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Showing posts from 2011

Where Are They Now? A Quick Look at the 2010 Giants

Just a shade over a year since the 2010 Giants celebrated a World Series championship, the 2012 team takes shape with roughly half of that team elsewhere. With Fontenot tendered a contract for 2012, let's take a look at the 25 guys that brought home the trophy. 2010 World Series SF Giants now lacing up elsewhere (or nowhere): Aaron Rowand (Marlins - minor league deal) Edgar Renteria (retired) Juan Uribe (Dodgers) Ramon Ramirez (Mets) Andres Torres (Mets) Travis Ishikawa (Brewers - minor league deal) Jonathan Sanchez (Royals) Cody Ross (Red Sox) Pat Burrell (retired) 2010 World Series SF Giants that remain: Tim Lincecum Matt Cain Madison Bumgarner Brian Wilson Sergio Romo Santiago Casilla Jeremy Affeldt Javier Lopez Buster Posey Freddy Sanchez Pablo Sandoval Aubrey Huff Nate Schierholtz Mike Fontenot Guillermo Mota Eli Whiteside

Adios Andres

So while the Marlins are making headlines by signing or being in on the biggest names on the free agent market (are they really going to lure Pujols away from St. Louis!?) the Giants have actually had a pretty active offseason. To quickly review: 1) Resigned Lopez and Affeldt 2) Traded Jonathan Sanchez for Melky Cabrera 3) Extended Sabean and Bochy 4) Traded Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez for Angel Pagan The last one is the newest development. It's an under the radar trade for anyone that is not really a Mets or Giants fan. But it's not a move I can blame Sabean for and one that I actually like. Let's be honest, Andres Torres was a fan favorite and a very popular Giant inside the clubhouse as well. But let's be even more honest and face reality that Andres Torres was likely going to be non-tendered in a week. The fact that Sabean could match up with the Mets and get a productive player back by throwing in Ramon Ramirez is surprising. Surprising in the f

The Offseason Depression

So today the Giants extended Sabean and Bochy through 2013 (with options for 2014). They've been busy this offseason, what with re-signing Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez and trading Jonathan Sanchez for Melky Cabrera and reminding fans every chance they have that they're not going to do much of anything to fix what was the worst offense in the NL last year. That's right. This team that was coming off a 2010 World Series championship, that had its most ludicrous (and lucrative) season in its history in terms of attendance and merchandise sales in 2011, is modestly bumping the payroll from 125M to 130M. That, folks, is a pittance for a team with the success the Giants have had in 2010-2011. At today's press conference to announce the extensions for manager and GM, the Giants made sure to repress expectations. Pujols? No. Fielder? No. Reyes? No. Rollins? No. Beltran? Probably not. Cody fricking Ross? Not sure. Oh, but the Giants are assuring us that

Free Agent Predictions 2011

It's my second annual free agent prediction list. Like last year, first I'll take you back and show you all of my MLB predictions from March and show you how unreliable I actually am and then I'll give you my free agent list. Here we go (bold means correct): NL Playoff teams: Giants, Reds, Phillies, Brewers AL Playoff teams: Rangers , Twins, Red Sox, A's ALCS: Red Sox vs Rangers NLCS: Giants vs Phillies World Series: Giants vs Red Sox Since the awards have yet to be given out, I'll check back to see how I did on those later. I did get 3 out of 8 playoff teams. That's a .375 average and if I were a hitter, that'd put me in the Hall of Fame. Moving on, here is where I think the top free agents are headed come Spring Training 2012. Albert Pujols (Cardinals): He's not going to leave St. Louis. Plain and simple. The Yankees and Red Sox can't come calling to blow him away with an offer and the Cardinals, coming off a championship, won&

Giants check 2 items off their To-Do List

So I haven't posted in 6 weeks. That's pretty much unacceptable. But what was there to say really that you folks didn't already know? The Giants couldn't keep it going with all the injuries and eventually petered out and fell to the surprising Diamondbacks. Baseball felt a mini renaissance of sorts due to playoff chases that culminated in stunning fashion on Day 162. Red Sox and Braves fans had their hearts broken while Cardinals and Rays fans rejoiced. Nowhere is it summed up better than in the article here . Good luck finding drama like that in any sport any time soon. That only was the beginning, as we came to find out, as the NLDS had 3 series go to Game 5. Which of course, was merely a precursor to one of the best World Series played by two evenly matched teams with game 6 of the Series being one of the most entertaining baseball games ever played in modern history. An instant classic. The St. Louis Cardinals are World Champions now. Can't say I&

Bill Neukom OUT as Managing General Partner? WHY!?

So in case your head has been buried in the sand all day, you're well aware that the Giants just made an awful PR move and a crippling short and long term move for the health of the franchise. They sacked Bill Neukom. Bill "Bowtie" Neukom. And why? Because he had the vision and fortitude to try to make the Giants the Phillies, Red Sox, and Yankees of the West. He supported The Franchise show on Showtime in an attempt to give the team more notoriety and more exposure (especially to those East Coasters). He exploded the payroll from about 90M to 120M following a surprise World Series title run. He invested in the farm system and refused to sign long term contracts to free agents while showing a willingness to extend the team's core players. He embraced new age stats. He spent the money the team made on... well... the team and improving it. And the so-called Executive Committee apparently had a problem with this. Mostly, they were butt hurt that Neu

Ding Dong, the 2010 Mojo Is Dead

The Giants magic has finally run out. It was a wild, torturous ride in 2010. It ended with a surprising World Series title and carried into the offseason and into the 2011 season. The Giants were the walk off win kings. The fun torture was still happening where things were always exciting and interesting and eventually ended in Giants handshakes around the mound. Then Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez sustained season ending injuries and the vibe took a hit. Except, it didn't. They kept winning. They climbed to 17 games over .500. They sent 5 All-Stars to Arizona. Then they went to Philly, one of the most hyped up series of the year, a rematch of the NLCS to face the best team IN BASEBALL, and they took 2 of 3. Then? THUD. The Giants traded for the centerpiece of the trade market in Carlos Beltran and have gone 11-21 since his arrival. Of course, Beltran immediately got injured upon becoming a Giant, fitting in nicely with his new teammates. The Giants have put 18

The Other Shoe Dropped

So when Brian Sabean said he was working on a bigger deal when he acquired Jeff Keppinger, we now know who it was. Ladies and gentleman, your new rightfielder: Carlos Beltran We're so used to Sabean smoke and mirrors that it's hard to comprehend that he actually acquired the guy he was linked to all along. It's a big pick up. I wanted Carlos Beltran on the Giants all the way back when he was a Royal. Then he ransacked the 2004 postseason and I REALLY wanted him. Now, 7 years later, he's a Giant. He's not exactly the player he was but he's still above average. And the fact that he and Pablo are both switch hitters makes the new middle of the line-up much harder to pitch to for opposing managers. Remember last year's NLCS when Bochy could bring in Javier Lopez and shut down Utley and Howard? Sure, Charlie "Senile" Manuel ("Lincecum and Cain are good but not great") tried to insert Jayson Werth in between his lefties once to

What's The Other Shoe?

The Giants are playing well. They are 4.5 games up in the division. They just made a trade for Freddy Sanchez Lite (Jeff Keppinger). Brian Sabean is talking all sorts of crazy claiming he's working on a bigger deal. And the Giants are starting to sit down the dead weight (Tejada gets DL'd, Zito gets skipped, and Huff gets to enjoy the bench while Belt gets some starts). The Giants are 16 games over .500 and Brian Sabean says they're lucky to be in that position. It sounds like ownership is ready to bite the bullet and go for it again (whether that means sacrificing some prospects or taking on more salary). So. What deal was Sabean working on when he mentioned a bigger deal? In my dream fantasy land, it meant he was talking about Hunter Pence. But Hank Schulman ruled that out. Obviously it was Beltran then, right? Well, Baggarly shot down Beltran. So what other big fish is out there? Sabean always likes to get those under the radar guys. I was thinking

It's Halfway Through the 2011 Season...

And what do we know? We know that the Giants are ahead of the pace they were at last year when after 81 games they were 41-40. They sit at 46-35 after tonight's 2-1 disaster in Chicago (they should have won but at least Timmy was spared going under .500 again). The Giants were in 4th place at this time last year. They needed a scalding hot July and a Padres collapse to win the division on the last day. This year they have racked up injuries, lost their best offensive player(s), yet somehow sit in first place by 2.5 games. It's unexplainable. The team doesn't have Posey or Freddy Sanchez. Huff has been a no show with the bat pretty much all year. Torres is looking like the journeyman outfielder he had been his whole career. Bochy refuses to let Pat Burrell start. And our catchers and shortstops arguably are less threatening than our pitchers with the bat. So how is this team in first place? Well, obviously the pitching (and in particular the bullpen) has

A Look At The Giants Outfielders

We're 2.5 months into the season. The All-Star break is about a month away. The Giants have survived an insane amount of injuries (welcome to the DL Freddy, you get to take Pablo's vacated DL spot) and somehow have managed to cling on to first place. They've done it without their star catcher and for the most part without their best hitter (Kung Fu Panda). Panda's back and looking like he missed zero time (and managed not to gain back any weight). That's good news. The bad news is the Giants have a negative run differential and very few teams make the playoffs with a negative run differential. It can be done (see: Giants 1997, Padres 2005) but it's rare. And it's next to impossible to go deep in October and actually win a ring with a stat like that accompanying your team. The Giants have a black hole at catcher right now. Eli Whiteside and Chris Stewart are not MLB starting caliber catchers. Period. However, it's hard to find an offensive mi

The 2011 SF Giants - The Year of the Injuries

It'd be funny if it wasn't so sad. You almost expect to see a key Giant get hurt once a week at the rate they're going. I did the list last post and since then the Giants officially added 4 more men to the Disabled List: Mike Fontenot, Darren Ford, Buster Posey, and Brandon Belt. Fontenot and Ford's injuries are relatively minor and both probably could have avoided the DL had the Giants not needed their roster spots. But Posey is gone for the year. There's been a lot of debate about the play but I'm not going to get into it. My official take? Clean play, awful result, and it could have been avoided. Cousins had the lane and the hit to Posey was completely unnecessary but it wasn't dirty. And in regards to Sabean's comments regarding Cousins, I have no opinion other than he is acting as a lioness would in protecting her cub. Sabean drafted Posey. Saw him ascend the ranks. Watched him win the franchise a World Series ring. And then saw h

The Worst Loss of 2011

I haven't been writing as much as I'd like. I apologize. This team has been every bit as torturous as last years. But now the Giants are going to have to deal with real adversity. The Baseball Gods don't seem to be the kind that smile kindly upon a team two years in a row (hence the lack of repeat champions). And tonight, they got back at the Giants with a vengeance. They robbed us not only of an epic come from behind win in what has been an amazing run for the team at AT&T Park, but they may have just taken the franchise player away from the team for months. Buster Posey is likely heading to the DL. For how long is undetermined at this time. His ankle got messed up bad in a collision with Scott Cousins. It could be broken. It could be a severe sprain. Whatever it is, it looked bad. Awful. And the diagnosis will go a long way in determining whether the Giants have a shot at repeating as NL West champs, let alone World Champs. What would have been a

Assessing the Giants after 15 games

So two weeks into the season, the Giants sit at 8-7. They've had several games they could have and probably should have won but they've also had some nice come from behind wins in games they probably should have lost. They've been hit with the injury bug already with Andres Torres, Barry Zito, Cody Ross, Santiago Casilla, and Brian Wilson seeing time on the disabled list. And they trail the Rockies by 4 games. Colorado, by the way, has the best record in baseball at the moment, sitting pretty at 12-3. Of course, they've largely played teams that are not expected to contend or have not started the year off too hot (the Dbacks, Dodgers, Pirates, Mets, and Cubs). Meanwhile the Giants have played the Dodgers twice, the Padres, the Cardinals, and the Dbacks. Not exactly terrific teams either, but a schedule that has been slightly more difficult. The Giants also have played 6 games at home and 9 on the road while the Rockies have played 8 in Denver and 7 on the road.

Your San Francisco Giants Starting 1st Baseman: Brandon Belt

Brandon Belt did it. He convinced the Giants they were better with him than without him. It came at the expense of last year's best pinch hitter Travis Ishikawa, who was designated for assignment. Part of me hopes Ishi makes it through waivers and goes down to Fresno and is there for us. But another part of me hopes some defensively challenged AL club picks him up and gives him at bats. He was a good Giant. He was overhyped during the awful years as the next big bopping first baseman which he was never going to be but he WAS a JT Snow slick fielding first sacker who could take a walk and occasionally pop the ball in the gap or over the fence. He will be missed. But Ishi's pain is Brandon Belt's gain. Brandon Belt will get to do what Tim Lincecum and Buster Posey weren't allowed to do as hot young prospects: start the season with the big club. Lincecum was called up (for good) on May 6th, 2007 after spending about 5 weeks in the minors and forcing the Giants

Roster Decisions and Injuries: What will the Opening Day roster look like?

There's 10 days before games start to count. And the Giants are going to need to start making some tough decisions. Luckily, these decisions are not typical of most teams. They're decisions of World Series champions. Right now the Giants have about 3-4 guys on the bubble of making the Opening Day roster. If they don't make it, it likely will end their Giants careers. So let's take a look at the guys competing for the last few precious spots: Travis Ishikawa Ishikawa has been a good Giant. He's one of our own. And he had some nice contributions to the teams of '09 and '10. However, his role on the team is in jeopardy because he's redundant and expendable. In 2009, Ishikawa had a chance to seize the first base job and claim it his own. He didn't, mostly for not displaying a whole bunch of power and for hitting like a pitcher on the road (his home average was Ruthian). In 2010, he was pushed aside for Aubrey Huff, but was still a valua

MLB Predictions 2011

With the MLB season 3 weeks away, it's time for my predictions. I am a seasoned Fantasy Baseball buff, so I have expert level authority on these type of things. Let me know if you agree or disagree with my predictions and feel free to throw in your own. AL West Champ: Rangers AL Central Champ: Twins AL East Champ: Red Sox AL Wildcard: A's NL West Champ: Giants NL Central Champ: Reds NL East Champ: Phillies NL Wildcard: Brewers AL MVP: Adrian Gonzalez, BOS NL MVP: Ryan Braun, MIL AL Cy Young: Jon Lester, BOS NL Cy Young: Tim Lincecum, SF AL ROY: Chris Sale, CHW NL ROY: Aroldis Chapman, CIN ALCS: Red Sox v Rangers NLCS: Giants v Phillies WS: Giants v Red Sox A look at the AL West: The Rangers lost Cliff Lee which closes the gap, but everyone in that line-up can hit. When Michael Young is essentially an extra guy, that's what you call depth. And if Feliz successfully converts as a starter, the loss of Lee doesn't hurt as much.

The 2011 Giants Rotation

So Brian Sabean announced the Giants 2011 rotation today and it goes like this: #1 Tim Lincecum #2 Jonathan Sanchez #3 Matt Cain #4 Barry Zito #5 Madison Bumgarner I actually think this might be the best rotation to start with for the Giants. Yes, we all know Matt Cain is the 2nd best pitcher in the rotation and after what he did in October, he surely deserved to be recognized. However, I understand the logic here. Bochy likes to split up his lefties and I can't fault him for that. Also, Lincecum and Cain are consistent workhorses. Bumgarner looks to be one in the making. It makes sense to have those high endurance guys sandwiched around the lower stamina guys in Sanchez and Zito. Zito routinely pitches 190+ innings but he usually doesn't last past the 6th inning. Sanchez has a spotty track record when it comes to going deep into games. It also breaks up the styles of the pitchers, which is good when you're trying to upset the timing of opposing batters.

Giants Offseason Review

Pitchers and Posey report in 2 weeks. Spring Training is getting close. And with it, the offseason is coming to a close. Sure, there will likely be minor deals made up until first pitch at the end of March. Sabean will no doubt be active in trade talks for guys that are on the fringe of making the team and trying to dump at least some of Rowand's contract on somebody. But the major moves are over. There will be no surprise trades and no more major additions. The roster in and of itself is set, save for some 24th and 25th man competitions. So how was it? Well, Sabean liked the status quo, apparently. And why not? The team he is displaying in 2011 is almost identical to the 2010 version that hoisted the World Championship trophy. Sabean caught a lot of flak the past several years and most Giants fans wanted him fired. Well, now he has carte blanche. If you look at the Giants roster, there's only one major difference. Juan Uribe will be in Dodger blue and Migue

Free Agent Recap and the Winter's Winners and Losers List

Ok, well most of the top free agents have signed and my first official Free Agent Prediction List looks pretty awful. I hit on 2 correct signings; Huff resigning with SF and Uribe signing with LA. Every other free agent signing I had wrong. There are still a few left I could get right but they wont' likely sign until later this month or in February. But just because my free agent predictions were wrong does not mean I'm giving up on the prediction business. So without further ado, let me give you the winters winners and losers list. Winners BREWERS: They didn't trade their portly, crushing 1B. They didn't trade their franchise LF'er. And they completely revamped their rotation, giving Yovani Gallardo and Randy Wolf a capable complement in Shawn Marcum (13-8, 3.64 ERA, 1.15 WHIP w/Toronto in 2010) and trading for the jewel of the trade market, ace Zack Greinke. To top it off, they added depth to their bullpen by signing Takashi Saito. Greinke gives Mil