A Moment To Count Our Baseball Blessings

September 12, 2007

https://i1.wp.com/biblical-studies.ca/blog/wp-content/uploads/2006/08/jesus_baseball.jpgAs the Giants and A’s wrap up their respective wastes of a season, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on one of the most painful baseball summers in recent history.

But let’s take a moment to consider just how lucky the Bay Area has been in terms of putting out competitive baseball teams over the last two decades.

The last time both Bay Area teams lost 85 games was that magical 1985 season. The Giants are pretty much a shoe-in for 85 losses this year, but Oakland’s late-season “surge” has made it necessary for them to lose 10 of their last 14 games to reach the 85-loss mark.

Why do we mention this? Take a look at the other two-team markets in the Major League and the last time(s) both teams lost at least 85 games.

  • New York: Mets and Yankees lost 85+ games in 1992, 1991.
  • Los Angeles: Dodgers and Angels lost 85+ games in 1999, 1992, 1987
  • Chicago: Cubs and White Sox lost 85+ games in 1999, 1988, 1987, 1986

Not only does the Bay Area have the longest streak going (by far), but since that 1985 disaster–which simultaneously spawned two dynasties (one led by a certain Will Clark, the other by the Bash Brothers)–the three other markets have a combined nine 170+ loss seasons.


The Chronicle’s Five Giants Preseason Questions, Answered

September 11, 2007

https://i0.wp.com/sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/images/2006/10/29/auKdEj3L.jpgGood lord, is this the longest baseball season ever or what?

The preseason seems like a promise-filled, somewhat hopeful lifetime ago. March was a far cry from the doldrums of the tear-stained September we are experiencing now.

Remember when Brian Sabean compared this 2007 squad to the 1997 team? Sure, both versions had lots of turnover with established veterans coming in. Because we are masochists ’round these parts, let’s revisit the five biggest questions about the 2007 Giants, posed by the Chronicle back in the halcyon days of March. Oh, how full of hope the city was!

1. Does Barry Bonds still have it? The Giants invested up to $20 million for one more year of his potent bat, and they will need it if they hope to win.

Um, hope to win what?

Bonds was (and is) the Giants’ best hitter, by far. He’s played in just as many games as Ray Durham and Bengie Molina. He’s hit a more-than-respectable 28 home runs at the age of 43, which in this steroid-less era is good for the top 10 in the league. He hasn’t be incarcerated and has successfully avoided any new performance-enhancing drug scandals. His average (.278) is lower than expected, but his OBP and OPS are among the league-leaders. Perhaps Surely that $20 million could have been better spent, but Bonds–for all his faults–did his part this year. He wasn’t outstanding, but he was as good as could have been expected.

2. Will Barry Zito be a real difference-maker? The team gave him the richest contract ever for a pitcher on the premise that he is Jason Schmidt and then some.

Obviously, Zito had a terrible year with an even worse first couple months on this side of the Bay. He’s picked it up lately, but it’s pretty obvious that the only differences he made were negative.

The bright(ish) side is this: with the emergences of Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain (and the re-emergence of Noah Lowry) the Giants’ rotation is absolutely stacked. Plus, Zito has shown signs that next year won’t be as bad. The bottom line is this: he was an innings-eater on a bad team. He will end up with 25-plus decisions by the end of the year; put him on a good team and he easily notches 15 wins.

Also, Jason Schmidt was somehow even more of a disappointment for the Dodgers.

Three more questions, post-jump:

Read the rest of this entry »

Nostalgia: The 1988 Oakland A’s World Series Lineup

September 5, 2007

There’s something about old baseball footage that just makes you tingle.

Other thoughts: Dave Stewart was a badass.

Glenn Hubbard!

Two Jose Canseco cameos today? Yeah, we’re scared too …

By the way, how did Game One of the ’88 series turn out?

Jose Canseco Was An Idiot, Is An Idiot

September 5, 2007

When we get depressed with life, we take some delight in remembering that there’s always a Jose Canseco or two (get it? his twin Ozzie? eh?) out there, roaming the empty streets of a Miami suburb, trying desperately to remember where he got “those awesome hamburger tacos” last Tuesday.

And then we remember that he’s a best-selling author with another book on the way.

[Via the good folks at 100% Injury Rate]

Giants Roundup: Dog Days Of … Fall?

September 5, 2007
  • Brian Wilson and Bruce Bochy got tossed after Wilson hit Yorvit Torrealba in the eighth inning of a one-run ballgame with a man on first. For some reason, plate umpire Jerry Meals thought Wilson intended to put the tying run in scoring position. The nonsensical ejection cost the Giants the win, as Brad Hennessey coughed up the game. [SFGate]
  • The Giants’ newest pitching darlings might be a pair of September call-ups: Dan Giese and Erick Threets. The 30-year-old Giese used to be a car salesman and the 6-5, 240-lb Threets tops out at 100 mph. [SFGate]
  • Meanwhile, here are some other intriguing September call-ups. [McCovey Chronicles]
  • No matter who gets called up, Omar Vizquel will be at shortstop. [SFGate]
  • Jack Taschner will be sent back home to have his left shoulder examined. There goes any playoff hopes.
  • Now that the youngsters are getting more and more playing time, the Barry Bonds era is waning in its last four weeks. [ESPN]
  • Brian Sabean’s report card contains more D’s than this month’s Maxim. [Giants Cove]
  • Russ Ortiz is out for this season and next. [The FanHouse]

At Long Last: Kanye West’s “Barry Bonds”

August 31, 2007

Because we know you’ve been waiting for it, here is Kanye West’s song “Barry Bonds.”

Nothing makes sense about it. We’re even more out of touch with pop culture than originally thought.

“Here’s another hit, Barry Bonds…”

Giants Roundup: Stay Classy, Padres

August 31, 2007
  • Colorado halted the Giants’ six-game winning streak with an 8-0 “drubbing.” Nonetheless, Bochy is proud of the way the boys in black finished up August, essentially providing a great deal of hope in an otherwise dismal season. They won 16 of 31 games over 30 days; that’s quite the busy month. Among the good things that happened during the stretch: the arrival of Rajai, 756, Zito/Cain/Lowry dominating and Hennessey’s perfect 7-for-7 saves. [SFGate][raymcdonald.jpg]
  • We meant to get to this earlier in the week, but it’s too good to let go. A guy named Ray McDonald was Barry Bonds’ high school teammate at Serra and he actually led the league in hitting during their senior year (Bonds was second). And the former Girls Softball Coach of the Year carries around a laminated official 1982 WCAL stat sheet that proves it. Al Bundy, is that you? [Deuce of Davenport]
  • An excellent piece about just how remarkable Matt Cain really is. And he’s only 22. [Vegas Watch]
  • But will the 2008 Giants embrace a youth movement, or will it be (another) half-hearted effort? [ESPN]
  • Rawlings has made a very fancy $400 glove, but not many major leaguers have took a liking to it. Only three use it. Of course, one of them is our very own $126 million man. [Lion in Oil, via 100%]
  • A case for putting Kevin Frandsen in the lineup every day for the rest of the year. What’s the worse thing that could happen? [El Lefty Malo]
  • Jonathan Sanchez’s season saw him go from starter to reliever to starter to reliever and back to starter. Now he’s headed for the Arizona instructional league. Welcome to business of baseball. [SFGate]
  • The Tigers’ Curtis Granderson thinks there’s a problem with minorities’ interest in baseball. [ESPN Blogs]
  • Crazy Crab annihilated the Rockies’ mascot. Good work kids. Stay tuned for the next round. [Home Run Derby]
  • Vinnie Chulk’s middle finger is numb from tobacco use. Yep. [SFGate]