Category Archives: San Francisco Giants

The “Supposed” Agony of Defeat

Let’s face it.  How many of us really believed the Giants were going to make it to the 2016 Playoffs?  You’d have to be the eternal optimist to even suspect there might be a chance after the disastrous play the last half of the season.  I mean, really, the team went 0 for 60 in games where they were behind in the 8th inning. That must be an all-time record.   Sure, there were some bright spots and there’s always hope in baseball, but really?

bochy-citifieldWe know how to win.  And this was our time, being an even year and all.  The year started out with a bang and we had the rest of the baseball world believing it too, with our best record in major league baseball at the All Star Break.   So when the bottom fell out in the 5th game of the NLDS we were in shock and disbelief and we were angry.  My anger was directed toward our dear quiet, unassuming Manager, Bruce Bochy.  The team played their hearts out that last game.  Matt Moore’s pitching was incredible throughout, but was pulled at the top of the 9th to make way for our not so incredible bullpen, at which time I left the room and started cleaning up the kitchen.  I knew it was over.  We all knew it was over.  What was he thinking?

In retrospect, in my heart I  don’t think the 3 time World Champion San Francisco Giants really deserved to be there. And I don’t think they thought so either.  Okay.  I said it.  But that’s how I felt.  When you compare it to the Chicago Cubs season, the Cubs belonged there.  They deserved to win. And they did win, fair and square.  Did Moore have another 10-12 pitches left in him?   Probably.  But we’ll never know and it doesn’t really matter.  It pains me to say it, but the best team DID win and good for them.

I love my Giants.  Always have.  Always will.  Ann Killion wrote this in her SF Chronicle post today:  “Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard said on social media: ‘Baseball has a way of ripping your heart out, stabbing it, putting it back in your chest and then healing itself just in time for spring training.”

epic-fail-baseball-failMy point is this.  The Giants had a real weakness in the bullpen this year.  It was apparent in 60 of 60 games.  It won’t happen again.  They have an amazing staff that will build on this and they’ll be back.  Not all of them, of course, but enough that another world champion team will emerge again.

And when it does, and if we lose then, we’ll really know the true agony of defeat. Because in this defeat, we should have felt honored just to be sitting at the table. Personally, I can hardly wait for the NLCS to begin tomorrow with the Chicago Cubs against ….. wait for it …….a worthy opponent, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

My bet is on the Chicago Cubs who have the best record in Major League Baseball this year.  But like Syndergaaard said ……baseball has a way of ripping your heart out ……..

Good luck to the Cubs and Dodgers.  It’s gonna be a great series!

 

 

 

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!

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

 

THE SOUNDS OF BASEBALL

sob

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.

T

Letterman on Sandoval

Back in 2011 the Pablo Sandoval reported to Spring Training in Arizona looking much like, well, a Panda Bear,  to the chagrin of the powers that be for the SF Giants.

The Panda belongs to the Boston Red Sox now and is no longer the problem of Bruce Bochy and the San Francisco Giants.  I get that.  But I’ve had so many searches on my blog today looking for for  David Letterman’s Top 10 List on Pablo Sandoval that aired last night,  I had to dig it up and view it myself.

I never personally cared about Pablo’s weight while he was with the Giants because to tell you the truth it didn’t seem to slow him down much.  He wasn’t hitting as well, but he could sure round the bases at top speed when he needed to and he dove and caught most of the in-flight balls and grounders that headed his way towards third base.  He never lost the fan base, they loved him, even though the press rode him pretty hard about it.

So now it appears the Panda’s put on another few pounds and it’s going to be interesting to see how the Red Sox organization deals with it.   I wonder if there’s a “Panda Pounds” clause in his new contract?

Because, honestly, if he keeps his stats and numbers up, who cares?

 

MADISON BUMGARNER ~ Sudden and Out of Nowhere?

Madison Bumgarner can add another accolade to his growing collection.  Sports Illustrated named him the 2014 Sportsman of the Year and with good reason.   But I’ll disagree with one statement in the article:

……his Sportsman candidacy was so sudden and seemingly out of nowhere ……

Madison Bumgarner, South Caldwell H.S. North Carolina

Madison Bumgarner, South Caldwell H.S. North Carolina

If you’re a San Francisco Giants fan, you’ll get this.   Affectionately known as “Mad Bum” he’s been on the fans radar since he was drafted  as a 1st round pick back in 2007 where he’d already made a name for himself.

” In his junior season, he had a 12–2 record, an 0.99 earned run average (ERA), and 120 strikeouts in 84 innings pitched as he led his team to a runner-up in the 2006 4A State Championship. Next season, he went 11–2 with a 1.05 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 86 innings while this time helping his team win the 2007 4A State Championship.  He batted .424 with 11 home runs and 38 runs batted in. He was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the playoffs and the Gatorade North Carolina Player of the Year.”  Courtesy of Wikipedia.

One of my favorite quotes was back in 2010 when asked about being a rookie and pitching in his first World Series, Mad Bum said something to the effect “Well, I don’t know, I pitched in the High School State Championships and we won, so I don’t see how it can be much different that that.”  You’ve gotta love the humility and innocence of that statement.

In 2013, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association included him on its “100 To Remember” male athletes list, which included Michael Jordan, Carl Eller,  and Jim Beatty.

And this year Madison Bumgarner hit two grand slam home runs in regular season, and mid-season, at one point, had a batting average better than half of his teammates.  Another argument against the DH rule, in my hunble opinion of course.

Not bad for a country boy from North Carolina, but “sudden and seemingly out of nowhere” isn’t something San Francisco Giants fans would probably use to describe him.

Congratulations Madison Bumgarner!  You wear the honor well.