Sunday, March 30, 2008


Sorry, Ron, but your e-mail was impossibly upbeat, and I had to share it. After all, it is mostly doom & gloom around here. Now, where were you during Irrational Giants Exuberance Week?

So, here's the relevant piece:

Thinking big, of course, I thought of the 1969 Mets & looked up some numbers. I know ... it was another era, with league-wide offensive problems, but it was comforting to think that a team with:

An HR Leader with 26 HR’s (Tommie Agee = Rowand?)
An RBI Leader with 76 RBI’s (Agee = Molina?)
A SB Leader wtih 16 SB’s (Cleon Jones = several of our current stars)
A BA Leader with .340 (Jones = ???), but no other regular higher than .279 (Ken Boswell)

& no major contribution from a left-handed hitting position player managed to win the World Series, based upon great young pitching, defense, & making the most of every opportunity. In making this comparison, I am not necessarily predicting 100 regular season wins & a World Series title. But, you never know

The I-Ron speaks. Heckle on, O My Brothers.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Tim in his Element

I always figured that a rainy, cold night at the PhoneBook would be the perfect conditions for The Enchanter. After all, he's a Seattle boy. I suppose I should be critical of the walk...but you really can't complain about
5 0 0 0 1 9
(Photo credit to Giants Jottings. Thanks for a great spring!)

Great comments from BayCityBall:
"The Giants won their first game in almost a week but the story of the night was Lincecum’s performance. Watching Barry Zito walk 4 guys per game while pumping out mid-80’s heat will most likely get old by June. But Lincecum, at the minimum, is exciting to watch. That type of excitement will make one of the worst teams in the MLB slightly more fun to watch. When Lincecum takes the mound, anything can happen. His style couldn’t be any more different than Zito’s. Zito nibbles and pitches up in the zone with a BP fastball. Lincecum rears back and fires mid-90’s fastballs paired with a devastating curveball. He attacks hitters. He’s small. He’s a freak. He’s just fun to watch."

I was a litle surprised at the low pitch count (67), seems like he could have gone another inning. Another example of special treatment?

Special Agent Jack Taschner has been excellent all spring, including 2 strong innings last night. He still has an option, right? I've always liked Taschner, but I love Threets' velocity. Tough call. I sure hope we don't keep any pitchers over 35, sorry Kline and Yabu.

Last chance for roster predictions!!! How will Sabean "rebuild"????

Friday, March 28, 2008

4 5 6 5 2 6

U-G-L-Y you ain't got no alibi, you're just u-ug-lee

You hate to see final "tune-ups" that look like that (19 TBF in 4 IP, 81 pitches, yikes!). At least MC had some live stuff and got some K's. In the end, I'm not worried about the Hurra-Cain. He will be OK. But boy-o-boy, we are bad. The Linkster tonight, let's hope he does well even if his team implodes behind him.

Threets and Valdez have to make the team. Period.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Yes, it is Velez Time here at RMC. There isn't much to get excited about offensively, as we well know, but our boy Eugenio is, to borrow a phrase from JCP, a "human highlight film." What do we make of this? Does he have the chops to be an impact big-leaguer? Take a quick look at FanGraphs, they have a nice display that includes his stats from the minors and the "projections" of the various systems out there. They aren't particularly kind, they have him striking out too much and walking too little, with a high SB potential and no power. But I see a ray of light: he was a consistent .350 OBP guy in A and AA, then made the leap to the majors with little AAA service. He'll be 26 in May. Perhaps he is just at the cusp--finally putting it all together. If so, he could be a serviceable lead-off man, especially if he continues to improve, and the fact that he's a switch-hitter is a nice bonus. It seems painfully obvious that we have to ship Roberts and Durham. Velez can do both: lead off and play 2B. We have too many OFs, and Frandsen will be back next year to compete at 2B. Learn to say "you-HAY-nee-oh." And if you need some data overload, check out the "community projection" about Sr. Velez on McChronic.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

In-depth bummer

Five Questions: The San Francisco Giants, by Steve Treder, March 25, 2008 is posted on THE HARDBALL TIMES. This is an excellent piece, worth your time. In fact, it is your homework assignment!

(And a hearty "thankee" to me bhoyos for keeping RMC's pulse a-pumpin' during my lovely Bend mini-vacation.)

Monday, March 24, 2008


From Chris Haft at
Giants infielder Kevin Frandsen ruptured his left Achilles tendon in a Minor League game Monday, according to an Associated Press report. Frandsen, who was testing the injury after being sidelined since March 16, injured his leg while running the bases after singling, the report said. General manager Brian Sabean confirmed the injury through a Giants spokesman but declined further comment until a magnetic resonance imaging examination is performed on Frandsen. It's possible that Frandsen could be sidelined for the entire season. Frandsen, 25, entered Spring Training as a candidate for the second-base job and was moved to shortstop after Omar Vizquel injured his knee early in camp. Frandsen was removed from shortstop in early March but still had a role as a top utilityman.

It jsut keeps getting better, doesn't it? Very possibly out for the season, one of our "top prospects", if Kevin could have been considered that, is out, very possibly for the season. It does make the Castillo acquisition a bit more helpful, but still leaves the Giants with old, hurt, crappy players to compliment their young, hurt, questionable players. Unfortunately, it also ups the potential for another trade for an infielder. As the blogosphere, and undoubtedly the Giant's brain trust, has been over the possibilities in detail, and found few that were exciting, it suggests.............I can't even finish this painful thought. Hurry back, Omar! You, too, Ray!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

6 5 Zero Zero 1 EIGHT

(This is JCP standing in for the vacationing MOC. He might still get off his lazy butt and post a gem about our "bhoy" but I figured I better cover it, just in case. We here at RMC (at least the one's NOT on vacation) feel a deep responsibility to serve our readers. (I sure hope it is plural!)

Are you ready for it? The first one of the spring.....


A dominant (is there any other kind?) Matt Cain dispatched the Rangers with 6 scoreless innings that featured 8 K's. Only two runners reached scoring position as the Hurra-Cain extended his scoreless streak to 11 innings.

"He had some long innings," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Cain. "I thought he did a good job keeping his concentration."

Of course, a different perspective comes from GiantsFan 9 (of the spectacular Giants Jottings):
" I don't know what game Bochy was watching, because I thought Cain was about as economical with his pitches as I have ever seen him be. The notoriously slow starter needed only 15 pitches to get out of the first, after allowing a 1 out single, but having the runner gunned down on a caught stealing by a beautiful throw from Benjie Molina. In the 3rd and 4th innings, Cain was even more economical as he took only 9 pitches to complete each inning. The only inning where he had a high pitch count was in his last inning (the 6th) when he threw 25 pitches and had the only inning where he allowed 2 men to reach base (including the only walk he gave up all day). Even with the long 6th inning, Matt threw a total of only 88 pitches (60 for strikes) and finished the inning with back-to-back strikeouts. Those of us who have seen Matt regularly reach the 100 pitch count through 5 innings or so are perfectly happy with Matt throwing this many "long innings" all year long. He also only allowed 2 batters to reach as far as 2B (1 to third) and faced more than 4 batters in an inning only once (the 6th) I am not sure where the test was that required him "keeping his concentration". Sometimes the things the Giants coaching and management staff have to say just leaves me scratching my head and saying "HUH?"

Is anyone else always amazed at how dim the staff and regular reporters are when compared to the legion of dedicated bloggers?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Kick 'em when they're down

Admit it. You like "piling on." It's OK. We all do. It is our Neanderthal heritage. See blood, go for the kill. Beneath our respectable, civil veneer lurks a flesh-ripping beast. Or not. So explain to me the sudden rush of "the Giants really suck" posts in the blogiverse. What gives? We all know they suck. Why the new-found desire to write about it? Three consecutive losing seasons--that didn't clue people in? Read 'em and weep, people. Better yet, jump in with both fists and start swinging.

1. Marc Hulet's "What are their options?" (The Baseball Analysts: Around the Minors, 20 Mar)
2. David Pinto's "Giant Headache" (Baseball Musings, 20 Mar)
3. Rob Merks' "Sweating Over the Bullpen" (Bugs & Cranks: SF Giants, 19 Mar)
4. RJ Anderson's "Team Previews" and "Barry Zito 100 Words" (Beyond the Boxscore, 13 & 18 Mar)

Hecklers: if you find a few more blog entries where they belabor the obvious (that we really suck), send the link.

UPDATE: If you aren't tuned in to ShysterBall, you now have another blog to read! Check out Craig Calcaterra's take on The Sabes-ster: "ALCHEMIST" from 18 March.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Baseball Break!

In the spirit of a day off, I figured we could branch out into the ...."real world."
Scary, huh?

Actually this topic is thrilling and could say that is full of "the audacity of hope."
Yes, I am talking about Sen. Barack Obama. If you have not read his speech last night, please do so now. I can not EVER remember hearing a politician talk like that. He truly is THE ONLY PERSON in the world that could have given that speech....a speech that I believe will be referred to for MANY years to come. Never before have I witnessed such pure presidential leadership. Finally a political campaign that is causing America to discuss IMPORTANT topics, and, perhaps more importantly, a campaign that makes one believe that change is possible. Even if Senator Obama fails to become president (remember life mocks me!) his contribution to this time is HUGE.
Read the speech and make someone else read it too.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Crispy Tim

"Concern about Lincecum's groin also prompted the Giants to spare him the journey to Tucson, a round trip that would have lasted at least four hours. Sitting on a bus for that long is no way to heal an injury"

Can anyone ever remember a developing star get such careful treatment? It sure doesn't seem like the organization looks after Matt the same way. What's the difference?

"...striking out eight, walking only one, hitting a batter and throwing 85 pitches. Lincecum allowed two runs and five hits, none of which were struck particularly hard, and went to a three-ball count just three time."

Sounds good, but it better be against "A" players.

Community projection day for Matt on McCovey Chronicles!! I'm sure MOC will have some input.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Free Prose

This is not the end of the Haiku contest! We need more entries!

First the bad news on the weekend. Durham a lock at second, and then today, from the Chron, Aurilia at first. One spot left for our "rebuilding program"? In better news, read at Lefty Malo, from Chicago, the Giants apparently offered Dave Roberts to the Pale Hose along with Scott Williamson and Randy Messenger for Joe Creede. The White Sox wanted more, or more appropriately, someone else. Good thinking, though, shipping Roberts out!

All Out.....All Season

All out...of patience?
All out...of breath?
All out...of the closet?
All out...of time?
All out...of reasons?
All out...of excuses?
All out...of options?
All out...of shape?
All out...of hope?
All out...of the picture?
All out...of their minds?
All out...and about?
All the field?
All out...of money?
All out...of sense?
All out...all in?

Bloggers Rule! ( 6 8 5 4 1 2)

Check out Obsessive Giants Compulsive for a nice piece on our Main Man called "Why I Love Cain." that sort of thing can't go un-noticed here at RMC.

UPDATE (1600):

27 TBF for Matt in 6 IP today. Must have been an uuuuuuuuugly 1st inning. What is it with our staff and the first fookin' inning? 6 ground outs, 9 fly outs, only 2 Ks. A "caught stealing" makes the 18th out. It is nice to see 5 IP with zeros, but the line is still pretty bad. Good thing it doesn't count. Do we have to mention our lack of offense? No? Good thing.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Why you must write

Check out my 15 March post on Ten Pound Press. We are all part of this now.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Inspire Our Team!

In an effort to not dwell on Spring Training, (yes that means Timmy sucked so I don't want to talk about it) I thought I might try to stimulate our artistic juices. Perhaps this will inspire our boys to take a break from their quest to establish new levels of incompetence ( and fan anxiety).
Towards this end, it is time for the annual Spring Training Haiku Contest. The winner earns a free subscription to RMC (internet connection required).

Here goes nuthin'...

The cactus wither,
Arizona taps our hope,
Good thing we're gamers

Benjie batting fourth?
Centerfielders at all spots?
Sabean has job?

Defense, pitching, speed
Giants have it all this year
Monkeys out my butt

Gulls sob and wind chills
One hundred twenty losses
Long, cold, hard summer

Gee, I guess this might not be too inspirational.... Maybe you guys can do better.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

4 4 2 2 2 4

Matt seemed to have gotten "back on the beam" today. I'm concerned about TBF in general for M.C. (Total Batters Faced), 18 today. That is 6 over the minimum (2 walks and 4 hits). I'd like to see him lower his pitch counts and face fewer hitters in his starts. Young pitchers often get themselves in trouble with control, and have to work too hard, reducing their season-long effectiveness. I'm encouraged by the 4 K's, and the fact that we scored IMMEDIATELY after Matt gave up two runs. (8 runs on 13 hits after 5+ as I write this.) Maybe this year Matt can be the beneficiary of our modest outbursts of run support. Matt put up three zeros after the first inning, and I hope we see more zeros on the opponent side of the ledger this Spring!

UPDATE (Wed a.m.): This is an abomination. Schierholz is the only legit OF prospect we have, and we'll keep Dave Fucking Roberts instead? He just turned 24 and has an option year left so I expect he'll be in AAA this year, even though he has already done well at that level. Check out John Sickels' take on him from Sep '07. This year Sickels rates him as our 5th best prospect with a "B-" grade. Today: The Enchanter! JC, sharpen your pencil!

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Please tell me we survived Irrational Giants Exuberence Week. Good Golly, this team will be a test of our patience and fortitude....
Well, since I have neither of those attributes, I shall stick to my strength and I declare Rational Paranoid Pessimism Week. Face it, this is something we can really get behind.
May I begin?

1) Is Tim old enough to get a groin injury? I always thought that was code for too much "love you long time." Maybe there is a "real" groin injury and our little Timmy has it!! I know the press is telling us one thing, but I figure that could be a spin job to control the possible panic. We all better hope this is nothing and Tim is back enchanting us all in a few days. Face it. The way this team is currently built it is all about Matt and Tim growing into stars in the Majors. Either one of those guys get hurt and this year will be a complete waste.

2) Is it possible to treat our best prospects any worse? It sickens me to see what Frandsen is being put through. All because we pay Ray-Ray so damn much. And what about Sanchez? Is he a starter this week? How about a new pitching motion in March? And, how many guys with big upsides (like Merkin, Threets, and Lewis) are we going to lose because we will keep around detritus (like Kline and Roberts)?

3) How is it possible to start a season without acquiring a REAL firstbaseman or a DECENT thirdbaseman? I have nothing against Ortmeier, but the idea that he is ready and/or the best available option seems like a scam that only Karl Rove could pull over on the public. Who is our thirdbaseman anyway? Aurilia? And, how is this rebuilding?

I see very dark days ahead. I wish I was just talking about the losses. We have all lived through many more losses than victories. What I worry about is the embarassment. As the elderly Ron loves to remind us, any team with Benjie Molina cleaning up is pretty scary. Add in a horrible bullpen that was only "improved" with AAA types. Don't forget the inevitable injuries...oh gee, I guess they have already started! I honestly can't remember a team with a greater potential for disaster (that actually sounds kind of positive).

So, let's all join in on RPPW. Hit me with your best paranoid fantasies involving our beloved team. How will life mock us next? If everybody can out do me then I guess I'm not really being paranoid, just shrewd. Fine line there.

Friday, March 7, 2008


Just another entry in the "Good Thing It's Spring" department:

Matt Cain is the latest San Francisco starter to struggle.
The Giants' right-hander lasted just 2 1/3 innings against the Angels on Thursday, allowing five runs on five hits including a two-run homer to Vladimir Guerrero.

Lowry needs surgery. That's good. It means his mind is OK, his control issues were physical. Frandsen won't be the SS. That's good. It wasn't fair to jerk him around like that. Give him the 2B job he has earned. Messenger is sent down. That's good. He hasn't done well. This gives Merkin Valdez a better chance to make the final cut. (And what about Erik Threets?)

Otherwise, we really stink. That's bad.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


A matchup I'd like to see in real time: Greg Maddux, the grizzled vet, the control expert, one of the Greatest of His Time, versus Tim Lincecum, the phenom, the flamethrowing kid, the Great Giant Hope. In Arizona today we had another case of LIFE MOCKS US: Maddux faces six batters and gets six boring, routine, somebody-pour-me-a-beer-it's-the-Giants outs. Our boy shows all his flash and poise and still gives up three runs. I guess we have to get excited about Rich Aurilia and Aaron Rowand muscling up, but I'm past that whole homer thing. Hell, I want to see Eugenio Velez run the bases like a hillbilly chasing his hogs. The Tim-ster put down a perfect bunt, did you catch that on the highlights? Now THAT'S the kinda stuff that'll win ballgames, dammit! I hereby declare IRRATIONAL GIANTS EXUBERANCE WEEK! Time for some irrational exuberance. Get irrational! Be exuberant! Fly in the face of conventional wisdom! Kick sand in a stat-geek's face! Get down, get funky, get IGEW!

Aaron Rowand will hit 30 HRs in the 4-spot behind a resurgent Ray (.290/.380/.450) Durham. Bruce Bochy will garner three (3) "Manager-of-the-Year" columns when the Giants are .500 and only 5 back at the All-Star Break.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

M.C. debut

MATT CAIN made his spring debut today. He faced 12 batters, allowing 4 baserunners in 3 innings (41 pitches). One baserunner was a Frandsen bobble-and-throw double error, one was a bunt single, one was a walk, and one was a line drive single. He struck out 2 and got 4 fly balls and 2 grounders (one a DP) to account for the 9 outs. He also struck out looking as a batter and earned a putout on the tail end of the 3-6-1 DP in the 2nd inning. Spring performances don't mean much, but you have to like our two hard-throwing right-handers coming out and looking sharp. Keep it up Matt, maybe we'll get some wins for you this year. We are running like a pack of deranged escapees today, with some success, but so far we aren't putting much on the board. (Ah, an Ortmeier DOUBLE! A real hit!). I hope that sort of spastic little-ball will work, I really do. Eugenio Velez is winning the Greenies Award so far this year. Go man, go! Make the team! Be our new 3B! Or SS! Or whatever! Just run, Eugenio, RUN!

update, top o' the fifth: FOUR RUNS! We have FOUR RUNS! Matt! Think what this means! You can get some WINS! This doo-run-run offense JUST MIGHT WORK! Woo-hoo!

update update: SIX! We have SIX! Partytime, Excellent!