Tag Archives: MLB

Kershaw, The Diamondbacks, and Milwaukee’s Best

I have to admit, I haven’t been watching a ton of baseball lately. Maybe having the A’s out of the picture before summer was in full swing is to blame. I have however, seemed to catch all of Clayton Kershaw’s starts over the past month and a half, and the scruffy faced kid has won me over, and for the record he can blow one helluva bubble. He reminds me of Lincecum a little, but bigger and more imposing on the hill. He’s gone 9-1 with a 1.18 ERA since the All-Star Break, and has looked filthy every time he takes the hill. Not even Cliff Lee’s dominant August can help him match what Kershaw has done over the past two months. Maybe he hasn’t gotten that much hype, because there’s only 10 people showing up to Chavez Ravine these days. Some argue that when you’re pitching on a losing team in meaningless games it makes it so much easier to put up great numbers. Personally, I think it’s probably harder, because you get less run support, but that’s a whole other argument. Plus let’s face it, nobody wants to lose anywhere in life, most players are competitive and aren’t simply mailing in these games, they just have inferior talent. Kershaw currently outpaces Halladay (the yearly Cy Young favorite), in wins, K’s, WHIP, IP, and ERA. Sure, Kershaw has had one more start than Doc, but it’s a lot closer race than you might think. Kershaw is starting to be the Jered Weaver of the NL. Great pitcher, but for some reason not considered the best by many, yet that is…

The Diamondbacks have been a HUGE surprise this year. I’ve heard people trying to decipher whether Kevin Towers or Kirk Gibson deserves the credit for their success. I’d say it’s Towers hands down, and not because I’m still bitter from the homer Gibson hit off Eckersly in the 88 World Series, ok so maybe I am, I’m sure you’d hold onto the grudge too if it happened to your team. Anyways, if it weren’t for Towers, Gibson would never have had the “interim” tag taken off his “coach” title. A lot of newly appointed GM’s like hand pick their own manager, but he’s being rewarded for sticking with the guy he saw had some passion for this team. Also in his first week in the office, he sent strikeout/home run king Mark Reynolds to Baltimore for David Hernandez and Cam Mikolio. Winning trade right there for the D’backs adding their setup man in Hernandez, for the overpaid Reynolds. Shortly after that trade, he signed JJ Putz. Not many people outside Seattle really knew much about Putz or his skills, but he has always been a good option out of the pen, and came pretty cheap considering he was injured almost all last year. I’m not sure he knew at the time, but in two quick moves he secured the 8th and 9th innings of games. Sound familiar? He did the same thing with the Padres for many years, believing in having a strong bullpen, and making the game a little shorter. What’s the result? Last year their bullpen ERA was 5.75, this year you ask? 3.19 ERA. He went on to sign Joe Saunders, Miguel Montero, Kelly Johnson, and Micah Owings to one year deals. What was his best move this year you may ask? NOT moving Justin Upton. It sounded like his phone was ringing off the hook with multiple offers for him, and to his credit he stood pat, which looks like a wise choice since he’s now an MVP candidate.

I think I’ve been a closet Brewers fan since CC was going on three days rest every start for their playoff push in 2008. Or maybe it was the Prince walk-off bowling pin celebration that did it. I’m always drawn to those loose creative type teams that seem like they want to have fun. Maybe those images from that year were ingrained in my mind, so that’s why I picked them the last couple years in our pre-season MLB predictions to win the Central. Whatever the reason for the sudden infatuation with them, they played some great baseball in August going 20-7. It’s been amazing that they’ve kept building a lead in the division when they were without All-Star 2nd baseman Rickie Weeks. They’ve pretty much done it all with pitching now that Greinke is finally showing them his Cy Young form, and is giving them what they hoped they’d get out of him when they sent a lot of prospects to KC. Is it just me or does this team feel a little like the Giants last year? Not necessarily how the cast was built, but more so in the timely hitting department backed by solid starting pitching every night. I guess this offense is a little more intimidating than the Giants O was last year, especially with Hart finding his stroke lately they truly are starting to resemble an AL lineup. With Weeks coming off the DL within a week this could be the team to beat! Even if they happen to get a little tight down the stretch, they always have Nyjer (Bryant Gumble) Morgan to loosen up the locker room. For some reason I feel so confident in them at the moment I just put a futures bet in at 20/1 odds to win it all. I’m sure I’ll celebrate a $400 win with a post if it all works out….

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A’s Get Robbed In Bugtown USA

I guess it doesn’t really matter, so I shouldn’t be crying over spilled milk, but the A’s got robbed in Cleveland tonight. For a while I thought the bugs were going to dictate the outcome of the game, and we’d be able to blame it on the insects, like the Yankees did in the playoffs a few years back. Instead, we can blame it on BRUCE DRECKMAN.  YOU blew a call tonight Dreckman, all because you wanted to go home. The A’s and Indians were deadlocked in a 3-3 tie in the 16th inning. A run hadn’t been scored in 10 innings, but it was just passed midnight in Cleveland, and you wanted to hit the hay. Well I’m not gonna stand for this. This aggression will not stand, man. Kurt Suzuki clearly made the tag on the ass no less than 6 inches ahead of the plate. I know the bugs must be a pain in the ass, but let’s at least let the players on the field determine the outcome of the game. This was the biggest blown call since Jim Joyce ruined Armando Galarraga’s career. There was only one out, so it’s not like the Indians probably wouldn’t have scored. But to send a team home on that play, is no doubt a low point in the season. It may not seem like a big deal now, but for all you fans of playoff teams, just hope that you don’t get dealt Bruce Dreckman for one of your series. His blown call will sail under the radar, but it won’t go without notice on Doin Work. F*** YOU BRUCE DRECKMAN.


A’s Stuck in Purgatory…

Over the past five years, the A’s have been in a state of regression as they struggle with just about everything from facilities, to players, to attendance. They can’t get players to sign with them even when they do put out the best offer on the table, because they have crappy facilities. Players like Beltre and Furcal just use them as leverage for other teams who are offering them smaller or nearly the same contracts. The A’s want a new stadium yet Lew Wolff refuses to negotiate with the Oakland officials anymore than he already has, and they have been pushed to the back-burners by the MLB committee looking into their situation of moving. Their lineup is scattered with quadruple-A players, and there’s probably only a dozen A’s fans left (judging by attendance). I figured I’d break down the key issues with the team, and help get the word out on how dire our situation is. I know I’ve ranted about these issues a few times, but I figured I should put them all together to let everyone know what is what and draw your own conclusion on who is to blame. It’ll be my last post about it for awhile, I swear!

The Facilities

It’s strange how you come to different conclusions as time passes. Personally I enjoy the coliseum, and feel it has a little charm left even after they built the funny looking Mt. Davis for the Raiders games. It’s not a problem that they share the stadium with a football team, the problem is that the coliseum is in the ghetto, and there’s not much around the stadium. Jack London Square is cool and all, but it’s not the city. Many residents would rather go to a Giants game and talk about garlic fries while sending out e-mails on their blackberries. Can I blame them? Not really since they don’t care about the game anyways. Seriously, would you rather sit at PacBell or O.co Coliseum if you don’t care about the game? Easy answer. A’s fans at the games are great fans. The problem is there’s barely any fans going, and there’s nothing to do in that area, except maybe unload a few freight containers. In a time where your stadium needs to be connected to a mall and be in a thriving downtown-like area, the A’s don’t stand a chance in increasing attendance. Will the A’s move to San Jose to get a stadium built? After reading this brilliant piece by Howard Bryant on ESPN, I doubt it will happen anytime soon, and may never happen with the Giants trying to force the A’s into contraction (that’s what it feels like at least).

Pre-Mount Davis Coliseum

Nowadays players want to be treated like Mark Cuban treats the Mavs (state of the art training equipment and state of the art electronics everywhere). The coliseum was built back when players were allowed to smoke during the game in the dugouts. That should say everything about how dated the facilities are. Maybe that’s a reason why we seem to set records yearly for DL usage. As I said, I don’t dislike the coliseum, but if we need a new stadium to get our guys healthy and help us attract offensive players in free agency, I’m 100% for it.

About three years ago we thought we were heading to Freemont in what seemed like a done deal. I wasn’t excited, but wasn’t totally against it since we didn’t seem to have any other options. The deal fell apart for a few reasons, and from what I heard it was because there wasn’t solid BART access which put the A’s back to square one. This was probably the only time I really felt bad for Wolff during the process, because he spent around $30M of his own money getting that proposal in the works.

The Giants and Media Marketing

With the World Series win last year the Bay Area is owned by the Giants at the moment. They’ve always had more fans than the A’s, but now it’s ridiculously lopsided as all the sort of fans have jumped on their bandwagon. It’s almost impossible to find info on the A’s in the papers or on TV. The Giants are dominating the market as much as you can in a two team market. Hell, at the beginning of the year I could barely find a radio station that even talks about the A’s. Is this Lew Wolff’s plan to slowly make everyone not care about this team by spending $1 on advertising for every $100,000 the Giants spend? Seems like the strategy is working as attendance keeps dipping. It’s not like Lew Wolff is poor, I hear him and Fishcer have a net worth over a billion, but they don’t seem to put a dime of that into marketing this team. I’m not sure what I hate more about this fact that the Giants are the Bay Area team or that Lew Wolff isn’t really putting up a fight.

It’s no secret Lew Wolff desperately wants to move out of Oakland and preferably to San Jose, but the Giants own the territorial rights. A little over a decade ago when Pac Bell park was in the works, the A’s then owner gave them the rights to the south as a gentlemen’s agreement to give them some leverage to get their stadium built. Unfortunately the same situation has come up for the A’s, yet the Giants refuse to relinquish those rights back to the A’s. How does moving from 15 miles away from the Giants to 60 miles away from them hurt their market more? Tough for me to answer that as I’m no financial guru. I do know that the Giants want to be big spenders like the Yankees and Red Sox, which at this point seems like it could happen if Wolff keeps tightening his wallet and the Giants keep the A’s out of San Jose. Seems like the Giants could return the favor, and maybe that would even open Oakland back up to the point where they negotiate again. Right now with no real ability to threaten to leave, the city of Oakland doesn’t have to scramble and put together a good stadium deal…

Billy Beane

I’ve found it comical how people are blaming Billy Beane for the A’s lack of success on the field. Maybe it’s because the movie Moneyball is coming out, and people want to knock him off the proverbial pedestal, but it’s got to be tough to build a team when you’re constantly in limbo. Sure we could’ve kept Ethier and Cargo, but almost all Beane’s moves at the time made sense to me, so he gets a pass for those two. In any kind of business you need a plan, and as of right now there are no long term plans with this team, so it makes his job nearly impossible to succeed at, which is why I’ll give Beane a pass until we know more than a year into the future. Hell our contract with the coliseum agreement is up after this season, so we might not even have a stadium next year! Hopefully they don’t play in the parking lot… When you’re a GM and have no idea what the future holds, it’s impossible to map a team strategy out. We’ve always done a lot of one year contracts, but we usually lock up a couple guys, and that hasn’t been happening. Personally, I blame the unstable future. Based on some of the contracts that Beane has offered to top free agents, he is serious about fielding a good team. Unfortunately, we end up with a lot of new guys or castoffs, because the “premium” free agents don’t come here because they can get paid the same elsewhere where they have better facilities. Even with all the Dodgers problems, at least they know they’re staying in LA. The A’s have relatively no idea when or where this team will be in three to five years. Hopefully it’s not still at square one where they are today or I might be forced to give up on baseball all together.

Side rant: The only thing I’m still pissed about with BB is the fact he let Ron Washington go. I said a couple years ago before Texas started being the class of the AL West, losing Washington might curse us. He was a players coach and instead we got a non-players coach in Geren. How could he let go of the coach that EVERYONE in the locker room loved? He made the players want to play, and kept the locker room relaxed and loose, you can’t put a price on that. If I could only ask Billy one question, it would be why we let Wash go instead of giving him the keys to the car.

The MLB

I guess this is who I blame at the moment for our purgatory status. The MLB made a three man committee that Bud Selig appointed to sort out this whole mess over two years ago. According to Selig, it might take awhile longer to make sense of all the options in this dispute. I’ve already vented about it, so I won’t tell you how ridiculous it is that it’s taken over two years since he appointed the committee. Yes, there’s tons of issues, involved in crunching the numbers and projecting the effects on each community, but they’re building Farmer’s Field in LA without even having a team here! You’d think he could give everyone in the A’s front office an update or two on the progress at least. If you needed another reason to hate Selig here it is. 75 CEO’s in San Jose wrote up a letter telling him why he should approve the A’s move to San Jose, and how it would work financially. They are currently the 10th largest city in the US (surprising to me), and seem to want to help fund the building of the stadium. So what does Selig do when he recieves this letter from some of the richest men in the US? He ignores it, and doesn’t respond. Is it because they aren’t Jewish? Is it because he loves the Giants? Is it because he’s senile and doesn’t even remember reading the petition/letter showing where and how they would acquire land and funds to build the park? Only Selig could answer that, and based on how he’s treated us the past couple years, I doubt we’ll ever hear an answer to that petition.

Conclusion

It feels like there’s a lot of people to blame for this mess. Again, I wrote this more to inform everyone out there of our situation rather than blame a certain person or people, it’s been a group effort to ruin this proud franchise. The A’s have some great fans, but unfortunately I’ve heard more than a few recently say “it’s just easier to follow the Giants”. I don’t like bringing up the movie Major League when it’s referencing my team, but it feels like all the forces in the league are against us, and one or more of these crooks is trying to get rid of the A’s in Oakland at least. We can’t attract free agents because our facilities suck, our owner doesn’t want to stay in Oakland or negotiate with the city for a new stadium, Selig and his merry men don’t seem to give two craps about us, and the Giants would rather see the A’s die a slow death than give them the territorial rights that the A’s gave them for nothing less than two decades ago. Talk about the odds being stacked against you! It will be a Billy Beane led miracle if this team makes the playoffs anytime soon.


Elephants and Seals

It’s been a little while since we did our A’s and Giants updates. As always, By is covering the World Champs and Chappy is covering the A’s.

San Francisco Giants (66-56, 2nd) Oakland A’s (53-68, 4th place)

Three Up

Oakland A’s – The A’s won back to back road series for the first time since April. Upon coming home, they were promptly swept by the Rangers. The A’s bats have come alive since the All-Star break scoring the 5th most runs post AS break. Josh Willingham is one home run shy of giving us a 20 home run hitter for the first time since Cust did it in 2009. Is it a positive that we are already calling up prospects like Brandon Allen to see what they got? I guess so, but that just means we are way out of it. At least yesterday he went 6 for 8 over his last two games. Since all of our outfield will be free agents this year I’m not sure why we haven’t seen more youngsters. The Willingham, Matsui, Dejesus, and Conor Jackson projects should come to an end soon, and maybe we’ll see how Choice, Carter, or Taylor does.

SF Giants – As bad as the offensive woes have been for the Giants, they’re still only 2.5 back from Arizona, when they could and should very well be out of the division race by now.  They’ve lost 12 of their last 17 all the while the D’Backs seem to never lose.  Our starting pitching has been superb and consistent, and all Giants fans know that our chances at repeating hinge on our staff.  That’s not, and never has been the problem.  The good news is, Sunday’s game against the Marlins, and Monday’s game at Atlanta showed a bit of inclination that our offense has started to turn a corner.  Unfortunately Brian Wilson blew the game against the Braves.  Easily the most painful loss of the season for the Giants.  If the bats can produce 3-4 runs a game going forward, I have much confidence that the Giants make the post season and do some serious damage towards claiming another title.

Three Down

Oakland A’s – Where to start. Oh yeah, our defense. What was thought to be a strength coming into the season has been a glaring weakness. We continually shoot ourselves in the foot committing errors every game, and thankfully Melvin is pissed about it. There’s no way this team should be third in the league in errors backing up a great pitching staff. This also got me thinking, is our team ERA just good because they give up a lot of unearned runs? Even Trevor and Gio look pretty average as of late. CJ Wilson talked crap about how the A’s suck and so do their fans before Texas came to Oakland, and kinda backed it up after one of the most disappointing series of the year for the A’s.

SF Giants – Well, the fact that at one point last month we looked to be smooth sailing towards winning the division, then added perhaps the best free agent bat to help bolster our lineup, and now, we are slipping out of contention and that big bat we added can’t even suit up for us.  Yeah that’s pretty lame.  Losing the series to the Pirates hurt.  Losing 3-4 at home against the Phil’s stung.  Letting Arizona take the last series against us at home wasn’t helpful.  Getting swept by the Reds flat out sucked.  I can’t even write a reasonable “Three Down” segment for this post, I’m just a little upset, but by no means have I lost faith in the Giants.  But I won’t lie, I’m very nervous right now.


Stairway To Retirement

Dominating headlines today was the retirement of 43 MLB journeyman Matt Stairs. I know the only reason I even care is because he’s a former Athletic. But apparently he’s played for thirteen different teams in his career, so there’s a good chance you might care as well. Stairs’ legacy will be as the all-time leader in pinch hit home runs with 23. I could’ve sworn he had quite a postseason legacy as well, but looking back at his stats, he’s just 3-24 in the postseason lifetime. He does have one postseason home run, and I KNOW that was a big one for the Phillies.

It’s been 11 years since Stairs wore an A’s uniform, so it was easy for me to not realize that he spent more years in the green and gold than any other team. He hit 122 of his 265 career home runs in Oakland. Get this, in 98 and 99, he even had back to back 100+ RBI seasons. In that 99 campaign, he finished 17th in the MVP voting after a monstrous 38 HR, 102 RBI season. Fun fact: he got one more vote (2) than teammate John Jaha (1). To the A’s credit, Jason Giambi finished 8th in the voting. Don’t go thinking Stairs and Jaha were the best hitters on the team.

The Washington Nationals released Stairs today on account of his .154 batting average with just 2 rbi in 65 at-bats. Check out this list of teams he’s played for….

Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox, Oakland A’s, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, Washington Nationals.   Impressive.


Let’s Make Some Deals!

It seems now that football is rolling along, it’s now harder to find baseball information during one of the most important times in the baseball season, the week leading up to the trade deadline. If I wasn’t into fantasy sports, I probably wouldn’t even know what trades had gone down since they’ve been trumped by NFL signings and trade coverage. Here’s all the major trades since Tuesday in case you missed some, along with some quick thoughts on each. I’ll update it as the day goes along…

July 26th

OF Johnny Gomes traded from the Reds to the Nationals for LHP Chris Manno and OF Bill Rhinehart. It seems like a weird move for the Nationals. Yeah I get they lost Adam Dunn last year and are missing power, but adding a 30-year-old that wasn’t hitting in the friendly Cincinnati settings seems like a head scratcher. Aren’t they supposed to be building for the future when Strasburg and Harper are on the team? Seems like they’d hang onto their prospects instead of adding a bat, especially when your team is hanging out in last place…

July 27th

Mets trade OF Carlos Beltran and cash to the Giants for RHP Zack Wheeler. A win-win situation here for both teams. The Giants didn’t add payroll, and got the bat they were desperately seeking. The Mets got a potential ace of the future with Wheeler, the 2009 6th overall pick in the draft. It was funny to hear some of the Giants fan reactions to giving up Wheeler for a chance to win it all again. I never understood why a fan base would reject the idea of trying to win this year. How can you be mad!?! Sure, Beltran might not work out towards getting you another ring, but it’s worse to not be trying at all.

Blue Jays trade RHP Jason Frasor and RHP Zach Stewart to the White Sox for RHP Edwin Jackson and INF Mark Teahen. Toronto trades RHP Edwin Jackson, RHP Octavio Dotel, LHP Marc Rzepczynski, OF Corey Patterson, and three PTBNL or cash to the Cardinals for OF Colby Rasmus, LHP Brian Tallet, LHP Trever Miller and RHP P.J. Walters. This one was a handful of so-so players mixed in with some prospects. The biggest names are obviously Jackson and Rasmus. Edwin the constant journeyman will probably fair better back in the NL under Duncan. The Cards needed a pitcher after all the injuries they’ve suffered this year, and Edwin might be able to fill that void. The Cards also set themselves up to get some draft picks aka prospects out of the trades. Dotel, Jackson, and Patterson all have the potential to garner draft picks should they not resign with them this offseason. Colby Rasmus might be a big loss, but it sounds like he already wore out his welcome in St. Louis (or his dad did). The White Sox meanwhile got a solid reliver, and we all know they need bullpen help. Toronto got another bat and some possible prospects down the road. Maybe Bautista can teach Colby how to be a professional, then again, he didn’t seem to learn much from Pujols or McGwire.

July 28th

Cubs OF Kosuke Fukudome to the Indians for RHP Carlton Smith and OF Abner Abreu. Probably one of the least exciting trades, but it was the headliner on the 28th. Kosuke hasn’t really lived up to the hype he brought across the pacific, but the Indians really need some help in the OF with Choo and Sizemore chillin on the DL. The prospects the Cubs got don’t seem all that exciting either. Probably didn’t even need to put this trade on the post, but it happened, so here it is.

Brewers acquire utility IF Felipe Lopez from the Rays for cash. I guess with Rickie Weeks on the DL, they needed a competent 2nd basemen. Maybe the A’s should’ve hung onto Ellis a little longer, and they could’ve gotten money instead of a PTBNL.

July 29th

Phillies get OF Hunter Pence and cash, the Astros get 1B Jonathan Singleton, RHP Jarred Cosart, RHP Josh Zeid and a PTBNL. The Phillies always make a big deal at or close to the deadline. Two years ago, they got Cliff Lee, last year they got Roy Oswalt, and this year they grab Pence. Honestly, Pence is one of my favorite players, I might even have a little mancrush on him. There’s nothing pretty about his game, but you know he’s giving you 110% Eckstein style. He’s the perfect fit in Philly, and is the right handed bat they truly needed since Werth left. I was surprised that Philly gave up two great prospects since Pence is an unrestricted free agent after the season, and could walk. Houston boosted possibly one of the worst farm systems in baseball by adding two top 50 prospects.

Diamondbacks get OF Ryan Langerhans from the Mariners for cash. The ol’ cash for poo trick. Not sure what the D’backs need for Langerhans is. If this is their big move to match the Giants and Phillies moves (Pence and Beltran), it was fun while it lasted AZ. I think they could’ve got Cust from the M’s for free if they wanted!

July 30th

Diamondbacks acquired RHP Jason Marquis from the Nationals for SS Zack Walters. Not a bad move, but not that exciting either. Marquis is at best an end of the rotation guy. I’m kinda puzzled by Arizona’s moves, Langerhans, then Marquis. Two guys you could replace on your team with AAA players isn’t going to help them challenge the Giants for first in the NL West. I’m booing this trade from my Doin Work headquarters.

Texas trades RHP Tommy Hunter and INF Chris Davis to the Orioles for RHP Koji Uehara. There’s nothing I hate more than a team in the A’s division acquiring a player I like, because I instantly can’t root for them anymore. Koji is going to add some nice Asian spice to the bullpen. Losing Tommy Hunter won’t lose anyone sleep in Texas. I was a little surprised to see Chris Davis in the deal, but Young and Moreland are more than adequate at 1B. I wish they traded for Bell, so I could still like Uehara.

Boston acquires INF Mike Aviles from Kansas City for INF Yamaico Navarro and RHP Kendal Volz. Another meh, kinda move. I guess he’s good to throw in the lineup when someone needs a day off. Aviles has had an awful year at the plate, so I don’t really see why they wanted him. Maybe to bring off the bench to pinch run?

Brewers acquire INF-OF Jerry Hairston Jr. from Washington for OF Erik Komatsu. Ummm, didn’t they just trade for Felipe Lopez to replace Rickie Weeks a couple days ago?!? This move kinda confuses me, so I don’t have a lot to say about it. I guess he’s a good utility guy. K-Rod is still their biggest trade acquisition, but at least it looks like they’re trying to do something.

Mariners trade RHP Doug Fister and RHP David Pauley to the Tigers for OF Casper Wells, INF Francisco Martinez and LHP Charlie Furbush. I’m actually a little disappointed in Detroit. It sounded like they were pushing hard for Ubaldo, but maybe the Rockies were asking too much. Fister is an underrated pitcher, probably more so because he’s on the Mariners. Despite his 3-12 record, he’s had a good year and recieves the lowest run support of any starter in the MLB. What I like about this trade for Detroit is they have control over him for next year too, so it’s not a rental situation. Does this keep Detroit in first? I won’t hurt. David Pauley will also give them a little extra bullpen help, and every team can use help in the pen. Francisco Martinez seems like the prospect this deal was built around. We’ll see if he can be the heir to Chone Figgins at third.

Colorado acquired RHP Alex White, RHP Joseph Gardner, UT Matt McBride and a PTBNL (Drew Pomeranz) from the Cleveland for RHP Ubaldo Jimenez. The headliner of the day sent Colorado’s ace to the Tribe. I feel like the Indians gave up too much in this deal, but then again if they contend and take the AL Central it will all be worth it. P0meranz and White were both first round selections, and it feels like the Indians might have had the next Ubaldo in one of the two guys they traded. We’ll see how it pans out. If the Indians make the playoffs, it will no doubt help them forget what they gave up.

Giants acquire Orlando Cabrera for IF Thomas Neal. Guess the Indians are already trying to restock the farm. They must be sold on Kipnis starting everyday, because it seems like you’d want to hang onto a vetran like O-Cab down the stretch to keep everyone focused. The Giants made a great deal here as they added where they needed to as they have Sanchez, Tejada, and Derosa on the DL. The Giants seem to be pushing the right buttons so far.

Pirates acquire Derek Lee from the Cubs for 1B Aaron Baker. I’d like this move a lot more for the Buccos if D-Lee was a little younger and having a better year. He has been heating up, and maybe being in the playoff hunt will re-charge him. The Pirates haven’t been buyers in two decades. It might be tough to flip that switch and remember what it’s like to be buying.

July 31st

Braves acquire Michael Bourn from the Astros for OF Jordan Schaffer, LHP Brett Oberholtzer, RHP Paul Clemens, and RHP Juan Abreau. Bourn is having a great season this year, and this trade could go under the radar. I was waiting for the Braves to do something, and here it is. I thought they’d maybe go for a SS with someone like Furcal, but getting that top of the order guy is going to help this team a lot. Another good thing about trading for Bourn is they have him for next year as well as this one.

Cardinals acquire Rafael Furcal from the Dodgers for OF Alex Castellanos. I’m sure the Dodgers are happy about cutting some payroll. I’m actually surprised that they haven’t traded some more players straight up for cash. I like the move for the Cardinals even though Furcal hasn’t been that good this year (.197 BA). He’s a big upgrade over Theriot at SS, and I think being in a place where the front office cares about baseball he should make him try harder.

Diamondbacks acquire Brad Ziegler from the A’s for 1B Brandon Allen and LHP Jordan Noberto. Woohoo! The A’s finally made a trade that didn’t fall through. The Dbacks got some really good help for their pen in Ziegler. He has a career ERA of 2.45 over four seasons. Hell, I think he’s more reliable than JJ Putz. The A’s got a MLB ready 1B in Allen, and a pitcher that might be a reliever in the future. Seems like a good move for both teams.

Rangers acquire Mike Adams from the Padres for RHP Joe Wieland LHP Robbie Erlin. For awhile we all thought it would be tough for the Rangers to compete in the postseason without adding another starter, but their second glaring weakness was the bullpen. Yesterday they added Koji, and today they added one of the best set up men in the game in Adams. The Rangers were already the favorite to take the AL west, not it just seems like it’s a given that will happen with the Angels making no moves to strengthen their squad. The Padres on the other hand have added yet more quality pitchers. They have three guys now that they’ve received through trades that could be starting in their rotation by next year.

Pirates acquire Ryan Ludwick from the Padres for cash and a PTBNL. Not bad, not that exciting either. Seems like the Pirates are trying a little with adding Derrick Lee and Ludwick to the mix, but neither of them seem like they’d really put this team over the top. Maybe next year they’ll be better at this whole buying at the trade deadline thing.

Red Sox acquire Erik Bedard and RHP Joshua Fields, the Dodgers acquire C Tim Federowicz, Juan Rodriguez, and Steven Fife, and the Mariners recieve OF Chih-Hsien Chiang and OF Trayvon Robinson. This is kinda of a big deal. Lots of prospects moving around in this one. I guess Boston isn’t sold on Andrew Miller in their rotation or they wouldn’t have made this move. The reliever Fields I heard is decent. My gut reaction is that Seattle got the best of this deal, and naturally I’ve heard of the Asian kid (Chih) before. He sounds like he has some power and should be a good hitter one day. Same goes for Robinson being a solid power hitting switch hitter. I don’t really follow Boston’s prospects much so I’m not really too sure on the guys the Dodgers ended up with…


Best Brew In Baseball

Over the weekend I wrote about the best breweries in America. Now I’m thinking about the best Brewers in Major League Baseball. The reason for that is I recently caught myself thinking about how stacked the Brewers roster is, and then I started to realize how the majority of them were homegrown (drafted by Milwaukee). It’s amazing not only how many of their draftees they managed to keep, but how many became major contributors….

Prince Fielder – 1st round, 2002

Rickie Weeks – 1st round, 2003

Ryan Braun – 1st round, 2005

Corey Hart – 11th round, 2000

Yovani Gallardo – 2nd round, 2004

Jonathan Lucroy – 3rd round, 2007

Add to that, former draft picks Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley were used to acquire CC Sabathia, and 2008 1st round pick Jake Odorizzi was used to get Zack Greinke. Talk about rebuilding through the draft. I challenge you to find a better draft record then the Brew Crew in all of baseball!

 


For Real? MLB Contenders Or Pretenders…?

Let’s play a little game called, “Just the Tip.”  Just for a second, just to see how it feels. Now let’s see which MLB teams can hang over the course of an entire season. Every year, someone comes out of nowhere and contends longer than they were supposed to. It then becomes a game of “will they or won’t they.” This year there are two teams that have come out of nowhere to lead their respective divisions at the time of this post. There are also two honorable mention teams that just so happened to meet in the World Series last year, but still, they don’t necessarily look like the best teams in their divisions.

The Giants, defending World Champions, don’t look like a championship team, but their pitching has kept them atop the NL West. Not sure if that’s so much a credit to the Giants, when you consider the division just seems pretty bad top to bottom. The Rockies have underachieved, and the Dodgers and Padres are pretty much irrelevant. Arizona has been a surprise, but no one really believes they can hang around and contend for the NL West crown. For that we say, the Giants will.

The Rangers, on the other hand, came into this season more or less as favorites to win the AL West. But, a lot of people saw either the Angels reclaiming the division, or the A’s making the jump and riding their pitching to a postseason berth. Instead, the Rangers have played just well enough to hold a 5 game lead over the Angels in the division. Their offense was never in question, but they’ve had surprisingly strong pitching that has kept them perched atop the AL West.

On to the real surprise teams of the 2011 campaign. I’ll start with the Indians because I sort of saw this coming. To be honest though, I’m sort of waiting for the team to fall off, as part of me doesn’t really believe they are for real. I at least thought that Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner could manage to stay healthy, and combine that with two guys who I knew would be solid this year, Asdrubal Cabrea and Shin Soo Choo, and it seemed the Indians were poised for an improbable run at the trophy this year. Unfortunately, Sizemore and Hafner have been sidelined often, Choo’s blood-alcohol level has exceeded his batting average, and Asdrubal Cabrera is left with few RBI opportunies costing him much deserved MVP attention. I’m also questioning whether that starting rotation can hold their ground for the remainder of the season.

Finally we come to the Pirates. I don’t think anyone saw this coming, but if they did, post a link showing off your premonition like I am once again HERE. Like many good teams, they’ve ridden their pitching to a division lead in late July. I honestly don’t remember the last time I saw this. I believe the statistics say it was 1992. That’s a long time. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Pirates have the longest streak of futility in ALL of professional sports. Is that right? Either way, I’m a big time Pirates fan this summer and fall. I wonder how many players I can name on that team….? Let’s count. Andrew McCutchen, Garrett Jones, Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata, Jeff Karstens, Ryan Doumit, Joel Hanrahan ….that’s all I’ve got. But I’m on board. Will they hang on? Not a chance. With Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Cincinnati (my other World Series pick)  all chasing them, they’d be lucky to finish third this year.


How to Make the All-Star Game More Interesting

The pool might had as much coverage as the actual game...

I just got done reading a fellow bloggers post (Chris Ross) on why the All-Star game is boring, and doesn’t need to be meaningful to be relevant. Seeing how I doubt the A’s will be in the World Series anytime soon I don’t really care that home field advantage is a result from the game, but do agree with most everyone that it’s ridiculous to have the outcome effect the World Series. Exhibition does not equal “meaning something” last time I checked, but who are we kidding, we want to be entertained regardless of the stakes.

The ASG has been on the decline for years now (based on the ratings the last few years), and with numerous players dropping out for whatever reason, we don’t usually even have the real “stars” of the game out there playing. I read the other day that over 10% of the league made an All-Star team for a second straight year. How ridiculous is that? I understand pitchers ducking out from pitching too recently, and other guys actually ON the DL, but guys like Jeter being “emotionally tired” is stupid reason to miss the mid-summer classic. I hope he donated the money he got for getting selected, because he doesn’t deserve that bonus. Maybe he knew deep down he didn’t deserve to be the starter and wanted Asdrubal to start in his place since he was clearly better this year. Either way he should’ve at least shown up.

Anyways, this wasn’t supposed to be a bash the guys who are in the game post. It was supposed to be a little constructive, so here’s three easy ways I think that the MLB could fix the All-Star game aka make it more competitive and entertaining for us baseball fans…

  • This first move would automatically make me like the actual game more. Have the players that the people voted into it, finish the games. Maybe that won’t work with pitchers, but for the hitters this is an easy way to change the structure on how it’s managed. I want to see the best players decide the game in the clutch. I don’t care about seeing players like Miguel Montero, Matt Wieters, Howie Kendrick, Scott Rolen, etc. coming up when it matters in the late innings. I want to see the starting lineup out there, so let’s make a rule that all the fan selections come in to play after the fifth or sixth inning to finish the game or as close to that selected starting lineup as possible.
  • Offer up a monetary gain for the winning team. I don’t know one person that isn’t inspired by money, and I doubt even the players could pass up the chance to win an extra half million each. Instead of just giving all of them a $500K check as thank you for showing up bonus, they should only give that “bonus” money to the winning team. Let’s see how serious the players get with a half million on the line. Maybe even make the losing team donate some money to charity or something along those lines.
  • Push the game back one day. This seems like the easiest fix on my list. Start the season one day earlier and give the players one extra day before the ASG, so we can get the best pitchers to pitch. No offense to Robertson, Wilson, Walden, or League, but wouldn’t you rather see Verlander, CC, Felix, Price, and Haren pitching instead? No need to answer, it was a rhetorical question.
One last quick thing they should do is add some more skills challenges. It feels like the HR derby is as popular as the actual game, so why not try to add to it. I don’t give two craps about the celebrity softball game, ok maybe watching EA and Kate Upton wasn’t terrible TV, but it wasn’t good either. How about they do an outfielders challenge where they set up targets on all the bases and you get points for accuracy and maybe some bonus point for hitting targets on the fly. How about a game of horse between pitchers. Like throwing certain pitches to parts of the strike zone like a whiffle ball strike zone, and making the next guy match it or they get a letter. How about a presidential race like in Washington. Put some players in those funny president suits and have them run a lap. I could think of a million stupid little games that I would watch if pros were doing it, so I’m not sure why they wouldn’t try to include a few extra skills challenges, and I’m sure the players would be down, well, at least the ones that like to have fun. As always though, no changes will be made and baseball will be stuck in reverse yet again…

Elephants and Seals

As always By will be covering the Giants and Chappy will be covering the A’s portion.

San Francisco Giants (1st place 50-40)

Oakland Athletics (4th place 39-51)

Three Up –

Oakland A’s -Mark Ellis is wrecking pitchers lately going 11-32 with four doubles, three homers, and 7 RBI’s in his last seven games. Too bad he’s now a member of the Rockies. Tough for me to find a lot of positives outside of Jemile Weeks and Scott Sizemore, but I guess our leading RBI man Josh Willingham is healthy and back in the lineup. Guillermo Moscoso pitched 24.2 innings only giving up one run, but was sent back to AAA today. I guess that shows you how good our pitching has been even with numerous injuries. I’d like to see us trade a couple of these pitchers for a bat. Is that asking too much? I guess so. I think it’s a good thing they are going to let our top prospect Chris Carter keep playing in Oakland. It’s not like he could do worse than Barton was doing at first base. I hope we sell off some players and get something worthwhile at the trade deadline. I’d love to see them unload Fuentes.

SF Giants – There’s so many positives to write about, but I’ll keep it short.  Let’s start with the obvious, the Giants remain in first place, and the only goal for the miSFits is to win their division and make the playoffs.  Another positive, the G-Men are sending four All-Stars to the desert, and if not for horrible run support for Mad Bum, perhaps five.  How about Barry Zito guys!?  While most Giants fans are raving about his “return” to prominence, I still remain skeptical.  Let’s just appreciate his last three starts for now before we go handing him the Cy Young shall we?  And lastly, it is good seeing Buster Posey in the dugout again.  We miss you buddy ~

Three Down – 

Oakland A’s – Where to start!?! We score no runs, and the only games we win are 1-0 or 2-0. Those wins are also few and far between. We are last in the worst division in the AL.  We’ve hit the fewest homers, and are in the bottom three in all of baseball for runs, RBI, and batting average.  When you see stats like Kurt Suzuki has 6 of our last 16 hits, and Derek Holland with a career 5.22 ERA holds you to a 4 hit CG shutout, you know you’re in trouble. I’m tired of writing how they can’t hit, so I’ll spare myself. If there wasn’t enough bad mojo going around this team, even fans are dying at the park when they hit foul balls…

SF Giants – I hate to sound redundant, but the one downer for these Giants is their hitting.  While they remain scrappy and stay true to form with their “A Different Hero Every Night” approach on offense, it’s hard to fathom them keeping it up the entire season.  Especially since it started last season.  Overall, not much to complain about with the Giants, especially while they’re in first.


Byrnes Being Byrnes

I was watching MLBTV on Monday and saw Byrnes lay out Harold Reynolds. I was hoping someone would put it on youtube because I’m way too lazy to do it, and that would also mean I’d have to make a youtube account. Luckily someone else uploaded the video. It’s funny that Byrnes takes his demonstrations as serious as when he was playing, and if you think for a second he wouldn’t plow over anyone in his way to get to a pop up, you probably never really saw him play…


All-Star Voting Makes Sense for the Most Part…

This morning I was checking out how the All-Star voting was going, and to my surprise there weren’t a ton of terrible choices on the ballot. It’s the final update until the selections are revealed, and since I’m much more of an AL guy, I’m only going to break down who I feel should be starting for the AL. In the NL I only see one real snub. Matt Kemp not being in the outfield is f***ing ridiculous, I mean Holliday and Berkman have had a nice season and all, but their seasons don’t even compare to Kemp’s triple crown numbers.

Catcher: Russell Martin (2,779,592 votes), Alex Avila (2,345,065 votes), and Joe Mauer (1,699,604 votes). Might be the first year in awhile we don’t have Joe Mauer starting for the AL behind the plate. Russell had a nice start to the season, and has rode the wave of Yankee voters. I’m torn because Avila clearly has better numbers than Martin, but he also plays third and first from time to time. Martin plays catcher every game he plays in. There aren’t any super standout catchers this year, so I’ll say the voters got it right…

First Base: Adrian Gonzalez (4,014,722 votes), Mark Teixeira (3,077,242 votes), and Miguel Cabrera (2,184,480 votes). You’d think first base would be a tough choice with so many stars manning the position. Not so much in this first half, as Gonzo has been going off since opening day. If he decided to sacrifice some of his average for power, he might be in the triple crown race. Hitting .357, with 16 homers, and 71 rbi’s might just be more offense than the A’s have had all season… My runner up for the position isn’t even on the list. I’d have Konerko as my backup above Tex and Miggy, because he’s been a guy on a mission to destroy pitching this year and has done it.

Second Base: Robinson Cano (4,724,816 votes), Dustin Pedroia (2,979,181 votes), Ian Kinsler (1,896,259 votes). For some reason I thought Ben Zobrist belonged on this list, but I guess he was only hot for a quarter of the season since his numbers didn’t look that good when I just looked at them. Cano easily has the best numbers of the AL 2nd baseman, and is also a gold glover in the field. The people made a solid and correct choice imo.

Third Base: Alex Rodriguez (3,735,406 votes), Adrian Beltre (2,935,373 votes), and Kevin Youkilis (2,724,286 votes). I think I’d actually take Longoria if he hadn’t been hurt for a month of the season. This is probably the toughest choice for me. The top three all have similar stats, Beltre has more HR’s and RBI, but A-Rod is hitting nearly 50 points higher, so I’d probably give it to the best fielding 3rd baseman, which is Adrian Beltre. I don’t feel like you could go wrong with either of these three candidates though.

Shortstop: Derek Jeter (3,392,128 votes), Asdrubal Cabrera (2,885,778 votes), and Elvis Andrus (1,971,514 votes). This is the first ridiculous selection. Not sure why Jeter was in the running in the first place, because he started the year worse than we’ve ever seen him play. Asdrubal on the other hand has had a break out year that nobody saw coming. If it weren’t for him, the Indians wouldn’t have had nearly as much success. This is the first eyesore in the AL lineup.

Designated Hitter: David Ortiz (4,237,043 votes), Michael Young (2,235,504 votes), and Jorge Posada (1,453,385 votes). Big Papi is easily the guy here. I would’ve had V-Mart in second place over Young and Posada. Actually, I’m not even sure why Young is on this list since he plays pretty much every position. Ortiz is the right choice though, he’s been mashing the ball all year long, and made people forget that they thought his career was over last year.

Outfield: Jose Bautista (5,263,846votes), Curtis Granderson (4,582,419 votes), Josh Hamilton (3,173,000 votes), Jacoby Ellsbury (3,051,675 votes) Carl Crawford (2,294,337 votes), Nelson Cruz (1,912,783 votes), and Ichiro Suzuki (1,912,062 votes). If you asked me a month ago I would’ve said Matt Joyce deserved to be on the team, but since I wrote about him at the beginning of the month he decided to come back to earth with a prolonged slump. I also wondered out loud why the Asian voters can get Yao into the NBA All-Star game, but can’t get Ichiro in. Ichiro doesn’t deserve it this year so it’s a good thing, but I will miss his pregame speech trying to fire up the AL team. Jose and Curtis are the obvious choices and having monster seasons, but Josh Hamilton as the third outfielder? He’s only played 42 of his teams 80 games. I’d take Joyce or Ichiro over Hamilton’s first half, because they played pretty much everyday. I think Jacoby Ellsbury deserves the third spot of all the guys in the top six in voting. All in all pretty good selections from the voters, and probably the most reasonable choices in years. Are more people paying more attention to baseball this year, because we might miss the first half of the NFL season? Maybe, and it’s reflecting in the voting…  

 


Excitement in Oakland, and His Name is Jemile Weeks

It’s been a little over two weeks since the A’s called up the 2008 #1 pick, Jemile Weeks. MCeezy already declared him his favorite current A’s player on facebook the other day, and I have to say I’d agree with that sentiment. Hopefully writing about him doesn’t jinx him like I did writing about Matt Joyce’s great year, but sometimes you have to risk it when you’re excited. It’s been awhile since one of our position player prospects caused this much stir on Athletics Nation (the best A’s blog). Yeah, there was excitement when Chris Carter was called up last year, but ultimately he didn’t do anything. Weeks on the other hand, has been tearing the cover off the ball. He hit three triples in his first week in the big leagues. He has been playing so well he has earned his spot as our leadoff man the past few games. He’s also seems to have taken our longest tenured A’s player’s spot, 2B Mark Ellis (11 years with Oakland), in those two short weeks. If we still had Geren as our manager, I bet Weeks would go back to the bench when Ellis comes off the DL today, but now that we have a competent manager, I don’t see Melvin taking the hot bat out of the lineup. He’s already given Matsui some confidence, and has shown that he will play the best players every night. How has Weeks earned that leadoff spot? By taking professional atbats and swinging at a very low rate of balls out of the strike zone. Translation; he doesn’t swing at bad pitches, and when he does swing he connects on 80% of pitches. So far the switch hitter is batting .362 with an OBP% of .400, .572 SLG%., and 4 steals to boot. To say he’s been our table setter over this current six game winning streak would be the understatement of the day. He’s had a couple of blemishes in the field, but that can be overlooked when he’s making more great plays than bad ones. Weeks has great range because of his speed, and even with this very short sample size, I feel he could win a gold glove one day if he continues to work on his fielding.

Maybe A’s fans are getting a little ahead of themselves with Weeks already saying that he is the next Reyes. I saw a comment yesterday that Weeks even hit a triple off Chuck Norris! All kidding aside, even though his small sample size has been great, it’s tough to see him being able to keep it going as well as he has. I’m sure he’s bound to hit a rookie wall at some point. Even if he does, I can’t think of a prospect that we’ve called up in the last four years that wasn’t a pitcher that I was this excited about! Maybe Kurt Suzuki, but it looks like we finally found a solid offensive piece, after numerous underwhelming prospects (Barton, Pennington, Carson, Watson, Crosby, Buck, Keilty, and many more). The only thing I’m cautioning myself for is that he has been hurt a lot over the three years in our farm system. It’s probably because he plays with reckless abandon, which usually results in an injury or two, but there’s noway you’d want to change that since that’s what makes him successful. Maybe he needs to learn something from Reyes as he said this year that he needed to learn when to go 110% and when to go 80% which is why he’s been a lot healthier this season. As of the moment, I’ve developed a Curry-like mancrush on Jemile, and he’s already paying dividends if you picked him up for your fantasy team!


Elephants and Seals

As always By will be covering the Giants and Chappy will be covering the A’s portions.

San Francisco Giants (38-29 1st place) Oakland A’s (28-40 4th place)

Three Up

Oakland A’s – They broke their 10 game losing streak against the White Sox in a comeback win. Unfortunately they went from second to fourth during that losing streak. We thankfully have a new manager (Bob Melvin) that I wrote about last week, so now I can’t work in any disses about the team overcoming Geren’s minimal coaching abilities. The new Bob has already started making the players do some infield practice before games, which is rare this day in age for any team to practice much infield work before games. The good part about this hire is he’s already proactive attacking one of our big weaknesses (A’s are ranked 27th in fielding with 51 errors). Now if he could only figure out some good drills to get them to hit! Bob Melvin seems to like keeping Matsui in the lineup everyday, which was something Geren couldn’t seem to do as he sat Matsui against lefties. Matsui even answered with a homer off a lefty last night. Hopefully this means Matsui will get comfortable at the plate knowing he’ll be in the lineup all the time. Andrew Bailey is finally closing games for us this season, too bad there aren’t any games for him to close. Scott Sizemore, who we got from Detroit, is already our best option at 3B even though he’d never played the position prior to coming to the A’s. Jemile Weeks was also called up when Ellis went on the DL, and has impressed me a lot more than Chris Carter did last year during his first MLB stint with three triples in his first seven games.

SF Giants – I just got home from a fantastic early dinner and as I type this, the G-Men hold a 5-0 lead against second place Arizona in the 5th.  I also see that Pablo “Panda” Sandoval has already left his mark on this game, bringing in the game’s first run.  Panda provides us with a much needed bat, at an absolutely desperate time.  It’s one thing that we lost Buster Posey for the entire season, but now Freddy Sanchez’s year is in jeopardy, and Freddy has been knocking in clutch runs all season.  I guess a positive we Giants fans can take out of all of this, is the fact that we’re still in first place, believe it or not!  And the reason why, is that the Giants epitomize the concept of team ball.  When someone goes down, the next person simply steps up and fills in.  I mean, we’ve had Nate Shierholtz hitting third at times, Nate Shierholtz people!  And now he has a few walk off base hits notched under his belt.  There’s a different hero every night with these guys, very similar to last season.  So if you’re an optimistic person, which I’m usually not, but if you are, you must be thinking we’re sitting pretty atop the division despite being dealt the worse possible hand you can be dealt.  Things can only get better from here, right?

Three Down

Oakland A’s – We have five starting pitchers on the DL, and Brett Anderson was that fifth starter to land on the DL. He’s avoiding Tommy John surgery, but it sounds like he might still have to have it down the road. I’m no doctor, but it doesn’t sound like these plasma injections do very much from other players accounts. We’ve called up some prospects mainly because of the numerous injuries. SP Graham Godfrey had an interesting way of getting called up the the big leagues, but we are really missing those starters that went down. Hopefully McCarthy comes back soon which seems likely. We’ve lost 13 of 14, and I might already be rooting for Seattle to take the division. (I’ll wait till the All-Star break, but it’s sad I’m already pondering picking who I want to win the division not named the A’s.) Daric Barton continues to digress this season. Not sure how much longer I can root for a guy that is in his third year, and having his worst season of those three years, he feels like Bobby Crosby all over again. Hopefully we are prepping Chris Carter or Michael Taylor in the minors to play first base. Maybe we should’ve hung onto Brett Wallace who is having a decent year in Houston…

Even Chriss Angel runs out of magic.

SF Giants – To the outsider looking in, you’d probably chuckle at the idea of being unhappy with a first place team.  But if you’ve been following the Giants closely like I have, especially these past two seasons, you know we win a lot, a lot of close games.  In unbelievable fashion at times.  How much magic do we still have at our disposal?  We’ve got to run out eventually right?  As long as we’re bottom dwellers in terms of offensive production, specifically scoring runs, and as long as our aces look like jokers on the mound (Tim Lincecum and Jonathan Sanchez), we’ve got reason to be concerned.  Hopefully Brandon Belt can get healthy and show us some of that bat we’ve all been told is coming.  The only consistent thing I can count on with these Giants, is Ryan Vogelsong giving up two runs or less every game.  The sad part is, some of those games are losses.


Hey Sabean, Don’t Forget You Have Whiteside!!

I think the Giants might have the most videos on youtube of any team since they won the WS. Some are entertaining and others are pretty lame. In the wake of the whole Buster Posey debacle as he got plowed at home, the Giants GM Brian Sabean pretty much said he hopes Cousins of the Marlins never plays again. It was an unpopular statement everywhere except in SF, and kind of reminded me of how Dan Gilbert reacted when Lebron left the Cavs. To say I disagree with his comments would be an understatement, and Larry Granillo brings up some solid points on why Sabean should’ve questioned some other plays at the plate in the Giants not so distant past. Anyways, enjoy this song someone made about the Giants backup catcher Eli Whiteside.

(Actually Whiteside is no longer hitting .200, it’s down to .170).