might have made without this lock-up deal, then what would’ve happened? My guess for 2013-2017: $600K, $8MM, $10MM, $16MM, $18MM, which rounds up to $55MM, or $20MM more than the not Super 2 deal. It would be $15MM more than the Super 2 deal. I would guess the options save us around $5MM/year. Update: Options are $12MM/year, and can be worth up to $14MM in 2018, and $16MM in 2019. I think this saves the team another $10-20MM. If MadBum stays healthy, this deal is a great one for San Francisco.

So, the contract is both player-friendly and team-friendly, although not Tampa Bay Rays-type friendly. The team waited for Bumgarner to prove himself, then locked him up. I’m very OK with that, and I should hope most fans are, too. Just don’t go around expecting this deal gives us the guarantee of wooing a big bat to come to AT&T, because it won’t. Take it for what it is: a guarantee we have an ace LHP on the staff for 5 more years, and quite possibly 2 more years after that.

Ever. #SFGiants

This was a pretty interesting first seven games. 3-4 isn’t the best ever, but we saw some things that were pretty amazing, especially in our last 4 games. What I saw on Monday:

 

The best Barry Zito pitched game ever in a Giants uniform. Complete game 3-hitter. In Coors Field.

I saw and read about Tim Lincecum’s worst start ever on Wednesday.

I watched the most amazing Matt Cain start ever from end-to-end today. (I did not have the good fortune of watching NLCS Game 3.)

I have seen this offense produce more runs consistently on a regular basis in a 7-game stretch than I can ever remember.

The best Opening Day joining of human support I’ve ever seen by and for the San Francisco Giants, and more importantly, to Bryan Stow and his family.

All things considered, this has been a pretty damn good week.

Stuart Angry. Stuart Want to Smash Something.

So much garbage going on today around baseball. I don’t like being angry, really. I like being happy. Here are some things though that just have rub me the wrong way today.

.GIFing:

MLB already has banned human beings from posting stuff on YouTube (even the dumdums at the NBA laugh at this, I bet), and while this isn’t confirmed, it sounds like something they’d do. Why would I say that? Because they’re taking away live Brooks Baseball analysis:

Brooks baseball is where I get my live up to the batter pitching reports on where they’re throwing, and all the other goodies that come with it. You can get that stuff after the game now, but MLB is just making you use their highly inferior Gameday application.

Bruce Bochy. He is making me pretty upset lately, and now he’s starting to not care who he’s pissin’ off:

We went from “we’ll put him in there” to “we’re playing to win, MF!!!!” He acknowledged he’ll try to get Belt in, but I’ll believe it when I see it. I’d go on to talk small sample sizes, but it’d only hurt the feelings of guys like Angel Pagan, Tim Lincecum, and Aubrey Huff. Not gonna.

Meanwhile, it’s Opening Day at AT&T. This should make people happy. Except tickets are 250-effing-dollars if you and a friend wanted to sit together when you bought those tickets this morning. Seriously, rainy day fund. So much garbage today. A Giants win today will make things a little better.

Oh and that lineup you see today, that’s not gonna be the one we see in Game 1 of the NLDS.

Road Trip Recap #SFGiants

That picture used from the San Francisco Giants blog, showing some of the happy times of the trip. One of the perks of operating on multiple blogs is when I feel like writing something about the Giants, I’ll always have a space for it, whether it’s on this space, or on the FanSided space. Since one of my other teammates is working on a game recap there, and it could double as a trip recap, I decided I’d do mine here.

What probably matters most: Won 2, lost 4. Swept in Arizona, won 2 of 3 in Colorado.

Most Pleasant Surprises:

1. Barry Zito, who was the highlight of the trip. Not often you see a complete game shutout, and especially from Zeets.

2. Melky Cabrera, an unknown on this trip who’s pulling off a small sample size .385/.429/.615 right now with 1 HR, 3 2B and 10 H. His defense hasn’t really had the chance to show itself yet. Did he miss that liner today in the 6th? Yea, but I say that’s a pretty tough play for most LFers.

3. Brandon Crawford, who is not batting below .100 like some of us (me) thought he might be doing. He has actually made some legitimately solid contact, including his HR last night. You don’t expect his .261/.320/.522 to hold, but we’ll see how it goes. We said before the season we’d take .225, we will most certainly take that line if it stays around there.

Disappointments: 

1. Tim Lincecum, who has struck out 10 and walked 3, has seen 14 baserunners arrive safely via the hit, and has allowed two HRs. There have been some concerns that since he’s scrapped his slider to protect his elbow that it might be time to panic over him. It’s difficult not to be concerned about him, but he’s had funks before, and we just hope the one he’s in right now isn’t a prelude to a trip to take care of something of the Tommy John variety.

2. Angel Pagan, with .130/.200/.217, and maybe most importantly, 0 SB. Emmanuel Burriss has the only SB thus far, and Pagan is batting worse than leadoff men of the past (2011) did. Bochy may give Pagan tomorrow to try and make it up to the fans, but my guess is if he doesn’t perform, Blanco gets his shot. As for those clamoring for Gary Brown, just stop, because it’ll get you nowhere.

3. Bruce Bochy — I know, this may seem like classic fan banter, but now it’s come to a point where we begin to question his word, which as a human being is worst possible thing. That stuff’s for politicians, not for managers and their respective fanbases. If Brandon Belt struggles all year, fine, you gave him his chance. If you say he’s your guy and you don’t start him, we’re going to have a problem. The fact that Belt also got benched twice in Wednesday’s game was also a pretty strong slap to the face.

What’s Next:

6 game homestand, with 3 against the Pirates, and then 3 against the Phillies. Vogey comes back for Sunday’s game, while Zito will hear his loudest applause when lineups get intro’d at home.

What I Expect:

The Giants to take 4 of 6. I don’t care how they do it, but that’s the least I expect. This leaves room for Timmy to continue to struggle, and Vogey to get his bearings. You never know though what’ll happen because after all, it’s baseball.

Wednesday Recap: All Sorts of Stupid #SFGiants

For anyone tonight that thought, “Hey, I’ll give this baseball thing a try. I hear the guy with the hair is pitching and that should be fun,” from the bottom of my heart I apologize. What you witnessed was not Major League Baseball, but something you tune in to ESPN in the summer to watch called “Little League Baseball.” Actually, do Little Leaguers, I apologize if that offended you. The so-called ace of the staff didn’t last three innings, and essentially was throwing crap to the plate hoping something would stick. Think I’m being harsh? How about a pitch plot from Brooks Baseball:

See all those green blocks way outside the box? Yea, not good. Lots of light blue well within the border of that box, too. He didn’t even “lose” the game tonight. Courtesy of Baggs, you could argue Emmanuel Burriss did. You want to know who put the game out of reach? That would be Senor Soul Patch, Jeremy Affeldt. Here’s his scatter plot:

May not look as bad compared to Timmy’s until you see all those pitches up in the zone that went in play for some sort of added baserunner. The one way on the inside, wuddyagonnado. The rest of them, out over the plate, especially the 4 up, man, that’s a lot of mistakes.

Oh, and Brandon Belt got benched essentially twice tonight: once (as mentioned in my pre-game rant) before the game, and another time after he went 0-for-2 only to give it up to Brett Pill, who had a brain-fart on how to be involved in a pickle while on defense.

Buster Posey also had a case of the shingles, is “definitely” supposed to play tomorrow, and PH tonight. I don’t know, man. I just do not know.

I’m not sure what to think about this game, only that the standings show we’re 1-4, but our offense is doing more than its part. It’s time for the pitchers to get out of Spring Training form and get into regular season form. You know what team they’re acting like? They’re acting like the traditional Colorado Rockies: offense, but no pitching.

Quick, Miscellaneous Tuesday Thoughts

Every now and then I’ll like to post some Giants stuff on here, just ’cause. I love the platform that FanSided gives me, but it will never replace the feeling of the site I started with, here at what was named the “Splash Hit Blog.”  Just thought I’d give some quick bits on the different things that have happened recently and offer up a divisional prediction.

Matt Cain

5 additional years of the “horse” of the staff, and a variety of thoughts on Cain’s contract have been offered up by the public. Unfortunately, I have not been able to listen to any of the national media, so I don’t know what they’ve said, only the less credentialed members of the public mostly. Seems to me most people approve while others feel that money would have been better spent elsewhere.

Everyone has their right to their opinion, but even if this contract made Matty Cain the richest RHP with a contract in MLB history, he was going to get that money somewhere, and I told my fiance that I would most want it to be from the Giants, not from the Doyers, who my MLB The Show 2010 game keeps sending him to. I don’t know if people would rather have Timmy or Matty, but I’d rather have him, and if Tim’s elbow comes back to bite harder later, you can bet it will become a case of “one or the other,” with the decision already made with this signing.

Ubaldo Jimenez

5 game suspension that he’s currently appealing for hitting former Long Beach State Dirtbag Troy Tulowitzki. Nobody messes with Tulo. My emotions say Ubaldo meant to do it. I’m not giving my head a chance to offer its opinion.

Buster Posey 

He’s back, mother fathers.

Jamie Moyer 

I hope I’m still doing athletic things at age 49. He’s making a freakin’ MLB roster with the Rockies. Great for him. So cool. I’ve said too before that I’d like to see him pitch in his age 50 season, just cuz.

NL West Prediction

D-backs, Giants, Rockies, Dodgers, Padres. AZ and SF get playoff spots. I think SF’s offense will be better this year, but I think AZ is starting something pretty cool for its franchise and fanbase, and the Giants will still have their days of being offensively inept to an offensive degree.

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