Thursday, December 27, 2007
Boch: Nice computer.
Sabes: Pretty cool, huh? I just downloaded The Best of Bachman-Turner Overdrive!
Boch: Yeah? (sips his straight black coffee)
Sabes: Digitally remastered!
Boch: (clears his throat) Well, I made some notes, here.
Sabes: What the hell is that?
Boch: Huh? Uh, you mean this pencil?
Sabes: Yeah. Dig that out of your golf bag, eh?
Boch: (sheepishly) Well, yeah.
Sabes: Fer cryin' out loud, Bru, get some class. You need a laptop. (sips his latté)
Boch: Shucks, Bri, I'm old school. Now if ya could just take a look here. (passes paper)
Sabes: What is this? Old Yahtzee scoresheets? C'mon, man. Get some real paper!
Boch: (doggedly) Well, I'm figurin' Roberts will lead off.
Sabes: Hello! Duh! That why I signed him! (shakes his head disgustedly)
Boch: Yeah, OK. Uh, and Omar can hit second. Bunt, move the runner over, you know.
Sabes: He saves us AT LEAST a hundred runs a year with his glove!
Boch: Now the third spot's kind of a toughie.
Sabes: At least a hundred! AT LEAST!!!! (bangs on table, spills latté)
Boch: Ya got yer drink all over my notes, Bri. Take 'er easy.
Sabes: (angry) You want my job? Huh? Well??? You and that Lunatic Fringe? Huh?
Boch: (chuckling) Now, just take 'er easy. I like bein' manager. My uniform still fits.
Sabes: (mollified) We still got Durham.
Boch: Been meanin' to talk to you 'bout that, Bri.
Sabes: Third. He hits third.
Boch: That don't give the kid much of a chance.
Sabes: Kid? What kid?
Sabes: Oh, him. Send him to the Instructional League. Never mind him.
Boch: Now cleanup, I figure we gotta stick with--
Sabes: Bengie. Mr. Clutch. Our MVP! Now that was a move. Take that, Fringers!
Boch: That means the new fella--
Boch: Yeah. He hits fifth.
Boch. Yeah. He hits fifth.
Sabes: Centerfield, dammit!
Boch: Uh, yeah, sure Bri, centerfield.
Sabes: Now, I figure he hits behind Bengie. That'll cut into his RBI total, what with Bengie being the RISP-Meister.
Sabes: Runners in Scoring Position! Bru, you have to get up to speed, here. This is modern baseball. We use a LOT more complicated stats than the old days. That's why you need a computer!
Boch: And fer, uh, what'd ya call it? Downloadin' music?
Sabes: (computer beeps) Oh, I got an email!
Boch: Yeah, I like that new feller too, he's a hard-nosed ball player.
Sabes: No more prima donnas, Bru. Soldiers! All soldiers!
Boch: (under his breath) Well, veterans, anyway.
Sabes: Was that a wisecrack?
Boch: Uh, no sir.
Sabes: OK, were done. That was Baer. I have to get to the office.
Boch: (leaps up eagerly) Ya gonna git that thirdbaseman I wanted!
Sabes: (angrily) Keep your pants on, man, this a public place!
Boch: But we need a--
Sabes: I decide what we need! Now you just work on the rest of that lineup, I'll expect it on my desk by the end of the week! And next month we talk about pitching!
Boch: Shoot, I figured Cain, and Link, and Zito--
Sabes: NEXT month, dammit! Finish that lineup!
Friday, December 21, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Yeah, too many years (FIVE!!!!) and, I've no doubt too much money (not that the SFG's can't afford it).
WE DON'T NEED A CENTERFIELDER FER CHRISSAKES!!!!!!!!
No one after the age of 30 is worth a 5-year deal. Criminy!!! Once again we overpaid (FIVE YEARS???) for a good (but not great) ballplayer.
We need a 3B and a 1B. Maybe this means a package with Roberts, Lewis, Davis, Schierholz, etc. is in the works. Look, he's a good player, but FIVE YEARS? C'mon. Our ballpark will hurt his power, and his "glove prowess" will decline rapidly with age (and CF defense is not more important than a power-hitting 1b).
At least we did not trade Cain or Lincecum.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Check out this site if you have time for some serious nerd analysis of The Linkster.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Clearly the biggest source of hope (perhaps the only one!) for all Giants fans is the dynamic duo of Cain and Lincecum. It is also obvious that the key issue to be resolved is whether we give up some pitching to get some much needed position talent. So far it looks highly unlikely that we will part with either Matt or Tim (thank the gods!), but still it makes you wonder...if we did decide to part with one of "the chosen ones", which should it be????
Since I am not prepared to do a statistical analysis (maybe MOC can do that for a followup post), I thought I would approach it by looking at the intangibles, in other words, gut feelings with little or no justification. So, here goes...
Most likely to not get injured:
Yikes. Scary topic, but always there with young pitchers. I suppose the experts may cringe at Lincecum's motion, but I get the sense that it is a carefully thought out mechanism. The fact that he doesn't ice down his arm is interesting. Cain's build would seem to give him an edge, but his body seems more "high maintenance." Don't ask me where I came up with that.
Most likely to have the mental edge, domination factor:
After the year Cain was subjected to, you have to give him the edge here. That has to make you tough. Matt has that dumb country boy thing going for him. Seems like I remember him getting real mad towards the end of last year...he yelled at somebody rounding the bases, or something (somebody help me out on that one, please). Tim is only as nasty as his stuff, Matt has more than that. A couple high and tight pitches in big situations and he could get a Drysdale mystique started.
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.
So, for no real reason at all, my final determination is that, in the highly unlikely event of a trade involving one of our two golden boys, I would ship out.....Matt Cain.
Gosh, I almost feel like I should be fired from the staff here at "Raising (Matt) Cain." Sorry. Perhaps, in part two - The Statistics, I come up with a different choice.
So what do YOU think??? What does your GUT tell you?
which I found via http://www.mattcain.com/.
What will our boy do when he becomes a household name? Will he have to buy his domain name from this fellow? The horror! The horror!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The homepage for Tom Dispatch is here.
Robert Lipsyte can be found here.
The article is called Shooting Up on Jock Culture and is from 2006, so it doesn't discuss the home run record or the indictment. Warning: definitely NOT a reality-free zone. Next post, I promise, will be back to baseball La-La Land, where we talk about the Giants getting out of last place.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Noah Lowry (Giants) - I doubt that either Cain or Lincecum is going anywhere unless the Giants swing a Miguel Cabrera deal. Crawford wouldn't be a terrible return for Cain, but I wouldn't make that trade if I ran the Giants. If the Yankees offered Phil Hughes and another quality piece for Cain, that'd probably be worth doing. It's not happening, though. Lowry is the one the Giants would be willing to move for a non-elite talent. The 27-year-old left-hander is signed for $6.75 million over the next two years, and there's a $6.25 million club option for 2010. That makes him fairly attractive no matter how much his WHIP fell off last season.
Lowry and RHP Brad Hennessey to Mariners for C Jeff Clement and OF Wladimir Balentien
Lowry to Cardinals for OF Chris Duncan and RHP Mitchell Boggs
Lowry to Royals for OF Chris Lubanski and SS Jeff Bianchi
Prediction - Lowry traded to Mariners, Others stay
Caveat: this is a fantasy site. But I like the thinking, and these guys take this stuff seriously. And they are no weirder than the sabermetricians.
I'd do trade #1 in a heartbeat.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
The Essence of Bonds
BY D.K. Wilson
The other sites worth reading are Edge of Sports, Cosellout, and The Starting Five. Warning: major time sink. Maybe I can get the BLB Scandal under control, like a rash that breaks out once in a while. In my mind, I mean. The "news" outlets will continue to scream at me with this crap, and I'll have to relax about it so I can get back to the Giants and their dismal prospects for 2008. But The Bonds Thing will keep popping up. In the baseball world, more than any other, people cling harder to their illusions and fantasies about "how it oughta be" and refuse most stubbornly to see "how it really is." Messing with MLB's Mythology is worse than murder.
And I thought that baseball was my escape from reality.
Friday, November 16, 2007
--Proverbs 16: 18 (KJV)
Barry Lamar Bonds makes the national headlines--again. One of the world's greatest athletes, Bonds looms larger than the sport that brought him fame and money. And thus we see his sin, the ancient one of Pride, one of the Seven Deadlys of Yore. Babe Ruth was bigger than baseball, and so was Joe DiMaggio. Bonds' fatal mistake was pulling himself up to the pantheon, shoving a few old codgers aside in the process, and attempting to stand next to George Herman and Joseph Paul. Tsk, tsk, Barry Lamar. You were too good, too cocky, too aloof, too self-absorbed. Mostly you were just too good. Hang your head, boy, and say "aw, shucks," and we'll cut you some slack. But stand pround, be defiant, and we'll cut you down. Welcome to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, Barry, where you can "be all you can be."
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
2. Bruce Bochy gets a hankering to manage the Nat's AAA team or something and Ron Wotus gets promoted to top dog.
3. Brian Sabean retires and we get some new, smart person like the Chavez Latriners Assistant GM, Kim Ng, or the ex-Twins GM, Terry Ryan.
4. Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain form the best 1-2 pitching punch in baseball in 2008. (And The Beezy has a big bounce-back season.)
5. The SFG's realize the error of their ways and BLB returns for another historic season, and his mentoring of Daniel Ortmeier, Kevin Frandsen, and Fred Lewis makes them all into studly major league hitters.
By the way, check out today's Lisa Gray article at The Hardball Times entitled "My favorite baseball players." I enjoyed it for two reasons: 1) BLB made the top spot and 2) she has a smart, fun, fan's perspective, and loves ballplayers for many of the same silly reasons we all do.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
1B) Rich Aurilia. Dan Ortmeier. Hmmmm, unproven rookie and tired old hack. I'm goin' with the rook, Richie can sit and play back-up.
2B) Ray Durham. Kevin Frandsen. I want KF to succeed so badly it makes my teeth hurt. I expect Durham will play better (he was one of the worst in MLB last year, so I'm not reaching here). Sorry Ray, you sit. The phenom plays.
SS) Sabean loves Omar--who doesn't? Omar will sign with us because no one else is interested. They all have younger shortstops.
3B) Sabean loves Pete. Get used to it. Another Richie A backup spot.
LF) Roberts. Expect a rebound season
CF) Davis/Lewis platoon. One of them can play, let's find out which one.
RF) Winn. Decent player all around. Our "main man" next year. Schierholz make the team? Only if one of our CF's blows chow in the spring.
Ugh. We'll be lucky to score 3 runs per game. And adding Mike Lowell or Torii Hunter or Andruw Jones won't change that very much.
Help me out here, I'm drowning!
Friday, November 2, 2007
Thank you for your smarmy and obsequious note of 2 Nov. I stand by my letter, forgetting of course about my ability to spell "embarrassment" and "publicity." Five points:
1) I am not your friend.
2) "Delay" in returning an e-mail? Are you kidding? Do you not have nerds in Cooperstown? Can you not write/borrow/steal/download a fooking automated reply system? Oops, I'm sorry, I think that WAS an automated reply.
3) Have you considered that 10,000,000 votes in an "on-line poll" was no more than six stateless hackers-for-hire writing code that voted 1,666,666 times each, with Mark Ecch-o casting the last one personally?
4) Do you have deliberately defaced artifacts on display with placards ("the entire story . . . will be presented fairly and balanced with facts and not supposition") about the OTHER famous ballplayers in the Hall? Yeah? Like who? And what do you say about THEM?
5) "Additionally, please know we have several other artifacts graciously donated by Barry Bonds from his career, including his historic 755th and 756th home runs."
Thank you for your letter regarding Barry Bonds’ 756th home run baseball which is being donated to the museum. Thank you for taking the time to express your views and we apologize for the delay in returning a reply.
We understand your consternation in the Museum accepting this donation, but we strongly believe it is a relevant and important artifact that belongs in Cooperstown. As an American history museum, our core mission is to tell the story of baseball history, both in the context of how it unfolds on the field, and also as it relates to American culture.
As you know, the baseball from Bonds’ 756th home run is being donated with an asterisk affixed to it. We do not condone defacing artifacts and would have preferred the baseball be donated in its natural state. We were willing to look beyond that in this instance, because of the historical relevance connected to the baseball. We will explain why it is defaced and what led to it being donated to the Museum in that condition.
In our opinion, the baseball speaks to many significant parallels between baseball and culture in 2007, some of which include: a representation of baseball fans’ sentiments about the home record, for a one-week period in September 2007; a symbol of the adversity Barry Bonds had to endure in passing Hank Aaron to become the all-time home run champion, and; the passion baseball fans have for baseball history, as evidenced by the popularity of the online poll, in which 10 million votes were cast during a one-week period.
When this artifact is eventually donated and placed on display in the Museum, the entire story -- from when the baseball left Barry Bonds’ bat and ended up in Cooperstown -- will be presented fairly and balanced with facts and not supposition: We share baseball history through exhibits and let our visitors interpret their own feelings.
Additionally, please know we have several other artifacts graciously donated by Barry Bonds from his career, including his historic 755th and 756th home runs.
We hope this sheds some light into our thinking. Thanks again for sharing your opinion, which we value.
The best way to stay informed about the Hall of Fame and all the happenings in Cooperstown is to subscribe to INSIDE PITCH, the official e-mail newsletter of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. IT'S FREE and shows up in your e-mail box at the beginning of each week. You'll also receive timely news items direct from Cooperstown - where we preserve history, honor excellence and connect generations every day. Follow this link to sign up for INSIDE PITCH. https://secure.baseballhalloffame.org/enterworkflow.do?flowId=registration.profile
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-----Original Message-----From: Mark O'Connor [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2007 1:18 AMTo: Baseball Hall of FameSubject: Barry Bonds baseball
Subject:Barry Bonds baseball
Question and/or Comment:The ridiculous stunt regarding Mr. Ecko and the "asterisk" on #756 is an embarassment to baseball and the Hall of Fame. I am shocked you would blatantly disrespect one of the greatest American athletes of all time. Shame on you, succumbing to a juvenile publcity stunt by someone who knows nothing of the game! Give Barry his due, he's earned it.
Date of Birth:11/ 13/ 1959
Favorite Baseball Team:SF Giants
Favorite Hall Of Famer:Mike Schmidt
Thursday, November 1, 2007
15 years, 1899 games, .290 AVG, .343 OBA, .411 SLG, only 553 BB's, BUT only 719 K's
He was a solid, productive percentage hitter who lacked pop. BUT he didn't whiff much. I like that. Maybe he can teach plate discipline, patience, and how to use the whole field. A guy like Frandsen or Ortmeier could really improve with some work in those areas. Lansford is a Bay Area boy and the Giants seem to like that hometown connection (like Righetti--who's useless).
Welcome aboard, Carney! (Eek! That name! Don't you just want to wear a striped shirt and porkpie hat, chew on a cheroot and accost passers-by with a gravelly baritone: "step right up, folks, ya won't believes yer eyes, only a dollah, ladies are free . . .")
Monday, October 29, 2007
Round 1, pick 25, MATT CAIN (17 yrs. old)
Round 2, pick 66, FRED LEWIS (21 yrs. old)
Round 3, pick 97, DANIEL ORTMEIER (21 yrs. old)
Round 4, pick 127, KEVIN CORREIA (21 yrs. old)
(2001's #1 pick was Brad Hennessey)
The only other name of note on the list from '02 was #8, the 247th pick, Clay Hensley, who went to San Diego for Matt Herges in July of 2003. Then 18-year old Travis Ishikawa was the 637th pick (#21) overall. The other 44 names are nobodies.
So, in June of 2008, six years later, who will be making the biggest impact on the San Francisco Giants? The Hurra-Cain is a shoo-in, but what about the other three? Talk amongst yourselves . . .
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Cain recognized: Right-hander Matt Cain was ranked eighth on famed baseball analyst Bill James' list of the game's top 25 players under the age of 29. The feature appears in The Bill James Handbook 2008, which will be published next month.
"His 7-16 record disguises one of the league's best pitchers," James wrote of Cain, 23. "He had the same number of quality starts last year as Brandon Webb, but whereas Webb was 17-2 with three no-decisions in those games, Cain was 6-8 with eight no-decisions."
This was the last item in the Chris Haft article about Eugenio Velez ("Velez on the run in Arizona Fall League") from the Giants webpage. Of course, we knew this already. Bill James is the well-known stat guru. Here's another link to his work. (We'll have to talk about Eugenio Velez pretty soon, eh?)
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
you were cooking a small fish.
If you manage people by letting them alone,
Ghosts of the dead shall not haunt you.
--Lao Tzu (trans. Witter Bynner)
I'm convinced that the best thing the Giants can do is nothing. No free agent signings*. No trades. The Giants have a large arsenal of young arms. Some of them will be effective (or better) major leaguers. Let's find out who they are, and what role they will shine in. The team has several OF prospects. Let's give them a chance to play. I've already blogged about Dan Ortmeier and Kevin Frandsen--I think they are our 2008 1B and 2B. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but there it is. We might lose 120 games. Fine. If we have a FUTURE and are RE-BUILDING I can live with losing. Normally, I would encourage the team's leadership to spend the "currency" of young arms on young hitters. But I am haunted by the ghosts of failed trades and idiotic signings. I do not trust Brian Sabean to make good judgments. I do not trust our scouting department to make good evaluations of other teams' talent. I do not trust the ownership group to make sound financial decisions. Sometimes you have to hold your cards and bluff. This is that time.
*Omar. OK, I can live with Omar.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Brian Sabean sneezes and the NL West passes us by.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
ERA W L G GS IP H ER HR BB K
xMatt Cain 4.01 13 10 33 32 193.0 167 86 24 87 174
Barry Zito 4.01 14 11 34 34 216.0 196 96 25 96 165
Now here is the reality of 2007:
xMatt Cain 3.65 07 16 32 32 200.0 173 81 14 79 163
Barry Zito 4.53 11 13 34 33 196.2 182 99 24 83 131
Stat projections are just that--projections. But there is nothing else to do in October except root for the Yankees to lose (YES!!) and watch other teams celebrate. Why I bring this up, O My Brothers, is the stark ugliness of the 2008 projections. You can peruse them here. Note: we are referred to as "Cellar Dwellers." There is some confusing stuff in among the numbers (all these systems use, to some degree, a theoretical "average" player to compare an individual against), but you'll get the gist.
Here's our boys again, "projected" for next season:
xMatt Cain 3.63 14 10 34 33 206.0 186 83 18 76 173
Barry Zito 3.99 13 12 34 34 210.0 193 93 22 90 159
I'm skipping the batting stuff, it is just too bleak. I'd be happy if Zito has an ERA below 4.00 and pitches over 200 innings. I'd like to see Cain push it a little past these projections, getting his ERA below 3.50 and reaching 220 innings. That being said, he pitched damn well this year, and he will likely pitch damn well next year. (Just cut down the walks and pitch counts, me bucko!) Here's the look at Tim "Link" Lincecum (not in the 2007 database):
Player Spotlight - Tim Lincecum
ERA W L G GS IP H ER HR BB K
Stud 2.58 14 4 34 34 206 156 59 11 72 230
Mean 3.28 10 5 29 29 173 146 63 13 67 173
Wuss 4.17 06 6 24 24 138 130 64 13 65 126
Top Near-Age Comps: Jim Maloney, Kerry Wood
The projection assumes a 70% chance of being "mean" and an equal 15% chance each of "badass" or "stinko." (That corresponds roughly to a "normal" distribution.) I like the comparison to Jim Maloney, but obviously not to Kerry "Where Have All the Strikeouts Gone" Wood. I've been using Wood to keep me from hyperventilating over Link--you just never know. (BTW, Mr. Szymborski calls Our Boy Matt the rather predictable "Citizen" Cain.) No matter what else happens in 2008 (please, Brian Sabean, please don't sign any old boring guys or make any trades with our young arsenal of arms), even if we stay in last place from April to September, we get to watch Matt "Sugar" Cain and Tim "Second Coming" Lincecum every week. Throw in a rejuventated Barry "Beezy" Zito and we might have some fun now and then.
I had some problems formatting the text so forgive the X by Sugar Cain and other oddities like being unable to put headers (W, L . . .) over the numbers, leading zeros, etc.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Check out the look at the Devil Rays prospects. Some trade material here?
Time to start looking for youngsters for us to go out and get!
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
The Mets didn’t lose the NL East because of a failure of character. They didn’t lose because they were somehow less virtuous than the Phillies. They didn’t lose because of some grand plan of an incomprehensible God. They lost because they just didn’t play good baseball down the stretch, and they got beat. Tom Glavine’s got some postseason experience (if it matters — I don’t know if it does), and has proved his worth in the game a thousand times over. No matter how big the strike zone was for him during his career, he’s a deserving Hall Of Famer. And today, he just got pounded. Not because of some mystical rubbish that allows those of us with access to a keyboard or microphone to pass judgment on players like some sort of meddlesome scold, but because he just got beat up.
This is from a fellow named Gary Huckabay and was posted on Baseball Prospectus on 30 September. Check it out here. BP is a subscriber thing, but there is lots of good stuff available for free. I believe Mr. Huckabay is a founder or senior writer or somesuch. I liked this piece, it was titled WOW. The final weekend of NL baseball was certainly high on the WOW factor, with the Phillies pulling off their comeback and the Padres failing to clinch, giving the Rockies a chance. After last night's dramatic, improbable win in Denver, the Rox go through and the Pads go home. Game 163 could have gone either way, I had no real preference, but had to think the Mile High Crew had a bit of home field advantage (and I was happy to see ex-Giant Yorvit Torrealba get a big HR). Regardless, it was great baseball. The fact that my SFG's finished in LAST PLACE is even more painful when I watch a thrilling contest like that one. But the real point is this: anything can happen. Teams win, teams lose. No one can say WHY one team plays well and gets the breaks at the right time, and another doesn't. It just happens. Random chance is a cruel arbiter of our fates, and we refuse to believe that Lady Luck is the biggest player in these games. But She is. The Pads threw their best out there, Peavy and Hoffman, and lost. Go figure. I mean, if you're Bud Black, wouldn't you figure those two would give you the best chance of winning? Sure you would. But hey--it didn't work out. And that's what makes baseball so great.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Use this link to tell Baseball's Hall of Fame what you think about the asterisk ball. Help preserve the dignity of this already terribly flawed institution.
I've spent my whole life waiting to visit Cooperstown. Now, I don't think I could stand it. Oh why must my baseball life continue to mock me??? (Actual answers to that question would be appreciated.)
p.s. POP (that was the sound of my first blog!)
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Thanks for 15 great years, Barry. I hope you play as long as you wish to, and thrill the fans in another city (as long as they are an American League team!). You are one of the greatest athletes and performers I have had the privilege to watch and follow.
(p.s. Marc Ecko is an ASSHOLE. The Hall of Fame is a bunch of clowns.)