December 2012

Things I’d Rather Buy Instead of an $80 Emmanuel Burriss Mini-Helmet

So I was just wandering around Valley Fair when I went into the Giants Dugout Store and was enjoying all the stuff they didn’t have on sale until I managed to find the gold mine of “Why is this being sold?” in an Emmanuel Burriss Mini-Helmet. It got me thinking: What things would I rather have than that? So I investigated to find some materials I’d rather have that cost the same or less than the mini-helmet.

Would this be less awkward?

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Yes, you can have a twitter shirt!

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Something that looks like a consolation prize for your favorite 2012 Triple Crown winner

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A clock that will likely break down soon after you get it!

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Don’t use this cup when in an altered state

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A mostly blue program from the World Series? Clearly East Coast Bias!

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Wear this to Arizona, St. Louis, or Cincinnati games!

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A bobblehead with a real live face of Marco Scutaro!

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For anyone that finished 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the World Series

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And finally, something that will serve better as a trash can than the mini-helmet:

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Keeping Up with the HOF: Basics Part 1 of 1

Around this time of year, hall of fame ballots are coming out, players are being debated about, and people are spitting out numbers left and right mostly over the players they have become more passionate about. Sure, you’ll run into the fan that can give you the goods on first-ballot names that won’t even meet the required count to stay on the ballot, but don’t worry about that if you don’t wanna. This is a gateway to two resources that will make you a more educated fan, whether you want to debate that obnoxious baseball fan at the next holiday gathering, or you’re just curious as to how the numbers measure up and who may be on their way in.

  • Jay Jaffe’s JAWS calculations and all the other metrics you grew up loving that are sortable! (I have it linked to catchers, but you can change it to other positions!) Hate WAR but love doubles? You can sort by the doobuls. Curious about how ERA+ measures up your favorite old-time pitcher? Knock yourself out. Don’t know what stats are what? Putting your cursor over the sortable stat column will get a balloon with text inside giving you an introduction to the stat. 
  • LeoKitty’s spreadsheet with every ballot sent in thus far recorded for you on GoogleDocs. This will give you some insight as to whom the people have been voting for and players they have not. There are plenty of intriguing names that can be voted for at the moment, so this will certainly be interesting going forward.

If you can get a hold of these two resources — and I admittedly have not, because there are so many players to look through — you will get to be the new baseball junkie in the crowd! You’ll love it! Promise!

Hooray, Baseball Stuff to Read

I can’t believe people come to this site when I don’t post stuff. Awfully nice of the good people of the world, although I’m not sure I want to know how some people get to my site, because some people are just looking for some odd things ([player name] shirtless pic, etc.).



If you’ve been taking part in the reading of my blog from early on, through site visits let me show you how far we’ve come:

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January of this year was very much my first “Big Break” with the Chronicling of the SaberBoy movement, but after that, people slowly spread my work out there, and I certainly owe a big thanks to everyone behind the keyboards that were intentionally or unintentionally helping my cause. Having 13,000 views in a 12 month period for someone really in his first year of blogging in my opinion for someone with really no connections inside the game was fantastic, though the success the Giants had was undoubtedly a large part of the growth that came with the growth in viewership. Alright, enough about me.

Today happened to be “hey, let’s release good stuff” day, so let’s get that to you:

Sam Miller uses FOX’s scouting reports to help his definitely real-life baseball team

T.J. Quinn from ESPN doesn’t mail in his ballot, and for what I believe to be good reason

Ken Rosenthal discusses his ballot, and while you may not agree with all of it, at least he shares his rationale

And in a side note, Takashi Saito will be with the Rakuten Eagles in Japan

What “The Third Team” Did

For anyone that followed Henry Schulman’s advice on Twitter to take in “The Third Team” on MLB Network, you got to take a look at the World Series from the perspective of the umpires. To the casual sports fan, I’m not sure how much this interests them, but I should hope this interests avid baseball fans — anytime you get an exclusive look and listen to the game, you become that much more knowledgable about what goes on. Besides the obvious of benefit of getting to relive the 2012 World Series, I believe there was only one thing the program did, and it was an important one thing: the humanization of the game.

Doesn’t matter the sport, any big fan of any franchise can become so engulfed in the activities that we forget we are taking part in games with human beings that actually live their own lives when their time on stage as our entertainment has finished. I am a holder of the belief that it is important to be reminded that this game involves people, and not robots (much as some might fight for the “robot-umps”), and just as a lot of the players are trying their best to get the job done for the team, so are the umpires of the game. It’s easy to forget, but when it’s remembered, for me, it brings about a greater sense of appreciation and admiration for the game. If you’re asking specifically how this does it for me, I direct you to the broadcasted conversations of the umpires with the managers, in Game 2 when Dan Iassogna makes the call at the plate and when Detroit Manager Jim Leyland comes out for an explanation and you hear something like:

“Hey, Jimmy, [Posey] got him right at that mark.”

“There’s no way he got him there”

“Yes, he did, Jimmy. He got him right there.”

Or even in a double switch with Bruce Bochy.

“So, Casilla’s out, Arias is in, batting 9th…. and, Romo’s in batting 3rd.”

“Yup, Romo throws nothing but strikes” –Boch

They share a laugh, the game moves on, and you see the locker room interactions and see that they realize there is a lot of pressure on them to be mistake-free, and overall in this World Series, they did pretty well. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the hour-long program, I recommend it, especially if you miss 2012 WS highlights, this program includes those as well.

Stop Hitting Yourself






From Baseball Prospectus’ Mets Top Ten Prospects:

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Just can’t help it. And now my face is all bruised up. I’ll just blame my cats again.

Santiago Casilla and #SFGiants Reach a 3-Year Deal

Just as the title says, the Giants have locked down Santiago Casilla (formerly Jairo Garcia) for three years, two of those years being his first two years of free agency, pending a physical. There is a vesting fourth year option. After two years of sub-2 ERA and sub-3.20 FIP, Casilla regressed to a 2.84/4.14 ERA/FIP line in 2012. Casilla has been an option in the societally important closer role, especially in 2012 when Brian Wilson went down. Would not be surprised if the Giants want a back-up option to Sergio Romo‘s potential for injury and want someone they can continue to use in high leverage situations.

Meanwhile, this is the greatest article on Santiago Casilla ever from McCovey Chronicles.

Henry Schulman was hearing, and Ken Rosenthal is reporting the deal is for $15MM, and there is a vesting option on the fourth year. If Casilla reaches certain thresholds, the option will be activated, but if he doesn’t, the fourth year becomes a club option. The salary by year:

2013: $4.5MM

2014: $4.5MM

2015: $5MM

2016: $1MM buyout

As of right now, I have the Giants payroll for 2013 at $108,199,999.66.

Vogelsong Deal a Steal

So, hey, R.A. Dickey just signed a 2 year, $25MM extension to pitch for the Toronto Blue Jays thru 2015, and they’re even more of a big contender in the AL East now. This off-season has seen its fair share of money being thrown around, and if you’re a MLB pitcher that can start games, you’re going to get paid. Ryan Vogelsong got his share of money after the 2011 offseason in the form of a 2 year, $8MM contract with a third year option for $6.5MM. As of right now, you’d guess the Giants will pick that up, but that’s for the next offseason. Vogey’s contract amounts to $14.5MM over three years when it’s all said and done, and the man has already put up 4.8 fWAR in two seasons (2.2 in ’11, 2.6 in ’12) since making his comeback tour with San Francisco. Here’s a look at some other deals this offseason that gave out some pretty good coin not named Ryan Vogelsong, along with the fWAR they’ve put up:

  • Joe Blanton, Angels: 2 years, $15MM (4.8 fWAR — 2.0, 1.8, 2.4 — in last three full seasons)
  • Jorge de la Rosa, Rockies: 1 year, $13MM (hasn’t had a full season since 2009)
  • Ervin Santana, Angels: 1 year, $13MM (4.2 fWAR — 2.2, 2.9, -0.9 in last three seasons)
  • Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners: 2 years, $14MM (only one MLB season to judge thus far)

And these were just the starters. If you put the value at about $5MM per Win Above Replacement, you expect Vogelsong to get $13MM to even repeat what he did in 2012 per fWAR. He barely gets over that in his overall contract if the option’s picked up. Credit Brian Sabean and his people for locking down Vogelsong when they had the chance, because a Vogelsong deal this offseason would have certainly been more expensive (maybe a little higher than what Joe Blanton got), and the extra cap space in the self-imposed salary cap of about $140MM can be put towards targeting some bullpen arms and OF depth.

A Yesterday/Today Post: Two Major Blocks Off the FA Market

I had this article sitting on ice yesterday. Was just waiting for a certain pitcher to get off the market, but didn’t happen until this morning.

Announced around noon PST yesterday, news out of Anaheim (not Los Angeles) shocked just about everyone when they signed Josh Hamilton to a 5/$125MM deal and right now you can see him slotted in between Albert Pujols and Kendrys Morales here. We’ve heard Torii Hunter may be a little unhappy with that organization, and while the Angels may have gone two more years further than anyone else for Josh, there’s no doubt that in 2013 at least their lineup is pretty formidable. Now they just need to strengthen that starting rotation. My feelings about the contract are that this could be good for about two to three years, and then a whole lotta blah. Good for the Angels for going for it, though. This is also great for non-LA/OC area fans because now everyone will be rooting against any team with the name “Los Angeles” in them, and that’s never a bad thing, although this probably makes both LA/OC teams their respective division favorites on paper. Word has also been spreading that the Angels will face the Reds and Rangers first, two of Hamilton’s former teams.

Underrated Free Agent Anibal Sanchez is finally off the market, after the Detroit Tigers matched the Cubs’ offer in years and then added a few more dollars to give him a 5/$80MM contract. Sanchez and his agent gave the Tigers one last shot to match the 5-year deal from the Cubs, as Bob Nightengale reportes that Detroit initially offered him a team friendly 4/$48MM deal, and then raised it to an about market value deal that was reached by both sides. In the end, it appears Anibal Sanchez really wanted to be with an organization that had the image of being in the contenders role for more of the five years in his deal, and I know a lot of people see a lot of logic in that, myself included. Writing yesterday about the 5/$77MM the Cubs offered, I said that the Cubs should get most of the value of Anibal from that deal, and so the same goes with a 5/$80 with the Tigers. In the playoffs, Anibal Sanchez was the #3 pitcher behind Doug Fister and Max Scherzer.

As for major free agents still left? We’re still waiting on Michael Bourn to find a home, and teams that could employ him are looking for cheaper options, like that of Peter Bourjos and Dexter Fowler.

@OldHossRadbourn and the #Hallof100

I’m not a follower, I don’t know who runs the account, but the man is admired on Twitter, even if we have no idea if what he’s tweeting is at all close to what he would say were he still alive. Still, Old Hoss Radbourn‘s commentary of ESPN’s list of their Top 100 players of all time, which they encouraged social media discussion using the “#Hallof100” movement. While Hoss may not have used the hashtag, his words of critique/praise have been spread ’round with many retweets and favorite-ing.

corporate whore

Without further ado, here is each of the artist’s reviews of the 100 players mentioned, with some of his extra commentary at the end, which I found enjoyable.


Phil Niekro


Al Simmons


Joe Cronin


Ron Santo


Tim Raines


Sammy Sosa


Jim Thome


Tom Glavine


Roy Halladay


Paul Waner


Craig Biggio


Jim Palmer


Cap Anson


Frankie Frisch


Gary Carter


Manny Ramirez


Willie Stargell


Mark McGwire


Kid Nichols


Duke Snider


Charlie Gehringer


Robin Roberts


Mike Piazza


Paul Molitor


Carlton Fisk


John Smoltz


Barry Larkin


Roberto Alomar


Bert Blyleven


Ivan Rodriguez


Juan Marichal


Frank Thomas


Jeff Bagwell


Mariano Rivera


Gaylord Perry


Eddie Murray


Harmon Killebrew


Hank Greenberg


Fergie Jenkins


Tony Gwynn


Ozzie Smith


Bob Feller


Robin Yount


Willie McCovey


Yogi Berra


Reggie Jackson


Wade Boggs


Rod Carew


Jackie Robinson


Ernie Banks


Pete Alexander


Chipper Jones


Nap Lajoie


Lefty Grove


Al Kaline


Warren Spahn


Sandy Koufax


Brooks Robinson


Eddie Collins


Pedro Martinez


Carl Yastrzemski


Eddie Mathews


Derek Jeter


Pete Rose


Mel Ott


Nolan Ryan

35 horse35

Ken Griffey Jr.


Roberto Clemente


Bob Gibson


Cal Ripken Jr.


George Brett


Christy Mathewson


Jimmie Foxx


Johnny Bench


Steve Carlton


Tris Speaker


Tom Seaver


Randy Johnson


Frank Robinson

Joe DiMaggio


Joe Morgan


Albert Pujols


Alex Rodriguez


Cy Young

17 117 217 317 4

Mike Schmidt


Rogers Hornsby


Rickey Henderson


Greg Maddux


Walter Johnson


Lou Gehrig


Honus Wagner


Mickey Mantle


Stan Musial


Roger Clemens


Ty Cobb


Hank Aaron


Ted Williams


Barry Bonds


Willie Mays


Babe Ruth


Any list that doesn’t have Bonds or Mays at the top is peculiar to me. I love the Babe, and he was an amazing athlete, but it was a different time, with a different level of talent.

For those wondering where Hoss ranked and what he thought about it:

Hoss 160th place

Hoss 160th place 2

Hoss 160th place 3

Hoss 160th place 4

Can’t say I disagree with #752.

This post was more to document a cultural happening (albeit a small one) that was meant to spark dialogue amongst the public, and educate many like myself on some of baseball’s greatest to ever sink their spikes into the diamond. Nice work, Hoss, or whoever you are, whether you’re Keith Law, Jonah Keri, I don’t care. They should’ve had you ranked higher.

Everybody’s Favorite Gentleman is Coming Back

CSN’s Andrew Baggarly with the breaking news to start off your Thursday:

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The stories of Andres Torres are well known by now, of him being an incredibly hard working, and just as sweet of a man, so you can understand why everyone is pulling for him. After a magical .358 wOBA, 6.9 fWAR season in 2010, Torres couldn’t repeat the magic, going .292, .297 and 2.2, 1.7 in wOBA and fWAR in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Andres is a speed guy and will be on the bench possibly platooning with Gregor Blanco, or being a defensive replacement, getting his pinch hitting opportunities as the season goes on. He was traded in the 2011-2012 offseason with Ramon Ramirez for current CF Angel Pagan and cash considerations, so in the end, the Giants traded one year of Ramon Ramirez for Angel Pagan, cash, and a one year loan of Andres Torres. Nice.

Update: He will make $2MM this year and has signed a Major League deal, per Baggs. 

I’m guessing this for sure will put Francisco Peguero back in Triple-A Fresno, while the Giants could continue to search for a RHH bat to come off the bench to maybe find a better option than the lighter hitting Torres. There have been whispers of Brandon Belt playing LF when Buster Posey plays 1B, so if that were true, the Giants would be done shopping for their MLB OF. 

As for wondering how you should feel about this move? As for me, I am happy, from both a baseball, and personal level.