Saturday, April 30, 2005

Do What I Tell You

You. There. Follow this link: The View From 302.

It'll take you to Bud Hudgin's site, which is a part of John Perricone's group of writers at Only Baseball Matters. Yes, you've been to John's site before, but were too lazy to click on the links near the top of the page, and thus have missed Bud's part of the site. I am here to correct this error.

Listen to the sound of my...uh, fingers on the keys, and Obey. I could tell you that Bud speaks articulately and with a sharp wit, but as John has entrusted Bud with part of the site (and thus, a bit of John's reputation), that should already be understood. Plus, you're under my power and stuff, so you gotta like, do what I tell you to anyhow.

So. Go. Visit. Read. Think. Comment. Here. Now.

When I snap my fingers, you will feel refreshed. You will also feel a powerful craving for Spicy Nacho Cheese Doritos and sour cream, but that will pass -- only to be replaced by a more powerful craving for coffee Haagen-Dasz, which will not pass.

What, you still here instead of here?

Ar ju keedink me?

Forgive me pitiful attempt at trying to type out an imitation of Tony Montana from Scarface. But really, are you kidding me?

Again, welcome back Dr. Jeckyll, a.k.a. Brett Tomko.

Well, wait a moment, these were the Pittsburgh Pirates, people, whose paltry offense possesses no potential, no power, and possibly is the poorest in talented players in professional baseball...except for my other fave team, of course, the Royals.

So, grain of salt, meet Tomko's latest start.

Grain of Salt: Hey, Brett Tomko. How's it going? You know, your last start was dominant, but it was against the Pirates.

Tomko: Where is that voice coming from?

Grain of Salt: Down here. In your french fries.

Tomko: Oh, crap. How am I going to explain THIS to the shrink?

On the other hand, what else was Tomko supposed to do? He made a start against a weaker offensive team and threw a complete game four-hitter, allowing only two runs.

And the other thing is, the Giants ended up needing him to do exactly that, as they only scored three runs themselves.

However, a win is a win, and after the Diamondbacks found themselves the victim of a 15 inning loss to the Padres yesterday...or actually, earlier today (the Dodgers won), the Giants find themselves creeping just a eensie weensie bit closer to the top of the division again. Three and a half back after Thursday, only three back after yesterday. Keep 'em within arm's reach, fellas.

Notes on notable things I noticed:
  • Remember how hot Edgardo Alfonzo was earlier this season? He may have cooled down, but Jason Ellison has heated up in his stead. Ellison went 3 for 5 yesterday at the top of the Giants order. He's beginning to amass some numbers that can't be ignored, like: 1) 1.233 OPS, 2) only 2 walks, but only 3 strikeouts in 30 at-bats, 3) four stolen bases without getting get the idea. Now, would Ellison do this over 300+ at-bats? In a word, heck-no-are-you-nuts. Would Ellison be better than Marquis Grissom over 300+ at-bats? Hm, I don't know, but I suspect it's possible, and maybe even probable. Somebody had to finally go Over that Hill for the Giants this year, and it could well be Grissom. If by mid-May Grip is still running somewhere around his current .224/.241/.342 line and Ellison is still doing a 1.000+ OPS, a change must be made, regardless of how much Grissom is being paid, and regardless of how many years he's been where and done what.
  • Omar Vizquel continues to find ways to contribute offensively, and I am no longer worried about him being a liability, unless fatigue sets in later in the season (very possible at the shortstop position). But for now? Heh, ar ju keedink me? .810 OPS, 7 steals without getting caught, more walks than strikeouts, and he's spraying the ball all over the diamond. And that part of the diamond you're thinking of now? Yeah, yeah, he's spraying it there, too.
  • Ray Durham is continuing to inch his way back to offensive respectability. Moises Alou still has a way to go, but in lieu of getting hits, he's drawing a ton of walks, averaging about a walk every four plate appearances.
  • Mike Matheny's still showing some surprising pop in the early going, with the go ahead home run in yesterday's game. He's cooled some from his hot start, but he's still slugging .446. If he were to somehow hold this offensive level the rest of the season, he'll easily be worth his salary.
  • The bullpen was great yesterday against the Pirates. What's that? The bullpen didn't have to pitcher yesterday against the Pirates? Great!

And are the Giants just neat or what? Right now they stand at 11-11 for the season, and have scored 110 runs while allowing 110 runs -- so they're scoring an average of five per game while allowing five per game. Their actual record and their Pythagorean record are exactly the same.

So cool how they decided to do that just before continuing on what will become their 11 game winning streak. Only eight more to go...

Friday, April 29, 2005

Nothing Substantial

Nothing real for today, except Go Giants and Go Royals (not that the latter matters much). I'm going to attempt a real entry tomorrow, as I have the day off.

I have made a few of additions to the sidebar, the first of which is The Pearly Gates, an Anaheim Angels blog. Nice site -- they do more than just baseball there, throwing in some political commentary sometimes, along with entries about other sports occasionally. So go visit Josh and Richard, and tell 'em I sent ya -- unless, of course, you end up posting some sort of stupid or deragatory comment, in which case you don't know me, you've never met me, and you've certainly never visited my blog.

The second is Ducksnorts, which is my first San Diego Padres link. Aren't y'all proud of me? Geoff Young, the writer for the site, was kind enough to lead some people back here a few days ago with a link in one of his entries (of course it just had to be one of my more rambling posts, probably leading 40-50 Padres fans to think I'm a blithering idiot).

The last is...brace yourself...a Dodgers blog! Duh-dun--duh-dunnnnnnnn! Oh, the HORROR!

Alright, that's enough of that.

It's actually a double-play blog, and it's named after a double play: a 6-4-2 double play, to be exact. Rob McMillin writes on both the Dodgers and Angels, and does a good job of it.

Also, a sidenote: this blog will be out of commission for anywhere from a couple of days to as much as as four or five days next week, as I'll be moving. However, be happy, because about two weeks following the move I will be my Holy Ascension into the World of High Speed Internet!

Of course, my computer will still be as crappy as ever and in need of replacement, but that's neither here nor there.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

And a left! And a right! And another right!

The Giants just keep on taking 'em on the chin.

After the absolute worst thing that could happen happened in the form of Barry Bonds' injury, the bad luck stepped up to take away Moises Alou for a stretch (although I don't think it mattered as much as it might seem). What's the worst thing that could happen after that? Injury to Jason Schmidt? Well, yes, but after that?

Injury to Armando Benitez? Ding, ding ding, ding! You win an all-expenses-paid trip to Fresno, California, where you can pick the Giants next reliever!

Do you want a little Brad Hennessey? How about Jesse Foppert? Matt Cain or Merkin Valdez? Maybe Kevin Correia?

Heh. What you're gonna get is Scott Munter. Take it and like it.

I dunno what to think about that right now. All I know is that they paid Benitez a lot of money to be the closer after Rob Nenn's salary was finally off the books, thinking that it'd be nice to have a good closer again.

Well, after Benitez hardly showed anything to resemble the closer the Giants thought they'd acquired, he tears his hamstring and will be out for...quite a while. Possibly the entire season. The Giants freaking need AFLAC, so when these players miss work, it won't hurt to miss work. Of course, Benitez already has cash, which is just as good as money.

I suppose, if the Giants are actually able to stay in the race somehow, we'll be able to look at all of this and think, "What a gritty, gutty team!".

But for now? They're a very hurt team; one that is going to need a lot of breaks to keep up with the Dodgers and Diamondbacks in the NL West. Or, failing that, Brian Sabean needs to work those phones and find some band-aids for these bullet wounds in the Giants hopes for contention. The unfortunate thing about that is, the only pretty rocks the Giants have to get other teams' attention is pitching: specifically, young prospects such as the aforementioned Cain and Valdez. The last couple of times that Sabean has traded away young pitching it hasn't worked (see: Ainsworth, Kurt, and Nathan, Joe). Ainsworth hasn't become anything for the Orioles, yet, but Sydney Ponson didn't exactly give the Giants what they were looking for. A.J. Pierzynski wasn't horrible with his on-field play, but when one looks at what Nathan is doing in Minnesota coupled with the closer problems the Giants had last season, one must count that trade as a big-time loss.

(sidenote: Sabean's got to feel like a doofus whenever Nathan's name is brought up. Were I him, I'd make a just-bit-hard-into-a-lemon face everytime someone mentioned it. Of course, the Pirates whole organization probably makes that face when the Jason Schmidt trade is brought up. Heh. Schmidt and John Vander Wal for Ryan Vogelsong and Armando Rios. Heh.)

So if anybody talks to Sabes in the next week or two, tell him I said to be very, very careful if he decides to trade away any pitching, alright?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Not Dead Yet

J.T. Snow got an extra-base hit!

Actually, he got three of 'em last night vs. the San Diego Padres. His SLG went from the same as his average (.333) to .434 in just one game. Nice.

I would've posted a bit more on last night's game, but Blogger was down for most of the day until this point, and today's game is in the 8th inning as I'm writing this. As I also am watching today's game and did not get to see last night's game, this ought to work out a bit better.

Thus far in today's game (which actually just ended):
  • Yorvit Torrealba had himself another nice game. A spectacular defensive play in the 1st inning on a bunt by Mark Loretta -- Torry had to sprint about 8 feet out from the plate to grab the ball, and as he's right handed, had to make a near-180 degree turn to fire and nail the speedy Loretta at first base by...1/235th's of a step. Also, Torry's 2 for 3 at the plate with a walk, a double, two runs scored, a stolen base, and an RBI. He even threw out Dave Roberts at 2nd, though that looked to be a missed hit-and-run; Roberts is never thrown out by that much if he's thrown out at all. Torry's making the most of his playing time, but for those of us who were a bit confused at the Mike Matheny signing, we have to realize that this won't mean anything in regards to Yorvit's playing time. Matheny would have to suck defensively as well as offensively for anything to change.
  • Jason Ellison is had himself a nice one, too. Already with an OPS of 1.092 in limited playing time, Elly will add to that with what looks to end up as a 3 for 3 day, with an infield single, a walk, and a triple to go along with three runs scored. The man is very fast. Again, he won't have lots of opportunities to get more playing time unless Marquis Grissom is either hurt or plays horribly over an extended stretch.
  • Kirk Reuter won't be ashamed at his day, either. Only giving up four hits and one run through 5 2/3 innings pitched, he was fairly efficient. He even got a punch-bunt single and scored a run.
  • Al Levine also got it done on the mound, and is continuing his scoreless streak from the spring. He even got a couple of at-bats in, something he's never done at the major league level. No, no hits for Levine. Sorry, you can't have it all.
  • Say what you will about Pedro Feliz (and I've said plenty), but the man does find ways to contribute, and does seem to find ways to maximize his strengths. With a 3-run jack that opened up scoring for the Giants today, he's now got 21 RBI in 21 games played. He's even drawing a walk every now and then. It was also Feliz' 30th birthday today, which makes Brian Sabean much more comfortable.

Well, it ended up being a 10-3 Giants victory, giving them a much-needed series victory not only over a division rival in the Padres, but against a team other than the Colorado Rockies.

Sidenote: this was just the day for former Royals, as the Padres sent both Darrel May and Dennys Reyes to the mound in relief of Tim Redding, and the Giants had Michael Tucker and Al Levine. Move along, nothing to see here.

Royals Recap

Another week gone by, and a new and interesting way for the Royals to only win one game. Two weeks ago, they had to come back from five runs down to win their one game. This past week, it was a walk-off home run by none other than the esteemed slugger Alberto Castillo. Alberto Castillo...Albert Pujols...nope, too far of a stretch.

The difference in the losses last week is that the Royals were actually competitive in most of them, with four of their six losses being by one run (this doesn't include their one run loss to the Twins last night). Does this mean the Royals aren't quite as bad as they seem?

Of course not. The Royals are horrible right now. However, in a fit, I don't know, let's call it insanity...I've decide to once again point out the bright spots in the week that has been, because it doesn't take a biochemical engineer to see that a 1-6 week would spawn more bad comments than good ones. And also because I'm insane.

Beginning with offense, because it'll be short:

  • David DeJesus is still doing well. He's didn't keep up that insane walk rate that he had going earlier, but he's hitting over .300 and running an OPS over .800. Somewhat odd stat: of DDJ's 21 hits, he's managed to get two home runs and two triples before he's gotten his first double of the year.
  • Matt Stairs is continuing to be exactly what he is: a dude that can swing some mean stick, working his side of the platoon against right-handed pitchers to the tune of a 1.139 OPS with an ISO slugging of an even 300. The Royals are doing their jobs in regards to the platoon, as Stairs' 31 at-bats vs righties and 9 at-bats vs. lefties will attest. The Royals are maximizing Stairs' effectiveness at the plate.
  • Joe McEwing is carrying a batting average of about .400 right now -- too bad that he's made 3 errors in only 7 games played, and just shouldn't be getting any more than minimal playing time.. He would, however, be pretty good -- if it weren't for the fact that he's very bad.

Onto the bright spot of the...okay, the dimly-lit-but-Nova-like-in-comparison-to-the-black-pit-known-as-the-Royals-offense side of the team, the pitching:

  • Thank God for the ray of light that is known to many as Andy Sisco. That link will take you to his page, where you can see what he's accomplished thus far in the season (or, you can just wait for my impatient ass to tell you). An over 3 to 1 so/bb ratio, 9.82 K's per 9, 0.82 WHIP, .143 BAA (batting average against), 1.23 ERA. Oh, and he's 6'10", 270 lbs., and 22 years old. He's come onto a horrible team and is dominating, plain and simple. The Royals must, I mean MUST give this kid a different role than middle relief if he keeps this up for much longer.
  • Denny Bautista had a wonderful bounce-back game against the White Sox on Sunday, proving that nothing is proven yet. After dominating the Angels in his 2005 debut, and then having consecutive rough outings against the Mariners and Indians, he essentially dominated the Sox for 6 of the 7 innings he pitched. All of his peripherals are good-to-decent, with the only glaring number being his ERA. If one looks at his other numbers, the ERA can be fairly easily ignored at this point.
  • Somewhere, despite the trials and tribulations of his ballclub, Royals GM Allard Baird is laughing at the Orioles and Cubs. Remember, the Orioles gave up Bautista for Jason Grimsley, and Sisco was a Rule V pickup that the Cubs let go. Those clubs can't be happy with how those moves have turned out thus far. Actually, nevermind Baird laughing at them, I'm laughing at them right now. Here I go...heh, heh heh, guffaw! (Please realize, laughing at other teams for doing something stupid is a thing Royals fans can only rarely do, so opportunities cannot be bypassed for any reason, including the risk of being incredibly corny.)
  • Zack Greinke is being Zack Greinke. If he had any sort of team behind him, he could challenge for the Cy Young in the next year or two -- easily.
  • Another kid sighting. Ambiorix Burgos stepped onto the Royals roster last week and had a nice first outing in the majors, pitching one full inning against the White Sox on Saturday, fanning one batter and throwing 9 strikes out of 13 pitches. After this feat, along with the understood fact that Burgos has instantly become the funkiest name in baseball (with a nod to former champ Vladimir Guerrero), Burgos suffered some good ol' Royal heartache, taking a loss in a game that saw him surrender 2 bloop singles and be victimized by an error from a player who shouldn't even be on the roster (the aforementioned Joe McEwing). The Royals are making me shake my head, though. In yesterday's game Burgos came on in the 9th inning, in that kind of hold situation that closers will generally occupy, although the score was tied at the time. Still, Kevin and I had a short conversation about this very thing with Burgos -- the Royals deciding he'll be a relief pitcher when he's only 20 years old. Hey, I'm hoping he'll become K-Rod, but why not teach the kid a 3rd pitch and see if he can become Johan Santana, first?
  • Mike Wood is good. After a good initial outing followed by two of the rockiest of rocky outings, Wood has pitched seven innings in relief over three appearances and allowed all of one hit and two walks. This is the pitcher Kevin and I wanted to be considered for a spot in the rotation after Spring Training, but he is showing his worth in the bullpen.
  • Man, the pitching line thus far for relievers Nate Field and Shawn Camp are downright spooky. They both have 6.2 innings pitched, both have given up one home run, and they both have a 9.45 ERA. Their hits and walks allowed pluse strikeouts are all similar as well. Hm, could be that both of them suck, too. Like I said, spooky.

Anyhoo, that's all for this week's Royal Recap. I'll see y'all next week where I'll find more positive things to say, leading more readers to wonder, "Doesn't he realize they have the worst record in the AL?"

If I don't admit it, perhaps it will not be true. You know; trees falling, forests, nobody around, and noise-theory-thingie.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Argh! My ears!

Ouch. Lotsa loud contact vs. Noah Lowry in the early going, as the Padres have put up 3 runs.

If Lowry can hold them, similar to what he did in his last start (struggle early, settle down in the middle innings), then...

Well, the Giants won't lose by so many runs, then. Seriously, my positive vibes from earlier aside, does anybody feel the Giants are due to score many more runs than the one they have now? I mean, I realize that they can score more runs, but it just doesn't seem likely.

Ah, well, nevermind.

Update (8:30) - Hm, Lowry did settle down. Even when he's not all that good, Lowry still finds a way to impress me.

Update (9:28) - Tyler Walker has officially Settled Down. If you look at his games this year and ignore his well-over 5.00 ERA, then you could see that after allowing runs in his first two appearances, he's allowed none in the subsequent five...

...holy crap, what a play by Ray Durham, showing some Baron Davis-type hops on a line drive by Mark Loretta. You should be a-seein' that one on your fave sports highlight show tonight.

Anyhow, while Walker has settled down, he still has some lingering control problems -- like his stuff is too nasty to control sometimes, a la Jim Brower.

Again, not to be too anti-positive, but I'm going to note that two of the three Giants runs to this points were driven in by flare singles, the second of which should never have fallen in. Woody Williams is a plenty good pitcher, but the Giants must find some kind of run support for their starters.

Update (9:44) - A tip of the cap to a few Giants: Edgardo Alfonzo, Omar Vizquel, and Ray Durham, all of whom have managed to have more walks than strikeouts thus far this season. That is always a good thing.

(sigh) Nice sliding catch by Mark Loretta in the 8th. It would've been foul, but at least Grissom would've stayed alive in the at-bat -- wait, with one out and a man on 1st, perhaps that was best, as Grip no longer had the chance to hit into a double play. This inning's scoring potential now rests on the shoulders of Mike Matheny.

(sigh) Another nice Padres defensive play, this time by Sean Burroughs, to end the inning.

By the way, a larger tip of the cap to Edgardo Alfonzo, who, while cooling down from his h-h-h-h-hot start, is cooling down, not going cold. He's still getting hits and collecting walks while playing a solid defensive 3rd base. He's finally earning the money on that contract -- here's to hoping he keeps it up.

Update (10:03) - Hm. Loss. 3 runs by our offense. Painful. This is starting to stray into an area where we'll simply have to admit the Giants just aren't very good. I was hoping the Giants could find themselves at .500 by the end of April, but that isn't looking likely.

Not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good

Every good blog should have a reference to Run D.M.C. in at least one of their entries, right?

Well, the title is fitting, for while the Giants only won one game of this three game set against the Brewers, I saw some things that I liked. And for once, I'm going to concentrate on the good stuff. I'll start with Saturday's game:

  • I really like bullet points. Just thought I'd let you all know that.
  • Welcome, Dr. Jeckyll. Brett Tomko's better half showed up on Saturday. It wasn't a dominant game, but it was decent, and it was galaxies better than his other starts. For some reason, with Tomko's velocity, I'm always expecting better strikeouts numbers. Gotta shake that.
  • Yorvit Torrealba got to play! In light of Mike Matheny's recent slump that has brought him back to more Matheny-ish offensive levels, this was a refreshing thing. Yorvit took advantage, falling a triple short of the cycle (not that it makes any difference) and driving in a couple. One might think that with Matheny and the entire offense struggling at the plate, and Torry having a great offensive game, that Felipe Alou might see fit to play Yorvit the next day. Uh, no. Non. Nyet. Matheny laced 'em up on Sunday, and promptly went 0-4 in a game the Giants lost by 2 runs. (insert long, drawn out sigh here)
  • Wow, so this is what it's like to have a, I'd heard stories and all, but...
  • Yeah. Can't stay all positive, though, because issuing 3 walks in 2 2/3rds innings pitched just isn't the way to shut the door on the opposing team, but Armando Benitez made up for that with a dominating 1 2/3rds innings for the save.
  • Hey, how does Jim Brower end up with a hold when he didn't get an out, and took all of four pitches to walk the one batter he faced? Oh, sorry, I forgot...positivity. My bad.

Sunday's game, which I didn't have the opportunity to watch:

  • Can somebody tell me how in the name of Snuffaluffagus that J.T. Snow got a steal? Was it a straight steal, or was it a blown pickoff. Maybe a blown hit-and-run with a bad throw to 2nd? I need deeeetails, man, details!
  • Jason Christiansen wasn't horrible, and this is good.
  • Jason Ellison is still swinging a good bat.
  • The team drew seven walks, three of them coming from Michael Tucker.
  • Jerome Williams struck out five while walking none. Too bad about allowing all those hits and runs, though.
  • Moises Alou officially is a member of the Giants after contributing to the cause with a deep fly. Welcome aboard, Moises.

It's good to see a chink in the Dodgers armor, finally, as the Rockies decided that they wanted to be a better team than the Pittsburgh Pirates and took two of three from L.A. The Giants position isn't looking as bad as their record, really, as the Padres have lost three straight to the Diamondbacks, and the Diamondbacks, while tough, can't really be expected to hold a record above .500 while being outscored by their opponents. Something would have to give their sooner or later, unless Arizona decides they want to be the 2003 Royals.

Saturday, April 23, 2005


Both of my favorite teams, the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals, suffer from an utter lack of ability to score runs, a shaky bullpen, and inconsistent starting pitching. Giants lose 6 to 1 to the Milwaukee Brewers, the Royals lose 8 to 2 to the Chicago White Sox on Friday night.

I'm sure this means something, but I don't know what it is. I do know, however, that it makes for some frustrating baseball to watch/listen to, and I wish that the respective managers/GM's of these two teams are thinking of some way to solve it. It's looking to be a long season to be a fan of these two teams.

Points of similar frustration:

  • The Giants allowed 8 walks, the Brewers none. The Royals allowed 7 walks, the White Sox one.
  • The Giants offense could only collect 5 hits, with one of them coming via the unlikely source of Kirk Rueter. The Royals, with the help of the DH, put together 4 hits.
  • Both Rueter and Runelvys Hernandez battled trying to keep their team in the game, but through six full innings of play each starter's respective team had scored one run in support of their starter's efforts. Abyssmal.
  • The Giants actually hit for power, with 4 of their 5 hits being for extra bases (3 doubles, 1 triple). But it goes to show you how important walks can be, because after not drawing a single walk in the game, the Giants had nobody to drive in with those extra base hits. The Giants lone run was scored on a ground out.
  • Ditto the Royals, with their two runs being scored on a sacrifice fly and a ground out, respectively. So both teams weren't driving anyone in, per se.
  • The Giants have been held to three (3) runs or less 6 times in their 16 games, while the Royals have pulled this dubious feat off 10 of their 17 games. Sounds like a bit of a difference, until one sees that the Royals did not have the Colorado Rockies on their schedule.
  • Both teams just happen to have the teams with the best record in their leagues in the same division as they are, with the Giants having the Los Angeles Dodgers winning at a .750 clip in the NL West, and the Royals having the White Sox winning at a .765 pace.

Being honest, Allard Baird, GM of the Royals, probably isn't looking to do anything drastic to change the direction his team is facing -- the Royals poor start should have been generally expected, and Baird really doesn't have any players within reach to help his team in any significant way.

Brian Sabean, on the other hand, does have some reinforcements on the way...or, perhaps he doesn't. When the heck is Barry Bonds due to start swinging a bat again? In any case, with attendance already down quite a bit, unless he knows something the rest of us don't, Sabean needs to be working the phones to try and get some offensive help. Sure, Moises Alou is back, but does anyone really have the feeling that this will change anything significantly? None of us have yet to see M. Alou do anything positive in a Giants uniform, and as I stated on Thursday, the players the Giants have had in right field, Michael Tucker and Jason Ellison, have done well enough with the bat to this point that Alou would have to hit the cover off of the ball to add any offense to the right field position.

Somebody give me a pep talk or Pepto. I may need both.

Friday, April 22, 2005

...Stuff with a capital "STUFF"

I hope you're wearing Kevlar, because here come the bullets:

  • The Giants followed a frustrating loss Wednesday with a frustrating win Thursday. Nothing undermines the desire to have confidence in your team after somehow losing a game in which you outhit your opponent by 8 hits and don't manage to score any runs (yes, I realize the Giants did score 1 run on Wednesday, but it was the most excuse-me run I've ever seen, as Mike Matheny took advantage in the 9th after a lazy throw into second from the outfield on a shallow fly ball. As soon as Matheny saw the throw, he ran in to score a meaningless run, unless of course one hates shutouts). The D-Backs got 3 hits, scored 2 runs, and walk away with a double-u.
  • On Thursday the Giants won, but had to scratch and claw for runs again, somehow scoring the 3 runs needed to send the game into extra innings on only 2 hits. They added a few more hits in the 13th to score the winning run, but boy, this is so agonizing the watch.
  • Oh, and before someone calls Deivi Cruz "clutch" for his game-winning single last night, remember -- the bases were loaded with nobody out. The odds weren't exactly against Deivi in that instance, and the Giants would've had to be Bad News Bears bad to not score the game-winning run in the 13th.
  • We get Milwaukee, but we don't get Ben Sheets. I don't know whether to be upset that I don't get to see Sheets pitch, or happy-go-lucky the Giants don't have to face him. Hm, as I work both Saturday and Sunday and wouldn't have been able to see those two games anyway, I'll go with Option B.
  • The Brewers aren't as bad as the Rockies, but they're on the road and they're bad enough. Giants need to take 2 of 3, at the least. Caveat? Kirk Rueter and Brett Tomko are starting 2 of the 3 games.
  • After stumbling somewhat after my mention of my slump-breaking mojo, Ray Durham is back on the sauce, going 1 for 3 on Thursday while drawing 3 walks and scoring half of the Giants 4 runs. I'm waiting for his power numbers to catch up, but right now he's doing more than his share as a leadoff hitter -- despite hitting only .208, Durham's on-base percentage is a respectable .365. However, he's slugging only .250, so there is obviously plenty still to work on. My mojo will prevail, though, never you fear.

On another note, I've gone and messed with the sidebar again, throwing up a couple more links to my other fave club, the Kansas City on-their-way-to-another-100-loss-season Royals (just kidding, they'll only lose 95).

The first is Warning Track Power, and the second is The Daily Lancer.

Play like a supermarket cashier and check 'em out.

I've also taken a couple of links off, because I don't want the links to get out of control and become useless. If you see a link there now, it'll be because either: a) I like the site and visit it frequently, or b) because the site was kind enough to link me, and it's usually both A and B together.

Have a funky fresh weekend, and barring me slipping in an entry on the weekend, I'll be back on Monday with the Royals Recap and more Giants joy/agony.

What, does he have mind control or something?

How does Neifi do it?

I mean, he's been playing quite a bit of baseball over the last bunch of seasons, despite being horrible, horrible...HORRIBLE!

Just horrible.

While in Kansas City with the Royals, Neifi's horrible-ness was revealed. After running an OPS over 700 for about four seasons worth of at-bats (can you believe Neifi once hit 31 homers over three seasons?), the Royals traded for Perez, giving up Jermaine Dye in a menage-a-trade with the Colorado Rockies and the Oakland A's.

You don't trade for Neifi Perez, you end up with Neifi Perez.

After a part season and full season of below 600 OPS (and significant damage to my psyche), the Royals realized they goofed and didn't re-sign Neifi (though not until after he fleeced them for 4 million). Brian Sabean gave him a job as a utility infielder with the Giants, which wasn't all that bad of a move. Neifi can be an effective enough utility player, although he still can't hit his way out of a wet paper sack. His defense and infield versatility does have some limited value.

While in San Fransisco, he played more than his share by actually being half-useful with the bat for a few months. He was still horrible deep inside, but managed to hide it for a while, hitting around .290 or so in a part-time role. But time missed by Ray Durham and some poor play by Rich Aurilia got Neifi regular playing time, and then he ended up at his usual uselessness levels, ending with a .633 OPS in an undeserved 328 at-bats.

But, he's a useful kind utility guy, right? He can play 2nd, 3rd, and SS, and he was kinda hitting for just a little bit, right? I mean, I don't know if that's what Giants GM Brian Sabean was thinking, but it couldn't be that far off. Either that, or those 'shrooms were particularly potent that day he was thinking about who he wanted at SS for 2004.

After not re-signing Aurilia, Sabean let Neifi have the starting SS job, along with 1.5 how-the-heck-did-he-get-that million. And wonder of wonders, Neifi sucked at the plate (doing yet more damage to my psyche). He sucked so bad, even Sabean figured it out, but only after Perez amassed another undeserved 319 at-bats and threw up a nasty trifecta: sub-300 batting average, sub-300 on-base percentage, and sub-300 slugging percentage.

The Giants let Neifi go, where he promptly gained lawful employment with the Chicago Cubs, where he promptly put up an OPS of .948 in the 62 at-bats Dusty Baker gave him. Funny how Neifi all of a sudden can hit in hitter's parks, isn't it?

In any case, I suppose this little stint impressed the Cubs enough that they brought him back for 2005, and gave him another how-the-heck-did-he-get-that million dollars. And there Neifi is, ready to step in as Nomar Garciaparra injures his groin and goes out for 2-3 months.

Now, here we go again. Cubs GM Jim Hendry ought to be looking for other options to fill that SS hole instead of letting Neifi start there for 2-3 months, but guess what?

In 41 at-bats, Neifi's running a .317 batting average with a .748 OPS. Gee, what a surprise. Neifi all of a sudden is hitting in a hitter's ballpark. Gee, what a surpirse, when Neifi's usefullness is almost at an end, an opportunity to get more playing time arises, and he just happens to be hitting a little at the same time.

What, does he have mind control or something? And why did he have to be so horrible for both of my favorite teams?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Warning! Extreme Realism Ahead!

It seems that the Giants are likely to struggle scoring runs against everybody except the Rockies.

Wait, I already said that here and here.

I understood the measly two runs against Jake Peavy, but Brian Lawrence had been knocked around in his first two starts, so I wrongly assumed the Giants would be able to scratch out another couple of runs.

Nope. What I got for my prediction was another two runs in a 5-2 loss.

Now, some of you may have noticed or heard that the Giants lead (or, after the San Diego series, led) the league in team batting average at a .305 clip. Sounds good, right?

And the Giants, even after tonight, are tied for 9th in the majors in runs scored, at around 5.5 runs scored per game. Not too shabby, right?

Please allow us to take the Colorado Rockies out of the equation.

Against other teams that aren't the worst team in baseball, the Giants are scoring three (3) runs per game.

Against other teams that aren't the worst team in baseball, the Giants are batting .252, which would put them in the bottom half of the league in that statistic, which isn't horrible IF your team is also hitting for power.

Well, let's take a look at the Giants slugging percentage con Rockies, and sans Rockies, to get a good look at what the Giants have done power-wise against the Dodgers and Padres.

The Giants were, before tonight's game, slugging at a .448 clip, good for 4th in the league. Mmm, hmmm...good. However, take out the Rockies games, and that goes to...(drumroll, please)


Um, folks, that'd be good for last in the league.

And not to pile on (but oh, am I going to pile on), but remember, the Giants team batting average and slugging percentage? Yep, those will be a-fallin' after tonight's loss to the Padres, with the team going a collective 6 for 33.

And not to pile on again, but if anyone is waiting for the return of Moises Alou to spark things, well, think again. Alou's main replacments in right field, Michael Tucker and Jason Ellison, are running a .918 and .924 OPS, respectively (Tucker's OPS, again, isn't factoring in tonight's game, but it's still fairly high).

How is M. Alou going to spark the offense when the two guys he's replacing are running an OPS over 900? What, is he gonna do, 1.200 or something? And were anyone to get a funny idea about left field, well, Pedro Feliz is doing an .884, and...well, you get the picture. Alou will not be adding to any offensive production from an outfield position at this point, unless of course he saves his good offensive games vs. teams who are not named the Colorado Rockies, or unless Feliz is moved to 1st base to platoon with J.T. Snow again (and buh-bye to Lance Neikro).

Oh, and just to bring doom and gloom to all around me (evil laugh, mustache twirl, etc.), I'll also add in that it took an 8th inning grand slam and a walk-off in the 9th just to beat the Rockies in 2 of the 5 games the Giants did win from them -- things which, I've heard, aren't exactly common.

I need some Haagen-Dasz to console myself.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Tomko's Like a Box of Chocolates..

'Cause you never know what you gon' get.

Caution! The spouting of random, baseless speculation will ensue in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

I'm really starting to believe that Brett Tomko is the linchpin to Giants contention this season.

I'm assuming a few things with that theory, namely that Jason Schmidt will dominate, Noah Lowry, and Jason Williams will be on the winning side of competitive, and that Kirk Rueter won't be quite horrible, but then, won't be very good, either.

I'm also assuming the bullpen will be a slight detriment, or barely adequate (in other words, not having a whole lot of positive or negative effect overall).

So, were all that to come to pass, the Giants Jeckyll & Hyde pitcher from last season could very well tip the Giants contention probability towards one side of the fence or the other depending on his performance.

(You know, the good side of the fence has all that green, Scott's Lawn look to it, and the other side looks like the beige vegetation surrounding the dirt parking lots of Candlestick. Sorry, just had to qualify the whole fence analogy...this is MY blog, you know.)

(Okay, really, I'm done after this. But the one side of the fence kinda looks like this color, while the other one tends to be more like this color, which is great if it's like, wheat or something, but not so good if it's....oh, nevermind.)

In any case, the Giants 7-2 loss to the San Diego Padres yesterday really shouldn't come as any sort of big surprise or depressing news, because they had Jake Peavy pitching, and they're in Petco, so we all should have known that the runs for the Giants were likely to be in short supply.

Today it's Brian Lawrence, not Jake Peavy, so take it easy. There's a good chance the Giants can manage to put some more chicken scratch on the board.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Yes, I'll take credit, thanks...

Ray Durham is coming out of his slump, and it's all thanks to me.

Yep. You heard it here first. Me. Slump-buster.

It's so obvious, I wonder why no one has noticed it yet. I told all of y'all here how I manipulated my Ma into buying me a Ray Durham jersey and Giants hat by getting her a cellphone and coffee, and helping her to find a good refrigerator and washer/dryer set.

Well, let's tally up the results so far, shall we?

The jersey (which, by the way, you can see partially pictured a couple of posts down) was purchased on 4/12, and first worn on 4/13. Up until that point, Durham was hitting .105 with an OPS of .397...and since then?

.417/.500/.583, with his OPS going from .397 to .649 in three games. It's all 'bout the mojo, baby.

What, me superstitious? I'm going to try and find a way to track this phenomenon on the sidebar, but with my limited computer savvy, don't expect the world.

Bulletizing points of interest in the Giants weekend series vs. the Rockies:
  • While Michael Tucker is hitting game-deciding grand slams, I want Jason Ellison to not play right field. Tucker is generally known for having moderate pop, but I don't know if there are as many guys his size that can hit no-doubt home runs like Tucker can...when, for some reason again, he's given a fastball down the pipe when he's looking for it. Tucker + bases loaded + fastball down the pipe = not a very smart thing to do.
  • Jason Schmidt couldn't just keep pitching gem after gem, could he? Okay, so his one poor start for the season is out of the way, now, so onto Cy Young goodness the rest of the year. I did tell y'all that this Rockies series would be tougher than the last, but I sure wish the Rockies didn't have to go and win a game just to prove me right.
  • Is it just me, or are you guys starting to expect Edgardo Alfonzo to have a multiple-hit game every time out? I'm finding myself becoming mildy irritated when he doesn't make great contact and/or doesn't get on base.
  • Hey, Mr. Armando Benitez, you don't really have to give up runs just because you can afford to, you know. Hopefully, Benitez is just getting all his bad outings out early so he'll be nails when it counts late in the season. Yeah, that's it, that's the ticket.
  • The bullpen may be settling down a bit (note: this comment is not to reflect the Blog Overlord's normal position in Reality).
  • Pedro Feliz, J.T. Snow, Mike Matheny, Marquis Grissom -- all still hitting well. Feliz is drawing walks, something I simply have to give him loads of credit for doing. Peronsally, I think he's building enough of a reputation for himself that pitchers are starting to want to avoid coming to the plate too often. Snow is hitting for high average and drawing walks, but it'd be nice if he could get an extra base hit. 11 hits, 11 singles for Snow. Matheny is hitting for average and power, and I don't know why, but I don't care. I'll eat all my words for eternity if he keeps hitting like this (fat chance).

The San Diego Padres await now, with the D-Backs right behind. I'll say it again; I think these two series can tell us a lot about our Giants. I'm thinking splitting each series would be just fine, but I'm thinking three out of four is very possible, what with the Padres not doing so well against the Dodgers, either, and the D-Backs getting smacked around by the Nationals.

Of course, beware of the false confidence that beating a terrible team 2 of 3 can bring.

Royals Recap

This week's Royals Recap will feature lots of frustrated screaming and cries for help. After that, I'll start to talk about the Royals, which will lead me to begin screaming in frustration and crying for help.

Although the Royals only managed to win one game this week (and had to come back from five runs down to do it), not everything is negative. I'll begin with the stuff that's gooder than the other stuff:

  • Zackary Grienke has yet to allow a run this season. Against the Mariners last Wednesday, he pitched a shutout through six innings, and allowed no walks.
  • Andy Sisco had nice outing on Thursday and Sunday. He's pitched 9 and 2/3rds thus far, with a little tiny WHIP of 0.62 and a BAA of .094 -- sweetness personified. To this point, he's been the only bright spot in the 'pen, as every other bullpen pitcher has had at least one horrendous outing.
  • As I mentioned, the one win was a good one -- after Jose Lima found a way to pitch six shutout innings yet still give up five runs (he gave them all up in the very first inning), the Royals found a way to score six runs to win.
  • Brian Anderson had another nice, competitive outing on Saturday vs. the Tigers.

Yes, and that's it for the positivity. I'll let you soak in it a bit longer...there, that's enough. Now, onto the scaring of little children and the taking advantage of the elderly portion of the Royals Recap:

  • If your team plays six games and scores only 13 runs, there's a problem there, and it needs to be fixed.
  • The Royals still seem hardly able to draw any walks. I have a theory on why this might be, and I've e-mailed Rob Neyer of with my theory, something which I'll summarize below.
  • Runelvys Hernandez and Denny Bautista both had bad outings, although in Runelvys' case I believe the season is still progressing nicely enough. Bautista did his version of Beauty & the Beast -- after the beautiful outing against the Angels in his first start of the year, he was beastly against the Mariners last week.

I could list more if I go into more individual detail, but I'll just use this finding to question the Royals offensive philosophy. Upon looking at the Royals hitters individually, I found that every, single hitter with any sort of significant amount of at-bats is below his career average in p/pa (pitches per plate appearance), and most are well below their career averages. This means that, for some reason, the Royals hitters are much more impatient this year than any other year in their career.

They're not working counts, they're not drawing walks, they're letting the other team's starting pitcher consistently work deep into games (with low pitch counts), and to top it off, it's not like they're hitting for high average or high power to make up for it. The Royals are currently second-to-last in average runs scored per game, and the only team below them is the Pittsburgh Pirates, who don't get to use a DH.

Yeah, it's painful.

So, for the rest of this month we get to see the Royals play more division rivals for the chance to either: a) put themselves out of the race before May hits, which is actually normal modus operandi for them, or b) somehow find a way to score, just a little, and try to hang around for at least another month.

Okay, enough of that, back to the Giants.

Orange & Black Origins

Sure, we may not looks whole lots and lots alike in certain parts of the photos, but you know what?

Those hats make us look just alike, me and my Pops.

(sing)I'm so vain, I bet I think this blog is about me, I'm soo vaaaaaain...

Whutchoo lookin' at, boy?

Friday, April 15, 2005

Veterans, Shmeterans

I'm bummed, courtesy of the Los Angeles Bums of Los Angeles.

Am I panicked? No. Take a looksie here and one can easily see that, based on won/loss records alone, there isn't any reason for panic.

But is there reason for great, great, overwhelming concern? Oh yeah, you bet your ass there is.

It's not the losses, it's the manner in which the Giants are losing. It's who they are losing to...heck, it's who they've beaten.

The only team the Giants have beaten up on is the train-wreck-disguised-as the Colorado Rockies. No, no fears of last place or cellar-dwelling -- the Rocks have got a lock on that spot.

However, if one looks at the the other three teams in the division: the Padres, Diamondbacks, and Dodgers, one can easily that there's a good chance that all three of those teams will be competitive, and frankly, the Giants cannot afford that. It would have been hard enough to win the division this year even with Bonds and Moises healthy, and only the Padres and Dodgers to contend with. But if the D-Backs stay healthy, one must add them to the mix.

Adding a 3rd team to the NL West mix is very, very bad for the Giants, especially given the drubbing the Dodgers have put on them, and the fact that the Giants only victory against the Dodgers was basically handed to them.

Hang onto your seats, folks, because these next 10 days will show us all we need to know about the Giants as they currently stand (excluding injured players). They do get to play the Rockies again, but this series will be in Colorado, and thus will be more difficult than the first one in San Fransisco. But even should the Giants sweep the Rockies again, please, hold the applause -- the four games afterward vs. the Padres and Diamondbacks will tell a more complete story.

Other stuff:
  • Jason Ellison really cannot look any worse in the outfield than he has. Not to beat a dead horse, but if he continues to struggle (and he ought to be on a short leash), then the Giants had better hand the job to Michael Tucker and call up...well, I'd like to see them call up Brian Dallimore, because they also still need to find some source of extra offense as well as someone who can play right field without looking like he's a rookie on just about every play. I suppose, were they to send Ellison down, the most logical choice would be Todd Linden...again. But I'm going to make the large assumption that Dallimore could play right field better than Ellison right now, plus he'd replace Ellison righty for righty in the lineup.
  • Well, the bullpen settled down in the last game, but of course, another leak had to be sprung -- this one by the name of Brett Tomko. I keep expecting Tomko to start kicking ass and taking names, but he just keeps getting his ass kicked and called names instead.
  • Hey, I thought Mike Matheny called a great, great game? Lost in all of these bullpen implosions has been the pitch selection by our esteemed defensive catcher. I don't have near enough evidence to even think about levelling an accusation towards Matheny, but I've read on a site or two that some want to blame Dave Righetti for the bullpen failures. If we can see clear to blame Righetti, then we should really be able to blame Matheny, who is the guy who puts the type of pitch and location down to these imploding bullpen pitchers.

Well, that's enough rants and raves for now. Tonight is Poker Night, and I'm on a 3-session non-winning streak, and I'm quite upset over it. Daddy needs a new pair of shoes!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Is It My Turn to Be Bad?

My theory seems to be panning out, unfortunately. The Giants bullpen has a bad case of can't-get-right, with just about everyone (with the exception of Jeff Fassero) taking a turn at imploding.

Armando Benitez took his turn in the Bad Bullpen rotation yesterday afternoon, allowing the Hated Los Angeles Dodgers to score four runs in the 9th inning to steal a victory in their home opener.

Oh, there were other factors, such as the four errors the Giants commited, one of which that allowed the Dodgers to score the winning run. Odd that two of the four errors committed by the Giants were by players whose best attribute is supposed to be their defense: Omar Vizquel and Jason Ellison (who now already has two errors in limited playing time). Odd as well that the only Giants victory against the Dodgers came as the result of poor Dodgers defense, and here the kind and generous Giants return the favor by gifting the Dodgers that victory-via-poor-defense right back. Aren't they sweet?

And balance in everything, of course; the Giants have had two dramatic come-from-behind victories recently, and have now become the victim of one. It's early, but when coupled with the Dodgers' elimination of the Giants for the division title last October, their early season mojo against San Fransisco is starting to build into something that could get into the psyche of the Giants in short order.

So, while they don't really need to beat the Dodgers tomorrow, I think the Giants really need to beat the Dodgers tomorrow.

Other stuff from Monday's game:

  • It looks like both Pedro Feliz and Edgardo Alfonzo are staying hot, with Feliz notching his first home run of the season yesterday along with four RBI (and a WALK!), and Fonzie deciding that he just wasn't hot enough -- he collected four hits in five at-bats yesterday.
  • Apparently a threat on offense and defense, Mike Matheny is also still hot. He's run his OPS over 1.000 (1.053 to be exact) in six games played, making it well-nigh impossible to play Yorvit Torrealba for any other reason than fatigue. I should've figured this would happen, as much as I talked about how terrible Matheny was at the plate. I'm gonna smack Murphy for passing that Law the next time I see him.

By the way, Kevin from Kevin's Royals Blog threw a discussion question my way the other day about Kansas City Royals centerfielder David DeJesus. We exchanged a few thoughts, and the results are here. Check it out, or risk my eternal irritation loosely focused in your general direction.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

News, Notes, and Nincompoops

Stat Stuff Report

  • The Minnesota Twins pitching staff, through 6 games, is carrying a 6-to-1 strikeout/walk ratio. That...that...that just ain't right. To keep the Force in balance, the Rockies are bringing up the Dark Side with a k/bb ratio of 0.83. That...ain't right, either.
  • What the heck did they put into Xavier Nady's morning coffee...steroids? Okay, sorry. But Nady, after being rumored in some trade talks last season, has started off sca-orchin' hot to the tune of a 1.221 OPS.
  • Those Diamondbacks are running a team line of .316/.390/.560, which sounds like a good bet for Carlos Beltran's final line this season. The Rockies pitching staff has Arizona beat, however, as they are allowing opponents to tee off to the tune of a .995 OPS, to go along with a staff WHIP of 2.14! In layman's terms, the Rockies are allowing an average of two baserunners every inning. As Inspector Gadget would say, wowser.
  • Are you getting the impression by now that the Rockies pitching staff isn't very good? Remember, they have been away from Coors for 4 of their 7 games, so it could actually get worse. Egad.
  • And the "I Was Barry Bonds for Six Games" award goes's a tie between Pat Burrell of the Philadelphia Phillies, and Joe Randa of the Kansas Cit...dangit, sorry...Joe Randa of the Cincinatti Reds, who both ran an OPS of over 1.400 during their team's first six games.

On another note, I am an Evil Genius. I conspired and plotted to gain myself a new, free Giants jersey ($80) and a new, free Giants hat ($20). How did I do this, you Well, my plan was nefarious and devious, and consisted of me taking my Ma to look at refrigerators and washing machines for her new home, then buying her a new cellphone for her upcoming birthday, then buying her a nice coffee drink at the mall, all before I sprung my trap! I then casually mosied on into a sports apparel store, picked up a Ray Durham jersey, commented on it being "nice", and the rest is history! I even got her to spring for a hat!

So you see, it only cost me $171 worth of cellphone and $10 worth of coffee to acquire $100 worth of new Giants apparel! I'm a genius!

Or, a nincompoop. Happy Early Birthday, Ma.

What Have We Learned?

  1. The bullpen isn't good.
  2. The offense isn't good.
  3. The starters may be very good.

Now, me saying the bullpen isn't any good doesn't mean I don't think they can be adequate, but with their current makeup I cannot see how they can hope to be good. I'm still going to be looking for some changes by the time May rolls around -- Sabean can't afford to see who will "come around", because by the time they do, the Giants could be out of it. Sabean's got to be aggressive with his bullpen moves this season. If a guy stinks for a few weeks, try someone else. The only untouchable is obviously Benitez.

This time, me saying the offense isn't any good does mean I don't think they can be adequate. While the Giants 10-run and 11-run outbursts were great, they did come against a Rockies team that had already given up a 10-run and 14-run outburst to the Padres, though that was at Coors Field. I'm sure the Giants will have some days where they can put it all together, but stringing together singles with a few doubles thrown in will make it difficult to consistently put 5+ runs up on the board each night.

The starting rotation is obviously a wait-and-see proposition. While we all hope and believe that Bret Tomko, Noah Lowry, and Jerome Williams can be good, we just don't know that yet for sure. I'm also sure everyone's crossing their ears that Kirk Rueter can duplicate his first start about 30 more times, but we need more data...MORE DATA!

Schmidt has already given us enough data -- he's the same ol' Schmidt, meaning he's a Cy Young candidate already. Woody and Tomko can give us a clearer picture later today and tomorrow against the Hated Dodgers.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Royals Recap

The first of something I'm going to try and do once a week -- recap my other favorite team, Kansas City Royals, and their fortunes (or lack thereof).

After six games, the Royals stand at 3-3. Now, while this may not seem like a big deal for fans of other franchises, this is good news for the Royals, especially in the horror show that the month of April usually is for them (2003 notwithstanding). In addition, they went 3-3 while on the road against a possible up-and-coming franchise in the Detroit Tigers, and the 2004 AL West Champion Anaheim Angels. Let's look at some highlights, and lowlights...

Pitching wise:

  • Lima Time! wasn't synchronized or something, because Jose got tagged in his first two games more often than the big, slow kid does in Elementary. Dmitri Young was playing the fast kid, telling Lima "You're it!" to the tune of two home runs, then hitting another one for good measure on Opening Day. Only my beloved Royals could make a player like Dmitri Young stand among the all-time greats, even if only for a day. Lima's second start wasn't good, either, though sloppy defense contributed to the overall run total. However, the fact that Lima couldn't get an out after the crucial error in the 4th inning of Saturday's game speaks volumes. About as bad of a beginning as Lima could have.
  • Runelvys Hernandez and Denny Bautista provided hope in the form of two good starts. Well, in Runelvys' case, it was a good start considering all the time he's spent hurt; hopeful, in other words. Bautista was freaking lights out, striking out 8 Anaheim Angels batters in 8 innings (Vlad was twice a victim) and only allowing one run. Oh, and he walked zero, which is actually a better sign than the other things.
  • Zack Grienke was a bit scary, getting a liner off his forearm that ended up ending his day prematurely on Thursday. Supposedly not serious, but if Zack goes on the DL because of this, I may slit my wrists. Just kidding. Sorta. I may just go with slicing my jugular instead.
  • Brian Anderson was...the Brian Anderson Royals fans hope for: the 2003 version. He was competitive, holding down the Angels potent offense to 3 runs in 6 innings. Most impressively, he had 5 strikeouts vs. zero walks. Nice. Now do that about 30 more times...


  • David DeJesus, after a crappy Spring, has drawn six walks in six games. Couple that with his early .348 batting average, and it's difficult to have anything but hope for this guy.
  • Calvin Pickering notched his first bomb of the '05 regular season campaign, and his wife is about to deliver a baby. Good stuff.
  • Emil Brown hit two homers, showing the power from his Spring may not have been a flash in the pan. Unless it really was, of course.
  • Eli Marrero has yet to get a hit despite numerous at-bats.
  • Mark Teahen and John Buck are struggling early, with Buck showing the same affinity for strikeouts that he showed last season.
  • Ruben Gotay was struggling as well, until he had the anti-struggle game of his short career by going 4 for 5 on Sunday with a double and a big fly.

Things to look for in the upcoming week:

  • Jose Lima finding a way to be something other than horrible.
  • Grienke making his next start pain-free, and being the Zack we all know and love.
  • Bautista's follow up to his dazzling 2005 debut.
  • Tony Pena deviating from the youth movement by playing Tony Graffanino in lieu of Ruben Gotay and Mark Teahen (leave the freaking kids in, Tony).
  • Mike Sweeney's continued absense from injury-related news.

That's it. We'll see how this plays out at home, as the Royals face off against another franchise looking to turn around after a bad 2004 in the Mariners. Richie Sexson, Adrian Beltre, Ichiro!, a bunch of other dudes in Kansas City for the Royals home opener.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Drama for Your Momma

I think it's safe to say that the excitement hasn't left our San Fransisco Giants along with the health of Barry Bonds.

If one were to try, how would one top the excitement of losing a 6 run lead all in one inning, then winning the game on a 3-run home run?

You do that by not scoring one run through seven innings, then hitting a grand slam to take the lead.

I've had my...issues with Michael Tucker before, mostly dealing with his inability to hit breaking balls and changeups, but there is this flipside when talking about that...

The man can hit a fastball like nobody's business.

I've seen Tucker hit some no doubters while with the Kansas City Royals, and I saw him hit one in Arizona last season at the BOB that hit amongst the tables and chairs high above centerfield. There's never been any doubt that he has some power, and if you challenge him with a first-pitch, high-velocity fastball, there's a good chance you'll see that power -- just like Colorado Rockies pitcher Scott Dohmann did yesterday.

Now, if I was a betting man (and of course, I'm not), and I was wanting to place a bet on what type of pitch that Michael Tucker would be sitting on first pitch with tha bases loaded while down by one run in the 8th inning, I'm thinking I'd be betting that that pitch would be a fastball. I'm also thinking, were I a Colorado Rockies reliever coming into the 8th inning up by one run with the bases loaded (and of course, I'm not), that the last pitch I'd be wanting to give Tucker would be a 95 mph fastball right down that center of the plate on the first pitch.

But that's just me. Again, I'm not a betting man, and I'm not a Colorado Rockies relief pitcher named Scott Dohmann. So, a 95 mph fastball right down the center of the plate, Tucker puts the Mother of All Swings on it, and the ball takes a bath in McCovey Cove where it is picked up by a civic-minded kayaker looking to cut down on the amount of litter around the ballpark.

On another note, Jerome Williams looked fantastic, taking only 89 pitches to get through seven innings, striking out five while only walking one. That is just too nice out of your #5 starter...but then, Williams isn't really a #5 starter -- he's a #3 starter in #5 starter's clothing.

Let's see if Jason Schmidt can sweep these guys up today, eh?

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Yes! No! YES!

Boy, talk about playing with folks' emotions. About as up and down as a day could be...
  • Moises Alou lands on the 15-day DL. There's a plethora of things I could say to this, but I'm going to go with: ARGH! But you know what's the oddest thing? I don't really know if this is really a bad thing for the Giants or not. Call it a gut feeling, along with the knowledge that Jason Ellison being in the game defensively is obviously a lot better than Alou -- oh, along with the fact that I have yet to see Alou do anything offensively for the Giants as of yet. I've seen Ellison do something, at least.
  • Alright, so we know that Lowry can be competitive, but some nasty, nasty numbers from last night's game. 109 pitches while only pitching six complete innings, and only two strikeouts vs. three walks. Flipside: five shutout innings, only four hits given up, only 2 runs allowed. Hm, let's call that even...with cautious optimism. Tinged with a little doubt. Whatever.
  • Giants with a 7-0 lead. Rockies score 8 in one inning. Giants down 8-7. Giants win 10-8. Like, whoa, or something.

I had a nice little post for Friday until Blogger had a hiccup and my work went ka-poot-ie. No, ka-poot-ie may not be a word, but that is the sound I heard when I tried to publish the post. That's my story, sticking to it.

I'm glad I didn't get to publish that post, because, of course, half of what I said in it turned to mush in Friday's game. Christiansen pitched a perfect ninth for the win. The Giants scored 10 runs (caveat: this was the Rockies, people). Matheny is like, getting hits and stuff.

The bullpen is obviously still a huge worry, which is something I said in Thursday's post. This is-it-my-turn-to-be-bad rotation the bullpen is on is very, very scary. Scott Eyre looked very sharp in his first outing, horrible in his second. Tyler Walker and Jim Brower have looked like boo-boo in both of their appearances. Jason Christiansen has a good one and a bad one. Herges...well, need I continue? The only warm fuzzies from the bullpen have been Armando Benitez' only outing, and...Jeff Fassero. Yeah. You expect me to be confident with half the warm fuzzy feelings from the bullpen coming from Jeff Fassero?

It's late, I'm up, I shouldn't be, so I'm gonna go. Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Game Aftermath

A few little observations about our 2005 San Francisco Giants after last nights game:

While the Dodgers rotation is definitely competitive, the Giants look like they're going to really struggle to score runs this year. Four runs in each game, but two of the four in the first game were from defensive gaffes by the Dodgers, and the last three runs of the four they scored last night were in garbage time in the 9th inning. It's only two games, but it seems all too familiar to me.

The bullpen may also be a, correction -- the bullpen IS a problem. Tyler Walker, Jason Christiansen, and Matt Herges all need to be better than last year for the bullpen to really see an improvement, and they took their first step last night in the exact opposite direction. I've always liked Walker, and feel that sometimes he's just unlucky, but results have to be considered. Christiansen...well, you all know how I feel about him, and that opinion was only reinforced last night after he served up some lovin' to the Dodgers hitters. Herges...well, you all know how I feel about him, and that opinion was only reinforced last night after he served up some lovin' to the Dodgers hitters.


In any case, were I Sabean and co., I wouldn't give these guys much more than a month to suck before calling in the myriad array of young reinforcements from Fresno (and think, we haven't even seen Jeff Fassero suck yet!). While I'm sure they want Foppert to get some starts in AAA, letting the season slip away is inexcusable, and Hennessey and Correia need to be sitting by the phones as well. Heck, add Merkin Valdez to that list, too.

The starting rotation looks strong early, and indeed may have to shoulder the load for the team this year, even if/when Barry Bonds gets back into the lineup. Kirk Rueter just needs to stay competitive, and Noah Lowry and Bret Tomko simply need to repeat their performances from late last season.

Live Blogging Aftermath

Wow, that was difficult.

Difficult in the sense of keeping up, and difficult to keep going after the Giants started getting their rears kicked. It was fun, though, and I think I'll try again at some point in the future. I think I also need to find a way to shorten it up a bit, but I'm not sure how I could do that without saying all of what's on my mind as I'm watching.

Thanks to BB and Jefferson for a couple of corrections, and thanks to those of you who kept hitting the refresh button. I would have had an update every time I threw a bullet up, but my computer is too slow, thus the half-inning post format.

Also, I want to apologize for the way it ended (if any of you were still paying attention at that point), but I got a phone call from a VIP in my life, and couldn't stay focused. She has a nasty tendency to distract me.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Giants vs. Dodgers, Game 2

Top of the 2nd inning:

  • I wondering when a sabermetrician will figure out a way to track just how much statistical value a pitcher/catcher battery that holds down opposing basestealers has. Kirk Rueter is quick to 1st base, and very tricky as well.

  • Giants get robbed of an out on a short flare to right field that held Jeff Kent at first almost until the ball hit the grass. Deivi Cruz' throw looked to have beat Kent, but apparently having a great angle to call the play didn't help the 2nd base umpire. There was one out at the time.

  • Of course, the bad call ends up turning into 2 runs on a double immediately afterwards. When he's up in the zone, Woody gets hammered -- just not enough velocity there to get it past a hitter unless he's fooled, which is harder for Woody to do because he doesn't have enough velocity in the first place.
  • It isn't very hard to fool Jose Valentin. Rueter could challenge the single-season strikeout record if he faced a lineup of Jose Valentins every start.
  • 'Nother strikeout for Rueter ends the inning.

Bottom of the 2nd:

  • Nice going by Edgardo Alfonzo to stay solid down in the count and go back up the middle for an infield hit.
  • Of course, that was instantly ruined by The Marquis of Grissom, Lord of the Double Play.
  • J.T. Snow gets a good hack for what would've been a double for about 95% of the league, but for him is only a long single. Snow is as slow as molasses going uphill in January, I tell ya. Out at 2nd trying to stretch.
  • That inning...should've been different. Frustrating goose egg. Inning over.

Top of the 3rd:

  • Cesar Izturis with a bouncer that Fonzie just wouldn't be rushed on. Got him by a step.
  • Repko with the lazy fly out...Rueter at his best, keeping hitters off balance.
  • J.D. Drew making Rueter come to the plate so he can smack one somewhere. Reuter'll do it, but on his terms. Sneaky. Ends up getting another strikeout on a 3-2 count. Nice.

Bottom of the 3rd:

  • Matheny hacks at the plate like he might actually be a threat or something. And then goes down looking.
  • Woody at-bats are for some reason. He's tricky on the mound, and he's tricky at the plate, too. But mostly not very good. Out on a typical Rueter slow bouncer.
  • Hm. Didn't-have-to-be-a-strike to Vizquel for a 3-2 count, and it changes the at-bat and puts Vizquel on the defensive. Odalis Perez ends up throwing some junk at Vizquel's feet for some odd reason (it isn't like Vizquel has a power zone or anything...come to the plate, Perez), and gives up a walk.
  • Vizquel screws up (to his credit, runners at 1st are much more apt to get picked off by lefties), but then gets out of it, taking 2nd.
  • Deivi Cruz hardly needs to see any pitches to make an out. Nice season last year, but I see him being an out machine this year. Inning over.

Top of the 4th:

  • It's always nice to get a guy out on one pitch, especially when it's Jeff Kent. Pop out, get out Kent.
  • Fonzie with a nice pick on a high bounce that he dove for. Showed pretty quick feet to get into position to make a play on the ball, then showed some quickness in getting up to make a throw. 2 outs.
  • Woody gives up a walk to Olmedo Saenz, which, when down 3-1 in the count, isn't always the worst thing. Saenz can park one in the seats if you give him a BP fastball on a 3-1 pitch, plus Jason Phillips, Professional out-maker, is up next.
  • The goggled-one, Jason Phillips, is up next. You know, when you're not a very good hitter, and you wear goggles, shouldn't you consider not wearing them anymore? Sure enough, harmless fly out to Grissom.

Bottom of the 4th:

  • Moises Alou is so still at the plate...takes it oppo very nicely, but right at Jerk Dude Drew. Crappy. One out.
  • Alfonzo starting off the season en fuego, works the count in his favor right out of the gate, takes an oppo-field type of swing but fouls it back. Nice approach...Perez has a very nice move to 1st as well. The best moves to 1st base are usually the closest to being balks, because the best moves to 1st are sneaky...and therefore almost illegal.
  • Yeah, again, Fonzie en fuego. Stays with his original approach, and goes opposite field for a single. Feliz wiiiiiisely stays at 2nd, not testing Drew's rail-gun arm in right.
  • Grip, just don't hit another DP, 'kay? He should know that Perez, with only one out, should feel pressed to not walk another hitter, but then, this is Marquis Grissom, who don't need no stinking base on balls. Grissom does work the count in his favor at 2-1...but fouls one off, again low in the zone. Isn't it obvious Perez is going for the DP, Grip? Make him come up in the zone, dude! Nothing in this at-bat has been above Grissom's knees, yet Grip keeps taking those arms-only hacks at pitches low in the zone. At 38, I'd expect the guy to know better.
  • Pitcher/catcher conference. I bet they know they can get Grissom to swing rather than walk...they go high in the zone to get Grip crossed up, but it doesn't work. Nice, nice changeup on 3-2, but nicer foul-back by Grip to stay alive on a pitch that would've been a strike.
  • OH YEAH! Usually don't say this, but great, great patience by Grissom to show patience to get his pitch in his zone, and lines it into left-center field. Only scores one run, but with only one out, I can understand holding Fonzie at 3rd.
  • Sometimes patience isn't the way to go. Perez goes right after Snow, who seemed to be in a take mode. Down 0-2 quickly, and almost 0-3 after some Perez filthiness is barely fouled off. Just a grounder to the 1st base side is all that's needed...Snow barely fouls another one, looking horrible. Perez is controlling this at-bat...and gets Snow fishing. Ouch.
  • Alright, here we go. Mike Matheny with the chance for some heroics....oops. Forgot. Woody's up next, so they walk Matheny intentionally. Here's where Woody gets one of his funky flare hits to ruin the Dodgers strategy, right?
  • Rueter trying to work the count, but Perez isn't going to dance around him much. One ball, then two challenge fastballs for a 1-2 count...'nother Rueter slow bouncer, and inning over. Shucks. Hindsight. Should've sent Fonzie after all.

Top of the 5th:

  • Moises left the game, and they don't know why. Perhaps due to oldness?
  • This is the inning for Woody to get through, because everything after that starts becoming gravy. No sooner than I type it, Valentin singles to right.
  • Silly, silly throw to 2nd by Rueter to try and get the lead runner on a decent bunt by Perez. I don't think you try and stop that unless the game is in danger of slipping away...down one run in the 5th inning doesn't strike me as imminent danger. Go for the sure out, Woody! Everybody's safe now, Dodgers are going to be looking for a big inning.
  • Okay, aggressiveness again by Woody on another bunt by Izturis, but this time Woody nails the lead runner at 3rd. I suppose Jim Tracy feels runs are going to be at a premium in this game, but I think that was a pretty stupid idea in the 5th inning only up by one run. Sac bunts in the 5th inning are for the pitcher only. And after it doesn't work, how stupid must Tracy feel?
  • Nice paint on the corner (I think) from Woody...either that or Repko went around (I think)...either way, strikeout, and now there's 2 away.
  • Drew with a soft liner to right that Michael Tucker makes a probably unnecessary basket catch on. Again, whatever, 3 outs. Yay!

Bottom of the 5th:

  • Single to center by Vizquel. Move along, nothing to see here.
  • The ump hesitates a skoche on a strike call, Eric Gagne, from the Dodgers bench said something, and gets thrown out for his trouble. Too bad Gagne's on the DL, otherwise I'd be a bit more stoked by this.
  • Deivi's messin' around and working a count. If he and Feliz walks in the same game, I'm going to name my first child after a random Indian rope-maker (who'd probably be named Singh anyway)
  • Heh, so much for that. Ground out, Vizquel moves to 2nd.
  • Feliz ground out, and it's up to Michael Tucker. He'll come through. I just know it.
  • Tucker and Feliz should go to the Boys Correctional School for Breaking Balls. I swear, anything that bends or curves is a nemesis for these two.
  • Crappy. Tucker does end up putting good wood on the ball, but right to the 2nd baseman. End of the inning.

Top of the 6th:

  • Tyler Walker comes in for Woody. Probably not too bad of a move, unless it doesn't work, at which point I'll be calling for the resignation of Felipe Alou.
  • Kent aboard on some...nevermind, because as I'm typing this, Bradley smokes one past Grissom, scoring Kent. Bradley slides into 3rd, and with no outs, the Dodgers are likely to get at least one more run. Bradley's a punk, born and bred, but the boy can haul booty.
  • I'm thinking the Giants are going to be like this all year, scratching and clawing for runs. They can't afford...another base hit, which Saenz just delivered. 4 to 1 Dodgers, and Walker must buckle down and not allow another run.
  • Another base hit, and Felipe had better call somebody...oh boy, he calls for Jason Christiansen. This...can't be good.
  • Christiansen decides to get himself into a hitter's count against a power hitter at 3-1. Real smart there...and boy, call me Nostradamus, because Valentin smokes one into right field for a round-tripper. 7 to 1 Dodgers, and there goes the vast majority of my hope for the evening.
  • Not to beat a dead horse, but Jason Christiansen really is quite useless.
  • After getting a fly out, Christiansen gets out #2 on a grounder from Izturis, only to have Fonzie fumble it.
  • Yeah, now even Repko is getting into it with a double off Useless Christiansen. (sigh)
  • LOL! Apparently, Cesar Izturis somehow missed 3rd on the way around, and the Giants threw over to record the out that was waiting for them. Repko's got his first major league hit, but now, not his first major league RBI. That's too bad for his-self.
  • Hey, get the 3rd freaking out already, wouldja?
  • Hm, he must've been listening. Strikeout. Mercy.

Bottom of the 6th:

  • Wow, am I really going to do this for 3 more innings?
  • Alfonzo with the fly out to right field. Guess that oppo approach is here to stay.
  • Okay, nevermind, the end was, in reality, very near. Matheny gets to the plate, and does something else that doesn't reap him a base hit. Yep, down 7 to 1, Matheny's defensive prowess ought to really help the Giants.

Top of the 7th:

  • Matt Herges in. Get your water hoses out and ready.
  • Kent with another infield hit. He must've patterned his game after Ichiro!.
  • Alright, the wisecrack I made about water hoses? Well, I guess I'm Nostradamus again, because Bradley doubles.
  • Hm. Yeah. Saenz doubles in Kent and Bradley, and it's 9 to 1, and all of a sudden I'm very worried about the Giants bullpen this year. Herges can now be allowed to suck as badly all this year as he did last year. If he does this crap for a month, they'd better be ready to replace him. Same goes for Christiansen, and as much as I don't like it, same goes for Walker. The Giants can't afford to see if these guys can "figure it out". They've got the horses in Fresno to replace replacement-level bullpen pitchers.
  • Jason Phillips, the Out-Maker, does his job. One away.
  • Valentin goes for a triple that shouldn't have been. Didn't I write something about the Giants falling victim to the right field wall, and how stupid that is? Yep, Tony Torcato, replacing Tucker in right field, watching the carom get 'im and turn a possible single into a no doubt triple. 10 to 1 Dodgers with a man on 3rd and still only one out.
  • Is it too late to call Al Levine back?
  • Sanchez grounds out, as does Izturis. Thank you, Jesus.

Bottom of the 7th:

  • Tony Torcato doesn't mess around, quickly grounding out to 2nd.
  • Vizquel strikes out.
  • Deivi tried to speed the game up by grounding out on the 2nd pitch of his at-bat, but the Dodgers didn't oblige. Safe!
  • Okay, Feliz picks up where Deivi left off, and sees all of two pitches before grounding out to Kent.

Top of the 8th:

  • Repko singles.
  • J.D. Drew hits a double play ball, and looks to have beat out the throw to first, but was called out anyway. The 1st base ump has got a hot date waiting for him, I'm sure. Two outs.
  • Uh-oh...alright, nevermind. Deep-ish flyout by Kent. Herges' hemorrhaging seems to be over.

Bottom of the 8th:

  • Uh, out, um, and another out. Jason Ellison gets his first at-bat of this season...and flies out to right. Yep, gettin' lazy on you all.

Top of the 9th:

  • Nice, nice, NICE catch by Torcato next to the wall. Snowcone!
  • Somthing else happened, too, it's just that I have no idea what it was.

Bottom of the 9th:

  • J.T. Snow pad the stats a bit with a single.
  • Heh, figures. There's Matheny with a 2 run squeaker over the wall in right. Squeaker or not, it stills counts, and Matheny now has a batting average. Yay.
  •, sorry, I was talking to an important friend of mine. Um, more meaningless runs were scored, but a loss was gained. Shame 'bout that. End of the inning, end of the game.

Final score, 10 to 4, the Dodgers over the Giants.

I Think I Hate Indecision, But I'm Not Sure

Well, I would like to experiment with gameday open-threads, but Grant over at McCovey Chronicles is already doing that about as well as it can be done.

I'd like to do some live blogging as I'm watching the game, but that idea has been done as well...

Of course, I started this blog despite the fact that there were already Giants blogs out there, so...

Ah, the heck with it. I'm going to try some live bullet-blogging during the Giants game, and see where that gets me (I'm thinking I'll do updates every half-inning). Your invited to see me bumble along if you'd like, or simply come by afterwards and see what havoc I have wreaked, what chaos hath wrought, and other apocalyptic jargon spontaneously thrown in at random intervals, just to be redundant.

CAVEAT: This whole idea may be a huge, huge mistake. I'm not too smart sometimes.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Word To Their Mothers

Yep, got those pesky Dodgers outta the way.

What? We gotta play 'em again? Aw, rats.

Good stuff from today's 4-2 Giants victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers:

  • Those that were worried about Jason Schmidt after that spring training drubbing he took a couple of weeks ago, worry no longer. Schmidt is still the s***.
  • Nice start for the leaner, meaner Edgardo Alfonzo. A triple short of the cycle (and hey, maybe being slimmer means he could actually leg one out).
  • The infield defense looked as advertised, especially later on after a nice, nice block of a breaking ball by Mike Matheny from Scott Eyre, and especially after the exquisite double play turned by Ray Durham and OMAR VIZQUEL (gotta capitalize his name after that play), leaping over the hardly tolerated Jeff Kent to turn two for Armando Benitez.

Stuff not so good:

  • Nothing. It's Opening Day, and the Giants won, and the Giants beat the Dodgers. I can say nothing negative. After the game tomorrow, though, all deals are off.

The Dodgers' infield defense didn't look so good after Jose Valentin botch a tough-ish grounder from Moises Alou in the 7th, a play that most would say Adrian Beltre would've handled (a dumb statement, seeing as how everybody makes mistakes sometime...but yeah, Beltre would've handled it). The 8th inning and the Giants final run was simply a bit of stupidity rather than bad defense, when Giovanni Carrera's attempt at making the fielding of a routine bunt much harder worked to perfection.

One down, only 161 to go. Piece o' cake, right?

Monday, April 04, 2005


I just want to qualify why keeping Jeff Fassero is such a stupid, useless move.

Which player is hurt now and stands to miss a significant portion of the season for the Giants? Hm, guy by the name of Bonds? Barry Bonds?

What does Bonds provide?

Pitching? No.

Great defense? No.

Offense? Well, of course.

So now, with the greatest source of offense in baseball gone from the lineup for an unspecified period of time, does it make any sense to keep an extra pitcher, when it's your offense that just took the mightiest of blows right on the chin? Does it make sense to keep Fassero, a mediocre-at-best bullpen pitcher, instead of Brian Dallimore, who was the team's best OFFENSIVE player this spring?

Don't get me wrong, I don't have visions of Dallimore hitting .500 for the season or anything, but when the need of your team is offense and you send your best remaining option for extra offense back to Fresno, it really doesn't make a whole lot of freaking sense to me.

I still don't believe it

How, exactly, does Jeff Fassero make this team?

I mean, he's just as useless as Jason Christiansen, only seven years older.

He last had a decent year four seasons ago in 2001, which is bad enough, if it weren't made worse by the fact that he stunk the four years previous to 2001.

Do 42 year-old leopards change their spots?

I really, really think that this decision was made because Jeff Fassero was the oldest guy left to pick, and Sabean possibly felt the need to replace his almost-42-year-old in Bonds with already-42 Fassero.

So, you cut Wayne Franklin, and then take Fassero? Would Al Levine have been that bad?

Or, here's an idea. We already have two left-handers in the bullpen...why not go ahead and keep Brian Dallimore?

This is a man in Fassero who had some poor statistics last season, like a 1.3 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio and a 1.62 WHIP. Oh, but he was in Colorado, right? Coors Field inflated, right?

Yeah, okay, so let's go to his previous year with the, his WHIP was actually higher at 1.65, and his HR/9 was .73 in Colorado...and 2.00 in St. Louis.

So while a year younger and in much less of an offensive environment, Fassero was actually a worse pitcher.'s going to take me a little while to get over this stupid, useless move.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Interesting Theory...

David Neilsen of Giants Cove has an interesting hypothesis on a reason why Bonds could be hurt, or under his theory, be "hurt". It's one I've heard tossed around a couple or three times (my Pops being one person who has hurled it my direction). David doesn't seem to be touting his theory as fact, or even that he believes in it, but it is food for thought. Check out the March 22nd entry, then my following comment will make sense:

(start)Actually, if Bonds uses this {situation} to bow out, or happens to bow out for any other reason, it will be as condemning a blow as a confession. Most are already ready to believe anything bad about Bonds -- this would be as good as an admission of steroid use. If he happens to care about his legacy, etc., then he must realize that he has to put up one more "Bonds" season, one more 1.300 OPS season. That will quiet (but not banish) the criticism, because even skeptics will largely admit it'd be highly unlikely that Bonds is still using at this point. So, if Barry puts up another monster season, the seeds of doubt may be planted in his critics' minds.

The only problem with that theory is this -- the man is old, old for baseball already, and things that happen to 40+ year old men trying to play sports are always lurking. Skill regression, regardless of steroid use, is always right on Bonds' doorstep, not to mention that injuries are going to simply be more difficult to come back from (again, even with steroid use). Any steroid use Bonds may have had could help to fight age off, but it could never beat it.(end comment)

(sigh) It is really, really hard to stay off of this subject, as there is always new material floating about on the subject. I use the word "new", and not "fresh", because for the most part the "new" stuff is all some form of regurgitation of theories and opinions that have been read and heard 100 times by now. However, sometimes there are new wrinkles, new angles to perk the interest again, and all of a sudden I find myself talking about it for another week. The only place where someone seems to consistently come up with not only new, but fresh material on and around this subject is John Perricone over at Only Baseball Matters, but John seems to have made it a point to be more educated about things pertaining to this than 99% of the rest of the world. Much easier, I'm told, to come up with fresh and interesting new ideas about a beaten up subject when you know what you're talking about. Good thing for us that John does.

NOTE: I'm going to go ahead and link up Giants Cove on the sidebar -- I only read a bit when I stopped by, but it seemed to be well written and interesting. Good enough for me.

Friday, April 01, 2005

It's April, Fools

Opening Day is not far away.

It is so near that it is almost here.

I'm so corny that it is making me ho...wait, I'm always that way. Nevermind.

As the day draw closer that will make all of my little predictions and analysis look incredibly stupid, I cannot help but like the fact that Opening Day represents the starting point for everyone to just shaddup and watch the baseball games first, then speak afterwards, which is the opposite of what goes on in the offseason.

It makes me a bit twitchy, really. I tend to exhibit great patience in the offseason, up until a few days before the season starts, then I tend to get...well, twitchy, to use one word, and damned impatient to use another two.

Let's get this show on the road, shall we?

Play ball!