Category Archives: A1 Baseball

SF Giants – A New Hero Emerges

bum-and-synergaardHow can you explain Madison Bumgarner and his band of buddies marching to the tune of their own drum after such a pitiful showing following the All Star Break?  We knew they were in it because, after all, it is post season and they’ve done it before and in such spectacular fashion.  But how many of us truly expected a shut-out against the Citi-Field warriors Wednesday?  Not me, that’s for sure.

Looking back on this band of misfits in prior years almost every game and every series had a new hero. Most memorable for me was Sandoval’s three home runs in one game against the unhittable Justin Verlander in a World Series Game 1.   And the entire Giants team when they forced the vocal Rangers pitcher, Cliff Lee, to the bench and out of the game before the 4th inning in World Series play, back in 2010.

conor-gillaspieLast night a most unlikely hero found his way to the spotlight with a 3 run homer in the top of the 9th.  Without that hit who knows how long that game would have gone on?  Remember the 18 innings against the Nats in the 2014 NLDS?  We could have seen that last night.  Not likely, but possible.  Syndergaard had already taken the bench and Bum was headed there, but ’twas not to be.   Conor  Gillaspie, tied at $507,500, for the lowest paid man on the roster, became a hero in postseason play, alongside the legend of legends Madison Bumgarnerwhen he smacked his home run out of the park for the only score of the game.

Rough road ahead you say?  But of course.  How could it be anything else?  Chicago Cubs on the horizon?  Who cares?  This is post season and it’s the Giants and it’s an “even” year.

bochy-citifieldHow can you help but love this Giants team?  Best team in MLB the first half of the season and close to the worst the 2nd half.

It’s the stuff baseball’s made of and no one embraces it better than the San Francisco Giants.  Let the torture begin!

 

 

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!

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Memorial Day ~ Remembering our Heroes.

Memorial Day Image

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”.

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“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.”   

 

 

“BACK TO BASEBALL!”

BACK TO BASEBALL SPRIG EDITION

Here’s something new from our Sounds of Baseball partner.  It was  contributed by Alan Babbitt.  Just in time for spring training, the song evokes the sublime feelings of the sights, sounds and feelings of childhood baseball memories. And, like Alan says, “Kinda gets you hankering for a good hot dog”.

 

To whet your appetite, here’s what he says about the original “Back to Baseball”:

“This song tells the true story of a boy growing up in Brooklyn in the 1950’s. It’s about the joy of 1st love and the heartbreak of losing it. And it’s about reflection, renewal and redemption. It’s even got a humorous, surprise ending!

Oh, yeah, it’s also about Baseball.”

Want more?  Go to Alan’s website:  https://alanbabbittmusic.bandcamp.com/track/back-to-baseball

Broken Bats, Barry Bonds and The Easy Way Out.

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John Bowker, Giants vs Cardinals, April 18, 2008.

It takes a lot to get me back into blogging mode these days.  And it’s not because I don’t want to but, like everyone else, I’m busy.  So when I read an article in this morning’s Wall Street Journal I couldn’t contain myself.

The article was written by Jo Craven McGinty,  “Behind Broken Baseball Bats, Broken Records.”  Blame Barry, she says, and that got my attention.  Evidently the year that Bonds hit his record 73 home runs, he was using a maple wood bat, unlike the ash bats that were commonplace in the majors at the time.

Today the use of maple wood bats has increased to nearly 75% of all bats used in broken bat 2the major leagues.  There’s controversy about whether maple vs ash bats contribute to more home runs.    The problem is that maple is more likely to split into multiple pieces when it breaks, while ash “flakes”.   In other words, it can hurt people.  Like it did on June 5 at Fenway Park, when it smashed into the stands and into the face of a fan.

Kurt Ainsworth, Marucci Sports, puts it this way.  “When you have future Hall of Famers putting up crazy numbers, it’s hard for MLB to take those bats out of their hands.”  Really.  Is that what it means?  You mean Barry Bonds record home runs was due to his “bat” and had nothing to do with steroids?   According to Lloyd Smith, Director of the Sports Science Lab at Washington State University, “The speed of the ball coming off maple is no different from the speed of the ball coming off ash.”

But here’s the kicker.  According to McGinty’s article, which also deals with the diameter, density and slope of grain of the bats, regulations have reduced the number of broken bats.  “Since 2013 the minimum density of the barrel of the bat is 0.0245 pounds per cubic inch.  The Regulations have reduced the number of broken bats.”  But, as she notes, there are exceptions to the rules:

“Players who used low-density bats before the rules took effect are grandfathered in and at least 15% of maple bats used in MLB today have densities below 0.0245.”

Are you kidding me?  If there’s any substance to this regulation at all, why would you take the easy way out and let any of the players keep using the maple bats?

I’ll bet money on the fact someone out there has the answer.  And I hope it’s not because the guys who are hitting the homers are the ones who are still using those bats and drawing the fans through the gates.  I mean it can’t always be about the money, can it?

THE SOUNDS OF BASEBALL

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SOUNDSOFBASEBALL.COM

There’s a new kid on the block, the result of a terrific website that literally outgrew itself.  Jam-packed with over 400 audio clips and several thousand photo’s its popularity as an online baseball library continues to grow.

Sounds of Baseball” is the dream of Steve Contursi, a teacher and non-apologetic baseball aficionado from Catskill, New York, and is the culmination of years of work on an archaic system of programming known as “coding”.   It involved the ideas around what it could, should, and would be, and eventually ended up as an informative website that was like no other.

Most of the data on the website could be found somewhere else in the blogosphere, but it would have been a real challenge to find a website that contained all of this specific type of data in the same place.

This was and this is exactly what he did. Over time and with much patience, “Sounds” reached the level of top-rated baseball websites by the top search engines.

However, change was occurring fast in the internet world and with that came many challenges.  A call was put out to the baseball community for someone to help with a transition to a more user-friendly website.

Along came Ronni Redmond of Santa Cruz, CA, a baseball blogger with a small amount of baseball knowledge, and not a lot of computer experience.  But she wrote a decent blog, had an insatiable appetite for anything baseball and lots of chutzpah and opinions.

This is the new “Sounds of Baseball”.  Its foundation is the original “Sounds” with a few little ditties thrown in and published in a Word Press format that’s much easier to maintain.  The Site will be evolving as new material becomes available.  Goodbye to coding and hello to the formation of an unlikely pairing of a fan of the New 39. Morning CoffeeYork Yankees and a fan of the SF Giants and all teams in-between.

We hope you’ll visit the site.  So please grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and turn up the volume.  

This one’s for you!

                                        “SOUNDSOFBASEBALL.COM

 Sounds of Baseball, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) Non Profit Corporation.

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