Showing posts with label mixing fonts while blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mixing fonts while blogging. Show all posts

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Twelve for 2012: Melky Cabrera

I saved the other FNG for last because Melky is short for Melchior**, and legend has it that one of the Magi was named Melchior. Since this is the Twelfth Night--the Eve of the Epiphany--it seemed best to save Melky Cabrera for the end. Most folks did not have poor Melky in mind when the Giants floated the idea of trading Jonathan Sanchez. I think the expectation was that they'd get prospects in return. But with Pat Burrell, Aaron Rowand, and Cody Ross all leaving the club it should not have surprised us that they would want immediate help in the outfield. One thing about Melky I think they liked was "706" as in 706 PA last season. That's a lot of playing time--1339-2/3 innings, in fact. The 2011 Giants used the DL twenty-five times, the most in the majors. You have to figure they were looking for a guy they could plug in every day.

So which Melky are the Giants going to get? The "breakout" Melky from 2011 (.305/.339/.470, 4.2 WAR), the out-of-shape 2010 Melky (.255/.317/.354, -1.0 WAR), or the 2009 World Series champion Yankee Melky (.274/.336/.416, 1.6 WAR)? Cabrera is 27, the age where we always used to talk about a player coming into his prime. The Milk Man rolled out a .769 OPS in his minor-league career, and last year (.809) was the first time he exceeded that in six full seasons in the majors. His career mark is .729 (93 OPS+). Bill James projects .279/.332/.413 (.745) for our FNG which I think undersells him a bit, and ZiPS says .284/.330/.435 (.765) for a 106 OPS+ and 2.7 WAR. Hey, I'll take it!

The trade for Jonathan Sanchez (and, lest we forget, Ryan Verdugo) has been hashed out ad nauseum, I won't dive into that again. There's plenty of digital ink out there for those of you who need more analysis. At this point what's done is done and I'm on board with it--he's our lad now. I'm ready to chant "Le-che, Le-che, Le-che" in the left field bleachers, how about you?


**Or Melquiades (I haven't found a source that lists him other than "Melky") which I'm guessing is the Spanish version of the name, or at least an homage to one of los Reyes. The festival is called El Día de los Reyes in Spanish-speaking countries. The "Three Wise Men" are often called "The Three Kings" although magus (the Latin magi is plural) is probably better translated as "shaman" or perhaps "astrologer" or "alchemist." Obviously it's the source of the English word "magic." Let's hope we get some Melky-magic in 2012!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

By the numbers

Brian Wilson just blew the save so I'm back at my desk and keyboard. Don't worry--it's only a 'Giants Classic' on Comcast. I was recently asked what I do when there's no baseball on TV and I said "wait for baseball season." It's nice that the crew at Comcast fills in the post-ASB doldrums with some baseball. This re-broadcast is the Home Opener on April 8th. I was lucky enough to be there, in the CF bleachers, section 141. Buster Posey just worked a 9th-inning, two-strike, two-out walk after an Aaron Rowand hit. Oh, I miss that lad. Get well soon, Buster. Pablo Sandoval flashed the new, improved 2011 Panda model with a game-tying hit. We are going to extras, folks. I also was lucky enough to see Matt Cain whiff eleven guys in a complete game win over the Nats. That was June 8th, this time in section 108, some very nice lower deck seats (scored by Zo). Jim Riggleman was still at the helm in D.C. Finally, I got to see Tim Lincecum beat the Mets on July 9th. It wasn't flashy, but it was a win, and that's what counts. The Giants scored all their runs on ground balls that could have been double plays but weren't, baseball prowess worthy of saga and song. This time it was the upper deck, section 310. I got the very cool striped socks--when you see them on me you will want them. Not bad for living 300 miles away, eh? The Giants just turned a hit, a blown DP, an error, an intentional walk, and a booming drive to the wall in left-center (all with two outs) from the aforementioned Rowand to win in the 12th. You knew they would, right? If it had been Cody Ross or Andres Torres (or Rowand) out there, we all would have expected it to be caught. Colby Rasmus just didn't have the magic that day.

52-40 (.565) after 92 games is a 91- or 92-win pace (91.565 to be more precise). Here's an inning-by-inning breakdown:

1st (games  1-18): 10-8
2nd (games 19-36): 10-8
3rd (games 37-54):  9-9
4th (games 55-72): 10-8
5th (games 73-90): 11-7

The team is already up 2-0 in their next set of 18 games. They will finish the 6th inning on Sunday, the 31st of July (game 108) in Cincinnati.

The Giants have played 92 games and have 70 remaining. If they play .500 ball they will finish 87-75, which will likely not be good enough. To get to 90 wins (that's what the 2nd-place Padres finished with in 2010) would require a 38-32 record (.543), and 92 wins (last year's total) would take 40-30 (.571). Last season the Giants played 74 games in the second half and went 45-29 (.608). If the 2011 Giants play .600 ball they'll win 42 games and finish 94-68. I like that. Let's shoot for 42 wins--after all, it's the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

How about March 0-1, April 13-12, May 16-12, June 17-11, and July 6-4? Slow and steady wins the race.

The Giants have played 48 road games scoring 205 runs and allowing 184. They are 24-24 despite the plus-21 run difference, an average score of 4.27 to 3.83 (so much for my obsession with RS > RA). The Giants have played 44 home games and boast a 28-16 record despite allowing 138 runs and scoring only 127, or a minus-11 run difference. That .636 win percentage comes on the heels of an average score of 2.89 to 3.14, surely a thumb-nosing of the baseball gods, those cruel, cruel creatures. May the magic continue. Dominus vobiscum, et cum spiritu tuo. Om mani padme hum. Hare Rama, Hare Krishna. O, Great Spirit. For those about to rock. Whatever! Keep it going, that's all I ask.


p.s. Oh, and a hearty congrats to Bruce Bochy for guiding the NL squad to victory. And to all the Giants for representin' the orange & black. Way to look like champions!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

1st inning: 10-8

The Giants have played 18 games which is 1/9 of their 162-game season. Thus, they've finished the 1st inning of their 2011 nine inning schedule. So how do things stand so far with the defending champs?

Let's look at the offense:
Tm       R/G   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
CIN     5.56 .272 .341 .440 .781
COL     5.50 .257 .344 .426 .770
STL     5.50 .294 .360 .448 .808
ARI     5.19 .271 .335 .446 .781
PHI     4.88 .273 .330 .392 .722
HOU     4.39 .264 .321 .379 .700
SFG     4.33 .251 .316 .412 .728
LgAvg   4.33 .256 .325 .392 .717
WSN     4.29 .226 .312 .347 .658
FLA     4.12 .265 .334 .389 .724
CHC     4.11 .277 .331 .409 .740
MIL     4.11 .262 .326 .399 .725
NYM     4.00 .238 .309 .365 .674
ATL     3.47 .234 .300 .384 .684
PIT     3.44 .235 .314 .351 .665
SDP     3.33 .222 .309 .334 .643
LAD     3.32 .253 .309 .349 .658

Baseball Nirvana in San Francisco! A "league-average" offense! Such joy, naturally, is predicated on having killer pitching, so let's take a look at the other side of the equation:

Tm       R/G  WHIP  H/9 BB/9 SO/9
ATL     3.26 1.248  8.2  3.0  7.6
SDP     3.39 1.206  8.2  2.6  6.6
FLA     3.75 1.200  7.7  3.1  7.0
MIL     3.78 1.263  8.0  3.4  7.1
PHI     3.88 1.240  8.5  2.6  7.8
SFG     3.89 1.220  7.8  3.2  8.2
COL     4.17 1.239  8.1  3.1  6.7
STL     4.22 1.284  8.6  3.0  7.2
WSN     4.24 1.304  8.8  2.9  6.5
LgAvg   4.33 1.337  8.7  3.3  7.3
CIN     4.61 1.398  8.6  4.0  8.6
PIT     4.67 1.389  8.7  3.8  6.1
CHC     4.72 1.500  9.5  4.0  8.9
LAD     4.79 1.405  9.5  3.2  7.1
HOU     5.00 1.494 10.2  3.3  6.6
NYM     5.44 1.588 10.0  4.3  7.6
ARI     5.62 1.425  9.6  3.3  7.9

The 2011 Giants look good but not great. Brian Wilson had a slow start. Madison Bumgarner is struggling. Barry Zito and Santiago Casilla are on the DL. Matt Cain got blown out in Colorado. There's been a few bumps in the road. Nonetheless, Cain's poor start was preceded by three good ones, Tim Lincecum has flashed his Cy Young form, and Jonathan Sanchez is getting Ks and winning games. Key relievers Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez look strong.

It's hard to complain about a 10-8 start. A little better defense and the team could easily be 12-6. A quick look at the Baseball-Reference NL page (the source of the tables above) shows the team with 14 errors (3rd worst) and a .980 fielding percentage (also 3rd worst). Those don't include of the mental lapses we've all seen, and such metrics aren't always the best indicator of fielding prowess, but in this case I think we all agree the glove work could be improved. B-R has a rating they call "Defensive Efficiency" which they define as Percentage of balls in play converted into outs. This is an estimate based on team defensive and pitching stats. The Giants are 6th at .696, the league average being .689.

Going forward, it will be interesting to see what the team will do with Ryan Vogelsong and Zito's spot in the rotation. Andres Torres is sorely missed. Aubrey Huff's bat needs to wake up. Those two players had the most WAR on the team last season! Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval need to keep up the production. It would be nice to get something from Miguel Tejada. Mostly, the team's pitchers need to stay healthy and do what they do best and that's get people out. It's April. If the Giants can stay above .500 and within shouting distance of the NL West lead I wouldn't worry about things until after the ASB. The defending champs have yet to put it all together, and that's OK with me. It's a long season. There are eight more innings yet to play.


p.s. Baseball-Reference is absolutely invaluable. If you use the site, you might think about sponsoring a page. RMC, naturally, sponsors Matt Cain's page.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

With a little help from the Cubs

The Padres lose at home by the always-excruciating score of 1-0. Hey, that's Padres baseball!

The Giants go into the final stretch up by one game with six to play. San Diego has three more at home against Chicago and then comes to San Francisco for THE OCTOBER SHOWDOWN. Atlanta, with only five to play, finishes at home against Florida and Philadelphia.

SFG    88-68    --
SDP    87-69    1.0

ATL    88-69    --
SDP    87-69    1.0


Friday, April 23, 2010

Think we could use another bat?

The Texas Rangers just called up JUSTIN SMOAK to play first base. The 23-year old former South Carolina Gamecock was the 11th player taken in the June 2008 amateur draft. You might remember that the 5th player taken in that draft was 23-year old BUSTER POSEY.

Smoak's minor-league line (599 PA): .293/.411/.461
Posey's minor-league line (612 PA): .332/.425/.533

I'm just sayin'.


(h/t Hardball Talk)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

M.C. love

I mentioned recently in a post that Matt Cain was the longest-tenured Giant. Seems like that tidbit finally got noticed by Giants MLB-flak Chris Haft, who penned "Young Cain is Giants' elder statesman" for the website this weekend. (I note that RMC was not credited as a source. "No Respect!") Nonetheless the piece talked about Cain's contract status--signed through this season and with a $6.25M team option for 2011, which the Giants, according to Mr. Haft, "will almost surely exercise." That seems a pretty safe bet, and good news for fans. Maybe by 2011 we can have a real offense.

Couple of nice Cain-quotes worth posting, one on being a Giant and the other on living in San Francisco (with his wife Chelsea):

I've gone through the system, I came up in the black and orange and I love it.

We love it. We feel very, very comfortable being in the city now. We really love the San Francisco area and all that it has to offer.

Even a crusty old cynic like me needs a puff piece now and then. Matt Cain is my favorite Giant and it makes me happy that he (for now) wants to stay a Giant. The best thing about the club (besides Pablo Sandoval) is obviously the young pitchers, and Matt has given us a lot of quality starts these last 4+ seasons. I expect he'll give us many more in the next two years. I'm a hard-bitten skeptic these days, I don't believe in our Front Office, I think our lineup is a joke, and "regression to the mean" and "lurking crash potential" stream endlessly through my forebrain. But when Matt & Tim & Jonathan and perhaps even Madison take the hill, all will be right with the world for a few hours!

Other notes: we've haven't heard from GiantFan9 and Giants Jottings yet this Spring. Anyone out there know anything? I love that site--nothing is better for Spring Fever than close-up shots of the guys working out and playing, and the eye-witness commentary is always thoughtful and entertaining. Let's hope he's back on track soon. Also, take a look below the Matt pin (above the "subscribe" boxes) for some new links to pages I've added to the site. One includes tips on how to make links in the comments--you need HTML, but it is quite easy. The links make the comments look better and will likely get more readers to follow them.
-- -.-.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bud Humbug

Thomas Boswell in the Washington Post writes that Commissioner Bud Selig has appointed a 14 man committee to "analyze ways to improve baseball." Mr. Boswell writes, "After the various embarrassments of this year's postseason, piled on top of a recession-plagued year with sinking attendance, MLB has decided to get serious about correcting its problems, many of which have festered for years. From excessively long games to bad umpiring to World Series games in November to the intractable DH rule, Selig says, 'There will be no sacred cows.' " You can read the entire article here.

The committee will consist of managers Joe Torre, Mike Scioscia, Jim Leyland, and Tony LaRussa and executives and owners from Philadelphia, Toronto, Atlanta, St. Louis and Baltimore. Also, Frank Robinson. Mr. Boswell then lists 10 ideas for fixing the game, including more instant replay, a proposal to make mid-inning relief pitchers pitch to at least two batters, other proposals to speed up the game by a time-saving 15 or 20 minutes (Mr. Boswell apparently thinks this 15 or 20 minutes is "the elephant in the room," not scheduling games in November and not awarding the World Series home team advantage to the winner of the All-Star team. Mr. Boswell is very enthusiastic about this committee, comparing it to a "holiday gift."

Forgive me if I don't share Mr. Boswell's enthusiasm. Bud Selig has never done anything for baseball that does not involve getting more money from the public and stuffing it into billionaires' pockets. Starting games in November that run until 1 am on school nights on the east coast? As long as tv wants it, that is not going to change, unless tv decides that they want them to START at 1 am. Tony LaRussa on a committee to decide whether to make relief pitchers pitch to at least two batters? Has Mr. Boswell ever seen Mr. LaRussa manage a game? I could see how they could collectively decide how to make life less comfortable for the umpires, but you know what? I really could care less. I get burned as anyone when a call doesn't go the Giants way, but hey, we could make it like football and basically have the game be run by video (see stories about the Dallas Cowboy stadium on How boring. Speed up the game by 15 minutes? First of all, no one, NO ONE would then think that baseball would become lively if they think it is boring now. Second, how much do you want to bet that that 15 minutes would not be filled up with trying to sell you more crap. That is what the problem with the time in baseball is - the fact that playoff games take 6 hours because 3 and a half hours of commercials are crammed in.

Are they discussing revenue sharing and how they should set a minimum salary level if they want competitiveness? I think it is obvious that some teams make more money off of revenue sharing than they pay out in salaries, never mind ticket sales and tv revenues. How do the fans of these teams feel? Are there any fans on the committee? No? How unsprising. Are they going to address the DH? No, they are going to deal with crap that is marginal and then trumpet their "findings" while ignoring the stuff they should fix.

So, over your Irish coffees, what would you change about baseball games? What do you think should be changed that actually could be (in other words, a shorter season is a non-starter)? Happy Holidays.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Post-season sayonara

6 7 4 4 3 5
Game Score 44

Hiroki Kuroda joined the swelling ranks of Cy-Young-vs.-the-Giants pitchers last night, smothering our hapless linuep with ruthless efficiency. Some fool with a blog opined recently:

" . . . we can get him out of the game with some smart, patient approaches at the plate . . ."

Whoever wrote that clearly has not been watching the MMIX Giants. Let's see how it went. First three batters--3 pitches, 5 pitches, 3 pitches, 3 outs. The next four batters managed two hits, an RBI groundout, and 3 outs on 8 pitches. In the third inning it was 3, 5, 3, and 3 outs. The fourth? 3 batters, 10 pitches, 3 outs. The fifth? Same story, but only 8 pitches. Then it was 3 up and 3 down on 4, 2, 3 in the 6th, and 3 up and 3 down on 3, 1, 5 in the 7th. In the 8th, things finally improved. Olympic Nate made an out on 2 pitches, but John "Dirtbag" Bowker roped a triple on his 3rd pitch, Ryan Rohlinger drove in the run after a 6-pitch marathon, and Buster Posey battled to a 5-pitch strikeout. Hey, that was BUSTER POSEY finally getting some action. Let's see some more Buster, eh? The contest was already decided, but Travis Ishikawa and Kevin Frandsen managed to put two hits and a run together in the 9th off reliever Ramon Troncoso, who needed 22 pitches to end the game. Mr. Kuroda only required 86 for his 24 outs. I have to give a nod to an improving Eugenio Velez. Even though he was 0-for-4 he managed to see 16 pitches. Considering that was almost 19% of Kuroda's total, I have to like it.

In all, a par-for-the-course display by one of the worst offenses in baseball. Matt Cain was not at his best either, in fact, the 109-pitch, 6-inning, 27-batter slog could be called his worst start of the season. I blame it on that hideous fucking red cap he had to wear. No matter. It was a big game in a big series and he didn't get it done. And, truth be told, you have to give the LAtriners credit for battling, working the counts, and getting the big hits with men on.

I hate writing an obituary for a team with 21 games left to play, but the long string of wonderful luck we've had this season is running out. We've never had the bats to truly be competitive, something that we knew going in to this season, but the pitching has been so good, even better than expected, and the team has done well. I'm happy about that, but I have the sinking fear that Brian Sabean will get credit for the work done by Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, Brian Wilson, and Pablo Sandoval, and our baseball-ignorant, bow-tied CEO will give him an extension. We'll trot out another offense next year of has-beens, hackers, old fogeys, and overpaid mediocrities to "support" our stellar youngsters, and we'll be writing this same fookin' obit a month earlier. Tell me it isn't so, O My Brothers.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Saved by the bang, undone by the whimper

6 7 2 2 4 3

I was not happy when Bonehead left Cain in the game to hit in the 6th. It was a situation that screamed for a pinch-hitter (he'd thrown 99 stressful pitches at that point). Kershaw was blowing us away, and Cain, predictably, was K victim #10. But M.C. "nutted up" and got through the 6th without damage, so I guess it's "all good." But I'd have yanked him and put up our studly PH with pop, and then sent our long man out there to give me three and take the heat off the 'pen. You know, those guys on our roster who do that. You know, what's-his-name and that other guy.

Matt had a horrible first inning, and survived. He labored all night with poor control and had a hard time getting strike three. I was encouraged by the 7 ground balls, I think that's a key indicator for him. Ultimately, he only gave up two runs to a good, hot-hitting lineup. That could be attributed to luck, or to Cain's iron resolve and general awesomeness. Take your pick.

I'm willing to give Clayton Kershaw credit for his overpowering performance, after all, one hit and thirteen strikeouts is damn impressive. And we scored as soon as he was taken out of the game. Matt Cain was saved another "L" in Chavez Latrine by Gomer's big bomb. Boy, that was a thrilling moment. We had looked so bad all night, it was nice to get some redemption. (There's some fellers on our squad who need to spend some Time in the Cage with Carney, I won't mention any names.)

The enemy got two runs in the 8th to negate no. 33's heroics, which was a shame. It looked like we were going to steal a win there. Now it is past my bedtime (2200 PDT). I'll find out in the morning** how this one turns out.

**UPDATE 0639: I'm glad I turned it off. A blown DP and a WALK? I know, I know, our veteran savvy leaders will show us the way and guide the youngsters and lead us to the Land o' Milk & Honey. Unfortunately, the Lo'M&H looks a lot like last year.

(Four strikeouts for Mississippi Fred? Ugh. That's givin' me the blues, man.)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"Yovani Gallardo is a good hitter"

That's what the KNBR boys said right before he jacked the game-winner. I was on the couch, sippin' some George Dickel No. 12 (mmm-mmmm!), and thinking "ol' Johnson's doin' alright" when the youngster from México spoiled things. Who wouldn't like to have that kid in their rotation? He's only 23!

He had a .743 OPS in 42 PAs in 2007 (he was hurt most of last season).

A hit and a walk for Mississippi Fred Lewis, and a nice outing for Merkin Valdez are my highlights.


p.s. FanGraphs has a post (Matthew Carruth, 4/8) on Lincecum and his "value" in long-term contract talks. This might be the most important thing the club does this year or next. You build championships around great players, no?

Monday, February 16, 2009

A belated birthday wish . . .

. . . to Nate Schierholz, who turned 25 yesterday. Somebody besides his mom needs to notice this guy. What's that you say? Bill James?

Bill knows something we don't.

Over at FanGraphs, a stat-nerd's wet-dream site, they post the Bill James projections for 2009. That system says Nate Schierholz will play 140 games and get 536 ABs. How they do that is beyond me--I never got past tea leaves in school. Take a look.

Birthday boy will pound out a .299/.331/.491 line for an OPS of .822. Too few walks--24--to go along with 75 strikeouts. But 61 XBH (36 2B, 8 3B, 17 HR)! Who is this guy? Can we give him a job?

Extra-base hit leaders in 2008: (2B, 3B, HR, total)

R.WINN 38 2 10 50
ROWAND 37 0 13 50
MOLINA 33 0 16 49
FLEWIS 25 11 9 45

Hmmmm. That's our starting OF and our catcher.

Then there's this guy, who's been smelling for some time even though he hasn't reached his expiration date.

My question for y'all out there: what does Bill James know that we don't? And how does Nate Schierholz get all that playing time? And is he really an .822 OPS guy?

Prizes for the most creative answer.

(And somebody needs to teach me how to make tables!)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

On target

You want to soften me up, feed me stuff like this:

"(Living in Phoenix), I hear everybody every year talking about the (Arizona) Cardinals going to the Super Bowl. Look what happened this year. Let's go to Scottsdale and be optimistic. Maybe this is our year for the Giants. Why should that be so funny to say that?"

--Randy Johnson, in Henry Schulman's Chronicle story today.

I think I've gone on record this off-season expecting little or nothing from the MMIX San Francisco Giants. Then this guy comes along and reminds me what it is all about. I know he's older than Moses fer chrissakes, but I think he wants to prove something, and when a guy with his resumé has something to prove, watch out. I'm starting to get really excited about our arsenal of hard throwers. We are going to blow some people away, and that will be something, even if we can't hit homeruns.

Go Giants!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Is 83% of Jesus enough to save us?

I love the new statistics, mostly because they make Matt Cain look better than a .411 pitcher. Win percentage? Old school, dawg. Waaaaaaaay old school. The best part of my fascination with the new statistics is that I don't really do any of the homework necessary to understand them. If I can't skim a 2-line definition in a glossary of cool acronyms then I just skip the analysis as too burdensome. After all, this is baseball, an escape from tedium and hard work. Oh sure, I have the dilettante's skill of quickly cobbling together factoids and stringing them along in a seemingly-intelligent discourse, but the joke's on you, my friend. I don't know shit and I'm too damn lazy to work out what I do know. Statistics, for me, are like a salad bar. Those artichoke hearts look a little grey to you? Skip 'em. Heap on those luscious cherry tomatoes instead. The feta cheese stinkier than usual? Stick to the sunflower seeds--stolid, reliable, nourishing. If I develop a hopeless bias in favor of a ballplayer then I'll pull every fookin' bizarro statistical metric out from the brains of basement-bound mama's boys in the saber-geek universe and sing them out from the mountaintops. (Post them on my blog, at least, my cyber-equivalent.) And I'll make Richard E. Nixon look like a milquetoast when it comes to information suppression if anyone tries a nerd-stat counterstrike.

So I was breezily dashing about the 'net with Google and "Venezuelan Winter League stats" and I came across one of those difficult and time-consuming articles by one of those really smart guys at Baseball Prospectus. Lord, I thought, what a bother, and I tapped anxiously on the PAGE DOWN key until I saw this:

2000 2001 2002 2003 AvgValue
.831 .838 .812 .833 .829

Now we're talking. Quick. Easy. The Venezuelan Winter Leagues are, like, 83% as good as the big leagues. Junior high math! I'm loving it. Which, of course, brings me to Our Savior, the MVP of the VWL this season, Señor Jesus Guzman. He hit .349! Multipluy that by 0.83 and you've got a .28966666666 major league hitter!!

Quick check time: who on the 2008 Giants hit better than .290? Bengie Molina. Randy Winn, Nate Schierholz, and Pablo Sandoval. We've now arrived at that elusive marriage of the modern, analytical, weighted, adjusted, averaged and re-averaged, and simulated 10,000 times acronym-dependent statistics with old-school, Real American, God-fearing, and always-faithful batting average. They said it couldn't be done, but by golly, this is America as I think I said already, and if it can be done it will be done. Hope. Change. I'm down with it. I'm in the Big Tent and I'm drinkin' the kool-aid. Here's the rest on Our Boy Jesus: a .435 OBP (.361 in big leagues!) and .616 SLG (.511!!). That's an OPS of 1.051 (.872, my friends, that's Adrian Gonzalez country).


If that line doesn't get you a job with the 2009 San Francisco Giants, what will?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

All You Need To Know

The San Franicsco Chronicle today tells you all you need to know about the 2009 Giants. Bochy foresees Molina in cleanup spot again. Bengie Molina batting clean-up. After 2008, Molina Still bats Fourth. Going Into 2009 with Molina as the Clean-Up Hitter. No matter what you do, it always comes out the same. I won't bore you with the description, from Bochy, of the upcoming line-up, but really, go there yourself if you want to get even more depressed than the headline. Yet, the accompanying articles, with the exception of Bruce Jenkins' "I Don't Care What Ballplayers May Have or Have Not Accomplished When I Cast My Hall of Fame Ballot", are all about the pointless distraction du jour, CHASING SABATHIA. And Randy Johnson! I can see it now, the Giants finish 2009 with a team ERA of 0.79 and a .435 winning percentage. They go down in history as the weirdest team ever. Maybe I am just too short-sighted and uncreative. Maybe CC can play first and bat clean-up on days when he isn't pitching, when he can pitch and bat clean-up. Maybe what Bochy really meant was that "Unless we sign CC Sabathia or someone with some real power, we might wind up with the regrettably sucky sitution where Bengie Molina bats fourth all year again, which will probably result in a net lower performance level than last year, although I like the way he swings the bat." Sure, CC would be a great addition. So would Alex Rodriguez and maybe we can trade Aaron Rowand straight up for Matt Holiday and Eric Chavez. Maybe the face of Jesus will appear in some dust bunnies and I can make some real money. Or maybe the Giants will sign CC for big bucks, trade Matt Cain and/or Jonathan Sanchez for some hitters and make Bochy eat his words. Literally. And you know the worst part? I actually agree with almost all of Jenkin's picks and pans. But not Bruce Blyleven.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Good vibes flowin'

Giants sign Jeremy Affeldt.

Two years, not too many bucks. Are we seeing a new, more cautious approach from the Brain Trust? The Global Credit Crunch that is Barry Zito's remaining 5 years will do that to you!

El Lefty Malo and Bay City Ball take a look at Affeldt's positives:

Not only did he post a career high K rate, he also threw a lot of ground balls, more than 50%. If he can repeat that for two more years, and some of the fly balls that went over the fence in Cincy die in the echoing canyons of Mays Field, the Giants just got themselves a relief ace. (ELM)

You’ve got to like the strong K% coupled with an above average BB%. He also showed some groundball tendencies which is also nice to have in a reliever. (BCB)

Can't argue with that. Kevin Gibbs at Giants Cove calls it "a sweet little move" and Martin at OGC penned "Affeldt looks like the prize among relievers." We got a harmonic convergence going on, guys! This bodes well for the rest of the off-season, eh?

Special SHOUT-OUT section:

Big D at Giants Win for always pimpin' our site. "Walkin' the Walk!"

Chris at BCB (again) for this bit-- I’ll also be working on a PITCHf/x profile on Affedlt once I get my pitch database squared away.
Dude, we are not worthy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Raising the bar

Timothy LeRoy Lincecum has set a new standard for San Francisco Giants pitching excellence.  He deserved the Cy Young Award.  He was the best.  Congratulations, Tim!  And joy to all.  After all, we are all Giants.

And a wink-is-as-good-as-a-nod to the Good Doctor, who proved prescient:

Most likely to get the "glory":
By this I mean the hearts and souls of the fans, the acclaim, the awards; that kind of stuff. I think Matt's working man persona hurts him here. Also not having a nickname (an issue that this blog has tried to address) is a big handicap. I get the sense that Tim might be more likely to get the flashy stats (strikeouts, low BA) and we all know how the media loves that. Tim seems like a better photo op and that's probably the difference maker here.
Advantage: Tim

Raising Matt Cain is all about raising the bar.  Matt Cain is going to step it up next season.  He's not going to let Tim get all the glory and hardware.  He's going to kick the little pipsqueak's ass!!

Well, OK.  Sorry.  I'm getting pumped up for my main man!!  And I'm losing it.  Speaking of losing it, it's my birthday tomorrow.  I will be older than Tim + Matt.  And I'm going to spend money on Matt Cain.  Such a deal!

Baseball-Reference is always seeking page sponsorships.  And, in a sudden development, Matt's B-R page needed a sponsor!  Fabulous news.  (I use B-R like a drug.)  I pulled the trusty old PayPal account out of the garage, dusted it off, gave it new spark plug and spent the bucks.  Eighty-four Yankee dollars.  That was easy--my lovely bride and I got married on 8-4-84.  Eighty-four is my number!


I'll stop yelling now.

<---Click on Matt's bobblehead box cover to go to his page.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tim Is Much Cuter Than Ross Perot

From Henry Schulman in today's SF Chronicle:

In the Players Choice awards announced Monday by the Major League Baseball Players Association, Lincecum outpolled Arizona's Brandon Webb and Milwaukee's CC Sabathia for Outstanding Pitcher in the NL. Later Monday, the Sporting News announced that Lincecum won its player polling for NL Pitcher of the Year.
Cy so what? If the guys who actually have to stand in the box and face pitchers vote Mr. Lincecum the best pitcher in the National League, what possible rationale could there be for some old guy on the east coast to look at win totals and decide that a pitcher on some east coast team was "better"? We all know that, because there are various attributes involved, unlike, say, picking the home run leader, that the Cy Young award can be somewhat subjective. However, if you read various newspaper columns around the country written by people who actually get to vote, then you begin to wonder what criteria is really in use, if any. So I have two possible suggestions. One, relegate the Cy Young to a minor mention, call it the old writers pitching award, and make a big deal out of the player's choice awards. Or, let Chris at Bay City Ball, the guys at and Grant at McCovey Chronicles vote. At least they partly pay attention. Congratulations Tim! You deserve it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Supermassive black hole

That's what happens in my brain when I think about third base.

Fan Graphs has a breakdown of the available free-agent third basemen. It ain't pretty. The only one remotely interesting is big-stick no-glove recovering-from-injury Hank Blalock, but the Rangers have an option on him.

Tell me, buckos, who's on third? Pablo Sandoval? Kevin Frandsen? Ryan Rohlinger? Conor Gillaspie? Makes you miss Pedro Feliz, eh?

Help! I'm being sucked into a supermassive black hole!!


(NASA image: public domain)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

In-Game Feelings Duet

Brother Bob:
The point, if any, of my recent personal reminicsenses, is that what I care about is how baseball makes me feel, what makes it heroic at times, deeply moving at many times, maddening, heartbreaking, etc.

But I vow to tell no more family updates for now, and to keep the old stories to a minimum.

But I won't stop commenting on how players look, or whether they have funny names (you know I have dibs on guys whose name ends in "Z"- I can't wait for Valdez and Velez and Schierholtz to come back to the big club).

Which of course brings us to my true love, Jonathan Sanchez. What a pretty, pretty man. If he were doing this with the Yankees he would already be on the cover of GQ, would've had a guest spot on Letterman, and who knows he may already be on billboards wearing his undies.

Until Cain runs off a good long streak of wins, Sanchez is OBVIOUSLY the second best starter on the Giants. His upside is immense.

As I write this, Barry Zito, our #1 starter, our albatross, was removed from the game in progress against the dreaded Indians of Cleveland. Zito appears be "very disappointed" according to David Fleming. 3-0 Giants...hard hit ball past Bowker drives in a run!..."generous scoring" ...Taschner comes in........

Hey! Jon! Your turn!

J C Parsons:
Which means everything is now OK. Threat over, Zito is still in line to win. As my visiting Bro noted, Zito was apparently miffed at coming out after, what can only be called a magnificent job. It is great to see that he has some fire in his belly. I have always WANTED to like the guy, he just sucked SO BAD. If he could just be a crafty, effective, AVERAGE starter....

Bowker just hit his eighth homer! How many of you had him even seeing the majors this year? I love insurance runs. Now in the last of the eighth, Bochy is showing a little NL managing mojo, giving up the DH in order to make a defensive replacement. All the poor Cleveland fans are probably confused by actual baseball strategy. "Big Money" Molina delivers another insurance run!! ( I thought only good teams did that? ) Now Wilson gets a shot at an easy save with a 4-1 lead. Bang! The first hitter singles, of course. Maybe I'll just shut up until this is over. (Pause)

Wow, did that work well! No sooner did I "shut up" than Bang! a double play, then a fly out. A nifty victory from Barry Zito. (That phrase sounds strange...)

As Jon Miller pointed out, the Giants haven't lost in Cleveland in 54 years!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

7+ 6 3 3 1 11

Rubbin' salt, Bru, rubbin' salt in the festering sore that is Matt Cain's rotten luck. Why leave Matt in to pitch the 8th? He'd thrown 104 pitches and whiffed 11 fookin' guys in 7 studly innings, and was naturally on the hook for a Loss. Rotten luck he had to face Harden. Rotten luck the Giants can't score runs. Why make it worse, Bonehead? Two runs allowed wasn't good enough for you? Matt has struggled with consistency and control all season, he goes out there and gives you an ass-kickin' start, so what do you do? Send him out to pitch an inning YOU KNOW HE WON'T FINISH?? That's why you have relief pitchers, Bonehead. (And don't give me crap about batting orders and lineup spots and all that, that's why you have a bench.) The man did the job. Take the ball, sit him down and tell him "nice work, kid, do it again next time."

The Heimlich Won't Stop the Gagging Award: Aaron Rowand's cheesy move on Suzuki's "triple." Nice going, Gomer.

Honorable Mention: Bengie Molina. Like Gomer, Gordito's fielding goes south along with his hitting.

It is bad enough to have the A's absolutely OWN us. What's worse is that it isn't luck, bad breaks, timing, or Acts of Gods. They are better than us. They have more talent. They play better baseball. They have better management. They deserve to own us.

On the lighter side, I've thrown around some big bucks, lads. It cost me a tenner to sponsor Brad Hennessey's page on Baseball-Reference. And a five-spot to sponsor Billy Sadler. I realize BH is in the minors (my guess is he gets traded in mid-season), and BS is a bit of a longshot, but I'm a cheap bastard, OK? I tagged the pages with my other blogs, Ten Pound Press and French Street Brewery. If you aren't a denizen of B-R's dungeons, you're missing out.