One of the biggest stories of the offseason was the HOF vote. As you should know, if you follow sports at all, is that the HOF elected no new members this year. I’ve been following the reactions of the leading sportswriters (Verducci from SI, Rosenthal from Fox Sports among others), the Commissioner and the President of the Hall itself. In a propaganda blitz that would make the Fuerher proud, the message was the same, No need to panic, one year abberation, not a big deal, the HOF process isn’t broken, blah, blah, blah, almost like they were all reading from the same script.
Well folks, despite what is being said by those guys, this Hall of Fame vote is nothing more than a cruel joke on the fans of the game. Speaking from a fan’s point of view, how can the writers of the BBWAA intentionally not vote in anyone from a class that contains the best hitter and the best pitcher in the last 50 years. Not to mention the best hitting catcher ever, with no PEDs connections at all. And to try and pass it off as an anomoly is insulting, at least to those fans who are paying attention.
Ver-douche-i has stated publicly that he will not vote for any players from this era. Rosenthal is making his own protest in purposely not voting on the first ballot for any new candidates. This is not in the rules, nowhere in the character clause does it say anything about not voting for a whole decade of players or withholding votes on the first ballot, then changing the next year. Selig’s corpse’s reasoning was just as shallow. The BBWAA writers have taken huge liberties with their voting responsibilities and have proven they are not up to the task laid upon them.
As a fan, I am extremely ticked off. You might think it is because of Bonds with the SF connection but no, I am more upset about Piazza. Never a mention of PEDs around him, not on the Mitchell report, no reports of him slinking off with a slimy ‘trainer’ to a back room. He was a big guy when he came up and his body never changed. So what is the excuse on that one BBWAA? There isn’t one.
Bottom line, the HOF, the Commissioners Office, the BBWAA has told baseball fans across America that they run this game, this process and we could care less what the fans think. You and I spend the money at the ballparks, follow it in print and online, pay for parking, subscribe to MLB Extra Innings, buy hats and jerseys and programs and the people that run the game have just shown you how much they value what you think. Not at all.
As my daughter said recently, all these great players she saw as she grew up are suddenly not up to the standards of the HOF? And it is not because they weren’t good enough, it is because the BBWAA has decided to make a political statement, expressing their perceived moral superiority. Hog-fing-wash.
There is not much we can do as fans, unfortunately. I had thought that if enough fans feel as I do, we could start a petition campaign at MLB parks that recommends to the HOF that the BBWAA’s role in electing players be diminished. Instead of just the writers, it could be a combination of writers, managers and coaches and a large percentage from the fans. Included on the petition would be a promise to not visit the HOF until this inequity is addressed. I was planning a visit to Cooperstown but now, no way. If enough of us stay away from the joke that is the Hall, maybe someone will notice.
A friend of ours took his life this week.
Known by most as The Rally Pumpkin, by his friends as Jingles, by fewest by his given name, Craig. He was a friend of the family that had fallen upon hard times and could not pull himself out. He had a number of friends that were concerned about him and did their level best to keep him as upbeat as they could. Unfortunately, it was not enough and Jingles did what he felt he had to do.
I could wallow in the sadness that envelopes this situation but I choose (on this blog anyway) to think about the good times we had together.
A few years ago we took a road trip to Chicago to see the Giants at Wrigley, with Jingles part of the party. We had a great time at the ballpark and the bars around the ballpark. We went to Harry Caray’s restaurant and had a little fun with Jingles. Jingles loved to get prime rib when he went out, his favorite thing to order. So before the waitress took our orders, we took her aside and told her to tell him they were out. She did and he went OFF. As he was stomping out the door, muttering unkind words about Harry himself, we stopped him and told him the joke. The waitress made sure he got the biggest slab of prime rib they had and even made a big production about serving it to him, with one of the chefs coming out. He was glowing. Something about profound happiness cannot come without first having profound sadness seemed to apply there.
Loved going to ballgames with him. He soaked up the attention from his Rally Pumpkin persona, taking pictures with everyone. He was most at home at AT&T, that is without question.
Farewell Jingles. We hope you are in a better place. You will be missed.
I was in the park on Sunday when the wave started out in the bleachers, late in the game. I was appalled.
Folks on the KNBR postgame radio show were asking questions like where did start, what is the harm, my kids love it, yada, yada, yada. I am here today to straighten this out, as the facts seem to have been forgotten.
The Wave is an insiduous group action that fans do who are not paying attention to the game. They are bored. They want to do something else other that watch the play on the field. The Wave is an indicator of how involved a team’s fans are in the game.
Make no mistake, The Wave does not come from soccer, from high school, from good natured fans wanting to have a little fun. The Wave was formed in the darkest depths of the bowels of hell for any Giant fan, Chavez Ravine. Dodger fans are proud of the wave, they see it as their right to do anything they want, they paid for the seat. Get there in the 3rd inning, leave in the 7th, have a little fun making fools of yourselves, a typical Dodger outing. Who won? Who cares!
Is that how you want to be viewed Giant fans?
Of course not. Giant fans care about the game, about the team and especially about winning or losing. Dodgers fans care about being seen at the park, getting home early, playing around with beach balls and the wave, beating Giant fans into comas in the parking lot and not much else. Losing the game? Oh well, at least we don’t have to worry about postseason tickets.
This has to stop at AT&T Park and stop now. Do not do the wave, watch the game. If you don’t want to watch the game, give your tickets to somebody who will. My response on Sunday was to raise both my hands in the air, while sitting, with my middle fingers extended. Sorry to the folks behind me with kids.
Please do not do The Wave anymore, San Francisco. Preserve your dignity.
Back again folks. If you follow this blog, which I doubt because nobody does, you will note that I will be offering opinions a lot more often this season. It is somewhat therapeutic, being able to spill your guts with little or no consequences.
First off, did you see the “triple play” by the fodgers the other day? Although it is right there on the box score, so it was a triple play, I put it in quotes, because if I am a Padres fan, I disagree wholehardedly. But the LA fans have to smile about the play, with a big, full-toothed grin, as they got away with one.
Runners on base during MLB games look to the home plate umpire when there is a fair or foul call on a batted ball around the plate.The pods baserunners did just that, when the play happened, did it or did it not hit the bat, they relied on the ump to make the call. He IMMEDIATELY raised his hands in the air, indicating a foul ball, then did it A SECOND TIME. Then he started pointing to fair ground in front of the plate. The SD runners were both confused, as they both raised their hands in the air, not understanding the incongruity of the call. These baserunners were 90 and 120 feet from home plate and they had no perspective on where the ball landed. That is why they depended on the ump’s call and were hosed by doing so.
San Diego had two men on, no outs, in the 9th inning of a tie game. This spectacularly terrible call cost them the game in my opinion. For the home plate umpire, his gestures were at best inconsistent, at worse, incompetent. I consider him a coward for not taking any blame in this, as the pods and Buddy Black deserved better.
Dang lucky fodgers.
Spent the weekend at the ballpark and I have a few observations.
Opening Day was Matt-tastic, Cain-a-licious or whatever goofy appellation you would like. There was no doubt who was in charge. Strike one, strike two, all day long. A few of the Buccos squared up the ball but not many. If anyone wanted to know why the Giants extended the Cainer, they had their answer.
A side note on the opener, the calendars are great! Bigger than last year, better presentation, all around a nice deal.
Saturday was a classic, back and forth, with the Giants winning on an errant throw by Clint Barmes. If Pittsburgh thinks they have a solution at SS, wait and see how many times you see the terms “on an errant throw by Clint Barmes” as a significant part of the story when they lose. This will cost this young team a LOT through the course of the season, IMO.
One comment about the fireworks. Early in the life of SBC park, the fireworks nights were less than stellar. But over the last few years they have really upgraded the fireworks they use and that was on full display Saturday night. Super Duper!
Sunday was another great day at the ballpark, with mixed results, obviously. Sitting in the sun, it was smoking hot, while a few rows up, folks were in parkas and gloves. Oh, San Francisco.
But there were some silly SF mistakes. Vogelsong not covering first quickly enough on the second Pitts run, Panda’s error, Otero unable to get anyone out, twice the Giants had a runner on third with two out and were unable to score either. A couple of Buster’s at bat looked very un-Posey like.
But I would be remiss to not mention to positives from Sunday. Manny Burriss doing exactly what he needed to do to get the run home from third, by grounding out to SS. Vogelsong settling down after allowing the 2nd inning runs. Clay Hensley getting in the game for the Giants and doing well (just before the game I picked him up on my fantasy team). And the giveaway, a welcome mat, was pretty sweet, too.
On Opening Day, a couple of friends of mine, Charlene and Annie got special tickets that allowed them on the field during batting practice then a spread afterwards. Well, they couldn’t go out on the field because it was muddy from the rain. Disappointed, they went to the spread and were impressed with the food. But they were more impressed with meeting Will Clark, whom the Giants brought in. Four hours later, both were still giddy from the experience.
A wonderful weekend in SF, highlighted by Giants games and reconnecting with friends and family. Will remember it fondly for a long time to come.
Hey all, back again. Nice to blogging as a fan of the World Series Champions! Lot’s of lives are different after Nov 1st. Two friends of mine, who celebrated their 60th birthdays at AT&T last summer, never thought they would see it in their lifetime, but both of them have had their picture taken with the trophy. Those pictures, 50 years in the making, are truly priceless. Below is one of them, Charlene (in the middle) with your blogger reaching around to sneak a touch (don’t tell the Giants).
So, what is so obvious you say?
Jose Reyes. It is obvious that the Giants would be interested. The Mets suck and will be selling off their upcoming free agents, sometime between now and July 31st. What is the biggest issue facing the Mets? MONEY! The Madoff mess has left the Mets scrambling, the word is they are taking on a minority partner to generate cash.
Here is what I am thinking. Trade the Mets Barry Zito plus $45 million, which is roughly 3/4 of what he is owed through 2013. I would throw in Jonathan Sanchez, Dan Runzler and a minor prospect not named Zach Wheeler. Two MLB ready starters, a ready reliever, an influx of cash, what is not to like?
Please indulge me while a do a bunch of “what a _____” ‘s.
What a series!
What a ballgame (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)!
What a month!
What a season!
Whattaburger! (okay, just kidding on that one)
I wrote earlier about the big payoff this season is for long time Giants fans. As Barry Bonds dominated the field, the clubhouse, the headlines and the opponents, the Giants found themselves locked into a superstar-based team concept for most of the nineties and early aught’s. Coming out of that mode has not been as easy as many thought it would be. A couple of big name free agent acquisitions were supposed to smooth over the transition period but Zito and Rowand have not been the guys they were expected and PAID to be.
Yesterday was the big payoff. Finally embracing an organizational change in direction to emphasize scouting, minor league development and home grown talent has paid off big time. Their three best starters, the closer and 8th inning guy are all from inside the organization. While there are only a few position players developed, they are key with Panda and Buster leading the way.
This is how you build a team, draft smart, develop players at all levels and fill in the blanks with players you know will fit in. And it has paid off, Sunday was the proof of that. Jonathan Sanchez, home grown guy, throws 5 plus innings and gets the big triple. Buster hits the dinger that puts the game out of reach. Wilson closes the door in the 9th with no drama. Plus, another good sign for the Giants moving forward, Panda spanked the ball in all of his at-bats, with Hairston’s wall-slamming catch robbing him of extra bases.
You have to love this team. I was there for the last two games and the fans were into every pitch. It was so cool to see the team, lead by Pablo, circle the warning track, high-fiving fans along the way. The fans have been there all year and they got a special treat at the end. Poor Boch, I thought they were going to have to get LouSeal’s golf cart to rescue him. He was struggling a little to finish off the victory lap.
A couple notes from Saturday. It was cool as no school to have Steve Perry there at the ballpark, rooting along the Giants. They played Don’t Stop Believing and the fans were singing along at the top of their lungs. Quite cool. Speaking of a cool moment, when LouSeal drove his cart around the warning track, there was a couple in the back seat and the young man proposed to his future Mrs. as they were riding along. She said yes, avoiding an embarrassing moment for sure, and every lady in attendence gave an audible “ahhhh”. Of course, all us old married men suppressed the urge to yell out “don’t do it” or “jump” or something smart-a** like that.
Enjoy the ride Giants fans. Based on how the “Giant Way” is now compiled, you have a lot more of these kinds of years ahead.
For those of us who have been following the Giants for a while, this season is a real treat, obviously. Last year was nice, but you never really had the feeling that the team had enough sticks to compete.
This year is different. This team is different. No longer are we screwed over if Timmy has a bad game. The 5th starter slot is no longer an automatic loss. Sabean has made some smart moves to bolster the bullpen, ravaged by injuries. In years past, there would of been lot’s of call ups from Fresno, maybe a waiver wire pickup, but not trades for two quality arms.
And the offense is not such a drag on the team as a whole. In years past, there was an inevitable sense of doom when the Giants got behind, just ask Matt Cain. Now they battle back on a regular basis. Last night, the final out was made with the tying runs on base.
Giant Fans – this is the payoff for sitting through those 8-1 losses on a cold Tuesday night at the ballpark. For watching the fodgers celebrate a walk off grand slam by Steve Finley. For the Colorado Rockies coming from behind and beating SF in Denver time and time again. This is the season the Giants became relevant again. Let’s all just enjoy the ride.
On the brawl between the Cards and Reds, good. Brandon Phillips and Dusty Baker are like two peas in a pod, and not just because of their race. Neither man backs down from anything and that was in evidence during the fight. Mega-jowls Chris Carpenter thought it would be a good idea to scream something at Dusty and he got just what he deserved, being slammed up against the fence by about a dozen Reds. Moron. Just so you know, I hate Chris Carpenter’s guts. They showed highlights of the first game in the series a couple days ago. Brendan Ryan apparently took out the wrong glove to his position and had the right one tossed out to him between batters. After the inning, Carpenter took it upon his-bad-self to pull him aside and rip him for it. Did he even get a ball hit to him that inning? No. But CC had to give this guy a piece of his mind regardless. Folks, that is a bully, plain and simple. I hate bullies. I would of told that jaw-boned, hot-head lunatic to do his job and strike out the side and I wouldn’t need a glove, then punch the clown in the face.
Giants added Fontenot today. Another good move by Sabean, Sanchez needs some time off and he and Burriss can steal a base now and again. With Renteria out, obviously De La Rosa out, the Giants find themselves in need of middle infielders for the first time in a while and I like both of those moves.
If the reports I am reading are true, the Giants have traded Benjie Molina to Texas.
Benjie or Big Money like I am apt to call him has been nothing less than a Great Giant in his time here. He was a huge part of why Tim Lincecum has 2 Cy Young awards. His hitting in the clutch was nothing short of spectacular. He managed the pitching staff in SF to be the best they could be. He will be sorely missed.
A Gold Glover, World Series ring holder (dang it, 2002), superb fielder, timely hitter and a source of calm confidence in a clubhouse that needed it.
He also has been writing a blog that has provided insights into his family, the team and the day-to-day life of a major league catcher. His candor, honesty and the way he treats people proves that the “nice guy” label is not an act or for the media. He is that nice and the world has a critical shortage of people like him. How he shared with all of us the untimely passing of his father, was like him opening up his heart and letting the emotions flow out. It was astounding in its frankness. Maybe the Lou Gehrig ”luckiest man in the world” speech bared his soul to the degree Benjie did, but other than that it was not something the average fan gets to see.
The biggest shame of all is that Big Money was never really recognized as an elite backstop in MLB. How he was treated by the Mets during the offseason was shameful. I was so happy that the Giants jumped in and were able to sign him for this season.
Bye Bye Big Money. Go to Texas and be the move that puts them over the top. I wish nothing but good things for you and your family. Come back to SF and coach when you’re done, please?
Giant fans are complicated. Generally, we have a high baseball IQ and can be a little mean when things are not going our way.
So please consider the context before you judge what I did during yesterday’s game. I made the mistake of bringing a Red Sox fan to the game. Yeah, I know, what was I thinking? Anyway, as the gum scrapping that passed for a baseball game went along, I was a little on the glum, bitter side while my friend was happy about just about everything.
Enter Victor Martinez. On a foul ball by the Panda, he got caught on the thumb of his left hand, then the ball richocheted off and got his foot. So he came limping out from behind the plate, shaking his hand and hobbling on the bad wheel. That’s when the bitter fan in me revealed himself, bellowing out, at the top of my lungs no less, MRI! MRI! MRI!
Some up in the upper deck in Giants gear had a little smile, a chuckle, something like that. The Sox fans had a much different reaction, as you could imagine. Glares, stares, a few birds flipped in my direction and some interesting thoughts on my family lineage. The Boston fans were already a little edgy with two starters, Pedroia and Bucholtz, going down the previous two days.
Now, I have nothing against Victor. I’m sure he is a nice man with a nice family and I am sure his mother loves him. I would not wish ill on him in a million years, they just got me at my bitter-bill worst.
So, I am truly sorry Mr. Martinez. I hope the thumb is no more than a bruise.
But Jon Lester can go &%$#(&%> himself!