Friday, November 21, 2014

Giants options should the Panda thing not work out...

Giants a Team to Watch in Moncada Sweepstakes

This is what we get? A 19-year old prospect? I doubt this is going to get it done, but whatever.

It seems as if the Giants should be around 50/50 to still retain Pablo given the Sawks renewed wanderlust for John Lester and the dollars he will require to sign. Toronto just signed Russell Martin and seems to be bidding on every available mega-free agent out there. The White Sox could still surprise from the rear.

San Francisco is still the best spot for Pablo overall unless he feels a compelling need to squeeze the free-agency lemon dry. If he weighs 290 and hits .220 in Boston for any length of time, especially after he signs for near $20 million per, do you think they go easy on him? Think it through Panda and Company. Sometimes you sacrifice dollars for quality of life.

from Bleacher Report / Baseball America:
8 Favorites to Watch in Moncada Sweepstakes:

One of the biggest stories in baseball is what will happen with Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada.
Trying to peg the market for Moncada is tricky. He’s widely viewed throughout the game as a premium talent, he’s able to play nearly anywhere on the field except shortstop, and he doesn’t need to fit a team’s major league roster immediately because he’s a 19-year-old who’s going to start his career in the minors. High and low revenue teams could all make a case to sign him.
While Major League Baseball has declared Moncada a free agent, Moncada has not obtained the specific license from OFAC that Major League Baseball requires players to have before signing, and there’s no clear timetable for when that will come.

San Francisco Giants
San Francisco Giants
The World Series champions will have one of the lowest bonus pools in baseball. They have signed players the last couple years in the $500,000 neighborhood, but they have stayed away from the bigger-ticket items after spending heavily on Angel VillalonaRafael Rodriguezand Gustavo Cabrera with little to show for their investment. The Giants are trying to become more active in the Cuban market, and with a fairly light farm system, Moncada would be a good fit, and a potentialPablo Sandoval replacement at third base should the Panda end up elsewhere.
'via Blog this'

Monday, November 17, 2014

The PR hits just keep coming for the NFL

As if the NFL didn't have enough problems lately with concussions, domestic violence, homophobia or player conduct, now this. This has been going on in some fashion for generations. It is embedded in the culture, accepted and condoned by owners, players and fans. It's part of the warrior mentality. Without the mask of drugs dulling the pain, the warrior mask comes off and these guys become closer to the wanna-be cubical warriors who play flag football on the weekends -- a glorified recreational sport -- not a billion dollar, made for TV industry.

Maybe the NFL as a league needs something to dull the pain of the repetitive hits to it's image

from ESPN:
Drug Enforcement Administration stages surprise NFL inspections - ESPN
The DEA also has reason to believe visiting team physicians may not be keeping "readily retrievable documents," that spell out which prescription drugs are administered and to whom, the federal law enforcement source said.

"Our intelligence suggests controlled substances are not properly logged to specific players," the source added. 
 DEA agents planned Sunday to inspect the medical bags of visiting team doctors for prescription drugs while alongside Transportation Safety Administration screeners.

"If doctors don't get players back on the field, you think they're going to continue to be the team doctor?" Closius said, when asked about the NFL culture that routinely demands players play with pain.

"Everybody is subservient to this return-to-play culture -- doctors, general managers, coaches, everybody. And that return-to-play culture is responsible for this illegal distribution on drugs," Closius added.

'via Blog this'

BBWAA yawns at Bochy's efforts as manager in 2014

Bochy morse

He may however be the first to vanquish the two managers who finished ahead of him as well as the one who finished immediately behind him in the playoffs. He beat three of the top four managers to win the World Series, pretty incredible. As noted, the ballots are in prior to postseason play.

from Official site of the Baseball Writers' Assn. of America.:

Ballots from two writers in each league city prior to postseason play are tabulated on a system that rewards five points for first place, three points for second place and one point for third place.

Manager, Team1st2nd3rdPoints
Matt Williams, Nationals1861109
Clint Hurdle, Pirates812480
Bruce Bochy, Giants33630
Mike Matheny, Cardinals5318
Mike Redmond, Marlins12516
Don Mattingly, Dodgers1912
Ron Roenicke, Brewers13
Bud Black, Padres11
Terry Collins, Mets11
Below is a breakdown of the 30 individual ballots, submitted by two writers representing each city in the National League. Note that in some cases (*), when a city does not have enough eligible voters, a voter from another city represents that chapter. For more information on the voting, see our Voting FAQ.

'via Blog this'

Buster Posey leads list of top 10 catchers - MLB - ESPN

Buster Posey

This will be a burr in the saddle for Cardinals fans, but it's true. Posey takes his rightful place as #1. The results as far as the team goes speak for Posey's effect as a team leader.

from ESPN:
Buster Posey leads list of top 10 catchers - MLB - ESPN:
1. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

For every evaluator who prefers Posey, there’s another who would rather take Yadier Molina. Some prefer Molina’s defense, his ability to shut down a running game; others like Posey, because he has been the most consistently excellent hitter when compared to others at this position. He has a career OPS of .861, a neighborhood that Molina has achieved in only one season: 2012, when he had an .874 OPS.

Molina, a future Hall of Famer, is universally regarded as the better defensive player. But Posey’s defense is good, and his pitchers say it's improving in how he calls games and how he handles situations.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Giants' success weighs on Dodgers - True Blue LA

Mark it down as a bit of schadenfreude on my part, but I enjoy reading about some of this navel gazing on the part of Dodger Nation and A's Nation for that matter. Toss in how Moneyball aficionados angst is rising as they try to explain the Giants success and you have the trifecta of glee for me.

The Giants recent success can be attributed largely to a shift from the Bonds era to spackling and pasting the roster together with aging veterans to building it via old school blocking and tackling in the form of scouting and player development.

from True Blue LA:
Giants' success weighs on Dodgers - True Blue LA:

"I don't think you can win three World Series in five years just by being lucky. That may be stating the obvious There is no doubt that in the postseason, with a single-elimination game, or playing in a best-of-five or best-of-seven series, there are certainly times you need the ball to bounce your way," Zaidi said. "Luck is not a sufficient characteristic for a team to win. You've got to be really good, and have the ball bounce your way too.

The Giants won this year with homegrown players at each starting infield position, plus catcher Buster Posey, too. But what is remarkable to me about their five-year run is that in each of the three title years they have had a different ace starting pitcher, with Tim Lincecum in 2010, Matt Cain in 2012 and Madison Bumgarner in 2014. All three pitchers were drafted by San Francisco, and all are still around.

'via Blog this'

"Luck is the Residue of Design" meets "Luck is the differential between the expected result calculated by my theoretical model and the actual result". 

The irony is that the "Luck is the residue of design" quote is attributed to former Dodger GM Branch Rickey, the Billy Beane of his time.  So we come full circle, or everything old is new again, I guess.

Giants' 'state of the franchise' stat pack | CSN Bay Area

Brian Sabean is MLB's longest tenured GM; Bruce Bochy is the second longest tenured manager. (AP)

Now matter how you parse the data, a pretty good team that is in a pretty good state. The lions share of the credit lies in the continuity of the Sabean / Bochy team. Both could ride the wave of euphoria right into Cooperstown. Interesting to note that Sabean and Billy Beane both arrived in the Bay Area within one year of each other. The results and the accolades are still just a tad bit out of line between those two GM's.

from CSN Bay Area:
Giants' 'state of the franchise' stat pack | CSN Bay Area:
Giants Opening Day payrolls
2010 $96.3m
2011 $118.2m
2012 $132.4m
2013 $136.9m
2014 $149.1m
Brian Sabean
Named GM in Septempter 1996
Signed through 2016
Bruce Bochy
Hired in October 2006
Signed through 2016
Current Giants free agents
Pablo Sandoval
Michael Morse
Jake Peavy
Sergio Romo
Ryan Vogelsong
Current Giants contracts
Player -- Signed through -- Years/guaranteed money
Buster Posey -- 2021 with option for 2022 -- 9 years/$167 million
Matt Cain -- 2017 with option for 2018 -- 6 years/$127.5 million
Hunter Pence -- 2018 -- 5 years/$90 million
Madison Bumgarner -- 2017 with options '18 & ’19 -- 5 years/$35 million
Angel Pagan -- 2016 -- 4 years/$40 million
Tim Lincecum -- 2015 2 years/$35 million
Top free agents on the market
Jon Lester P
Max Scherzer P
Victor Martinez 1B/DH
Hanley Ramirez SS/3B
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Nelson Cruz OF
James Shields P
Chase Headley 3B
Giants free agent signings
*Not with team previous season
Tim Hudson
Michael Morse
Andres Torres
Ryan Theriot
Clay Hensley
Miguel Tejada
Aubrey Huff
Mark DeRosa
Giants 2014 Ranks -- National League
665 runs -- 5th
.255 team batting average -- 4th
132 home runs -- 7th
3.50 team ERA -- 7th
.241 opponents batting average -- 2nd
100 errors -- T-7th
Notable first-round draft picks under Brian Sabean
2022 Matt Cain
2006 Tim Lincecum
2007 Madison Bumgarner
2008 Buster Posey
2011 Joe Panik
Longest-tenured manager with same team
Manager -- Team -- First Year
Mike Scioscia -- Angels -- 2000
Bruce Bochy -- Giants -- 2007
Bud Black -- Padres -- 2007
Joe Girardi -- Yankees -- 2008
Ned Yost -- Royals -- 2010
Buck Showalter -- Orioles -- 2010
Longest-tenured GMs with same team
GM -- Team -- Hired
Brian Sabean -- Giants -- 1996
Billy Beane -- Athletics -- 1997
Brian Cashman -- Yankees -- 1998
Dave Dombrowski -- Tigers -- 2002
Doug Melvin -- Brewers -- 2002
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How much "should" the Panda cost?

I like the methodology and the result derived from Fan Graphs Crowdsourcing effort: 5 years / $79-80M. 


#5 Pablo Sandoval (3B) 

276386.1 %13.3 %.279.324.415.3231113.35.33.0
Median Years: 5
Median AAV: $16 million
Total: 5 years, $80 million
Average Years: 5.0
Average AAV: $15.9 million
Total: 5.0 years, $79.0 million
Will the Giants extend Sandoval a qualifying offer (about $15.3M)?
Yes: 96%. No: 4%.
Will Sandoval accept the qualifying offer, if extended one?
No: 96%. Yes: 4%.
There are multiple third-base free-agent options this offseason. Which of the following will record the highest WAR between now and his retirement?
Pablo Sandoval: 48%.
Hanley Ramirez: 34%.
Chase Headley: 18%.

But Mr. Market will care not what the masses think and one team could propel this number into the stratosphere. At least that is the fear among Giants fans. Since the entire off-season depends on re-signing Sandoval, I thought I would crunch the numbers and see what is the best number the Gainst could / should come up with. 

Hey, it's not my money!!

OK, for 2015 the Giants currently have Cain @ $20.83M, Pence @ $18.5M, Lincecum @ $18M (Ugh!) and Posey @ $17.28M according to Cot's Contracts data.  
-- SANDOVAL @ $17M here, lower than Posey and Pence for now. 

For 2016, Cain @ $20.83M, Posey @ $20.78 and Pence @ $18.5. 
-- SANDOVAL @ $18M here, still not Pence money, but stay tuned. 

For 2017, Posey @ $22.18M, Cain @ $20.83M, Pence @ $18.5M, and Pagan falls off as a Free Agent freeing up $11M. 
-- SANDOVAL @ $18-19M here. 

For 2018, Posey @ $22.18M and Pence @ $18.50M.
-- SANDOVAL @ $19-20M here. Ahead of Pence.

For 2019, Posey @ $22.18M and Pence  goes FA, freeing up $18.50 
-- SANDOVAL @ $20-21M here. 

For 2020, which is the sixth year, again SANDOVAL @ $20-21M here. 

So for 4 years you are @ $72-74M. The fifth year gets you to $92-93M and the sixth year fleshes out @ $112-114M and you get to stay in the best place in the world for the Panda to finish out his career and flesh out his legacy by walking among Giants. 

You're welcome!!!


Sunday, November 09, 2014

Giants, Pablo Sandoval Making Progress Towards A Deal – On-Base Talk

If true, this is great news. Given that Brain Sabean has put all his 3B eggs in Pablo's basket, this becomes an almost must win for the Gigantes in the off-season. I can see where they bring him back in the 5 year/ $80 million range. Anything over that and I think it might hurt the franchise's future more by signing him than by letting him walk.

from On-Base Talk:
Giants, Pablo Sandoval Making Progress Towards A Deal – On-Base Talk:
Contract talks between third baseman Pablo Sandoval and the San Francisco Giants are rising to the point that many other teams are looking to different options at third, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. Olney also reported that, other teams are having trouble convincing Sandoval to sign anywhere other than in San Francisco. It was reported earlier this week that Sandoval wanted a six-year deal and wanted to stay in the Bay Area. 
 The 28-year-old has won three World Series championships, a World Series MVP, a Babe Ruth Award and is a two-time All Star. He also hit three consecutive home runs in his first three at-bats during Game 1 of the 2012 World Series against the Detroit Tigers. Sandoval was also a huge part of the Giants’ recent World Series victory, as he recorded an MLB record 26 hits in the 2014 postseason.
'via Blog this'

If you can get Sandoval to stay for 5 / $80, I could see the way clear where the Giants could then sign:

  • Morse @ 1 years / $7M or 2 years / $15M
  • Romo @ 2 years / $12M and he's making noises like he's rather stay in SF
  • Vogelsong @ 1 year / $7M or 2 years / $15M

That leaves Peavy as the only loss and I can live with that one.

I still don't understand Sabean's comment to the effect that Pablo is the only option (Pablo or Bust) at 3B next year and they have no others in the organization.
“We don’t have a solution in house,” Sabean said. “It would have to come from the outside.”
Aside from Posey who could -- as an athletic ex-catcher like Sandoval was -- make the transition easier than you think, the Giants could move Marco Scutaro there rather than outside the organization and get some return on the $6.7 million they have him signed for. This say nothing about the efforts that Matt Duffy and Adam Duvall made late this year. What does that tell your prospects except "We have no faith in you. Your early efforts to impress us sucked".

The Gianst have options within the organization at 3B. They might not be as good as Pablo, but Pablo comes with considerable risks for every year over 3 on the long-term deal IMO and every dollar over $15-16M.

The Pence plus notion is for suckers. Let the Red Sox or the Blue Jays or the White Sox play sucker.

Longoria weighs in on Maddon Successor

View image on Twitter

If this is the shopping list, Martinez would be the front-runner for me as well, from a continuity standpoint. So I agree with Longoria. The buzz is that Manny Acta would be a better choice, having made his rookie mistakes with another franchise, and there is something to that theory. Some of the better managers in baseball were fired once before they figured things out. Montoyo give the Rays continuity, especially with the players younger than Longoria.

from Yahoo Sports:

However, if the decision belonged to the face of the franchise, three-time All-Star Evan Longoria, it sounds like there wouldn't be much of a decision to make. During an appearance on the MLB Network program MLB Now on Friday afternoon, Longoria didn't hesitate to tab Dave Martinez as the clear choice for the job, citing his familiarity with the situation and perhaps some personal hope that the team does in fact stay the course. 
If Martinez doesn't get the job, there's a chance he too would move on, meaning a whole new regime would take charge. That's not lost on Longoria, either, and wholesale changes understandably don't sound very appealing.  
Ron Wotus would be my second choice and while I don't want to see the Giants lose him, he suffers from a similar knock that comes Martinez' way in that most feel if he was that good a candidate, he would have been hired by now. He does have three rings though and there is something to that.

Martinez suffers the same fate in Tampa, except who was going to let Maddon go to make room for him? Wakamatsu has been in the pipeline for some time as well, he may be in the same coaches purgatory as Wotus. Kevin Cash gives you some "local hero" flair being an ex-Tampa Gaither HS product, but if you're looking for an extra ticket sales kicker, listen to Al Davis and "just win, baby".

The recent trend to hiring ex-players and ex-marquee players at that would lean you towards Ibanez, but there seem to be better candidates who have paid their dues as base coaches or assistants. Too soon for Ibanez, Cash and Counsell IMO.

Bottom line, and I don't know how any of these guys interview, I would focus on:

  • Martinez
  • Wotus
  • Montoya 
  • Acta
  • Wakamatsu
  • Cash, Counsell and Ibanez are also-rans 
Eight is a big list, the Rays need to focus on qualtity here, not quantity.


Saturday, November 01, 2014

Several Giants will ring the cash register shortly - Who stays and who goes?

We're going to find out pretty quickly whether the core of the Giants stays intact or cracks. As I've said before, I think the Giants can be compete for Pablo Sandoval @ about 5 years / $80-$90M. If it goes much higher, he is likely to leave.

After another World Series title, what's coming for Giants in offseason? - MLB -
For starters, series MVP Madison Bumgarner isn't going anywhere. While the 25-year-old lefty spent the past month making it clear that he belongs on the short list of the game's elite pitchers, he's not headed for a Clayton Kershaw-like payday anytime soon. Bumgarner just completed the second year of a five-year, $35 million extension signed in April 2012; he made $3.75 million this year, and will make $6.75 million next year, or $23.25 million less than the Dodgers' ace lefty. His contract is guaranteed through 2017, after which the Giants hold $12 million options on his 2018 and '19 seasons. Those options can vest based on innings thresholds, and increase to as much as $16 million if he wins a Cy Young award — still a bargain by the standards of the game's top-tier starters. Bumgarner is one of four Giants under contract through at least 2017, with Hunter Pence, Buster Posey and the injured Matt Cain being the others.
On the other side of the coin, the team does have several players headed for free agency, and they won't keep all of them, even with around $62 million worth of room between their 2015 commitments ($127.3 million, according to Cot's Contracts) and the $189 million luxury tax threshold. Closest to their core is Pablo Sandoval, who probably earned himself a few extra million dollars thanks to a .366/.423/.465 showing in 78 postseason plate appearances, with an OPS above 1.000 in both the NLCS and the World Series, not to mention some dazzling defense.
'via Blog this'

Jake Peavy likely will be too rich for the Giants blood and with Cain back healthy and Petit and option in the rotation, the starting rotation has enough quantity, a return to form by Tim Lincecum would help with the quality.

I think Romo and Vogelsong can both be retained at almost the same salary between the two of them. The Dodgers interest in Romo could be the deciding factor. I would like to see Romo stay in case Machi forgets how to throw the fork-ball and Strickland doesn't figure out how to keep left-handed batters in the park.

Michael Morse is the wild-card. The experts are assuming that AL teams are going to come a knocking for Morse to play a DH heavy role next year. If he's good with that, he may be gone. The problem signing Morse if he is going to want three years minimum and I would feel better with a two year deal in case the Giants need to make room for Mac Williamson or Gary Brown develops into more than a bongo drum for Hunter Pence.

I love the folks who say, well let Sandoval go, let Morse go, we'll just sign Hanley Ramirez or the Cuban free-agent Tomas or God forbid Melky Cabrera. Do they think those guys will cost appreciably less than retaining Sandoval or Morse? At least Jake Peavy is replaced by a returning Matt Cain. It's why he was brought over here.

The ghost of Aubrey Huff still lurks by the Giants cash register, that's for sure. That's creepy!!!


Giants capture 3rd title in 5 years - Dynasty? YES!! YES!! YES!!

It's cool that this is even a discussion. When they have to compare you against the top teams of all time, some of whom played in an entirely different era that was more conducive to building a dynasty ( ie: teams that played before the dissolution of the Reserve Clause ).

from Yahoo Sports:
New dynasty: Giants capture 3rd title in 5 years - Yahoo Sports:
Eight players have been on all three winning World Series teams: Bumgarner, slugging third baseman Sandoval, Posey and relievers Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez, Santiago Casilla, Sergio Romo and Tim Lincecum. Matt Cain, too, but he was hurt this year.
General manager Brian Sabean, longest-tenured in baseball, can't put a finger on why the mix keeps working. He is proud of the core of players who were drafted and came through the system and played such a huge part this time.
"It's a testament to player development and scouting. That's what we all hope for, that you can plug your holes from within and build your team from within," Sabean said. "That's a surefire way to kind of keep things moving forward. It prevents you from having to go into the market, whether it's free agency or more so the trade market."
'via Blog this'

I'm more concerned with how many of the core guys can be re-signed. I think Pablo can be had for 5 / $90 which would be in the same neighborhood as the Hunter Pence money his neophyte agent was looking for at the beginning of the season. If it gets much higher than that either through Pablo's agent overplaying his hand or another team submitting a crazy bid and Sandoval is gone. Oh, and Pablo, tell your dumb-ass agent that comparing your contract to another teammates is bad form. There are plenty of other comparables he can make a) behind closed doors and b) after the season is over. By the way, I define a crazy bid as one that takes Pablo's number significantly over Pence's numbers and approaching or greater than Buster Posey's number. Let some other team take the chance on that one.  

Romo I think can be had by taking the $5M I believe he was making and the $5M Vogelsong received last year and splitting it $5.5M Romo and $4.5 Vogie or 60/40. You might lose both if Vogelsong gets a nice offer from another team, but Affeldt has the bullpen bar set at $6M and deservedly so. Plus, Casilla will be due a nice raise shortly, to say nothing of Bumgarner. Bumgarner recently signed a team friendly extension that seemed fair to the pre-legendary Bumgarner, but might have to be looked at again quite soon.

World Championships come with a cost, but it's a nice cost to have. WTH it's not my money, pass the hat among the billionaire owners.

Giants as the anti-A's

Hey thanks there, Einstein. I'm glad that the Giants are considere the anti-A's in more ways than one. I'm also glad when any one of the pro-scout, anti-Moneyball teams like the Giants, the Cardinals, the Braves and even the Royals win. These teams still retain a lot of the charm of old-school scouting and player development with a smattering of statistical analysis.

I read somewhere that the amount of statistical analysis in baseball has gone up exponentially by some insane amount or another. I guarantee most of these teams are just gathering data as a CYA exercise and have no idea what they are looking at or what to do with most of it.

Giants' latest title offers questions, answers |
Maybe the wrong Bay Area baseball franchise was celebrated in a best-selling book and a feature film that grossed more than $100 million worldwide. Certainly the Oakland A's and general manager Billy Beane offered a compelling story for the world to absorb with "Moneyball."
The Giants are perceived as the anti-A's, and yet San Francisco's the team that keeps ordering championship flags and rings.
As the Giants' GM, Sabean has created a culture in which many baseball-operations employees don't want to leave the organization. He asks for unswerving loyalty, but he also reciprocates it. The resulting "collective collaboration," as Sabean called it, helps the Giants act in concert when reaching a baseball-related decision.
'via Blog this'

This article from Tracy Ringolsby tends to support my point. The top NL franchises of the last 19 years ( the length of Brian Sabean's tenure ) have been none other than the Giants, the Cardinals and the Braves. All of these franchises lean more towards scouting and player development than statistical analysis.

from Tracy Ringolsby:
Sabean Doesn’t Want Attention, Just Wins « Write 'em Cowboy:

And under his guidance the Giants, in the last 19 years have:

–Third best winning percentage in the NL (1,556-1,358, .534) behind the Braves (1,651-1,263, .567) and Cardinals (1,545-1,319, .547).

–Played more post-season games (76) than any NL team other than the Cardinals (121) and have a better post-season winning percentage (.605) than any team that has played at least 34 post-season games.

–Have made four World Series appearances, the only NL team other than the Cardinals, who also have made four, to have been in the World Series more than twice, and have won an NL-best three World Series in the last 18 years.

And don’t forget he took advantage of the San Diego Padres decision to fire manager Bruce Bochy by quickly signing Bochy to oversee things at AT&T Park.

Not bad for a franchise being run by an “idiot.’’

'via Blog this'

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Giants win in typical Giant style!!!

Let the debates begin!! The Giants confound the experts again, as all the Fox pre-game talking heads picked the Royals to win, and yet the Giants win instead. They announcer didn't notice the Giants had a chance to win until about the seventh or eighth inning and never gave them their props. And friggin' Buck whines and jokes about why he's despised as an announcer. He's a horses ass every step of the way.

Aside from Bumgarner's performance for the ages, the Giants amazingly close this one out without a HR in the series, with an 0-12 performance from their 1-2-3 hitters tonight and without much of an offensive contribution from their top offensive player.

The debate today seemed to center on whether or not this third title in five years stamps the Giants as a "dynasty". In modern day terms, I think they qualify. Chicago columnist Phil Rogers was on Sirius/XM saying that the Atlanta Braves were more a dynasty  since they won /dominated more consistently over a longer period of time in spite of not winning more than one World Series title. Leaving out the irony of a Cubbies sportswriter commenting on "what makes a dynasty", does he really think that Braves fans wouldn't trade an occasional flop for more World Series success? This USA Today graphic doesn't even list the Bravos.

This was Panda, as cool, calm and collected as Bumgarner would be later. And he backed it up with his own signature performance, both in this game and this series. Pay the man, just pay the man!!

If the Giants could find money under the seat cushions to pay Hunter Pence after he came over and sparked the team. If the Giants feel they could find enough money in the budget to make a competitive run at Jake Peavy, who openly flirts and makes googly eyes at both the Cardinals and the Cubs while the Giants are competing for this, Pablo's third Giants title, while Peavy by comparison pisses down his leg with his performance in the World Series and spends his free time polishing his future free-agent bona-fides, then you guys better damn well sign Pablo Sandoval first. He means more to the franchise and more to Giants fans than Jake Peavy ever while, so put that in your calculations and smoke it.

from CSN Bay
Pablo’s at the top of that list. We all know it. Every negotiation is different. Every intention on the part of the player is different. I know we love Pablo and he loves the Giants and we’ll see what happens.
— Giants GM Brian Sabean

And how about Jeremy Affeldt. Under-rated, under-appreciated Jeremy Affeldt. Turning in another spit and bailing wire performance that gets the ball to Bumgarner with the outcome still intact after it looked like Hudson had tilted momentum the Royals way. Affeldt righted the ship and I suppose for that gets awarded the victory. More folks than the official scorer should appreciate what Affeldt did getting the Win in this game.

from CSN Bay

I couldn’t be more honored that I was a part of this. I can’t wait to see the people in San Francisco. We pitched, and pitching wins championships.
 — Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt

And how about Joe Cool, Joe Fundamentals or whatever nickname eventually sticks doing it with his glove rather than his bat. Where would we be without him righting the ship at 2B this year? And thank God for replay, right? Poetic justice. 

Watch Panik and Crawford Turn Amazing DP

Way to go, Joe!!! Hanging around Brandon Crawford is beginning to rub off on your glove. Hopefully, your bat rubs off on his a little bit more down the road.

It looks like any game that ends in a Buster hug is good for Giants baseball history. If it's not Wilson, Romo and now Bumgarner, to say nothing of Cainer and Timmy for their no-no's and perfectos, these man hugs never get old.

And last but not least, Bumgarner clearly makes the grade among scouts and old-school pitching aficionados.

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I guess the amazing, unbelievable, unassuming way the Giants won this year and in some of the same ways, the other two years, makes it somewhat easy to dismiss them an under-rated, lucky and undeserving of matching up with other juggernaut teams from the past and present. I can tell you as a close observer of this team, luck has nothing to do with it.  Pluck and perseverance and stick-to-it-iveness and stick-togetherness DOES. certainly. The essence of the word TEAM. 

Three titles in five years and we could be celebrating and debating about four titles in five years if they don't lose Posey to Cousin's cheap shot heard 'round the Bay Area.  That's not luck chumps. And what some of these guys would know about championship mettle is beyond me. What a brain-dead Chicago columnist would know about what constitutes championship mettle after watching a team that hasn't displayed it in over a century and whose last feeble attempt at same resulted in "Curses Bartman" to say nothing about blaming your failures on a Curse of the Billy Goat is kind of like, well, a Chicago football columnist opining about good, solid QB play. 

Celebrate Giants and Giants fans, You've earned it. Let some of there other guys piss and moan on each other while you're having another parade. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pitch Counts according to Bumgarner

Madison Bumgarner has a 0.29 career ERA in the World Series. (USA Today)
Madison Bumgarner has a 0.29 career ERA in the World Series. (USA Today)

He will be a hero to the old-school pitching coaches who do not buy into the pitch count revolution and believe that it, and not the lowering of the mound, has led to the disappearance of the dominant starting pitcher from the World Series scene. If they need him, he throws. He will have a lot of rest before his next pitch thrown in anger after tonight, so he gives them what he's got when he's asked.

from Yahoo Sports:
Giants' Game 7 hopes rest with Tim Hudson, and if not him, then Madison Bumgarner - Yahoo Sports:
Four outs from Peavy and 20 from the bullpen Tuesday night netted the Giants a 10-0 shellacking and an invitation to Game 7. Bumgarner threw 117 pitches just Sunday night, and he'd have two – really, by game time, nearly all of three – days off. Asked how many pitches he believed he could throw if called upon, Bumgarner half-smiled and said, "Maybe 200, I don't know. As long as you're getting outs. Pitch counts are overrated." Especially, presumably, on Oct. 29. "I think it's overrated all the time," he said.
'via Blog this'

Regardless of what happens tonight, Bumgarner has posted a stat line for the ages in this World Series and will leave Giants fans wishing that Bochy had been able to line him up for Games 1, 4 and 7 right from the get-go. Which is how it SHOULD have been done. This type of adjustment on the fly is awkward and clunky and has the whiff of a desperation move. ADVANTAGE ROYALS.  that we're even talking in terms of how quickly we can throw Hudson from the train and climb aboard the Bummer Express.

If the Royals see Bumgarner get the call from the bullpen, they get the chance to at best dirty up the pretty little stat line and at worst virtually erase it from the narrative of history. All it takes is a well-placed, well-timed bloop or a bomb. It would be hard to envision a scenario where Bummer gets the call without the Giants being behind in the score. At that point, the onus would be on Bumgarner to hold the Royals in place while the Giants bi-polar offense gets to work. Less a savior or a Superman coming out of a phone booth ( speaking of which, where's Posey been? ) and more of a place-holder.

This game will be very quickly move from "momentum is your next days' starting pitcher, more "2 out RBI's get you to heaven". It will be what heroes and goats are made of in the post-mortem.

Game 7 of the World Series: It doesn't get any better than that

Because all the pre-game speculation, all the "Royals will win because home teams have won XX% of Game 7's" or the "Giants can bring back Madison Bumgarner and he's invincible" melts away into history and then is argued about for eternity based on your perspective.

I read this clip about the 1985 World Series from Wikipedia about Bill James perspective as a Royals fan on the 1985 World Series -- a touchy subject for Cardinals fans -- and it dawned on me that while KC can take the Jamesian perspective that the Denkinger bad call had no material effect on the outcome of that Series, "the Cardinals just needed to get the next out" or "just keep your poise, don't meltdown, win the next day", etc. All valid points, there is another perspective. You could just as easily take the St. Louis cardinals fans perspective that perhaps the Kansas City Royals are Instant Replay away from being the baseball version of the Buffalo Bills with the cardinals having another World Series title on their resume.

Kansas City Royals - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
The baseball statistical analyst Bill James wrote a chapter in the 1986 edition of his Baseball Abstract titled "A History of being a Kansas City Royals Baseball Fan." In the style of an opinion piece as a longtime Royals fan, rather than in his usual analytical tone, James commented that "The truth is, the Royals kicked the holy crap out of the Cardinals" in the 1985 Series. The chapter asserts that it was the Cardinals' overconfidence and the Royals' ability to engage the Cardinals in "a conservative game of baseball chess," not simply Denkinger's controversial call, that led to the Cardinals' collapse, "leaving any other arguments...cutting little or no ice."
Following James's comments in the book, the Royals failed to make a single post-season appearance until earning a spot in the 2014 American League Wild Card Game. Many reasons besides one fan's hubris and a Cubs-style billy-goat curse exist for the Royals' 29-year long playoff drought, including their status as a "small-market team" without the budget or broadcast revenue to attract and keep playing talent. The timing of James's comments in the 1986 Abstract, juxtaposed with the beginning of the Royals' postseason drought, however, remains clear.
'via Blog this'

Anyway, the 2014 season ends tonight one way or the other and the results will be the retained for posterity.

But that's where the real fun of baseball actually begins: the post results debate over what should have happened, what could have happened versus what actually happened. And that, my friends will always clouded by your individual perspective. And that is what makes history and debates. The Game will be over soon enough, the rest of the stuff is virtually endless.

Game 7 of the World Series - Bring it On!!!!

Bumgarner no longer upset over Gammons' tweet - San Jose Mercury News

 San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (40) waves to the crowd as he leaves the field following their 5-0 win for Game 5 of
San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner (40) waves to the crowd as he leaves the field following their 5-0 win for Game 5 of baseball's World Series against the Kansas City Royals at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) (Nhat V. Meyer)

This should put the issue to bed, but as ususal the erroneous report is trumpeted one page one, the retraction is buried. Bummer is being generous to Gammons. He didn't misinterpret the words as much as he embellished them for greater effect. There's a big difference. 

When the effect of that tweet is possibly to make Bumgarner seem like an arrogant jerk in the locker room -- ie: only I can be trusted to win games here -- when everything seems to point to exactly the opposite, there should be at least an apology. I guess Bummer should be happy with that, but I was hoping there would be a butt whuppin'. Even verbal dressing down would have been OK, but Gammons seems to know he screwed up here.  Move along. 

World Series sights and sounds: Bumgarner no longer upset over Gammons' tweet - San Jose Mercury News:
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- MadBum isn't mad anymore.

The Giants pitcher was steamed over the weekend when veteran baseball writer Peter Gammons posted on Twitter that Madison Bumgarner had demanded that he start Game 4 instead of Ryan Vogelsong. 
Gammons' exact tweet read, "Before the game, Bumgarner told teammates, `My pitching tomorrow is not an issue. I am. I will not take no for an answer.' 
Bumgarner vehemently denied ever saying that, and initially didn't know it came from the esteemed Gammons, a C. Taylor Spink Award winner. But just before the Giants took batting practice for Game 6, Gammons approached Bumgarner and apologized. 
"He just told me it got turned around a little bit and that he misinterpreted some of my words," Bumgarner said. "I told him I ain't worried about it. It's unfortunate that it came out that way, but there were no hard feelings from me. It's over with now.""
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Peavy's wanderlust makes me queasy tonight

Instead of putting Peavy on a short leash, perhaps a muzzle would have been more in order for Bruce Bochy. I don't know how you justify this, but I'm sure some are going to try. These guys better know what they're doing tonight. You would think he could have waited at least until after the Series was over one way or the other before evaluating his future options. Good luck, Jake.

from Chicago Sun-Times:
Jake Peavy, Jon Lester have eye on Cubs as package deal - Chicago Sun-Times:
Peavy caught himself daydreaming about Chicago while he stood on a World Series stage in San Francisco and quickly took a step back.

“It’s hard to have this conversation,” he said. “That being said, obviously Chicago has got a lot of good pieces in place. They’re going to have money to spend. Who doesn’t want to play in the city of Chicago?

“When the Cubs do finally win, they may rename the lake.”
'via Blog this'

Bochy likely one win away from a ticket to Cooperstown | New York Post

Bochy likely one win away from a ticket to Cooperstown
Giants manager Bruce Bochy has had a lot to smile about.
Photo: Getty Images
.....and Giants fans will have an awful lot to smile about as well if he is able to seal the deal. Two shots and veterans like Peavy and Hudson taking them with Bumgarner in emergency reserve. I will say this, if Peavy can't win in his second shot against Ventura......I don't know what to say except maybe he's not destined to get a ring. Hudson could follow up the next night and save his butt, but I wouldn't want to cede momentum back to the Royals at home forcing a Game 7. It is really a must-win for both clubs, which could make for another nail-biter. With the Giants, they all seem to be nail-biters. 

from the New York Post:
Bochy likely one win away from a ticket to Cooperstown | New York Post:
Bochy led the Giants to World Series titles in 2010 and 2012. Now the Giants are nine innings shy of a third title that would make him a lock for the Hall of Fame.
Of the four managers — Sparky Anderson, Miller Huggins, John McGraw and Tony La Russa — with exactly three World Series victories, all are in the Hall of Fame. A victory in Game 6 or 7 would reserve a spot in Cooperstown for the former catcher who played nine years in the big leagues and is a lot better manager than he was a player.
'via Blog this'

The Hollywood story-book ending would be for Peavy and Bochy, who go way back with the Padres to complete each other's careers and ride off into the sunset as the dramatic background music plays. 

The Royals are making weird "still just happy to be here" type comments, even Yost, which would be a bit disturbing to me as a fan, so maybe they come back to earth after bludgeoning led by Bumgarner. My feeling is when the other team scores 15 consecutive runs on you, some sort of response is in order and we'll see if an aging Peavy can deliver the knockout blow, even though it appears as if he has lost the knockout punch of his youth. 

Giants Top Minor League Prospects

  • 1. Kyle Crick 6-4,220 RHP Power pitcher in the Matt Cain mold. High K-rate comes with High BB-rate. Low 90's FB with sink. Can be a top of the rotation starter once command/control issues ironed out. Mechanics are sound.
  • 2. Tyler Beede 6-4, 215 RHP from Vanderbilt projects as top of the rotation starter
  • 3. Clayton Blackburn 6-3, 220 RHP Good low 90's FB with sink, excellent command of stuff, good secondary pitches. His 8.64 K/BB ratio is off the charts efficient.
  • 4. Ty Blach 6-1, 210 LHP Glavine comps will give him a chance to rise fast.
  • 5. Daniel Carbonell 6-2, 215 Cuban signee, speedy, switch-hitting CF with power potential. Could be a five-tool player if he hits.
  • 6. Chris Stratton 6-3, 185 RHP Mississippi State Decent four-pitch mix, solid pitching frame. Can run FB to 94 MPH with movement. Throws SL/CB, with the slider the better of the two.
  • 7. Mac Williamson 6-4, 240 OF Wake Forest grad with five-tool potential if he hits advanced pitching.
  • 8. Derek Law 6-2, 210 RHP power arm with some deceptiveness in his delivery, copuld be a dark horse to contribute in 2014
  • 9. Adalberto Mejia 6-3,195 LHP Throws strikes and mixes pitches well. Good secondary stuff, projects as middle rotation guy. Keeps ball down and gets outs.
  • _10. Kendry Flores 6-2, 175 RHP very efficient pitcher, could also move fast
  • _11. Keury Mella 6-2, 200 RHP Dominican signee is really opening eyes with a nice power arm
  • _12. Steven Okert 6-3, 210 LHP Oklahoma product, another power lefty prospect.
  • _13. Aramis Garcia 6-2, 220 C from Florida INTL projects as a good bat behind the dish with enough defensive skill to play there long-term
  • _14. Joan Gregorio 6-7, 180 RHP potential closer material
  • _15. Luis Ysla 6-1, 185 LHP from Venezeula cruises at 92-94MPH snd touches 97 on occasion, max effort delivery concerns, iffy slider, projects as reliever.
  • _16. Gustavo Cabrera 6-0, 190 OF INTL signee, 16 year-old compared to Justin Upton. Injuries slowed his progress in 2014
  • _17. Ryder Jones 6-2, 200 3B polished bat with some pop. Good athleticism for the corner IF
  • _18. Martin Agosta 6-1, 180 RHP FB up to 94 mph with some sink. Plus secondary stuff, shows ability to mix pitches.
  • _19. Christian Arroyo 6-1, 180 SS very efficient with the bat, good hitting approach, test will be how he handles advanced pitching
  • _20. Dylan Davis 6-0,215 OF Good size and speed package from Oregon State. Has a good arm so may challenge in RF down the road.

2014 Top MLB College Draft Prospects

  • 1. Michael Matuella 6-6, 225 RHP Duke Nice four pitch mix, mid 90's FB and 12-6 CB. Potential top of first rounder.
  • 2. Nathan Kirby 6-2, 185 LHP Virginia Dominant starter, 92-93 MPH FB and power curve ball. Added an effective change-up.
  • 3. Carson Fullmer 6-0 RHP Vanderbilt Mid 90's FB compliments effective breaking ball and change-up for effective three pitch mix.
  • 4. Riley Ferrell 6-1, 200 RHP TCU closer for TCU upper 90's FB touches 98-99. Nasty high 80's slider makes him virtually unhittable as closer, can transition to starter
  • 5. Alex Bregman 5-11, 180 2B/SS LSU BS Freshman of Year in 2013 has all the tools, instinctive player.
  • 6. Kyle Funkhouser 6-3, 205 RHP Louisville FB cruises at 92-94 and touches 97.
  • 7. Walker Buehler 6-1, 170 RHP Vanderbilt Low 90's FB and competitive streak, will compliment Fullmer at top of rotation for defending champs.
  • 8. Kyle Cody 6-7, 245 RHP Kentucky Fastball sits at 93-96, 3:1 K/BB ratio in Cape Cod League, secondary stuff needs work
  • 9. Cody Pence 6-6, 240 RHP Cal Poly Pomona Nice four pitch mix, 95-96 MPH FB, plus cutter and curve
  • _10. Ian Happ 5-11, 190 OF Cincinnati Switch hitter with compact, line drive stroke, hard-nosed, high energy player
  • _11. Gio Brusa 6-3, 190 OF Pacific Switch hitter with above average power
  • _12. Phil Bickford 6-4, 200 RHP Cal State Fullerton (??) Good FB, power curve ball mix.
  • _13. Marc Brakeman 6-1 180 RHP Stanford 90-95 MPH FBm 47:7 K/BB ration in Cape Cod League, good swing and miss change and slider
  • _14. Richie Martin 5-10, 170 SS Florida Athletic ING with good speed and arm strength
  • _15. C.J. Hinojosa 5-11, 180 SS Texas Good instincts, confident player. Good arm, fringy power bat
  • _16. Kevin Newman 6-1, 180 SS Arizona Back to back Cape batting titles. Average arm, speed, controls strike zone well
  • _17. Alex Young 6-3, 200 LHP TCU Low 90's FB and slider, two pitch mix, projects as a starter
  • _18. Steven Duggar 6-2, 190 OF Clemson Good speed 6.3 60yd, good bat speed from left side. Potential five-tool guy
  • _19. Kyle Twoney 6-3, 170 LHP USC Easy delivery, good FB command 94 MPH FB
  • _20. Kevin Duchene 6-2, 205 LHP Illinois High 80's FB with nice change, strike thrower, repeatable delivery, good mound presence

2014 MLB Draft - Top National HS Players

  • 1. Justin Hooper 6-7, 230 LHP De La Salle HS (CA) 6-6 athletic lefty with mid-90's FB.
  • 2. Kolby Allard 6-2, 175 LHP San Clements HS (CA) easy mid 90's FB tops at 95MPH, good command with plus breaking ball and change
  • 3. Mike Nikoriak 6-4, 205 RHP Stroudsburg HS (PA) FB sits at 94-96 with sionk. CB is inconsistent. QB prospect with Alabama commit.
  • 4. Ashe Russell 6-4, 200 RHP Cathedral Catholis HS (IN) FB that sits at 92-94 and tops at 95 with average potential breaking ball. Could rise fast.
  • 5. Beau Burrows 6-1, 200 Weatherford HS (TX) RHP FB workable breaking ball and change. FB sits at 94, tops at 96 with tilt. Texas A&M commit.
  • 6. Brendan Rogers 6-0, 195 SS Lake Mary HS (FL) Good spped and power, amooth, athletic IF. Florida State commit.
  • 7. Daz Cameron 6-1, 185 OF Eagles Landing HS (GA) Athletic and toolsy player with power and speed. Son of Mike Cameron.
  • 8. Kyle Tucker 6-3,190 OF Plant HS (FL) Solid CF who can hit. Florida commit.
  • 9. Nick Plummer 5-10, 200 OF Bloomington Brother Rice (MI) Physical, athletic lefty hitter with good bat speed.
  • Austin Riley 6-3, 220 RHP/INF DeSoto Central HS (MS) Two-way player and FB prospect as QB, FB touches 92-94 has power potential with bat from right side.
  • Corey Zangari 6-4, 230 RHP Carl Albert HS (OK) Also a catcher, his FB cruise at mid 90's and tops at 97. Breaking ball has potential but lacks consistency. Oklahoma State commit.
  • Devin Davis 6-2, 210 1B/OF Valencia HS (CA) Two-way player who leads with the power bat. Hitting ability is advanced with natural power leverage in his stroke. Loyola Marymount commit.
  • Hunter Bowling 6-7, 215 LHP American Heritage HS (FL) Great pitcher's build, projectible body. FB touches 93 MPH wit downward tilt. Slider is average, Florida commit.
  • Luken Baker 6-4, 245 RHP/OF Oak Ridge HS (TX) Big, strong, physical two-way player. 94 MPH FB with extreme power bat. TCU commit.
  • Ryan Johnson 6-3, 200 OF College Station HS (TX) Good bat speed and power bat. TCU commit.
  • Sati Santa Cruz 6-3, 230 RHP Sahaurita HS (AZ) Physical, power pitcher challenges hitters with a heavy FB that sits low 90's and touches 95. Secondary stuff needs work. Arizona commit.
  • Thomas Szapucki 6-2,185 LHP Dwyer HS (FL) Three pitch arsenal with deceptive delivery. FB is low 90's with 93 top. Slider can show above average, with a workable change.
  • Wyatt Cross 6-3, 190 C Legacy HS (CO) One of the stronger arms behind the plate, plus pop time. Good strength and athleticism. North Carolina commit.
  • _10. Chris Betts 6-2, 220 C Wilson HS (CA) Plus pure arm strength, arm stroke gets long for a catcher. needs work receiving, above average raw power from left side, good athlete. Tennessee commit.
  • _11. Chandler Day 6-4, 162 RHP Watkins Memorial HS (OH) solid 93 MPH FB
  • _12. Donny Everett 6-2, 220 RHP Clarksville HS (TN) Power pitcher tops at 96 MH FB
  • _13. Cole McKay 6-5, 215 RHP Smithson Valley HS (TX) Strong frame, power pitcher with some feel for pitching. 92-94 FB with late stuff. Curve and change are both above-average with sink to the change. Louisiana State commit.

2015 Top Tampa Bay Area High School Baseball Players

  • Jake Woodford RHP Plant HS Florida commit.
  • Kyke Tucker 6-3, 175 OF Plant HS Good pure hitter and defensive OF. Solid skills across the board. Florida commit.

2015 Top MLB HS Draft Prospects (NW Suburban Chicago Area)

  • Bradley Parchute RHP Marengo HS
  • Brandon Krennrich C Johnsburg HS Kentucky commit.
  • Jake Esp RHP Marmion Academy