Seriously, when your team wins one out of three from the Washington Nationals, and the only real offense in that win was Eli Whiteside, the team has some issues.
Posts Tagged ‘Pablo Sandoval’
I have to admit, yesterday’s soccer game got pretty exciting when it came down to penalty kicks.
There are a lot of flaws with a home run derby finisher, though. First of all, do you allow one team to pitch to the other, or does a team get to have their own pitcher serve up batting practice fastballs?
(In that case, hey, we found a use for Barry Zito!)
I may be open to this idea only after a day of taking in 16 innings of baseball in Augusta, right after taking a red-eye out to Georgia, and being dead tired. But I have to admit, it would be fun.
That’s right, Giants fans. Coming soon to the location formerly known as Borders right across from AT&T Park, is a new upscale Bowling Alley called Lucky Strike.
By the way, if you don’t get this strip, but down the internet right now. Go do whatever it is that you do to watch older movies, and go get The Big Lebowski. Just trust me. No less than six underrated actors of our era in hilarious roles. Oh, and Tara Reid’s in it, too. (Sorry, Tara.) And just look for John Turturro. A couple of times.
Those more-traveled us may know the place from several high-profile locations, such as Manhattan, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Hollywood, and Bellevue, Washington. (Wait, Bellevue got one before San Francisco did? That’s just not right.) It’s meant to be an upscale answer to bowling alleys the same way that Dave & Buster’s is supposed to be an upscale arcade for adults, complete with fancy food menus.
(Sure, referencing the Big Lebowski doesn’t exactly bring up a ‘high-class’ bowling establishment…but does anything make bowling look high-class?)
It also apparently has a ban on ‘athletic wear of any kind including….jerseys…and hoodies’. It does indicate that there are ‘Game Day exceptions’ that should be called ahead for, but seriously. If they don’t want jerseys or sportswear there, they had better be prepared for empty lanes from April through October. On game nights, King Street is pretty much exclusively there for Giants fans, who love to wear their gear. Despite their reputation, Giants fans don’t wear hipster clothing to games…
I’m sure Lucky Strike will be reasonable. There’s no way they’re coming into this without knowing just what this particular corner of San Francisco brings. Still, this may be an entirely different kind of crowd than they’re used to.
But we’re San Francisco. Deal with it.
I like Huff. I really do.
But Brandon Belt is the future. Pretty much everyone agrees with that. There’s just no place to play him. He doesn’t need more Fresno time. He’s done all he can there.
There’s three legitimate first base options (Huff, Belt and Brett Pill), and that’s before you mention that Buster Posey might be used at first on days they want to rest his ankle and not take him out of the lineup. Pill makes a nice platoon option for either of the lefties…but three first basemen aren’t a great way to build a lineup.
What about the outfield? Well, that hurts the team as well. Right now, none of the outfielders are playing like they don’t deserve a job. Nate Schierholtz has the toughest numbers from a corner spot (.292/.320/.333), but they aren’t too terrible for spring and his defense out there is a plus.
And this is all about the future. You’ve got three huge pitchers coming into free agency in the next 19 months. How do you convince a pitcher to stick around in San Francisco? I’ve got a two-step process:
• Give them a Gold Glove caliber defense in the outfield, of which the Belt/Huff choices don’t qualify, but a Cabrera-Pagan-Schierholtz outfield would, and a Peguero-Brown-Schierholtz outfield down the line also would.
• Give them a core of young hitters that they know the team can be built around to help the offense. Like Belt.
The Giants aren’t in a team-building zone right now. They are in a dynasty-building zone. They need to go for it this year, but they also need to go for the next half-dozen years of pitching contracts.
Belt fills both need. Get it done
P.S. – Either you’re too young to remember this reference, or you’re old enough to which means you have memory issues and can’t remember it. Either way, here’s a video version of the classic routine.
Barry Zito. Coors Field. I’m still in disbelief, two days later.
It’s still amazing. And unpredictable. And Giants fans are thankful, even as we laugh our asses off.
Some don’t see it that way. Sure, Zito wasn’t really carried off the field by his teammates like the comic shows, but you’d think he was based on some of the post-game comments. ”It’s no secret he’s been buried by the fans, the media and everything like that,” Aubrey Huff said. ”All the haters out there, that’s for them.”
Eh. Fans have a right to be upset. Zito is getting paid big bucks, and he hasn’t been able to even finish a full season as a rotation starter in the last two years. But that’s how it goes. Tim Lincecum should be paying attention to this. So should Brian Wilson. And even Matt Cain. When you sign a big contract, people will hate you. Even if you do well, but especially if you don’t. Someone will turn on you. A lot of someones. Money doesn’t just change you, it’ll change how people think of you.
Watch out. But at least that’s a couple years off for Tim and Brian.
Baseball is a weird game. And that could just be said about Zito’s 11-pitch at-bat where he got a hit with some of the weakest swings I’ve ever seen above t-ball. A few more notes about this:
• Barry Zito has the third longest period of time between shutouts in MLB history. He last threw a shutout as a member of the Oakland A’s, on April 18, 2003 against the Texas Rangers. Only Tim Wakefield and Kirk Rueter waited longer.
• There was one player who was there for the last Zito shutout: Ramon Hernandez. Hernandez, who was the catcher for the Rockies, was behind the plate for the A’s when Zito threw his 2003 shutout.
• He was just the second visiting pitcher to throw a shutout at Coors Field in the last 13 years. (Roy Oswalt is the other). Notably, in the first four years, 17 visitors threw shutouts. But that’s when the Rockies were an embarrassment to expansion teams.
• This was also the first shutout thrown by the Giants at Coors Field.
• Not Zito-related, but I learned from this research that Coors Field is now the third-oldest stadium in the National League. Whoa.
• Tom Glavine has two shutouts at Coors Field. Zito has one. Other non-Rockies left-handers in the rest of the world? None.
• Jamie Moyer was 40 when the last Zito shutout was thrown.
• The Giants have scored 21 runs in 4 games. Barry Zito has thrown a complete game shutout. The team is 1-3.
Crazy. Just, crazy.
Pablo Sandoval is an All-Star Starter, and David Wright is not.
And you know what? This is for those years where we had to see Placido Polanco. This is for Shane Victorino winning that final vote.
Every year, some one is going to be upset. This year, it’s the entire National League other than San Francisco. And let me tell you, as a Giants fan, it’s damn hilarious. All the outrage, all the huffing of chests and quoting of stats. I love it. Every tired stereotype of San Francisco fans have been trotted out, now added with “They’re masters with them computers”.
That laugh you heard was every person who participated in this vote, who wonders why people still think the heart of this vote were the very punchcards that caused upheaval in 2000.
Someday, someone will seriously bring up a new way to vote for the All-Star Game. But it won’t be because of the Giants fans voting in two very qualified candidates, and one questionable one. Maybe it should be that the American League has three starters with batting averages under .250 (Mike Napoli, .235; Curtis Granderson, .246; Jose Bautista, .239).
No, it’ll be the day that some team’s fans go so crazy that you get a group of fans who vote in seven of their team members out of eight. Because that’s never happened before….oh wait, it did. In 1957. Pre-computer vote. Older fans might remember it because they didn’t get to vote again until 1970 as punishment/correction.
There is an interesting philosophical debate to put on here about what a “Star” is. Is a Star a good player, or a popular player? Don’t fans get to see who they want? Are we ever going to admit that no one’s really comfortable with anyone not them voting for a game that matters?
But not here. This is a damn webcomic, people. The Giants have three position players in the All-Star Game, and that’s awesome.
But…Ryan Vogelsong and Madison Bumgarner were very deserving All-Stars, and they got snubbed. And I’m pissed off about that, too.
See? We can all be pissed off together, too!
If you don’t know what this is referring to, go back and watch Monday’s game.
Or, you could just watch this video.
Say what you want, but Giants fans love their players. Look at that! No lawsuits from fans. No fighting for the ball. And even an improvised, combined lift to put the man back on the field. And he loved it. Even Derek Jeter had no one helping protect him from the seatback when he went diving into the seats.
San Francisco isn’t a forgiving place for hitters. But it really is a forgiving place for players. Giants fans will adore their players without many exceptions.
So, remember this in the offseason, free agents. It’s worth it to play here.
More recently, remember that catch by Belt? Back when the game was still anyone’s to win?
Boy, those were good times.
I won’t waste your time telling you that this series isn’t over, or that there’s still a long ways to go, even though they’re both true. You’ll see that plenty elsewhere. I also won’t tell you how much of a must win game tonight’s Game 2 is, even though that’s true, too. You’ll see that enough.
I just want to commiserate in the Giants inability to beat Matt Latos tonight. I hate that guy.
Awesome. But not amazing.
This team did crazy things. It won tough game after tough game, and then they cruised. And then, one last tough game.
But it was not amazing. Not to the Giants fans who followed this team this year.
The team was built for productivity, not glamour. Nearly every single one of Brian Sabean’s moves paid off in one way or another, from Scutaro to Blanco, from Pagan to Pence, hell even the end-of-Spring Training trade of a third catcher for George Kontos.
Then Bochy toyed with them perfectly. Send Lincecum to the bullpen and not have him sulk? Sure! Throw Zito out in Game 1 of the World Series? Of course. Ryan Theriot the designated hitter? All according to plan.
This was the Giants. Everyone across the country who got a taste, I hope you liked it. It’s not sexy. It’s not glamourous. It even has the most extreme crazy eyes ever (thank you, Pence). But it’s the fundamentals. It’s making contact, and drawing pitches. It’s catching the ball. It’s running hard. And it’s having the 8-9 guys hit as well as the 3-4 guys. And, oh yes, it’s pitching.
This team ain’t going nowhere, they’re staying right here.
When does 2013 start?
It could be worse…we could be Dodger fans, who will likely be missing two of their big gains from the Red Sox on Opening Day.
Still, I hate worrying about injuries.