Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco Giants’


McCovey Chronicles reports that the best broadcasting team in baseball will be back in 2020: Kruk & Kuip, Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper, will be back this coming season and probably thereafter. I hope that they’ll go on until they, or I, drop. As Brian Murphy put it on McCovey Chronicles, “we get to enjoy two friends just talking baseball for a little while longer.” Both of them were better-than-average major leaguers with a dry sense of humor, and their friendship is almost palpable. Their broadcasts feel like you’re sitting in your living room talking baseball with two friends who are more knowledgeable than you. Not in a condescending way, but just knowledgeable, and funny.

Probably the best baseball comment I ever heard was one Kuiper (the play-by-play man) made ten or fifteen years ago. The count was 3 and 2, and the batter fouled a ball off the back of the plate. It hit the catcher square in the balls. He went rigid and toppled over, in agony. After maybe 10 or15 seconds of dead air, as the catcher writhed, Kuiper said, deadpan — despite the count — “One strike, two balls.”

The other bit of good news is that the second-best MLB broadcasting team will be back next season, Jon Miller and Mike Flemming, on the radio side of the Giants. They’re well worth listening to.

Even when the Giants are halfway (I hope) through a rebuild, and will almost certainly suck, coming in well under.500.

Tune ’em in and enjoy.

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Sour Grapes Department: There’s no longer Spring Training baseball in Tucson. It’s all up the freeway to the north in the hellhole known as “Phoenix.” Seats there for Spring Training games — yes, Spring Training — commonly go for as much as $50, and they’re often sold out.

Here, the Pecos League (independent — Tucson Saguaros, and other teams in AZ, TX, NM, CA, and Mexico) starts in May, and box seats are $7.50. Yes, $7.50, with dollar-beer nights every Thursday. The ball is roughly somewhere between high A and low AA, and is fun to watch — guys playing for the sheer joy of it or in a last attempt to catch on with an MLB organization.

I know which I’ll pay to see: obscenely high prices for near-meaningless Spring Training games a horrible drive and a hundred miles up I-10 or a couple months later the homegrown product.

Hope to see you at some Saguaros games. I guarantee it’ll be fun. Maybe 105 at game time (just before sunset), but fun nonetheless.

 


“[E]ven in a world where the facts don’t matter anymore, even in a world where progressive values have been co-opted as corporate speak, even in a world where people with disgusting amounts of wealth can do suspect or even terrible things and face little to no consequences, holding those in power accountable is still a fight worth having.”

–ShutUpWesley in McCovey Chronicles’ “The Zaidi Era is Officially Here

(For non-sci-fi fans, the weird pseudonym refers to the intensely annoying Wesley Crusher character — who you felt like smacking around on general principles — in Star Trek: The Next Generation.)

 


“Last night I failed to mention something that bears repeating.”

–Mariners announcer Ron Fairly quoted on Rotisserie Duck

 

(Fairly was also, unfortunately for listeners, a broadcaster for the Giants for several seasons. I’d bet the farm that the above statement was not intentionally funny.)


To mark his first year in office without causing a nuclear war, this week we’re reposting last year’s best posts on Donald Trump. Here’s the one from August 4, 2017:


 

“I usually stay away from politics on here for obvious reasons. They’re too divisive, and this is supposed to be a place about sports [San Francisco Giants], a safe haven. But I think the one thing we can all agree on is that Donald Trump is a dangerously ignorant man-child, the wriggling embodiment of the seven deadly sins, each of them competing against the other for supremacy at all times.”

— Grant Brisbee, “Donald Trump wanted to buy the San Francisco Giants” (on our favorite baseball blog, McCovey Chronicles). We’d highly advise reading the entire piece, as it’s outright hilarious.


Grant Brisbee

“It seems funny to you that [Giancarlo] Stanton might want to come to the Giants. This is because you actually spent time — time you will never, ever, ever get back — watching this horrible team as it spun around the toilet and mercifully went down, never to resurface.”


(Note for nonbaseball fans: two-and-a-half weeks ago the Los Angeles Dodgers were an astounding 91-36, and on track to win the most games ever by a major league team;  they’re now 92-51. In contrast, the San Francisco Giants are, after two cringe-inducing defeats in Chicago over the weekend, back on track to lose 100 games.)

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“The Dodgers are in freefall off the highest of perches, having lost 15 of their last 16 games.

“They’ll face an archrival [Giants] that just lost 8-1 to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, got outscored 21-2 over the final two games on the South Side and dropped yet another non-competitive road series to the team with the worst record in the American League.

“We’re about to find out which emotion is stronger: panic or despair.”

–Andrew Baggarly in the San Jose Mercury News, “Giants lose another stinker to White Sox


Grant Brisbee

“It’s not that life comes at you fast, it’s that life is usually drunk and taking speed so that it can stay up and drink more.”

(As usual, Grant is understating things. More accurately, it would be “‘life is usually drunk and snorting coke off of a hooker’s ass'” so it can stay up and drink until annihilation.”)

–from the hands-down best baseball blog on the ‘net, McCovey Chronicles


Pablo Sandoval

“If 31-year-old Pablo Sandoval is the [San Francisco Giants’ starting third baseman] on Opening Day 2018, I predict alcohol sales at AT&T Park will go through the roof (which actually may be one of the Giants’ new marketing plans).”

–Richard Dyer, “What the SF Giants will look like on opening day 2018” on The Giants Cove


(I’ve been saving this quote for two weeks, as the Giants inexplicably played good baseball for nearly a full week immediately after this appeared; but their play has reassuringly returned to normal — that is, excruciating — for the last week, so here you go.)

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“The 2017 San Francisco Giants are a very poor baseball team by the standards of Major League Baseball. Were you aware of that? You were probably aware of that. Still, it needs to be said in every article about them until the season ends, because this is how you will repent for your many sins. Feel glad that you get to do it this way instead of changing your truly repugnant behavior. . . .

“. . . and hey, just for kicks, let’s go to Fangraphs and check out the worst ERAs in the majors among qualified starters. Well, whaddya know? The Giants are leading the league in something! . . .

“. . . We come not to sarcastically praise the Giants, but to bury them. Let’s examine this important question: Will this year’s Giants ever win another game?”

(A poll immediately followed, to which 61% of responding Giants fans answered, “Why no, I don’t think they will.”)

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–Doug Bruzzone, “Will the 2017 Giants ever win another game?” (from our favorite baseball blog, McCovey Chronicles)


“I usually stay away from politics on here for obvious reasons. They’re too divisive, and this is supposed to be a place about sports [San Francisco Giants], a safe haven. But I think the one thing we can all agree on is that Donald Trump is a dangerously ignorant man-child, the wriggling embodiment of the seven deadly sins, each of them competing against the other for supremacy at all times.”

–Grant Brisbee, “Donald Ttrump wanted to buy the San Francisco Giants” (on our favorite baseball blog, McCovey Chronicles)


“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.
mccovey

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 half 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 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 and decided he could get away with it, 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