Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Balky Tim

Damn, Tim's perfect season is over...

I am not the type to blame a loss on an umpire's call. After all, if the game is that close, any number of things must have contributed to the outcome. Obviously, in this case there is a whole boatload of baserunning gaffes (Winn, Lewis and Velez) and untimely hitting. Also, although Tim pitched ANOTHER solid outing, he did some of those things that we all knew might catch up to him: too many base runners. Tim kept us in the game and, if not for mid game replacement Chris Iannetta, he probably should have won. With our offense ( and tendency to make booboos), we will lose quite a few games just like last night. Well, maybe not EXACTLY like last night...

About that balk....

There was a balk. The umpire got the call right. He did it wrong - calling time first, then the balk - but I agree that there was a balk. It was, however, NOT TIM"S FAULT. Bengie Molina screwed the pooch. Rewatch the video. Molina "requests" time and springs up immediately, without waiting for the ump to grant it. Tim has to step off, BECAUSE HE HAS NO ONE TO THROW TO, and the umpire then called the balk. If Tim had not been in the full windup, this doesn't happen. Bengie must have forgot that there was a runner at third... a bonehead move by a savy veteran. All the ump's comments about Tim "flinching" is crap and just his way to cover the slop job he did.

You may not agree with my interpretation, but remember, if you argue about a balk, it is an automatic ejection (ask Bochy) so watch what you say!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

5.1 4 0 0 5 3

"I was just a little erratic," Cain said. "I couldn't keep it honed in." (Chris Haft article)

108 pitches to 23 batters with 5 walks--yeah, I'd say "erratic" was about right. Matt was aggressive, but had trouble finishing guys, and was plagued by the same youthful inconsistency that we saw last year. I love watching the big lug throw, he's built like a linebacker and has that country boy look, I almost expect him to whip out a guitar and do some Trace Adkins covers between innings. But he's going to struggle to get wins if it takes 20 pitches an inning to get three guys out! Speaking of wins, how 'bout that? A WIN for M.C. was a long time coming, not since August 28th of last season. The bullpen picked him up this time--Chulk made a big contribution, much to my surprise, and the Walker-Wilson duo is shaping up the way we'd hoped this spring. Our vaunted "speed" offense worked to perfection, and our cagey vets got the timely RBI hits. My crystal ball told me that Matt was going to throw the season's first CG last night, but his 1st inning's labors dashed those hopes. (I dashed the crystal ball against the wall--no more of that crap.) You have to love the Crockies stinking up the NL West--defending league champs my arse! Only 30,000 in the yard last night. Funny how that doesn't hurt SFG Inc., I'm sure they've got their steady revenue stream intact. But it does hurt all the little guys--vendors and ushers and ticket takers and whatnot. You reduce attendance by 1/3, you reduce your hourly-wage workforce. I thought ballclubs were supposed to contribute to the community! And speaking of fractions, we are 1/6 of the way through the season. At 12-15, .444, we project to 72-90. That is well above expectations, no?

0900 update: BEYOND THE BOXSCORE discusses Jonathan Sanchez. Check it out.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Abused Tim?

Another wonderful job by our boy, Tim. He is clearly off to a tremendous start this year. All five starts are victories (half of our total!), nine more strikeouts to give him the league lead, each start has gone over 6 innings, and he has yet to give up more than two runs! Did anyone else notice how pumped up Tim was on the bench after he came out? The cameras caught him pumping his fists and spouting obscenties...just like the big boys. Definitely a quality victory against a good pitcher in a ballpark that owns us. Tim is truly beginning to look like that rare commodity: a power pitcher with some finesse. NOT ONLY THAT, we moved past the doggers and pudres into THIRD PLACE!! (Yes, I know looking at the standings is a little silly this year, but as long as LA sucks, I can't resist.)

So why do I have a queazy stomach this morning?

The answer is clearly and eloquently given by Chris at Bay City Ball (cool new logo). This season really is not about the standings or even that silly stat...what is it called?..a WIN. This season is all about the development of our youth, especially our pitchers. (And I guess what I really mean by development is"avoiding injury"...Can anyone give me an example of a pitcher that improved under Rag's watch??) We all need to make sure our priorities are straight. (And I guess by "we," I really mean Bochy and Sabean.) Lincecum had thrown 109 pitches and yet he returned to pitch the seventh, with no one warming up! Needless to say, he could not get out of that inning and needed a HUGE effort by Special Agent Jack. When the smoke cleared, Tim had hit a career high in pitches thrown (122). Yes, he is a "freak" but you still have to wonder. Don't forget the rain game that Tim didn't start but still won, that was clearly a risky way to use a pitcher. This is the same pitcher that got "shut down" early last year. What gives? Chris cites the fascinating PAP (pitcher abuse points) statistic, which places Tim fourth! (Notice the very impressive names at the top of that list.)

Am I worrying too much? Should I just sit back and enjoy? Or should I get mad? After all, I can not imagine a bigger disaster than an injured Lincecum or Cain. How important is pitch count?? Is Bochy doing the right thing with our golden youngster?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

7 5 1 1 3 7

Every Giant pulls for Matt Cain, who emerged with no decision but at least was spared another luckless defeat by Molina's homer. This was the 17th game since the beginning of last season in which the Giants scored no more than one run for Cain while he was on the mound. As is often the case, Cain pitched well enough to win, surrendering one run and five hits in seven innings. (Chris Haft article, emphasis mine)

Mr. Hard Luck had the story already written for him: Giant-killer Greg Maddux, an inept offense, and history to the 17th power. But thanks to Señor Clutch and a big, big jack in the 9th off Hoffman, Matt Cain was spared another "L." Sure, M.C. spent his post-game party time sucking brews and getting "N.D." tatooed on his chest, but damnit, 0-2 is way better than 0-3. Just ask Da Beezy.

I thought Matt looked wild--he seemed to miss a lot and by a lot. Three walks, 27 batters and 98 pitches was in stark contrast to the Master's zero, 25 and 75 in the same 7-inning span. But Matt looked real strong in the last two innings, getting guys to put balls in play rather than trying to fool them or blow them away. The Puds have almost as lousy an offense as ours, and they chased pitches out of the zone--that helped, too. The RBI hit by Giles in the 5th was off a fat ugly thing up around his eyes that he slashed at and just missed Eugenio Velez with. A DP right there would have been "just what the doctor ordered" but it didn't happen, and I despaired that the game was a done deal at that point. But the fat lady was still in the dressing room and El Gamerino Gordito saved the day with the last-gasp homer. At that point I was happy, and probably failed to appreciate the rest of the game's highlights: studly relief, clutch hits, and youthful verve and speed. Watching Burris streak around the bases was beautiful. The new fella, Captain Gomer, sorry, Gamer, seems to have found his stroke. Can't complain about 3 hits and an insurance run that proved decisive.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More Dirtbag Love

We all knew that PITCHf/x data was neat-o, and our own JCP has us looking at it when The Linkster takes the hill, but Chris at Bay City Ball has turned the tables a bit. Check out today's post about John Bowker. This time we see PITCHf/x from the batter's view, just like we do on Gameday. Excellent analysis of our young Dirtbag. Is he the FBOTF (First Baseman of the Future) we've been hoping and praying for?

Monday, April 21, 2008

My Heroes Have Always Been Dirtbags

Check out that lefthander with the no. 22! There's a real dirtbag for ya. Now don't go gettin' yer panties in a wad, the dirtbag moniker is a compliment for this fella. That's right, the Long Beach State University 49ers have a nickname for their baseball team: the Dirtbags. I'm thinkin' "dirtbag" is a hell of a lot better than "gamer." That's it, then. Dirtbags >> Gamers. Turns out there are quite a few Dirtbag-49ers in the bigs these days, perhaps the most famous being Crockie Troy Tulowitzki and TB Evan Longoria. Our Dirtbag has a .364/.400/.864 line so far in his very brief ML career. We all know he'll drop back down to, uh, earth, here pretty soon but you can't complain about what we've seen so far. RMC salutes our Sacramento boy, John Bowker. May he bring gritty dirtbaginess to our clubhouse by the shovelful.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Poetic Tim

The Arches of Doom.
Red Birds ready for the kill.
All hope rests with Tim.

Our team "needs" a win,
Big load on a tiny frame.
Bring on "The Franchise."

A lineup from hell.
What did I do to cause it?
Gad zukes, Ray bats fourth!?!

Double plays abound,
Aaron gets 2 RBI's.
The Gamer goes deep!!!

Trouble in the fourth-
Albert and Rick play the fool.
Tim sez "Swing, miss, sit."

Three up after six.
Timmy's new slider's da bomb.
Can he seal the deal?

No runs; best this year.
Seven innings once again.
Vintage Enchanter.

Yawn, another win.
One thing's for sure, my friend:
(All responses are welcome, but poetic entries are strongly encouraged. I picked haiku because it is so easy and sometimes they come out great.)

Friday, April 18, 2008

3.2 8 9 9 3 4

Have you ever been knockin' back a few pints with yer bhoyos and got so caught up in the bonhomie and camaraderie that you had a few--well, several--too many? And you have to get home, you can't pass out on the fookin' barstool, so you suck it up and tough it out and stagger and weave and bob and somehow, someway, you manage to get to a safe place where you can collapse? Ever gobbled a little too much acid or mushrooms and realize the next 12 fookin' hours of my life are not my own? You hope whatever gods you can speak to in the interim that you can survive with your dignity, clothes, wallet and "permanent record" intact? No? Well, don't worry, mates, we've got the 2008 Giants. You don't NEED to have wretched, life-changing experiences to "wise up" and get sober. The 2008 Giants are a bad trip, a drunken binge, a root canal, a dose of herpes and an IRS audit all rolled into one! Matt Cain gave up MORE RUNS TONIGHT THAN IN ANY OTHER PREVIOUS START OF HIS YOUNG CAREER!!!!! Now there is certainly no shame in giving up the big fly to a fella like Albert Pujols. But that was just the dessert, the pièce de résistance tonight. He pitched like shit. It's going to happen. M.C. is going to have nights like this. This is the big leagues, there are no mulligans, no "do-overs." You either got the goods or you get lit up. Tonight our boy had bupkis. And he paid the price. All that's left to say is "shake it off, pal, get 'em next time." Y'know sumthin'? He will.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I know it is silly to talk about 2009 when we just started 2008, but this armchair-GM'ing and wannabe sports reporting we do is pretty damn silly anyway, ain't it? Since I'm all for silliness, let's talk about MMIX.

There's a wonderful blog called COT'S CONTRACTS which has the details for all the MLB teams. If you want to see how big Da Beezy's contract is, check Cot's.

So here's the deal, or I should say, here are the deals. The 2009 Giants will be led by that dynamic duo, Boch & Sabes. Both signed though '09. So, of course, is our "starting" OF of Winn, Roberts (both through '09) and Rowand (Gulp, signed through 2012! That's right, 20-and-fookin'-12! FOURTEEN strikeouts so far this year for the big lug. Wow!). But we knew this. Now add Sr. Clutch, El Gamerino Himself, the man who would lose a footrace to both JT Snow and Marc Hill, Benjamin Jose Molina. Yep, signed through '09.

Da Beezy, of course, is signed through 2013. We won't go there. FIVE FOOKIN' WALKS TODAY? FIVE? Yeesh. OK, OK, OK, he's having a "rough patch." Noah Lowry is signed though '09 with a club option for 2010. No problem with that. Get healthy soon, Noah. MATT CAIN, and this is the GOOD NEWS, is locked up through 2010 and there's a club option for 2011. As long as the Giants don't do anything stupid (I mean more stupid than usual), RMC will be around for the duration. We got yer back, M.C.!

So that's it, amigos and amigas. Zito, Lowry, Cain. Rowand, Roberts, Winn. Molina. And a whole pile of young 'uns. (Are we going to sign The Franchise to a multi-year deal? Shouldn't we? Why haven't we? We want The Enchanter. We want him FOREVER!)

Also: tip o' the tam o'shanter to me bhoyo JCP for the grand postings about the Tim-ster. Monday's "Sweaty Tim" brought RMC to 100 posts! You get the game ball, pal.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sweaty Tim

Yesterday was one of the first times this season that I have seen an entire televised game. It was a real pleasure to soak in the beauty of the game and our special park. I know some of you prefer the audio experience, not me. Jon Miller is wonderful (and absent on Sundays) but I crave that visual input. Here are a few "visuals" that are still with me this morning:
* Tim needs a haircut. Not very insightful, I know, but it is a visual that won't go away. From the second inning on, he was dripping sweat. His long black hair looked liked he had stuck his head in a bucket each half inning. I was a little worried at first ( I tend to think he is better in cold weather) however that quickly went away. Our boy was nasty. Eleven strikeouts...notice he got one more than Sanchez. Are we competitive??
* Bowker's swing is deceiving. Each homer did not look like they were hit hard enough but both were no doubters. His swing is super short and extremely quick. It would look like he would make more contact and have less power. John struck out alot in the minors so we'll see...
* Tim has a very predictable pattern. I guess I knew this already but watching it on TV really drove it home. In almost every case, Lincecum got the first two strikes with fastballs - many of which were fouls - then he got strike three with a breaking pitch; change early in the game, curve later. (See NOTE below.) There was a short stretch where the Cards figured that out and got 3 hits on 3 pitches. I can't really remember Tim starting anyone with a breaking ball. It must be nice to have such mean stuff that it's OK if they know what's coming.

Hey, congratulate me! I adopted a kid. Check it out.

NOTE: Chris at BayCityBall (one of my personal favorites) has used the pitch f/x data to analyze Tim's third strike pitches. It turns out I might be having a hard time telling his change and slider apart. According to the data, Tim used his new slider often and effectively. The general observation of heat first, breaking ball for the K was correct though (8 out of 11 times). Worth noting is Tim's great ability to get swing throughs, rather than looking (9 out of 11 times).

Saturday, April 12, 2008

6.2 3 2 2 3 5

Matt Cain flirted with history this warm and sunny afternoon, finally running out of gas in the 7th inning. According to the story on the team website, this is the fourth time Cain has taken a no-hitter into the 7th inning. He threw a few too many pitches early, then settled in and dominated a hot Cardinal team, then got a bad break, couldn't close it out, and had to sit after 95 pitches. In all, our boy M.C. was studly, getting back in the groove we've come to expect from him. Did I neglect to mention his homerun that broke the 0-0 tie? Like I said, Matt Cain was studly. Speaking of studly, a fellow we have all had our eyes on, John Bowker, made his Major League debut. Called up from AAA-Fresno, Bowker dazzled the home crowd with a first-AB basehit in the 2nd and a 3-run homer in the 6th that looked like it might break the game open (5-0 at the time). But the bullpen--Tyler Walker and Brad Hennessey--gave it away. Yet ANOTHER wasted effort for the Hurra-Cain! Bowker posted an .886 OPS at AA-Connecticut in 2007, which is as good as it gets offensively for ANY Giants prospect. Why we've called up two guys other than Nate Schierholz I can't say, but I won't argue with the results. Bowker is a Californian--Sacramento and Long Beach State, he was the 100th pick in the 3rd round of the 2004 amateur draft. Let's hope his success continues. Eddy Martinez-Esteve was ahead of him in the 2nd round and Clay Timpner behind him in the 4th round of that same draft. I'm not upset about the bullpen meltdown, after all, I expect young pitchers to screw up. You have to love Fred Lewis: a walk and 3 hits including tying the game in the 9th! Despite the loss and the ND for Matt, there were lots of things to get excited about today.

Have you noticed that since Tim Lincecum "set the bar" on Tuesday vs. the Padres we've gotten good starts from the entire rotation? Even Zito--victimized by poor fielding--looked improved.

Also: check out the April 11th article at The Hardball Times ("A bridge too far") for a look at Barry Zito's mechanics and some hypothesizing about his recent struggles by a guy named Paul Nyman.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa

Beat breast, breathe in the incense fuming from the stencher . . .

Bless me Father, for I have sinned. My last Confession was in high school. I angered the baseball gods by declaring--and even discussing openly--that the MMVIII Giants would not, nay, could not, win three ballgames in a row. I discovered that the lads in cream like a challenge, and that Jonathan Sanchez and Kevin Correia hate playing second fiddle to The Enchanter. And that Fred Lewis' voodoo-doll dismantling of our starting LF's knee was motivated by only the noblest of motives, that of "helping the team win" and being a "gamer." I shall endeavor henceforth to go ALL OUT ALL THE TIME and not get snarky about the prominent position of the word OUT and its proximity to the word ALL.

Don't be hard on yourself, me bhoyo, a coupla laps 'round the rosary beads oughta be enough.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Barry & Bobby

All fans of Barry & Bobby should read it. That's ALL Giants fans, isn't it?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

¡Sanchez es Fabuloso!

El Lefty Bueno showed his stuff tonight: 10 Puds got the full-on K-treatment! Outstanding! The highlights--other than ELB--were Fred Lewis' game-saving catch-and-throw, Taschner's relief of Valdez in the 8th, and Daniel "No More Lefty-Loosie" Ortmeier's winning hit. Overlooked: Bengie's leadoff hit in the 9th and tag-out at home on Lewis' throw (good thing it was Edmonds running). He's a gamer, baby, that Bengie Molina. Señor Clutch! Bocock continues to impress. Frightening when a single-A rookie shows better plate discipline than our free-agent CF, but that's quibbling, eh? A WIN IS A WIN, especially against a division foe.

I was furious when Bonehead let Sanchez pitch the 7th. The kid just threw 6 innings of 1-hit, 10-strikeout ball, 90 pitches, and Bonehead didn't sit him down. I said at the time "nothing good will come of this." JCP is my witness! Thank goodness for Fred Lewis saving the inning. THERE WAS NO GOOD REASON TO PUT HIM OUT THERE! He'd been brilliant. He wasn't going to finish the inning anyway. That's why you have Valdez and Threets and Taschner. Not only that, relief pitchers do better when they START innings, fer chrissakes. Bonehead move, Bonehead.

Best start of the new season. Let's hope we see more like tonight from El Lefty Bueno.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tim's Report Card!

If you are a Lincecum freak like me, then you have been anxiously awaiting BayCityBall's PITCHf/x analysis of Timmy. These reports are terrific and an absolute MUST READ for all Giants faithful. I was most surprised at Tim's numbers relating to swings and misses. It turns out batters swing and miss his changeup almost a quarter of the time. I always thought 10 - 15% was really good. Hit that link and give it a good read, I guarantee you will learn something. Besides, how can you not love I guy that writes like this:

"The first rule of being a Giants fan is 'You must love Tim Lincecum' if not, I’m sorry but you can’t join our club full of sadsacks. Tim Lincecum is awesome. Tim Lincecum gives me hope. I bet Tim Lincecum even smells nice."

He smells like victory. Unfortunately Brian Wilson has a different fragrance hanging over him tonight. Tim went six strong innings, giving up seven singles, one run, one walk and seven strikeouts. The bullpen looked like it could hold on, but then Wilson started the ninth with a walk and there went the save. I really thought the one difference from last year would be fewer blown saves....oh well, Tim sure was good, wasn't he?

Household chores, a ticking clock, and a premonition of a poor ending are all conspiring to send me away now. I'll admit it, I'm afraid to hear the ending. I know I'm weak, but am I evil?

Monday, April 7, 2008

4.1 7 5 4 5 5

Does it seem like our guys aren't ready to pitch when they go out there? Like they need to face a couple of batters before they "find" their stuff and hit their spots? Da Beezy spent all of last season doing that, please don't tell me that Matt Cain is adopting our Billion Dollar Boondoggle's bad habits!!! 25 batters and 96 pitches in 4-and-a-third? That's some Spring Training garbage, that's what THAT is. (Exactly what does DAVE RIGHETTI, Pitching "Coach" do, anyway? Help guys get ready to pitch?) At least the homer M.C. gave up was to a studly hitter--Adrian Gonzalez--and he got hits all day long. I suppose that is SOME consolation, although it looked like Gonzalez raked a pretty fat pitch in the 1st (I saw the replay). I'm glad my hideous work duty kept me from watching (or following on Gameday) today. This was one worth missing. C'mon, Matt, we need to see an "Ace" effort next time! Dammit, there ain't much else worth watching with this crew.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


He's a Stetson Hatter, actually, not a Gamecock, but I couldn't resist, being the epitome of a gamer on our spectacularly cocked-up team. "All out," indeed. Who am I talking about? Brian Bocock, of course, our Organizational Sacrificial Lamb. He belongs in the minors (check out his hitting stats), and another season at San Jose (he just turned 23) seems like a good idea. I scoped out the roster for the AA-Connecticut Defenders, and they don't list a shortstop! A promotion to AA might happen if Bocock can learn to hit. I'll give him credit--he's kept his cool at the plate, working walks and poking singles. He's overmatched, 7 K's in 6 games plus the baserunning gaffes, but it isn't his fault. He's not yet a major league hitter, and the damn base coaches should have been on top of him every time he got on base. It is inexcusable they hung him out to dry--listen Roberto Kelly, you should have put your arm around that kid as soon as he touched the fookin' bag and said "don't do nuthin' I don't tell you to do, boy, ya hear me?" WTF these guys get paid for? It is crazy to use Bocock--we have the perfectly serviceable Ivan Ochoa (AAA Fresno Grizzlies), who is the obvious backup candidate for Vizquel when Omar returns. Ochoa is not the future SS, that honor belongs to Emmanuel Burriss. But Burriss is only 23, and starting on the Grizzlies everyday is the best thing for him. Ochoa has probably peaked at AAA, and will likely never be an MLB regular. Two different guys have handled the SS position so far this year at AA, most notably Olmo Rosario, the 2007 Can-Am Player of the Year. He's 28, and coming from an independent league, he's another MLB longshot. Billy W. "Trey" Webb is another career minor-leaguer, he's the other guy at AA. (Check the roster, The Defenders have FOUR 3B listed and nobody at SS!) The AA SS will eventually be Bocok's job, maybe even by the end of the season. I love the kid, he truly is a gamer, and it is a damn shame the team has chosen him to be the placeholder instead of giving him the time in the minors to learn to hit. I'm not going to bitch about Da Beezy and another shitty loss. Tomorrow M.C. takes the hill, and I have to miss the WHOLE DAMN THING due to work duties. THAT BLOWS!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Freaky Tim

"People have called me a freak of nature before," said Lincecum (1-0). "Now they have another reason to call me that."

The legend of The Enchanter grows!

We have all watched a ton of baseball (probably too much) yet I sincerely doubt if anyone out there has ever witnessed such ridiculous, confusing, reckless and arbitrary handling of a pitcher. Oh and not just any pitcher, our Crown Jewel, The Franchise....The Freak. Apparently Tim is just too young to know that the way he was used defies all logic. I figure my head is just not big enough to think like Bochy.

Setting aside the insanity of our management for a minute, last night's thriller had several terrific moments:
* Merkin has arrived!!! Talk about schpilkas!!! Anybody that strikes out the top of the dogger lineup to start a game deserves major kudos. Valdez is easy to overlook in this game (because of the freak show that followed) but he could really be the best thing about the night.
* Mark's Weenie made an appearance and promptly got dispatched by Tim. Sorry, Sue.
* Russell Martin, the one dogger I must reluctantly admit is a stud, was completely abused by Tim TWICE in key situations. Nasty pitches that Martin could only look at.
* Bullpen potential was just dripping out there. Sure they will screw up, but these guys have a chance to really be good. Taschner looks super confident, Walker has a pretty good looking split, and Wilson gets off to a great start with a 4 out save.
* Tim's hit, not only led to the winning run, but it was also one of best line drives hit by Giant so far. A sweet swing.

A truly entertaining game. Yet, I still have a lingering anger. Can anybody really justify the decisions made last night? Are these guys making it up as they go along? Is conventional wisdom a pile of crap? Enlighten me. Explain.

I guess it doesn't really matter when you have a freak like Tim to throw out there every fifth day.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

5.2 3 0 0 4 5

I'm sure this one will add to the continuing bullshit spewed out by Giants brass about how "close" we are to being a winning team. That if we just "execute" better we will win all those fookin' endless goddamn "close" games. Whatta buncha crap. We stink. We aren't going to win those games. And why Yabu? (I didn't get to hear the game.) Why not Wilson? Is it because Yabu is a veteran and has savvy? Or does Brian Wilson have dengue fever? Or a bloody fookin' bloody hangnail?

M.C. threw too many pitches--114. And walked 4 guys. That means a short night. But 5 Ks and ZERO RUNS ALLOWED ain't bad. Of course we lose. Winning means scoring runs. We have an organizational policy directly opposed to that. We only hire fellows who make lots of outs. It is cheaper that way. Guys who get on base make the game go longer. Now, you can only eat so many goddamn hot dogs or suck down so many lattés. At a certain point your basic fan just pulls the plug on the $8.00/beer scam and hunkers down in case there's a foul ball to scramble for. So, if they are done paying, get 'em the hell out. That's where the "anti-safe" policy of hiring out-makers pays off. Games end faster, cusotdians and vendors and ushers all go home earlier, the lights go off sooner, all brilliant money-saving moves. And the best part? Fans wake up from the three-tequilas-past-the-puke-point ballgame they just consumed feeling better about it from an increased night's rest. Yeah. More hours in the sack, less time spent thinking about the damn Giants. Those suits in marketing are hella smart, aren't they?