Monday, February 28, 2011

Cactus League: Power Surge

stolen from sfgate
Yesterday I mentioned that, in the first 2 games of Cactus League, Panda Bear's 2 errors were a tad more concerning than his 450 foot blast was encouraging.

Well, yesterday's home run (his 2nd in consecutive days) blows the 2 errors out of the water.  A trim, conditioned Panda Bear with power?  Gawd, I only hope it lasts.

I figure him to be a .270 hitter in general, but he's got too much leg bulk to sit anywhere under 20 home runs (and really, he should be above 30 for the next couple few years).  Hopefully, those two days are a portent of things to comes.

I listened a little bit, but not very closely.  Sounds like it got sloppy in the last 3 innings. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

2011 Home Run Leader

I was listening to Marty Lurie today, he asked who the Giants' home run leader would be in 2011.

I have to think Pat the Bat is a contender if he can get the at bats: 500 ABs should give him 33 dingers.

But if he runs cold or splits time, next on the list should be Panda --

he strikes me as being a reluctantly motivated guy, after last year's misstep season, he's in shape, he's been working on his game, he can probably get to 28-30.

Cactus League: Stringing 'em together

Got to listen to the bulk of the game yesterday -- Giants beat a split squad Dodgers 8-3.

More of the same from the first game.  Jonathan Sanchez pretty much worked his fastball and went 1.2, the boys strung together several hits in a row and scored 4 in 2 different innings.

This is pretty much last year's m.o.: hang around and score in bunches.

Pablo went yard and he booted a grounder for the second day in a row.  The errors are a little more disconcerting than the dinger is encouraging, but maybe this is Panda Bear shaking out the rust.

It was good to hear Kruk and Kuip and Jon Miller, and it sounded almost like baseball again, except for the random names in the later innings.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Game 1

A bat has been swung in anger.

The season has begun.

Lincecum, according to Mychael Urban, threw only fastballs and was locating well.  DeRosa and Posey and Ross and some other guys put a rally together, and the game is getting kicked off for the season.

(Giants beat Arizona 7-6)

Feels like 2010 just ended.

Fantasy baseball begins on 3/20.  I have ranked my top 220.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jeff Kent at Spring Training

Uuuuuhh.....something is making me uncomfortable about this whole thing. I don't know if I like this at all

Ahhh, much better.

Wane-wright: Can the Giants Trade Zito to the Cards?

Adam Wainwright is ailing.  Shut down at the end of last year, and now he will undergo Tommy John.  Season over already.

Maybe next year too.

The Cardinals are in desperate need of a pitcher.  Would they be in the market for a Barry Zito?

Well, the season hasn't begun yet, so I'd be surprised if any team would even return a call for one of their top 3 starters.  The Cards will have to bring a dude up or trade for a .500-at best pitcher.

So, let's talk about how Zito can fit into this mix:

  1. Zito has never missed a start due to injury, and only one due to sucky.  Every pitcher in the St. Louis has had arm surgery.
  2. Generally, over the course of his massively effedup tenure with the Giants, Z's been a 2nd half guy.  Last year, he was a first half guy.  This year, maybe he can actually put two decent halves together.
  3. Zito is a similiar pitcher to Wainwright.
  4. The Giants would entertain all offers for Z, including and up to a very nice picture of dogs and cats frolicking together, hand drawn by Tony LaRussa himself.
like this, only sketched in pencil or charcoal, with the animals holding balloons and hands and without the looks of general malaise plastered on their faces

Downsides to the Cardinals:

  1. Over the last 3 years, the Pirates are the only NL Central team against which Zito's ERA is under 4
  2. Oh, and there is the gigantic white elephant wearing a top hat and monocle lighting cigars with dollar bills over there in the corner.  All 3 years worth of that elephant.
oh yeah, he's on a ball too

Tony LaRussa thinks he can find the replacement in camp (or settle for Kevin Millwood........I wouldn't take Kevin Millwood), but hopefully he knows that the offer is on the table.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Old Man and the B

Anyone listening to KNBR during the PM drive time yesterday, heard the venerable and wonderfully insightful Marty Lurie filling in for Ralph and Tom.

And you heard about four hours of the old man calling out Brian Wilson for hopping 'cross the desert to spend some time with Charlie Sheen as a "consultant" for the upcoming Major League 4 (which probably is under the working title of ML4: Hey, We Got Charlie Sheen to do the Movie Again?  Somebody Call Snipes -- He's Not Doing Anything Either....Is Corbin Bernsen Still Alive?)

Anyway, Old Man Lurie got his Grandpa Simpson on bitchin' about how B-Weezy's not practicing because he's hurt, but he can jet quickly to LA for a wild weekend with the Hooker-Luvin', Drug Snorting, Denise Richards-dumpin' party boy from Lucas

First of all, I smell Showtime's new knock off reality show behind this jaunt.
Secondly, It's the 21st Century: fellas (especially specialists like Wilson) don't have to train with the team every weekend.
And C, It's not 1986 anymore, and this ain't the set of Young Guns -- I'm sure Charlie Sheen is not doing coke parties, not with cameras present anyways. 

That being said, I know where Marty's coming from.  And, if this trip does end up as an episode of the Showtime Original Series San Francisco Giants: Fall of a Champion, I am a little more pissed off about this stupid TV show.

I don't like the idea of this show, I don't think it's necessary and I just think it ends up as a big effin' distraction.  Nothing good ever came from all-access to a baseball club, just like no good ever came from giving a pitcher $20 mill/year.

So, to recap: Less concerned about the trip, more concerned about the Hollywood producers behind the trip.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Out In Left Field

Pat Burrell
Aubrey Huff
Mark DeRosa

Nate Schierholtz
Brandon Belt

I am enamored with the Giants, and still floating on cloud 9 from the World Series

Let me say it again: The Giants are World Champions

I have gripes that have never been addressed. 

The Giants are a team composed of 2 infielders, 2 catchers, 10 pitchers, and about 730 outfielders. 

Who wants to play outfield for a World Champion?

Sort of like my Fantasy Team at the end of a season.  (Oh? Garrett Jones just played his 10th game at first base?  Hello versatility).

Just because these guys are fantastic and likeable and clinically kooky bananas in a retro-alt-SF kinda way, that doesn't mean that one should start the season with 5 left fielders on the roster and maybe 1 genuine first baseman.

My biggest problem is there are five names above representing five men that everyone thinks are just so aweosomely good in a double rainbow kinda way,  but by the end of camp someone is going to be dispalced.

  1. Pat Burrell hit 20 home runs in half a season last year.
  2. Aubrey Huff is more-than-likely the startign first baseman, and is the team's #1 hitter
  3. Mark DeRosa had a shit poor month and a half last year, but everyone says that its because he hurt his wrist.  Now he's better (and we all know how easy it is for a 36 year-old to come back from a massive wrist injury) and ready to provide the key offensive support that he's almost always supplied during his career for other teams.  Plus he hung out on the bench all last year with the team, and he showed up on Ralph and Tom a couple times so we like him.
  4. Oh Nate Schierholtz.  Great arm with flashes of greatness at the plate.  Well, flashes of goodness, anyway.
  5. Brandon Belt is the future.

Well, if Huff is your 1B and Burell/DeRosa are your LF platoon -- Schierholtz will more than likely focus more on RF -- so, who is the odd man out?

Conventionality would say that Belt will start @ AAA Fresno unless he can win a starting position.  After all, you have Travis Ishikawa to take scrub time at 1B and, as mentioned before, too many dog's drooling over the bone that is LF.
pictured: Your starting leftfielder, complete with cigarette and can of Bud Light.....classy.....Oh yeah, he's Stanford Alum.

The biggest problem is that you can't trade any of these guys to make room on the roster.  You just signed Burrell, besides -- he's your only power.  Huff is your heart.  DeRosa is a gimp.  Schierholtz might be your starting right fielder, and is definitely the late-inning defensive replacement. 

I think that Brandon Belt might have to wait for a May call-up, a la Buster Posey last year.  Realistically, if Belt is one of the 8 best hitters -- he has to be squoze in somewhere.

Bochy has a choice to make: make my job easier and settle for a not-quite-what-it-could-be team, or find a way to get Belt, Huff, and Burrell in the lineup everyday.

My giant head hurts

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hank Aaron likes the Giants

Though he may be the grumpiest retiree in the universe, Hank Aaron (and his opinion) demands as much respect as any curmudgeon's who has lived, breathed, struggled, and survived. 

Perhaps the last great hero of the civil right movement, Aaron has played in the negro leagues, experienced baseball's stubborn and painfully slow integration, and survived racially charged death threats for years as he moved to unseat baseball's most epic legend and in the process turned baseball's classical age into an official era-gone-by.

And Aaron likes the Giants to get to the World Series again (although, I suspect he thinks the Bosox would win).

I'll tell you, a Giants-Red Sox series would be about the only thing with a shot to surpass last year's fantastical amplitude of boner-inducing explendianza [sic].

A good ol' 6 or 7 game series, 2 or three well pitched, 2 or three offensive purgings, 1 or two close ones that fall somewhere in between. 

Oooh, a pile of gray jerseys at Fenway.

I just love this video.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pitchers and Catchers

Pitchers and Catchers reported on Monday.

The biggest stories out of camp:

On a cooler note, I'm so very excited for Brandon Belt -- even more than I was for Buster.  Big, rangy, ropey, with a sweet left swing -- this is the beginning of something very special.  Think Yankees of mid-90's- early oughts.