Here is novel concept, punt the draft

Our beloved Giants have made a couple of moves with free agent this offseason that has cost them their first two draft picks in the upcoming draft. To get a Predator and a Shark, it appears to be well worth it.
Fast forward to today. There are three free agents out there with draft pick compensation attached, Ian Desmond, Yovani Gallardo and Dexter Fowler. Every article I read, the teams that really need these guys are not pulling the trigger because they don’t want to give up the draft pick.
Here is my solution. The Giants sign all three free agents, then trade Desmond to the Rays, Gallardo to the Orioles and Fowler to the ChiSox or again, the Orioles. There are rules against trading newly signed free agents, but only without their permission, I believe. Since these guys WANT to go to those teams, permission would not be a problem.
So the Giants punt picks 3 through 5 in the draft and instead get back SOMETHING from these teams. And it should be something worthwhile, a highly rated prospect, bullpen depth or whatever.
Meanwhile, in the case of the Rays, they get the shortstop they need, keep their draft pick and send the Giants some of the bullpen depth that they have in spades.
Who loses in this situation? Nobody, that’s who. C’mon Bobby Evans, lets make this happen.


Hall of Fame (running joke)

The HOF results will be announced tomorrow morning. Your dependable blogger predicts that two players, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez, will be elected.
The HOF keeps running itself further and further into the ground. The ballot as it exists today is stuffed with credible candidates. There are close to 25 players on the ballot that SHOULD be in the Hall.
But they won’t be. The archiac rules that the Hall and the BBWAA use has forced this type of backlog. The santimonius approach of many of the BBWAA members regarding PEDs has only added to this backlog with way too many players being excluded using that criteria.
Just so you know, I have never been to Cooperstown. I will never go to Cooperstown until Barry Bonds is elected. Barry was the best player I ever saw play BEFORE there were any suspicions about steroids. But he is the poster child for any sprotswriter who has an axe to grind.
So, another year, a larger backlog. The HOF is a running joke that no one thinks is funny.

The Kung Fu Panda has Left the Building

Well, no use denying the inevitable. Pablo Sandoval has left the Giants to join the Boston Red Sox. Both Brian Sabean and Mike Krukow have come out and said that they wished him well in Boston and thanked him for his contributions to three rings in five years. They appear to be saying the right things despite the disappointment of him leaving SF.
Folks, I am not nearly as magnanimous.
This stinks. If we are to believe what is being reported, the Sox got him for $100 mill over 5 years, while the Giants offered $95 mill over the same period. The Giants said that they thought they would get the chance to put in a ‘final offer’ but it appears they were not allowed to do that. So Pablo leaves the only franchise he has ever known, a franchise he said he wanted to be with ‘for life’, a franchise that nurtured him through weight issues, hamate bones breaking, sexual assault charges and a litany of other personal issues. He leaves a fan base that adores him, dresses in panda hats to honor him, delighted in every accomplishment he did while looking the other way when he did not do well.
A few facts to consider here. Pablo has been with the Giants 7 years, but it really a tale of 2008-11, 4 years but with a horrible 2010, then 2012-14 or three years. Leaving out the horrible ’10 season, his OPS was exactly .900, which was excellent. For ’12-14, his OPS has slid to .762, with drops every year from 2011 (.909,.789,.758,.739). OPS for a corner infielder should be in the .850 to 1.000 range, so a regular season .739 is really not very good.
His weight. The Giants have been frustrated for years with his weight, all reports are that the BoSox would be including a weight clause in his contract. I’m sure he is saying all the right things but one thing is for sure, the Boston media and the fans will not be, in ANY way, forgiving if he looks fat and plays as if it effects him.
As a casual observer, when he has a lot of pressure on him, his performance suffers. I’m not talking about postseason. Early this season, after he had rejected a Giants extension, he played horribly. The pressure of a ‘walk year’ really got to him early on, he had to rally to put up a .279 batting average. He struck out more times than ever in his career and his walks were down. He averaged a little over 9 errors a season through his first 4 years, his last three he averaged 14. He was a finalist for 3B Gold Glove but did not win and it didn’t seem like he had a chance.
Lastly, I think that the Giants and their fans lose their minds a little when it comes to resigning their players. $20 mill or very close to it for a .279 hitter, with little or no pop, only 2 All Star appearances and just one, thats right, one player of the week honor in 7 years? For that kind of money, the Giants could get a top-of-the-rotation arm (Lester, Hamels) or a middle-of-the-order hitter (Cespedes, Tomas, Upton) and figure out 3B on the fly. Isn’t Marco Scuturo still under contract? Adam Duvall? Chris Dominguez? Matt Duffy? Basically, my belief is that when Sabean said they had no options in-house, that was to make their pursuit of Pablo seem important. It’s not. They may go out and find a stopgap, Chase Headley maybe, but they have lots of IF options.
Pablo will find out quickly how much patience the Red Sox nation has and at $20 mill per, they will be on him like white on rice. If he starts like 2014, hitting .193 on May 13th, he will experience something in Boston that he never has in SF, hatred.
Others may wish him well but not me. Any respect I had for him was gone, he is now Jose Uribe heavy.

Did the best team win?

As the analysis of the Giants third World Series win in five years circulates, there is a large number of columnists/bloggers that decry the fact that the ‘best’ team didn’t win. HOGWASH! Regardless of how many wins they had in the regular season, the post season awards like Manager of year, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young or MVP, the bottom line was this in 2014, when it counted the most, the team that played the best, won. Once the postseason starts, any reference to the regular season should be ignored, because the Giants have shown that they shine when the lights are brightest. The Pirates, Nationals, Cardinals and Royals know that directly, the Dodgers have learned that their ‘stars’ do not shine when too harsh of a light is placed upon them. Kershaw has proven himself to come up small in October. Puig can not be trusted to even play in important games. And Donnie baseball looked like the inexperienced manager he really is.

So when Kershaw is in his trophy room, gazing at his Cy Young and MVP, does he think about how he has all this hardware but Mad Bum now has three rings? Who was the best pitcher in the NL, $30 mill/year Clayton or the guy who won the Wild Card game, NLCS MVP, World Series MVP and threw the last pitch of the year? If it truly is all about winning, you know the answer to that question.

Let’s recap shall we, postseason useless awards based on the regular season versus a Ring and a Parade. Giants and their ecstatic fans will gladly take the latter.

From the shores of McCovey Cove, mid October 2014

What a game last night. My first playoff action of the postseason and I picked a good game to attend. The place was a-rockin’ and the Giants faithful in full throat. Maybe it’s because most of the games I attend, I sit out in the open, but where we were at last night was undercover and man oh man was it loud. First couple times the Giants did something, the crowd erupted and I jumped. Got used to it though. Maybe not good for my hearing but joining 40k nutcases in rooting on their guys was something to experience, if you never have.
So, with Buster Posey having 2 hits last night and 3 RBI, do you think Mike Matheny, the Cardinals manager, has changed his mind about him? If you don’t recall, Matheny was the All Star manager this year, as the Cards had lost to the BoSox in the World Series. As for the catcher position in the All Star game, Yadier Molina was voted in, LuCroy and Mesoroco were appointed based on steller first halves offensively. But Molina was hurt and had to be replaced. Matheny picked Miguel Montero of the Diamondbacks as the replacement. So Mike Matheny, you didn’t feel that Buster Posey was any better THAN THE FIFTH (5TH!!) BEST CATCHER IN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE? REALLY?
Here are the final OPS numbers for the regular season (BTW Mesoroco struck out 103 times, Montero 97, Buster 69)
Mesoroco .893
Posey .854
LuCroy .837
Molina .719
Montero .699
One last point. When Buster came up in the 6th, with a runner on 2nd, 2 outs, the crowd started chanting POSEY, POSEY, POSEY, reminiscent of the Barry chants from the 90’s. And what did Buster do with 40 thousand fans chanting his name? Base hit of course, RBI and the final margin of victory. Geez, I loooooove that guy.


And to think, I used to like Mike Matheny. Heck, he ended his career as a Giant and I have a bobblehead of him in orange and black. Well folks, that box gets scooted waaaaaaaaaay to the back in my display case after this week.

The 2014 Giants are a cute little story. Low expectations coming in, they roared out of the gate, ending up something like 22 games over .500. Then everything fell apart in June, as we all know. But with a little resugence here lately, they are only one game back of the dreaded Dodgers.

At the beginning of June, they were a lock for 4 or 5 All Stars. In the end, only two went, Pence and Hudson.
The issue I have with Matheny is his appointing Miguel Montero to replace Molina, rather than Buster. So you are telling me Mike, with Molina voted in, LuCroy, Mesarasco and Montero named to the team, that BUSTER FLIPPING POSEY IS NO BETTER THAN THE 5TH BEST CATCHER IN THE NL????? Are you on acid? LuCroy and Mesarasco lead NL catchers in OPS, with Mez on top with a smaller sample size and 26% K rate. The other 3’s OPS are from .751 to .760, not a huge difference. Buster has a better average than Montero and much lower K rate (21% to 13%). It’s not as though the D-backs didn’t have another All Star, Goldschmidt started and played most of the game. And they have spent most of the season in the cellar. But the Giants, in 1st most of the season, have 2 All Stars, one doesn’t play and the other plays sparingly. So WFT Matheny?

A little rant about Fox. Was there one mention of the Giants during the entire broadcast? Pence took RF in the 7th and there was no mention of the defensive change. As he has his one at-bat, the booth was talking with John Farrell, so his name was not even mentioned on the broadcast. I know this was the Derek Jeter lovefest, disguised as a baseball game. But C’mon Man! One of the NL’s glamour franchise, the team of Christy Mathewson, John McGraw, Mel Ott, Bill Terry, Willie Flipping Mays, Willie McCovey and the greatest I’ve ever seen, Barry LaMarr Bonds, does not get just a whiff of respect from the national media.

That’s okay, you can apologize as you hand Larry Baer the trophy in November.

Two Perfect Games Ruined by the Left Side of the Dodger Infield

By now, all of us have heard about Kershaw’s no-hitter and how it would of been a Perfect Game if Hanley Rameriz doesn’t throw away a routine ground ball.  But that is not the first time the current Dodger infielders have caused this to happen.  With the Giants, Jonathan Sanchez’s no-hitter, the only blemish was an error by Juan Uribe, the Dodgers current 3B (when he is not injured, which is quite often).

Pitching and defense used to be the trademark of successful Dodger teams.  No longer.  Dodger stadium used to have some of the biggest foul territory in baseball.  Until the O’Malleys sold the team that is.  Dodger ownership knew back then that they had a built-in advantage.  But with News Corp and then the slimy McCourts as owners, they looked at the stadium and decided to trade 20 sheckels of silver for their souls.  They changed the configuration of the ballpark to put more seats in closer to the field.  Why?  Dollar-dollar-bills y’all.  So they neuter their stategic advantage for a little extra do-ray-mi.  In a stadium that seats 56k plus, and does not sell out BTW, they added a few hundred seats and sold their collective soul.  They only way to describe it is short-sighted.  That sound you hear is poor Walter O’Malley spinning in his grave.

While we are on the subject of the boys in blew, this was in USA Today –

Due to a negotiating impasse between Time Warner Cable and multiple TV providers in the area — including DirecTV — only an estimated 1.5 million of the 4.8 million homes in Los Angeles had access to the Dodgers’ new SportsNet LA network for all of Kershaw’s no-hitter.

Again, this proves that the Dodgers do not care if their fans see the games on TV or not.  3.3 million homes could only get the game on radio and if they wanted to see the last pitch, they had to watch it on SportsCenter.  Pathetic.  How can the 2nd largest market in the country deny fans access to the most popular team in So Calif?  For that matter, how can the 2nd largest market in the country HAVE NO NFL TEAM??? 

It just goes to show that the owners of the Dodgers and the NFL, DO NOT GIVE A RAT’S ASS ABOUT THE LA FANS.  You could argue that point but you would be wrong.  My take is simple on their fans, they get what they deserve.  Arrive late, leave early, more interest in doing the Wave than the game on the field, they are TERRIBLE fans for the most part.  There are a few long time fans that don’t deserve this treatment, but there are so many more that do, that they deserve any issues they have.  Couldn’t have happened to better group of losers.