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.


Our Friend JP, Still At It

September 12, 2007

What’s good people?

As seen above, our boy JP over at FRiSCOFiTTEDTV has continued to pump out those game recaps. He actually has a lot of valiant points, and because we want him to succeed, we’d like to offer some words of advice for our aspiring mini-Gary Radnich.

1. These are the Youtubes. Five minutes is way too long for the A.D.H.D.-riddled folks that are trying their best to escape their meaningless lives while surfing about the interwebs. Take a cue from the master: keep the clips concise, direct and pithy.

2. Turn up the volume on the commentary. We can barely hear you speak, especially after the music.

3. Keep rocking the fly gear, especially the throwbacks. [Sidenote: we still cannot get over how awesome the Niners’ throwbacks looked on Monday.]

4. Keep the highlights.

5. When in a news lull, it never hurts to reveal what happens behind the scenes. In fact, you should maybe even purchase some wood paneling.

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 »

Niners Roundup: A Non-Loss!

September 11, 2007

  • Your San Francisco 49ers proved they were merely the second-worst team on the field last night, not losing to the Arizona Cardinals 20-17. Alex Smith “clearly regressed in form from a year ago.” Arnaz Battle fumbled the ball in his own end zone in the last minute (luckily it was recovered by the Niners). The Cardinals scored on their penultimate drive, largely in part to SF free safety Mark Roman’s “inexplicable” taunting penalty that moved the ball from the Niners’ 30 to the 5, eventually leading to a Cardinals’ score. Frank Gore only had 55 yards on 18 carries. Vernon Davis “could not handle the only pass thrown to him.” [SFGate]
  • ESPN Radio just said that Patrick Willis will be the Defensive Rookie of the Year.
  • The cherry-red throwbacks looked awesome.
  • As brutal as Alex Smith was throughout the game, he did pull it together on that last drive. Small victories. Plus, a win is a win. [Niners Nation]
  • Niners Turf describes the game as “watching two teams slog ineffectually toward nothing in particular” and a “Raider highlight film from 2004.” [Niners Turf]
  • Just how did offensive coordinator Jim Hostler know that the end-around game winning touchdown would work? And whatever happened to Jeff Hostetler? [Hashmarks]
  • There was another Bill Walsh tribute during halftime. [SFGate]
  • Gwen Knapp says that as Frank Gore goes, so go the 49ers. [SFGate]
  • You should really check out Will Leitch’s live blogging of last night’s game. [Deadspin]

Got a Niners’ blog that should be on our radar? Send it on over.

[Photo courtesy: AP Photo/Dino Vournas]

What Are The Warriors Doing?

September 10, 2007

girl_with_dunce_cao.jpgOver the weekend, two items of Warriors news got us thinking.

First came the news that a very unhappy Don Nelson headed back to his home in Hawaii after contract negotiations went absolutely nowhere:

Nelson would like to put pressure on the Warriors to move off their one and only offer. That proposal would increase Nelson’s base salary per season from $3.1 million to $5.1 million, but it inserts a team option for the second and final season, meaning Nelson would face a decrease of $1.1 million in guaranteed money.

Then Sarunas Jasikevicius had this to say about his employers:

“I’m really waiting for [Golden State] to trade me. It’s been going on since February, and nothing’s happening. I really don’t understand this franchise, to be honest with you. I know what kind of offers they got for me, and they’re not taking them. I know they’re not planning on using me, so I really don’t understand what they’re trying to do with me. In that league, absolutely nothing depends on me, so I’m sitting by the phone and waiting.”

We agree with Sarunas: the kid can obviously ball (he’s leading the Euro tourney in assists), he’s a star in international ball, has value around the league and doesn’t fit in the Warriors’ system. He’s not going to play here and has a hefty salary, but the front office won’t deal him?

All this comes on the heels of an offseason that also saw Mully and Co. basically risk pissing off Baron (aka their star/meal-ticket) by denying him an extension, fail to acquire a real backup point guard, get nowhere on contract talks with Monta Ellis and/or Andris Biedrins and finally, give up their leading scorer for Brandan Wright. Individually, all these moves (and non-moves) have understandable–even admirable–rationale, but taken as a whole, things could very well implode in the next couple months.

What happens if Nelson walks away? What happens if Baron sulks and/or gets injured? What happens if Monta and Andris become free agents? What happens if Wright is a flop and J-Rich soars in Charlotte?

Are any of these scenarios that implausible? Not really … the W’s are just rolling the dice.

Nostalgia: Nancy Reagan Has A Cannon For An Arm

September 7, 2007

Yeah, we’re sticking with the 1988 World Series nostalgia clips. Here we have the First Lady delivering a very important message to the youth of America and then tossing out the ceremonial first pitch.

Seeing that “pitch” makes us realize that Nancy Reagan was almost a real-life, female version of Mr. Burns (albeit not evil … probably).

[Kidding aside, we think she did a very nice thing in bringing the whole “Say no to drugs” campaign to the country and we wouldn’t wish to imply otherwise.]

Baron Davis Is Cheating On Diana Taurasi, Thus Denying The World A Super-Point-Guard Baby

September 7, 2007

https://i0.wp.com/media.theinsiders.com/Media/College_Womens_Basketball/111_NCAATaruasi.JPGWhen it comes to athletes blogging, it’s usually hit and miss, not unlike the Giants’ 2007 campaign.

Some athletes’ blogs are unbearably dull (sorry B-Dub; prove us wrong).

Others are a refreshingly interesting look at the trials and tribulations of the season.

Still others are enjoyably whismy.

Now, we don’t pay much attention to the WNBA (sorry), but Diana Taurasi seems to have quite the sense of humor. Writing in good fun, she calls out her buddy Baron Davis on his budding Hollywood relationship with “Desperate Housewife” Teri Hatcher.

Boom Dizzle, you’re breaking my heart!
C’mon. I thought we had something serious. We’re both ballers from SoCal. We kicked it with First Lady Laura Bush at the White House together. We were supposed to have a kid and make her (or him) the best point guard ever – even better than Sue Bird and Magic Johnson put together.
If you’re going to cheat on me, at least keep it in France! Don’t be spotted in at Hollywood hot spots sharing spaghetti!
I’m just playing. Seriously, Baron’s my man. You just better be ready for the season. You’ve got to represent! Be careful. She is Desperate.

This Diana Taurasi is funny! Athletes: they’re just like us!

Oh, and she’s right about the need to represent this upcoming season. After the Giants and A’s disasters, the Niners’ letdown (wait, what?) and the Sharks’ collapse, the Bay just couldn’t handle another disappointment.

You cheatin’ on me, B. Diddy? [Yardbarker]