Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco Giants’

“The [San Francisco] Giants will get better. There will be a two-week stretch that boosts their overall numbers, and they’ll seem normal again. Do not fall for it. All that stretch will do is hose their draft position. They will not be a better team. They will not be closer to a future postseason. They’ll only be ruining their chances to get the next Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg or Delmon Young. But it’s going to happen, and I’ll forget about this paragraph and these feelings, and I’ll pretend that it’s good news.”

–Grant Brisbee, “Giants Lose, Royals Win

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The above nearly paragraph-length quotation nicely illustrates why Grant Brisbee is the funniest baseball writer in the biz. He’s also pretty damn insightful, which is almost, but not quite, as important for baseball writers as being funny.

Let’s face it: we’re dealing with baseball, life’s toy department for supposed grown-ups. And in maintaining proper perspective on that national refuge from horrifying reality, humor rules.

When I saw that headline on my favorite baseball blog, McCovey Chronicles, my first thought was, “Pardoned him for what? Being one of the greatest baseball players of his generation?”

It wasn’t until I read the article that I remembered that, yes, “Stretch” had plead guilty to tax evasion in 1995.

As Grant Brisbee notes in his McCovey Chronicles piece, “While paying taxes is probably a good idea, it is the official stance of this site that McCovey is above the law and always will be, so this is a piece of good news.”

That makes both a welcome pardon and a welcome sentence commutation (that of hero whistle blower Chelsea Manning) in one day. For once, along with Brisbee, I can say and mean it, “Thanks Obama.”

(Note regarding the photo: Barack Obama congratulating the Giants on one of their three World Series victories during his terms of office. Obama is the 44th president of the U.S., and Willie McCovey’s number was 44.)


“Giants lose series, dignity”

–Grant Brisbee, McCovey Chronicles

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(also recommended)

“The Giants are wasting your time and you shouldn’t watch them”

–groug, McCovey Chronicles

Daune Kuiper

Following the agony of the latest SF Giants defeat (another blown save) — the Giants had the best record in either league the first half of this season; for no apparent reason, they have the worst record in either league the second of this season — I’ve given up baseball for the year.

So, it seems like an appropriate time to share my favorite baseball anecdote. It involves an incident I saw on a  Giants broadcast a few years ago.

One of the Giants’ players, with a full count (3 balls and 2 strikes, for you nonbaseball fans), fouled a fastball. The foul hit the back of the plate and ricocheted up, nailing the opposing catcher directly in the ‘nads. He went rigid, toppled over, and lay there unmoving, in agony.

There was dead silence for maybe 15 seconds.

Then the Giants’ play-by-play man, Duane Kuiper, who in hindsight had obviously been thinking it over, slowly and deliberately said, “One strike, two balls.”

“[San Francisco Giants shortstop] Brandon Crawford seemed to be on his own personal ‘I Should Have Been An All-Star’  destruction tour all week. In the five games after the teams were announced (and he was snubbed) Crawford had eight hits and drove in eight runs. He entered the break with a team-high 61 RBI. . . .

“Crawford pointed out that he has driven in that many runs despite having only nine homers. Then he nodded toward [Giants catcher] Buster Posey’s locker.

“‘Speedy over there scores from first a lot,’ he said. ”

–Alex Pavlovic, “Giants Notes,” on CSN Bay Area

by Grant Brisbee from McCovey Chronicles

“Spot starters are spot starters because they aren’t as good as the real starters, with some notable exceptions. And that’s doubly true for players like [Albert] Suarez, whom any team could have had this offseason with a guaranteed major league contract at the minimum salary. He could have been just another faceless placeholder, overextended against a major league lineup.

“Instead: competence. Strikes. Missed bats. Limited drama. If Suarez were to sustain his start with the Giants over a couple dozen starts, teams would pay $80 million for him . . .  roughly what they were expecting from Mike Leake last year. What a gift. And if it had completely blown up — four starts where he couldn’t get out of the fourth inning, say — absolutely no one would have been surprised.

“That didn’t happen, and the Giants got some value where they desperately needed it. Remember that before anything else. The Giants were able to win a 5-4 game in extra innings only because Albert Suarez can perform a reasonable impression of a major-league starter.”

(The Giants are on a pace to win over 100 games this year. Yeehaw! Fer all you Brits and other furriners, the Giants won the World (yes, World) Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014. Can y’all say “even year”?)

“The problem is the stuff they [the Pittsburgh Pirates] weren’t worried about. Andrew McCutchen, the best Pirate since Barry Bonds, isn’t hitting. Gerrit Cole is hurt, and the Pittsburgh tradition of “rub some Searage Dust on these guys and they’ll give you six innings” isn’t working for the rest of the rotation. Neil Walker is having a solid Neil Walker season in New York, while Jon Niese, well, you just saw what’s going on with Niese. Somewhere in Western Pennsylvania, a monkey’s paw is slowly dragging itself across the floor towards a can of Iron City.

“All of which is to say, it feels gauche to take too much joy in these three wins against a particularly snakebit iteration of a historically snakebit franchise. Especially when they have the Dodgers coming to town next. I believe in you, Pirates. You’re one of my odd-year teams of choice. So if you want to take these drubbings as motivation for the next four games, you know, I think that’s a fine idea.”

–Reuben Poling, McCovey Chronicles