Spring Training: Game 5 Thread

by
Greek Giant

Jimmy Rollins gets the start at short today. The Giants are resting some regulars and MadBum makes his second Cactus League start. Gordon Beckham is in left field. That’s not a typo. That’s just Bochy trolling our blog, as Matthew suggested. I nearly did a double-take when I saw that…

I like this piece by Doug Glanville in The New York Times. His take is that the concept of the Intentional Walk needs to be re-evaluated and the rule change is not that big a deal…

The Line Up

Rollins SS
Panik 2B
Crawford DH
Marrero 1B
Gillaspie 3B
Williamson RF
Hundley C
Beckham LF
Hernandez CF
Bumgarner P

There is lots of chatter on this blog about Bochy’s continued use of veterans every other Major League team has given up on and how their appearances in early Spring Training games may be taking away opportunities for younger prospects. We shall see.

  • Bapah

    I just saw that even though we have the scrubs on the radio today, SD is televising the game.

  • channelclemente
  • DrLefty

    Cactus League, GG. Grapefruit League is where YOU are.

    • Ooops! Thanks Lefty. I corrected it.

      • Grapefruit = “Junior Circuit” aka American League – and Cactus League = Senior Circuit aka National League.

        Note: By and Large…

  • dgg

    Chatter:

    verb
    1. talk rapidly or incessantly about trivial matters.

    noun
    1. incessant trivial talk.

    I thought we were having a discussion, not chattering.

    • Chatter is also what infielders “do” prior to the pitch directed at their Pitcher. Mainly used in NON- Pro baseball.

      “Chatter can help keep players in the game and is a great way to show support for your teammates.” But many baseball enthusiasts agree that a fine line exists between what is harmless baseball chatter and what is an unsportsmanlike attempt to taunt and distract an opponent.

      • 610nm
        • and in cricket do the games take 4 days?

          • 610nm

            International cricket is the highest form, but there are leagues in England, Australia, and India of importance.

            Cricket has three forms: the Test Match takes five days (rain just subtracts playing time), involves white uniforms, a red ball, and is played entirely in daylight hours. This form has a good chance of a draw, as you not only have to score more runs, you have to get the other side out twice. If they are far behind, they start batting very defensively.

            The kind I like the best is “limited overs” or One Day International, in which each batting side gets 50 overs (6 pitches per over). The most runs wins, a typical score is maybe 320-280. Colored uniforms, a white ball to show up in the lights, and the 2nd innings is in the evening during good TV time.

            The cricket world suffers Manfordism, too, so there is a Twenty-20 match which takes about 3 hours, and involves only 20 overs. They just bat like mad, since it is almost impossible to make 10 outs in just 20 overs. T20 seems to have come from the same thought process as the DH.

          • Many thanks for the share and the lesson in Cricket. Any idea why the word cricket was chosen to name this sport?

          • 610nm

            No! I never thought about it, will ask my Aussie friend why.

          • Bapah

            At first I thought I’d try to pick it up, but discovered there’s no more room left in my brain.
            I tried.

      • Bapah

        “Unsportsmanlike”? I used to play on a different team from one my good friend pitched on. He was the biggest “rabbit ears” I’ve ever known. We called him the “Stork”. It never failed; we could always get through and he would blow it sooner or later, at least, once.

        It was the epitome of good “sportsmanship”

        • My most fun summer was balancing our dugout act among 18 boys from 15 to 19. They had every comeback in the book. Fans hated us. Fans loved us. Middle ground was hard to find. They were my best TEAM. Nobody cared who got the glory. All they did was win. Other years I had better skill players that were selfish and were Stat Hero’s. We started game one on Memorial Day and in July and August we were still playing. Legion America payed for all expenses for 18 players and four coaches – Flights and Rooms. Players even got Food Per Diem money.

          Here’s the article. http://archives.smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?id=62304

          • Bapah

            Legion ball was my favorite of any and all, both coaching and playing. The funny stuff is always the best. I never let my guys get nasty either. One I played on (not coached) may have been the funniest guys ever to play ball.

          • You said it better than I could have. That TEAM gets together to this day many times during the year to be with each other. Others could not be bothered.

            That team also while in Yakima had never experienced a Hurricane/Tornado. While playing in the 5th inning in muggy weather a funnel cloud appeared over the CF fence. Our so called tough kids – became very mushy. 🙂

            That tournament my first baseman came off the bag in a pick off attempt from our pitcher and tagged out their leadoff hitter diving back to the bag. Trouble is for some reason our F3 had the ball in his bare hand and continued to sell it by throwing the ball around the horn. The Yakima Beatles complained to no avail.

  • Keep’n It Real

    MLB Stat of the Day‏Verified account @MLBStatoftheDay 15m15 minutes ago
    Yep, it’s just you.
    @BusterPosey is the only catcher with a Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, MVP and Rookie of the Year award.

    • RobDeer

      Throw in three rings and he has a chance to be the best ever, I don’t care what anyone says or what kinda stats they post to refute it.

      • The Oracle

        Absolutely. Why should facts matter?

        • RobDeer

          Pretty sure his three rings and only catcher with a GG, SS, MVP and RoY are facts but I also know some of us can’t quiet their inner-refuter.

          • The Oracle

            The Silver Slugger Award began in 1980. In pretty sure Bench would’ve won one or two them if the award had existed during his best years. Posey is an excellent player, and sometimes outstanding, but no one other than Giants fans is touting him as the best ever.

          • RobDeer

            I said with what he has already accomplished he has a chance to be the best ever. But I’m sure you’ll find a way to take issue with that, as well.

          • Best ever Giant most likely. Catchers I enjoyed:
            Bench
            Fisk
            Berra
            Piazza
            Carter
            Simmons

          • Bapah

            Campenella

          • Campy was way ahead of his time. My grandmas favorite player and Podres.

    • Matthew

      He also has the Golden Slappy!

  • RobDeer

    MLB.com says it’s showing the game, yet I can’t seem to get it, I’m sure due to my gross incompetence. Anyone watching it?

    • Bapah

      Yes. Go to MLB.TV. Your old subscription should work for ST. SD is showing the game. You can listen to the SFG guys if you have to, but still watch the game just out of sync a bit.

      • RobDeer

        Thx, Bapah

    • Matthew

      Your incontinence is so gross.

      Wait, you said “incompetence”.

      Never mind

      • RobDeer

        I just woke up. Let me drink my coffee first.

      • Bapah

        Talk about “gross”.

    • John Myhill

      I’m watching it, it’s on. Padres’ announcers but what can you do?

  • DrLefty

    Marrero. Give that guy a shot.

    • Who was the kid with the Italian last name that we all were clamoring for a Sept Call up. He was built like a Beer League soft ball player?

      • DrLefty

        Doesn’t ring a bell.

        • What? Even you were kind of enthralled ….

      • John Victory Faust

        Mark Minicozzi? Just googled him. He’s a Long Island Duck. Independent league

        • BINGO. Thanks JVF. Glad to see he’s still swinging the wood.

  • channelclemente

    KATOH top 100 players. Two lists. Giants have one player on both Beede, and a fellow named Gage on only one.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/katohs-2017-top-100-prospects/

    • buyselltrade

      What about Slater (as well as Gage and Beede) at 52 on stat only list?

      Beede is alone at 49 on first list; Beede is behind Slater at 60 on second list.

    • dgg

      Thanks for the link, ClutchUp. Good article by John Shea.

      Willie McCovey: “Sometimes pitchers have trouble throwing those wide ones. I don’t think it makes a difference if there’s nobody on, and I’ve been walked with nobody on. But with someone on, there’s a chance to throw wild and have a guy score.”

  • DrLefty

    Liking this aggressive baserunning I’m seeing from the guys, too.

    • RobDeer

      You on a computer? I’m on my IPad and MLB is making it impossible to watch without purchasing some kinda subscription.

      • I am on Internet Explorer since Google Chrome is a mess listening to MLB LIsten. Holler at me if you need access.

        • John Myhill

          I’m on Chrome and having no problems.

      • channelclemente

        Firefox is working fine too.

      • 610nm

        Amazon is having a bad day. Perhaps this is why GameDay is just showing me a blue screen?

        • RobDeer

          Yeah, not only can i not get audio or video but can’t even follow on Gameday. I’m this close to putting CNN on. A straight razor will soon follow.

          • 610nm

            Oh, don’t do that! It is only a ST game we are missing.

        • Matthew

          Yup, my Princess is in Chicago at McCormick for a big show (she works at AWS), and…..poof. Down. Not a good day

      • 2holehitting

        1 gameday TV is cheeper than a behind the plate seat purchased on Stub Hub.

      • DrLefty

        I have MLB.TV subscription. I was watching it on my phone.

  • John Myhill

    Hmm. Marrero has 6 RBIs so far in ST. Good start.

  • John Myhill

    Okay, my first look at Melancon as a Giant…Right over the top, kind of weird delivery, I guess that’s why the cutter drops straight down (doesn’t it?), which is also weird. I guess that’s why he gets so many grounders. Nice play on the grounder by Sardinas.

    • Mr. Sarcastic

      That was quick work!

      • John Myhill

        It was. Can’t think of any other Giants with such an over-the-top delivery except Petit (although the arm action is completely different). I wonder if that makes him hard for the batter to pick up like with Petit.

  • channelclemente

    man, Melancon can shave the zone.

    • 2holehitting

      A 2 seam tailing fastball that can be controlled unlike that Beach Boy……

  • Blackburn needs a Pitchers Best Friend right HERE

    • Mr. Sarcastic

      He’s putting on quite a show right now … LOL

  • OK Blackburn gets the DP ball and then – Hits a batter and now gives up HR for a tie game…

    Plus Double for next hitter.

  • channelclemente

    8 pitches by Blackburn. LOL.

  • Ugh…..Hockey Hockey Hockey Hockey ….Hockey Hockey Hockey Hockey ….Hockey Hockey Hockey Hockey – Hoops -…..Hockey Hockey Hockey Hockey – Golf – …..Hockey Hockey Hockey Hockey ….Hockey Hockey Hockey Hockey – Hoops -…..Hockey Hockey Hockey Hockey – Golf …

    http://ottawacitizen.com/category/sports

    • 2holehitting

      Go Sharks!!!!

    • dgg

      My grandson plays hockey. He had a great time at Stick and Puck on Saturday.

      • True but “here” there is hockey – and then eat and sleep.

        • dgg

          It snowed yesterday and today, and the streets and sidewalks are icy. Here there’s hockey, ice skating, outdoor skating rinks, snowshoeing, and cross-country ski trails on the golf courses. It’s not baseball weather.

          • Bapah

            Have you heard of BroomBall in your neck of the woods? Clutch, how ’bout you? it’s a Cunuck thing.

            Street shoes and brooms on a regular hockey rink. It’s something to do if you’re too drunk to walk home.

          • Bapah

            I forgot. Instead of a puck they use a basketball.

          • Bapah

            No Curling shoes. Highly illegal.

  • dgg

    Whichever one of us picked Marrero for My25Man Guys based on one bat is looking pretty smart right now. (Was it crawnik?)

    • 2holehitting

      He needs work on base running skills. Bad base running skills are already in place in front of him.

    • crawnik

      I actually had Morse on my 25-man. If Marrero keeps mashing, I’ll have to redajust the roster come March 25.

      • dgg

        I know it was someone here, and based on one home run too.

    • HaakAway

      Three of us picked him:
      giant, Efrain and App7

      • Efrain

        I really like Morse the person and appreciate what he did in 2014 but realistically the game is passing him quickly. He should go make some money is Asia or start a coaching career if that is something he desires.

  • channelclemente

    Strickland has got to be wondering where the clown car is parked to pick up the infielders behind him.

    • 2holehitting

      It is an ulterior motive of Bruce to harden Strickland so he is not such a head case when things go bad. You know so he does not melt down.

      • channelclemente

        Thanks for the insight.

  • dgg

    Can Chris Marrero play any other positions besides first base? I mean, effectively play?

    • ………………………….

      • dgg

        I know that.

        • …………………………

    • crawnik

      He can play outfield as well. Which position is uncertain.

      • dgg

        Thanks, crawnik. Where did you find this? I was wondering because first base on our team is crowded already, and Alex just mentioned on Twitter that Marrero is a dark horse to make the team, and I’m thinking: Can he play anywhere else besides 1B?

  • This changes daily: Who gets released first/sent back: Today it might be Orlando Calixte since that was a DP ball that he took part in – not executing.

    • 2holehitting

      should have gone to first with it, to close at second

  • 2holehitting

    Hacktor looking good.

  • crawnik

    Wow. Only 3,047 paid fans in attendance for today’s game on a 58 degree day in Peoria, AZ.

    • 2holehitting

      Wow Hector took a walk….

    • channelclemente

      LOL. It’s hard to rationalize paying money, even in ST, to watch these guys about now. I can see why folks put off their trips to ST until mid March.

      • crawnik

        True. Me and Mrs. Crawnik usually go about that time if not late March, but I would’ve expected at least 5 grand for today. Giants fans travel well : )

        • channelclemente

          I think the folks who go a lot, like you perhaps, get a feel for when to go. Also, IMO, all these washed up vets take the excitement out of seeing new, young talent. I wouldn’t pay money to watch Rollins and Hundley play.

    • steve k

      maybe 58 degrees is too cold for those folks. they’re all probably home bundled by the fireplace.

      • crawnik

        Apparently, they never went to Candlestick.

  • Another item that makes Baseball the National Pastime (you don’t see THIS in Football or Basketball)

    http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=18783799

  • channelclemente

    Black looked OK.

    • Matthew

      well, you’re in Ottawa, so you are ClushOop

      • Eh? Are you Aboot to have a nap?

  • crawnik

    Giants/Bums tomorrow night at 5 PST on CSN BayArea!

  • Efrain

    I know it’s just one game, but the Giants should have sold high on Osich and Blackburn last season. Would not be surprised to see one of them getting cut this season to make room for younger players with more upside.

    The pressure is on big time for Okert, Blach and Stratton to come through.

    Beede still has time on his side.

    • Kramerica

      I don’t think Blackburn would’ve generated any real trade value. He would’ve been, if anything, a throw-in to a deal. And, unproven RPs with injury histories and control issues also don’t generate much trade value. I agree with you that some team might have fallen in love with Osich’s potential, but I think the Giants were high on his potential as well. Instead, Osich looks like a guy on the verge of flaming out of the big leagues.

      • Efrain

        good points, Perhaps a Blackburn/Osich/Crick package can net us a vet pen LH or OF option early in the season.

        • DrLefty

          You might be able to get a coupon for an order of garlic fries for that package.

          • Efrain

            I’d do it for a Fuku chicken sandwich or Shake Shack deal at Citifield!

          • DrLefty

            Mmmmmm, Shake Shack!

          • steve k

            i’d do it just to be allowed to cut to the front of that line of that SS at city field. brother E, you know what i’m talking about..

          • Crab sand?

  • BATTING
    2B: Panik (1, Chacín); Crawford (1, B Enright); Beckham (1, Mcgrath)
    3B: Brown (1, Wieck)
    RBI: Gillaspie (4), Marrero 2 (6), Hundley (1), Beckham (1)
    2-out RBI: Gillaspie
    GIDP: Crawford
    Giants RISP: 2-9 (Marrero 1-2, Rollins 0-1, Gillaspie 1-1, Bernard 0-1, Williamson 0-1, G. Hernández 0-2, Beckham 0-1)
    Team LOB: 6
    FIELDING
    E: O Calixte (1, throw); Hinojosa (1, throw); Williamson (1, line drive)
    DP: 1 (Blackburn-Panik-Marrero).
    San Francisco Giants
    PITCHERS IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
    Bumgarner 2.0 2 2 2 1 1 0 12.00
    Melancon 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
    Blackburn 2.0 4 3 3 0 0 1 6.75
    Strickland
    (L, 0-1) 1.0 1 1 0 0 2 0 4.50
    Osich 0.2 1 3 1 2 1 0 16.20
    Morris 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
    Black 1.0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.00
    TOTALS 8.0 8 9 6 4 6 1
    PITCHING
    WP: Osich
    HBP: Torrens (By Blackburn)
    Batters faced: Bumgarner 6/9; Melancon 3/3; Blackburn 6/10; Strickland 3/6; Osich 3/6; Morris 1/1; Black 2/4
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls: Bumgarner 3-2; Melancon 2-0; Blackburn 3-3; Strickland 0-1; Osich 0-1; Morris 1-0; Black 2-0

  • HaakAway

    The My25ManGuy™ early predictions totaled up from 23 of us:
    SP: Cain
    LF: dead even for Mac and Parker
    Bench: KT, Gorkys, Ruggiano
    Bull Pen: Okert and Gearrin

    • totalfan62

      Did I make the cut? I came in late, Sunday afternoon 2/26. Hope I’m one of 23.

      • HaakAway

        I missed it.
        Repost your picks and you are in.
        Being #24 is irresistible around here.

  • DrLefty

    Why, oh why, are the Giants wasting time on Gordon Beckham? Trying to make him an outfielder, all of a sudden? The man has a CAREER .240 batting average. Here’s his last three seasons:

    2014: .226
    2015: .209
    2016: .212

    This is not a guy you have to find a position for so you can keep his potent bat around. You certainly shouldn’t be weakening your already horrible OF defense for him. Just because he’s a nice guy and played on the same Cape team with Buster Posey? SMH

    • The Oracle

      What? You don’t think being a veteran who is also a nice guy and former teammate of Posey’s isn’t enough? He’ll obviously be in the lineup for the 5th game of the season in LF, supporting the efforts of starting pitcher Matt Cain.

      • DrLefty

        And 38-year-old Jimmy Rollins will make his first major league start at 2B in that game, too.

        • Think of the George Zimmer line

          • DrLefty

            The Men’s Wearhouse guy? “You’re gonna like the way you look. I guarantee it.”

    • Efrain

      I agree with whomever posted earlier, it was an AWAY game and perhaps they just wanted to rest guys for the rest of the week. Nothing wrong with seeing how versatile some of these dumpster dive vets are while they are around.

      I don’t take it seriously, I think it was one game and they just wanted to field a team to keep everyone fresh. I don’t see Beckham being a serious contender for the 25 man to start the season. However, he could be good to stash in Sacto.

      • DrLefty

        Bochy said he’s going to keep giving him reps in the OF. Baggarly has a whole article about him today.

        • Efrain

          yes, but you know my take on Giants PR. Never believe what you hear or read. Sabean learned that during his Yankee years.

          • DrLefty

            The Giants traded their best minor league power hitter and their top pitching prospect to get “Sticky Fingers” Leake because he played Little League with Bochy’s son. I rest my case, ladies and gentlemen of the jury.

          • 2holehitting

            Gee I thought they traded for Leake because they needed pitching to make the run into the playoffs.

      • Matthew

        ”Twas I, fellow fan. And…yup

    • Kramerica

      Kind of amazing that Posey and Beckham were essentially the two best college players (along with Smoak). Everyone thought Beckham would be a stud in the big leagues. Instead, their career paths have taken just slightly different paths.

    • Howz your blood pressure?

      • DrLefty

        I’ll let you know after Durant’s MRI. 🙁

    • paul in p.v.

      This Rollins/Beckham thing is approaching loathsome.

  • Campy – The Spaceman – The Mick – Yogi and Satchel

    Great old photos. https://90feetofperfection.com/

    • steve k

      great pics clutch,thx..is there a better nickname than ‘the heater from van meter’?

  • Trickery written by Rich Marazzi – Amateur Baseball Umpires’ Association

    Trickery is defined as “the practice of crafty underhanded ingenuity to deceive or cheat.” In the game of baseball, however, there is a fine line between an act that is legally crafty and one that is outright illegal. There is no one section in the rule book that outlines what is permissible and what is not when it comes to trickery and cheating. It’s obvious and in the rules that it’s illegal to doctor the baseball or cork a bat etc. But there are many gray areas. It’s importance for umpires, players and coaches to ascertain a misdemeanor from a felony when it comes to baseball law. In some situations, it might depend which umpire is sitting on the bench. Let’s start with a couple of plays from last season.

    The pièce de résistance of all infield stunts is the hidden ball trick. On April 10, 2016, the Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve attempted this ancient trick in a unique way in hopes of catching the Milwaukee Brewers’ Chris Carter napping. The Astros were down, 2-1, in the third inning when Carter doubled with one out. When Altuve received the ball from the outfield, he slipped it into his back pocket hoping to catch an unaware Carter stepping off second base. But Carter had his eye on the ball and knew what Altuve was up to. He just stood there and laughed. There was no “gotcha” moment for Altuve.

    Was it legal for Altuve to hide the ball in his pant pocket? There is nothing in the rules that prohibits this but umpires can rule on anything that is not specifically covered in the rules and I think that some umps (depending whose sitting on the bench) would argue that a runner cannot be expected to look beyond the bare hand or the glove for the ball. Regarding the hidden ball trick, under Pro rules a balk should be called if the pitcher is on or astride (straddling) the rubber without the ball. The pitcher can be on the dirt area without penalty. However, playing under NCAA rules, the pitcher can be called for a balk if he is on the dirt area of the mound when an infielder is attempting to pull off the hidden ball trick. The NFHS rule book does not allow a pitcher to be within 5-feet of the rubber when the hidden ball trick is being executed.

    You can view the above play on mlb.com…April 10 HOU@MIL, “Altuve tries the hidden ball trick” or go to the link below
    http://m.mlb.com/video/v582837383/houmil-altuve-tries-the-hidden-ball-trick-on-carter/?game_pk=446945

    One of the old tricks, or call it gamesmanship, is for a runner to slow down when a ground ball is hit in his running area. The idea is to obstruct the vision and upset the timing of the fielder who will be making the play. If the timing is good, most umpires will allow it. But when a runner uses his hands, that’s a no-no. Two days after the Altuve play, the 41,702 fans at Wrigley Field were treated to a little slapstick comedy by the Colorado Rockies’ Gerardo Parra that the men in blue didn’t find humorous. Parra was on second base with two outs in the seventh inning when Mark Reynolds tapped a ground ball in the direction of Cubs’ shortstop Addison Russell. Parra, en route to third base, bent over as if he was fielding the ball. His intent was obviously to “confuse” and distract Russell. Parra’s chicanery was not successful as he was called out for interference despite the fact that the Cubs completed the play. If there was only one out at the time, the umpires could have also called Reynolds out for the purpose of Parra’s interference to break up a double play.

    You can view this play on mlb.com, April 16, COL@CHC, “Parra tries to fake out Russell, ruled out” or go to the link below.
    http://m.mlb.com/video/v593754083/colchc-parra-tries-to-fake-out-russell-ruled-out/?game_pk=447027

    Did you ever, as an umpire, think you would encounter what Parra did? Probably not.
    Are you prepared to call a double play if this kind of play crosses your path?

    The rule was born in 1957 as a result of what the Reds’ Don Hoak pulled when he actually fielded a ground ball as a runner to prevent the opposing team from completing a twin killing. In a game against the Milwaukee Braves on April 21, the Reds had Hoak on second base and Gus Bell on first, in the top of the first inning, when Wally Post hit an apparent double play ground ball to short. Hoak cleverly (and legally at the time) broke up the potential DP by fielding the ball himself and flipping it to Braves’ shortstop Johnny Logan.
    The Sunday crowd of 20,298 at County Stadium had witnessed one of baseball’s most unusual stunts. Hoak was called out for interference and Post was given a single on the play. The day before, Johnny Temple let Bell’s ground ball hit him with the same result, Temple being called out for interference and Bell being awarded a single. The two incidents prompted league presidents Warren Giles and Will Harridge to jointly announce a rule change that declared both the runner and batter out if the runner intentionally interferes with a batted ball for the purpose of preventing a double play. And no runners would be allowed to advance when this interference occurs.

    One of the old (illegal) tricks of the game is for the batter to do something that would induce the pitcher to halt his windup and balk. Coaches have instructed their batters to do such unethical things as bend down and pick up dirt or fake tying their shoe lace just as the pitcher begins his delivery. The idea of the strategy is for the pitcher to interrupt his delivery and hope the umpire will call a balk.

    The Twins’ Jerry Terrell executed this antic to perfection on the night of May 29, 1974, in a game against the Red Sox that led to a win. The score was tied 4-4 in the top of the 13th inning and the Twins had runners at the corners with one out when Terrell reached down in the batter’s box for some dirt causing Sox pitcher Diego Segui to halt his windup and balk. This allowed the winning run to score from third base. Following the game, Terrell admitted that he learned the trick while playing amateur baseball.

    My question is, why did the umps allow this? Why wasn’t Segui protected by Pro rule 4.06, now 6.04 (a) (3) that states, “No manager, player, substitute, coach, trainer or batboy shall at any time, whether from the bench, the coach’s box or on the playing field or elsewhere call time, or employ any other word or phrase or commit any act while the ball is alive and in play for the obvious purpose of trying to make the pitcher balk.” Normally the umpires would issue a warning to the offending party. But on the major league level there are some who think a pitcher should know better. He should not stop his windup unless the umpire calls “Time.” Yet, by rule the pitcher should be safeguarded on all levels.

    I recall playing American Legion baseball back in the day when my coach who was coaching third base, asked the opposing pitcher if he could see the ball. The unsuspecting chucker obliged and tossed the ball to the coach who jumped out of the way allowing the ball to roll to the fence allowing a run to score.
    Pretty clever, but illegal. Unfortunately, for the opposing team the umpires did not protect the pitcher.
    Offensive Interference is defined as any act that “obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play” (2.00). There is nothing in the Official Baseball Rules that says that the act must be physical. Can a verbal act be construed as interference? Absolutely- if it obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses a fielder who is attempting to make a play.

    The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays played in Toronto on May 30, 2007. In the top of the ninth inning, the Yanks had Hideki Matsui on second and Alex Rodriguez on first with two outs leading 7-5 when Jorge Posada hit a high fly between Blue Jays’ third baseman Howie Clark and shortstop John McDonald. As A-Rod was running to third he shouted something, obviously with the intention of distracting the Toronto infielders.

    “I said, ‘Hah,’” admitted A-Rod following the game. Clark, who was playing his first ML game of the season said, “I heard a ‘Mine’ call, and so I let it go,” deferring to McDonald.
    The ball fell untouched and Matsui scored on the play. Posada was credited with an RBI base hit.
    McDonald and Blue Jays’ manager John Gibbons argued that Rodriguez had verbalized something that was confusing. McDonald had to be restrained and Gibbons was irate about A-Rod’s behavior on the bases.
    The umpires made no call on the play, but from this corner they would have been within the boundaries of the rules to do so. I think major league umpires would most likely hold verbal interference to a different standard than umps who work amateur baseball.

    The Yankees and Texas Rangers played at Texas on April 30, 1985. With two outs in the third inning, the Rangers’Cliff Johnson hit a towering fly behind home plate. As Yankees’ catcher “Butch” Wynegar was about to make the catch, Johnson moved toward Wynegar and yelled, “(Bleep) it up.”
    Wynegar made the catch despite Johnson’s verbal assault, and then complained to umpire Greg Kosc who commented, “There’s really nothing in the rules in black and white. But you can consider it unsportsmanlike conduct.” Kosc added, “ Johnson knows he was going to be called out if he (Wynegar) didn’t catch the ball. Billy Martin (Yankee manager) asked me if Johnson would have been out if Wynegar dropped the ball. I said, ‘Yes.’ In my opinion it was flagrant.”
    Historically, trickery or cheating in the game of baseball has ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous. The following burlesque of our national pastime occurred in late August of the 1987 season when Williamsport Bills’ catcher Dave Bresnahan, the grandnephew of Hall of Fame catcher Roger Bresnahan, pulled off a classic stunt never seen before in the eyes of baseball.

    With a runner on third base, Bresnahan switched catcher’s mitts and put on a glove in which he had hidden a shaved-down potato the size of a baseball. Before Mike Poehl delivered the pitch, Bresnahan transferred the potato to his throwing hand. The Reading Phils’ runner was a few feet off the base when Bresnahan fired the white potato down the third-base line, enticing the runner to sprint home. When the duped runner arrived at the plate Bresnahan met him with the real baseball and tagged the runner for the apparent out. But the plate ump was not so obliging. He awarded the runner home plate because of Bresnahan’s travesty. The president of the Eastern League also took offense to what he perceived as Bresnahan’s affront to the game, banning him from the league.

    Despite Bresnahan’s shenanigans, the citizens of Williamsport applauded him for his ingenuity and the club took advantage of a marketing opportunity. The following May the Bills held a “Dave Bresnahan Potato Night.” Fans paid $1 and a potato to get into the park. The event drew 2,734 fans, the second largest crowd of the season. To the delight of the crowd, Bresnahan re-enacted the play.

    If that wasn’t enough, the Bills eventually retired his number 59. At the retirement ceremony in 1998, Bresnahan was quoted as saying, “Lou Gehrig had to play in 2,130 consecutive games and hit .340 for his number to be retired, and all I had to do was bat .140 and throw a potato.”

  • paul in p.v.

    Dr. Lefty’s new boss is a crook:

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/education/article135583378.html#storylink=cpy


    May, 52, said last week that he intends to keep his paid board seats once he becomes University of California, Davis, chancellor Aug. 1, but does not intend to accept any more such positions – complying with a UC senior manager limit that regents imposed last summer.

    May, currently Georgia Tech’s engineering dean, was unanimously selected Thursday as the next chancellor of UC Davis by the UC Board of Regents. He will be paid $495,000 annually, which includes $75,000 raised privately for an endowed chair, making him the fourth-highest-paid chancellor in the system, based on UC records.

    Between UC and board compensation, May stands to receive more than $820,000 a year. The UC Office of the President on Tuesday framed his outside board activity as an asset.”

    • paul in p.v.

      These suits think everybody is stupid.

    • DrLefty

      UC doesn’t prohibit chancellors from having board seats. There are limits as to how many and what kinds. Our previous chancellor violated those guidelines.

      As a rank-and-file schmoe, I (a) don’t see why highly compensated chancellors need to make MORE money and (b) can’t imagine how they could possibly have the time for those things.

      If I were in charge, this wouldn’t be allowed at all. But it doesn’t necessarily follow that New Guy is a crook if he’s doing what all the other UC chancellors are also allowed to do.

      • paul in p.v.

        I’m sorry if I offended you. Nothing personal for sure, but I worked in corporate america, and witnessed all these guys (mostly) buttering each others’ bread all the time, and it just stinks to high heaven. What’s REALLY insidious is that they volunteer to be on each other’s “Compensation Boards,” which then approve these massive annual remunerations because they’re ‘outsiders’ and therefor “objective.” And they have the temerity to claim it’s an asset!

        While the rest of the peons scramble for a decent living wage.

        (And, btw, it’s these guys who distort and wreck the public pension systems, retiring with boocoo thousands per annum.

        Thanks for listening.)

        • DrLefty

          No, we’re on the same page. I think it’s a scam, too. I’m just saying that if our guy is doing the same thing that all the other chancellors are allowed to do, that doesn’t make him uniquely a crook.

          The political explanation would be that people with the skill sets to be chancellors of major universities could make a lot more money in the corporate world, so allowing them to “pad” their salaries–which sound great to us schmoes but compared to corporate titans are merely garlic fry pocket change–enables public universities to be more competitive to get the best talent.

          Or so the story goes. Me, I think if you’re going into “public service” for a state university, you ought to be able to limp along on nearly half a million per year. Also, I have been in the chancellor’s residence, which they get to live in as a perk. It’s really, really, really nice.

        • totalfan62

          Preach it, hermano.

    • The Oracle

      Don’t you have to commit a crime to be a crook?

      • paul in p.v.

        Great question. Let’s ask Dick Nixon.

        • Christopher Boyd

          What crime was he convicted of?

    • Christopher Boyd

      Lefty’s been working for the state for a while. One could argue that since Edmund Brown she’s always been working for a crook.

      • paul in p.v.

        Cheap shot to state workers and Jerry Brown, who balanced the state budget after decades of smoke and mirrors, and has lead Calif. back to prosperity. (I worked for 10 years under Dukmejian, Wilson, and the Meathead.)

        • Christopher Boyd

          Cheap shot is as polite as I can get about water stealing, sanctuary, no welfare cap, 4 term govenor loophole Brown… And we’ll leave it at that.

          Your basic premise the state budget is balanced is false. Even reported by the LA Times last month. Brown said so himself.

          https://www.google.com/amp/www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-jerry-brown-budget-trump-risks-20170110-story,amp.html

          • paul in p.v.

            You’re cherry-picking. I’ll ignore you if you’ll do the same.

          • Christopher Boyd

            No deal, it obvious you’re a whiny “safe place” seeker not interested in discourse. If you don’t agree with me I’ll ignore you so I don’t have to think… Whaaaaaa……..

            You’ll notice in my original post I didn’t praise all the Govenors you listed that you had beef with, rather the opposite. To me, the whole house is rot not just the rooms on the left or the right.

            What I find most amusing, is the failure of some to realize that Brown policies come during a beneficial economic trend and try to give him credit whereas history has shown political decisions have little impact in economic cycles. By the logic Brown saved California, Trump would be saving the country and inherently we know both premises are false.

            And now back to beisbol

            ~YMMV

          • paul in p.v.

            Name-calling doesn’t get it, meat.

          • dgg

            Just ignore or block, paul. Both options work well.

          • paul in p.v.

            Done, dgg. gracias.

      • DrLefty

        I work for the UC. That’s only marginally “working for the state.” The UC has separate governance, its own retirement system, and gets under 10% of its budget from the state. The state controller doesn’t sign my paychecks–the UC Regents do.

        When I was a CSU professor, it was different, but it was still Ahhhhnold when I left CSU in 2008.

  • The Oracle

    I really wish the Warriors weren’t signing Matt Barnes.

    • SurfCity

      They are up against it. They need someone to play the 3 as a starter.
      https://twitter.com/WojVerticalNBA/status/836852734791991297

    • Efrain

      Funny, once he got cut I had an inkling the Dubs would take a peek. Exactly what this soft ass team needs. Plus the fact he pisses you off, you know the whole black guy with tattoos thang. Lolz

      • PerSpeier35

        Yes, that’s exactly why Oracle is not interested in Barnes, never mind that the player is years past his prime and can’t help them win. Maybe they just want to help him get the record for most teams played for.

        • Efrain

          ok genius, given the cap space and who is readily available, why don’t you enlighten us on who is out there that can a) play a stretch 3 and shoot (even if not great) and b) provide good D against opposing SF.

          The Dubs need help, they don;t have anyone on the team to step into Durant’s role as a starter. You don’t want to mess with the 2nd units flow. Plus the Dubs are soft and their soft reputation is growing around the league, and deservedly so.

          • PerSpeier35

            Thanks for the acknowledgement, however, I have no idea who is available or what the cap space is and I don’t care. Your comment above was telling the guy he didn’t want Barnes because of your favorite race card when in reality the player is over the hill. I did hear on the radio this morning a reporter who saw Barnes this year said he’s played better lately but overall has been poor this season.

      • DrLefty

        LOL, a team with Barnes, Green, Pachulia, and West can in no way be called “soft.”

        • Efrain

          Sorry Doc, not surprised you disagree. However the Dubs are soft and many around the league feel so. Green is only guy who is a starter and plays tough. Pachulia is hardly healthy enough and West doesn’t provide enough. They tend to cower at times which leaves them vulnerable. Barnes will help, but the team is earning its rep.

    • cynic

      Maybe Evans and Bochy are giving them advise with signing vets.

    • Matthew

      I really wish KD wasn’t injured.

      To every action there is reaction. Gotta react. What are their choices? Barnes is a reasonable fill in

      • steve k

        i really wish i wasn’t so good looking. the adoration gets old..

        • 610nm

          And Kuiper is a very cute dog, too!

  • Panda Puffs are Delicious

    Jim Bowden has a piece up at ESPN today about “trades we would like to see this spring.” It’s behind a paywall so pasted to juicy stuff here (http://insider.espn.com/blog/the-gms-office/insider/post?id=13978 ):

    Giants get: OF Andrew McCutchen and cash

    Pirates get: RHP Tyler Beede, 2B Christian Arroyo and LHP Andrew Suarez

    Why it works …

    … for the Giants: The Giants are built to win another World Series right now and, as they have in the past, need to go for it. McCutchen would play center field for them, the position he prefers, and Denard Span could be shifted to left field. Currently, the Giants have Jarrett Parker and Mac Williamson competing for the left-field job.

    McCutchen is only 30 years old and is primed for a strong comeback season. He’s a strong clubhouse presence and would fit in great with the Giants’ culture. McCutchen has hit 20 or more home runs for six consecutive seasons, and although his slash line dipped last year, it was mostly because of lingering injuries rather than decline. He would really lengthen the lineup and bring the Giants much closer to the Dodgers in
    the NL West. The Giants are paying a steep price in prospects for this proposed deal, so the Pirates will have to pay part of McCutchen’s 2017 salary to offset the trade balance.

    The Giants would control McCutchen’s contract through 2018 and could extend him at some point.

    … for the Pirates:
    Trading McCutchen, the face of the franchise, would be the most unpopular move this administration has ever made. However, they already told the world they were going to trade him, and then when they didn’t, the Pirates told McCutchen he had to play right field. It’s only a matter of time before they deal him, so they might as well get it done before the season starts.

    The Pirates would get the Giants’ top pitching prospect, Tyler Beede, who was their first-round pick in 2014
    out of Vanderbilt. He’s coming off a solid season going 8-7 with a 2.81 ERA at Richmond in the Eastern League. He would fit nicely in the Pirates’ long-term starting rotation behind Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon and Tyler Glasnow.

    Arroyo would give the Pirates the heir apparent to Josh Harrison at second base, while Suarez would give them starting pitching depth. Suarez was the Giants’ second-round pick in the 2015 June draft. In his first two minor league seasons, he is 11-8 with a 3.20 ERA but has more hits given up (186) than innings pitched (183).

    Josh Bell, once he gets healthy, can be moved to fill the gap left by McCutchen in right — until rookie Austin Meadows is ready, which could be sometime later this summer.

    • earlytimes

      Not a chance they move Beede.

    • Efrain

      makes sense if you buy into the “Giants have to win now scenario” but I think it’s way too much to give up right now for various reasons:

      1) Even will some clear offensive issues and the whole pen break down, the Giants almost got the Cubs last season.
      2) The team has not produced a homegrown star for a few years now (Panik) and longer for a pitcher (Bum). I think mentally this team needs Beede and Arroyo to make it. There may be good kids down the line but this 3-4 year span can take a toll on a team.
      3) Giants need to hold on to their best long man (Saurez) and best young pitcher in case Cueto leaves after this season. There may be some changes to the entire staff next off season.
      4) Cutch may bounce back given his age, or he may not. Then we will be stuck with another aging vet whose body may be breaking down early like Pence.

    • DrLefty

      That’s nuts. The Giants may have two rotation openings this time next year. They expect Beede to fill one of them, if not before. And they expect Arroyo to be their 3B for years to come. They’re going to give up a guy who may slot in between Bumgarner and Moore, plus their 3B of the future, for two years of a guy whose best years are probably behind him? AND Andrew Suarez? Two first-round picks and a second-round pick, 18 years of team control, for TWO years of Cutch?

      I’d love for the Giants to get Cutch, but not at that price. Hard pass.

      • crawnik

        While that sounds tempting to do, I would not mortgage the future either.

        • Bapah

          I don’t find it the least tempting.

          • crawnik

            True. Wrong choice of word. How about never.

      • Matthew

        That’s a typical Bowden finger-diarrhea article

        • DrLefty

          Ridiculous. I’d call it clickbait except it’s behind a paywall.

          • Panda Puffs are Delicious

            It’s still click bait and what Matthew called it lol

      • buyselltrade

        How about one of the three that is not Beede plus an AAA starter plus an A or AA outfielder for Cutch plus cash?

    • Bapah

      Dumb. If that happened, I’d root for someone else for the next couple of years, or until Bobby left or got hit by a truck.

      • DrLefty

        There is none chance. Another reason it’s dumb is that the Giants have a lot of outfielders in the pipeline, including their top two draft picks in 2016. None of them will be MVP Cutch, but there are certainly possibilities as good as what Cutch is now–and younger and cheaper and under full team control.

        • Bapah

          Thank you. That’s a much more level-headed response than I could muster.

    • dgg

      Andrew McCutchen had a disappointing year in 2016. Even he said so himself. He struggled at the plate and you couldn’t even say “at least he has his glove.” In defensive runs saved, McCutchen was the worst center fielder in baseball in 2016. All the Giants need is to trade away the future for another guy hoping for a comeback season.

      • 610nm

        Except Cutch seems more likely to have a good year than Morse, Rollins, Beckham, and so on. The key point is that you’d have to give up something to get him, though. I’m pretty sure I’ve read that Cutch has agreed to move out of CF for the Pirates, while Giants probably need a player who can play part time in CF.

        But I do absolutely love this player and part of me wants to see his yellow change into orange.

        • Bapah

          Let’s hope the fairy tale of Morse, Rollins, Beckham, and so on, is of the same cloth as that stupid suggestion of trading Beede, Arroyo and Andy Suarez.

          In reading the last of that suggestion, it occurs to me this guy knows more about the Pirates than the Giants.

          • 610nm

            It is kind of the opposite approach of saying we’ll package up 8 or 10 bodies for a superstar, as surely enough bodies is worth it. Here, give up a fading big name in hopes the other guys throw in three talented young players.
            I wish Footy was still around, as his take on what a reasonable Giants package for Cutcheon might be could be interesting for us to discuss.

          • Bapah

            Foots will show up in some guise. Besides, I still have to apologise for poo-poo-ing an idea he threw out last season.

        • dgg

          Fangraphs shows how bad McCutchen was as a center fielder last year. So bad the Pirates have talked about moving him to a corner. McCutchen’s fielding would not be good for the Giants. They already have the 4th worst center fielder defensively on contract.

          http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=cf&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=y&type=1&season=2016&month=0&season1=2016&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

          • dgg

            If you open the Fangraphs chart, click on Fielding and CF to see the display.

          • Bapah

            DRS = -28
            UZR = – 18.7
            Great idea. Let’s get him.

          • dgg

            My link to Fangraphs re: McCutchen was my best cc imitation!

          • Bapah

            Wow, I don’t want Trout either. he had a -0.3 UZR.

  • steve k
  • crawnik

    Happy March everyone! Spring Training is in full swing, March Madness begins soon, the NBA and NHL are in the home stretch. All we need here in NorCal is some warm, sunny weather with temps in the 70’s…NOW!

  • Matthew

    Durant out 4 weeks, per reports that just came out.

    This is still a very good team, and they will “survive”, but this changes everything….especially AFTER those 4 weeks are up, and we see how he recovers.

    It was an unfortunate result of a big, dumb thug move by Gortat…but it’s not his fault per se…it’s just the breaks.

    • DrLefty

      Could have been worse. I think the #1 seed may be gone, given their rough schedule, but they’re 8 games up on Houston with 22 to play. I think they can win enough games to fall no lower than #2.

      • Matthew

        Injuries are always my fear (I have been more worried about Curry, actually), and Durant had clearly become the hub of this team in every way. This is a big blow, and hopefully both Splash Brothers can shake off their weird brain fog and get back to their games.

        Without Durant, i see the following teams as better: Cleveland, San Antonio, Boston and possibly Houston.

        And, with Matt Barnes being around Draymond, this will be a powder keg of anticipation…it’s gonna blow, I just don’t know when

        • DrLefty

          If it’s not the Dubs–and honestly, I have the resigned feeling I had when Posey got hurt in 2011–I hope (a) that Boston knocks out Cleveland or (b) either SA or Houston beats Cleveland.

          The Cleveland fans’ gloating and high-fiving on Twitter in response to Durant’s injury is nauseating. I knew they were a horrible fanbase already, but this clinches it. This year it’s all about ABC (Anyone But Cleveland).

        • BALDHEADSLIKK

          Ive said to myself all season long when is it going to happen and BOOM it happens to KD!

        • Skweezplay55

          One injury — even to a star player — can be overcome in the short term. ANOTHER injury to a starter would be rough.

      • crawnik

        Looking at the Dubs remaining schedule, I am cautiously optimistic they could go 16-6 or 17-5 to finish with 66 or 67 wins. That should be enough for a #1 seed.

        • DrLefty

          They have two more games with the Spurs, so there’s not much margin for error. But they’ll make adjustments, and it’s not like they don’t still have talent.

      • Skweezplay55

        I saw Houston the other night against Indiana. Man, Houston is awful. We are so spoiled watching a team that plays lightning-fast offense with scorers coming from everywhere (including off the bench) and where the players mostly play tough defense. Houston has one scorer, a bunch of wanna-be scorers, and no one who wants to play defense. Houston has no chance in any playoff series against a good team.

    • BALDHEADSLIKK

      Starting 5 is still strong but the bench scares me a bit especially near the end of the bench.

  • Andres The Forever Giant

    Jim Bowden is hypothetically trading again, this time about a Giants/Pirates “blockbuster.” Anyone who can peek behind the ESPN.com paywall, please enlighten! 🙂

    • dgg

      Andres, see Panda Puffs’ comment/excerpt below, and all the reasons why not in the comments below Panda’s.

      • Andres The Forever Giant

        Ah, now I see after refreshing my TWG link! I have to agree that’s too much from the Giants to give up. I’d think harder about it if it was Marte or Polanco or the phenom pushing Cutch out of CF!

    • DrLefty

      Even Foothills Ryan, the World’s Greatest Fake GM and a huge McCutchen fan, wouldn’t suggest THAT deal (Beede, Arroyo, and Andrew Suarez for McCutchen and cash).

      • dgg

        Talk about a guy who needs to come back.

        • Bapah

          The Foothills Lurker? He’ll be back. (Done in my best Ahhnold voice)

  • dgg

    Couldn’t this be an opportunity for the Warriors to show that they are versatile and resilient and not designed around, and overly dependent on, one guy?

    • DrLefty

      It is and it will be. Picking up Matt Barnes was a smart move. Kerr and his coaches are great, and they will adjust. We’ll also get a chance to see how guys like rookie Pat McCaw and JM McAdoo can contribute with more minutes.

      At the same time, Durant’s been their best all-around player this year and is a top-5 player in the league. You can’t lose him for weeks and not feel it. It would be like saying the Giants’ rotation would adjust if (God forbid) Bumgarner was out for awhile. Of course they would, but they still wouldn’t have Bumgarner.