Box score here

Two years ago–seems like two million now–MrLefty and I went to the Cactus League opener at Scottsdale Stadium. It went about how last night’s game went, except worse in some ways–it was against the Dodgers, and the Giants made something like three errors in the top of the first before getting an out. One of those errors was made by Jaylin Davis in right field, a memory that came right back last night as Davis, in CF this time, made a poor read on a bloop and watched it drop in front of him for an RBI single.

Last night’s game had its good moments. Logan Webb looked great, striking out five in two innings and getting a nice hug from opposing Cubs’ starter Marcus Stroman and a nice Tweet later.


“Young legend”? I like it. Sighhhh. I thought Stroman would have looked nice in orange and black. Ah, well.




The game went downhill from there. The Giants didn’t get on the board–didn’t even get a hit–until the eighth inning. Some pitcher named Brickhouse came into the game twice and was terrible both times. And yeah, I know they can do that in spring training games. I just don’t know why you’d want to do it when you have a lot of other guys who could use a look/reps and a truncated spring training schedule. The defensive play was desultory, too–random guys at 1B and 3B just sort of waved at balls going by them, and I mentioned the misplay by Davis. Gabe Kapler has made it clear in his comments that he doesn’t think the veterans need to play much at all in these games–the practices and drills are more important for them. Still, if I’m going to watch shaky baseball, I’d rather see actual prospects than random NRIs. (I know Davis isn’t actually a NRI. I’m guessing DFA is going to be his acronym before much longer.)

In the seventh inning, catcher Jhonny Pereda (an off-season minor league signing) threw out two runners trying to steal, but you had to be paying attention because Dave Flemming and Mike Krukow were talking to Mauricio Dubon and barely mentioned it. And  by the seventh inning, the Giants were down 7-0 and being no-hit,  so you could be forgiven if you weren’t actually attending closely to the game.

Things finally picked up in the eighth inning. Bryce Johnson broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff double and scored on the first of two RBI singles for Diego Rincones. Heliot Ramos had an infield single in that inning, too. In the ninth, MyFutureGuy™ Brett Auerbach tripled, drove in a run, and scored a run on Rincones’s second RBI single. Rincones was definitely the hitting star of the game,  and it’s worth remembering that the Giants could have lost him in the Rule 5 Draft, had it not been canceled due to the labor stoppage. We may be talking about Rincones/Seth Corry/David Villar/Ricardo Genovés/Prelander Berroa, etc. in a couple of years, along the lines of “The 2021-22 lockout was the luckiest thing that’s happened to the Giants this decade.” That would be cool. 


OK, Other Stuff

March 16, 2022 is going to go down as kind of a lousy day for Bay Area sports fans. Steph Curry sustained an injury that may derail the Warriors’ season just a few weeks before the playoffs. Jimmy Garoppolo is still on the 49ers, and that isn’t good news for both economic and competitive reasons, no matter how much you like Jimmy himself. As for the Giants, it’s hard to imagine a worse day, except maybe the day Buster Posey got trucked by Scott Cousins–or when Buster Posey retired. In no particular order: Kyle Schwarber and Seiya Suzuki, two prime free agent targets, took deals elsewhere. Kris Bryant turned out to be a not-so-Forever Giant, signing a seven(!!!)-year deal with the Rockies(???). The revamped schedules were announced, and now the Giants have to go on the road to Milwaukee to finish the season, while the Dodgers get to play six(!!!) home games against the Rockies(!!!). I mean–is that some kind of a joke? They already have all of the advantages, and the schedule-makers toss them a cookie at the expense of the Giants (and the Padres).

Oh, and just to put the cherry on top of the s**t sundae that Wednesday was, the Dodgers signed former NL MVP Freddie Freeman to a long-term deal because of course they did. Meanwhile, the Giants…checks notes…replaced Alex Dickerson with Joc Pederson, and Farhan Zaidi announced, “We’re done now. Can’t imagine how we’d add anyone else with our amazing roster.” (OK, he didn’t quite use those exact words, but I’m not that far off.)

There are differences of opinion about the Giants’ lack of activity in the free agent market, especially on the position player side. The truth is that none of us can predict the future, but on paper, I agree with the sentiments in this Twitter thread started by Grant Brisbee:


Yeah. I will be happy to be proven wrong, but that’s how I see it, too. The pitching side? Much better than the hitting side, which is not the same as saying that the pitching has improved over last year’s team. I’d say it’s pretty equal, with Rodon replacing Gausman as the ace-adjacent to Webb and Cobb replacing Cueto. I expect the bullpen, which turned out great last year after a very rough first six weeks, to be quite good and maybe even better than last year’s, now that Camilo Doval has gotten his feet wet and others have settled into their roles.

It was also great news that Kenley Jansen did not re-sign with the Dodgers, which frankly bewilders me, especially at the price point he signed for (one year, $16 mil with the Braves). The Dodgers have never appreciated Jansen enough, and I do believe they will miss him. He was their longest-tenured player, even longer than Kershaw, whose MLB career goes back to the first Obama administration.


Around Baseball

I guess, given the disruption of the lockout, we could have expected free agency to be weird, but not this weird. I’m not upset that Bryant isn’t back with the Giants, but I’m shocked that he went to Colorado, of all places. I don’t get that from either side. Well, from Bryant’s side, I guess it was about the money, but it’s hard to imagine he’ll enjoy playing for a lousy organization for the next seven years of his life. He already has his World Series ring, and Colorado’s a beautiful state, but… As for the Rockies, they dumped Nolan Arenado’s contract for practically nothing, didn’t trade Jon Gray and Trevor Story last July, and let both of them walk–Gray without even a qualifying offer. Instead, they throw stupid money at Bryant, who arguably isn’t as good as either Arenado or Story?  Weird.

Carlos Correa signing a funky three-year deal with the Twins is its own strange story. The Twins have made some sneaky good moves over the past week or so, and Yankee fans are beside themselves that, instead of signing Correa, the Yankees took on 36-year-old broken-down Josh Donaldson’s $50 mil. The Yankees are rumored to be in the mix for Story, but their payroll is already over $250 mil for 2022, so we’ll see.

Anyway, back to Correa. This was a huge year for free agent shortstops, including Francisco Lindor, who would have been a free agent if the Mets hadn’t extended him. Lindor got big money, and so did Marcus Semien and Corey Seager. Correa is arguably the best of the bunch, and he’s the youngest, too. So did Scott Boras just get too cute with Correa, who’s a new client? Waited too long? Now, Boras did get Correa TWO opt-outs, so he can try it again next year or the year after if he wants to, but–still. It’s weird. Not sure if it’s timing, the stink on Correa from Trash Can Gate, or what. (The scandal didn’t seem to hurt George Springer last year, but Correa was a pretty vocal and defiant face of that whole mess.)

Meanwhile, the Phillies have loaded up on DHs, having signed both Schwarber and now Nick Castellanos. Does anyone know if they have a bullpen yet? Or a rotation beyond Zack Wheeler? Just checking. The NL East should be a fun division to watch this year.

On a happier note, you know I love me some Yaz, and how cute is this?


Today’s Game

Giants at Rockies, 1:10 p.m., Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, KNBR (no TV)

Tyler Beede vs. Matt Dennis

Huge, huge, huge spring for Beede. Some interesting youngsters scheduled to play today, too.


Check out Alex repping UCSB in there (he’s an alum, as is Cole Kuiper).

Baseball is back!  Yay!  Enjoy! Lefty out.