What Do the Justin Ruggiano and Michael Morse Signings Mean for the Giants?

by
Greek Giant

With the news that the Giants signed Michael Morse and Justin Ruggiano to Minor League deals it’s time to examine the potential upside of these acquisitions. A guy can dream can’t he?

We all know the Michael Morse feel-good story: big-time injury-prone slugger hits game-tying homer in bottom of the 8th in pennant-winning game at Willie Mays Field in his only pinch-hit appearance to propel the Giants to their third World Series in 5 years… I may have broken the National League record for hyphens in that last sentence… Michael Morse is likely done as a Major League player but signing him serves two purposes: to provide the Giants with right-handed power insurance in the outfield or off the bench and to give the TWG and Giants nation group something to fantasize about as we reminisce of better days….

 

The Justin Ruggiano acquisition is the one that intrigues me most. Ruggiano is a talented player who has shown signs of being a legitimate every day power threat in the outfield. But, like the case with Michael Morse, his career has been derailed by injuries, very serious injuries that have limited his career to less than 70 games in the past two years. He has also been acquired by no less than 5 teams in six separate transactions during that span!

We all know what Bobby Evans is thinking: high upside, hoping for lightning in a bottle from a talented player who can somehow stay health at very minimum risk…

These are typical Giants moves: think big, hedge your bets, and hope the magic of San Francisco gives a veteran player one more season of glory (Cody Ross, Aubrey Huff, Pat Burrell, etc.). They make good business and baseball sense and the Giants can afford to roll the dice on these types of players since their upside fits the Giants needs.

  • Walter Guest

    I wonder how our guys in the minors look at all these AAAA players getting hired. Unless some are released after spring training, there’s a lot of blockage at Sacramento.

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      gonna back it up to Richmond and on down the line to San Jose. Somebody call Roto-Rooter!

  • DrLefty

    Buster Olney’s ($) column today is about how the Chris Sale trade has ruined the market for starting pitcher trades. The Rays and the White Sox (Quintana) have good pitching to trade, and there are teams that want pitching, of course, but the CWS got such a haul for Sale (and rightfully so) that it’s reset the market expectations beyond what most teams can or will do. Plus Quintana is under team control for four more years and there’s not much urgency to move the Rays’ pitchers, either.

    This made me think again about what a great job (at least so far) Evans did by getting Matt Moore on August 1. Time will tell if this was a good trade or an awful one, but on short-term returns, it’s a slam-dunk home run (see how I mix sports metaphors?) for the Giants. We all love Duffy, but he had season-ending surgery after playing only a few weeks for the Rays, and the two minor leaguers were both shut down for the season with their injuries. Meanwhile, Moore so far looks like a total stud who’s going to be a great add to the rotation for the next three years (with the obvious caveat about the post-TJ risks).

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      Evans did grrrrrrrrreat. Nicely by Will Smith also given the price tag that experienced late inning lefties come with these days (see Brett Cecil).

      • DrLefty

        Yes, in Alex’s recently posted podcast with Sabean, he was talking very enthusiastically about Will Smith. I think he agrees with Evans that Smith can/should be a huge contributor to that bullpen for the next few years. Hope the skipper gets the memo.

        Smith did not come cheaply, but with Bickford’s second-half regression and now his pot suspension, that deal is looking better and better.

      • channelclemente

        IMO, Wil Smith is a mirage.

        • Scout Finch Baseball

          That would be unfortunate. He’s a big fellah, injury could bite him before you can say “cartilage”.

        • earlytimes

          93K’s in 63 innings in 2015 I’ll take that mirage…

          • channelclemente

            That doesn’t make him generally useful. He’s a spear you have to point carefully. That’s why he was a ‘bum’ in Milwaukee and OK here, IMO.

          • The Oracle

            He was never a bum in Milwaukee. You’re not even making any sense.

        • How so?

          • channelclemente

            Look at his game by game performance, and xFIP change. His numbers, I believe, are engineered by how he was used and who he was used against, not any natural talent. He’s been tailored and not discovered. He started in Giants uniform with a 10+ ERA.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            Personally, I think he’s got some natural talents and has an innate ability to win battles on the hill. Geronimo!

          • channelclemente

            But that’s what you want to believe, not what the data says, or implies is a more parsimonious conclusion.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            Chances are plenty good that he’ll be the Giants best LH relief option this year. Getting RHH hitters out, like Affeldt was wont to do, will be nice bonus.

          • Peter Johnson

            Your buddy the biggest Bochy fan boy of all time, did not mention Smith was coming of an injury, so had a slow start with the Giants, but when 100% healthy at the end of the year was lights out .

          • channelclemente

            Why in heavens name wouldn’t everybody be a fan of a manager who brought 3 WS to a fanbase that hadn’t seen one in decades. You guys must just hate your Dads. Bochy is a baseball genius, IMO, you my man, are not.

          • Peter Johnson

            So the players did nothing, it was all Bochy, give Bochy the best bullpen in Baseball and he is great, but if he has to think a little he has no chance !

          • channelclemente

            Give… interesting idea, LOL.

          • John Myhill

            I don’t think that’s quite right. He can think a little but he was way over his head last season. There’s no denying he was in a difficult situation, but there’s also no denying that he made a mess of it.

          • Moooooooooose

            As Clutch would say, two opposite things can be equally wrong! Clemente wants to use a small sample size (ironically) to make his point, and PJ wants to say the Giants had the best bullpen in baseball while simultaneously calling for each member of the core four to be released dozens of times over the years.

          • The Oracle

            Agreed. Having Casilla face Jake Lamb? Sheer genius. Incredibly brilliant. So smart that mere mortals, who viewed it as incredibly dumb, just can’t understand it.

          • John Myhill

            I’ve argued this with you by going through literally every batter he faced in the last 6 weeks of the season when he gave up no runs and very few hits, and when I did it you just shut up. He faced plenty of great hitters.

          • channelclemente

            That’s your opinion. It’s not a question of ‘great’, just hitters with skill sets he was able to manage.

          • John Myhill

            We had this argument, I literally listed all the batters he faced the last 6 weeks, every single one of them, it was totally obvious that he was facing some really good batters, and you just didn’t answer because you had nothing to say. I’m not going to waste my time doing this again.

          • channelclemente

            Thank you. Really good, simply means that he was managed within his abilities, and probably coached to his strengths.

          • John Myhill

            Okay, I’ll waste a little time. You can get the data here: http://www.espn.com/mlb/player/gamelog/_/id/31549/will-smith

            press the score of each game, then press play-to-play, and find the inning he pitched.

            Here are the first few games to get you started:
            August 20 vs. Mets–d/Arnaud, Ruggiano, Bruce, Reyes
            August 23 vs. Dodgers–Seager, Turner, Gonzalez, Grandal
            August 24 vs. Dodgers–Grandal, Reddick, Pederson
            August 27 vs. Braves–Freeman, Kemp, Markakis
            August 29 vs. Braves–Inciarte, Garcia, Freeman, Kemp
            Sept. 1 vs. Cubs–Rizzo, Zobrist, Heyward
            Sept. 3 vs. Cubs–Coghlan, Heyward, Rizzo

            These are pretty good hitters to be able to plow through with no runs and few hits, no?

          • channelclemente

            Some are, some aren’t, some used to be. He had to pitch better, given his performance with the Brewers, but the point is he was put in situations where he could succeed. I didn’t look at everyone, but most of those guys haven’t seen Smith many times. Three notable exceptions were Rizzo, Seager, and Heyward. Out of those Heyward struggles with him. Seager and Rizzo hit him pretty well. One very big thing Smith was asked to do, and did, was stop throwing his change after he came here. That was the pitch Rizzo hit well historically. That explains Rizzo to a degree. My point I think still is patent. He was managed into a substantial improvement in his numbers by the choice of his opposition, and pitch offerings. I suspect his confidence increased as well, and that helps. I don’t think he’s a bad pitcher, just not an extraordinary one.

          • John Myhill

            Oh come on, he’s a 27-year-old reliever, no one’s seen him very much. There was no tendency at all for him to face hitters who had faced him less. Of the 6 ABs against the Cubs, 4 were against the 2 who have the MOST career ABs against him. Of the 7 ABs against the Cubs, 3 were against the two (Freeman and Markakis) who have the MOST career ABs against him. Of the 7 ABs against the Dodgers, 2 were against Grandal, who has the MOST career ABs against him, and 4 of the other 5 were against 4 of the 5 hitters with the next most career ABs against him.

          • The Oracle

            Just admit it. You are hopelessly, madly, head-over-heels in love with Bochy. Don’t be embarrassed. It’s great to be that passionate bout someone.

          • The Oracle

            Look at his performance from mid-August on.

      • John Myhill

        Smith was just awesome the last 6 weeks of the season. He didn’t give up a single hit off his fastball or curve.

        • Scout Finch Baseball

          Sometimes hot, sometimes cold, hopefully a lot more hot’s than cold’s.

  • dgg

    Grant Brisbee talks about Morse and Ruggiano in terms of baseball moves, and Ruggiano comes out ahead in that department: “Ruggiano is a classic Giants bench signing, and if he can stay healthy, he can hit a lot more than a team should expect from a minor-league free agent.”

    Michael Morse rates higher in terms of nostalgia and intangibles. I wish one of our reporters would expound on what Hank first reported: Bobby Evans said that Morse called the Giants and asked for the contract. That sounds like an interesting backstory.

    • dgg

      Alex reported that a podcast interview with Morse during spring training is near the top of his list.

    • DrLefty

      When the Giants signed Morse for 2014, he was coming off an injury-marred year where he’d bounced around. He had a nice bounce-back year for them–not as impressive/healthy as a few years earlier with the Nats, but 16 HRs, a lot of big hits, and his postseason contributions really paid off for the Giants.

      I can see both from Morse’s perspective and the Giants’ why it’s worth it to take one more look and see if there’s anything left. He was happy here and was a great clubhouse guy, so why not?

      Objectively, it’s hard to see where he fits. He’s not really playable in the outfield. Conor Gillaspie has pretty much taken over the backup 1B slot (along with Buster, of course). DH/pinch-hitter, maybe, but that only works if the Giants actually go with a full five-man bench (which they absolutely SHOULD with an innings-eating rotation, a lockdown closer, and a much younger core in the bullpen–but the Matt Cain problem could mess that up).

      • DrLefty

        Possible bench, just for giggles:

        Brown (or other backup C), Ruggiano, Tomlinson, Gillaspie, Morse

        But that leaves no room for Parker or Adrianza (out of options)–meaning Mac/Kelby could get demoted or they lose JP and EA. And then there’s Jimmy Rollins, and I agree with those who see none chance that Rollins wants to be stashed in AAA for emergencies.

        • channelclemente

          Remember your suspicions?

          • DrLefty

            Yep.

          • channelclemente

            Someone(s) is being cued up for a contingency move. Options thinking, OK by me.

          • John Myhill

            Brisbee hints that Kelby may be on the trading block, he could well be right.

          • channelclemente

            I suspect ‘the deal(s)’ are a bit wider in conception than just one guy, but he may be a centerpiece.

          • paul in p.v.

            Uh – or the other one who’s name begins with Joe…

          • John Myhill

            I actually wouldn’t completely against that if they got a promising young outfielder. I’ve got confidence that KT can amount to something. But I find it hard to believe they’d trade Panik.

          • paul in p.v.

            Please not, baby Jeebus.

  • earlytimes

    I can sort of see the Ruggiano move as a backup but Morse? He can’t play the field…belongs in the AL IF he can still hit.

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    These minor league veteran signings could also spell ‘Merry F-ing X-mas’ to a couple of Giants fan favorites as well as the fans themselves. Mac and Tom could start season in AAA ! & Ty Blach too!

    C – Posey/Brown
    1B- Belt
    2B- Panik
    3B-Nunez/Gillaspie
    SS-Crawford
    MIF-Rollins

    RF-Pence
    CF-Span
    LF-Ruggiano/Parker
    OF-Hernandez

    (13)

    Bumgarner-Cueto-Moore-Samardzija-Cain

    Suarez-Kontos-Gearrin-Strickland-Smith-Law-Melancon (7)

    • PerSpeier35

      I think you are correct, it looks as though they are doing everything they can to assure that they don’t give any shots to younger players, even ones who have contributed in the past. Kind of depressing IMO.

      • dgg

        Quite discouraging actually. Makes you wonder what the Giants are up to. Too many vet signings, not enough available slots. I thought Evans wanted to give Mac and Parker regular playing time finally. Now Kelby seems lost in the shuffle, supplanted by Rollins. What for?

    • paul in p.v.

      I think you’re assuming a lot about Cain, Rollins and Ruggio – all injury-prone, over-the-hill, or both. S/T will tell, and may light a fire under Blach, KT and Mac.

  • PerSpeier35

    James doing a gymnastics routine while hanging on the rim in the late moments of a close and high profile game smacked of someone who knew he would not get t’d up no matter what he did. It was a pretty arrogant play on his part. Shame on the league for that one.

    • DrLefty

      I know he’s a great player, but I truly cannot stand him and look forward to him being out of the NBA.

      • Matthew

        It’s funny how the league has decided that he is the poster child, and gets the special treatment. There’s no doubt he’s as competitive and stubborn as they come….but not a very likable fellow. And, I know many will be upset by this – but – he’s not much beyond “freakishly strong” on the court.

        • Keep’n It Real

          Santa gave him some 3pt magic in yesterday’s game. I bet he hasn’t hit that many 3’s…all over the court…like that before.

        • channelclemente

          For better or worse, his peers (not fans) don’t see it that way.

    • Sgbssfg

      Just taking the high road.

    • Keep’n It Real

      I was mentioning that in my post earlier this morning (previous thread). It just wreaks NBA favoritism towards Lebron. In case last year’s finals wasn’t enough evidence…

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    Looks like Denard Span is posting videos for his #1 fan, Matthew. Maybe the next one in the series will show him doing some conditioning on his shoulder. No more spaghetti noodle from Span? At least he’s not coming back from hip surgery and has a full winter to get up to peak “old guy” performance levels.

    https://twitter.com/SFGiants/status/813431885158182912

    • Matthew

      Cuz there’s nothing quite like running on a treadmill that says “I can throw”!

      • He’s your ‘daddy’

        • Matthew

          His arm is my Granddaddy

          • hahahaha! Matthew strikes again!

          • where?

            Span is a good player

          • DrLefty

            …of what?

          • get used to it,,,,,

          • DrLefty

            Oh, I’m used to it. It’s not like we have any choice, considering how Bochy rolls. But I don’t have to like it.

          • Uncle Grady is your great grand pappy

    • dgg

      This video reminds me of the videos Sandoval’s brother used to post of Pablo’s workouts in the offseason. Underwhelming and unconvincing.

      • dgg

        Are other Giants posting videos on Instagram of their offseason workouts?

        • Scout Finch Baseball

          I hope there are. I hope they are “getting after it” as well.

        • DrLefty

          No, just the recently killed animals they’ve shot (Strickland).

  • DrLefty

    More Buster Olney on the possibly variable nature of pitch-framing stats. And does anyone think the names in the second paragraph might be Bruce Bochy, Tim Lincecum, and Buster Posey?

    β€’ The Tigers brought back Alex Avila, for $2 million. Avila had some of the worst pitch-framing numbers in the big leagues last season, but it’s worth mentioning again (and again) that a lot of that data seems dependent on the stuff of the pitcher. Last year, Avila caught 453 innings, and of those, 112 β…“ were working with Chris Sale, who could be almost as difficult to catch as he is to hit.

    At the winter meetings, a manager told an informative story about his frontline catcher: The team had a starting pitcher with a high-velocity but inconsistent fastball, and nasty off-speed stuff that he’d often bounce in the dirt. When the catcher was presented with an array of options to take a day off, he told the manager that he preferred an extra day off, whenever possible, after working with that particular starter, because of the physical abuse of constantly blocking pitches in the dirt or getting hit by ricochets.

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      Good nuggets right there. Thanks.

    • The Oracle

      All except for the “high velocity” part.

      • DrLefty

        Early on he had high velocity. He still had it in 2010 when he first started working with Buster. It was 2012, when Buster came back from the ankle injury, that Bochy routinely started putting the backup catcher with Timmy.

  • channelclemente

    A very interesting look at the somewhat unique advantages Melancon brings to the Giants. One of the key attributes a reliever/closer brings is the ability to get out opposite handed hitters, platoon splits as it were. Melancon leads the pack in that metric.

    https://i.imgur.com/MIZF2oY.png

    https://i.imgur.com/yCCq1K4.png

    Casilla wOBA is .315, without platoon advantage.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/trust-mark-melancon/

    • DrLefty

      There was a lot of concern about Romo’s inability to pitch to lefties, but over the last couple years, Casilla was worse. Derek Law was quite good vs LHH, though.

      • channelclemente

        The hopefully, rediscovered country for Law. I’d never thought too much about a reliever’s skill being so closely linked to his effectiveness against opposite hand pitchers. It changes everything about you set up the pitching rotation options in the last 2-3 innings of a game. Apparently, in the nuts and bolts analyst crowd, it supersedes even strikeouts among closers.

        • DrLefty

          It totally makes sense. A strikeout is still just an out. A two-pitch groundout or pop fly works, too.

        • John Myhill

          Last year really forced the Giants to come to grips with this. Casilla, Romo, Strickland, Kontos were significantly better against righties (wOBA .067, .037, .084, .036 lower), Lopez and Osich were significantly better against lefties (wOBA .124, .228 lower), this was part of the reason for Bochy’s radical switching. With Melancon, Smith, Gearrin, and Law, this will be much less of a problem this year.

          • channelclemente

            But it changes nothing about Smith’s skill set. As a closer, he was a bust because he had to take all comers, regardless. Now he’s OK, if he’s used wisely. I’ve never argued he wasn’t useful, rather unreasoned enthusiasm that he’s great is a little, no a lot, over the top.

          • John Myhill

            He strikes out a hell of a lot of batters and he was certainly great the last 6 weeks of the season.

          • channelclemente

            And he will fail a lot in games to come. You just enunciated the classic gambler fallacy.

    • John Myhill

      This was also a big point of getting Smith. One has the feeling that management is fed up with Bochy’s constantly switching pitchers and is getting him pitchers who won’t have to be pulled against particular batters.

      • channelclemente

        Management, actually you.

        • John Myhill

          And the pitchers.

          • channelclemente

            Romo? Casilla? It’s not that simple. But I don’t think I could stand in the way of your conclusion. Each to his own.

          • John Myhill

            Everyone thought Bochy switched much too much except Bochy and you.

          • channelclemente

            I think Bochy thought that too much switching was going on. But he thought that doing that was dictated by the skill sets of the bullpen arms he had, and the general unreliability and unpredictability of those arms. But, truth is, I never asked him. I’ve never been persuaded by ‘everyone thought’ unless the data backed it up. IMO, it doesn’t.

          • John Myhill

            I was actually a big proponent of the constant switching for some time, because it seemed to fit the abilities of the team. But the situation changed in September, after Casilla lost the closer job. Bochy kept making so many switches he just ran out of pitchers and had to use second line relievers in key situations, pitchers were coming in for one batter and walking them before they could settle down, and most importantly Smith, Gearrin, and Law were all pitching well with no lefty-righty splits, which changed the situation completely. The Sept. 13 loss to the Padres and the Sept. 17 loss to the Cardinals (when Romo laughed at Bochy when he got pulled) should have been the clinchers, I had changed my mind by then and I was certainly among the last holdouts. But Bochy kept messing around with Strickland and Romo as closers, exactly the two people who had a bad lefty-righty split, combined with constant lefty-righty switching of the others, even though most of them didn’t. It made absolutely no sense.

          • The Oracle

            You must’ve missed the last inning of the season. It was really something.

          • The Oracle

            And CU, who thinks that all coaches and scouts took a vote and come up with the plan together.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            Hey, put me on that list that believes Bochy doesn’t fly by the seat of his pants, rather executes plans that have been deliberated over with counsel.

          • The Oracle

            He’s in charge. He makes the final decision. All plans are his plan. He doesn’t get to escape responsibility because he talked it over with others before making his decision.

          • They do

          • John Myhill

            The one reliever they got at the trade deadline was Smith. The one reliever they’ve signed since then was Melancon. Neither of them have any lefty-righty difference. Now what do you think it shows that management chose to sign them? Is there any other interpretation than that they had enough of constant switching?

      • The Oracle

        But Bochy showed them that he’ll pull the pitchers anyway.

        • John Myhill

          Yes, that’s an excellent point, the situation was completely dysfunctional last year, management and Bochy were working at cross-purposes. Hopefully by not resigning Casilla, Romo, and Lopez (who had big platoon splits), and by getting Smith and Melancon and resigning Gearrin (who don’t), Bochy will get the message and cool it with the switching.

  • JoBu approves of the reununion and the JRugg pick up.

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      J-Rugg & J-Roll !

      Buddy cop, baseball movie coming to SF πŸ™‚

  • earlytimes

    G’s also have this guy battling for a role in ST…….http://aroundthefoghorn.com/2016/12/18/san-francisco-giants-intriguing-minor-league-signings/

    Bit of a logjam to get enough ab’s for all the OFer’s they will have in camp.

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      Rivercats could be a force in the PCL.

      • DrLefty

        Yay!!!!!

        πŸ‘πŸ»βšΎοΈπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ…πŸ†

      • earlytimes

        AARP will have their rep’s standing by..;)

        • DrLefty

          Raley Field=God’s waiting room

        • Free membership

  • John Myhill

    The way I see it, the Giants’ weaknesses last year were the same reasons they lost to the Cubs: They didn’t have a decent closer (so they lost game 4 and blew a 2-run lead in the 9th in game 9, although they did win the game), they couldn’t bit lefties (so they lost game 1 to Lester even though Cueto dominated the Cubs, and they only got 2 runs in game 2 because then got no runs (and only 1 hit) in 3.2 innings against the Cubs 3 left-handed relievers after they knocked Hendricks out), and Samardzija got knocked around in game 2 because he wouldn’t throw his curve the first time through the order. Other than that, the starters were quite good, the relievers were quite good as long as it wasn’t the 9th inning, and they hit the Cubs’ right-handed pitchers well. They fixed the closer problem and the rest of the bullpen looks very good as well and Samardzija should be more comfortable with the curve and use it the whole game–but hitting lefties is still the big problem. Maybe Ruggiano/Morse/Rollins are supposed to somehow help with this?

    • Peter Johnson

      I though the bullpen was great in game 3 vs the Cubs, when the Manager did not over manage the game, in game 4 the Manager wanted prove he was a genius and it cost the Giants the series. Ruggiano has been awesome vs Lefties his whole career .

      • John Myhill

        The bullpen was also great in game 2, they pitched 6 innings and gave up 1 run, 3 hits, and no walks. They were great the whole series except in the 9th innings.

        • Peter Johnson

          The Manager needs to be able to figure out a way to get 3 outs, and replacing a pitcher after 1 batter faced every time is not Ideal .

          • John Myhill

            Yep, that was the situation last year.

      • Bochy follwed the plan
        Pitchers did not execute
        SMITH. Pulled glove back on comebacker to the mound

        • John Myhill

          The problem was that the plan had failed countless times in the regular season so a resourceful manager would have come up with a different plan.

          • Three coaches concurred on the plan

          • John Myhill

            Well then they all failed.

          • That plan was red stamped by Gardy and Rags. Before each game and each series there is a Matrix with Plans ABCDEF.

            I am telling ya – it just did not work out. The guys who WE think should have been chosen to pitch – we don’t know if they would have shad the bed either. There is no way to know definitively.

        • John Myhill

          Smith did no such thing. The hit was to his left, he would have had to barehand it, it was a better bet to hope Panik would get it (he missed it by a foot). It’s at 2:22:16.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNHMEcCNTXw

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            Zo!

          • He was in poor ending pitchers fielding position but seems like they all are
            I thought he could have stabbed at it

          • John Myhill

            With his glove hand it would have be a wild stab. With his bare hand he wouldn’t have had to move but it was hard hit and it would have been a helluva play. Either way there’s a 90% chance he just deflects and there’s no chance to get another. Panik barely missed getting it, it was a much better bet. If Smith had his glove on his left hand you can say he had a good shot at it.

        • The Oracle

          Bochy followed the plan, which was his, and which was a dumb plan.

          • Bochy Raggs Gardys plan sucked after the fact

            * It sucked that that ladys car crossed the meridian at 228 am Christmas morning also killing herself and a 14 yr old. That was after her poor decision to D and D,

    • earlytimes

      The loss of Nunez didn’t help.

      • John Myhill

        You might think that but Gillaspie did go 6 for 13 in the series.

        • John Myhill

          But I still wouldn’t discount the loss of Nunez. Gillaspie was only 2-9 in the first 3 games and 1-5 in the first two games where the Giants got only 2 runs off of almost all left-handed pitching. Nunez might have done better against the lefties. But it’s also true that Nunez hit righties better last year.

          • earlytimes

            I was thinking just of game 1 but of course you’re right about CG.

          • John Myhill

            I agree. Especially because Nunez could take advantage of Lester’s trouble with baserunners. But even if Nunez was healthy and did something to win game 1, he presumably would have also started game 4 and they would have missed CG’s 4-for-4 which would have given them a win if the bullpen hadn’t melted down in the 9th.

      • Peter Johnson

        Yeah it did, his replacement was the best hitter in the post season for the Giants .

        • John Myhill

          Well, the second best after Panik.

          • Peter Johnson

            I am counting the Wild Card game as well .

  • DrLefty
  • DrLefty

    Boom. I predicted this. Those two errors changed the outcome of the game.

    https://twitter.com/chrisfedor/status/813507193970589697

    • Keep’n It Real

      I witnessed your call.

    • dgg

      I missed the foot-to-foot contact foul on Durant.

      • SurfCity

        Yeah, stepped on his foot and he went flying to the ground. Couldn’t do much else. Although he did put up a one-handed shot from flat on his back.

        • dgg

          Somehow I got caught up in what the Warriors didn’t do versus what the Cavs got away with.

        • Time to call time out?

    • SurfCity

      Yeah, that’s just par for the course with this favoritism. The corrections don’t hurt the Cavs. But in the finals, they overruled the decision on the court and gave Draymond a one-game suspension.

      Truth is though, Warriors should have won this game regardless. They made way too many turnovers.

      • SurfCity

        EDIT: “Truth is …” lol. Have no idea about Ruth!

        • Sgbssfg

          She probablly is, too.

          • SurfCity

            Well I wouldn’t want to speculate!

        • Doctor?

      • DrLefty

        Agreed. They coughed up a 14-point lead. Still, get those two calls right and the Warriors win a close one.

    • SurfCity

      That’s weired, I looked that the PDF from the NBA and it says it was a CNC (correct non-call) on Jeffreson fouling Durant. I wonder if that tweet is wrong

    • steve k

      you, and KIR were all over it. nice call doc. the last play of the game was the real joke. if it were a home game, durant would have been on the foul line. so, in other words, the outcome of the game was decided by the zebras. now this happens many 100’s of games a year, i would think. not necessarily the very last call, or no call, of the game, but a few important times a game where the refs make game deciding calls. it makes losses like yesterday very tough to take.

      of course if you didn’t play so sloppilly, up until the last minute, the non call at the end wouldn’t have mattered. when curry, who had his head up his butt all game, is leading a 3 on 1 fast break, you have to score or get fouled. as good as steph handles the ball? he’s got to stop playing to the crowd, and get back to playing good clean basketball. with the talent on this team, they should win every game, home or away, by twenty points.

      • Steph also had a late 2 on 1 and dribbled BELOW the foul line. That rule was taught in grammar school.

    • Efrain

      All this means nothing because the Warriors, as talented as they are, have been and may continue to be, are mentally weak. The Cavs showed that last season in the finals and yesterday.

      Blown calls happen everyday, and you know that. They put themselves in that situation to allow Lebron to bully them and the refs instead of dictating the pace and action.

      If yesterday had been the last game of the finals and the Cavs had won, no one cares if the NBA came out the next day and apologized for blown calls. You know why? Because they final score can’t be altered.

      So IF the Dubs are the team many of you, us, me think, unless they get mentally stronger and Curry starts taking charge, they will continue to be a very talented team that will continually be questioned for their intestinal and mental fortitude.

  • John Myhill

    The homer was great but the biggest hit Morse got was the series winner against the Royals off Kelvin Herrera. Check it out at 1:03:04. The huge smile with his tongue sticking out at 1:03:49-53 is my #1 memory of the 2014 playoff run. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJmwofDYOeo

    • dgg

      I agree, but nostalgia only goes so far.

      • Scout Finch Baseball
        • dgg

          Huh?

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            Remembrance of Things Past.

          • 610nm

            Humm Baby!

          • dgg

            Okay, Ryan. I collect baseball cards too.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            I got a Topps ’88 Will Clark in my stocking πŸ™‚

          • dgg

            Hey, that’s really cool!

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            and I like my new ranch boots. I should be out breaking them in right now, but there’s plenty more of that to come. Pretending there’s snow outside, the cold air helps.

          • 610nm

            I got a warm blankie with a big baseball (orange stitching) and the Giants logo above the baseball from Sis. Sad to say, she gave a Cubs championship book to Mom, who loved it, but I still wish that last inning had turned out different…

          • dgg

            We haven’t opened our Christmas presents yet. We have to wait until we can get over the mountain pass for our Christmas with the kids.

          • 610nm

            I hope Santa has gotten you something in black and orange too! Happy New Year, dgg!

          • dgg

            Happy New Year, 610nm!

          • SurfCity

            Try to resist editing Mom’s book.

          • I got a rootbeer float

        • JStreet

          Not huh, Hummm. Baby.

          • SurfCity

            Huhmm

    • paul in p.v.

      That was a nice antidote to a little bout of insomnia. Gracias!

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    Speaking of nostalgia, I thought this was a great piece. At the end, can also link to an article featuring Obama and Anthony Bourdain talking food back in September issue.

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/02/michelle-obama-and-us

  • dgg

    We had what my 5-year old grandson called “a snowstorm blizzard” over the weekend, with 4-6 inches of new snow here, and 7-1/2 inches in Missoula. The mountain passes sounded dicey at best. Stayed home and shoveled snow all weekend. Just finished up sweeping/shoveling the patio. All clear now.

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      With all the snow shoveling you do, your core muscles must be in very good shape! Denard Span probably has got nothin’ on your Instagram.

      • dgg

        Okay, Ryan, you made me laugh. On days when I shovel snow, I don’t do weights at the gym. The snow was especially wet and heavy today, which surprised me. It was light and fluffy coming down.

    • deeg you are in better shape than Hunter

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    Basketball. Referees. Bias. Too many plays with mustard and relish on them. It’s still the dead of winter in baseball country.

    • NBA will go to 4 referees

      • Scout Finch Baseball

        How many umpires would a fully automated baseball game have?

        • UMPS union will still want 4 on the field

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            Paul Ryan and The Donald will crush all Unions. Robots will rule after they throw the World Series, then overthrow the ruling class! Orwellian shit is is nothing compared to this Asimovian dystopia.

  • Lions or Cowboyz?

  • Surf Maui

    There is no Travis Ishikawa home run without Michael Morse. Just like in game 7 of the 1961 WS, everybody remembers the Bill Mazaroski game winner, but forgetys that with out the home run by long since forgotten Hal Smith in the 8th, Mazaroski is not the hero and almost certainly doesn’t make the HOF.
    So good luck MM.

    • SurfCity

      Very true. And no either of them without Joe Panik!
      All 6 runs scored on 3 homers.

    • totalfan62

      Actually it was 1960. Dick Groat, Pirates SS, was MVP that year.

      • Surf Maui

        My bad on the year. Dick Groat former Duke basketball great

  • Walter Guest

    I love these things. I tear up and don’t know why.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fj6r3-sQr58

    • John Victory Faust

      Thanks Walter. Those were great

  • Walter Guest

    Back in my twenties I studied voice at the S. F. Conservatory of Music, sang in the chorus of a light opera company while working during the day as a surveyor. I went to a house party one Christmas. Our entire light opera company was in attendance along with half the chorus of the S. F. Opera. Along about midnite they started singing. That is a memory I’ve treasured all my life. They sounded something like this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXh7JR9oKVE

  • In truth the Giants LF dilemma is all Melkys fault…….

    • Scout Finch Baseball
    • Efrain

      how is your brain is it Melky’s fault? It’s the ignorance of the Giants FO (and some racism underlying it) that Melky was not brought back.

      Take a look at Morse, a guy actually banned for steroids in his career. I don’t see the fanboys on the blog screaming about that. Funny how people for get about certain players. But Melky, the team wanted to hang him. Ask yourself if it the screaming to have his head had been so viscous if it had been someone like Pence.

      • there goes that race card again

        ALL lives matter

        • Efrain

          you know I’m right on this one, so you have no sharp retort.

          I saw Melky for years in NYC, he was a beloved teammate, always di what was asked, he succeeded in every stop along the way before the Giants AND after.

          He made a mistake, a dumb one, possibly for fear of retribution and I’m sure unsure of our legal system, maybe the language barrier, other things lead to the error in judgement.

          But he has always been a good teammate and kept his mouth quiet, known as an extremely shy guy.

          He should have been the Giants LF for a decade.

          The teammates and the FO should have shown more grace. I stand by my thinking that is he was white, the outcome would have been different.

          And I know your not dumb enough to see that.

          • John Victory Faust

            “And I know YOU’RE not dumb enough to see that.” The misuse of your/you’re, there/their/ they’re, to/too bugs the living shit out of me. Sorry. About Melky, I wonder if the ham-fisted cover-up attempt was the straw that broke the camel’s back? Also after all the innuendo and criticism the club endured from Bonds’ last years, there was no way they could bring back a caught user whether he be white, black, brown, yellow or red.

          • The Oracle

            Good point, because you’d have to be pretty dumb to see that. It’s not your fault the people here aren’t dumb enough to agree with you. With Cabrera, it was his actions with regard to his teammates, and they’re reaction to him leaving without saying a word, that sealed his fate in San Francisco.

      • Anti-Lasorda

        I don’t think it was race, it was the phony cover-up and lying to the front office about it. IIRC, Morse owned it and gave a Mea Culpa….

        Big difference.

        • PerSpeier35

          Also with Cabrera, he was new to the team that year and had not built up any loyalty with the brass or with the other players, I think that made it easier for the club to move on without feeling the need to give him another try. IIRC they did not cast off Mota when he was suspended, he had been around for several seasons.

        • Efrain

          That’s a load of shit and you know it.

          The Giants could have acted as the bigger person and worked with Melky to right the wrong. They would have had enough information to know that as an immigrant and not fully comfortable with the language he may have thought he would get in more trouble with the law than just MLB baseball, as was the case.

          The Giants talk big about being a family then that should include players that do not act and come from the same backgrounds as the likes as Posey and Bumgarner.

          The fans and the FO should not be hyprocrites when men like Marichal and Cepeda are part of the team’s folklore.

          I’m not absolving Melky of any blame and yes, what he did was dumb, but he did not hurt anyone not commit some horrific crime. He was misguided and perhaps felt he had no one to turn to and took bad advice.

          Still the team could have done more to have the team accept him back and could have set up an apology from Melky. I know enough that he was known on the Yankees as an extremely shy guy. as many Latino players are who do not feel comfortable with the language and the setting.

          Again, I stand that the Giants could have and should have done more.

          • Anti-Lasorda

            I think that changes when the players lies to your face when you ask him about it; say I dunno like washing your truck. When the club has the option to help you or hang you its willingness to do so may have something to do with how forthright you choose to be with them. The language barrier is a bullshit excuse and you know it. How many coaches and teammates spoke Spanish or were from Latin America? You think he couldn’t have gone to FatBoy or Lopez or Santi or Romo or Blanco or ……

            Fuck there were 10 Venezuelans on the roster then. Melky had a choice, with an organization that has a great track record with players and a strong Latin History….. And HE chose to lurk in the shadows, cower like a pussy and lie about it when he got caught. That’s on him, not the Giants Front office.

          • Efrain

            Boy that got your panties bunched up.

            How do you know (of course you would not) that the Giants attempted to call or put out an olive branch. Of course when someone is scared they did something then they tend to cower and hide.

            The Giants being the organization you claim should have sent some of his countrymen (not Romo who btw is very American like you are) and had them talk to him, which by no accounts I’ve read was that ever done. If the team does take such great pride in its Latino heritage than they should have been more proactive.

            Again, a guy in Melky who has never had issues with any teams and teammates, produced and kept his mouth shut at all stops. And all you got is he lied?!!? Oh gee billy bob I guess no one in major league history has ever lied right?!?!

            GTFOH with you lame excuses.

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    Remember that baseball art thread? This one has great animation/action:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C0pblhSUsAAlGq-.jpg:large

  • Efrain

    Greek – I share with a lot of your thoughts except in you ending statement (and I think many here will agre with me:

    “These are typical Giants moves: think big, hedge your bets, and hope the
    magic of San Francisco gives a veteran player one more season of glory”

    I disagree in particular with the “think big” – it’s more like think cheap with a hope and a prayer. Of course if you roll enough of these guys out there and surround them with a good core and good pitching some of them may be put in positions to come up with key plays, maybe even a another luck shot like Ishis’ or Morse’s.

    However, thinking big would be trading assets now and making a trade to bring in an everyday payer that will provide what they are praying for by accumulating dumpster types. That is the big play, not make a wish and close your eyes.

    • what was lucky about the swings Ishi and Morse put on both thrown pitches?

      • Efrain

        you put Morse and Ishi in the same position 100 times and you damn well the odds are against them, thus the very reason they were both bouncing around the league before and after.

        C’mon man, you know the answer.

        • Hey there “man” = NO I disagree. Did you hear how many times random people interviewed Conor after his Mets HR and then his hot streak vs the Cubs? He said “actually all you can do is trust the process, trust the 2000 swings off the tee and BP under the stands and on the field – is going to allow one to execute when the magic moment occurs”. This is what I don’t get about you. You played AAA ball in SF and played against Bonds. You KNOW the game was born on a failure factor – that P get hitters out from the jump at 70% of the time. 3/10 is almost HOF material. In Ishi and Morse’s case they TOO were prepared for their moment because that is ALL you can do.

    • DrLefty

      I’d say signing Melancon (for what was then the biggest contract ever given to a closer) and Cueto (for the biggest free agent deal ever given by the Giants) are examples of thinking big. So sometimes they do.

      As for old dudes like Rollins or Morse, well, I don’t have much faith that either of them will ever see the field in a Giants uniform, but it’s zero risk in both cases, and you do have your counterexamples like Burrell a few years ago, Utley for the Dodgers–he looked finished on the Phils and then he helped LA win two more division titles. For that matter, Edgar Renteria’s heroics in 2010. So if you think of them as depth moves rather than foundational moves, why not?

      • Efrain

        I agree as depth moves, but you are misinterpreting my take on “thinking big”.

        Opening the vault to sign Cueto, Shark, Malecon, that’s not thinking big, you or I could have done that.

        Thinking big is making a play no one expects, going out and dealing the likes of some of our young pitchers, maybe Arroyo, etc, and bringing in the finishing touches to a complete team by getting a solid OF solution and any pieces deemed necessary.

        • DrLefty

          Duffy et al for Moore, maybe?

        • SurfCity

          That’s what I would call going for broke. They already did a few trades last year to acquire Smith and Moore ( and it seems another, but I can’t remember). If you deplete your prospect rosters to go for broke on the big league club, that’s viable, but just keep in mind that teams that do that usually have to go through massive rebuilds after the window (and hopefully the success) comes to an end. And the expectations the Giants have set with fans is that they don’t do rebuilds, they contend every year.

          • Matthew

            He drives a Gran Torino

          • Efrain

            ohhhh I like Grand Torinos.

            My dream car is a 69 Chevelle SS

          • Efrain

            Ok now you are talking like a Yankee fan.

            My argument is built on the obvious that our core guys are around their 30 yer old seasons.

            No need to get into what happened when the Yankees core players got old.

            You know what didn’t happen? THEY DIDN”T HAVE A NEW CORE BEHIND THEM TO BUILD AROUND?

            You have been a baseball and a Giants fan for a long time sire, you know the probability of having players of the makeup of Posey, Craw, Bum follow this bunch are slight.

            That is why I say play your cards now, because more opportunities are not promised.

        • Scout Finch Baseball

          Ahhhh, you’re talking about going for the jugular. Got it.

          JD Martinez or Brian Dozier or Lorenzo Cain, get it done, BOOM!

          • Efrain

            EXACTLY!!!!!

          • Anti-Lasorda

            Dozier for Panik plus will be bold…. I don’t know if it makes them better, but bold.

      • The Oracle

        He means like trading George Foster for Frank Duffy and Vern Geishert, or trading Joe Nathan and Francisco Liriano for A.J. Pierzynski. You know, something really bold.

        • DrLefty

          Matt Williams for Jeff Kent was pretty bold at the time.

          • Efrain

            YEP!

          • The Oracle

            Very, but they don’t have a Matt Williams to trade, unless someone wants to trade Posey or Bumgarner. That’s obviously not going to happen, but it would be bold. As I’ve said, I think the should listen to offers for Bumgarner if things ever start to look like they’re heading south.

          • Anti-Lasorda

            And to think the key to that deal was Julian Tavares. Kent was a throw-in because he was a club house problem.

    • Matthew

      Where do they stand in overall payroll?

      As much as you hate being asked thus, what organization has won the most titles thus decade?

      There is obviously no one formula that guarantees titles. But, isn’t it patently obvious that the Giants are well ahead of the curve?

      These years, right now, are the glory years. Period.

      • Efrain

        they are the glory years, the very reason to go for broke.

        They already have to pay the luxury tax don’t they? Then why skimp on the LF solution now? Look at the Cubs last season (yes, I know it is just one example) But the didn’t really need Hayward did they? They had enough young OF talent to “compete”.

        Why be cheap now. I don’t advocate the type of spending that is akin to putting a new pain job on a Yugo, but the Giants are built for NOW!

        That alone make any question of a 10-20 Million more a moot point. IF they won the WS, who would even care about the extra money spent? They will make tenfold from the winning.

      • DrLefty

        IMHO, you’re both right.

        The Giants are not “cheap” and the organization has been very successful and these have been great years.

        But E’s right that it doesn’t make sense to go this far, be into the lux tax already, and not finish the job. It reminds me of a few years ago when the Tigers had their incredible rotation with Verlander and Scherzer et al and prime Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder and all-around great lineup–and no bullpen. At the time I said it was like building a mansion and furnishing it from Target. And that weak bullpen knocked them out of the playoffs several years running, and their window has mostly shut now.

        I really do think that (a) the Giants’ outfield is too thin and (b) the lineup could use one more proven bat from somewhere (3B? LF?). They’ve gone to great trouble and expense to build what’s now a top 5 pitching staff in baseball. They have guys like Posey, Crawford, and Pence who will not be in their primes much longer (Pence may already be past his).

        Maybe it’s greedy to still want more after three championships, but the Giants are not acting like a team that’s rebuilding. So if we’re contending, let’s actually try to contend.

        • Scout Finch Baseball

          It’s not a matter of going for broke, it’s going for the jugular.

          Time to knock the Dodgers off their division pedestal
          and to make a legitimate run at a 4th title this decade!

          Pitching looks real good, offense can use some help to support the pitching. Give Bochy and the arms some laughers to work with.

          • DrLefty

            I thought I was exaggerating saying the Giants had a top-5 pitching staff, but then I looked at 2016 team stats. Indeed, the Giants’ team ERA was fourth in the majors, behind the Cubs, Mets, and Nats. And that was with a bad bullpen and Peavy and Cain making 25% of the starts. With some of the bullpen dead weight gone, Melancon on board, and the 4-5 spots in the rotation hopefully being better from the beginning, they should be even stronger.

            Of course, the Red Sox have put themselves up there, now, too, but I think the Giants are right there.

        • Efrain

          Great take on the situation Dr. If they intend to contend, then do it 100% not 90%.

          The Dodgers winning 4 straight pennants should provide enough incentive.

          Even having a top 5 pitching staff is not enough. The Giant brass seems to expect these guys to hold the opposition to under 3 runs every game, which when the going is right they can absolutely do, but there will be times when the offense will stall and that will not be enough.

  • The Oracle

    Steve Kerr rather gently speaks the truth about Curry. Hmm….where have I heard this before?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/warriors-coach-kerr-curry-must-140001354.html?.tsrc=daily_mail

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      From The Oracle!! I don’t follow basketball threads that closely (unless someone joins my gripe about life behind the 3-point arch), but I do know that you are at the vanguard on this debate.

    • Matthew

      …which is another example of his greatness as a coach and communicator.

      I know you have a stubborn disappointment in Curry, I don’t. I see him as a self made MVP that has surpassed all expectations by levels unheard of in any others. Adding Durant has made this team the best by far (regardless of Sunday). Curry’s game has been affected dramatically, and he is adjusting. So be it.

      You haven’t “heard this before” from you. Steve us nuanced and understands Curry’s entire game. You blindly say he’s nothing beyond a great shooter.

      Curry will be just fine

      • The Oracle

        Kerr said exactly what I’ve been saying: Curry’s decision making often leaves a lot to be desired. Kerr specifically mentioned the dumb behind-the-back pass which blew a three-on-one, which was a prime example of Curry placing putting on a show above winning the game. Durant’s presence has nothing to do with that decision. It’s you that’s too stubborn to admit that Kerr shares my opinion of Curry’s game.

        • Matthew

          Kerr most certainly does not. Your opinion is constantly dismissive of a two time MVP. Kerr want Curry to play free, easy, but smarter. You, in the other hand, have a weird dislike of Curry that comes through in your posts. Huge gap between Kerr and you.

          Of COURSE Kerr is upset at dumb plays. So am I. So are you. So is every fan. So is Curry.

          • The Oracle

            Curry continues to play that way, so he’s obviously not upset about it.

        • Matthew

          We all share your incredibly astute opinion of his turnovers….that’s basic. His game is much more sublime than you will ever admit. Kerr knows it. You refuse to acknowledge it

  • John Myhill

    I disagree that this is the time to go for broke. The Giants’ have a pitching staff which can be good for a long time. Bumgarner (27), Moore (27), Law (26), Strickland (28), Smith (27) are a solid and young core who are already adequate-to-great major league pitchers and will if anything get better, and Samardzija (31 and signed for 4 years without many career innings pitched), Melancon (31), and Gearrin (30) are also going to be good for a while. And this is without considering Cueto (30, may opt out after another yet but I really hope not, and he’s certain got some good years left in him) or the various young possibilities (Blach, Okert, Osich, etc.). That’s a pitching staff which will keep them in contention for quite a while. The problem is obviously that the everyday players are aging. For the moment, the plan seems to be to stock up on a huge number of older players (thus Ruggiano, Morse, Rollins, Pena, etc.) and hope that Bochy can cobble things together. And I have to say that as much as I’ve lost respect for Bochy’s handling of relievers last year (and for overusing his starters early in the season), he still seems to be a genius in terms of finding something out of seemingly nothing in terms of everyday players. The run in June and July when the Giants went into the ASG with the best record in baseball was done largely with spare parts which Bochy found, and he somehow knew to keep Gillaspie around through all his hard luck and this really paid off in the last week of the season and the postseason. So I’m pretty confident for this year. But the future after 2 or so more years is grim for the everyday players, and this makes it particularly important to keep any promising young players they’ve got–and with Duffy gone, Panik is basically the only one who’s a proven solid major leaguer. He’s going to be the core of the team. So even for Dozier, no.

    • DrLefty

      I think you’re giving Bochy too much credit. Gillaspie was playing in the Wild Card Game and the NLDS because Nunez hurt his hamstring a week before the season ended. There was no genius there.

      I agree Bochy mishandled the rotation and certainly the bullpen this year, but he also mishandled the position players. He played Pagan and Span into the ground when they were slumping and hurting in September, gluing younger outfielders who’d been productive earlier in the season to the bench. He barely played Kelby Tomlinson even when KT was getting one clutch hit after another in September. As a result of all that, the Giants are now relying on two outfielders who barely played in 2016–three if you count Gorkys Hernandez–to fill two open spots in their outfield for 2017. That’s bad planning and bad player development, and that’s Bochy’s fault.

      My fear with all these old guys being signed is that Bochy will use that as further excuse not to let the younger guys they’ll need in the future develop.

      • #freewotus

        • DrLefty

          Kuiper thinks Phil Nevin is next in line.

          • to the throne (Manager)?

          • DrLefty

            Yes, right after the Giants hired Nevin, Kuiper on his KNBR show described him as Bochy’s heir apparent. I was surprised by the candor and thought it a bit of a burn on Wotus, but this is a young man’s job, and Wotus is only a few years behind Bochy.

          • Efrain

            I never saw Wotus and as manger candidate. For one the opportunity was when the Giants were in the middle of wining 3 in 6 and while he did get a couple of teams interested, it came with nary a serious discussion. That time came and went.

      • John Myhill

        But bochy knew to hold onto gillaspie through all his lousy luck. And i’m the world’s biggest kelby fan, but there just wasn’t anything more to do with him than platoon, which he did wind up doing.

      • John Myhill

        Bochy was smart enough to hold onto gillaspie all season through all his bad luck and all the other people who came and went. That wasn’t obvious. And i’m the world’s biggest kelby fan but there wasn’t anything more to do with him than platoon and pinch hit, which he did do.

        • John Myhill

          And he did wind up platooning gorkys, although he could have started sooner. The only thing i’d blame him for is not using williamson more rather than pagan, but even there there might havr been an injury problem

    • 610nm

      There must be rampant insomnia in California, three posts in the middle of the night!

      My opinion is in between the two views of go for broke, or to hope the pitching holds out. The organization seems to be trying to be very steady, to always be in contention. Keeping contracts to just a few years, and developing pitchers to bring to MLB or trade for missing pieces, seems a wise plan to have a sustainable budget over the next decade. Filling the pitching gap with Cueto, Samardzija, Melancon and Moore cost money and Duffy, but should have bridged the gap to cheaper pitchers in the near future, such as Blach and a young bullpen now with a year under their belts. Tomlinson and Arroyo and Slater and a few other of ‘our guys’ seem to be in the pipeline. Nunez intrigues me. I think it important to keep enough budget on reserve for a trade in midseason to plug injury or performance gaps. Steady as she goes.

      I’m OK with the reward contracts that Ishikawa, Gillaspie, and Moore (the beastly Moore, not hte pitching Moore) have gotten, but am scratching my head about Rollins. I’d rather see the ‘lightening in a bottle’ part of the budget go towards a Gorkys-type player, ie OF and at least able to play defense. Maybe Ruggiano will be that flash? At least it is something to watch when camp opens in roughly 583 days (that’s what winter break feels like to me).

    • paul in p.v.

      Good stuff – you should re-post this on the newest thread.

  • Sumatra!
    Sunnyside up eggs
    Apple sausage
    Canadian Royal Mountie Meal

    Stephs gonna play in Charlotte

    • DrLefty

      Thanks to the terms of the new CBA, Steph would be walking away from tens of millions of dollars if he plays anywhere but Oakland/SF. So unless the Warriors decide they don’t want him anymore (seems unlikely), he’ll be staying put in his nice new home in Walnut Creek, the one with the parklike backyard with the custom-built playhouse for the girls that looks about as big as our first duplex.

      There’s also Ayesha. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say the restaurant scene is better in the Bay Area than in Charlotte. She’s been doing a lot of local “pop-up” restaurant work with celebrity chefs like Michael Mina.

      They can move to Charlotte later if they want to. Right now, their careers are here.

      • Efrain

        Uhhhhh……………Yeah! I’ve been to Charlotte for work and its boring. Has a cute little scene in whatever then call downtown, but the food scene is BBQ, BBQ and then some more BBQ.

        She would never be hanging with the likes of Michael Mina in Charlotte, believe you me.

      • I think Steph has more money than the 1% and later in his career don’t you think he’ll suit up for Charlotte?

  • steve k
    • Scout Finch Baseball

      You roll out of bed throwing smooth around the room, don’t ya, Cap’n Steve?

      • steve k

        in my day (i sound like my father), if you put this on when you had a date back to your place, if you didn’t close the deal….RIP barry…you were as cool as the other side of the pillow

        have a nice christmas my friend? see mom?

        • Scout Finch Baseball

          Nice Christmas weekend. We hosted friends here and stayed put Sunday and yesterday. Back to work today. I did not venture south, it was nice to avoid the hustle and bustle of holiday traffic, but I’ll get down again in the near future. Mom is doing real well, she’ll be done with the radiation soon and hopefully that’s that.

          • RobDeer

            Good news.

          • DrLefty

            Hey, Merry Christmas Rob! Hope you’re starting to feel better after that awful accident.

          • RobDeer

            Merry Xmas to you, Lefty. I am and then got wickedly sick on Xmas. Basically, i finished cooking for everyone about 6pm and then went to bed which is where I’ve been since. So Xmas was rather desultory :o) but my lady did get me some new golf clubs, this after she bought me golf lessons in Oct. Someone is clearly tired of me coming home and complaining about how bad my game is.

          • Get Well Soon Tequila Snob! Happy New Year to you and the Mrs.

          • RobDeer

            Same to you, Giants Blog Savior. I coudn’t even partake of my Gran Centanario, which I still say is the best tequila for the price.

          • “Take two and hit to right”

        • Scout Finch Baseball

          did you have big festivities with friends and family?

          • steve k

            just her family was over. ten people. quiet. nice. my mom went up to boston to visit my sister. my other sister is in buffalo.

          • Scout Finch Baseball

            brrrrr. buffalo. lake effect snow?

          • steve k

            oh yeah…they get 1/2 foot of snow there, it barely makes the news. a hearty lot..

  • crawnik

    Good morning all. Hope everyone had a great Christmas. Only 48 days until pitchers and catchers report.

    If there’s one player that’s relieved that the Giants signed Ruggiano, it has to be Bum. Ruggs has hit 3 homers off him…while playing for 3 different teams if my math is correct : )

    • Scout Finch Baseball

      time to acquire “Kikay” Hernandez

      • crawnik

        Why not, right?

        • Sgbssfg

          Less trouble if he’s on the Giants bench.

      • And the retired Hairston brothers – Mark Ellis and Jamey Carroll ….

    • DrLefty

      Yep: according to Ruggiano’s HR tracker, he’s taken Bum deep three times–in 2014 with the Cubs, 2015 with the Dodgers, and the slam in 2016 when on the Mets. In 2013, while with the Marlins, he hit HRs off four different Giants pitchers, but not Bum (Cain, Machi, Gaudin, Zito). Good times!

      Lotta lefties on this list including Chapman and Kershaw.

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/event_hr.cgi?id=ruggiju01&t=b

      • crawnik

        Well, I guess as the saying goes, “If you can’t beat him, sign him.”

  • Scout Finch Baseball

    some hot stove from Efrain’s neck of the woods (Steve too!):

    Look out for the Bronx Bombers and pitchers.

    https://twitter.com/BNightengale/status/813749518969737216

    • DrLefty

      You like trades, so Cashman must be your kind of guy. Seriously, I have a lot of admiration for how the Yanks did business this year, especially the part where they cashed in Chapman for a bunch of prospects AND then signed him back (not to mention Miller, Beltran, McCann). They still don’t have enough of a rotation to compete with the Red Sox (thus the Quintana rumors), but they’re moving in the right direction for the future.

      • 610nm

        I like the notion that Chapman’s contract will be a NYY lemon in the last three years of that deal, after he can’t throw 102 anymore.

        • DrLefty

          He’ll have to learn how to pitch at “just” 98, that’s for sure.

  • 610nm

    The Bochy Gnome in the tweets for @sfgiants today is rather creepy, no?