Ode to Gregor Blanco

Greek Giant

They called you the white shark…

Gregor Blanco has been in the news recently for his so-called “Goodbye” video thanking Giants fans and showing highlights from his career in San Francisco. I’ve always loved Gregor for his scintillating defense in the outfield and his ability to seamlessly play when and where the Giants needed him. I am not saying this is an official goodbye however. It may the Giants will find a way to bring him back though it seems unlikely. I want to dedicate this post to my favorite things Blanco.

The Catch that Saved Matt Cain’s Perfecto

The Home Run in the 2014 World Series

The Bunt in the 2012 World Series

By all accounts the 32 year-old Venezuelan was a stellar person and a gamer. You never heard a bad word uttered about him. He played hard, played injured and was a very valuable player for the Giants in two championship seasons and beyond. I loved his speed and I loved how he could rarely lay off the high fastball, fancying himself a power hitter. He likely will find a home with another team that values outfield defense and a veteran presence on the bench (Mets? Mariners? Yankees?).

For a former journeyman outfielder to end up being the starting center fielder for a World Series-winning team is a remarkable achievement.

He was not just a good Giant, he was, and still may be, a Great Giant. Gregor Blanco is beloved by fans and players alike for his commitment to winning and his ability to cheer on his teammates and be ready at a moment’s notice for pinch-hitting duties, a spot start or a defensive replacement gig.

If he played his last game as a Giant I will miss him and wish him well always.

  • Matthew

    There is a community of us that have loved this guy through it all….I find Gregor to be a model player/ person in so many ways. He’s humble. He has perspective. He is always honored by the fact that he us a major league ball player.

    So many great memories. Great, great Giant. Better human being.

    • vixenflem

      Well said Matthew. He has definitely been one of my favs. I also just like saying his name.

    • paul in p.v.

      Also, he loved loved being a Giant, and repeatedly said so.

    • Keep’n It Real

      I had such a gut feeling that he was going to come through again in a LDS Game #5 and onward…while Pagan isn’t in LF (for whatever reason). F-in bullpen. Would’ve been nice to add a new highlight to the many on GG’s post.

  • channelclemente

    Blanco is a Giants symbol. I’ve tried to sort through what causes his ups and downs over the years, but not so much as criticism as trying to understand his value, and what causes the ebb and flow of his skill set. Just a great Giant. Mike just loves him. 😉

  • I pose a question to all. IMO NO as in none – LAD’s will end up in a Giants uniform next year, but I can’t say the same in reverse. That said, without getting goopy about it, which Giants could you see landing in SoCal with them Bums? Rank them one through five.

    My pick may be Romo because Brawley’s only maybe three hours from the Latrine.

    1) Romo 2) Gregor 3) Santiago 4) Javi 5) Angel Baby

    * Gregor
    * Javi
    * Santiago
    * Angel
    * Romo

    • channelclemente


      • THAT is a huge home park for Pagan to cover ground in. I will over night you a rib eye if that happens.

        • channelclemente

          He hits LHP. Kendricks isn’t a real choice in LF.

          • Keep’n It Real

            He might be playing 3rd, if the PED leprechaun leaves…

          • channelclemente

            I don’t there is any reason for him to stay, personally. I’d ditch that PED nonsense unless you have real proof.

          • Keep’n It Real

            I have no issue using it. Look at his stats. Magically he goes to LA and becomes this power hitter. There’s enough past examples of this happening that can be directly attributed to PEDs.

          • Eric Ritz

            All of the actual parts of his game that he says he changed, match up to specific results. Things with his approach that he says the Mets didn’t want him to change. Of course, he also says he got tips from Marlon Byrd, which…

          • Keep’n It Real

            I obviously have no proof, but he’s a Dodger…the stats raise an eyebrow…and he’s a Dodger 🙂

          • Agreed about Howie as a converted IF but I think Pagan will soon be in the American League … maybe as an Astro.

      • Keep’n It Real

        Nope. They already have too many OFers.

    • Matthew

      Charlie Culberson

    • paul in p.v.

      I’m afraid it will be Romo. He’s still relatively young.

    • Alvise Contarini

      I hope it’ll be Santiago, but I’m afraid that the Bums aren’t so silly to swallow the bait.

  • The Oracle

    Why politics is as phony as it gets, reason number 1,076,023…many are pointing to Trump’s statements about, and conduct with, women as reasons why he is unfit to be President, and rightfully so. Many of those same people had much different thoughts when the same type of allegations were made about Bill Clinton.

    • RobDeer

      Feel better?

    • I use a cold wash rag for my head when I feel this way.

      Slick Willie had the sense to not make other on the record statements. His trysts were well known, same as Jack Kennedy and his brothers.

    • Eric Ritz

      Who is listing ONLY his conduct with women as a reason he’s unfit to be President? It’s one of many things that make him unfit. However, his conduct with women makes him unfit to be a human.

      • The Oracle

        Where did I say that’s the only reason? The point was about hypocrisy. Similarly, one side is outraged that stolen emails are being used against them, but would they hesitate for even a second before using stolen emails that helped them?

        • RobDeer

          You sound like a child who just discovered a stove can burn.

        • channelclemente

          I think the issue is who stole them.

    • channelclemente

      What office is Bill running for again?

      • Keep’n It Real

        First Lady

        • channelclemente

          That’s funny?

          • Matthew

            Kinda…no? It’s a joke.

          • Keep’n It Real

            I thought it was.

    • Matthew

      I don’t think this is a Trump friendly zone. Nor do I think it’s an Anti-Hillary friendly zone. The last time I tried to tell Greek to keep politics off here, it escalated into Chef telling me “fuck you” from a pretty soft complaint on my side. So, I just think that we are best served to stay away from the circus freak show of this election.

      • The Oracle

        As you know, I really don’t care if people disagree. I’m not voting for either.

        • Matthew

          Nor am I…I’m just a little shocked at the level of vitriol by folks here regarding what I mentioned above. Eek.

          • The Oracle

            I welcome all insults.

          • That is what the Ex Mrs Oracle told Sean Pritchard.

          • Alvise Contarini

            Who is that Sean Pritchard ?

        • Did you endorse SJPOA Pres. Paul Kelly – back in the day?

          • The Oracle

            You’re a strange guy. Are you making a scrapbook about me?

          • No actually – the so called scrap book was given to me by one of your ‘other’ fans so all I have to do is turn the page for that particular day in the life of…

      • dgg

        I agree, Matthew. We need to stay away from talking about this election. It’s exhausting enough. We need the respite.

    • channelclemente

      Funny, 3rd party candidates.


    • Moooooooooose

      And vice versa. Those who pointed to Clinton for that reason are making excuses for Trump. Not to mention that if anyone at any time thought Trump might have been fit for the Presidency should have their head examined.

  • paul in p.v.

    LOVE this post GG. :o)

    • 610nm

      Almost as much as I love Blanco!

  • John Myhill

    Great team player, loved being a giant, wore his heart on his sleeve. Sad to see him go.

  • RobDeer

    The bunt highlight above by Blanco loaded the bases with nobody out in the 7th of that scoreless Game Two. Trying to recall what ensued. I feel like it was a couple of run scoring groundouts.

  • Ode to the 1964 Phillies. Even Dick Allen speaks at 4:18. Skipper Mauch starts pitching his two aces on two days rest. Onn Monday, September 21, 1964, the Phillies were at 90-60 and had a seemingly insurmountable 6½-game league lead with 12 games to play.


    A back breaker of a play was when the Reds had Frank Robinson at the plate – who was hitting .306 with 27 home runs. With two outs and twp STRIKES – Robinson needed a base hit to put the Reds ahead.

    Chico Ruiz had other ideas in the 6th inning of a scoreless game.

    As Mahaffey went into his windup against Robinson, Ruiz broke for home. From the moment Ruiz took off with his team’s best hitter at the plate, the Phillies were never the same. Mahaffey threw a wild pitch, Ruiz scored, and the Reds won 1-0. Ray Kelly of the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin wrote, “It’s one of those things that simply isn’t done. Nobody tries to steal home with a slugging great like Frank Robinson at the plate. Not in the sixth inning of a scoreless game.”

    Pitcher Art Mahaffey was incredulous. Years later, he would say “Chico Ruiz stole home with two outs and two strikes on Frank Robinson.

    Now you must realize that with two outs and two strikes, if you throw a strike Frank Robinson swings and knocks Chico Ruiz’s head off. It was just so stupid. Ruiz wasn’t even thinking. Robinson was so upset because he was one of the league’s leading hitters and near the lead in RBI and this guy’s stealing home with him hitting. It was just such a crazy thing. We didn’t know it was going to start a 10-game losing streak, but it couldn’t have started in more ridiculous way.”

    After the game, Phillies manager Mauch had the last word (or words): “Chico %$#@! Ruiz beats us on a bonehead play of the year. Chico %$#@! Ruiz steals home with Frank Robinson up! Can you believe it?”

  • just peachy.

    He also has a twin named Gregory and a younger brother named Gregsman.

  • Blanco’s Journey made everybody’s perfectly clean room “get a little dusty” at times

    Perfect game catch and people surmising about his Giants future at the end of 2012

    Blanco Confident – Grateful to teammates 10/17/12
    Announcers call Blanco “Melky” …

    Blanco 10/24/12

    Baseball Reference box score – Game three in Detroit. Blanco left field line foul off of Peralta in Bottom of the 9th

    10/22/12 vs. Cardinals

    One of MY favorites 10/27/12 – Several announcers. Buck – Jon Miller and Krukow and Detroits guys

    10/28/12 Peralta hits ball to warning track

    10/28/12 Blancos post game chat after hitting triple

    THE PRESS DEMOCRAT October 25, 2012
    Look for the photos of Scutaro and see what a ‘hamburger’ aka funny guy – he was


    The White Shark Blog covered by 616nm below

  • Klay Thompson with the pretty jump-shot – yes prettier than Steph’s – speaks out


  • Matthew

    Gotta admit…I’m getting really geeked up for Your….Golden…State….Warriorrrrrs.

    Obviously, the best Big 4 in the league.

    Obviously, we have the Draymong Situation….two things that can help that: 1) Coach Mike Brown ( he will be an upgrade in the Tough Love Mentor over Luke) , and 2) JeVale McGee , as he will take a role that helps enforce to take that responsibility off Dray

    Last exhibition against Dame Lillard and the Blazers tonight….

    • RobDeer

      I think the Green situation is totally overblown. I know he has his detractors and has done some less than intelligent things but he’s a team player and a winner.

      • The Oracle

        Getting suspended during the finals is fairly significant.

        • RobDeer

          Doesn’t change what I just said.

        • Matthew

          Well, that could be discussed for years. I know what he did. I know what Silver did.

          Silver won. The league won.

          • dgg

            We know what LeBron did too.

        • But But But – it is OVER with

        • 2holehitting

          That was a petty suspension that should never have happened. It was an after the fact by the league in order to create extend the series. That upgrade was on a love tap and nothing more than what goes on every game and never gets called. Sure Green set himself up for that by his actions all season but it still was the choice of the league.

          Time will tell if Green is more Aldon Smith or Mother Teresa

      • dgg

        Steve Kerr on the ESPN story on Draymond: “It’s kinda old news for us. It’s all stuff that’s kinda already happened. We’re the Super Villains now, so there’s going to be a lot more stories coming out. Stuff we’ve already seen.”

        My interpretation: “We’re moving on.”

        • Keep’n It Real

          What cracks me up is these sports people that pose the question, “Can the Warriors handle being the villains? and will it be too much?”

          Uh…these guys went to break the total wins record last season and EVERY TEAM (and fans) gave them their A-Game, because they wanted to beat them. They were alreay villains in the eyes of many.

    • The Oracle

      Green is the only person who can reign in Green.

      • Keep’n It Real

        His Mom

      • I know you are the Oracle but where is the empirical evidence?

        I think Tom Rizzo and DG have spoken and that TR has made a difference.

    • I am geeked up for that average looking side line reporter that Kerr ‘took a glance at’


    • channelclemente
  • dgg

    I wish Gregor well always too.

  • dgg

    GG, would it be possible for you to interview Chris Stratton?

    • Amen – or Chris Heston – or – (half retired) Clubhouse Man Extraordinaire Mike ‘Miguel’ Murphy

    • Efrain

      who cares about Stratton?

      • Alvise Contarini

        Someone more (infinitely) polite than a Flatbush Nuts.

      • dgg

        I’m interested in Chris Stratton. I’m not the only one. I’ll quote two others for your perusal.

        Scout Finch Baseball (aka Foothills Ryan) a day ago:
        “#3 Chris Stratton – don’t forget about this guy. He’s right up there with his buddies, Blackburn and Blach.”

        Dr.Lefty responds a day ago:
        “I was just about to say don’t forget about Stratton. He quietly had a very nice year, especially after he returned to the River Cats after being with the Giants for a month or so. Our last River Cats game this year was a Stratton start, and he was dealing–7 shutout innings, very dominant.”

      • dgg is interested. Take an east coast chill pill or run a 10K


  • Kermit hits a home run

    “Congratulations to the three time defending NL West champion Dodgers. Those are probably some really cool trophies.”


    • Edward_Fortyhands

      Funny, but they are actually four time defending Divisional champs. Still unhappy about that.

  • A great baseball guy I know said this about Lester:
    Jon Lester with a simple delivery. Very much like a revolving door. He rotates his body through a narrow doorway. http://m.mlb.com/video/v1208346683

  • Going all in on Power for 81 games won’t necessarily work for 81 games at Willie Mays Field


  • 2009 the 6′ 5″ and most likely 205 lbs Kenley Geronimo Jansen from Willemstad, Curaçao and catching for the TEAM Netherlands. He goes 220+++ now as a closer.

    The best part of this throw is how clean his transfer is from glove to hand for the throw.


  • Edward_Fortyhands

    The thing I will always remember about Blanco is how he stepped up for Pagan in the 2014 playoffs. His OPS was a shadow of what it was in 2012, but he took on the task at leadoff with a lot of panache and his production numbers were about the same as it had been the previous time. Altogether a great effort.

    • totalfan62

      Stepped in for the suspended Melky in 2012 as well.

      Gregor was indeed a GREAT Giant. Not as much for statistics and such, but his spirit and team-first approach to the game was a major asset for our Giants. If he is gone, I will truly miss him. A lot.

  • channelclemente
    • Scout Finch Baseball

      5 first basemen. How about that?

  • Hoona

    Many of the pending FAs on the Giants deserved a better send-off. Blanco was one of them. Thanks Gregor, you were a frustrating player to watch at times but stepped up and met the challenges head-on when called upon. I respect that.

  • paul in p.v.

    Brisbee, with some hot-stove chismé on Tigers’ potential trade-bait:


    I’ll wait for the verdict from the Scout.

    • Matthew

      Put me in the “Ughh, Nope” column. Don’t need Zimmerman, and Martinez is the worst hack I’ve seen in a while on the field

      • earlytimes

        I like Brisbee a lot but yeah, Ugh? Weak.

    • crawnik

      I like J.D. Martinez…maybe 4 years ago would’ve been good.

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      Thanks for the link. Yeah, gotta say I’m with Brisbee that Martinez is the only appealing potential option – even with the reputation to clank in LF. Martinez represents exactly the kind of bat the Giants need in LF. He would be more like having Justin Turner in the lineup, batting 3rd or 4th, rather than Mac or Park batting 6th/7th.

      Chances of rain by next weekend in the valley are probably greater however.

  • I like Freddy Gonzales. It’s to bad he’s dealt a crappy team then has to take the fall. He’ll land on a good team and be a great asset as an asst. coach. Giants are looking for a couple of guys right now.

    • And he had MLB experience as a third base coach.

      • Matthew

        So does Roberto Kelly!

    • Most likely promote Decker and Jose Alguacil aka Augie and then look for coaches to replace those two.

  • Cal vs Oregon

    Over/under is 89.5. That’s crazy. Highest O/U ever for NCAAF?

    • Moooooooooose

      77 with 5:35 left!

      • Moooooooooose

        91 in OT

        • Moooooooooose

          98!! Who’s got the over??!!

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    Okay, here it is, I didn’t want to put too much work into this, but I spent some time using shortcuts where possible, but I wanted to review the work of my “friend” in the prospect industry, John Sickels. He’s my guy, he’s intelligent, doesn’t have an agenda or inherent bias – in fact he routinely likes Giants prospects and tends to overank some of them (such as Susac, Crick, Blackburn – but that happens!). He’s not perfect, his list at this season’s end for top 100 misses the boat on Tyler Beede and overranks Phil Bickford by probably a long shot, IMO.

    At any rate, I wanted to go back to his 2014 prospect list and evaluate his list across 5 grade categories that stretch across the Top 150 prospects rated at the beginning of the season. It has been 3 full seasons since publication and I did a quick assessment tallying the number of prospects who now qualify as quality major league players, that likely have 25 man roster spots, and players that have star caliber talents. Some of the younger prospects are still prospects. I also subtracted the number of mlb players and still top prospects from the N from each category to estimate the rate of “busts”.

    The grade categories are A, A-, B+, B, and B-. You can find the grades next the players name if you follow the link. I did not strictly follow the grade after the name but rather assumed the grade that fits with others in the sequence. My determination of mlb caliber or mlb star may not be in accordance with all views. The prospect status of some is in question. In other words, this is not a perfect assessment, but rather a shorthand look at how a prospect ranking succeeds and fails in predicting the relative success of prospects.

    These are the results of my non-scientific foray.

    Quality MLB:
    A A- B+ B B-
    0.786 0.818 0.364 0.200 0.227

    Star MLB:
    A A- B+ B B-
    0.714 0.455 0.164 0.000 0.045

    A A- B+ B B-
    0.000 0.091 0.436 0.640 0.682

    As you can see, the rate for relative accurate prediction greatly decreases as the caliber of prospect grade decreases. Conversely, the rate for “busts” increases. I hope you enjoy this more than the “attack of the sarcasm” Have a nice day, gotta go in and get some work done at the lab and pick up some lick tubs for the cattle. Mooooooooo.



    • dgg

      It’s a Saturday and you have to go in to work? Yeah, okay, I understand. I worked tons of Saturdays.

    • DrLefty

      It seems fair to say that the very top prospects on anyone’s lists are probably going to be stars. The 1-2 guys on the 2011 list were Trout and Harper. It didn’t take a genius to pick Posey or Bryant as a future star.

      But how predictive IS even the top of the list? I looked at the Baseball America Top 100 list from 2007-2016. (I like Sickels, too, but the way he categorizes things is a little harder to parse through for this exercise). I grouped the top 10 from each year into three categories: Stars, Good, and Nothing Special/Bust (NSB). Examples of Stars include Kershaw, Bryant, Price, Bumgarner, Posey, etc. Examples of Good include Alex Gordon, Longoria, Heyward, Wil Myers, etc. Examples of NSB include Cameron Maybin (on the top 10 list three years in a row) and Jesus Montero. Boy did those scouts love Cameron Maybin, but I’d say “Nothing Special” is a fair assessment.

      It was an interesting exercise because depending upon the era, it was hard sometimes to know where to put a player. For example, Shelby Miller appeared in the top 10 a couple times. If I’d been doing this two years ago, I would have at least put him in the “Good” list. Right now, though, he’s NSB. Justin Upton would have been in the “Star” list after the 2011 season, but now I put him as “Good” (and arguably he’s on the borderline to NSB).

      So some of the players didn’t stand the test of time (like Upton and maybe Longoria, who I have as “Good” but not “Star”). For 2014-on, it’s really too soon to say how they’ll look in five years even if they seem like stars now (remember Longoria and J. Upton). So the sweet spot for me was around 2010-13 to seeing predictive values.

      So my overall results: I’d say 40-50% fall into the NSB category. Maybe 20-30% (tops) fall into the Star category. The rest are Good. So being in the top 10 on a prospect list means you have a good chance of being at least Good (or Nothing Special but still a major leaguer). But it doesn’t guarantee stardom.

      2007-09: A. Miller, Kershaw, Price, Bumgarner
      2010-13: Strasburg, Stanton, Posey, Harper, Trout, Chapman, Darvish(?)
      2014-16: Correa, Bryant, Seager, J. Fernandez, Lindor

      (There are a lot of guys on the 2014-16 list that are just too soon to tell about, I think. Baez? Bogaerts? Maybe stars, Maybe (very) good–we’ll see.)

      It was sad to see three names on those lists who have already passed away (Jose Fernandez, Oscar Taveras, Tommy Hanson).

      • Efrain

        Doing great work on the research there btw.

        All this should concern Giants fans because of the state of the system and lack of top level talent. This team’s window for winning is getting shorter since the core of the team is aging. The team has won on young home grown stars, but where are the young stars going to come from to help Posey and Crawford and even Belt as they mature? That is why our bench and OF is so weak year in and year out. Where is our next Bryant going to come from?

        I know all of you love the Duffy and Kelby types, but those type of players are not what you build a team around, they are meant to compliment a solid core, which the Giants have had during their recent championship run. But as that core weakens due to injuries and age, the supporting core needs to be replenished somehow.

        I always bring up the Yankees because I moved to NY in the late 90’s and got to see way too many parades for a lifelong Yankee hater (although I did grow up idolizing Munson and he was a reason I was catcher). The fans took it for granted that they would never fail because they always believed that right behind their core of Posada, Jeter, Pettite, Rivera there were young stars that were going to come out of the system. The Yankees had a highly rated system at one point, but look what happened since they last won a WS ring. The system ran dry.

        I’ve mentioned on the blog a few times a conversation with a good friend, who adores the Yankees, right after 2009, where he went on and on about the Yankee future and I rained on his parade (literally) by going over the state of the system and basically asking where the future Yankee stars where going to come from because I never thought much of guys like Garner (he was basically the Giants Nate). Nice guy, nice player, but tell me is he what you build a team around? My buddy said, “no worries, then we’ll just keep buying the best players!”. So tell me how that’s worked out for them since 2009.

        Only this past season that the Yankees conducted their fire sale has the system been considered an improvement by baseball people (fans and local media have talked up the system for all the bleak years, sound familer? LOL).

        So again I say that where are the young stars that will both back up or eventually replace Posey, Crawford, Panik, Bum, Belt, etc? Are you so sure they are presently in the system.

        Your research seems to substantiate my thoughts. The Giants system need some fixing and quick.

    • Fabulous piece. Move it to the new post

  • PerSpeier35

    Yesterday’s geography lesson courtesy of Lo Neal. Arguing (tongue in cheek I assume) that Raiders should move to Fresno. “It’s perfectly located, 300 miles south of Los Angeles and 300 miles north of San Francisco.” His co-hosts let it slide, pretty darn funny though.

  • Sgbssfg

    GG, Just want to add my 2 cents. Gregor is also one of my favorite Giants. He has been loyal, humble and a great teammate. His performances in the 2012 and 2014 postseason showed his value. If he has to go, I hope it is because Mac, Jarrett and Gorkys represent a youth movement and shine in spring training.

  • Anti-Lasorda

    I love Gregor and could still see a reunion, but I don’t know how you don’t mention the bottom of the ninth of game 7 in KC… luckily for all of us Madbum made that a footnote.