SAY “NO” TO RYAN BRAUN ….

Ryan Braun Speaking at a Press Conference after his Appeal was upheld.

Ryan Braun Speaking at a Press Conference after his Appeal was upheld.

It’s not that he did the Peds …. it’s that he lied about it so very eloquently. He lied so well he should have been awarded the outstanding Thespian award of the decade.

I was totally taken in after that “poor little old me” speech ~ brought tears to my eyes.  How could they possibly say those awful things about him? Must be a conspiracy.  Poor dear.  See my proud post here.  The Brewers’ Braun and Those Whinging Critics” published May 1, 2012

So much for blind faith huh?

After he admitted he lied, I wondered then and will always wonder, what the hell else does he lie about?  Who is this guy? We have a great group of guys in the Giants organization who support each other and stick together.  We don’t need a Ryan Braun.  It’s a lot about trust, you know? And we’ve done fine with our home grown talent. Let’s stick with them and let the chips fall where they may.

Hang in there Hunter Pence.  Were waiting for you!

In Defense of the Hitting Pitcher ~

Getting a ‘Bum’ Rap

June 6, 2016 by ·                                                                                           Reprinted with permission of “Seamheads.com“.

Madison Bumgarner

Madison Bumgarner

In 2014, Madison Bumgarner piqued the interest of baseball fans when he told reporters he wanted to participate in the Home Run Derby. In baseball’s greatest spectacle of power, the idea of letting a pitcher participate may seem like a novelty. But Bumgarner has compiled a legitimately impressive power resume, and if the time has ever come to allow a pitcher to mash against baseball’s greatest sluggers, Mad-Bum is as good a candidate as any.

He is massive at 6’5” and 250 lbs. For scale, that’s two inches and 30 lbs. heavier than Bryce Harper, arguably the game’s most feared power hitter. He’s a career .180 hitter, a run-of-the-mill average even for a pitcher, but he has 13 career home runs. According to baseball-reference.com, that’s a 162 game average of 10 home runs, a total that would put him above a number of light-hitting middle infielders or speedy defensive-specialist outfielders.

Through June 4th, Mad-Bum has as many homers as Jacoby Ellsbury, who once hit 32 in a season, as well as Jason Heyward, Mark Reynolds, or J.J. Hardy, all of whom have had good power records in their own right. He has a HR/AB ratio of 16.0, a mark better than Josh Donaldson, Kris Bryant, Mike Trout, and Miguel Cabrera (via ESPN Stat Cast). He, along with fellow Goliath Noah Syndergaard, is one of only two pitchers to hit multiple home runs this season and has as many dingers as teammates Matt Duffy, Angel Pagan, and Denard Span despite having only 32 at bats. That places him seventh on the Giants.

The new head-to-head format implemented last year sparked life into the Derby, as it allows players to compete in a more one-on-one format, making each round more exciting and meaningful and eliminating the lull-inducing marathon that tended to occur with the old format. So some may argue that putting a pitcher in the Derby and running the risk of an embarrassing performance outweighs the potential for some wild celebrations if he were to actually hit one.

But Mad-Bum has more than established himself as a hitter who can rake, and the notion of Bumgarner doing well in the Derby would not surprise vigilant baseball fans. As the twitter account MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) pointed out after Bumgarner’s last homer on June 2nd, Mike Trout has 11 dingers in his last 190 plate appearances, Bryce Harper has 11 dingers in his last 190 plate appearances, and Bumgarner has 11 dingers in his last 190 plate appearances. If that’s not enough to declare Bumgarner the ideal candidate to be the first pitcher to participate in the Home Run Derby, I don’t know what is. Mad-Bum for the Derby 2016.

(All stats via ESPN Stat Cast unless otherwise noted).

 

 

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Memorial Day ~ Remembering our Heroes.

Memorial Day Image

The Drama and Excitement of “Opening Day”!

 

fanatic fan imageIt’s finally here ~  Opening Day!  I’ve always advocated it should be declared a National Holiday.  Close the schools and free hot dogs for everyone.  A few years ago at Christmas, my son gave me game tickets for Opening Day.  It was just really a wonderful gesture and I appreciated it very much, even though I knew I wouldn’t be going to the game.  I’ve been in one of those godawful professions that prohibit anything fun, or any kind of life really,  for so long I can’t remember.  I’ve never been able to go to Spring Training or  Opening Day but today I finally put my foot down.  I closed the office, shut the blinds, turned on the TV and pulled up the easy chair.  I’m a tax preparer.  And a Giants fan.

So today when Madison Bumgarner took the mound bottom of the 1st inning against the Braves in Milwaukee I was stoked.  But the feeling of euphoria didn’t last long.  It had already been announced that Bum had a really bad case of the flu and had been flown by private jet, not with the rest of the team, so he could get some extra sleep along with his dose of flu meds and other gunk that might help him get his wits about him before game time.  Poor guy,  I was thinking as I watched him sweat it out, and wondered how an athlete in another sport might handle it.  In baseball, every pitch is a close-up, magnifying the sweat on his face the twitch in his eyes, and those pesky snot rockets, with no place to hide.   And almost immediately, the Giants were behind 1-0.

And then the phone rang ~ my sister.  She’s a Mariners fan from Seattle so didn’t understand the urgency of this drama I was going through. We finally hung up and I backed up the recording so I could start over again. The phone again ~this time  Jake, my grandson, who I knew wanted to talk  politics and that great Warriors/Trailblazer game over the week-end.phone oblivion

About an hour later I looked up at the score and it was something like 8-3 Giants. Glad I recorded the darn thing.  I excitedly told Jake about the Giants going ahead and he said that’s what he was calling about – the game was already over (I know for sure Pat and I hadn’t talked THAT long) and Giants won 12-3.   So I unplugged the phone and started the recording all over again.  But I’m telling you it really takes something out of the drama of the game when you already know the ending.

Next year I’m going to the  game, I don’t care where it’s being played, and I’m turning off that pesky phone.  And then I’m petitioning Manfred and Congress to declare Opening Day henceforth to be April 16th, a National Holiday.

 

 

 

 

Nothing New about the “New Slide Rule”.

The basic premise of this rule has always been in effect.  They just didn’t use it.  It was always up to the umpires, but rather than getting out of their comfort zone, they chose to ignore it.  Really, just the name “Takeout Slides” defines the action.   It doesn’t always have to do with Chinese food or pizza.   Takeout in this context meaning;  “To cause to die; kill or destroy”.

umpire im thinking cartoon image

“I’m Thinking, I’m Thinking”

I don’t know.  I’m just saying the umpire is supposed to have total charge of the game.  In the Buster Posey-Darrell Cousins home plate slide, the umpire, who was standing directly over the play at the time it happened, even had the gall to rule the runner safe (which he was not).  Replay photos showed that Cousins plowed out of the baseline directly at Posey, who was standing out of the baseline and not on home plate, attempting to dislodge the ball from Posey, who never had the ball in the first place.  Posey was injured and out for the rest of the season, and this game was in April so it was a big deal!

This happened a lot.  Sure would be nice if some of these umpires would have stepped up to the plate (no pun intended) and said something like “No More! This ain’t gonna happen on my watch,” like the NFL did when they made it illegal to spear with their helmets, with no intentional blows to the head.

And now they’re calling it the Chase Utley Rule.  Yah – let’s keep Utley’s name alive and well for the glorious honor of breaking a guy’s leg with an illegal play. How about naming it the  “Ruben Tejada Rule, Marco Scutaro, Buster Posey, Ray Fosse  or the Willie Randolph Rule for the injured player instead of naming it for the guy who intentionally and maliciously attacked and injured a fellow ballplayer who was just trying to do his job?

The rule’s always been there.  The only thing that’s changed is the  instant replay part and a penalty that the runner and hitter are both out.  Here’s an idea!  Let’s leave the penalty in and add another …. like, automatically throwing the perpetrator out of the game.  Twice, and he’s out for the rest of the season.

scales of justiceBack in 2006, the Supreme Court of California ruled that baseball players in California  assume the risk of being hit by baseballs, even if the balls were intentionally thrown so as to cause injury.  The powers-that-be over at Major League Baseball must not have heard about this one, or we’d have to wait for another broken leg or two to get some action.

While writing this, I borrowed some excerpts from my post back  in February, 2014, “Revisiting the Posey Play – OR – Getting the Umpire out of his Comfort Zone.”   

 

 

Wanna be a MLB Pitcher?

Jake Smith, San Jose Giants Pitcher

Jake Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you wanna be a MLB pitcher. Sometimes you just have to start from the ground up. Literally. Here’s a truly inspirational story that will warm the heart of any youngster with his dreams in the baseball clouds. Written by one of my favorite sportswriters, Andrew Baggarly, or “Baggs” as he’s fondly called, this one’s about a minor league groundskeeper who just wanted to be part of the show, or at least near it. His name’s Jake Smith and you can’t tell me every SF Giants fan in the country won’t be crossing fingers and toes hoping he’ll make it big-time. Maybe they’ll make a movie about him some day, but for now he’s perfectly content to be assigned to a SF Giants farm team, where ever that might be.  Somewhere.  I mean, Jake Smith? Really? Sure sounds like a ballplayer name to me.

Credits to San Jose Mercury News and Andrew Baggarly.

A Cinderella story: Meet Giants prospect (and former groundskeeper) Jake Smith

 

Baseball Stats ….. Traditional vs Sabermetrics.

Getting ansy for baseball and it’s only February. I was browsing through some of my old posts and this was one of the more popular ones, and one of my favorites, probably because it’s still relevant. “Moneyball” came out two months after this post. I kind of thought I inspired the movie until I found out it was a book before it was a movie.

Garlicfriesandbaseball's Blog

A few months ago I signed up for the Annual SABR conference in Long Beach.  I wanted to learn about Sabermetrics,  the science of analyzing baseball  in unorthodox ways,  at least when compared with traditional “see ball, hit ball, run” stats. The term is derived from  SABR, which stands for the Society for American Baseball Research.

After reading everything I could get my hands on about the subject, I found this great  Sully video (what would we do without him?) and discovered everything I need to know about Sabermetrics, which is, I don’t need to know anything.

A few days ago a fellow BBA Blogger, Bryan O’Connor, wrote a post that relates to this very subject.  I had to save and read later, because I couldn’t understand it.  Here, see how you do with it ~ Bumgarnering Around …..

Wow!  How confusing is this stuff?  I jotted down a few…

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