The Worst All-Stars Of The Last 15 Years: National League

July 9, 2007

We already brought you the American League version, so here’s the NL.

https://i2.wp.com/www.baseball-almanac.com/players/pics/heathcliff_slocumb_autograph.jpgThe Heathcliff Slocumb Category: Honoring mediocre performances in a pitching role.

  • John Hudek (1994), Houston
  • Ken Hill (1994), Montreal
  • Hideo Nomo (1995), Los Angeles: He gets negative points for being a Dodger. We’d still argue that he’s one of the more overrated players of the ’90s.
  • Heathcliff Slocumb (1995), Philadelphia
  • Ricky Bottalico (1996), Philadelphia
  • Ryan Dempster (2000), Florida
  • Armando Benitez (2003, 2004), New York, Florida: Do you need an explanation here?
  • Chris Capuano (2006), Milwaukee: 11-12 with a 4.03 ERA. Brilliant.

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Jeremy Accardo Is The New Joe Nathan

June 13, 2007

https://i0.wp.com/toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/images/2005/04/13/l4dCmWfF.jpgLast July, the Giants thought it would be a good idea to trade a young, hard-throwing reliever for … Shea Hillenbrand. In 60 games with the Giants, Hillenbrand hit a tidy .248 while amassing an impressive 40 strikeouts to seven walks ratio. “Da Shea” then signed with the Angels earlier this year; he’s currently hitting .246.

In the meantime, Accardo has become the lights-out closer for the Toronto Bluejays. In 25 games, he has a 2.36 ERA, nine saves and did not allow an earned run in his first 21 2/3 innings pitched this season.

So, if you’re keeping track, Accardo is the second young righty (along with Twins All-Star Joe Nathan) who has become a stud closer since leaving the Giants. For good measure, you can toss in Oakland’s Alan Embree; the hard-throwing lefty has seven saves in Huston Street’s absence.

The Giants, of course, have zero closers.


Giants Roundup: Benitez Aftermath

June 1, 2007
  • As expected, Brad Hennessey will get the first crack at the closer job. Bochy also added “emphatically” that Tim Lincecum will not be moved to a relief role. Then again, on Tuesday, Bochy also said that Benitez is still the closer. [SFGate]
  • The Onion hit the streets to figure out what the common people think of the Benitez dump … [McCovey Chronicles]
  • … while Ray Ratto plays the role of eugooglizer for the Benitez Era. [SFGate]
  • And in case you were wondering how Florida fans feel about Blownetiz coming to town, consider this quote from a Marlins blog: “<shudder>” [FishStripes]
  • The Giants must protect their young rotation and the leads it provides them. [SJ Merc]
  • Barry Bonds hearts A-Rod … [NJ.com]
  • … and it’s safe to say A-Rod hearts Bonds too, seeing as how he has a thing for “the she-male, muscular type.” [The FanHouse]
  • Look Giants fans! Salomon Torres blew another save in “an embarrassing performance.” (And yes, we’re totally over 1993). [Post-Gazette]
  • Just because the New York trip was a dud, it doesn’t mean that we still won’t see any hostile action on this road trip, because here. comes. Philly. [Philly Burbs]
  • Giants fans are garnering respect in the blogosphere. And by garnering, we mean losing. [The700Level]

Seems About Right

May 30, 2007

goodgriefarmando2_cr1.jpg

A big thank you to the best Giants blog on the Internets, McCovey Chronicles.


Armando Benitez: A Rant

May 30, 2007

Last night, the Giants had a chance to pull off their biggest win of the year in a hostile environment against the best team in the league.

The crowd was dead.

It was late.

The game had “jumped the shark” after the Bonds cameo.

Once Omar Vizquel scored, the collective life of the crowd was sucked out of Shea.

Until …

Armando Benitez stepped out of the bullpen and onto the field.

New Yorkers went crazy.

They were cheering.

Amidst an impenetrable sea of enthusiastic high-fives and radiant smiles, they instantly knew the game was theirs. Shockingly, Armando walked the first batter–who happened to be Jose Reyes, the most dangerous baserunner … alive. As soon as the first balk was called, Armando threw up his hands like a 10-year-old version of Job, as if to say “God, why are you picking on me? I hate you!!! Phooey on all you meanies!!!”

Watching Reyes mess with Armando’s head was like watching Ashton Kutcher “punk” someone like Lindsay Lohan when she’s passed out drunk: it was just too easy. The crowd was relentless and it was only a matter of time until Reyes scored and someone else hit a homerun. That someone else turned out to be Carlos Delgado, the living embodiment of Pedro Cerrano.

Which leads us to our rant…

How is Armando still on the team, let alone our closer? He’s a misguided misogynist* who consistently fails his teammates and fans. In addition to his shortcomings on the field, his polarizing quotes have made him Public Enemy #1 in the Bay Area, a fan favorite in the greater tri-state area and a proponent of the Darfur genocide*.

The worst part about this situation is that as Giants fans, we were treated to years of Robb Nen, the ice-cold warrior who literally gave his career to the Giants when he threw out his arm during the 2002 World Series. Nen was a class act who was active in the community** and always said the right thing. Plus, for a solid five years or so, he was among the best closers in the game.

And now, there’s Armando.

As the above picture can attest, every time he steps on the mound, it’s just a matter of time before he bends over for the other team***.

*we made this up

**probably

***almost certainly


Giants Roundup: Bonds=Ornery, Durham=Hurt, Benitez=Bad, Pierzynski=Irritating … Not Much Changes ‘Round These Parts

May 29, 2007
  • The Rockies swept the Giants in San Francisco for the first time ever. [SFGate]
  • The Barry Bonds Show comes to the center of the media world tonight (more on that later). With #746 in the books and the Giambi-steroid scandal and the Mets clubhouse-trainer scandal both in full swing, expect some fun this week. Well, that and a lot of “No comments” from Mr. Bonds. But don’t worry: Bonds told his buddy Pedro Gomez that he’ll “let us all know” when he’s ready to talk about the homerun chase. Thanks Barry! [SFGate]
  • Guess who leads the Giants in batting average. [ESPN Player Card]
  • Barry Bonds on whether or not he will donate his mementos and souvenirs to the Hall of Fame: “I’m not worried about the Hall. I take care of me.” You stay classy, Barry. [ESPN]
  • Matt Morris: trade bait? Dave Roberts: old, overpaid version of Fred Lewis? These questions and more in the Mailbag. [Official Site]
  • It’s nice to know that the Giants aren’t the only team that hates A.J. Pierzynski. [Chicago Tribune]
  • Ray Durham might be headed to the disabled list. Now we’ve heard everything! [McCovey Chronicles]
  • Is Armando Benitez … good? [The Splash]

Nostalgia: The 2000 NLDS

May 29, 2007

The image “https://i1.wp.com/www1.budgethostingweb.com/accounts/mthorpe/giantsVSmets.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.In honor of the Gigantes’ visit to the Big Apple tonight …

One of the Giants’ more heartbreaking yet forgotten playoff series in recent memory is the 2000 National League Division Series against the New York Mets. The Giants were coming off a league-best 97-win season that saw them win the division by 11 games.

Because we love looking at old lineups, here are the lineups from the series opener:

   New York Mets                 San Francisco Giants

1. Agbayani            lf        Benard              cf

2. Payton              cf        Mueller             3b

3. Alfonzo             2b        Bonds               lf

4. Piazza              c         Kent                2b

5. Ventura             3b        Burks               rf

6. Zeile               1b        Aurilia             ss

7. Bell                rf        Snow                1b

8. Bordick             ss        Estalella           c

9. Hampton             p         Hernandez           p

The Giants dominated Game One at Pac Bell behind Livan Hernandez and Robb Nen. Barry Bonds stole bases and hit a triple while Ellis Burks went yard as the Giants won 5-1.

In Game Two, the favored Mets came out determined to make it a series. In a battle between two lefties (Estes and Leiter), the Mets held a 2-1 lead for the majority of the ballgame. After scoring two more runs in the top of the ninth off Felix Rodriguez (yes, shocking), the Mets brought in their intimidating closer, one Armando Benitez, to close out the game after Bonds hit a leadoff double off Leiter, who went eight-plus strong innings. Jeff Kent singled off Armando, setting the stage for JT Snow, who then hit one of the most memorable homeruns in recent Giants history to tie the game 4-4. Sadly, Rodriguez then blew the game in the tenth.

(Sidenote: undeniably, the most frustrating moment of Game Two occurred in the third inning. In the midst of a rally, Shawn Estes slid into second, somehow hurt his ankle on the bag and then got off the bag to be tagged out, killing the rally. Every single person watching the game simultaneously yelled “WHY DID HE GET OFF THE BAG?!”)

Game Three at Shea was another heartbreaker. Benny Agbayani–yes, Benny Agbayani–hit a game-winning homerun in the bottom of the tenth.

Then some guy named BJ Jones tossed a one-hit, complete game shutout to polish off the season for San Francisco.

Most. Frustrating. Series. Ever.