The credit to this goes to my mother. She enjoys making cakes for our family when there are times of celebration. Last year there was a Giants logo on my cake. This year, however, she may have outdone herself:
Since my birthday is during the week, my parents drove down to celebrate my 28th this weekend. They’re great, and I love them. If you can’t see what’s written on the side of the cake, it says “MVP.” On the back she also wrote “GO GIANTS.” My mom wins. I’ll have a hard time forgetting this one. The cake was also delicious.
This blog started as an outlet for me where I could talk baseball. My life isn’t one where I am surrounded by people that actively talk baseball with me all hours of the day. Maybe that’s my fault, maybe it’s just who I’m around. Still, this blog has become a consistent Top 30 MLBlog, and I wouldn’t have come to this spot without my wife, for she was the one that encouraged me to do this in the first place.
Fansided contacted me shortly after I begun my hobby of writing and invited me on as a contributing writer at their Giants branch of “Around the Foghorn,” and I’ve been contributing four posts a month to them for a little over a year. The former head of the site has moved up within the organization and the most two senior writers after him decided to team up to become co-editors. One of those two peoples is me. The requirements for receiving compensation (which will probably amount to a couple beers a month) is to write at least one post a day, so it wouldn’t make sense for me to do any Giants posts here on this site when I can add up pennies and nickels over time at AtF. Therefore, any Giants baseball-related posts will be posted at Around the Foghorn until further notice.
I am very excited for the opportunity to be one of the heads of a blog that is run by an organization. I’m not sure where this will take me next, but Aaron Somers and the good people at Fansided have chosen to believe in me, and for that I am eternally grateful.
My general MLB material will still show up on this blog, be it MLB debuts of players, brawls of teams, or general opinion pieces that aren’t directly related to the Giants, I still want to keep this blog active because of the support it has received. Fansided has a site dedicated to their MLB-related material (that is not AtF), and while I contributed to them for a few months, I have been allowed to step down to focus on these two blogs.
Without the readers — loyal, first-timers, and everything in between — this blog doesn’t receive the small recognitions it does from MLB.com/blogs, or even that one time I was linked in a sports column of USA Today. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I hope you will continue to read my material on AtF, and will still stop by this blog when I decided I haven’t had enough of blogging for the day.
To give you some background on why I traveled from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest, my wife and I began an annual tradition that started a few years ago where we would go to a new MLB stadium every year. Just one, not a bunch, because we are not rich. For this year, we decided that Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington/Warshington would be where we’d head, and I have friends in the area, so I knew it would make the trip more enjoyable. In a rare move, I am doing a post not about baseball, but a little bit about what I did in Seattle with my friend and my friends of the Seattle area.
Before booking a hotel in Seattle, it would be best to consult with a local and figure out how close you are to public transportation. The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where most people fly into, has a lightrail that connects from the airport, though you’ll have to walk a bit from the South Terminal. The hotel I booked was about 15 minutes south of the airport, so I wasn’t near the lightrail, but I was near an Amtrak. Definitely not the same thing, especially in terms of frequency of trains coming by.
By the way, we flew Virgin America to Seattle from Los Angeles, and that’s my new favorite airline because the ambiance and they have SFG TV on it, which shows features that the San Francisco Giants have produced, whether it’s specials on the 2012 postseason, or the Town Hall meeting before the 2013 season. There’s about 2.5 hours of programming, so if your flight is longer than that, you might want to have another channel ready to go. I did not like that E! was included, because my wife watches Keeping up with the Kardashians, and that show makes me vomit. Overall though, very happy with Virgin America.
Obligatory picture of the Space Needle. We didn’t ride the elevator to ride to the top, but you can go to the Seattle Center if you feel like you want to experience that. I’ve done it when I was much younger, and remember thinking it was cool.
These are pieces at the Glass Museum and this place was absolutely fantastic. Really, can’t say enough good things about this place, and I’m really not a museum/art type of person.
Here’s a picture I believe my wife took. This is a public park not too far away from a community college near Seattle University. We would hang out near Seattle University for much of Saturday after the game. Went to a restaurant called “Poquitos,” and the beer I had was good. If you go to that place, you go there for the social atmosphere, not the Mexican food/drink… or at least if that drink is a horchata. We’re spoiled down here in Southern California.
That area near Seattle University though, cross streets I’d say around 11th and Pike let’s say, is a place for young people, LGBT-friendly peoples, and is pretty hipster-y. We tried hitting up 8 Oz. burgers, but they couldn’t accommodate a group of seven. Next time. I also heard of other solid spots in the area, and so if we go back, I hope we can spend more time there. We would end up having a great grilled cheese at a place called Skillet Diner, I believe.
On Sunday, we walked from my friend’s boyfriend’s place in that aforementioned area down to Pike Place and that was a good 20-30 minute walk to/from the area, but a solid bit of exercise. Going to the market is downhill, and going back is… not. This is a view under some of the area of the Seattle Convention Center.
This was one of two places my wife really wanted to see (the other being the Glass Museum), and so she was stoked to be here. We strolled through the marketplace, lots of expensive things, the fresh flowers smelled great and were priced pretty low, so that would’ve been a good purchase had I been courting someone that day. We also checked out the very first ever Starbucks even though we don’t drink coffee because we’re tourists, after all.
Pike Place Chowder. This place is the business. Holy moly this chowder was so good. Best I’ve had, and the bread was delicious as well. Wife says $20 in total for two bread bowls, and they have four different chowders you could have decided from on that day, and I think that’s the normal number.
I really wish we would have had a week to play in Seattle, but that probably would have required complimentary lodging somewhere, and asking for that makes me a little uncomfortable sometimes. Anyway, should you make your way over to Seattle, I hope you get to check out the Glass Museum and Pike Place Chowder at the very least (and Safeco Field, of course). Very fun weekend, and the weather was pretty great, with Saturday being absolutely beautiful. Thanks to everybody that provided suggestions or hung out with us that made our weekend what it was.
Baseball Reference has a nifty tool where you can check out how Draft Picks rank based off positions, names, years, rounds, franchises, and you can sort it by hits, home runs, stolen bases, whatever. I’m going by BR’s version of Wins Above Replacement, or what some call “bWAR” or “rWAR.” BR has data from 1965, which is when the Draft was first implemented, so I’m going to go as far down as I can to see how high overall Giants Draft Picks have performed at the MLB level, which is difficult to reach itself. I’ll start from the first overall pick and tell you some of the notables and progress all the way to the 30th pick. The Giants will be selecting 25th overall, then 64th overall on Day One of the MLB Draft, which you can see on MLB Network. Their coverage of the Draft will begin at 3PM PST.
1st overall pick — Never picked 1st overall
3rd — Matt Williams (3rd overall, 43.5, 1986)
5th — Buster Posey (8th overall, 14.4, 2008)
6th — Johnnie LeMaster (last place of players that made the MLB, -6.8, 1973)
**The Giants signed a pretty good 6th overall pick once upon a time, he wore the #25 for them, you’ve probably heard of him?
7th — Calvin Murray (down the list, 1.9, 1992)
8th — No 8th pick made the Majors
9th — Alan Cockrell (0.0, 1984) had 8 AB in the bigs
11th — Steve Stanicek (-0.1, 1982) had 16 AB, but it wasn’t for the Giants since he was traded to Milwaukee for Rob DeWolf
12th — Never picked 12th overall
13th — Never picked 13th overall
14th — Al Gallagher (2.2, 1965 — the Giants’ first ever amateur draft pick!)
16th — Mike Remlinger (9.5, 1987), though he was traded for a pitching package of names with an old star to the Seattle Mariners in ’91
17th — Gary Matthews (3rd overall, 27.3, 1968)
18th — Dave Rader (3.5, 1967), and two other guys were just above 0.0.
19th — Rob Dressler (2.0, 1972), though he wasn’t with the professional club long
20th — No 20th pick made the majors, though 2012 pick Chris Stratton hopes to change that
21st — Brad Hennessey (2.3, 2001)
22nd — David Aardsma (1.7, 2003) whom is still active, and only pitched in 11 games for the Gigantes
23rd — Never picked 23rd overall
25th — Matt Cain (2nd overall, 31.5, 2002) and might get his spot taken by the AL Rookie of the Year some day
26th — Never picked 26th overall
27th — Never picked 27th overall
28th — Never picked 28th overall
29th — Ted Wood (near the bottom, -1.1, 1988) didn’t do so well, but hopefully Joe Panik (2011) and Wendell Fairley (2007) do better, though the public really never hears anything on Fairley from scouts
30th — You remember Noah Lowry, don’t you? (9.5, 2001)
As someone that’s been looking for work for over a year in the educational industry without much success, expanding my options has become a consideration, and after seeing some tweets from the Dodgers and LA Times about a networking event at Dodger Stadium, I thought it would be good to give the event a shot, and maybe give me a shot at a job. The event was to open two hours before the game started, and I made sure to arrive before that time. The fact that the parking gates did not open until two hours before game time provided a small inconvenience, but since the ticket gates didn’t even open until I was able to walk from my car to the loge level gate in LF, no regrets of “I should have parked on the streets” were had by me. That would have been a painfully long walk in a shirt and tie anyway.
Once I got in to the event, I had choices from different employers in the sports industry to choose from — the Dodgers, Angels, Padres, Stubhub Center (formerly Home Depot Center where the LA Galaxy play), LA Galaxy, Clippers, LA Sparks, LA Kings, LA Live, UCLA, and the Rose Bowl. Every organization had one or two representatives for the aspiring entry-level cold callers to speak with, and the lines for the most popular organizations turned into lines you might see at a bigger amusement park. I was lucky I was able to speak with the Dodgers early, since they would have the longest line of all the organizations at the event despite three people serving up the same speech to three people at a time. After speaking with the Dodgers, it turned into a game of “which line is shortest” and I was able to speak with all the organizations I wanted to, which was good for me to get my face seen by those clubs. I doubt anybody that arrived more than a half hour after the event started had the chance to cover as much ground as the people that arrived when the gates opened.
The space for the event was cramped, and in speaking with the main contact for the networking gig, I was informed that the Fire Marshall ruled that the original size for the event was not acceptable and the parameters would have to be downsized. I don’t know the dimensions of every nook and cranny of the stadium, but cramping a couple hundred people into a space did not make much sense to me, and I cannot imagine that decision did not make the event organizers very happy. With the turnout there was, hopefully the organization will be able to get more clubs to come in, and they will be granted a bigger area to hold an event that would likely continue to bring in a couple hundred applicants every time.
On to the game — and this will be a quick recap — since Carlos Quentin would be out of the lineup, this turned in to the night of Yasiel Puig. The cheers for him were the loudest of any Dodger that night, his at bats made the stadium stand still — beach balls were down in number, nobody even thought of starting the wave — balls that were taken garnered applause, while strikes taken were met with “ooooh” or an unsettling mumble. Heck, there was one section of Dodger Stadium that was standing for Puig’s very first at bat. You know the story by now, Puig did not disappoint the faithful that showed up, including a fantastic throw from the warning track in RF for a double play to Adrian Gonzalez that ended the game.
A pretty good night at Chavez Ravine for me, getting to speak with a lot of nice people (both inside and outside of the event), and for those that followed me on Twitter last night, you know I got to have a pretty good view of the game for a little bit as well. I think I’ve fallen in love with a spot I’d get to watch a professional game from… and to make that spot happen more often, I’m gonna have to get some work.
Just enjoying my Sunday, then the Dodgers account makes it better:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 2, 2013
Jose Altuve is 65 inches tall, so multiply that by 4.5 and you get… 292.5 inches for a total of 24.375 feet!!!!! Puig would not fit… anywhere really. Imagine a human being 24 feet tall for a moment. Haha, that’s silly.
Yasiel Puig is listed at 6’3″ and would make him approximately 1.15 Altuves
Since they (the @Dodgers account) responded to someone responding to them, I believe they were going for some other unit. Does it matter which one? Not really, because now all I can imagine is Yasiel Puig being 24 feet tall.
I thought we were done with this. The arguments… they really never change. I feel they are tired points being brought up by both sides. You could summarize all the arguments with this tweet I made on Monday:
Angry A’s-Giants dialogue summary: “More titles in the Bay!” “2 in 3!” “More real fans!” “Cool stadium, bro.” “1989!” “Buster Posey!”
— Stuart Jones (@HeHitsItDeeeeep) May 27, 2013
Followers of the teams going back and forth just to somehow prove their team is the better Bay Area team. Why. Why why why. Actually, I know why, because these people want to be right. They want to win the argument that their team is better and they have better fans. My opinion on the matter?
Who. The. Heck. Cares.
Really, why do you care so much? Are you mad that the Giants have had more ultimate success than the A’s lately? Are you mad that the Oakland A’s have more trophies in the display case? Are you mad San Francisco outdraws you two-fold in the majority of your games? Are you mad that due to your team’s winning ways that a horde of bandwagon fans have come along for the ride, and you know in your heart of hearts they will disappear once the winning stops?
Why. Do. You. Care. When will the dialogue evolve?
Why can’t the trash talk be about what’s going on in 2013? — because even that would be more intellectual than the garbage being recycled. At least that’s relevant to the matter at hand, not some roundabout conversation being done to impress the mommy and/or daddy that’s not around to celebrate the winner. Why can’t the trash talk be the light-hearted, “hey, your team is under .500 and mine isn’t, watch us sweep you,” and then the unexpected “ha! my team just swept your over-.500 team”? Too simple, I suppose.
While I don’t know if this is what happens during Raiders-49ers games, I can guess the arguments at least evolve a little bit at the very least because they have a whole week to get ready for a game, yet there are Giants and A’s fans insisting on enjoying their time with the dead horse.
I can’t name one person that cares outside of the two fanbases whether the Giants or A’s have a better fanbase, and in this case, I do think that means something. Do you care who has the better fanbase between Angels-Dodgers, Marlins-Rays, Red Sox-Yankees, Braves-Phillies, Astros-Rangers? Of course not. I’m not saying the two have to get along, but each set of fans that insists on repeating themselves should go on timeout and think about how dumb they sound. Please. Move on.
Matt Kemp is having a rough season, and even if you haven’t watched him this season you might be able to see it on the spreadsheets. -1.0 fWAR is 3rd worst of all 171 qualified hitters, his wRC+ (77) is tied with Yunel Escobar and just below Yuniesky Betancourt (who has come back down to the earth his abilities live on). His .277 wOBA is 151st. To give you an idea of what he did in his should’ve-been-MVP season in 2010, he had an 8.4 fWAR, 168 wRC+, and a .413 wOBA. That’s the Matt Kemp we’ve come to expect, but a crash in Colorado last year has changed things and Kemp’s shoulder flexibility has become limited. Dodger fans have turned on their star and are making it rain with the boos, and Kemp has made it known that he’s not all that thrilled with it:
“It felt like I was in AT&T Park…I’m taking a beating from the fans…It’s disappointing to get booed by our own fans, even shocking.”
Chad Moriyama has been the leader of the charge against booing Kemp/their own players, and his timeline has basically been that recently since there’s been so much booing lately. I applaud his efforts, because as you judged by the article title, I agree with his stance on the matter. I will echo what he has said before in this sentence: fans have the right to do and say what they want, but booing your own player is stupid. I don’t understand why those booing expect an under-performer to either all of a sudden recover their past abilities or inspire them to work harder for their team. Kemp has a huge contract, for sure, and he is expected to be a star, but what will booing accomplish, besides letting out your frustrations? (Clearly, I also care not for those frustrations being exhibited in a “boo.”)
Nobody should be kidding themselves that this is a new thing only happening between the Dodgers and Kemp, I mean, you could tune to the ALCS last year for games at Yankee Stadium and tell me what you hear.
Booing your own player for their not performing to your expectations is ridiculous. It’s a tradition that will live on, I know. There are other ways to express frustration, though the message will be slower to reach those that make the decisions, although its not like the journalists that cover baseball are blind to things like that. It wouldn’t hurt the fans to think about the reason for a player’s lack of success and start calling for change. Until then, those fans just look like people that will say whatever comes to their minds first, not thinking about the consequences or rationale of whatever it is they say and/or are about to say. Who really listens to the opinions of those people anyway?
Discussion has ensued on twitter due to a picture captured from the @SFGiants account:
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) May 27, 2013
Besides being yucked out by the hat, notice the sticker on the bill of the cap. That is a “7.” Brandon Belt, all 6’5″ and 220 lbs. of him wears a size 7 cap. Brandon Belt’s noggin is not big. I have a fat head (not a Fathead) and am a 7 1/2 despite being almost 9 inches shorter than the 1B from Nacogdoches. Hopefully this observation starts some ridiculous analysis when Belt does anything bad, just because I enjoy hearing people using their jump to conclusions mat whenever they can.
P.S. Did I mention I think the cap$ go horribly with those uniforms?
If I were you, I wouldn’t rely on AT&T Park to cure my need for garlic fries or an ice cream sundae today for Saturday’s game against the Rockies:
Heads up to those coming to the game today: 750 concession workers are on a one-day strike.
— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) May 25, 2013
In an article about the debacle you can read about here, the workers are looking for a pay raise and more security to their benefits in what will be a one-day strike for the concession workers to bring some more attention to their fight. According to the article citing another post, “Should the workers walk out, the stadium concessions would be staffed by management and other employees.” Can the Giants find 750 people in their organization to do all the labor these workers do though? Maybe ask some of the Rockies players (I’m looking at you, Arenado) can help out instead of depriving the Giants of hits.