Friday, February 29, 2008

Tim's Spring #1

If anybody out there in the Giants blogsphere has failed to find Giants Jottings, you are missing a treasure. The author, Giantsfan 9, is truly living the dream. He gives great insight to the whole spring training experience AND he takes a load of great photos, including the one shown here. (Sorry I can't figure out how to put a caption below it.) Here's what he had to say about my boy today (notice that there is NO H in the word "boy" in this case).

"Tim Lincecum had a very good day today....much better than Noah Lowry yesterday. Timmy was lifted after hitting exactly 40 pitches on his pitch count (26 strikes). He lasted 2 2/3 innings. The official scorekeeper says Tim gave
up 2 hits. I scored only one. Richie Sexon led off the 2nd by hitting a little dribbler in between the mound and 3B. Timmy got to the ball and with the way Sexson runs, had plenty of time to throw him out at 1B. Timmy threw high and Daniel Ortmeier (in the background of this photo)... had to leap high into the air to catch the ball and keep it from going into the stands. Ortmeier tried a sweep tag on Sexson that both he and I thought connected with Sexson's left shoulder.....but the umpire said he missed and called Sexson safe. If Timmy's throw would have been on target...Sexson is out by 2-3 steps. The official scorekeeper somehow called it a hit. I refused to change it on my scoresheet.....E-1 all the way.

By my scoring Lincecum gave up no runs on 1 hit and 1 walk while tallying 1 strikeout. Timmy's fastball was zinging and he made a few batters look silly on off-speed pitches. Everything he threw was down in the strikezone as only 1 of his 8 outs was by flyball. Everything was on the ground. Very nice start for Timmy."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Oh, Omar!

So you've all had time to digest the news of Omar's impending arthroscopy. Time for some analysis. I was painfully unaware that we had an option year for 2009 with Mr. 43. I can live with "no-bat" for a guy with his glove, but a 2-year deal seems insane. Hell, even Barry Bonds was getting only one-year deals at the end. Same reason, eh? Knees, fer chrissakes. I'm not entirely sure of the '09 club-option details, but I think it is automatically triggered by certain performance criteria, like 140 GP or somesuch. OK, I'll say it. I hope he misses 23 games. It is impossible not to love Omar. But there should be no "automatics" with old guys. Now our New Kid on the Block gets to start the season at SS. Great. First, we tell him to compete for 2B, then we think we'll install him at 3B, then we look for Joe Crede, then we tell him to compete at 2B, then we tell him "keed, ya get ta staht, but only at shaht." I suppose with Boch it sounds more like "we all think yer a good hard-nosed kid and with Omar gimpy we think ya oughta take his spot." Talk about helping your young players be successful! The flip side, of course, is that KF gets to start the season playing every day. And we get to see what he's got.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


You have to take these fluff pieces with a grain of salt, but anything that pumps up MATT CAIN will get a banner headline here at RMC. M.C. is Our Main Man on The Mound this year, and that is no disrespect to the Wunderkind or Yogi B. The "Hurra-Cain" will blow 'em away in 2008!!!!

Calling on all RMC'ers: I would like to work on the look of the website. If you have digital photos of the park, the players, yourselves in Giants garb or any other SF-themed images, pick out some good ones and send them my way ( I hope to customize and spruce up the look of the blogger page a bit, give it more color and individuality. Thanks for all the great contributions so far and KEEP IT UP!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Assorted Notes, Errata and Half-Baked Opinion

Just back from the very fine state of Texas. Thought I'd chime in with an assortment of things.

For some time now, I have had this imaginary conversation running through my head from sometime early to mid-last season:

Peter Macgowan: This team sucks.
Brian Sabean: No shit, sher..... er, I mean....yes, sir, and frankly, I'm rather worried about it.
PM: So what do you propose that I have my GM, whomever that may be, do about it?
BS: Well, I figure we will have to rebuild, but we probably can't do it all at once.
PM: Why not, pray tell?
BS: Because we have some good promising young talent that we don't yet know if we can rely on to be good, everyday full time players, and we are facing a fairly thin free-agent market. We need two years.
PM: OK, don't fuck it up.

So, we will not be competitive this year, nor could we be, really, because, barring some miracle, like Rajai Davis becoming a decent everyday player (and it would be a miracle), there is just no way we could have crafted a team with enough muscle to compete regardless of the money, unless the rumors about how much A-Rod liked SF were actually true (and apparently, they were not).

So that brings us to Joe Creede. I read somewhere that trading away young pitching talent for "a one year rental player" is just too steep a price. I think it depends on what you mean by "young pitching talent." The rumors persist, including in today's Chron (2/24), that the Giants are interested in him. It seems to me that a one-year rental is exactly what we need. If the guy can come back and hit like a Silver Slugger, enjoys his crab cakes, fog and late nights in the Castro, then we have the inside track to sign him. If not, we pursue Eric Chavez or realize Frandsen can play third and pursue someone else at second. Maybe a line-up of a decent Joe Creede, Rowland, Frandsen, Molina, and another good hitter all of a sudden doesn't make 2009 look so gloomy. Or maybe having a little vacation just improves my outlook.

So, here is a bit from today's Bruce Jenkins column, on Sean Casey: "People rave about his clubhouse presence, including forer teammate Aaron Boone, who said, 'He has this way of making everyone around him feel important.' In a sense, he's exactly what the Giants need as they try to forge their new identity." I love it. Chemistry, the sports writer's favorite crutch (and I'm not talking about drugs). This is, of course, a shot at Bonds, the man who carried the team on his back but destroyed clubhouse chemistry. Amazing though, how easy getting along with teammates is when you are winning, and how it doesn't seem to help when you suck (the team's thirty games below .500, but boy howdy, are they having fun!). The Giants need......hitters. Big, powerful hitters who can thrill crowds by sending fastballs into the water and turning games around. Hitters who seem to get on base every damn time they are up, and hitters who wear out opposing outfielders chasing out-of-reach line drives.

Brian Wilson goes to Ireland, trashes rental car! This raises Brian Wilson's standing in my eyes about 1500%. I think any young person with money (he certainly qualifies) should travel. It seems most of these guys sit around playing video games in their free time. What's up with that? Get out, see something and broaden your horizons.

Finally, italicizing is not the same as mixing fonts.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ya think?

Finally, the Giants recognize that Roberts has been prone to injury and not played more than 129 games in any major-league season. (Today's Schulman)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Likes and dislikes

I like this (today's Comical):

Stealing is not the only goal, but also scoring from second on singles and taking the extra base whenever possible - not exactly a hallmark of recent San Francisco baseball.

I don't like this:

This year, manager Bruce Bochy plans to give most of his players a standing green light. They can go unless he gives the signal to stay put.

Here's the best part:

Moreover, the top third of the lineup can take off now without fear of running the Giants out of a Barry Bonds inning and incurring the wrath of homer-drunk fans. (emphasis mine)

Yeah, that's it. I'm a damn drunk. Homers--who needs 'em? We've got Mr. 411 (as in career SLG) at the four-spot. And we have Warrior Boy and his 54-for-73 in 849 games in his illustrious speed-burning career to lead the way on the bases. OK, OK, we have some good base runners and base-stealers. And just to set the record straight: I LOVE SPEED. But I hate the over-valuing of SBs. Steals are a great weapon for one-run games and one-run innings. It is written: if thou playest for one run thou wilt score only one run. Winning teams, the statistics will show, score runs in bunches. They put up those squiggly numbers. And that, my friends, requires HITS.

Now I hate to make all this negative talk. So, I require all RMC'ers to read this:

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Me and The Game '08

(Note: The following is a guest contribution from Bro (aka my big brother Robert). He claims that his own computer isn't good enough to join our fun here at RMC, so I forced him to write something while he was visiting me. So lets give it up to my Bro...)

Besbol been Barry Barry good to me.
I will always love the grand game. As a Spaniard has bullfighting in his blood, as a Frenchman needs to performs sex with his mouth, I will always care about baseball.
(Here comes the but...) But I'm just not into thinking about The Giants at this time. ... So I will officially begin my mental baseball season right now.
It's no longer all about Barry. Or Zito.
So it's all about the child prodigy pitchers, Cain & Lincecum, and their potentials, vis a vis fulfillingness. Or something like that.
And whether A New Hope shall emerge, some young stud position player who exceeds expectations and becomes a Star. Wouldn't that be a unique thrill for us as longtime Giants fans.
You may recall one of my axioms, "Pitchers don't get to be great on the Giants."
It has a corollary, "The Giants farm system doesn't produce stars as position players", at least not ones that will ever actually play for the aforementioned Giants.
In other words I'm in 100% wait-and-see mode. We're hoping for things that don't usually happen, not to us. Or maybe we aren't even hoping for that, considering the ubiquitous current pessimism, completely justified of course.
Fuck Clemens, fuck Selig, fuck the Dodgers, AND the A's, fuck the DH, and the whole fuckin AL too.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Gettin' snarky

Ya gotta love Bengie. He says in today's Comical that HRs ain't such a big deal. Meanwhile he's flashing his-shoulda-been-ours WS ring from '02. "That's not how we rolled," he says. Of course, they had Troy Glaus, Garret Anderson, and Tim Salmon, but they finished 10th in the league in HRs. So HRs weren't important. He neglects to tell you they were 1st in Batting Average, 4th in OBP and 6th in SLG. They were 3rd in 2Bs and 4th in runs scored. To be fair, they were 3rd in everyone's new favorite metric, the stolen base. Bottom line--they had what we lack: BALANCE. Thanks Bengie, love your "warrior spirit" and all, but take your career .279/.309/.411 Pedro Feliz-like line and shove it. (Did I forget to mention the 2002 LAAs were 2nd in the league in ERA and BAA?)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

1-2 punch

And a big roundhouse left to finish them off!

Matt Cain is rated as the 3rd best 23-year old in baseball by Rich Lederer at The Baseball Analysts. Only Ryan Zimmerman and Troy Tulowitzki are ahead of him. See the 12 Feb "Baseball Beat" entry.

Tim Lincecum is rated as the 8th best 24-year old (can you believe he is OLDER than Cain?) behind the likes of Hanley Ramirez, Prince Fielder, and Cole Hamels. Interestingly, Francisco Liriano is one spot AHEAD of our boy, despite not playing last year. Check out the 11 Feb entry.

Right now I am fantasizing about a playoff-caliber team. Our opponent is looking at the pitching matchups. First, a stiff right cross you knew was coming but couldn't avoid (The Big M.C.). Then, a lightning right jab you never had a chance to see (The Link). Staggered, a cartoonish left that has no business busting your chops almost finishes you off (Da Beezy). Then we whip out a Lowry or Correia on yer ass and you are toast!

Some day, some day . . .

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

M.C. f/x

Check out this fascinating analysis of Matt Cain using the pitch f/x data:

And GIANTS JOTTINGS is back up again, just in time for Spring Training:

Sunday, February 10, 2008

All Things Linkster

As the resident Tim Lincecum freak here at RCM, I have taken it upon myself to regularly spew forth about The Enchanter. After all, don't Tim and Matt kind of go together. The Giants front office must think so...they were perfectly paired at Saturday's FanFest. So, any complete discussion of Mr. Cain really must include Mr. Lincecum. Hopefully this will be my duty for years to come.

And yes, this was a homework assignment. Do I get extra credit for being the first one turned in?


I figured a good start would be a few fun filled sites designed to inform:

general info with lots more links:

a excellent video break down of his motion:

here's some stuff from FanFest '08 (Matt has some great quotes...Tim has another out pitch??)

and, finally, this one I find quite inspiring:

Friday, February 8, 2008

How the West was Won

Go to the ESPN NL Team Batting stats site. Click on the headers to sort by RUNS. We finish 15th of 16 teams. Sort by OPS. We finish 16th. But we had an inkling that might be so. What I find interesting is that SD, AZ and LA aren't that much better in those categories--all are 10th spot or below. Colorado is off the charts, of course, but we'll throw them out for the sake of discussion. Now click on NL Team Pitching. We knew SD won with arms, and the stats bear it out. We look pretty good, though. And LA and AZ are right there, too (sort by BAA--batting average against--and Runs allowed). Of course, they all won more games than they lost. And we finished in last place, 11 games behind LA (82-80). What's the deal? Was our fielding that bad? Not really. Go ahead, click on NL Team Fielding. I know, we didn't steal enough bases! We know how to sort for that, eh? Use "Expanded I" in Team Batting and you'll see we were FOURTH in the league! Hmmmm. Of course, we blew a lot of saves last year (Team Pitching, Expanded I), and more importantly, had few save opportunities, giving us a wretched percentage. So, I conclude from this deep and thoughtful analysis that we need a better bullpen. Not just a save artist, but setup men, set-up setup men, spot relievers, lefty-righty specialists, DP dudes, K wizards, and innings eaters. Whaddya say, amigos? How 'bout an exciting discussion about our bullpen? Hell, we gotta talk about SOMETHING between now and spring training!!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

God Save Us

It takes a lot to get me to make two posts in one day. Here at RMC, we have focused on pitching--with good reason. We just might have our most exciting staff in decades. Hitting, sadly, is necessary, despite what Boch & Sabes think about little ball, stolen bases, and moving runners over. So, let us see what folks are saying about our hitting.



A Giant Mess by Patrick Sullivan at The Baseball Analysts.

Position-by-postion-look at MLB's worst by Dayn Perry at FOX Sports.

Of course, we knew this already. But the Lenten season is upon us, and a little sackcloth-and-ashes routine is good for the soul. Time to get the mothballs out of those hairshirts and suit up. Meanwhile, keep thinking about Matt and his Seaver-esque mien, and Tim and his channeling of Ron Guidry. And the triumvirate of Wilson, Walker and Hennessey--an emperor will emerge from them as our Saves-ior. Right now The Beezy is engaged in some strange mystical posture, visualizing the Big Blyleven Hook blowing away batters. Join him on the yogic plane, O My Brothers. For it is written: only through the futility of the Diamond Nine can the One on the Hill achieve transcendence.

Wimpy Wednesday

That is what you get after Super Tuesday.

EIGHT MORE DAYS, me buckos!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday

Not much going on in GiantsLand. The Super Bowl is finally fookin' over. The Hillabar O'Clinama excitement is just getting started. I'm glad we have made NO STUPID TRADES, but I'm dying for some baseball to talk about.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Worst trade of the Decade?

Alternate title: Sabashing!

How do you think you could evaluate the worst trade of the decade? How about these criteria: 1) it is used as a reference by guys who are not typical teeth-gnashing Giants fans, and 2) it is used in a reference that is not even about baseball.

The generally tremendous Mr. Tremendous has posted a post on about an article about Ernie Accorsi's (NY football Giants General Manager) trade for Eli Manning being a good trade written by Mike Freeman of Rather than read that article, I recommend the fjm article here:

The fjm guys write about bad sports journalism, pointing out just how bad it is in content, logic, grammar, and language usage and are merciless at it. The authors of this site are not SF Giants fans, alhtough they follow baseball closely. They are Boston Red Sox fans, although their comments skewer sports journalism in any media from any city. Here are some quotes from the article being skewered, and italicized comments from Mr. Tremendous:

"'What difference does it make what we gave up?' Accorsi continued....because that's how you evaluate whether it was a good trade."

Do you think Brian Sabean is like, "Who cares about Liriano, Bonser, and Nathan? We got A.J. Pierzynski and cash!!!!"

"My friend Doyel might know college basketball better than anyone, as well as the thug-filled, cracked-jaw-fest that is the MMA, but one thing NFL media rooks like him forget when discussing the Giants-Chargers trade is this caveat: The Chargers wanted fierce defensive end Osi Umenyiora to be included in the deal. Accorsi said hell no. It was the right move by Accorsi, and Umenyiora has been a force."

If the Twins had asked for Barry Bonds in the Nathan/Liriano/Bonser deal, and Sabean had said no, that would not have meant that Sabean had made a good deal.

OK, I realize that there are still more or less two years to go in the decade, depending on if you count 2010, but I think this is a significant entry. Discuss.

10 days

Now that the Stupid Bowl is finally past us, we can look forward to the start of spring. Tomorrow is Mardi Gras. Thursday is Chinese New Year. And pitchers and catchers report in only TEN DAYS! That means homework for all the blog-meisters.

JCP: all things Linkster
Zo: The Beezy (now merely the second-highest paid pitcher)
Ron: Lowry & the Elusive No. 5

M.C. will stick with M.C., of course. Sharpen those pencils, trim those fingernails, and caffeinate those synapses, me bhoyos, it is work time.