Monday, February 24, 2014

Double Tim

After yet another lengthy winter hibernation, I wake to see the same baseball world that I departed just last fall. Sure, there’s a new toy in left (personally I expect a good month from Morse, at best, however when the games count he will be a PH and Blanco/Perez will be our guy) but the rest of the lineup is remarkably familiar. We clearly think we already have the needed parts. I can’t disagree.  Furthermore, I know the familiar, needed part that is the key: Our beloved Giants chances to reach that high ground once again rest, largely, on my personal fixation: Tim Lincecum.

 (Disclaimer: I have claimed The Freak as the team MVP pretty much since his arrival.  Certainly a little over the top, especially since Buster is pretty good too. But, the Timmeh factor, for good or bad, is still the key to me.) 
It would seem that our organization feels the same way.  The Giants aggressively grabbed up Tim; making him the 33rd highest paid player, even though he has been arguably the worst regular starter in the NL for the last two seasons (20-26, with an ERA of 4.80).  Not only that, I truly believe that the  other big move of the off season was clearly made, in part, because of  its potential to help Lincecum. (Is it just me, or does EVERYTHING seem to revolve around The Freak? I know...its me.)

Of course, I am referring to Tim Hudson. One was not enough, so we got ANOTHER TIM!  This Tim probably has never heard of South Park's Timmeh, he is very bald (which is a GOOD thing), and, most importantly, he throws an out-machine groundball.  Which is EXACTLY the tool that the younger Tim has always lacked, and now desperately needs.  From all early indications, the two are inseparable. Let's hope they stay that way all year.  Number 3 and 4 (who cares which is which) in a rotation that HAS to be our strength if we want to keep up with the blue goo.  If Hudson/Lincecum are as good as I hope, then all the other pieces come together ( for example, a thin bullpen doesn't get stressed, lummox left fielders sit down more often, and terrifying #5 starters get a little pressure taken off ).  

So, in fact, my pre-season MVP choice is not just Tim. It is Tim and Tim.  Skinny Pandas, happy Brandons, and, even, Barry-educated Busters are all fine and dandy.  But Double Tim is what will get us into, and THROUGH, the playoffs.  Go Giants!!

Wanna not-really-so-crazy-cuz-he's-done it-before prediction?  Tim Lincecum will win his third Cy Young award this season.  Wanna know how I know?  I celebrate birthday number 55 this week.  Tim wears number 55.  Can't argue with that one.  Coincidental numbers are big mojo in these here parts.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Newsflash: Barry Bonds will be in the Giants camp for Spring Training. This is great! No one on the planet knows more about hitting than Barry Lamar Bonds. I've been hoping the Giants would bring Barry back to the fold as a hitting instructor since the day he left the organization. I suppose the suits feel it has been long enough and the media/PR blowback won't be so bad. I know the stories are coming--how this 'roid cheater will corrupt the Youth of America--and I'm prepared to ignore them. We'll see how it shakes out. I'm expecting a deluge of outrage. From the HoF voting, it seems some folks will never get over PEDs. That's their problem, I reckon.

Welcome back, Barry.


Friday, February 14, 2014


Camp opens today for pitchers and catchers! I picked up an interesting tidbit from the story--this is Bruce Bochy's 20th season as a major-league manager. He'll turn 59 in April. His career record is exactly .500 (1530-1530). Ol' Boch will pass Dick Williams (1571) this year and claim the 20th spot on the all-time win list for managers. The next spot (1599) is held by Tommy Lasorda. Assuming good health, our man could become one of the few with 2000 career victories. He needs 470, and that's six seasons of .500-or-so ball. Then he could collect his Social Security while waiting for his HOF selection! I've come to appreciate our relaxed, no-nonsense skipper. He seems to get the best out of his people, run a tight but happy ship, and not ever really screw up badly. I believe a manager's most important job is the last one--don't blow it. Boch is always on top of the game, and even when I disagree with a move, it's always defensible. Running herd over large groups of egos is hard work (I know, I'm a schoolteacher), and takes a firm but gentle hand. It also requires you to grow and learn and adapt to changes. I think Bruce Bochy has all that in spades, and I'm happy he's our guy.