610nm Guest Post: The Game I’ll Never Forget

by
610nm

I’ve been thinking about what to put in a TWG guest post for much of the off-season, but didn’t manage to do anything more. Greek Giant’s call to action has finally gotten me started. My theme was meant to be how my mother turned me into a baseball fan, although she probably didn’t expect the Giants thing to happen. But part of this story is some old games, to match GG’s recent suggestion of topic.

I grew up in the Midwest, where the Cardinals were dominant – everyone west of St Louis at least as far as the Rockies could listen to Harry Caray on a network of radio stations. We always had those games on, and of course my parents were Redbird fans. I was raised properly, in the National League religion, and taught contempt for the Yankees that persists to this day. We could watch exactly one game a week, on NBC every Saturday afternoon, so sometimes I could see Willie Mays in his prime, along with McCovey, Marichal, Perry, and all the rest of his Giants cohort. I’m very grateful to Willie for turning me into a Giants fan. Probably that was 1961, but perhaps 1962 when I was 8 years old, and learned the hard way in that World Series that sometimes the bad guys win. Baseball holds a lot of lessons for life, and the ’62 WS was an early and very cruel example. I still hate the Yankees almost as much as I hate the Dodgers.

Now, Dad liked ball as much as any normal American would, but Mom was a fanatic. I remember that if I went to the grocery store with Dad on Saturday, he’d buy me a packet of baseball cards and gum – and since my Mom is not the kind to throw cards away, I’m not one of those who complains that his Mom threw all his cards away after he went to college. Two of her uncles had once tried to go to Montana to play in some kind of rookie league, I’d guess back in the late ’20s, one of whom used to go to spring training in Arizona every year after he retired. As a kid, I thought that was a pretty cool idea, but of course the prices were quite a bit different then. Unfortunately I didn’t know I should ask my Greatuncle about his attempt to play pro ball, while he was still alive. Mom grew up in the 1930s in Topeka, so I grew up hearing about the mighty Topeka Owls whom the Internet reveals to have been a class C team, operating just before and after World War II. I often heard that Granddad would take Mom and my uncle for an ice cream on the way home from the game. Mom had lots of autographs she’d written off for, and the Owls gave her a life long passion for the game. We always went to a lot of minor league games in Wichita, and later Mom and Dad had half-season tickets and even were part of the booster club for the Wranglers: more on that later.

Now, our family would spend a vacation week in the summers of the 1960s, by loading all us kids into the back seat of a Ford to drive off to a major league city. Museums and stuff mostly, but always with a big league ball game. I remember going to Chicago, and having the game rained out: the next day Dad went to the ticket stand to plead that we were on holiday, and so not still in town on the official rain date, and could we please go that day. I did find that program, from 8 June 1969, complete with a rain check ticket stub tucked inside. That was long before the Cubs were selling out all their home games, and they were in fact extremely impressed anyone would have come all the way from Kansas to see them. We also went to the Astrodome, in June 1968, when the players decided to play the game we had tickets for after all, in the wake of RFK’s assassination. It is odd to think we all believed artificial turf was a good thing then, but I remember buying a scrap of it for my souvenir. We did go to a few KC Athletics games in the early ’60s, but those games weren’t a big deal as it was only an hour’s drive from Granddad’s home (and the AL, to boot, so not nearly as memorable). Granddad listened to his KC Royals on the radio the night before he passed away, I’m told.

But the best game of all these family trips was to STL. No doubt after intensive lobbying by 10 year old me, we arrived at the Giants-Cardinals game on 20 June 1964, quite possibly the first MLB game I ever saw. A couple of decades later, I had the memory that Willie had homered that day, but wasn’t sure who had won the game. Then Mom mailed me the program in 1990 (see photo) after Orlando Cepeda had come to a card show, where Mom had the program autographed. Apparently being asked to sign a 26 years old program seemed pretty unique, as she tells me Orlando spent some time looking at it before he signed it. Mom also sent along the newspaper she had saved, and delightfully for me to rediscover, it was a rout. 20 hits by our Giants, with a solo shot by Willie as one of our 3 HR. Cepeda, Lanier, and Davenport each had 3 RBI. Pagan was the SS, and Haller the C. Alas, the newspaper article says Willie clanked a catch into a triple, to Lou Brock, one of many big-name Cardinals that day. I’m sure Mom and Dad weren’t too thrilled about seeing their Cardinals lose 14-3. (box score http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SLN/SLN196406200.shtml).

Now, I can’t find the program from the next Giants game I saw in person, on 9 September 2006. 42 years after my first Giants game. Wherever that program is, there’s also the ticket stub and a button that marked one of Barry’s home runs, it must have been in the 750s, which you could get from the Giants by mailing in your ticket. I’ve had fun looking at a lot of other stuff while hunting for that program, including finding a printout of Mavo’s story about the Marichal/Spahn marathon. But finally I just tracked that game down on the internet. Jason Schmidt started against the Padres. We were there for a chemistry conference, and the student who organized the resold tickets got us into the left field bleachers, a few rows behind #25. Barry hit a solo homer to center early on. I remember turning to the Giants fan next to me, and remarking that the last time I went to a Giants game, that Willie had hit one (and waiting while the guy mentally processed that one!). The game got tied up, as Jason Schmidt was on his downward slide by then, just before slipping all the way to LA, but the Giants won 5-4 in extras (box score http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SFN/SFN200609090.shtml).

I’ve only been to one more Giants game in person, that one a 6-2 loss in Milwaukee on 19 June 2007, which Tim Lincecum started. The Brewers crowd was really ragging on Barry, hitting clean up, who went 0-3 with a walk. So my lifetime record is 2-1.

Okay, back to Mom. This is from a note she got in early 2016 from a childhood friend, now living in a nursing home in the Seattle area. They have an in-house news bulletin of some kind, by and about the residents. I have changed all the names in this, for purposes of anonymity, except for a few player names and the vaunted Topeka Owls:

JUST A FAN, NOT A FANATIC

Forest Home is blessed with several men who are avid baseball fans. The Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, and New York Yankees are among their favorite teams. But there are some women, too, with the baseball itch, among them Ann Nightingale.

“I love baseball”, said Nightingale, a Forest Home resident since February of 2014. “I’m just a fan, though. I’m not even close to being like some of my relatives who are fanatics”.

Therein lies a story of how the game can become so captivating, even intoxicating. And this story began in the 1940’s in Topeka, Kansas, home of the Topeka Owls of the Class C Western Association.

The Jerry Curtiss family, cousins of Ann Downing (Nightingale’s maiden name), began taking her to games with them.

“I felt so lucky they did that”, she said. “It was so much fun to spend a hot summer evening watching the young players in the all-white home uniforms. Fun to hear the crack of the bat. Fun to see the players tear around the bases. Fun to see them circle the bases after hitting home runs. It was only a class C league but some real talent came through it, including Stan Musial and Mickey Mantle. Needless to say, Musial and Mantle didn’t stay long.” [editor’s note: my Mom and my uncle always spoke of Musial in the same manner I do Willie. Baseball Reference tells me Stan the Man was an Owl in 1941].

Seeing Ann’s budding interest, Jerry [my Granddad] made it a priority to increase her interest. “He taught me a lot about baseball”, she said. “For instance, he taught me how to keep score and filled me in on some baseball lingo, such as ‘can of corn’ for a pop flyball.”

All the while, Ann became a bigger and bigger fan of the Owls, a team that periodically was associated with the St. Louis Browns, Chicago Cubs, and Chicago White Sox.

In 1949, two years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, Jerry encouraged his daughter Mary [that’s my Mom] to request an autograph from him. She was shocked and delighted by the reply. Robinson not only sent his autograph, but also those of Don Newcombe and Roy Campanella, two other black players signed by the Dodgers.

“Mary cherishes those autographs”, Nightingale said. “She probably could sell them for quite a bit of money, but she’s not about to do that. She has them in her archives which include many other autographs, articles, and other souvenirs. She did send me a copy of the autographs which is very special to me.”

Then there was the night at an Owls game when Jerry told Ann and Mary that George Sisler, the Hall of Fame first baseman, was in the park. He suggested that they ask for his autograph. “I got Sisler’s autograph, but I have no idea what happened to it”, Nightingale said. Her frustration with the loss of that autograph was heightened in 2004, when Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki surpassed Sisler’s record for hits in a season, with his 257th, a record which Sisler had held for 84 years, “And I lost his autograph”, she said.

Nightingale and her late husband moved to Puyallup, Washington in 1975, and she became a devoted fan of the Mariners. “I watch them on TV a lot”, she said. “I also like the Cubs, and Mary loves the Cubs. I have a wish – that the Mariners and Cubs would play in the World Series”.

Would a lifelong friendship be tested by such a pairing? “Not really”, Nightingale said, laughing. “I think it would be great fun”.

Mom was pretty happy last October, but I’ve recently told her not to expect a repeat in 2017 – the Giants are too strong to let that 9th inning happen again.

I’m not quite clear on how Mom changed from being a STL fan when I was a kid to a Cubs fan now, but she did pull for the Padres in between. That was because Wichita had the AA affiliate of the Padres for a while. Our Bruce Bochy managed the Wranglers in 1991, and made quite an impression as a human being on Mom. I’ve got a bunch of Bochy baseball cards that she bought back then, now in my possession. Mom also remembers Hunter Pence playing in Wichita, as the Wrangler’s were also an Astros affiliate for a spell.

You can see that my genetics indicate I’ll go to my grave as a Giants fan. I started just because Willie seemed so graceful a player, and he had so many other good teammates in the 1960s when I was a boy. Like a lot of people, my interest in baseball faded in early adult life, but started to come back in the 80s and 90s – I was at a chemistry conference during the earthquake, and at a different conference when the news came that Peter Magowan had saved our team for SF, and then a day later landed a deal with Barry Bonds. The organization now has great stability: financially, in the front office, and on the coaching staff. Pitching first, hitting second, the exact same recipe those cursed Dodgers used on us in the ’60s. Matt Cain is a personal favorite, and we all know what Tim Lincecum did. But best of all, I like the emphasis on team chemistry and decent people: it is easy to say Posey and Bumgarner, but then there’s also Panik and Pence and Crawford and our memory of Duffy or Vogey. The Giants are doing things the right way, and no doubt acquiring fans in this decade like they did back in the 1960s.

Now, let me end by saying how much this blog means to me. As baseball coverage died in the newspaper (try and find anything written about west coast teams in a Midwest paper today!), the internet came along, so I found the team’s MLB page and the SF Chronicle’s page early on. Somehow I then learned about Baggarly’s blog at the San Jose paper’s web site, which had great information about the team and players. Mostly I read the actual Extra Baggs post, but after a while it seemed that the comment section was chock full of interesting characters, with a deep knowledge of baseball. Pavlovic carried on well, and did us a big favor by getting rid of two awful trolls. I still can’t figure out why the SJMN let their blog fall apart last year, but Greek Giant really stepped up last season to keep things going. We’ve had new content all through the winter from GG, and I am sorry my own effort is too late to help GG as “Hot Stove filler”. Truly, thank you.

I’ve learned a lot from all of you, about old games, being a fan, the technical side of fielding and hitting, thinking about OurGuys, and how fatalistic a manager has to be about his pitching or pinch-hitting choices. Mentioning any names would just mean I overlook others, but I simply had to work in Mavo’s name above! It took me more than two years reading Extra Baggs to find the courage to toss in a comment, and I’m happy that you put up with me. I only played briefly in little league, and now you know that I have been to a grand total of 3 Giants games – I am so envious of your stories about Candlestick or attending parades or meeting some of the players. So let me encourage anyone who is lurking to chip in, too. There seems to be room for all kinds of baseball and Giants fans here, and even our fairly interesting Cubs and Dodger fan.

 

  • Matthew

    What a fantastic post…thank you

    • Bapah

      Yea, it’s a shame I didn’t know about it 4 hours ago.

      • Matthew

        were you too busy hand picking coffee beans off of shrubs in Argentina?

        • Bapah

          No. I was sitting on the other thread waiting for someone to post something.

          • Matthew

            Keep up, Gramps

          • Bapah

            It’s tough if nobody says anything.

          • lmao

  • crawnik

    Good morning all. Lineup for today’s game versus the American League champs:

    Today’s SF lineup vs. CLE: Span CF, Rollins SS, Pence RF, Parker LF, Morse DH, Hill 2B, Hundley C, Blanks 1B, Tomlinson 3B (Cain P)

    • Matthew

      Do Parker and Tomlinson need to sit at the Kid’s Table?

      • John Myhill

        I’m interested in seeing how tomlinson does at 3b. That seems to be his only chance to get into the starting lineup

        • DrLefty

          I’ve seen him play there in Sacramento. I thought he was quite good.

          • Well that settles it for me then. 🙂

    • HaakAway

      Six of those are among the 19 getting votes from MyGuy participants to make the 25-Man. Three are Givens and One got a comment yesterday that “I didn’t know he was still around,”

      • RobDeer

        Yup, that was me talking about Blanks. Hadn’t seen him get an AB before yesterday.

    • Bapah

      So, if Rollins is playing 2nd, who’s playing SS?

  • lisa k.

    Bravo! Well done, 610nm.

  • Watchingsince62

    It was a gorgeous Saturday at Marchant Stadium…now spruced up to the tune of $40 million or so. Sadly, it wasn’t Arizona and the Giants but instead the Tigers and Yankees. That being said, it was live baseball with a childhood friend. In other words, a great day!
    Next year…Scottsdale. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/793e73aefade2aad0407dd89e93773a218027a7c9f8adcd9a683e20460dc4ec9.jpg

  • channelclemente

    New power rankings in MLB are out. The Giants sit at #5, behind the the Cubs, Indians, Red Sox, and Dodgers.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2017/03/06/mlb-power-rankings-cubs-indians-rangers-dodgers/98792138/

    • Efrain

      that’s only one outlets take on it. I’ve seen them as low as 10 on other sites.

      Somewhere in between those numbers sounds about right for this roster.

      • Matthew

        I’ll bet you and Krukow would have spirited debates over brewski’s

        • Efrain

          Very! You know I would have tons to discuss.

          Over a nice bourbon or rye, with am IPA back.

  • RobDeer

    One thing I forgot to post yesterday was almost walking by a table set up for Willie Wilson and George Foster who were signing autographs. They both looked good. George was wearing Cincinnati red which makes sense. If he had been wearing Giants colors it would’ve been painful.

    • Matthew

      Where was Frank Duffy?

      • RobDeer

        Shopping for toothpicks with U.L. Washington.

        • Matthew

          Hmm…Frank already has toothpicks below his waist. Wasted trip

      • totalfan62

        …and Vern Geishart.

  • RobDeer

    Might stop by the bullpen and talk to Cain. See if I can help him out.

    • Matthew

      These episodes of Deer Tales are fantabulous

    • channelclemente

      tend bar?

      • RobDeer

        I’m back on the horse. Guess it makes sense with Cain starting.

  • channelclemente

    A closer look at some of the issues with artificial turf. https://theconversation.com/why-artificial-turf-may-truly-be-bad-for-kids-72044

    • Matthew

      MRI’s on my son’s knees tell me all I need to know

  • DrLefty

    Awesome guest post!

  • Keep’n It Real

    Two thumbs up!!

  • DrLefty

    So His Majesty King James felt that he wanted work at 2B, so now Hill’s playing SS (hasn’t played there in a decade).

    Matt Cain: Sheesh, I’m trying to hold onto my rotation spot, Crawford’s gone, and I have both my middle infielders playing out of position? Thanks a bunch, Boch.

    • Matthew

      When I first read this, i thought Lebron was playing 2B for the Giants today

    • paul in p.v.

      Cain coughs one up. That didn’t take long.

      • Matthew

        a hairball?

        • Matthew

          Let’s start calling him Big Snorkel!!!

    • paul in p.v.

      With a combined age of over 70. Can’t say that about too many 2B combos.

    • crawnik

      That and only 2 players in the lineup batting over .300

    • The Oracle

      I think Cain knows he has it wrapped up.

  • paul in p.v.

    Really really good post 610.

    ” I’m very grateful to Willie for turning me into a Giants fan. Probably that was 1961, but perhaps 1962 when I was 8 years old, and learned the hard way in that World Series that sometimes the bad guys win. Baseball holds a lot of lessons for life, and the ’62 WS was an early and very cruel example.”

    Truer words were never spoken.

  • Bapah

    A+, Orange.

    • Bapah

      Is it OK if I call you O for short?

  • Heinz Ketchup

    What are Belt’s chances against Kershaw tomorrow? He is 0 for his last 4 against him, and by 0 for 4, I mean last 4 years. He hasn’t got a hit off him since 2012. 0-37 with 22 strikeouts. SMH.

    • Matthew

      he’s due

      • Bapah

        I guess nobody saw the comment I made on Belt’s ABs against Chapman.

      • The Oracle

        He did get AT&T’d against Kershaw once last season.

      • channelclemente

        LOL. A LHB trying to pull the arguably the best LHP in baseball, with a shift on seems a fools errand. Belt and Samardzija seem to share a rockbox sometimes.

  • crawnik

    Phenomenal post 610nm!

    • totalfan62

      Agreed. Great read, sir.

  • DrLefty

    Aaron Hill! That’s MyGuy™! One of ’em, anyway.

    • livfreerdi

      Really? Why … sorry, I missed the original explanation. He seems like another guy (with Rollins) wasting time.

      • DrLefty

        I actually think Hill’s a legitimate bench option. He can play several positions competently and has some pop. He’s 34 and still a decent player–hit .262 with 10 HRs in part-time play last year. Rollins has been washed up for a couple of years and is 38. As I’ve noted before, Rollins was DFA’d from the White Sox last June, hit in the .220s in 2015 and 2016, and hasn’t hit over .260 since 2011.

        Hill is 5-for-14 this spring.

        • totalfan62

          Hill definitely has some game left in him.

      • Peter Johnson

        His last 3 years are a lot better then Cain’s, who you think has lots of upside !

  • Matthew

    Cainer with 3 strong…Bruce and Raggs doing a do-si-do near the on deck circle!

    • livfreerdi

      I hope we’re all rooting for him to win this spot. He’s got the highest upside … having the old Cain as the No. 5 likely means a division title.

      • Matthew

        I’m rooting…with a serious case of the Cain Yips

      • DrLefty

        Having the more recent version of Cain as the #5 likely means 85 wins and finishing 8 games out of the NL West title.

      • Peter Johnson

        WTF, have you seen him pitch the last 4 years, the old Cain is long gone , and Blach and Beede have way more upside, Beede just won the ERA title in AA, and throws mid to upper 90s !

        • Matthew

          PJ with a “WTF”!

          • Stop the Presses!

          • Really that had me ROTFLMAO

          • Peter Johnson

            Cain more upside then, two up coming young pitchers, that statement, deserved it !

    • DrLefty

      It’s fair to note that he was mainly facing minor leaguers. No Lindor, Encarnacion, etc.

  • DrLefty

    Nice baserunning, Rollins!

    • Matthew

      I’m unable to listen, but my reading experiences on TWG makes me think this was a tiny bit sarcastic?

      • DrLefty

        Got caught off third and tagged out in a rundown.

        • 610nm

          Listed officially as caught trying to steal home, which does sounds better than “picked off”.

          • HaakAway

            Belated thank you for your baseball stories. You caught the flavor of so many kids in America that found heroes in The Game while still appreciating the Everyday Heroes of their own families.

            Good job.

            You have at least one article still in you about those Bochy baseball cards with some pictures to go with it.

          • Bapah

            It’s funny, but your piece resonated very strongly with me. I grew up in SoCal and from very early I remember the radio on with Vin and Jerry Doggett and daily baseball games. I got my love of listening to games from her. My dad coached, but Mom was the real fan. Even though it was the Dodgers, she influenced my love of the game (and Sandy Koufax) more than anyone. So, thanks for the induced memories and pardon the early LA fandom.

            [I wish I’d listened to her. She wanted me to play baseball in college and not football. Always the wise woman.]

        • There is no such thing in score book as caught off third actually….

    • RobDeer

      He looks old. But I guess I’m stating the obvious.

      • RobDeer

        Ok, was just told by the missus that Rollins made a nice catch while I was getting a beer. So I guess he looked young for a minute.

  • RobDeer
    • Bapah

      Well, rotate them.

  • Bapah

    Dufus announcer, it isn’t pronounced caliK-stay, it’s cali-stay.
    How does this guy get the call to announce the Giants ST every year?

    • HaakAway

      Tough customer.
      He has the genetic advantage or name and voice.
      He has some knowledge at least; even if his Spanish is rusty.
      Is “Rusty” the other announcer?

      • Bapah

        Jon doesn’t seem to have that problem.

        • HaakAway

          He is a HOF’er with language skills that are off the charts.
          Think of these announcers as AAAA pitching prospects that keep getting switched from Starting to Closing.

      • Bapah

        Also, Hank was pretty good IIRC.

  • dgg

    You have a wonderful mom, 610nm.

  • dgg

    This made me laugh out loud.

    Andrew Baggarly 35min ago:
    Sneaky: Ty Blach enters and allows Matt Cain’s inherited runner to score on a double, thus driving up his competitor’s ERA.

    • Bapah

      Andrew Baggarly‏Verified account @extrabaggs 54 minutes ago
      “Second baseman Jimmy Rollins has snagged two line drives with diving efforts thus far today. No question, he can play there.”

      Either that, or he gets such bad reads that he has to dive for balls that other guys would just make routinely.

      • dgg

        The latter.

    • DrLefty

      Another way to put it is, “Ty Blach, a starting pitcher, had to come into someone else’s inning, inherit his baserunner, and pitch immediately from the stretch.”

  • RobDeer

    Just saw Hunter doing some running on the back field. Gotta love him. I was sneaking a cig. Gotta hate me.

  • DrLefty

    Who’s calling the game with Doug G.? Is it Joe Ritzo?

    • Peter Johnson

      He was supposed to , Giants getting hitting from guys not supposed to make the team, Blanks today .

      • DrLefty

        I was thinking that whoever it is sounds like a competent professional, i.e., not Shawn Estes (though to be fair, Estes has been better this year, IMO). I’ve always thought Ritzo’s pretty good.

  • RobDeer

    Kyle Blanks with 3 hits today. A big FU to RobDeer.

    • DrLefty

      Sounds like that last one was a *triple.

      • RobDeer

        Yeah, standing out in RF so couldn’t see how it played out. The way their RF-er was tracking it I figured it was gonna be caught.

    • Peter Johnson

      He is a long shot to make the team , those are the only guys hitting this Spring for the Giants , the regulars are not hitting very much at all .

      • RobDeer

        I’m just glad I have you to walk me thru this ST process.

        • Peter Johnson

          No problem , glad to help you out !

          • DrLefty

            You’re on a roll today, PJ.

          • Peter Johnson

            I am a little worried, the Giants do not give me that much optimism, the way they are playing so far, Starting Pitching, and every day players hitting, it’s early I know !

          • DrLefty

            I”m a little worried, too.

  • DrLefty

    OK, not Joe Ritzo. Someone named “Rocky.”

    • Bapah

      Koplick? Coplic? No idea who he was, but better than Doug.

      • Vice President, Client Retention & Sales Strategy Rocky Koplik

  • Peter Johnson

    Strickland in, and gives up leadoff infield single to SS, to lead off 9th in 1 run game, should he got him out Mr. Deer !

    • Sgbssfg

      A win. Nice change of pace.

    • channelclemente

      Only good things can come from Strickland increasing his GB rate. Take the long view.

  • HaakAway

    Hey RobDeer … How is Strickland getting these DP ground balls?
    Has he changed his approach?
    What was his highest FB?

    • RobDeer

      I made a couple clandestine mound visits with some sandpaper strategically tucked into my thong.

      • channelclemente

        Red Tide in motion!

      • HaakAway

        TMI!

      • Matthew

        That’ll make a guy squeak

  • crawnik

    The streak is over! Very nice outing by Blach.

    • RobDeer

      I’m a slumpbuster. Just ask Mateo.

  • channelclemente
  • channelclemente

    To dovetail with an earlier discussion here, Dave Cameron discusses two new stats , Catch Probability and Hit Probability, derived from Statcast (as BAPAH described earlier), that will come to effect WAR.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/statcast-and-the-future-of-war/

    • The Oracle

      Awesome. If there’s one thing baseball needs, it’s more “advanced” stats. There were hardly any before.

      • channelclemente

        You are invited to ignore them. They have bedeviled you for a while. Think of it as cautious humility.

  • RobDeer

    Haak asked what Strickland’s velocity was but there’s no readouts here. Which is aggravating. Curious what Cain topped out at today. Looked to have more pop than his last start but if it’s true he hit a high of 87 last time, it’s not saying much. Anyone know what he hit today on the gun?

    • HaakAway

      No gun so that the pitchers don’t look at it?
      Notice any scouts using them?

      • RobDeer

        I saw Ryan but he was wearing a wig with a stuffed bra and I didn’t want to blow his cover.

      • Bapah

        That’s a good point when going to see MiLB and College games. I always sit close to and behind or next to scouts with guns. I’ve lucked out a couple of times by being within chatting distance of Giants’ scouts. They’re the friendliest.

        • HaakAway

          I like that idea and have identified the spot for that at the San Jose games for this year. Scouts seem like a young group; maybe well coached college players that did not quite get drafted? I will have to ask them how they got into this biz.

          • Bapah

            You can bet they’ve had some experience or exposure to coaching somewhere.

  • @ 610nm Guest Post: The Game I’ll Never Forget

    Thanks for sharing. Those are GREAT memories!

  • Umpire Rob Drake returns after long lay-off http://www.closecallsports.com/2017/03/injury-scout-rob-drake-works-1st-game.html

    PSS – “The New IBB Rule”: McCovey does not like it. Carl Steward hates it. I don’t like Manfred messing with rules that are not part of the reason why the game is stretched out.

    I still would have loved to see the OLD IBB – with a runner at third base and some tweaked reliever on the mound – especially – one Just called in who threw 18 warmup strikes in the bull pen and then now his skipper holds up 4 fingers. Balderdash – if the new reliever was Chapman or Dellin Betances under the old rules – with our runner at third….. I am enjoying that aspect of the game.

    The should have split the distance. Runner on third = must throw four balls. Otherwise you can use automatic IBB

  • Efrain

    Let’s hope it’s really helping Blach coming in and looking sharp post some Cain innings.

    I’m kinda high on Slania, wonder if there is room for him. Who goes? Guerrin? Kontos?

  • Anybody down at Spring Training or headed there asap and YOU have something untoward going on regarding your SF Giant Spring Training Package – I suggest you write down this name: Greg Marinec – Client Retention & Spring Training Manager. Greg has held several titles within Giants Ticket Office Front Office but this is clearly his niche. Can almost “walk on water”.

    One thing he could not do is hit a grand-slam on MLB Jeopardy as you can see by the frame. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e21744ef74f30e51204c399322150d4abf08507086bd1a7fdcee9abf80d76d2a.jpg

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/04b071e9c9916b9a95eda22e9762c8ac10f8bed0bb9cef347170d4fe4f5c7787.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/23a435e68d5b6972ede7a1b803617e17b45f563635bb7262495c85fe38948ce4.jpg

    • Matthew

      Swing Happy Deer is down there now….

      • RobDeer

        Outta here in the morning. One toke over the line…

        • Matthew

          Whoa…already reassigned to minor league camp?

          Trouble with the curve

          • RobDeer

            Me and Clint berating an empty chair in the desert.

  • Matthew

    So, if you go over to CSNBayArea.com, you’ll see Alex so remain all-in on the fact that Cain gets the 5th slot….

    • Heinz Ketchup

      Is Alex still following Baggs around like a puppy dog?

  • Skweezplay55

    Enjoyed this post very much!! Thanks for sharing this with us, 610nm.

  • channelclemente
  • DrLefty

    Andrew Bogut had to be carried off the floor with a leg injury in his Cavaliers debut.

  • Bapah

    I hadn’t realized that KT has an outfield UZR/150 of 110.4. Best on the team.
    Span’s is -10.0. Parker is -11.0

    • Efrain

      you can’t seriously compare KT’s to Span’s considering the difference in the window it reflects.

      • Bapah

        You tell me if I’m serious.

    • DrLefty

      LOL–he’s played two games in the OF, right? But I do remember him gunning a guy down at the plate on the fly last year.

    • Michael Scott

      And 20 innings in LF already!!!!

  • BALDHEADSLIKK

    BOGUT FRACTURED LEFT TIBIA OUT 4 SEASON! This type of injury usually takes 4-6 months to heal.

    • earlytimes

      Bogut hurt? What a shocker.

    • DrLefty

      Ezeli’s having season-ending knee surgery, which is kind of a misnomer since he hasn’t played a minute this year. The Dubs did right moving on from those two guys. Too bad for Bogut, whom I enjoyed as a Warrior, but yeah–not surprised.

      • BALDHEADSLIKK

        Everything you just said I agree with wholeheartedly

  • steve k

    that was a very enjoyable read, ST. well done, my friend. GPOTS (guest post of the season)

  • earlytimes

    Game I’ll never forget is the one I left in the 3rd inning. It was 9-0 Mets by the time we got to our seats in the bottom of the 1st on a very cold night at the stick.

  • DrLefty

    Just to prove to PJ once and for all that I do not–DO NOT–hate Jarrett Parker, here’s an awesome article by Schulman about him.

    http://www.sfchronicle.com/giants/article/Giants-Jarrett-Parker-is-intense-and-intent-10981662.php?t=205aa85f18&cmpid=twitter-premium

  • Michael Scott

    Game I’ll never forget- 1960 WS Game 7
    BTW, the first cuts have been made.Sent to the minor league camp: Belt, Nunez, Crawford, Pence, Span, Hernandez, Rollins,Ruggiano,Moore, Osich, Kontos,Gearrin, MadBum, Cain,Samardzija

  • Heinz Ketchup

    The game I’ll never forget is July 8, 2013. Matt Harvey vs Tim Lincecum. Game went 16 innings, lasted 5 hours 26 minutes. Posey went 5-8 with 2 doubles and a homer. It was also Brandon Belt’s first career start in the 3 hole. He responded with an 0-8 with 5 strikeouts. SMH

    • Michael Scott

      You haven’t gotten over Belt’s game yet ?

      • DrLefty

        This is a long-time Belt hater reappearing.

        • Efrain

          I knew I liked him for a reason, sounds like a smart person

          • Heinz Ketchup

            👍👍👍

    • DrLefty

      How about the 18-inning game in which Belt hit the game-winning HR and the Giants took control of the NLDS in Washington? That was an even longer extra-inning game.

      • Heinz Ketchup

        Ahh, the Yusmerio Petit game. Must of slipped my mind.

        • DrLefty

          Petit’s six innings was the most remarkable performance I think I’ve ever seen. Six bottom of the ninths, every one sudden death. SIX.

          • Bapah

            Ah. The “Must of slipped” tipped it off for me. What is it with these “Incognito” people? They always tip their hand.

  • DrLefty

    Baggarly is also of the opinion that Bochy has already decided on Cain as fifth starter.

    I feel sick. Sick. The Giants have decided to punt this season before it starts. And it’s all about money and ego. They don’t care about winning this year.

    • Heinz Ketchup

      They gave a 31 yr old closer 62 million. Pretty sure they haven’t punted on the season.

      • DrLefty

        There is no excuse for letting Cain pitch one single inning this year. They have other options. He was horrific the last couple of years. You are choosing to lose every game he starts.

        • Bapah

          That’s a silly statement.

          • channelclemente

            But heartfelt.

          • Bapah

            No doubt.

          • giantc

            They won’t lose every game he starts but I would say they will likely lose 2 out of 3. He is really has been awful for several years now. Blach gives them a much better chance to win. The games in April and May count — if the Giants lose the division by a few games letting Cain “figure it out” again this season could cost them. Evans needs to step in and tell Bochy no once in a while.

          • Bapah

            I think that is the popular speculation.

          • 2holehitting

            And Black or someone else could just as well come into the season and stink it up and lose 2 of 3. It is all speculation until proven out.

        • Michael Scott

          He has been lacking in consistency, constancy, and visible order. Quite fitful and disconnected, I’d say.

    • Foothills rye aka Lolium m.

      I’m reluctant to give you ammunition, but you already come strapped with bandoliers.

      Denard Span hasn’t exactly been lighting up the Cactus League batter’s box like Jimi Hendrix and his Strat at Woodstock.

      Got to get him going. If, somehow, he’s partially finished and not being productive, it will take a while to supplant him and the replacement probably won’t offer much. He’s sort of key to the offense, and a hole could be dug. So, positive thoughts.

      • DrLefty

        Let’s hope it’s just spring training talking. He gets a fresh start from me until he shows otherwise.

        • Foothills rye aka Lolium m.

          Plenty of other sluggish starts as well. He’s not alone. By next week, you’d really like to see swings coming around.

          • DrLefty

            Yep. Not worried yet. My eagle eyes will scout them this weekend!

    • dgg

      Just read Baggarly’s game story. Sounds like Blach might not even make the team if the Giants believe Cain can pitch deep into games and won’t need a long reliever.

      • DrLefty

        “Cain can pitch deep into games”–based on what…2009? Sighhhhh

        • dgg

          I’m going to be very upset if Blach doesn’t even make the team but that’s what Baggarly hinted at because of the competition in camp for the reliever spots.

      • paul in p.v.

        Sounds like another Terry Mulholland coming down the pike.

    • The Oracle

      Jimmy Rollins’ poor spring training numbers are meaningless as well. It’s early, says the large headed one. The previous two seasons of poor hitting were apparently also too early to be relevant.

    • paul in p.v.

      Maybe he’ll get his arse kicked so badly in early starts that he’ll have to go DL.

  • Foothills rye aka Lolium m.

    Holy cow! This is a fantastic guest post by an absolutely vital member of the blog. Step aside Robert K. Adair, 610, you’re my favorite baseball physicist. Great handle, very cool, and bright human being.

    I just noticed that you augmented your avatar. Your special quartz prism appears to have some sort of refractive filter quality to eliminate blue and illuminate with orange ( at 610 nanometers no less! ). Very clever, creative, and cool indeed. I expect no less from you, or your mother. May the Giants and Cubs have a rematch in the NLCS.

    PS – your tales of watching that weekly baseball game during that era, those damn Yankees, and your reflective prose reminded me of the book ‘The Brothers K’. Real good book. I think you and or anyone else who enjoys reading and baseball will enjoy this book.

    https://www.amazon.com/Brothers-K-David-James-Duncan/dp/055337849X

    Cheers.

    • 610nm

      Thanks, Footy. It means a lot to me (and I’ll try the book). Sometimes I feel like a walking history museum: Yes, when I started there was only the game of the week on the TV, but the radio meant that the Class C teams like the Owls were just gone. Probably that TV that first showed Willie to me was still black and white.

  • channelclemente
  • steve k

    nice win for g state.great game from iggy, and i really like that kid, patrick mccaw. he was picked late in the 2nd round by the bucks, then traded for cash to the warriors. “Warriors executive board member, Jerry West, felt McCaw should not have slipped that far, saying “People are gonna be sorry they didn’t draft him.” that west guy was an ok baller if i recall. or should i call him “the logo?”

    • DrLefty

      Excellent win for them. They needed to remember how to win as a team.

    • Keep’n It Real

      It was written that if the Dubs re-sign Durant next season (he’s not going anywhere), they would have to release Livingston and/or Iggy. If it’s a choice, I’m re-signing Iggy. Maybe Durant will take a little less to help keep Iggy around…or the Dubs just have to pay the luxury tax impact.

  • channelclemente

    This had to leave a mark, Israel upset Korea 2-1 in 10 innings in the WBC in Seoul.

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/06/israel-south-korea-world-baseball-classic-opener-seoul

  • DrLefty

    “I think a guy like Tyler can give you some different options”–Bochy, talking about Blach’s prospects as a swingman.

    Except that his name is not “Tyler.” That’s Beede. Be nice if the manager actually knew who he was talking about. SMH.

    https://twitter.com/mlbpipeline/status/838952822884323330

    • channelclemente

      Maybe a trade is in the works? By the way, it’s Tyson.

      • dgg

        Cain has waived his full no-trade clause and has agreed to a trade?! That’s great news!

        • giantc

          Who in the hell would trade for Cain. Even if the Giants paid his entire salary, he has statistically been one of the worst pitchers over the last few years while pitching 1/2 his games in a favorable park.

          • Michael Scott

            She was kidding.

          • giantc

            I’m sick and a little slow today.

          • Michael Scott

            That’s OK, me too.

          • Bapah

            Nevermind

          • Michael Scott

            I think I have said this before, I have at least 2 things in common with Bochy. We both move slow and can’t get a decent shave.But if he doesn’t pick it up this year, I might make the HOF before he does.

          • Bapah

            Chef, you’ve already made it. We’re just waiting on the ceremony… and the little lapel pin.
            Who has lapels anymore, anyway?

          • dgg

            I hope you feel better soon, giantc. Genuinely, for real!

          • dgg

            I didn’t think my sarcasm was that subtle.

          • dgg

            Hey giantc! When we discussed the Giants trading Cain several days ago, I asked: What team would want him?

    • dgg

      Bochy should know that Ty isn’t short for Tyler. Tyson Michael Blach is his full name.

      • paul in p.v.

        ‘Damned with faint praise.’

        • DrLefty

          Exactly. By downgrading Blach’s career from a starter to a swingman, Bochy is denying him the opportunity to earn a lot more money–you know, like Matt Cain has already earned?

          The Yusmeiro Petits of the world make $2-3 million in a good year. Meanwhile, Matt Cain has made around $150 mil playing baseball. It’s not a small thing to derail a starting pitcher’s career when he’s already 26 years old and has been patiently waiting his turn in your system for years.

          Cain gets paid whether he pitches or not. Bochy’s callousness towards a guy like Blach is amazing.

          • paul in p.v.

            I know it’s echoing, but this Rollins/Cain sheet is infuriating. The Cardinals would NEVER stifle a budding young player like Blach.

          • DrLefty

            Yes, I was going to mention Kelby Tomlinson, another nice young man who’s done everything asked of him–including, for example, knocking in the winning run yesterday with a good AB–and how his career is possibly going (back) into the deep freeze so that ancient, washed-up Jimmy Rollins–who like Cain has already made all his money–can have one last hurrah.

            Blach is being Hestoned, not Cained.

          • crawnik

            Your last sentence is spot on.

          • DrLefty

            Basically, he doesn’t fit into their plans. They had it all worked out with Cain’s last contract year and Beede lined up as the heir apparent. Blach wasn’t supposed to be better than Cain, just like Heston wasn’t supposed to be one of their best starters in 2015. But they effed with Heston to preserve spots for Peavy and Cain, buried him, and then dumped him–a guy who won 12 games and pitched a no-hitter. I don’t even remember what they got for Heston.

          • crawnik

            The Giants were to receive the PTBNL in the Heston trade. I’ve searched for who it might be and so far, no luck.

          • DrLefty

            That’s right. I think they’re going to decide when spring training is over.

          • paul in p.v.

            Ah shoot I forgot about Presto. I hope he wins 20 with Seattle.

          • dgg

            Even if he doesn’t win 20, I hope Heston has a spectacular year!

          • crawnik

            I suppose in this case, money talks; even if Blach is pitching better than Cain.

          • DrLefty

            Which he was and IS. If you’re going by merit, there is absolutely zero question who deserves that spot, or at least first crack at it. And then there’s Beede, Blackburn, and Stratton, and even Dan Slania. Plenty of credible candidates for that fifth spot. But the least credible is going to get it.

          • earlytimes

            It’s up to Baer Sabean Evans to cut Cain. I think Bochy would prefer Blach.

          • dgg

            I think you’re right about this, earlytimes. But how can they cut former hero Cain? I’m thinking this situation will eventually be resolved by an injury, for real or not.

          • earlytimes

            That’s the dilemma/problem for them. Does one think for a minute bochy preferred running Zito out there for 7 yrs?

          • dgg

            No, not at all.

    • Michael Scott

      If Cain and Blach both make it, that would shut out MyGuy Adrian Suarez.

      • Moooooooooose

        Cain and Blach are MyGuys!

      • paul in p.v.

        You mean there’s 3 of them?

    • cynic

      He’s like my dad who’s over 70 and can’t remember names anymore.

      • DrLefty

        I’m half-joking because there ARE a cajillion “Tylers” right now, and they do have Tyler Beede, so it’s not all that shocking Bochy wouldn’t know that Blach’s full name is Tyson and not Tyler. But he at least should know that Blach goes by “Ty.”

    • Kramerica

      It’s just maddening because we all basically knew Bochy made up his mind even though we hoped he’d give the chance to the deserving guy. As you have astutely pointed out I don’t think it should be glossed over that Blach is 26. If he was 21 I’d be a little bit more tolerant of Bochy’s decision. But he’s 26 with absolutely nothing left to prove in the minors and he’s proven so far at the big league level that he belongs in a rotation. Whereas Cain hasn’t proven that in 4 years. And, at what point does Bochy pull the plug on Cain? I think it will have to be at least two months of poor starts before he does. I don’t seem him making a rotation change in early May. Cain nearly pitched the Giants out of the playoffs last year while Blach pitched them into the playoffs. Yet Blach is the one who will be relegated to the pen because the Giants still cannot grasp the concept of a sunk cost.

      • earlytimes

        “…. to deny that Cain’s $21 million salary will play into the decision is naive.” Schulman.
        Evans is the one who said in a perfect world Matt Cain wins the 5..Bochy playing along…

  • earlytimes

    “They won’t lose every game he starts but I would say they will likely lose 2 out of 3.”

    G’s went 7-9 last yr in Cain’s starts, 11-15 over the last 2 yrs. And he did pitch well enough in couple more to win. Also went 11-10 in Peavy’s starts, so they almost overcame 18-19 from the 4&5.
    Not to say I wouldn’t prefer Blach or Beede, but I expected they would give Cain another shot. Think the rope will be considerably shorter.

  • Moooooooooose

    Great stories 610nm!!

  • steve k

    i’m sure this was mentioned earlier, but i just saw it. ben carson..really??? holy shit

    • 12xu

      Samuel L. Jackson’s tweet says it best:
      “OK!! Ben Carson….I can’t! Immigrants ? In the bottom of SLAVE SHIPS??!! MUTHAFUKKA PLEASE!!!#dickheadedtom”

    • earlytimes

      The man said Barack Obama’s Affordable Care act was “really, I think, the worst thing to happen to the nation since slavery. And it is slavery, in a way”.

  • Bapah

    Anybody here hear of NIF?
    It isn’t important; was just wondering.

    • 610nm
      • Foothills rye aka Lolium m.

        Doesn’t The Death Star essentially operate a ‘NIF’?

        • 610nm

          Hmm. The very last thing on that web page says the lab was used as the engine room in the film “Star Trek into Darkness”.

      • Bapah

        I’ll look. I was intrigued by a story of recent developments there on sustaining a reaction and the likelihood of a sustainable fusion reaction there in the next 5 years. It was late and just wanted to know if anyone was still up and knew about it. Seems sort of silly now, come to think of it. I used to work at LBL and Livermore was our sister facility.

        • Bapah

          I once subbed in a high school science class for a day and asked them what the significance of the recent development of a blue laser was. It had recently been done at LBL. Surprisingly one kid got pretty close with his answer. [Yes, it was an honors class.]

        • 610nm

          My sense (just as a chemist, not an engineer/physicist) is that the NIF has gotten closer to fusion than most projects, but we aren’t necessarily any better than “fusion is the power of 50 years from now” – a phrase that has been a truism my entire career. Of course, you get a lot of good expertise on giant lasers and pulse control out of projects like this, and train students and postdocs.

          But we maybe spend too much on stuff like this, and not enough on the things that actually work:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Iowa
          My state started wind in 1983, and went from 8% of electricity from wind in 2008 to 31% last year (less than a decade). They are building a new power line to take the energy from where it is windiest to where the most people live, so our percentage heading up.

          There’s big progress in solar, too.

          • Bapah

            Just like baseball, science needs its AFL too.

  • crawnik

    Today’s lineup vs. Dem Bums, courtesy of Pavs:

    Guys facing Kershaw: Hernandez CF, Panik 2B, Williamson LF, Belt 1B, Ruggiano RF, Marrero DH, Hwang 3B, Beckham SS, Federowicz C. Moore SP.

    • dgg

      and so, the Beckham fixation continues…

      • 610nm

        Crawford and Posey went to the WBC. Maybe we should be happy this lineup is Beckham > Rollins? Although, as far as I know, Arroyo is still in the MLB camp.

        • dgg

          My point exactly. I know the Giants are grooming Arroyo for 3B, but we all know Christian can play SS. I’m way more interested in watching Arroyo play. The Giants should be too.

          • 610nm

            And KT needs to be on the field. I think we’re going to see people assigned to MiLB or released pretty soon, and am not panicking before that.
            In the meantime, the Giants need more split-squad games to get their army on the fields.

          • Bapah

            They only have 2 this ST

          • dgg

            Kelby played yesterday so I’m guessing that’s how come he’s not in the lineup today. The Giants decided against multiple split-squad games this ST.

          • Matthew

            Maybe this period of early Spring Training is the exact right time to play guys like Rollins and Beckham to see what they have in the tank. I agree that it’s much more interesting to fans if guys like Arroyo and KT get more playing time…but Spring Training isn’t for fans…it’s for evaluating players to lead to the proper decisions in building a championship roster.

          • dgg

            I have no interest in what Rollins and Beckham have left in the tank. Zero.

          • dgg

            Oh. I forgot. I don’t think they should have been invited to spring training.

          • Bapah

            I think Sabes has been a dumpster diver his whole career.

          • dgg

            But there was really no need to dive in dumpsters for this season. The Giants already have guys for these spots. Guys who are younger. Guys who proved they’re worth, and proved they’ve got what it takes, last season.

          • Bapah

            It’s the same reason 99cent stores still do well selling things we don’t really need. Finding a bargain is just too tempting.

          • Mr. Sarcastic

            I like the “99 Cent and Up!” store name. Basically every store on the planet is a “99 Cent and Up” store …

          • earlytimes

            One word: Insurance. Say KT and Panik or Crawford or Nunez got hurt in ST….

          • dgg

            If it were only insurance, earlytimes. But that’s not what Rollins has in mind. Alex keeps talking about how Rollins is the “slight favorite” for the second utility infielder spot. It’s a real competition with washed-up veterans for the spots.

          • Matthew

            Oh, I understand…I’m not in agreement with their places in camp, but as Giants fans, we are fully aware that these gents are shining beacons of how the organization thinks. We fans will have a very hard time convincing them to think differently, given the contributions during this decade of players like Vogelsong, Ross, Burrell, Huff, Scutaro, and so on. The team has been wildly successful with different levels of contributions from players no one wanted.

          • dgg

            There was no need for the Giants to go diving in dumpsters this spring. They’ve already got the guys they need.

          • Matthew

            They obviously disagree. or, put differently – “what’s to lose?”

            It’s their philosophy. It may drive us crazy…but as I stated elsewhere, they see no reason to change

          • Bapah

            We should have gotten used to all this by now. What Snu?

          • dgg

            There’s a lot to lose if Rollins supplants Kelby Tomlinson or Conor Gillaspie.

          • Matthew

            Let’s talk in April…believe me, I’m in total agreement with you. But I’m deciding not to worry now…

        • paul in p.v.

          KT s/be @ SS today.

      • Heinz Ketchup

        Belt fixation too. Guess 0-37 with 22 strikeouts isn’t enough for Bochy to know Belt can’t hit Kershaw.

        • paul in p.v.

          Not the same thing. Belt is the current and future 1Bman. Beckham is hamburger helper.

        • dgg

          Oh. You just reminded me. I forgot to block you yesterday. I’ll do that now!

          • Heinz Ketchup

            Free speech under attack

          • Matthew

            Nope. You’re free to say dumb stuff. She’s free to not listen

          • Bapah

            It seems to have worked. (said softly so as not to disturb the inmates)

          • Heinz Ketchup

            Just because you don’t agree doesn’t make it dumb.

          • paul in p.v.

            lols.

          • dgg

            This guy’s a retread. Same agitator with a different name.

          • Bapah

            Don’t you wish other things in daily life could be blocked as easily as this guy?

          • dgg

            “Blocked” is one word for it.

          • paul in p.v.

            Would a lobotomy constitute and attack on free speech?

          • Bapah

            Uhh.

          • Bapah

            What’s a lobo tomy?

          • dgg

            We need principled Republicans to truly put American first.

          • Matthew

            I’m trying, dgg…

          • Bapah

            Do you think the Secret Service reads these blogs?

          • Heinz Ketchup

            They don’t have time. Too busy protecting all of Trump’s various properties.

          • paul in p.v.

            You recycled that retread so deftly!

          • Mr. Sarcastic

            What was his/her previous handle?

          • dgg

            Lefty knows!

          • Matthew

            It’s got a hint of “Sam” to it

    • HaakAway

      Looks a bit like, “None of us have been able to hit this guy, let’s try the Kitchen Sink and see what happens.”

      • Bapah

        I’d say if Marerro does well today, his stock might be something not to short.

  • Skweezplay55

    Isn’t spring training the time when hitters should be ahead of pitchers?

  • dgg

    I wish the Giants had the guts to say: Merit and performance and the development/promotion of our young guys will guide our decisions on the available spots. We’ve got to make selections based on what’s best for the team now and in the future.

    The Giants FO person with the courage to say this and act on it is TBD.

    • Bapah

      Even though I’ve said my piece, I think there are many things in this Spring Training that are left TBD.

    • earlytimes

      And the biggest misconception here is that it’s entirely Bochy’s call.

      • dgg

        Yeah. I wonder why that is?

        • Matthew

          Because successful companies should have a level of consensus and freedom to share opinions among stakeholders?

          • The Oracle

            “Stakeholder” is my least favorite trendy management buzzword. Actually, I hate all of them.

          • Matthew

            Hate is big word. You need a safe space.

          • The Oracle

            Never.

      • Kramerica

        Bochy has enough credibility within the organization that if he really wants Blach to be the guy he’s not going to get overridden. The problem is that he’s in Cain’s corner. So when the FO and the manager want a certain guy to take the #5 spot that’s going to be nearly impossible to overcome.

        • earlytimes

          Well, I disagree. He understands this is a business decision and will publicly support mgmt.

          • Peter Johnson

            Bs, he has his favorites, I think Evans got overruled on this , Sabean and Bochy are in the Cain camp, so Evans is going with the company line .

          • Mr. Sarcastic

            We’ll know in 3 weeks. If Cain is getting shelled all Spring and still wins the 5th spot, it will be obvious that the fix is in …

          • Bapah

            He didn’t get shelled yesterday so “all Spring” is already off the board.

          • earlytimes

            You have no fucking clue what is going on behind the scenes.

    • cynic

      They won’t say that because that’s not what they believe.

    • Mr. Sarcastic

      For better or for worse (and it’s probably for the worse in this situation) the Giants organization “takes care of their own”. Cain is a war hero from their first two World Series championships and they will do everything they can to give him one last shot. If the results aren’t there then Cain should be the one who takes himself out “for the good of the team”, but I don’t see that happening either. I’m afraid it’s going to take a full month of poor starts, a 1-4 record, and then then a phantom injury to get him out of there.

      • Peter Johnson

        !30 Million is enough love for Cain, the Giants owe him nothing more .

  • RobDeer

    I didn’t give a scouting report on Cain yesterday cuz I felt like it’d just cause turmoil and angst. But that happened anyway. So much for that strategy. I will say he looked better than his previous starts. I want to talk about how the ball was coming out of his hand but that might cause some major coronaries.

    • DrLefty

      Sounds like you were smoking/getting beer/hung over, anyway. Why should we trust you? 🙂

      • paul in p.v.

        I.E., just like every other scout in the stadium.

      • Matthew

        I could see Deer in his Full-Brito with cigar and old-school radar gun

        • RobDeer

          I knew I should’ve gone to Full-Brito.com before heading out here.

      • RobDeer

        True. Unlike their last time out though, it wasn’t a case of Cain struggling and then Blach coming in and mowing thru the hitters. In fact, Cain gave up one less hit than Blach in 2/3 more innings (3.1 – 2.2). And the hit leading off the game was a flare job that Pence got a horrible break on. Just saying… I really am not trying to insinuate Cain should be named the starter, nor do I need to see his numbers over the last four years. But we just need to let it play out and not lose our minds that the decision has been made just cuz Alex and Baggs say so.

        • dgg

          I’m not losing my mind over this. There are far bigger things in the world to worry about right now. I will be justifiably pissed however if Cain makes the team and Blach doesn’t which Baggarly suggested yesterday could actually happen.

          • RobDeer

            What if Cain doesn’t give up another run this Spring? Stop laughing, dgg.

          • dgg

            Good one, Rob! Great real-time reports from Spring Training! Informative and entertaining!

          • RobDeer

            Well, you were my target audience.

    • dgg

      You know what will happen if you dare talk about “how the ball was coming out of his hand” since what happens to the ball when it gets hit by the bat is what counts. Every time Cain had a terrible outing and then in the post-interview, talked again about how the ball felt good coming out of his hand, I wanted to scream!

      • Peter Johnson

        That’s the difference from Cain and Lincecum, Cain is always making excuses, and being easy on himself, Lincecum was very honest and hard on himself when he had a bad outing, just another reason Timmy is one of my favorites of all time, not afraid to tell the truth even if it makes him look bad .

        • Matthew

          Diff’rent Strokes, PJ.

          By the way, you were on FIRE yesterday. Good stuff

    • Bapah

      I feel you need to be “fair and balanced” with your assessment.

      • RobDeer

        That internship I did with Fox News is gonna come in handy.

        • Bapah

          Scouts have to tell the truth or they will soon be ex-scouts.

          • RobDeer

            Or Moonlight Rachels.

  • DrLefty

    Listening to KNBR on the way to campus this morning, and Murph was agreeing with the caller that Blach should be in the rotation with Cain “out to pasture” (caller’s words). PCon quoted Bochy as saying maybe they’d move Blach to the bullpen.

    This is nuts. If for some inane reason the Giants don’t want Blach in their rotation to start the season, they should send him to AAA to keep stretched out for if/when they need a replacement. OR they should trade him. There has to be a team that would be happy to get a polished, 26-year-old major-league-ready lefty starter. That would be a better use of an asset than turning him into Yusmeiro Petit.

    Murph made the comparison between Blach and Kirk Reuter that we’ve heard before, and I think it’s a good one. Reuter was a good Giant and rock solid for years. The Giants could do a lot worse than plugging Blach into the rotation and just leaving him be for the next six years.

    • Heinz Ketchup

      Why would you get rid of a guy making 500k under team control for years when Cueto can opt out at the end of the year?

      • RobDeer

        Blach isn’t going anywhere. Him and Beede could both very well be in the rotation next year.

      • DrLefty

        Why would you waste him in the bullpen when he should be continuing to hone his skills as a starter?

  • dgg

    Case in point on why the Giants did not need to bring Rollins into camp to compete with Kelby and Conor: Gillaspie’s hard work and improvement as third baseman. Alex just posted an article/analysis on Gillaspie’s growth as a defender.

    “Last season, [Conor] was worth five defensive runs saved in 304 innings, and the rest of his defensive metrics crossed over to the positive side of the ledger, too. After making 14 errors in 2015, Gillaspie had just two last season.”

    http://www.csnbayarea.com/giants/postseason-star-gillaspie-continues-work-becoming-impact-defender

    • DrLefty

      “…to compete with Kelby and Conor and Hill and Hwang and Beckham and Calixte and, I guess, Trevor Brown.”

  • The Oracle

    I think it’s pretty clear that Evans is a paper tiger. Sabean is still steering the ship.

    • Kramerica

      I’ve always viewed Sabean’s role as supervisory. I do not think Evans is making any large free agent or other budgetary decisions without consulting with Sabean (and possibly ownership) first. But that’s how it works, Sabean technically is Evans’ boss. I could not disagree more with Evans’ position on who the #5 SP should be, but otherwise I think he’s done a commendable job.

  • Mr. Sarcastic

    Matt Moore has had a quiet and unspectacular Spring so far. Hoping for a good outing today.

  • The Oracle

    There’s a new book out on the 70s A’s, and it sounds like it might be a good read. Here’s an excerpt about Reggie Jackson losing big in a locker room fight with Mike Epstein:

    http://thestacks.deadspin.com/the-time-reggie-jackson-got-his-ass-whooped-in-the-club-1792943293

  • The Oracle

    A couple days ago, I posted something about Daniel Faalele, the 6’9″, 400 lb. Australian 17 year-old who has become a major college football recruit without yet having played a down. SI just did this story on him. At 12, he was 6’0″, 220. His 11 year-old brother is 6’0, 260.

    http://www.si.com/college-football/2017/03/07/daniel-faalele-img-academy-recruiting

    • RobDeer

      Good read. Thx.

  • Bapah

    Is this one of those deals where there’s a new post and nobody says anything?

    • RobDeer

      Yes. We’ve all been on it for awhile just absolutely shredding you.

      • Bapah

        I gnu it.

      • Bapah

        Yesterday I talked to myself for nearly four hours.

        • Bapah

          Come to think of it, it was the most fun I’ve had in weeks.

        • RobDeer

          Awesome.

          • Bapah

            Hey, I forgot to commend you on your scouting yesterday. It was very well done and easily mistaken for a professional effort.

          • RobDeer

            If that’s the case those professionals really need to elevate their game.

    • dgg

      Do you check GG’s Twitter timeline? That’s how I find new posts.

      • Bapah

        That requires having a functional memory.

    • Matthew

      I’m buying you an Archie Bunker Always-Blink-12:00 VCR for Opening Day

      • Bapah

        Always a Mensch.