Archive for the ‘ Baseball ’ Category

After Saturday Goes the Way We Expected, Cain and #SFGiants Go For Sweep Against Greinke and #Dodgers

Saturday’s showcasing of Madison Bumgarner throwing double-digit K’s against Paul Maholm and the Dodgers, I was relieved that the Giants took care of a game they should have had. Maholm is a back-end guy that hitters can take advantage of, while your chances are normally fewer against a starter like Bumgarner. While the Giants bullpen isn’t perfect, they’re not an awful bunch, especially when you get into the higher leverage situations. Still, having a 7-1 lead when Bumgarner left and winning 7-2 is right along the lines of what I expect to see when the Giants throw out one of their top four guys and the opposition sends out someone that is not of the front-line variety. Tonight’s game will not fit that description, as Matt Cain and Zack Greinke are both solid #2 guys in a top-heavy rotation, and while I hope the Giants sweep and win 18-0, seeing a low-scoring one-run game should be the expectations of near everybody.

The Starters — A recap of their first games

Zack Greinke and Matt Cain both went five innings in their first starts, not really reaching the distance fans know they are capable of. Both saw their pitch counts get into the nineties at the close of the fifth inning and each walked two batters. Cain saw seven hits get allowed, but no home runs, while Greinke fell victim to only two hits, one of which suffered the wrath of the hot start by Seth Smith. Both are pitching on four days of rest.

The Bullpen — Who’s Probably Out

Santiago Casilla threw thirty-seven pitches for the Giants in five outs of relief, so I’d say he’s to be used in emergency situations only. For the Dodgers, Jose Dominguez has been used in two straight games, so I’d expect him to be in the same boat as Casilla. Jamey Wright has also pitched in two straight, but only needed two pitches to do his work on Saturday, though I’d imagine Don Mattingly would like to avoid using Wright tonight. Paco Rodriguez leads the league in appearances at five, and it’s not difficult to remember that Paco got tired at the end of 2013, possibly due to overuse. The Dodgers have played seven games so far, and I’d hope Paco is getting a day off.

The Lineups

For the sweep-minded Giants:

Thoughts on the lineup: A good lineup, I just might like Buster up in the 3-spot a little better. No Giants player has more than ten plate appearances against Greinke, so the players are still getting used to him, relatively speaking. That, as opposed to some of the Dodgers and Matt Cain, who’s been pitching in the NL West since 2005.  For the close-to-.500 Dodgers:

Thoughts on the lineup: Andre Ethier has a .441/.467/.574 career line against Matt Cain and Adrian Gonzalez has four career HR off of Cainer, so it’s no surprise that they are in the so-called “heart” of the lineup, but I don’t think I agree with him being this far down. I think you can take Dee Gordon and put him behind Juan Uribe and get better results.

The Prediction

The Giants have won five straight at Dodger Stadium dating back to September 13th of last season, and have won seven of their last eight meetings with LA. I think they continue to deliver the pain, winning tonight against Greinke with most of the damage coming against and often-used bullpen in a 4-2 victory on national television.

One Time Through the #SFGiants Rotation: Velo, WalKs, and the 7th Inning

Five games in and the Giants are 4-1. In most of the recent years before 2014, you would imagine that the .800 winning percentage is due to the lights out pitching featuring Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, and Madison Bumgarner. Ryan Vogelsong was a late bloomer, sure, but my pessimism on him these days sees the 4.0 IP, 2 HRA, 7 H, 4 ER as closer to what we’ll see from him than in his VogelStrong years. I hope I’m wrong, I really do. I hope he gives Edwin Escobar more time to develop and doesn’t even let Yusmeiro Petit or David Huff even think about sniffing a spot start. The other current starters have given the fans this, all in their starts against the Arizona Diamondbacks:

ERA GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WP BF WHIP H/9
Tim Hudson 0.00 1 7.2 3 0 0 0 0 7 1 27 0.391 3.5
Tim Lincecum 6.00 1 6.0 8 4 4 2 0 7 0 25 1.333 12.0
Matt Cain 3.60 1 5.0 7 3 2 0 2 2 0 23 1.800 12.6
Madison Bumgarner* 0.00 1 4.0 6 4 0 0 2 3 0 21 2.000 13.5
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/4/2014.

Got to be careful how much you’re reacting to everything. Tim Hudson‘s performance is what we know each of those four listed are capable of, and yet we enter Saturday’s game with the Dodgers with a bullpen that has definitely gotten its exercise, having to eat up 17.1 innings in the five games of play. An average of a little over 3.1 IP a game of work. Something to watch for the next time through the rotation:

Velocity: Across the board, the velocity is down for the four starters in the box score. An incredibly small sample size to be sure, though if this continues, we’ll want to see how the command is — these pitchers still have enough pitches to be effective against the opposition, be they Dodgers or Twins.

Timmy walKing the walK: Lincecum isn’t going to face Paul Goldschmidt in every start (he will in his next one, though!), so he may not allow a homer every time he goes out, but throwing up a “0″ in the walk column is always a welcome sight. The other Tim also put up zero walks, and I imagine we’ll be seeing a low walk total out of him. The strikeout count was a little higher than usual, though. Of course, I would say that’s likely that won’t continue at that rate.

Completing six innings or pitching into the 7th inning: The level of competition is such that I believe getting through six innings gives your bullpen a chance at work and at rest across the days, especially with a twelve-man pitching staff. Naturally, you want your starters to throw complete game shutouts in less than 100 pitches, but let’s be realistic. Here’s how many times the starters didn’t complete six innings of work in their starts in 2013:

Bumgarner — 6/31 (19.4% of starts)

Cain — 6/30 (20%)

Lincecum — 12/32 (37.5%)

Hudson — 6/21 (28.6%)

Vogelsong — 10/19 (52.6%)

Keep in mind some of this may not have been under the starter’s control and may have been up to the manager to lift the starter for a pinch hitter, so the percentages aren’t truly representative of how long the starter’s could go in a game. How close can Bumgarner and Cain get to copying those numbers and can Hudson, Lincecum, and Vogelsong improve on theirs?

——

So now the starters will get their chance at round two against both the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks (again) and we shall see what kind of learning they will apply to their second time around. Easy to be optimistic about Hudson, and easiest to be pessimistic about Vogelsong because of his age, but just like Michael Morse in Left Field, we need to give all their fair shake before we bail on them or declare them King.

Breaking Down the 2014 #SFGiants Schedule

The 2014 season is upon us (again), with the undefeated LA Dodgers at 2-0 going up against the also undefeated 0-0 San Diego Padres at PetCo Park tonight on ESPN. The San Francisco Giants don’t get going until Monday night at Chase Field. Spring Training broadcasts have given Giants fans some warning as to what they should expect when the tougher times roll around. Unfortunately, the Giants don’t have three series with the Astros, and none of the NL West teams look so awful that you can ask your Minor Leaguers to just take them out for you. I’ll divide the schedule into parts to give you an idea of what’s happening when.

March 31st-April 30th: Hello, 2014 NL West, Nice to Meet You

4 @ Arizona

3 @ LA Dodgers

Day Off

3 vs. Arizona

3 vs. Colorado

Day Off

3 vs. LA Dodgers

3 @ San Diego

3 @ Colorado

Day Off

3 vs. Cleveland

3 vs. San Diego

The first month of baseball features two series against every NL West team, and one against the play-in team from Cleveland. The Giants play the Dodgers nineteen times in 2014, and will get ten of those games done with by May 12th. My wife and I may be enrolled in marriage counseling by then.

May 1st-May 19th: The 2013 Playoff Team Gauntlet… and the Marlins

Day Off

3 @ Atlanta

3 @ Pittsburgh

4 @ LA Dodgers

3 vs. Atlanta

4 vs. Miami

Day Off

The Braves twice, Pirates, then Dodgers, and all but three of those games on a ten game road trip. This will be a seventeen day stretch in between days off, and this promises to be a trying time of baseball. I think if the Giants went a game above .500 against the three 2013 playoff teams, I’d be happy with that. Miami will probably sweep the Giants because baseball.

May 20th-June 19th: Stock up on Wins

3 @ Colorado

3 vs. Minnesota

3 vs. Cubs

4 @ St. Louis

Day Off

3 @ Cincinnati

3 vs. NY Mets

4 vs. Washington

3 vs. Colorado

Day Off

2 @ White Sox

Day Off

Rockies twice, Cubbies, Mets, White Sox make up for seventeen games here, and this is where you’ve got to get those wins because when you’re going up against St. Louis, Cincy, and Washington, losing each of those series wouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody. They are good teams.

June 20th-July 13th: West Coast Best Coast

3 @ Arizona

3 vs. San Diego

4 vs. Cincinnati

3 vs. St. Louis

3 @ San Diego

2 @ Oakland

2 vs. Oakland

3 vs. Arizona

During this stretch of time, the Giants never go further East than Phoenix, which is a nice pace for any team that resides in the Pacific Time Zone. Hopefully the nice weather and familiar confines will provide a nice stretch of quality baseball for the Giants before most of them rest during the All Star Break.

All Star Break

July 18th-September 4th: All over the place and a sixteen-game stretch

3 @ Miami

4 @ Philadelphia

3 vs. LA Dodgers

3 vs. Pittsburgh

Day Off

4 @ NY Mets

3 @ Milwaukee

3 @ Kansas City

Day Off

2 vs. White Sox

Day Off

3 vs. Philadelphia

Day Off

3 @ Cubs

3 @ Washington

4 vs. Colorado

3 vs. Milwaukee

3 @ Colorado

Day Off

I didn’t know how to break this one up (I’m sure you could tell), but this is another part of the schedule where the Giants will have a chance to play over-.500 ball against teams like the Marlins, Brewers, ChiSox, Rockies, Mets, Phillies, and the Cubs. Teams like the Dodgers, Royals, Nationals, and Pirates could make things tense and for make for possible Sunday Night Baseball material.

September 5th-September 28th: The Tigers and the NL West

3 @ Detroit

Day Off

3 vs. Arizona

3 vs. LA Dodgers

3 @ Arizona

Day Off

3 @ San Diego

3 @ LA Dodgers

4 vs. San Diego

All I’m looking forward to is the weekend of 2012 World Series highlights during the Tigers series and then the last ten games when the Giants are fighting for a wild card spot should be just spectacular. Unless everybody gets injured during the season then whatever, go for that unprotected draft pick! I wrote on Saturday that I expected the Giants to be an 86-win team. I don’t feel that’s pessimistic, but a little optimistic, and very achievable for this group. Hopefully, this post gave you a better idea of what the 2014 season looks like, and are now 100% ready for the season to begin on Monday night if you weren’t ready already.

Mike Trout and the More Than $140MM Gamble

When we go to Las Vegas, one of the games we always look for is the Deal or No Deal interactive game. Not the slot machine, but the one where you have to spin the wheel and land on the briefcase in order to play the actual Deal or No Deal game. Once you start playing and you make your arrangement with the banker for a deal, at the end you have the chance to play Double or Nothing. You don’t have to play it, you can just take your guaranteed money and get the heck out of there despite the prospect of being that much richer. Mike Trout took his guaranteed money and got the heck out of there. While the metaphor to the game suggests Mike Trout could have got “nothing,” I know that’s not true at all, I just wanted to talk about the Deal or No Deal game. Trout could have earned in the neighborhood of $40-$60 million through arbitration, and after that is now anybody’s guess. If you’re paying the healthy Mike Trout of now to a free agent contract, maybe you go with a ten-year, $350 million deal and become a free agent at 36. Instead, Mike Trout signs a six-year extension worth $144.5 million and will become a free agent at 29.

I like Rosenthal’s point about the last three years of Trout’s contract, and while it’s nowhere near close to paying the $5-6 million per Wins Above Replacement might deserve in this current market, it sure as heck is a pretty darn good payday. If you went by the $ per WAR method, Trout’s market value would be in the $50-60MM a year range, which is stupid money, but it’s an idea of how good he’s been.

That Mike Trout will become a Free Agent at 29 instead of 26 did make some on social media upset Friday afternoon and evening, noting how big of a payday Trout could have missed (double the guaranteed money, $200MM more guaranteed money). While I agree he probably missed a PowerBall-sized payday, anybody that’s been paying attention to contract signings know that even if you’re in your thirties, teams will have no problem signing you to an irresponsibly large deal. Isn’t that right, Miguel Cabrera? Now, it’s not Miguel Cabrera’s fault the Detroit Tigers wanted to throw that money at him. Someone offers you that kind of guaranteed money to play baseball going into your age 31 season, you take it. With Mike Trout, the decision was a little more difficult at age 22. Even if Trout plays as 80% of the player he is now for the next six years, you don’t think the market will pony up a ten-year deal? Front offices don’t judge players by runs, runs batted in, and probably have better metrics than batting average to use, so they’ll take a look at the whole package. Hopefully, we’re beginning to be witnesses to one of the Top 15 MLB position player careers ever, and if that’s the player Trout becomes, he’s going to deserve a big ton of money at age 29.

I’d be worried for Trout if baseball were on the decline, but as it catches up to American Football in revenues, I think as long as Mike Trout keeps playing baseball at a Hall of Fame level, he’s getting his now and will continue to cash in later. What would have been interesting in addition to the contract Trout would have received at 26 would have been the contract he would have also received in his late-30′s. That’s probably a topic for the off-season when news slows way down, or in thirteen years when I’m in my forties. Oh my gosh, I’m going to be in my forties in thirteen years.

Thoughts on the MLBAM Tracking System to be Showcased in Some MLB Games in 2014, Every Game in 2015

On Saturday morning, news was being released that there was going to be a new tracking system that would be in place at Miller Park in Milwaukee, and Target Field in Minnesota. Citi Field in New York actually already has this system there and they were being used as the first MLB testing grounds for this tracking system that will, excuse the cliche, change the way you watch baseball. I don’t believe there’s any exaggeration on my part, because watch this video and you’ll see what I mean:

See what I mean? So, you have the play that happens first, then we get to the analytics. For a reminder on what they featured, here are some captured screenshots from the video:

Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 4.38.30 PM

First, we have the metrics from Justin Turner‘s hit, mentioning batted ball speed, launch angle, distance the ball goes, and the baseball’s time in the air. Right now, we only see data for Turner so at the moment, less experienced baseball fans like myself don’t have a good idea for what that means in relation to other players.

Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 4.38.51 PM

Here, we get to see how much ground Reed Johnson and Jason Heyward have to cover in order to get to the ball in play, if they took the most direct route to the ball. That in itself is useful and gives us context for what needed to be done since even people in early grade school can get an idea for how long ~81-83 feet is. We also get their first step, and then everybody starts hating on Reed Johnson because he reacts .03 seconds slower than Jason Heyward, he’s slower, and his acceleration isn’t as good. The acceleration stat would take some time to contextualize, like some of the stats from Turner’s hit in the first screenshot would.

Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 4.39.13 PM

The direct path versus the actual path and the route efficiency will give fans a great idea for how a defender did in getting to, and not getting to a ball hit in their direction. I’m definitely curious to see how this tool will be used when we get to see the likes of Angel Pagan and Gregor Blanco rated, Gary Brown if he ever makes it.

Right now, it feels like a lot of information to digest even in a highlight, and a commenter from the Deadspin article on the matter said that there will be up to seven terabytes of data per game. Keep in mind that from that highlight, they didn’t even take a look at the metrics for what pitcher Craig Kimbrel did in that sequence. We see the other ways they can be used in these embedded tweets from the Saber-friend, Brian Kenny.

Also included a baserunning shot, which will also provide plenty of talking points for fans when that info becomes available. Some comments from the anti-data-all-over-my-screen crowd include phrases such as:

  • Why do I need to see all this on my screen? I know what’s going on anyway.
  • I don’t care if their route efficiency is x% vs. y%
  • Can’t you just enjoy a baseball game?

To the first question, I believe that this information provides a greater depth of information to understanding the game. This is a game, yes, but in wanting to understand so much about Player A vs. Player B, you want the most information you can get your hands on to be as accurate as possible in your analysis. Granted, this is a lot of data to take in right now, I wonder if it gets saturated a bit, or even if newer measurements are put in and replace other ones. Or even if they do the replay of the play first and then go to the numbers to break down the play, I think that would be a better procedure. It’s not like they don’t have time for it in a broadcast. (Bet they have time for it in a Yankees-Red Sox game, right, Joe West? *wink*)

To the second, the original comment in question said they didn’t care because the play was made. As a response, the author pointed out that the play doesn’t always get made. While you may not care if Pagan’s route efficiency is 93% all of the time and Blanco’s is 94% all of the time, we could actually say in confidence in the end, “Gregor Blanco has been more efficient in his routes than Pagan so far, but just barely!” This is still about being accurate in your analysis.

To the last question, you set yourself up for a lot of fire from everybody that likes to analyze the game. Why would we put so much into a game we hate, or just be OK with? We love the game of baseball and we want to be as accurate as possible in our analysis of what has happened while giving way to better hypothesize what could happen later.

All baseball parks are said to have the technology in 2015, so if your team stops by one of Miller Park, Target Field, or Citi Field in 2014, maybe you’ll get to catch a glimpse of the numbers MLB Advanced Media is providing for you before you possibly see it 162 games a year in 2015. I believe that this is great for the sport and help advance the quality of discussion and debate we have as fans of the game of baseball. It may be a little heavy in its initial rollout, but this tool has some great potential.

Robinson Cano Stays Out of the National League, Could Be Problem Against #SFGiants in 2017 World Series

Robinson Cano and his five consecutive 25-HR seasons are on its way to Safeco Field in Seattle, where he will have zero competition for the title of Best Offensive Player on the Seattle Mariners, unless the Mariners get Carlos Beltran or Shin-Soo Choo, then Cano will have some competition. There are probably quite a few old-fashioned (and new-fashioned) fans that might struggle with the idea that Matt Carpenter was worth more than Robinson Cano in 2013, but Carpenter had a season for the spreadsheets, as they say. Back to Cano, he’s getting ten years, which is ridiculous, but if there’s a team that can do something stupid right now, Seattle is one of those teams. Paying and getting Cano will be smart for probably the first three to six years, but then after that who knows. Can he Barry Bonds baseball once he hits that later stage in life? The Magic Eight Ball is telling me “IT’S NOT LIKELY,” but what does that thing know? I got married, so in your face, “Magic 8.”

Robinson Cano may not be the ALDS MVP (it’ll be a thing then, tru$t me) or the ALCS MVP when the Mariners make it to the World Series once all their pitchers plus Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, and David Price are pitching with their eyes closed against the upstart Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers (yea, still). However, all it takes is a short series for one person to make their mark on history. Ask Pablo Sandoval, Marco Scutaro, Cody Ross, or Edgar Renteria, you know they know. Here’s a preview from my 2017 World Series Preview — San Francisco Giants vs. Seattle Mariners: Everybody’s Cheering for Seattle.

Thanks, Dodgers, that was fun. Four games, and we thought you’d get at least two with Clayton Kershaw pitching Games 1 and 4 but no, you just got swept by Kyle Crick, Madison Bumgarner, and David DeJesus. That’s going to be a tough one to live down. Now the Giants have to face a team a little better on paper than them in pitching, and more impressively coming back from 3-1 down against Jarrod Parker and the Tigers. Pretty impressive, and Giants fans will remember how monstrosous the 2012 Champs were after they went down 3-1 against St. Louis. Remember how they used to be a thing? Poor #BFIB. The series even starts in Seattle, we all remember Robinson Cano’s grand slam in the All Star Game off of Craig Kimbrel, boy was that an impressive shot at Petco…

There’s your preview, because it’s still slightly believable, though totally October baseball, you know? Cano will still be good in 2017, and that’s going to be a problem even if the Mariners lineup still has Jesus Montero and Chone Figgins/totally Seattle Mariners player in it. This will be a series full of so many ups and downs, Giants fans will wonder if they should’ve signed Robinson Cano and ditched Marco Scutaro and forgotten about Joe Panik. Let this post be a reminder to you Giants fans in 2017: no, the Giants did the right thing in the offseason of 2013-2014. You’re going to see how bad the Mariners are in 2020, and it’s not going to look good. You’ll be glad Brian Sabean stayed out of it.

Apparently @Deadspin Bought a BBWAA Hall of Fame Vote. This Could Become a Problem. My Column:

Deadspin believes that the voting process for the Hall of Fame is ridiculous, so to try and “make a mockery… of the process” they set out to buy votes from BBWAA members, and they got one taker. They’re not sure what to do with that vote from here, nor will they announce whom sold them the vote until their vote has been cast and decided upon by Deadspin readers in some format. For those newer to the way things work in terms of which people get to vote and then some, Baseball Reference explains things pretty well:

Votes are cast annually by BBWAA members with 10 or more years of membership. Each qualified BBWAA member may select no more than 10 names from a pre-screened ballot of players who played in MLB for at least 10 seasons and had been retired for at least 5; players whose names are cast on at least 75% of the ballots are elected to the HoF, while players named on fewer than 5% of ballots are dropped from future ballots. In addition, if a player has been on the ballot 15 times without being elected, he is also dropped from future ballots.

Writers, once they get this privilege to vote, can retire, move on to another sport, and still vote for which players they think are fit for the Hall of Fame. It wouldn’t be to anyone’s surprise that an older vote may be comfortable in their ways of player analysis, or that a vote from a writer that has been detached from baseball due to retirement or covering another sport/subject would lose some touch with the changes that go on within baseball analysis. Last year there were 569 ballots casted, not including those that may have abstained or forgot to send in a ballot. These vote counts do include those men (women are generally just starting to get their HOF ballots so we know how they’re using their votes) that have decided they’re taking a stand against baseball for whatever reason — steroids, the game not being what it used to be, whatever their narrative is. You can see why baseball fans may be frustrated with all of this and why Deadspin has decided to try and take a stand. Deadspin will certainly not buy all the votes out there, but the precedent they’re setting is dangerous to what’s left of the reputation of the Hall of Fame.

What’s going to stop other companies, other news outlets, from buying a writer’s vote if they really wanted? It would probably take a lot of money, but there are quite a few companies out there that have stupid amounts of money and I’m sure they’ve spent their money on some stupid things before, and so that’s why I don’t think buying a Hall of Fame vote is out of the question for some institutions. Even if, hypothetically, you have 10% of the vote made up of sponsored votes, that’s 10% of writers selling out even though they gave so much of their life to covering baseball. Giving writers the right to vote and to watch them sell it off seems dirty. The same kind of dirty some people feel about steroids, about betting on baseball, about doctoring a baseball. Much as our opinions will differ on those latter topics, I believe Major League Baseball should take away any writer’s vote for life if it’s found they have sold it off. One and done. There’s enough bad analysis out there declaring what is Hall of Fame and what isn’t, I’d like to see anyone that’s willing to take someone else’s money to influence their vote have their ballot taken away.

Update: Apparently the Hall of Fame can decide on those kinds of consequences:

Maybe your opinion isn’t as strong as mine on this, but should there be consequences for a writer selling their vote? Make your voice heard in the comments below!

First-Half Promotions for #SFGiants Released, I Will Continue to Not Be the Cool Kid

A little over forty-eight hours ago on Thursday, the Giants did their annual press-release of their first-half promotions, all of which to hype you up to get that credit card ready for when single-game tickets go on sale on Friday the 29th. Like a lot of other years, I did not participate in many of the giveaways in 2013 due to my residence down in Southern California. Now being in a newer place further away from an airport, the likelihood of enjoying a bobblehead or magnetic calendar in 2014 has taken a bigger hit for me, which means there’s a better chance that you get to have some delight in some of these “here, just take my money” giveaways. Brisbee did a good categorization of the giveaways, and I was going to do a ranking, but instead I’ll provide commentary for each item in chronological order. The absence of gnomes brings me much satisfaction. An asterisk denotes the promotion is a special event and a separate category of tickets will have to be purchased. I believe the Giants are entertaining the idea of better accommodating season-ticket holders for these special events.

Wednesday, April 9th — Hunter Pence bobblehead

  • Just wondering which Pence pose is going to be captured forever… hoping for this one

Thursday, April 10th — Farewell to Candlestick Night featuring a replica of Candlestick Park

  • Wondering if the replica is going to be ice cold and will it come with a wind generator

Sunday, April 13th — Sports Sleeves for Kids 14 & Under

  • I want these even though I will never have a use for them

Friday, April 25th — Duane Kuiper bobblehead

  • Will it be skinny Duane Kuiper HR bobblehead or Winter League Doowanee Kuweepee bobblehead?

Saturday, April 26th — 1954 Replica World Series Ring

  • Because you need another one

Friday, May 16th — Orange Friday Tim Lincecum Jersey T-Shirt

  • How about a jersey next time?

Saturday, May 12th* — Filipino Heritage Night directly benefiting Typhoon Haiyan relief

  • Hope every team does something like this

Friday, May 16th* — Metallica Night with the band in attendance

  • I don’t know their music

Sunday, May 18th — Buster Posey Kids T-Shirt for Kids 14 & Under

  • I already have one so you spoiled kids can have your own

Monday, May 26th — Memorial Day Beach Towel

  • I never got my BEAT LA beach towel, so this brings back sad memories

Saturday, June 7th — Sergio Romo Super Hero Socks for Kids 14 & Under

  • Every adult is going to try and get this, let’s not kid ourselves

Saturday, June 7th* — Heroes and Comic Night with Stan Lee in attendance

  • Hopefully Damon Bruce will show up to this one to talk men and super heroes

Sunday, June 8th* — Hello Kitty bobblehead

  • Celebrating 40 years of making you buy stuff

Friday, June 13th — Fireworks Night

  • Pew pew

Saturday, June 14th — Madison Bumgarner Camo Cap

  • Where every Giants fan will speak in a Southern drawl so awful they’ll sound like they’re trying to nail an Australian accent

Sunday, June 15th — Giants Father’s Day Necktie

  • Another item on eBay I never won, so this also brings back memories.

Saturday, June 28th — Brandon Belt or Brandon Crawford bobblehead

  • Featuring shoulders that slump or real comb-a-ble hair

Sunday, June 29th — Giants Growth Chart Banner featuring Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford

  • When I think of Crawford I don’t think to myself that he’s three inches shorter than Belt, yet he is

Sunday, June 29th* — Pixar Day at the Park

  • One of the few games my mom will try to go to

Friday, August 15th* – Filipino Heritage Night II directly benefiting Typhoon Haiyan relief

Fans that want another Buster Posey, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, or Angel Pagan bobblehead, there’s always the second half or 2014 for the Giants to take your money. I wonder if we’ve seen the end of Pablo Sandoval giveaways and said giveaway blowing a bubble. It is the only thing he is known for, after all. Really though, thank goodness the gnomes are gone. I hope that trend’s done with.

Where, Why, and Who’s Paying: The Braves will be moving 15 miles Northwest in 2017

Who says nothing happens at the GM and owners meetings? The East Coast — because let’s face it, the West Coast is sleeping in on their day off — woke up to news that the Atlanta Braves will be leaving Turner Field after the 2016 season. The Braves have dedicated a new website to their new ballpark, where they own the land and can control the immediate environment surrounding their new park. No sketches of the facility or what will be place in its surrounding areas have been made available as of yet. We do know that it will be a 41,000-42,000 seat facility, 10,000 less than Turner Field.

Where is Cobb County?

This map drawn up by Mike Petriello on Google Maps should give us a good idea:

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 7.00.51 AM

So instead of being where it seems like all the freeways meet, they’ll be heading northwest, outside of what I’ve heard called “The Circle.” Outside of The Circle, I’ve heard it’s mostly an area that is kind of stuck in the past, but that’s a lot of heresy, so my two Atlanta sources could be wrong.

Why the move?

Braves officials and some fans on social media have said that the immediate areas surrounding Turner Field are kind of a mess and that’s one reason for the Braves getting the heck out of there. There’s also this map that shows where people that bought a ticket to an Atlanta Braves game lived in 2012:

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Not exactly in the center of the heart of those Braves-ticket-buyers, but it is certainly within that area.

The Braves have also given time to talk about the costs of maintaining Turner Field, a stadium they do not own, to the tune of $150-$200MM, saying those improvements would not necessarily improve the fan experience. With their own stadium, and more importantly, control over their surrounding area, their improvements that they will need to make should be more meaningful to the fan experience than it would be at their current address.

Will the Braves be paying for all of it?

It appears not, with this quote from an Atlanta Journal Constitution writer:

“The Braves said the stadium is projected to cost $672 million, including parking, land and infrastructure, and will be built in partnership with Cobb County.”

While the portion of the Braves payment is said to be “substantial,” that doesn’t really answer any questions for us. Sorry for your loss in taxpayer dollars, Cobb County.

Update from a tweet:

More than two-thirds of your new home paid for? I remember when that worked out for Miami.

This is the area the Braves have laid out for their new stadium:

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That’s about all we have for the moment. My only opinions on this move are that: 1) The Braves getting taxpayers to help fund their stadium is dumb for the taxpayers and 2) It looks like traffic’s going to be just awful going in and out of that stadium.

Tracking the Baby Giants while they Winter League

Many thanks to friend of the blog, Anna, for this reference, but if you’re one of those people that wants to keep tabs on how Giants minor leaguers are doing, there’s a page for that. It looks a little low-tech for MLB.com, but it gets the job done. Not only can you check out how the invitees to the notoriously hitter-friendly Arizona Fall League are doing, but since the Venezuelan Winter League and Dominican Winter League have begun, you can check out how the Giants minor league athletes are doing there, as well. If you haven’t clicked the link yet because you’re not sure who’s there, here’s a list as of October 20th:

Adam Duvall (17 HR in Double-A Richmond in 2013)

Javier Herrera (28 year old had 16 HR/23 SB for Richmond)

Mark Minicozzi (30 year old put up a .309/.400/.445 line for Richmond)

Jarrett Parker (18 HR and 13 SB at Richmond)

Juan Perez (For me this is hard to believe, but the defensive specialist had 10 HR in Triple-A Fresno)

Andrew Susac (#15 Prospect for SF according to MLB.com had 12 HR and a .256/.362/.458 line in Richmond)

Angel Villalona (Played in two levels and only 23, racked up 22 HR but also a .276 OBP)

Ydwin Villegas (Played in San Jose and Fresno in 55 games total)

Fabio Castillo (3.34 ERA in 32.1 IP in Richmond, but got lit up in Fresno in 23 games)

Kyle Crick (SF’s #1 Prospect, 1.57 ERA in 68.2 IP along with 95 K’s in High-A San Jose)

Edwin Escobar (#11 Prospect played in San Jose and Richmond, 128.2 IP and a 2.80 ERA with 146 K’s and 30 BB)

Renzo Freite (Arizona League participant, the reliever accumulated 11 BB and 17 K’s in 19.1 IP)

Cody Hall (Higher leverage reliever in San Jose and Richmond had 75 K’s and 15 BB in 60 IP)

Derek Law (Spent time in the AZ League, Low-A Augusta, and San Jose. All in all, 46 G, 66.1 IP, 102 K’s and 12 BB)

Mitch Lively (4.72 ERA in 124.0 IP for the Fresno starter)

Daryl Maday (Did good work in Fresno across 26 G, but the 28 year old saw the hits off him increase in Fresno)

Adalberto Mejia (#19 Prospect had a spot start in Fresno, 92 IP in San Jose with 91 K’s, 23 BB and a 3.31 ERA)

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