A Tribute to Javy Lopez

by
Greek Giant

Javy Lopez might be the single most under-rated member of the core four (with Casilla, Affeldt and Romo). His steady hand and impeccable command were key factors in his uncanny, downright magical ability to get left handed batters out with a sub 90 MPH fastball. He was the lefty Romo in some ways. Bruce Bochy could count on Javy to get the big outs in the tight situations when getting the match-ups he wanted.

Game 6 of the 2010 NLCS

Lopez was a major contributor to the 2010 and 2012 titles, especially during the 2010 NLCS (game 6 stands out as a memorable appearance). Lopez mixed a slider with an effective slider with a sidearm deliver that traversed dramatic angles and basically made left handed sluggers look helpless at the plate. His pitches exploited new loopholes in time-space continuums. His steely nerves and slight build made for an unusual appearance. Javy Lopez was a good giant. He is articulate, intelligent and, according to many sources, a great teammate.

He will be missed. While his 2016 was largely forgettable, for reasons good and bad, his likely departure as a free agent means the entire cour four will be gone next year if the Giants do not re-sign fellow free agents Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla. Jeremy Affeldt retired in 2015.

This means the Giants bullpen is going through a major transitional period and the reliability, indeed the very foundation of the bullpen will be gone. Age happens. Lopez is now 36 and has indicated he might be interested in playing for the Giants or the right team next year but it appears, with his decreased velocity and command, Lopez will likely saunter into the Major League twilight to a new career as baseball analyst.

Let us not underestimate the huge responsibility of a LOOGY: to get that one or two batters out in a critical moment of a game. We will hopefully forget the dreadful ninth inning of game 4 in the 2016 postseason and remember the many sterling appearances that Javy Lopez gave us. He was a gentleman, a dedicated athlete and a remarkably consistent and effective lefty specialist out of the pen.

  • Breckeroni thinks Javy is not done !

  • channelclemente

    Cespedes is trying to become a more selective hitter with mixed results

    https://i.imgur.com/WABaki0.png

  • More good thoughts and purposeful prayers needed for our friends in Fukushima Japan. 7.3 quake.

  • Efrain

    Always liked Javy since his days in Boston, a very classy and intelligent gentleman and in his prime one of the best LOOGYS in baseball.

  • Law enforcement should consider giving these PERPS another outer garment to when when they take their respective booking photos.

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Texas-teacher-who-had-sex-almost-daily-with-10627863.php

  • channelclemente

    Just when it seemed you understood what to do and had the upper hand;

    https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQNjAHfjZloi9MrkViC03PeIvJS0Hfn1vuBDzkjVs2MAnZ17TKBPA

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      just sent “King Richard” a message

      • channelclemente

        Check

  • Keep’n It Real

    Javy is the one “core four” guy I could see the Giants bringing back. Not betting the ranch (if I had a ranch), but he’s been a team leader and there’s no drama.

    • DrLefty

      With Smith, Okert, and Osich on the 40 already…I don’t see it.

      • Matthew

        I don’t either, but I wonder if one of the Lefty O’s get traded….

        • DrLefty

          I was being polite (I know, don’t expire with shock). The truth is that I think Javy is D-O-N-E. Great Giant, though.

        • channelclemente

          Don’t you think that just getting ‘blooded’ last year buys them a year to compete with an idea of what MLB is all about?

          • Matthew

            Depends on what offers are out there? The FA period needs to flush out, for sure. But I could see lots of teams coveting them.

          • channelclemente

            That’s sort of my point, after the shakedown cruse, why abandon them in favor of another questionable replacement, just to go through the same thing again. It’s akin to rearranging deck chairs, IMO.

        • Prolly not “he who Buck shall not use”

      • Scout Finch Baseball

        …and Ty Blach!

        • DrLefty

          And they just signed a AAA lefty out of the Rangers’ organization, too…and Andrew Suarez moving fast…

      • Keep’n It Real

        Which is why my ranch is safe 🙂

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    The “Core Four” ain’t got @#$% on the “Six Mix”:

    Kontos
    Osich
    Strickland
    Smith
    Law
    Melancon

    Throw in a long man and ol’ Boch can throw a lawn chair in the dugout and relax with his favorite bottle of red.

  • channelclemente
  • Anybody having a bad day? Check it out

    No arms, no legs, no problem !!!!
    http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/11/18/coach-1120/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvlW4bEjB5A

  • channelclemente
  • Anti-Lasorda

    Just for funsies…..
    Dexter Fowler’s line off Kershaw….
    .400/.444/.500 = .944 OPS. 54 ABs.
    Why not sign him?

    • channelclemente

      I thought it an interesting set of numbers this AM too, particularly since he has 50+ ABs.

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      For funsies, who would play cf and who would play left?

      • Anti-Lasorda

        Who is care?

      • DrLefty

        Fowler plays CF and Span plays left. Fowler leads off.

    • Keep’n It Real

      For funsies…where does the 20+ HRs from an OFer (LF or CF) come from?

      • channelclemente

        Fans in Cincinnati, or like parks.

      • DrLefty

        It would be nice if that guy in RF went back to being a 20 HR guy. He was, like clockwork, for years.

        • Keep’n It Real

          Very true. That said…the GIants have been trying to enhance the existing offense for years; even with that RF guy hitting 20 HRs. I don’t see how Fowler helps with that. I would be singing a completely different tune if the Giants already had that 20 HR guy in LF and they needed a CF. THey have Span and that’s not going to change for 2017.

        • Efrain

          If you think Pence will go back to his old self you will be waiting a long time.

          He played hard for years, many innings and he was most successful, like Pagan when he played pedal to the medal.

          Not the same guy anymore, but can still be a big part of the Giants equation.

      • Anti-Lasorda

        SS?

        • Keep’n It Real

          I’m talking about 20+ HR player in addition to what the Giants already have in their starting lineup.

          • Anti-Lasorda

            Justin Turner?

          • Moooooooooose

            Juicetin Turner will get off the juice and never hit 10 HRs in a season again.

          • Keep’n It Real

            “If” he isn’t juicing (I’ve said more than once his stats support suspicion), then adding him at 3B and putting Nunez in LF would work for me.

      • Doughnut

        This is my concern. I am a big Dex Fowler fan but with Span already signed it seems like they need some power in the lineup instead of signing another speedy CF that is over 30. All that said, Fowler takes some of the toughest at bats as well as being a switch hitter. I wish we signed him instead of Span. I think the Cubs will miss him in the lineup especially if Zobrist starts to regress

  • dgg

    I think it’s probably time for Javy Lopez to retire. I’d like to see him stay in baseball: as a coach or analyst. I’ve always liked listening to his thoughtful, knowledgeable responses in interviews.

    • Efrain

      Lopez will neither become a coach or analyst. He is very intelligent and I assume he will be happy going home and perhaps starting a business.

  • Sgbssfg

    If Javy retires or moves on, I will miss his quick wit, his classy behavior and his resemblance to a young Louis Jourdan.

    • paul in p.v.

      Always an intelligent interview. Pure class.

  • Matthew

    It only took 2:55 before the refs absolutely butchered a call, but luckily it was in the Raiders favor

  • The Oracle

    How things used to be for the Warriors:

    http://grantland.com/features/how-annoy-fan-base-60-easy-steps/

    Times have really changed.

    • DrLefty

      The Warriors are a great organizational case study: Good or bad leadership/ownership changes everything.

      • Anti-Lasorda

        49er fans can only hope….

  • paul in p.v.
    • Scout Finch Baseball

      Might be 4 years 60 million. Maybe a little less, may even be a little more.

      • DrLefty

        We can afford that. Get ‘er done, Bobby.

        • Scout Finch Baseball

          If he’s gonna get 4 years, for the Giants what’s the difference between paying him 12 or 15 per year?

          • DrLefty

            None whatsoever. They make $3 mil in one weekend selling garlic fries.

        • channelclemente

          What if he doesn’t have 4 years on his odometer. You ok for biting the bullet for the last 2 or 3 as less than sterling?

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            This is true of any free agent. You accept a potential kick to the groin at the back end.

          • channelclemente

            He’s a BABIP arm. That’s in itself is a risk. Cain was a BABIP pitcher as well.

          • John Myhill

            There’s a difference. Melancon is a ground ball babip pitcher. Cain was a fly ball babip pitcher.

          • DrLefty

            Yes. I actually believe that the next great closer for the Giants is in the system and needs more time. Might be Derek Law, might be Tyler Cyr, or…?

            I’m still stuck on the fact that the stud closer for Cleveland was something like a 27th round pick back in 2011.

          • channelclemente

            Most teams don’t waste money or draft picks on relief pitching. My fond hope is he teaches Strickland that knuckle/spike curve he throws.

          • DrLefty

            I tend to agree that there’s enough talent within if they use it properly. They have 24 (!!!) pitchers on the 40-man roster and only five outfielders, 3 of whom barely have any major league playing time. It’s pretty easy to see where the depth is–and isn’t.

            But I still think they’ll get an upgrade at closer. It was such an obvious weak link this last year that it would be bad PR not to address it.

          • channelclemente

            I’d agree on a closer as well, but this whole affair about a closer is a crap shoot, IMO.

          • Efrain

            I’m thinking they are going to trade from that surplus of pitching to a team desperate for arms. Having a surplus is good, only thing is that after our top 4 starters and at best a couple of relievers that talent level falls dramatically.

          • Anti-Lasorda

            Might have happened if they both stayed with the Pirates

          • John Myhill

            Excellent point!

        • channelclemente

          You’ll never guess who owns Melacon, Jay Bruce is hitting .500 against him.

    • Anti-Lasorda

      Whatever it is pay it. Gett’er done!!!!!

  • DrLefty

    So will Efrain say I’m a racist if I mention that this guy’s name is hard to pronounce and impossible to spell?

    “LHRP Mark Rzepczynski has drawn interest from six clubs, source tells SB Nation. Markets for lefty relievers heating up post-Cecil signing.”

    Pat, I’d like to buy a vowel.

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      There was a time when Polack jokes were in fashion.

      • DrLefty

        I wouldn’t be surprised if even Polish people had trouble with this name.

        • John Victory Faust

          The one I always have trouble with is how do you get “Sha-chef-ski” out of Krzyzewski. (Coach K)

          • Matthew

            Ghoti = Fish?

          • DrLefty

            I always used that example in my intro to linguistics classes when discussing how some say English spelling needs reformation:
            gh as in enough,
            o as in women,
            ti as in nation!
            = fish

          • What’s with kernel and colonel?

          • DrLefty

            It’s an odd history/etymology story. In the 16th century or so, the word was spelled “coronel,” which was borrowed from an earlier version of French. (The French conquered England in 1066, so a lot of middle English is heavily influenced by French.). But there also was an Italian word, “colonello,” which described a military rank. So some English speakers used the Italian version and some used the French version. At the time, English spelling wasn’t standardized (no dictionary.com and no dictionary of the English language until the 18th century), so both versions and pronunciations existed and this hybrid “kernel” version won out.

            Ironically, French went back to “colonel” (and pronounces it accordingly), but English never changed along with it.

          • 610nm

            At least English is not French. eau (water) is pronounced “oh”? And French must be to blame for colonel just below, as well as lieutenant which the Brits pronounce leftenant.

          • John Victory Faust

            Yeah, French is the worst! They never pronounce anything the way they spell it. I possess enough French ancestry to be tagged with a Froggie handle for a surname, but it’s French pronunciation has been Uhmurrakinized over the generations to be unrecognizable to a French ear

          • John Myhill

            Krz is basically ksh but they decided to not pronounce the k to make it easier to say. Ze is closer to zhe, god knows why they made it ch. W is pronounced v but before s it becomes f because it’s easier to say.

    • channelclemente

      There is a discount on ‘y’ and ‘w’ in isle three.

    • PerSpeier35

      How many points would that guys name be worth in Scrabble (assuming you could use proper names)?

    • Eye chart last name

    • Efrain

      lol good one. He’s actually pretty good, but don’t know the Giants need another LH pitcher. Perhaps they trade from their surplus. God knows some teams are starving for LH help.

      • John Myhill

        The giants could definitely use a good loogy

  • DrLefty

    Some were talking on the other side about whether it’s a good idea to platoon Mac and Parker or if they should try to trade Parker. This reminded me of 2012 when 1B for a couple months was Belt/Pill/Huff (and sometimes Posey). It didn’t work out. They ALL did poorly the first few months. 1B was a black hole. Part of the problem was that both Belt and Pill were near rookies and needed playing time/ABs to develop. The same is true for Mac and Parker.

    • Keep’n It Real

      That would be me. Your example is a good one. LF could blow up on the Giants if neither Mac or Parker grab hold of the position.

      • DrLefty

        They HAVE to get an outfielder, don’t they?

        Williamson
        Parker
        Pence
        Span
        G. Hernandez

        That’s IT. It’s not enough. It just can’t be.

        • Keep’n It Real

          I was thinking starting OF, but yes…depth is a concern.

          • DrLefty

            I thought it was bad going into last year when two of the outfielders were Blanco and Pagan–too many 30-something guys with recent injury histories. This seems worse. We have Span and Pence–still 30-something injury-prone guys. And three completely unproven guys. This seems like a freakin’ crisis to me.

          • John Myhill

            I have been saying the whole postseason that the outfield should be more of a priority than an elite closer because there are people on the team who could develop into a first-rate closer.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            Take Sergio Romo, for instance:

            In 2013 he notched 38 saves (5 BS) with a 2.54 ERA and 1.077 WHIP.

            Or Santiago Casilla in 2015:

            Also 38 saves (6 BS), with a 2.79 ERA and 1.276 WHIP.

            Or Brian Wilson with 48 saves (5 BS), a 1.81 ERA, and 1.179 WHIP in 2010.

            You never know when someone from the farm or scrap heap can step up and be the guy. Law could be the Romo/Casilla hybrid. Strickland could be the Wilson.

            But is that something to bet the bet the division on? Adding an established closer also makes the 7th and 8th innings stronger.

          • DrLefty

            And there’s the problem. They really do need an outfielder, too. They need to figure out how to do both.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            Melancon on 4 deal, backloaded a bit. And then a trade for a middle of the order guy like JD Martinez making 11 mil. It would be close enough to adding 20 mil on top of payroll for the owners to sign off.

          • DrLefty

            The Giants are low on trade chips after their Aug. 1 shopping spree. The idea of trading Beede reminds me of back around 2007-09 when there were constant calls for Sabean to break up his core of young pitchers (Cain, Lincecum, Sanchez, with Bumgarner on the way) for a bat. He never would do it, and it paid off with the 2010 title. Finally after 2011 he traded Sanchez, but by then that was no big loss.

            The Giants also traded Wheeler for Beltran and lived to regret it. Beede’s their highest draft pick and best pitching prospect since those guys. It’s a tough call because I agree that 2017 is a big year for them.

            Speaking of Sanchez, the guy he was traded for, Melky Cabrera, is reportedly available again. I wonder….Nah.

          • John Myhill

            Can’t see trading for martinez for a one-year rental. That kond of move is for a team which hasn’t won a series in 50 years and is feeling desperate

          • crawnik

            I’m sure the Giants can put a package of lower level prospects together to get J.D.; even if it’s for one year. Will the Tigers bite though?

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            “lower level” ?

            Nope.

        • paul in p.v.

          Reflective of the “starting five” los Gigantes took into 2016. Insufficiente.

    • Efrain

      Mac and Parker are what they are, not some hotshot 21 yr olds ready to bust out on the league.

      Funny how many here hold on to dreams that mediocre talent will all of the sudden around 25-26 years old will somehow all of the sudden “FIGURE IT OUT”.

      Newsflash – It does not work that way, the cream rises earlier in their career. The few that do take that long are far and few between.

      But hey keep thinking that!

      • DrLefty

        I’m the one saying they need to get an outfielder. They left themselves exposed last year due to the age and injury histories of their four main guys (Span, Pence, Pagan, and Blanco). This year they still have Span and Pence and three unproven guys. Still too thin, still too exposed.

        I’d be fine if they got a CF to replace Span (Dexter Fowler?) and then moved Span to left and/or had him platoon with Mac. That way at least you’re upgrading one of the OF positions. But Pence, Span, and a couple of AAA guys—yeeeeesh.

        • Efrain

          I was screaming that out of ST last year but everyone said I was being negative. It is what it is.

      • The Oracle

        Exactly. Who ever heard of a guy at that age finally getting a shot and putting up good numbers? Impossible. There’s no way it could happen. Who ever heard of Adam Duvall?

        • Efrain

          I know it happens, just not a common thing to occur.

        • Severe Bromance with AD

    • John Myhill

      The problem with platooning is that williamson is much better against rhps (career 254 vs 198).

    • crawnik

      In other words, we should “trust the process”?

  • DrLefty

    I’m not one to post music videos, but we just watched Austin City Limits, and this is an amazing song, “Heaven Sent,” by Parker Millsap, a young up-and-coming Americana singer-songwriter. It made me cry. (Not that it matters, but Millsap himself is not gay. He’s telling the story of a young gay man pleading with his evangelical preacher father for acceptance.)

    http://www.npr.org/2016/02/26/468095837/songs-we-love-parker-millsap-heaven-sent

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      That’s a voice with some haunt.

      Let’s put this one one Mike Pence’s playlist. Along with the song from Hamilton, ‘Immigrants, we get the job done”.

      Let’s surround the VP-elects heart with love. He’s one over stimulated ego aneurysm from the Big Chair in the board room. Yes, we are a reality television nation. It’s very much official.

  • Happy for Derek Carr, Del Rio, Musgrave, Ken Norton and Crab.
    Well done OakTown.

    • Keep’n It Real
      • Scout Finch Baseball

        Together we’re Raiders!

        I have punted football, but it is nice to see the Raiders doing well when I check in, especially since Carr is a Fresno State guy. Maybe a Raiders/Rams Super Bowl someday! Played in Tel Aviv because the Raiders are looking for the Lost Ark.

        • Keep’n It Real

          I don’t see them moving out of Oakland, but after the previous LA move (which Al really had no choice, thanks to Rozelle)…I just don’t worry about stuff out of my control. This mindset was very helpful when the Giants were considering Tampa.

          Anyway, as I’ve gotten older, I treat my favorite teams like a movie. If it’s a bad movie, I don’t go out of my way and waste my time. When Al was losing his toouch towards the end (since Gannon and company), I watched when I was in front of the TV…but I didn’t alter my schedule to be there. If that makes sense…

          I enjoyed watching the 49ers…when Alex Smith was there…because I met Alex and like him a lot…and I liked to see him succeed; which made “the haters” go crazy. Once they sat him down and traded him…I could go back to my usual Raiders fan mantra of “NIners suck!” 🙂

          What I’ll never forget is how Joe Montana was praising Derek Carr before the NFL Draft ever happened, the year Carr came out of Fresno State. I think Joe saw some of himself in Derek. It still blows my mind that Joe…and Steve…tried helping Kaepernick out and he took the “I know what I’m doing” approach. I would imagine none of the current (or previous) Patriots backups are doing that with Tom Brady. Sad…

  • Todays attendent was “Garcia” from Criminal Minds.
    She also enjoys Sumatra + Oatmeal.

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    It was a “bad year” for Andrew McCutchen, but he still managed to produce better than the average bear. His second half also was considerably better than the first; after the break he hit .267/.358/.435 with 10 HRs and 41 RBIs – I have a good feeling those power/RBI numbers would have led the Giants.

    Bobby Evans should do the diligent thing and talk to Neal Huntington. The Giants have enough on the farm to intrigue and a guy like Clayton Blackburn could shine for Pitt.

    • Matthew

      I wish it was possible.

      It’s not. Pittsburgh isn’t trading Cutch for Enough On The Farm.

      • Scout Finch Baseball

        You are likely making assumptions based on a higher payroll organization. This is Pitt.

        • Matthew

          I’m making assumptions on “Whoever you are, you shouldn’t trade your superstar for side dishes”

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            Not a savory comment for the Giants prospects/young personnel.

            Efrain is rubbing on you 😉

          • Matthew

            “….not that there’s anything wrong with that”

    • Efrain

      I agree with Matthew, McCutcheon is not going anywhere unless they get a star back, he is their Buster Posey and means a greta deal to the organization. A number 4-5 max starter like Blackburn is not even remotely close, even if he had a down year. Guys like that you have to look at the body of work.

      • Scout Finch Baseball

        Low payroll team sees his star on the wane, also sees 14 million salary in 2017 and ’18 option. Needs to clear space for stud prospect Austin Meadows. Possible. Here’s the total package suggestion:

        Arroyo, Blackburn, Williamson, Strickland.

        • Efrain

          I agree that if the Pirates think they are not set to compete for a serous within 3 years then yes it behooves them to make a deal as Cutch is not getting younger. The progress of Meadows will puch the decision.

          IF they think they can compete in the next three years, then they may decide to roll the dice and keep him.

          I still want to keep Arroyo. At least till we know what Cueto will do.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            It’s a tough call playing in the same Div as the Cubs – of course Cards are always in the thick too. Brewers have been loading up their farm system. Reds are pretty bad.

          • Keep’n It Real

            Supposedly the Cardinals are about to get a Dodgers-sized TV contract and the Cubs have all sorts of new revenue from their ballpark, etc. What this means is the Pirates, Reds, and Brewers are looking up a very tall hill to climb (without $$$) and they’re only hope to eventually compete is to trade assets (with no mid-to-long term controllability) and build a young team. McCutcheon has this upcoming season and the following season on his contract, then he’s a FA. The more a desired team has him locked in (which would be only 2 seasons), the more value McCutcheon has for the Pirates. If they wait until 2018, teams are going to look at him as a rental.

        • Doughnut

          If I am the Giants I do that in a second.

        • paul in p.v.

          No Arroyo. Too much.

  • crawnik

    Here’s a story on a pitcher the Giants could use, and was left unprotected. ‘San Francisco Giants Should Nab Bullpen’s Sherriff’ via @fansided

    http://aroundthefoghorn.com/2016/11/19/san-francisco-giants-nab-bullpen-sherriff/

  • dgg

    As paul noted, Grant Brisbee wrote a story in favor of Melancon for the Giants. Brisbee talks about contract and salary and no draft pick and how Mark is an elite consistent closer and what a good fit. That’s great and all but the Giants are up against the strong pull of home. Mark Melancon is a Rocky Mountain guy from Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Which is about 5 miles west of Denver.

    • Matthew

      Wellllll, any pitcher who thinks statistics help legacy will avoid that, regardless of the pull

      • Keep’n It Real

        Here, here!!!