Sunday, May 30, 2010

Took the Giants Long Enough!

Buster Posy went 3 for 4 last night with three singles and three RBI's in the Giants win. So maybe the skipper got one right. This kid might be worth the wait. Although it was not a Will Clark debut it looked like the ball park was full to watch the young star perform.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Posey Day Links

One stop shopping for all the news, views and exclamations of joy on this Buster Posey Day.

First the Beat guys:

Now the Bloggers:

McCovey Chronicles: Buster Posey Called Up

Its Posey Time Again

UPDATE: Breaking news Buster Posey has been called up and will be the starting first baseman for today's game. It is the beginning of a new era in Giants baseball. Not to put too much pressure on the kid.

Get ready boys and girls its time to talk about Buster Posey! With the month of May going poorly (to put it lightly) for the Giants, the twitterverse has been begging the Giants to call up their young star in Fresno.

I can't say that I blame them wanting the kid brought up. The fact of the matter is that the Giants are 14th in the NL in scoring and have had a dreadful time hitting this month. While Buster Posy is on pace for a .293/.366/.437 season at AAA the Giants do not seem like they want to pull the trigger, most likely for financial reasons.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Giants vs. Diamondbacks Series Preview

The Giants were swept the last time they faced the Diamondbacks but that was in there desert launch pad and only two games. The Giants are looking to continue to right the ship that over the last couple of series has played poorly including a stretch over over 20 innings where the team couldn't get a run across the plate.

Yesterday the Giants did the improbable and had a come from behind victory, which I think helps them quite a bit because things were looking like trouble if they lost the two games where Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito started.

The Diamondbacks are in the middle of their own troubles after being swept against Colorado and have dropped 4 straight. This is a match-up against two teams that have much higher expectations then the results thus far have shown this season.

The Crazy Crab Tells the Truth

Hank Schulman recently sat down with Brian Sabean to discuss how things have gone so far this season. Not much really came out of that interview so I, the crazy crab will fill in and give the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Giants fans do not deserve nor should they have to put up with the sugar coating and dancing around the issues that Brian Sabean does during these interviews.

What has surprised you during the first part of the season, positively and negatively?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

At Least the Giants are not Owned by The McCourt's

May has not been the best month thus far, the Giants have faltered sunk like a rock in the standings and the normally beautiful weather here has been crappy and rainy. It takes an optimists to stay happy in these conditions which I am not in these circumstances.

For those like myself here is a silver lining to look at, at least we are not Dodgers fans and we don't have the scum bug McCourt's running our franchise.

WWBBD? (What Would Billy Beane Do?)

Things are gray in Giants land.

The Giants offense is sputtering and the pitching is not sharp, the team is tumbling down the standings but due to some good fortune remains just a few games out of first place.

What can or should be done to help fix things?

Monte Poole of the Bay Area News group says that we should ask our selves as Giants fans what would Billy Beane do?
Bay Area baseball fans can recall having a general manager who was as assertive as he was persuasive, with no tolerance for seeing good work go unrewarded.

[Beane] routinely observed his team through April and May, identified its needs and spent late May and June studying other rosters and massaging his vivid imagination until he had discovered potential solutions.

If this isn't being done in the Giants front office right now there is gross mis-competence and Bill Neukom needs to make some heads roll. It shouldn't come as a surprise that the Giants offense isn't that improved from last season. The main additions of Freddy Sanchez, Mark DeRosa, and Aubry Huff only Huff has played well or at all this season everything else is the same as last year.

Poole explains some quick fixes that can be done with the lineup which I don't find any fault in but it is not going to solve the Giants offensive issues. These quick fixes are not a ticket to October baseball and the flaws of this team are glaring and staring us right in the face. I want some more of the Brian Sabean style moves that brought in Jeff Kent or Jason Schmidt.

Among the options that would seem to behoove the team are, 1) allowing second baseman Freddy Sanchez, a proven hitter, to get comfortable after missing the first seven weeks; 2) moving Aaron Rowand out of leadoff and keeping Andres Torres there until further notice; 3) pushing Bengie Molina back in the lineup, perhaps as far as eighth.

Another option already on the board — and one manager Bruce Bochy tried Tuesday night — is moving Huff from first base to left field and Sandoval from third to first. This keeps Edgar Renteria at shortstop, with Sanchez and Jose Uribe dividing second and third.

There is no reason, though, to assume any or all of these moves will yank the Giants from their customary place (since 2006) at or near the bottom in key offensive categories. They don't have a 30-homer bat, they still may not reach base often enough, and they still may not find ways to drive runners in.

All of which brings us back to the GM. Though Sabean signed an extension through 2011, it's on him to come up with something that can dazzle fans, wake up the lineup, fortify the pitchers and, ultimately, increase his own job security

This team needs hitters who can a) get on base consistently and b) hit for power. If somehow we could add this we may have a major league average offense that doesn't need perfection from our starters and bullpen to pull out these 1-0 wins.

So Brian Sabean we are stuck with you for the next two years at least can you make something happen for this team? I think that the locals are getting restless.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Will the Real Offense Please Stand Up?

In April the Giants were one the best hitting teams in the National League. They ranked in the top 5 in all of the hitting categories except for slugging where they were 6th. By all measures they were pretty good except for maybe a little weak in the power department.

They posted a .280/ .346/ .422 triple slash line with a .142 ISO and a BABIP of .317, if they were able to produce numbers that closely resembled this at the end of the season I would be tickled pink and the team would be well on its way to 90 wins when combined to the outstanding pitching.

When the calendar changed to May things changed drastically even taking into account last nights offensive outburst of 4 runs.Things are nearly reversed with the team in the bottom five in all offensive numbers and in most only doing better then the lowly Astros.

So far the team has posted a .234/ .300/ .357 triple slash with a .123 ISO and a BABIP of .278. Nearly every category has fallen by 50 points from the previous month.

This begs the question which month is more indicative of the true offensive level that we can expect from this team?

The BABIP will most likley over the course of the season move toward .300 and maybe depending on luck be a few points higher or lower but what about the other numbers?

Last season they posted .257/ .309/ .389 with a .132 ISO. These numbers were bad enough for them to finish in the bottom 5 of all offensive categories. There hasn't been a large change in the types of players or the actual players that have donned the orange on black this season compared to last and I would suspect that it would be wishful thinking to think that the numbers will be much different from last season.

I bet that what happened in April was fortunate and the Giants are not as good of a hitting team as the numbers suggest, the numbers for May thus far show a poor hitting team that has maybe gotten unlucky. I bet that the real 2010 offense is closer to what we have seen this month plus about 15 to 20 points on most categories.

My prediction for the end of the year: .260/ .315/ .380 and an offense that is not really much changed from last year. Lets hope that the team has 4 Cy Young canidatates this season because that is the only way that this team plays baseball in October without some voodoo luck or a robbery of another teams best hitter.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Giants vs. A's Series Preview Link Edition

I don't have a lot of time today for a regualr series preview so I will out source this to my fellow Giants bloggers.

Michael Urban of CSN Bay Area breaks down the teams by position.  He gies the Giants an edge in most of the positions which I can't argue with. Decent read and worth checking out.

McCovey Chronicles in the usual tounge firmly planted in cheek style breakdown the series. Grant cautions Giants fans to watch out for the A's pitchers and pretty much all pitchers in general as they are the ones that seem to make Giants hitters look poor. Don't miss the back handed diss of the way Giants have gone about developing position players which is the most striking differences between the two teams. He also makes the argument that interleague play is boring and that the rivaly kind of sucks.

Remember 51' has a different take on the rivalry, Kevin says that it is an important part of Northern California baseball and I have to say that I agree with him on this. I don't like interleague play in general but this series is okay with me.

My own two cents... I think that the A's remind me too much of the Giants/Padres type teams and that could lead to some torturous baseball this weekend. Lots of low scoring games and really bad offense from both sides. I hope the Giants win a few because things don't usually tend to go well at the Collesuem and the team isn't playing great ball right now. The crabbers will be at the game tonight so hopefully we bring some good mojo and a Giants Win.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Is it Time for Brian Sabean to Move On?

I got an email this afternoon from Bleacher report regarding if Brian Sabean is a good General Manager or not. The inspiration for this writer was the Fred Lewis trade. I have allready given my opinioin that I do not believe that the trade was in the best interest of the Giants, I believe and stand by that assertion still.

The author was attempting to make the point that Fred Lewis was not a good player with the Giants and that he has done well witht the Blue Jays is irrelevant. I couldn't disagree more. It is one of the largest failings of this front office is utter disregard for looking at the empirical performance of young players when making judgements about them.

Somehow that has seemed to work for the pitching staff. Maybe the scouting types and the numbers types like the same kinds of things in pitchers you getting guys out and getting a good number of guys to strike out. However when it comes to evaluating hitters the front office seems to rely on gut instincts and how players perform in small samples weighs heavily in their minds.

This makes me think of the Eugenio Velez situation. Fred Lewis and Eugion Velez are not all that different kinds of players. I have made the argument that Fred Lewis is a better player but they share some of the same faults (mental lapses on defense, poor baserunning ability for their speed).

The Giants however had the impression that Eugenio was the more valuable player, I am not sure how they came to the decision but I can only assume it is because 1. When he came up in 2009 he had a hot start which in the think skulls of the Giants front brass ment that he learnt something new or finaly figured it out. This can and does happen but what happened next was that he regressed back to his old self as he got more and more opportunities. 2. They think that he is more versital because he can play multiple positions on the feild, he plays them all rather poorly with left field being the least poor but that doens't matter because well he has gloves for multiple positions and that means he is valuable.

This to me is just plain silly, any person who has spent any time looking at the statiscs of the two players with the names marked out would think that Fred Lewis is the better player, excpet for the Giants.

Another straw man that the author tries to erect is that because Brian Sabean is the longest tenured GM would just defer to his expertise and give him the benifit of the doubt. To a certain extent he does deserve some defference but over the years he shown that he is not good at building a major league offense. He had the greatest hitter of the generation to cover up his errors for the longest time but as soon as Barry Bonds was gone the offense sunk to the bottom of the league in hitting. Over his tenure we have failed to develop any offensive all stars, think about that: For fifteen years Brian Sabean has lead this team without drafting and developing a position player good enough to make an all star team. Heck we have only had a handfull that were actually league average players which would be all that this team needs right now.

I see this as a failure that is on him. Yes he has been in charge while the pitching staff was assembeled but that seems to be what he is best at and that maybe we need to get him some help with offensive development.

So to go after the writers statement that it doesn't matter if San Francisco is enjoying a good season or exceeding expectations, that isn't good enough. We expect more than medicority, we expect more than just having a good season or doing better then expected and I am sure that Brian Sabean and every fan would agree with that.

I will conclude by saying that Brain Sabean has done a good job, he has built a good team that can win 80-85 games, but maybe it will take someone else to get us over the hump and to the promise land. If it does happen I will tip my cap to him and write that if the team wins a championship to send him a ring but maybe the time has come to move in a different direction.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Are the Giants Contenders

Only Baseball Matters linked to a very interesting piece from Bill James (registration required) regarding winning teams and close games. This should be required reading for anyone who has concerns about the 2010 Giants.

…. Baseball teams play 162 games a year. I just realized last week that,
sometime in the last 20 years, baseball experts have fallen into the habit of
saying that a baseball team has about 50 games a year that you are just going to
lose no matter what, 50 games a year that you’re going to win, and it is the
other 62 games that determine what kind of season you’re going to have. This is
not ancient knowledge; this is a fairly new one. A more inane analysis would be
difficult to conceive of. First of all, baseball teams do not play one hundred
non-competitive games a year, or anything remotely like that. Baseball teams
play about forty non-competitive games in a season, more or less; I would be
surprised if any team in the history of major league baseball ever had a hundred
games in the season that were just wins or losses, and which the losing team
never had a chance to win after the fourth or fifth inning. The outcome of most
baseball games could be reversed by changing a very small number of events
within the game.

But setting that aside, this relatively new cliché assumes that it is
the outcome of the most competitive games that decides whether a team has a
great season or a poor season. In reality, the opposite is true. The more
competitive a game is, the more likely it is that the game will be won by the
weaker team. If the Royals play the Yankees and the score of the game is 12 to
1, it is extremely likely that the Yankees won. If the score is 4 to 3, it’s
pretty much a tossup. The reasons why this is true will be intuitively obvious
to those of you who work with statistics for a living. It is the non-competitive
games—the blowouts—that play the largest role in determining what kind of season
a team has. Misinformation about baseball continues to propagate, and will
continue to propagate forever more, without regard to the fact that there is now
a community of researchers that studies these things.

It doesn’t take a lot to notice the Giants do not blow a lot of teams out, almost everyone of their games is pretty close. This is a direct reflection of how the team is built; they have great run prevention and poor run production. The Giants pitching masks the horrid offense by making every other team we face look like how our offense performs night in and night out.

Only Baseball Matters sums up the realization perfectly, this hit me in the face and knocked the thoughts of pennants and parades right out.

It’s like a light in a dark closet.

Of course we’re frustrated, being in nail-biters game after game, week
after week. It’s because we can sense that something’s not right. There’s
something about a team that wins by being perfect that fails to inspire
confidence. Of course it doesn’t. As James explains so clearly, it shouldn’t.
Winning teams dominate. Winning teams consistently win big. Winning teams are
not built upon winning one-run games. Winning teams don’t win because they
always win the close ones. They win because they blow teams out. Close games are
far too often decided by one single mistake, on missed play, one error, one
walk, just like Monday’s game. Teams dancing along that fine line are simply far
too dependent upon luck to win enough of the time to be a real contender. And we
can see that, even though the Giants are winning right now, they are not really
a contending team.

This takes me back to the end of last season; I had doubts about the “realness” or what not of the Giants resurgence. They are too one-sided in talent. Their pitching is among the top 5 in the majors and their offense is among the bottom 5, they have no margin for error in their games and a run of bad luck and they can loose 6 in a row.

These doubts have continued into this season as well. The offense might be a little better but it is still below league average. The faults and weaknesses of last season have not been corrected, the reason this team doesn’t win more games is not because they fail to execute it is because they are playing at their talent level.

When you have a roster of average to below average hitters you expect futility in driving in that runner with two outs, or getting a big 3 run homer to put a team away. I thought that I was being irrationally pessimistic about this team but I think that I am being completely rational in expecting them to not come through in most situations. The Giants are wonderful with the lead but coming from behind is an impossible task.

The reason that the Padres have our number is because they are a mirror image of ourselves just with more athletic and some younger guys. They have the same formula for beating teams and that is why when the teams face off it is a battle of ineptness, a pillow fight, a duel with water guns, I could go on.

This team isn’t bad but they are not a championship caliber team either. They don’t have the offense to support the awesome pitching. If they make the playoffs they will face a team that has both and will be run out of the building. This is the truth and it is the reason that this season will be torture.

Maybe a GM dumber then Brian Sabean will trade the team a good hitter at the deadline for a bucket of balls and marginal prospects. This is the only hope I have left.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What a Difference a Weekend Makes

On Thursday night of last week I was in the dumps. The Giants had been swept by the first place Padres and look awfull during the whole series with all of the breaks falling the other way.

Almost the exact opposite happened against the Astro's who mustbe glad to not be seeing us again until June. Except for the first game of the series the Giants got just enough to win the games with Brian Wilson closing the door in heart attack fashion.

The Padres after the sweep went on and got swept by the suddenly hot Dodgers which brought the Giants back to within a game and a half of first place.

Things looked bad and I was in the dumps and even with things going the teams way I can't help but feel irrational pessimism. Petco is still a park where the Giants lose when they throw one hitters, it is still a place where David Eckstein is as scary of a hitter as Barry Bonds in his prime and the Padres pitching staff is full of Cy Young canidates. There is nothing to like, I want to say that the sweep is a mirage, that Houston sucks and we would suck if we didn't sweep them but gosh darn it I keep wanting to believe.

However I will not be sucked in again. This is a team that will do somethings to build your confidence in them and then blow it all up over the next couple fo days. It is enticing to think that maybe the Padres confidence is shaken but that wasn't the case for the Giants and Astros, so I see no reason to think that the same can't and won't happen for San Deigo. I am not even going to turn on the games (I say this but I am always sucked in to atleast listening) becuase it takes years off of my life. The games will be close and the Giants will lose and if I don't prepare myself the irrational pessimism will only grow.


We have a replay of two of the 3 matchups Matt Cain against Clayton Richard and Jonathan Sanchez against almost perfect Mat Latos. The only way we win these games is if we get two perfect games in a row anything short and the baseball god will smite the team and grant the bums of San Deigo some victories.


I will be annoyed by every single batter in the Padres lineup. The Giants will get lots of opportunities to score runs but fail to get a hit/walk/balk/error or anything that can bring people in. The Padres pitchers will look super human against the Giants lineup as they slice the team up like a Friday night pizza.

The Padres will do just enough and have things break in their favor to win both games 2 to 1 tonight and 0 to -1 on Tuesday.

Prepare for torture.

Why ESPN’s Shows Outside of Live Sports are Becoming Unwatchable:

Once upon a time I watched Sports Center and I enjoyed it. Once upon a time I watched Baseball tonight and I enjoyed it. Now not so much.

Maybe I am the only one who feels this way but it seems that as I get older I could care less and less about the non-sports programming on ESPN. I used to watch for hours, it used to be on in the background while I did other things; I knew the programming schedule and watched shows religiously.

Now when I tune in it feels like they are trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator and the level of discourse has slipped considerably. This may sound snobbish but many of the personalities on the air talk in catch phrases and have become parodies of what the highlight readers used to be.

The network seems to gloss over the coverage and rarely goes in depth and breaks things down even on shows dedicated to a specific sport such as baseball tonight.

However I am not all that disappointed by this trend because now there are so many more outlets for sports information. As a sports fan I am no longer beholden to the sports section in the newspaper and ESPN for my daily sports fix. The alternatives are plentiful and add so much to watching sports.

The constant promoting of the big name teams at the expense of covering the rest of the league is disappointing to anyone but the most casual fan but maybe with things becoming more specialized this is what the trend will be.

The movement seems to be that ESPN will focus on the Yankees, Red Sox, home runs, web gems and a few other newsworthy items while giving a few seconds of coverage about the rest of the league, while league dedicated channels focus more on the league and local sports channels focus on specific teams. With blogs giving in depth and varied analysis and twitter giving real time and breaking news.

This probably a good thing but it really seems to be a big shift as for the longest time that ESPN was the go to place for sports news now it is an after thought unless I want to know something pretty general or want to have some sports background noise on.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Giants and Astros Series Preview:

I am not going to lie to you guys the Padres series was no fun. There was no magic inside, there was no offense, no defense and no wins.

The wheels fell off on the Giants on this one. I felt pretty optimistic coming into the series but now I think that the Padres are just the Kryptonite to this team. Every single player on the team is annoying and bugs me; they have no redeeming qualities and play in a brand new empty stadium with fair weather fans.

Let’s move on and just cover our eyes the next time we face these guys which is again next week. Poor Jonathan Sanchez is matched up against them again, maybe he will have some crazy reverse luck and give up 6 runs in 5 innings and the Giants will score 10 runs and steal him a win. Maybe with lowered expectations losses won’t feel as bad. Maybe they won’t sell enough tickets and just fold up their tents and forfeit the games.

Any way there are some more games this weekend. People will play, the Giants will give some nice stuff away for going to the games and the Padres will continue to haunt my dreams.

Friday, May 14: Todd Wellemeyer, RHP (1-3, 5.97) vs. Felipe Paulino, RHP (0-5, 4.67)

Hopefully the Astros guy is worse then Wellemeyer and the offense plays like they have something to prove. That is the best case scenario the more likely scenario the Giants start pressing on offense and Paulino cruises through 7 innings while only throwing 35 pitches, Wellemeyer blows up and the Giants are blown out but at least it is quick and painless. We can all turn off the TV after the third inning when it is 20-0 and the Giants are swinging at pickoff throws to first base.

Saturday, May 15: Tim Lincecum, RHP (4-0, 1.86) vs. Roy Oswalt, RHP (2-4, 2.63)

Lincecum pitches well and the bullpen blows the game for him. That is too easy and too down in the dumps, how about this Lincecum pitches a great game and the Giants win. I like that better I think that the other could happen but I just wont think about it.

Sunday, May 16: Barry Zito, LHP (5-1, 1.90) vs. Brett Myers, RHP (2-2, 3.52)

Barry Zito had a crappy outing but some how held it together from getting crazy out of control. I am going to say that he is back to good Zito but I can’t guarantee it. I am surprised that my pessimism allows me to write that at all.

I wouldn’t be surprised if things go completely off the tracks and we lose this one. I will just cross my fingers and take my happy pills


The Giants lose 2 out of 3 and make every pitcher look like a Cy Young candidate. The wheels fall off and Bruce Bochy overreacts by mixing up the lineup and putting Bengie Molina in the lead off spot because he has Veteran Savy and the hot hand and Eli Whiteside batting cleanup because he saved us from a perfect game being thrown.

Raise Your Hand If You Are Tired of the Bias!

I am not sure about the rest of the Bay Area but I am extremely fed up with ESPN, the self proclaimed World Wide Leader™ in sports has developed a love feast for the East Coast leaving great stories like the Giants and the rest of the N.L. West in the dust.

The exception to all of this is the L.A. Dodgers who manage to make it on ESPN because they have a HOF manager in Joe Torre. An example of the bias one might ask?
For the answer to this question just watch Sunday Night Baseball, here is the schedule:

April 4 Opening Night: New York Yankees at Boston

April 11 St. Louis at Milwaukee

April 18 New York Mets at St. Louis

April 25 Atlanta at N.Y. Mets

May 2 N.Y. Mets at Philadelphia

May 9 N.Y. Yankees at Boston

May 16 Philadelphia at Milwaukee

May 23 N.Y. Yankees at N.Y. Mets

So looking at this, does one see the problem here? 7 of the 8 games feature N.L./ A.L. East teams and not one West Coast team. There is not even a game outside out the Eastern or Central Time Zones. Perhaps ESPN needs to open up some west coast offices to get away from the East Coast echo chamber, come on guys there are other places where sports are played as well.

The argument that that is where the people are doesn’t hold water either. There are a number of large markets in the west; San Francisco is the 6th largest television market and 4th largest radio market. However we are treated like a second class sports city.

When you miss a game you have to wait 45 min on SportsCenter because the Red Sox struggling is much more important than a Giants game and even then they are just as likely to take a shot at Bengie Molina for being slow.

If the situations were reversed and the Giants were struggling and the Red Sox just swept the Yankees, the headlines would ring out “oh the Rex Sox are back! They swept the Yankees!” The lead story on SportsCenter and ESPNews is now the Yankees are struggling and what are they going to do to get over it.

Does this sound familiar? When Boston comes into town during interleague play Giants fans I beg you get an East Coast Bias Chant going in AT&T.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What to do with DeRosa?

Well as A-Rod would say things are all “loosey goosey” inside Mark DeRosa's wrist right now. That is definitely not a good thing to have from a guy you signed to a 2 year $12 million contract.

Mark DeRosa was supposed to be the 5 hitter in the lineup and give us a little more right handed power presence that has not panned out and the injury that he suffered last year has been reaggravated.

Now the question is what to do?

Well the Obvious answer from the Giants is to rest him and maybe rub some dirt on it. Tendons will often just reattach themselves after a couple of days especially with Bruce Bochy’s old time baseball healing remedies (maybe we can have Moises Alou came back and urinate on his wrist).

If (and this is probably that case) rest won’t bring his wrist back to 100 percent just get the surgery. It is in the best interests of everyone.

Here is an open letter to Mark DeRosa:

Dear Mr. DeRosa,

First thank you for the candidness that you displayed with the discussion of the state of your injury, it is refreshing to hear the truth especially with the Bochy trying to spin this as nothing major and something a little rest can’t heal.

This honesty make me like you Mark (I hope you don’t mind me calling you Mark) and I am going to give some unsolicited advice please don’t play through the pain and be a shadow of the type of player you are. We will be impressed that you could do it, we may even consider naming a pet after your courageous efforts but we will be mad that you if when you go out there you were a below average player. What will make this even worse is that even though we know you’re hurt Bochy ran you out there every day.

So please, please, please take the decision out of Bochy and Sabean’s hands. They cannot be trusted with these kind of medical decisions. Their track record is pretty poor. Be smart.

You will only hurt the team by blocking actual productive players. We are ready for some more Bowkermania!™ at this point I could even take a few days a week of Andres Torres. We will be ok in your absence the run production can’t get too much worse.

So get back to 100 percent for next season so the whole contract isn’t a waste of money. What ever you do don’t play if you are not 100 percent.

See if you can take Edgar Renteria and Freddy Sanchez with you when you go to the DL. Talk them into it we know you have it in you.


The Crazy Crabbers

The Giants Lose the West’s Biggest Pillow Fight:

Well to say things blunt last nights game sucked. The Padres and Giants took turns putting runners on base and then forgetting that they were out there. This was at best a pillow fight between elementary school girls and the Giants brought an old floppy throw pillow to this fight.

They had no business not being blown out in this game and were lucky that they had a chance down to the last out.

There weren’t a whole lot of highlights in the game and we are better off just forgetting about it and hope that Matt Cain brings the heat and the offense wakes up from the hypnosis that the Padres pitchers have on them.

On a side note I am really starting to dislike the Padres a lot, these games just give me heart burn and headaches. They aren’t fun, they are close and it draws me in to watch. Have the decency to play well or get blown out tonight. No more games like this one.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Aaron Rowand the Every third Year Hall of Famer:

There seems to be a pattern that is developing with Aaron Rowand and even he can't seem to explain why, but don't fret I have put my science cap on and have discoverd the answer.

It is against my better statistical judgment to think that maybe there is some that clicks on in Aaron Rowand every three years but the numbers just slap in you the face and make you think that something is up.

Maybe to most it would seem to be a coincidence that his offensive outburst just happens to coincide with el Niño years. However I have crunched the numbers and run the experiments in my bath tube and this is the best, nay the only explanation for the naturally occuring phenomenon.

This triennial eruption is a welcome break from the league average hitter that we see every other season and it really couldn’t come at a better time for the Giants who desperately need offense to go with a league best pitching staff.

Let’s take a gander at the gamer's career numbers vs. league average:

Mark DeRosa is Freddy Sanchez 2.0:

Update 5/11/2010: It is being reported that DeRosa is going to need surgery to repair his wrist. He said that the first surgery is a complete failure. The only question is when and not if he will need second surgery. If he plays through it he will likely be a similar player to what he has been so far this season. This is not good news. He should hit the DL have his surgery and try to get it to full strength so the whole contract isn't a failure.

It doesn’t take the genius of hindsight to realize that the signings of Freddy Sanchez and Mark DeRosa to 2 year $12 million deals were questionable but man now that we have seen these guys play ( or not play) it really looks bad.

I wrote last week that Mark DeRosa looks like his wrist is still bugging him. He hasn’t really driven the ball to his pull field which is a common problem for those with wrist injuries. Now he wants to get it checked out.

CSNBayArea is reporting that DeRosa is going to have his wrist checked by a specialist today.

“I'm starting to question some things," DeRosa said. "I'm gonna get my wrist looked at (Tuesday). I'm not happy with the way I'm swinging the bat. I've gotten some pitches to drive over the last week or two that I'm just not getting to. I'm starting to wonder if it's something physical. I mean, a slump can only last for so long," he said Monday. "It seems like ever since I hurt this thing it's been downhill."

Well no kidding things have been down hill, DeRosa’s line has been a disappointment all season and there is no a whole lot to look fondly upon besides a good walk rate.

Hopefully there is something in his wrist that needs to be fixed, but I have a feeling that time is really all that is needed for it to heal. DeRosa who is 35 is no spring chicken and wrists have a nasty habit of being nagging power sapping injuries that linger for far too long.

A tip of the hat for these signings to Brian Sabean you are stimulating the health care industry of San Francisco and Arizona with these two guys.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Giants/Padres Series Preview

Hello Giants fans,

I would say this is the biggest series of the year so far.

Are the Padres for real? This question will begin to be answered this week. The Giants are 6-3 in May and are coming off a strong 4-2 road trip on the east coast where they swept a good marlins team and lost 2 of 3 from the Mets who seem to be the luckiest team in baseball. The Giants showed a lot of heart in the series fighting and clawing to tie games only to have the games slip through their grasp.

The Padres come into this game 4-4 in the month of May having taken 2 of 3 from the Astros in Houston. The currently sit at 19 and 12 which puts them one win head and a half game up on the Giants.

Game 1: Barry Zito (5-0 1.49 ERA) vs Wade LeBlance (2-0 1.16 ERA)
Barry seems to have found a good rhythm but Giants fans are waiting for the bad Barry to show up, I do not see this on this game, if the giants score early game 1 goes to the G-men.

Game 2: Matt Cain (2-1 2.79 ERA) vs Clayton Richard (1-2 3.34 ERA)

Matt Cain has been lights out his last two starts being able to locate anything he wants to throw anywhere he wants to throw it. If Cain has the ability to put away batters after two strikes and can keep hitters from fowling off so many pitches he should excel. The Giants need to score and score early, no reason why the Giants should not take game two.

Game 3: Jonathan Sanchez (2-2 3.00 ERA) vs Mat Latos (2-3 4.19 ERA)

Not to sound like a homer but if Sanchez does not kill himself with the walk and the hit batsmen Giants should take game three, and the sweep. If I am not mistaken didn't Sanchez the last time he faced them at home did he not no-hit them? And in his last outing against them on;y give up one hit? I think that he has the Padres number.

Keys to the series:

1. When facing Adrian Gonzalez the bases need to be clear. The Giants must make someone else beat them with the bat not him.

2. Score early and often.

3. The bullpen needs to be lights out and not kill loses for the starters like what happened on the road trip, just for the record The Freak should be 6-0 but that will be another post for another time.

I cant see anything less than 2 out of 3 and sweep would be clutch and hopwfully put the Giants in first place for good.

Let the Battle for West Coast Supremecy Begin

Friday, May 7, 2010

Down Goes Velez and other Roster Moves

It seems like I complain about something and the Giants go out and do something to make me happy.

First it was Mark DeRosa and his lack of hitting and Power and the next thing you know you has a laser show with a rocket double and a line drive single.

Then today there is news that my least favorite Giant of the moment is being sent to AAA. I am happy to say that Eugenio Velez will not be rolling over any more first pitch sliders to second base in a Giants uniform for atl east a little while. This is cause to celebrate, Brian Sabean made a smart move for once.

The roster moves that were made:

Edgar Renteria to the 15 day DL with a groin strain. Ryan Rohlinger is being recalled from Fresno.

To replace Eugenio Velez with the big club will be Denny Bautista who has been around the minors for a while and pitched well in Fresno. I am glad that it was Eugenio and not John Bowker who was optioned.

The moves will be updated in the 40-man roster link at the top.

Go Giants beat the Mets tonight.

Matt Cain’s Brilliance:

Matt Cain was throwing well again last night in the steamy heat of Florida. He pitched into the 8th inning and had a no-hit bid going into through 5 and 2/3 innings and finished with a line of 7 innings, 4 hits, 2 Runs (1 given up after he left the game), 3 walks and 6 strike outs. Good enough to further bring down his ERA to 2.79 and for a game score of 64.

The other thing that was nice to see is the offense score some runs for him, this is the third time this season that the offense has put up 5 or more runs in support for him. This is a pretty big departure from his career run support which up to last season was an abysmal 3.69 runs per game.

The Giants were finally able to get a series sweep after winning the first 2 games of the last three series and then falling in the finale. This sweep felt nice and hopefully the team can continue the roll on to New York. This game never really felt in doubt and a lot of that has to do with how well Cain was throwing the ball.

Other lines of interest:

Nate Schierholtz: 3 for 3, BB, HR AVG=.381 OBP=.458 Schierholtz continues to produce and had a no doubter homerun that was crushed to right field.

Mark DeRosa: 2 for 4, 2B this is certainly a good sign especially after I had just written about how his wrist appeared to still be bugging him. He crushed a double to right center and lined a single to center, I would still like to see more hits coming to the pull field before I am feeling better but I will settle for some baby steps.

Aaron Rowand: 2 for 4, 3B, 2RBI Rowand has been playing great to start this season and continued that with a multi-hit game and a big triple and some good defense in centerfield. This could be another one of his every third year breakouts and if it is it probably couldn’t have come at a better time.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mark DeRosa’s Wrist Injury Continues to Sap Power:

Mark DeRosa has gotten off to a lousy start to say the least. He is struggling to hit the ball with any authority which has lead to a poor batting average and even worse power numbers.

The only saving grace at this point is that he continues to take a walk. He has manages to walk in around 10% of his plate appearences which has kept his on base percentage about 100 points higher then his batting average. Below is a look at his numbers this season compared to his career averages. There has been a substantial drop off in production

13 Seasons.273.342.420.761.147
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 5/6/2010.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Meet Eugenio Velez, Replacement Level Player:

I don’t really care for Eugenio Velez as a player. In fact in my book is kind of like the meatless vegetarian products at the grocery store, I don’t really like them, I don’t want them in my cart, but I understand that there may be a place for them in the store.

So in this story my cart is the major league ball club. I don’t really see the reason that baring injury to a number of players that he should be at this level. I do understand that he does provide something to the organization (the reason he is on the shelf in the grocery store). He is a nice guy to have in AAA in case the store misses the delivery of hamburger or chicken (the team bus gets in an accident and 3 outfielders need to go the hospital, or there was tainted food in the after game spread that gives half the team food poising) he is a contingency plan in my book.

Velez is as close of a definition of a replacement level player as there gets and for his career he has performed like one racking up a value of 0.5 wins above replacement over 213 career games. He has some tools but looks completely lost trying to use them.

He is a fast guy but speed isn’t really one of his weapons. He doesn’t beat out a lot of infield hits, only about 11.3% of hits in his career are the infield verity; compare this to Pablo Sandoval who is not exactly fleet of foot how has a 10.9% career number.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Road Map to 90 Wins:

The 2010 season is 15% done and the Giants are sitting at 14-10 in second place. The team has excelled at preventing runs (even better then last season at this rate) and has been about average offensively which is good enough to give them the second best run differential in the National league behind only the Cardinals.

The team is underperforming the expected win-loss at this point which pegs them as a 17-7 team which suggests that the start is not just a mirage and that they may have been a little unlucky so far this season. Part of this is there performance in 1 run games where they are 1 and 5 this season, hopefully that balances out a little bit over the course of the season.
The NL West this season seems to be pretty bunched with the talent level of each team pretty close which means that no team should run away with the race. I imagine that it will be close going down to the wire with at least 3 teams maybe more within 5 games down the stretch. I think that the ultimate winner will finish with between 88 and 92 wins.

This is the road map for the Giants to get there:

Monday, May 3, 2010

Giants and Marlins Series Preview:

The Giants head east for a six game road trip, the first stop is Miami and the Florida Marlins. The Marlins are 13-12 tied for third in the National League East. They boast a solid pitching stuff and a young lineup that has some pop through out the order. The team is lead by there solid 3-5 hitters of Hanley Ramirez, Jorge Cantu, and Dan Uggla. Keeping these bats quite and having patience against the Marlins pitching will be the key to winning this series.

The Giants are coming off an impressive home stand where they won all three series against 3 of the top teams in the National League and had a chance to sweep all three. The wins against solid opponents look nice on the resume and hopefully give the team some confidence heading into this road trip.

The Giants are skipping Wellemeyer’s turn in the rotation which will give them the top three guys going in this series. Hopefully that leads to a fourth consecutive series win.

Pulling Lincecum Correct Move

I have had plenty of time to digest and get over the heart breaking loss to the Phillies, but I still want to go back and examine the move to pull Tim Lincecum after walking the first batter he faced in the 9th inning. At the time I thought it was the correct call but many other have disagreed.

I have had sometime to go over everything and I still stand by the call by Bruce Bochy and think that it was correct and that this was a 1 in 100 type of outcome that was simply bad luck.

Here you see the plot of Tim Lincecum's fastball from the 4/28/2010 Phillies game. Each line represents the range of speed and the gray dot is the average for each inning he pitched.