SF Giants Left Field is Not Right

posted in: Baseball | 0

During the off season, the Giants did well to sign a bonafide closer in Mark Melancon. Their bull pen was their most glaring weakness throughout the 2016 season. This was capped with a blown 9th inning 5-2 lead to the Cubs in the 4th game of the NLDS. Matt Moore had thrown a masterpiece for 8 innings holding the Cubs to 2 hits with 10 strikeouts. The bull pen meltdown allowing the Cubs to score 4 runs in the 9th was a microcosm of their entire season. With Johnny Cueto scheduled to pitch the final game of the series, Giant fans had high hopes that they could advance to the World Series again keeping their every-other-year title chances intact. This was before the fateful 9th inning meltdown.

The 2017 season, although very early, is revealing another flaw. The Giants plan to platoon Jarrett Parker and Chris Marerro in Left Field has not worked out. Parker made a great catch but crashed his shoulder into the wall and broke his collar bone. He will be out for 2-3 months. Marerro is batting .133 and Aaron Hill hasn’t fared much better.

I’m sure that Brian Sabean and Bobby Evans are looking at all options. If things don’t improve in the next few weeks, I’m thinking that they will have to make some moves. Two options that I favor are:

  • Trade for Ryan Braun. Braun will achieve 10-and-5 rights on May 24, thus allowing him full veto power over any trade (10 years in the Bigs and 5 years on the same team). The Brewers may feel some sense of urgency to make a trade before May 24 if they are in re-build mode. This makes sense for two reasons. Braun can fill the gap in Left and has power. The other reason is that the Dodgers may make a play on him as their record against left-handed pitchers is atrocious. They are also looking for a right-handed power bat.
  • Bring up Christian Arroyo and play him at 3rd base, then move Eduardo Nunez to Left Field. Arroyo is batting .479 and is the Giant’s top prospect. During his limited time in the Bigs, he has shown an ability to square up the ball and hit line drives. Nunez has plenty of speed to cover the left field but he has limitations as he is trained as an infielder. Please keep in mind that this is a temporary solution until Mac Williamson’s quad get healed. I’m thinking that this could very well take 2 months as he’ll need a month of minor league play to get back into the groove. I like the Arroyo and Nunez moves as both are hitti

I’m sure Sabean and Evans are looking at other options but hoping that they make Left Field right.

Fan Priority – MVP or Title

posted in: Baseball, Basketball, Football | 0

Let’s get real… Fans want an MVP player on their team… But they go nuts when their team wins a title.

Bay area fans have been blissed with many great individual performances resulting in MVP awards:

1954 & 1965 Willie Mays (NY Giants & SF Giants)

1969 Willie McCovey (Giants)

1970 John Brodie (Niners)

1971 Vida Blue (A’s)

1973 Reggie Jackson (A’s)

1974 Kenny Stabler (Raiders)

1988 Jose Canseco (A’s)

1989 Kevin Mitchell (Giants)

1989 & 1990 Joe Montana (Niners)

1990 Ricky Henderson (A’s)

1992 Dennis Eckersley (A’s)

1993, 2001, 2002, 2003 & 2004 Barry Bonds (Giants)

1992 & 1993 Steve Young (Niners)

2000 Jason Giambi (A’s)

2000 Jeff Kent (Giants)

2002 Rich Gannon (Raiders)

2002 Miguel Tejeda (A’s)

2006 Joe Thornton (Sharks)

2012 Buster Posey (Giants)

2012 Chris Wondolowski (Quakes)

2015 & 2016 Stephen Curry (Warriors)

These awards are all very deserving and I truly appreciated each and every one of these fabulous performances. Totally proud to have witnessed history for these remarkable athletes (except for the 1954 MVP award for Willie Mays).

Having said that, nothing got my blood flowing and my heart thumping more than during the championship title runs of all of our Bay Area teams.

It is a totally euphoric sensation and the culmination of what we fans have envisioned for our team(s) to be able to stand atop Mt. Everest at the end of the season.

My top moments that I still recall vividly are:

  • 1981 – The Joe Montana to Dwight Clark “Catch” which started the Niner dynasty. I was with my brother and we both went bananas…
  • 1989 – The Joe Montana to John Taylor “Catch” to win SB XXIII. My son and I jumped so high, we almost hit the ceiling…
  • 2010, 2012 & 2014 – While the Giants were on their title runs, what I still recall are the Halloween nights where I was constantly interrupted by Trick-or-Treaters and had to run to the door to greet them and quickly run back to the TV so I wouldn’t miss anything. In the final game of the 2014 series, MadBum the STUD, came into the game in the 5th inning and shut out the Royals for the remainder of the game. Of course, I almost had a heart attack when Alex Gordon hit a ball that Gregor Blanco badly misplayed which resulted in a triple. All turned out well when Salvador Perez popped out to Pablo Sandoval and the celebration started throughout the Bay Area…
  • 2015 – The GS Warriors season was a total blast topped by Steph Curry’s remarkable leadership and play. The season was culminated by the recommendation of a Warrior staffer, Nick U’Ren, to start Andre Iguodala and go small & fast against the Cavs. It worked so well, Andre was named the Finals MVP and the Warriors won their first title in 40 years. What I recall was in Game 7, we had a comfortable lead but JR Smith started hitting insane bombs and it got uncomfortably close. My son and I “chest bumped” and “high fived” as the clock ran out…

The bottom line is that fans are fans of their team. They are also fans of great individual performers while they play for their team. OKC fans loved Kevin Durant while he was there but hated him when he left for another career opportunity. Their favorite now is Russ Westbrook as he is having an MVP season. If Westbrook choses to leave OKC next year, they will hate him, too. It’s natural for fans to react this way as their first priority is their team.

MVP’s are nice but Championship Titles are everything!!!

Bryce Harper – Baseball is tired

posted in: Baseball | 6

Bryce Harper, the young sensation from the Washington Nationals came out in March 2016 and declared “Baseball’s tired. It’s a tired sport, because you can’t express yourself,” Harper began. “You can’t do what people in other sports do.”

I happen to agree with him. MLB has way too many “unwritten rules” to indicate that you must respect the game and never show up an opponent whether you hit a home run, strike out a great hitter, steal a base when you have a large lead, etc. These rules are all old school and no longer apply to modern day baseball players who want to express their successes. Sometimes, change is good and in this case, I say let the players celebrate their successes as they do in the NFL or NBA.

Old Timer’s like Goose Goosage, on the other hand, truly believe that the young stars of today are total disgraces to the game. His quotes:

“[Jose] Bautista is a f—ing disgrace to the game,” Gossage said at Yankees spring training. “He’s embarrassing to all the Latin players, whoever played before him. Throwing his bat and acting like a fool, like all those guys in Toronto. [Yoenis] Cespedes, same thing.”

Well, I guess we all know how Goose Gossage feels about this topic.

He continued…

“The game is becoming a freaking joke because of the nerds who are running it. I’ll tell you what has happened, these guys played Rotisserie baseball at Harvard or wherever the f–k they went and they thought they figured the f–king game out. They don’t know shit.”

Baseball was invented as a pleasure sport to relax and have FUN, not to always follow outdated starchy rules that aren’t even written down.

So which side of the aisle are you on?