Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Round two to the champ

Matt Cain is a fucking animal. That was filthy, beastly beastiliness in Phi-town tonight. Matty re-found that post-season mow-down mode and set the red-clads down. It was great. The Giants played Giants-ball. They got all old school Dead Ball like they like to do and scrapped and scratched and kicked and clawed and won themselves a fecking ball game. Last night? Well, last night was a "syphilitic goat turd" as my mate JC so aptly put it. But tonight? Tonight? Tonight! It was pure G-ball, baby, pure Bay Ball, pure as Virginal fookin' Mother's milk ball (they can do that, I know, I seen it, seen it all through the blue haze of the fuming incense stencher, laddie bucks, aye, I did, but that's a tale for another time, eh?). Pure as fucking baby snot, me bukcos, that's the G-game, that's how it is done, that is some defending bloody fracking championship ball. I was in a public place, a publick house no less, quaffing me bloody god-damned hard-earned bloody pints when Eli bloody Whitesde ran into Matty in the 8th and cost the team a runner and eventually a run and I slammed my hand on the table like a bloody fat-arsed frat boy, calling attention to meself and all, uncharacteristic-like, you know, me being all so meek and mild like a god-damned bloody fookin' altar boy (which I was, yeah).

O My Brothers, that was a win. Bog and All His Holy Angels shined upon Your Humble Narrator while he was deep in his moloko synthmesc, and he's renounced the ultra-violence, takin' the cure and all, because of the religiosity and spiritualissitude, and that's the truth.


p.s. I'm not sure why I ever bother to be calm, rational, and analytical as the Giants did EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what I expected them to do, namely, trade Zack Wheeler for Carlos Beltran. Hey, I like surprises. This team never fails to surprise me. Pitching, fundamentals, and three-run homers. Maybe Beltran is that third leg of the Earl Weaver Triangle. I love it. It's brave, bold, and timely. He's a great player. Zack Wheeler might be the next MadBum or he might be the next Jerome Williams. I can't see how Beltran hurts the club in any way, and it sure seems like his bat will be a huge boost. The "difference-maker?" As if. (The NY Time crossword today gave the clue 'Valley Girl's pshaw' which was, naturally, 'as if.') No one bat--with the possible exception of Barry Bonds--is ever the difference-maker. No, that would have required getting Justin Verlander or somesuch to be the 5th starter. But it is a big pickup, make no mistake, and could just be that little extra Techron in the tank to help the lineup win another game or two. Beltran's our bhoyo now and I'm on board with it. A tip o' the tam o' shanter to Brian O'Sabes and Billy McNuke for the grand gesture.


JC Parsons said...

Matt Cain is a total stud. Suck on it, Cole.

Nope on the Beltran deal. The two players ( without injuries ) are not nearly equivilent by any rationale measure of value, Wheeler being 2-3 times MORE VALUABLE. We gave up a blue chip PITCHER for 3 months of another OK batter whose productivity will immediately be hurt by the ballparks in which he will play the rest of the season. This move probably doesn't hurt this season (although less time for Ross or Torres is not very appealing) but it will HURT if we ever have to lose Tim, Matt, or MadBum. And ask yourself, what are the chances that we lose one of those guys?

Oh well, at least we didn't give up a current pitcher. In my book, Mota is more important to our success than Beltran probably will be. Which is not really a slap at Carlos.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Remember Tim Alderson? That trade worked out. At the time I believed it to be a disaster. Sure, Beltran could be a bust. But it's worth the risk. There wasn't much to do to improve the pitching, unlike last season. Hell, there are six starters. JSanchez will be back and take over for Zito and it will be five guys fighting for four spots. The 'pen is set. The guys they got last year are all still good and still working. We all know the weakness on the team was the lineup, and the odds are that this will improve the lineup. Sure, I also remember Francisco Liriano. Shit happens. If you don't roll the dice you can't get a seven. This, like Ross, also keeps the other teams (like Philly and Atlanta) from getting him. It's a good risk, I think, precisely because Wheeler is not (yet) a major-leaguer. There was never a chance the Giants would trade a 40-man roster guy. I suspect the Giants (Tidrow, Evans, Barr, etc.) are better at evaluating pitching talent then I am. If they thought Wheeler was worth the risk then I'm OK with it.

JC Parsons said...

BTW I love the fecking way you write. Damn, I needed you at the Pirate Festival thing R and I went was hella-fun.

Still don't like the trade. We got took. Why did Betran get traded for less when he was a stud oh so many years ago(pre injuries)? You can call it low risk/high reward only if you way over value the little offensive boost he may deliver, remember it's not like he's replacing Huff. More likely it means the end of any Belt playing time (and less of Torres' defense if we kid ourselves that Beltran can cover our centerfield.)
Nope. We gave up way too much. Read Grant's take on it for a good scenario of what happened.

Anonymous said...

I heard that the giants were going to release Pat the bat, and send Belt down. I do not know if I like either of those moves. I would like to see an order this year with Torres, leading off, Belt second with good OBP playing first, Beltran third playing left or right, Pablo playing third batting cleanup, Schietholtz/Ross batting fifth, Keppinger/Fontenot batting sixth, Tejeda/Crawford at ss batting 7th, Whiteside/Stewart batting 8th, Pitcher.

JC Parsons said...

Now it sounds like Belt is leaving and Burrell is staying. Yuck. They also think Crawford is going down and Burriss stays. Yuck. Fontenot has played a couple games at SS and looks like he is taking over there. Yuck. Also sounds like Beltran wants RF, so Nate is moving to left (where he has never played)and platooning with Ross. Double yuck.

Beltran better hit because the clear immediate effect is a drop in defense in at least two positions.

Ron said...

Having left my Engligh-to-drunken-Irish-Pub-Slang Dictionary at home this morning (silly me), I have virtually no idea what the second paragraph of your post is all about ('moloko synthmesc'???), Mark, but it sounds very 'impassioned' (which I'm not sure is really a word in English). Well done!

Last night's game sounds wonderful - I wish that I had seen or heard it, but work & Yogic duties overrode my ability to participate. Instead, all that I got was listening to that idiot, Eric Byrnes, while driving home. (He is 100% idiot. I never imagined that someone could make me miss F. P. Santangelo, but there you have it.)

Now, with respect to our trade & roster moves, I am much more aligned with Mark on this one. Zack (or is it Zach?) Wheeler may turn out to be a very nice Pitcher. However, he is a low minor league prospect, for now. Being the 33rd rated prospect in baseball right now doesn't exactly bowl me over with certainty of greatness. One thing is certain: he would have been 2-3 years away from making a ML impact for us, & that's as long as he stays healthy, etc.. Furthermore, he is not our only decent minor league Pitcher or player. So, that gives us some time to make up for the loss of Wheeler.

Carlos Beltran, on the other hand, is a 'today' big-time ML hitter. To boot, he's a powerful switch-hitter - what's not to like about that? He gets on base a lot. Prior to some injuries, he was very fast. But, he's still a smart player, with a lot of tools, both in the field & on the bases. He will mostly take playing time away from Torres & Rowand.

We have been very patient with Torres this year, but it just isn't happening. Whenever I watch him, his use of the biggest, heaviest bat in baseball strikes me as both odd & counter to what should be his objectives as a lead-off hitter. Consequently, he strikes out way too much. Last year, we put up with it, because of his occasional power. This year, that has been absent.

Less Rowand is a welcome thing.

So, our OF will consist mostly of Ross-Schierholtz-Beltran, with a lot of Torres as a late inning defensive replacement. I like that OF.

Ron said...


As far as all of the other roster moves are concerned, I haven't really heard much confirmation. However, I assume that the premise is that Burrell & Tejada are ready to come off of the DL.

I would like to say that Belt is ML-ready, &, for a lower tier team, he probably is. We can wait a little longer. Crawford is a great SS, but clearly still learning to hit. Long-term, he gets me way more excited than Burriss, but Burriss has that versatility thing going for him. Fontenot is an experienced Burriss.

While no one has been paying particular attention, Burrell has been become a fine pinch-hitter, while not grousing whatsoever about his reduced playing opportunities. When we signed him, he was told that this would be his role, & he has done what was asked. I actually like him better this year than last.

Tejada is an interesting proposition. His defensive skills are definitely way down, but he was starting to crush the ball (2011 Tejada crushing translating to 2B's, as opposed to the former version). 2B's are good. Again, while he isn't Chase Utley or Troy Tulowitzki, he has been pretty much as advertised.

As a Giants' fan, I am happier on July 28 than I was on July 26. Getting this deal done, with the Mets paying most of Beltran's remaining 2011 salary, was key. What we are paying him amounts to next-to-nothing. I realize that our chances of signing him next year are pretty small, but I will always hope that a feel-good title in SF will convince him to stick around. At his age, his next deal will not be quite as monumental as his last one, even with Boras as his agent. All other issues aside, he is exactly the kind of player every team wishes that they had about 5 of. He makes our lineup instantly more credible. I hope that he is a Giant for another 5 years (including the last 2, after we re-acquire Wheeler in a replay of the Vogelsong story).
As I implied yesterday, Posey's injury made a move like this both worth the gamble &, to some extent, necessary. That was our situation, & we acted. We got the best player out there - that's pretty mighty.

We might not be done dealing, either. There's still the catching situation to tweak a little bit.

M.C. O'Connor said...

We've been watching the Giants win more than they lose all season, and this is how they've done it. Now they're going to have a better player to help them. I like that, and I'll worry about Wheeler later. I have a feeling in December, I'll be really annoyed and worried about Wheeler. Right now, though, I'm not going to start looking for flaws. No, Beltran doesn't play a position that the Giants were desperate for, like shortstop or catcher. No, it doesn't replace Aubrey Huff with Brandon Belt, which would be a substantial upgrade.

But Beltran makes a good team better. That's the way to relate a game like this to Carlos Beltran. This game? So 2011 Giants. But tomorrow it will be (spoiler) the 2011 Giants plus a much better player than they've had in the lineup this year. It takes a game like this to make you feel even better about it. You'd think it would take a 1-0 loss to make you think, crap, I can't wait until the real hitter gets here. But, no. This is much better.

@ JC You mean THAT Grant Brisbee comment?

@Ron You never read "A Clockwork Orange"?

JC Parsons said...

Rangers: Eh, we'll give you this 26-year-old first baseman with defensive problems and power in AAA.
Pirates: Yeah, we have one of those. We'll do that and a LOOGY in double-A.
Braves: Okay, fine. We have this prospect that we were kind of saving for a special occasion. But, he's okay, I guess. Look, you can have him.
Phillies: We have something a little better than that. The Braves call that a prospect? I mean, our guy isn't a top-100 guy, but he's good.
Rangers: Wait, wait, wait. Did we say a 26-year-old first baseman? He's but a part of our overall package. We have a prospect too. He's good! One of our five best.
Braves: Our prospect is our fourth best.
Rangers: We'll include our third best.
Braves: Alright, I didn't want to do this, but ...
Phillies: We're out of here. Peace.
Pirates: Hello? I think I hit the mute button with my cheek. Hello?
Braves: Two prospects. Both in the top ten of our organization. There. We'll arrange the finer det...
Giants: Zack Wheeler.
the conference call is silent

Braves: Damn. We're out.
Rangers: Whoa.
Pirates: Hello?

THAT is the Grant part I meant. We got took. I know Beltran is good but this is exactly the type of move we HAVE AVOIDED (with some success I might add)for the last few years. I thought we had a new priority and direction but when you give up your top pitching prospect for another aging OF RENTAL...I guess I was wrong. I hope it works, I think it was not needed. Bochy says it himself:
"There was a little sense of urgency to see if we could do something to help this offense get going."
That is a sucky way for the defending World Champs (that are currently leading their division and have yet to have a losing month) to behave. This team is here because of Matt, Tim, MadBum, Sergio and Brian. We all know it. Breaking the way we have been doing things doesn't feel right to me. I'm just sayin'.

M.C. O'Connor said...

The Giants were willing to go "all-in" and force out the rest of the players. Part of the "new mentality" we have to get used to is that the Giants are now the rich team that can make the big move. They can afford to deal prospects and they can afford ridiculous contracts and they can afford to push the little guys around. The Giants aren't the second banana any more.

Quotes (from Extra Baggs):

“I say what comes to my mind, and more often than not, it’s factually based,” the Giants’ free-spirited closer said. “Clearly, he’s going to make an impact. It’s not like pitchers look forward to facing him. He has that ability to hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning. With the pitching we possess, that’s something that makes a huge difference.”


“I’m so happy. I adore and respect him,” Torres said. “Because of him, I see the game in a different way. When he came to San Francisco, I told him, `thank you.’ I’m very, very, very happy he’s coming here.”


Most important note from Sabean call: Dick Tidrow assured him they have enough pitching talent in minors to withstand loss of Wheeler.

(From AB's twitter page)

Dick Tidrow knows more about baseball than I do.

Brother Bob said...

JC, I love you but you're an idiot. You've taken your obsession with pitching too far. Wheeler might have been our #4 starter 3 years from now. Beltran is our best player today.

M.C. O'Connor said...

I disagree, Bob. Jon's right to be concerned. I don't agree, but it is a fair complaint. And it does seem "out of character" for the club. But the Giants think that defending the title requires some short-term fixes and I have a hard time arguing with them. It's not like they are suddenly going to win games 7-2. They will still win games like last night. I hope that a bat like Beltran's helps them win one or two more 1-0 or 2-1 or 3-2 games. I think it improves the odds. Last year they had Buster and big hits from Burrell and Uribe and whatnot. And they had career years from Huff and Torres. This year they lack that kind of weapon and Sabes & Co want to have at least one arrow like that in the quiver.

We've seen the Giants make the "go for it now" moves in the past and we've seen them bide their time and build from within, giving up whole seasons in the process. Repeating is the MOST DIFFICULT THING in all of baseball. Teams adjust and try to keep improving--no one ever stands pat. I like the move. Some don't. Fair enough. We'll see how it plays out!

JC Parsons said...

@ Bob; Don't much care if you think I'm an idiot. The GIANTS obsession with pitching is the ONLY REASON we are where we are today. I don't remember us calling them idiots when we refused to give up pitching last year (and our offense was just about this bad, REMEMBER?), in fact, we got more pitching.

@ Mark; You REALLY think Dick Tidrow would say anything else? C'mon.

@ Ron; Really? You haven't read "A Clockwork Orange"?

JC Parsons said...

Elias: Matt Cain with a K and a BB Wed. ending a streak of 39 straight starts with more K than BB. Longest streak by Giants P since 1900.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Cool fact. Even cooler: Giants are 8-1 in rubber games.

Re Dick Tidrow: Grant B said it looks like he "beats up hippies." No doubt. Looks like to me he'd call Wladimir Klitschko a wanker and let him have the first shot. Tidrow does not strike me as a Sabean yes-man. Just the opposite. I'm willing to bet that's why he's around, because he gives Sabes the straight dope.

Now, would Sabes BS the media? Probably. Would he give a phony, rosy quote on the phone to Baggs? Possibly. I think Sabes is taciturn, reluctant, and cagey. But not a liar or manipulator. His staff is extremely loyal to him and he has the reputation for "having their backs" and trusting and respecting them. It's a closed an insular group, but not a lock-step rubber-stamp bunch. Very few healthy, smart, and successful outfits are filled with toadies and milquetoasts.

I think Tidrow told Sabes what he genuinely thought and Sabes passed it on to Baggs.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Another fucking great win tonight!!! Way to go, Timmy! And Giants once again take advantage of poor fielding by the opposition. And the 'pen was beastly again--Ramirez just missed getting the 3rd out on that comebacker. That was damn close to a shutout.

M.C. O'Connor said...

From El Lefty Malo, a unique take on the trade:

The obsession about "winning" and "losing" trades is short-sighted, and it's indicative of a mindset that prefers to read politics as a winner-take-all bloodsport instead of a process that solves problems. The Giants had (ahem, still have) a big problem: Crappy offense. They also have a team potentially good enough to win the World Series again if they reach the playoffs. They upgraded the offense in the most dramatic way possible. If the Giants solve a problem with the trade without causing long-term pain to themselves, who cares if Wheeler becomes an ace for the Mets in three years? Sometimes it's good for both sides to win.