Tag Archives: Bruce Bochy

Question for You Boche!

Why in the world was Michael Morse warming the bench in the 9th inning Thursday night?  Or in the 10th inning?  We’re getting used to it really, because there’s always some silly reason you know?  Like the DL injuries up the kazoo, just having an off-night, they outplayed us, outpitched us or we just plain stunk up the place.

But Thursday night was different.  Michael Morse was a Giant again, something I’ve been waiting for since the day he left.  So when he suited up at Spring Training this year there was hope.  Hope there wouldn’t be another really, really lousy year like last year.  Because now we really didn’t care if we had a really bad bullpen.  We had a power hitter.  Again.

So the line-up is announced on Opening Day and guess what?  Michael Morse isn’t in it. And it’s okay.  We’re getting used to it, remember?  But Wednesday night was different because he was back wearing a Giants uniform.  Ahhh, still hope.  And he didn’t let us down.

So Thursday night I would have been really anxious with the score tied  bottom of the 9th, but I knew Morse was in the wings and at least this time we had a chance.  It would be okay.  And we waited and waited and …… still waiting.

So I’m wondering why Michael Morse wasn’t called off the bench in the 9th inning. And I’ll bet there are thousands of other fans wondering the same thing.   No big deal. Just curious, that’s all.

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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?

 

Nationals’ Matt Williams selected as NL Manager of the Year

Bruce Bochy, SF Giants Manager of the Year IMHO

Bruce Bochy, SF Giants Manager of the Year IMHO

What’s going on with this Manager of the Year thing anyhow? Granted, it’s for performance BEFORE the Post Season, but, I mean, seriously even before post season you have to admit the only one individual manager that really stands out is Bruce Bochy, who everyone expected and l might add, hoped, that he’d choke same as they expected in 2010 and 2012. Either the BWAA voters are basing this on popularity or east coast bias or they’re completely incompetent. We can forgive them for giving Boche only ONE FIRST PLACE VOTE back in 2010. He took us all by surprise back then, but, seriously, it’s 2014 and we’re not in Kansas anymore folks. This award is a joke!!

Bruce Bochy: one of the best managers in baseball history?

Bruce Bochy, Manager 2010 World Series Champions

Bruce Bochy, Manager 2010 World Series Champions

Something that’s stuck in my craw these past few years is not the fact that Bruce Bochy didn’t win Manager of the Year in 2010 and again in 2012, but that he wasn’t even runner-up. In 2010 he received ONE 1st place vote. And this was after putting together and working with the band of misfits later to be known as the 2010 World Series Champions.

It’s one of the reasons I don’t give much credibility to the members of the Baseball Writers Association who vote on the annual award. West Coast teams are rarely seriously considered by the BBWA for such awards since, the reasoning goes, their games are played after those who vote have gone nighty-night, the games being played late on the East Coast and all. And this isn’t just for the Manager’s award but for the others as well. The 2010 award did go to the San Diego Manager though, and that’s about as West Coast as you can go. But generally it hasn’t been so.

This article just might make a difference, at least it’s a start.

Mad Bum Out of the Box and, Please … No More Bunts!

Madison Bumgarner , the Pitcher

Madison Bumgarner , the Pitcher

Madison Bumgarner, The Hitter!  (Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

Madison Bumgarner, The Hitter! (Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

I love this guy! What about this? To Bruce Bochy: How about putting Bum in left field on his days off?  That will get him in the line-up and God knows we can sure use him. AND NO MORE BUNTING PLEASE!

Madison Bumgarner’s a cowboy, down on the farm, strong as an ox type guy. He can do this. And it probably wouldn’t hurt to let him get that pitch count up there a little more either.

I mean, seriously, we’re getting down to the wire here and it’s never too late to think outside the box.  Just saying …….

And take a look at another take on the subject from Hardball Talk.  Great stuff!

 

 

 

Bruce and Brett Bochy make MLB history

Brett & Bruce Bochy

Brett & Bruce Bochy

Last night, during the LA Dodgers batting practice, the SF Giants manager Bruce Bochy called his son, Brett, from the bullpen to the mound. It was the first time this has happened in the history of the game, according to the announcers. And it was emotional. Maybe not so much for the father-son pair, but for the fans and teammates and, for sure, this blogger. Brett Bochy was at spring training this year and eyes were on him as would be expected. I never really followed his progress but like most fans hoped he would make it. And that’s true for most rookies. We cross our fingers and toes when they step onto the field and hope they make it, do well, make mom and dad proud. The Giants have had several situations of that exact thing happening this season and it’s special. Just like last night was special. Brett Bochy proved he can hold his own despite the fact his dad’s a major league manager. Good for you kid ~ and good for dad too!

This Blogger’s Choice ~ BBA 2013 Post Season Awards.

Voicing an Opinion!

Voicing an Opinion!

It’s time, once again, for the annual Baseball Blogger’s Awards, sponsored by the Baseball Blogger’s Alliance.  I usually manage to vote for a few in sync with my fellow bloggers and this year will be no exception, I’m sure.

For no particular reason other than these are  guys that I like and have pretty good stats to boot, and probably because they’ve had the most  game-day exposure on network television, I submit the following National League (because I’m supposed to) choices:

1.  CONNIE MACK AWARD  (Top Manager).  For the life of me I still can’t figure out why Bruce Bochy hasn’t won this award or really even been nominated  for 2010 or 2012 when he so ably brought his team to the World Championship both years.   I mean he by-passed GO and  lead those Giants  straight to the top.  Oops, sorry, got carried away because now it’s 2013, and my choice for Top Manager is Mike Matheny, St. Louis Cardinals.

2.  WILLIE MAYS AWARD  (Top Rookie).  Yasiel Puig.  And not just for  his amazing stats, especially that first week, but I have to consider his entertainment value.  He was benched a few times due to his behavior on the field, but you have to attribute most of his training, or lack thereof, to being raised on Cuba baseball.   When I watch him play I’m not sure what training he’s had because he appears to just have incredible raw talent that needs to be cultivated and refined.  I’m sure it will come.   In the meantime, he’s just a lot of fun to watch.

3.  GOOSE GOSSAGE AWARD (Top Reliever).  I had to look over everyone’s stats for comparison and it looks like there is none, or, at least, very little.  It will be interesting to see if Brian Wilson contributes as a Reliever next year or makes the cut as a starter, but, in the meantime, Craig Kimbrel for those reasons just listed.

4.  WALTER JOHNSON AWARD  (Top Pitcher).  And the winner is, has been and probably will be again in the future, Clayton Kershaw.  I love watching this guy pitch and he rarely disappoints.  My favorite pitcher is Madison Bumgarner because of his calm, cool and collected demeanor, (at least on the mound!) much the same as Kershaw.  My guess is he’ll end up third to Kershaw’s 1st place in the Cy Young vote. 

5.  STAN MUSIAL AWARD  (Top Player).  And the winner is ……once again, Clayton Kershaw.  I love this guy!  Based my vote on gut feeling and sentiment and lots of stats.

I know, not a lot of depth, statistics and comparisons here folks.  Much like my blogs.  Strictly from a fan’s viewpoint with the usual prejudices and sentiments.

Victorino and Posey, Blowing in the Wind

Last night during the Giants and Red Sox game, it got really interesting in the bottom of the 8th. The score was 2-1, Red Sox in the lead. The Giants had a runner on third with one out when Buster Posey hit a corker out to right field that was foul, which Shane Victorino chose to catch rather than letting it land foul, thereby allowing the runner on third to score. Had the ball landed foul, it would have been dead, and the runner would have remained on third. As a result, the SF Giants, hugging the cellar in the NL West, were able to score, and then score again, and hang onto a 3-2 lead in the 9th to beat the Sox, who were leading the AL East prior to the game.

Immediately after the game a rather lively discussion about the Victorino catch ensued about whether he should or shouldn’t have caught that ball. Here’s the options discussed:

1. Because it was Buster Posey, reigning NL MVP, he could have hit the next pitch out of the park for a 3-run homer. Better to retire him now than risk it.

2. The play only allowed a tie game, it wasn’t a go-ahead run. They can get them next inning.

3. It was windy at the park, and there was a chance the ball, barely foul, might have blown back in-bounds. Better to catch it while you can.

Victorino said there was no question in his mind he was going to catch the ball, knowing full well the runner was going to score. His manager agreed with him. After the game the Giants manager, Bruce Bochy, agreed too. And today before the final game in the series, the announcers generally agreed it wasn’t even open for discussion. The only logical option available was to catch the ball and let the chips fall where they may.

Personally, I was totally confused for the rest of the game. For some reason I didn’t think the runner could score on that caught foul ball. I’ve spent all morning looking through the MLB Rulebook and couldn’t find a thing about it and, of course, if that were true we’d be having a completely different discussion today. So be it. And so now it’s back to my pesky little scorebook to try and figure out how to record the darned thing. Never a dull moment in baseball, even in the most boring of games, last night not being one of them.

Thank you Guillermo Quiroz ….. It’s Why We Love the Game.

Guillermo Guiroz.  Click for MLB Video

Guillermo Guiroz. Click for MLB Video

Baseball’s unlike any other sport.  It’s the only one I know that’s not given time restraints.  A one-half inning lasts as long as it takes to get three outs.  It could last for only three pitches, or it could go on for hours, or seem like it.  Take the fifth inning in last night’s game between the Dodgers and Giants.   The Giants lead 5-0 at the beginning of the 5th, and then it all fell apart as the Dodgers scored seven runs, one after the other, on and on and on.  I thought it would never end, but finally it did and by the end of the 9th inning the score  was tied 9-9, and we were in overtime ~ extra innings.

It’s a fluke that third string back-up catcher Guillermo Quiroz was even on the roster last night.  Hector Sanchez is the regular back-up catcher for Buster Posey and had been sent back to the Minors only the day before.   So when Quiroz steps up to the plate I’m thinking what the heck’s going on.  I mean doesn’t Bochy know it’s the 10th inning?  I was already a little perturbed with Boche after leaving Vogey in to get really hammered in the fifth ~ he should have taken him out earlier.  So when  Guillermo steps up to the plate I turned up the volume and went to the kitchen to do the dishes. 

What happened next happens all the time in baseball.  In fact, it happened the night before with Buster Posey and was no big deal.   Well, it was a big deal, but we’ve gotten a little spoiled with Buster so you rather expect this sort of thing from him. 

And it isn’t even that Guillermo Quiroz really smacked the hell out of that first pitch for the game-winning home run.  It was what happened after, as he looked out at that ball flying towards infinity, and you knew that he knew it was gone.  No doubt in his mind.  And when his arms went up in the air and he started towards first base he had a huge smile on his face, yelling something that made you realize that “spirit of victory” that we’ve all heard about so often is more than just a saying …..it’s why we love the game.   And we really loved the game tonight.

And to be honest, I was smiling and yelling right along with him.  The dishes could wait.

SF Giants Fan Fest 2013 ~ AT&T Park

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thousands of San Francisco Giants fans decked out in orange and black showed up for the 2013 Fan Fest this year at AT&T Park.   I’m posting my own photo’s along with a smathering of those from the San Jose Mercury News.  Maybe you’ll spot yourself in one.  A special thank you for those who so kindly allowed me to get a quick snapshot – usually because of something that really struck my fancy, like the “Kings Wear Rings” guy with the big smile  or the guy with the great “Giants Know October” shirt.  Giants fans are great and so much fun to be around, especially when it’s beautiful weather, not a cloud in the sky, and smiles everywhere!  I can’t honestly think of a  better place to be on a beautiful sunny day  than at AT&T Park.  And the Giants players gave so much of themselves with the interviews, autographs and just taking the time to stop and chat with their fans.  Whatta great bunch of guys we have here!   And that’s exactly what you’d expect from the reigning World Champions and the best fans in all of baseball.

GFBB Update:  The Giants have estimated nearly 40,000 in attendance at this year’s Fan Fest.  See more Photo’s on the MLB Blog Website.

 

Pat Burrell ….. Always a Giant in My Mind!

Pat Burrell, SF Giants Parade, November, 2010

Funny how things happen.  Last night around midnight I was writing this blog about Pat Burrell retiring as a Phillie.  Good grief, what could possibly be worse?  It was a rather edgy piece, me having such great affinity and affection for Burrell.  I really believe we wouldn’t have won the 2010 World Series without him, not because he played so great in the  Series, but because he helped get us there in the first place and his very presence was inspiring to all of us.  And besides, he deserves better than those pesky Philadelphia fans.  He’s a San Francisco Giants hero and we love him here, we appreciate him.  But I digress.  Suddenly a severe thunderstorm began pounding down, so much so that I immediately grabbed a flashlight, powered down my pc,  and went to bed.

Leading the Phillies 2008 Parade with the Budweiser Clydesdales

So, this morning I’m back at my computer to begin where I left off, still stewing over the fact that Burrell was “forced” out of the Giants organization, forced to return to those Phillie Phanatics, when I  notice an article by Paul Hagen, MLB.com.  It changed everything so much that I had to completely rewrite my post.  It’s a long article but here’s an excerpt that gave me a different attitude about “Pat the Bat” retiring as a Phillie.

“The final indelible image of Burrell at the end of his Phillies career was riding the Budweiser wagon at the head of the championship parade with his dog, Elvis, sitting next to him.

“That was the top,” Burrell said. “[Club president David Montgomery] asked me to ride with the Clydesdales, and of course I said yes. But I didn’t understand that I was going to be the first guy to turn onto Broad Street. And that was incredible — to look up and see all the people hanging out of the buildings. I just couldn’t imagine.

“It’s funny, because Mike Schmidt and some of those guys from the 1980 [World Series championship] team always said the best part of it was the parade. And I was thinking, ‘How could that be better than the actual moment of winning the whole thing?’ But it is.’ “

Here’s the entire article, a great read for a lazy Sunday afternoon while you’re waiting for that first pitch from your favorite team!

“Burrell Grateful for Chance to Retire with Phillies”

Well, okay then.  I’ll keep both pictures of Pat Burrell’s parade days in my memory;  one with the Clydesdales and one with the Trolley.  Thanks for the memories Pat and I, for one,  hope the Giants keep you on board for a long, long time.  Once a Giant, always a Giant.