Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Approach for the 2008 Orange and Black

I see where the Pittsburgh Pirates just released Josh Phelps off of their 40-man roster. If my memory serves me correctly, this is the same Phelps who ripped Giants' pitching in the final series meeting between the two cellar dwellers.

As a Pirate, the first-baseman/outfielder batted 77 times and had 27 hits, that's a .351 batting average. Scored 13 runs, batted in 19, with 5 home runs (at least one of them came at the expense of the orange and black, an opposite field shot at AT&T, no less).

The San Francisco Giants have to approach this upcoming 2008 season with the attitude of bringing in as many non-roster invitees as possible. If some organization saw something in a player (who was claimed off of the New York Yankees roster by Pittsburgh in June of 2007) but due to a change in direction- because they now have a different manager-they no longer have that player in their plans this is just the guy the Giants should be considering. Especially since he had success in head-to-head competition with the orange and black.

Sometimes the timing isn't right with a ballplayer but that doesn't mean he will not fit in elsewhere with another ball club. A player than can hit like Josh Phelps should catch the eye of those scouts who work for clubs who are in need of some assistance. (He will be 30 in May.)

Last I looked, the Giants are one of those teams.

Kevin Marquez

Monday, November 26, 2007

Humor for the Holidays

Baseball and Football according to George Carlin.

Baseball is different from any other sport, very different. For instance, in most sports you score points or goals; in baseball you score runs. In most sports the ball, or object, is put in play by the offensive team; in baseball the defensive team puts the ball in play, and only the defensive is allowed to touch the ball. In fact, in baseball if an offensive player touches the ball intentionally, he's out; sometimes unintentionally, he's out.

Also: in football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, and all sports played with a ball, you score with the ball and in baseball the ball prevents you from scoring.

In most sports the team is run by a coach; in baseball the team is run by a manager. And only in baseball does the manager or coach wear the same clothing the players do. If you'd ever seen John Madden in his Oakland Raiders uniform, you'd know the reason for this custom. (Boom!)

Now, I've mentioned football. Baseball and football are the two most popular spectator sports in this country. And as such, it seems they ought to be able to tell us something about ourselves and our values.

I enjoy comparing baseball and football:

Baseball is a nineteenth-century pastoral game.

Football is a twentieth-century technological struggle.

Baseball is played on a diamond, in a park. The baseball park!! Football is played on a gridiron, in a stadium, sometimes called Soldier Field or War Memorial Stadium.

Baseball begins in the spring, the season of new life.

Football begins in the fall, when everything's dying.

In football you wear a helmet.

In baseball you wear a cap.

Football is concerned with downs- what down is it?

Baseball is concerned with ups- who's up?

In football you receive a penalty.
In baseball you make an error.

In football the specialist comes in to kick.
In baseball the specialist comes in to relieve somebody.

Football has hitting, clipping, spearing, piling on, personal fouls, late hitting and unnecessary roughness.
Baseball has the sacrifice.

Football is played in any kind of weather: rain, snow, sleet, hail, fog...
In baseball, if it rains, we don't go out to play.

Baseball has the seventh inning stretch.
Football has the two minute warning.

Baseball has no time limit: we don't know when it's gonna end- we might even have extra innings!!!
Football is rigidly timed, and it will end even if we've got to go to sudden death.

In baseball, during the game, in the stands, there's kind of a picnic feeling; emotions may run high or low but there's not too much unpleasantness.
In football, during the game in the stands, you can be sure that at least twenty-seven times you're capable of taking the life of a fellow human being.

And finally, the objectives of the two games are completely different.

In football, the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use the shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's defensive line.

In baseball the object is to go home!! And to be safe! - I hope I'll be safe at home!

(from the George Carlin book Brain Droppings)

In Playboy's October 2002 issue, there's a question: How can someone become a pimp?
The WWF had the Godfather whose motto was: Pimpin' Aint Easy
But here it states, "It cannot be learned through osmosis, hypnosis or even mytosis. It can only be learned through pimpnosis."

Then the snipet of an article goes on to say: Like all delusionists, these guys take themselves seriously.

WARNING of the Surgeon General: Don't be surprised if one of these guys (Osmosis, Hypnosis, Mytosis or Pimpnosis) is catching passes, robbing opponents of home runs or dunking basketballs at a stadium, park or arena near you, sometime in the near future. OR that they're blonde and blue-eyed or red-haired with freckles!

Kevin Marquez

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's That Time of Year

Major League Baseball opens up for free agency today.

This has become a chance to open up new possibilities for the upcoming season as hope now has an opportunity to spring eternal for Spring Training.

As a youngster first becoming interested in the players I would memorize the players and their uniform numbers. The players' last names weren't sewn on the uniform jerseys like most teams have it today so it was a necessity to learn the players and their numbers.

I would get the program and scan the roster to see the names and the numbers they were assigned and then move on to the opposing team. It was that easy.

Nowadays, with the constant turnaround of team rosters I often flashback to players who wore that number before them. For example, the number 23 on the San Francisco Giants. When I first bundled up to head out to Candlestick Park, Tito Fuentes wore #23. Then it was Jose Uribe, Steve Scarsone, Ellis Burks and now its the guy they got for Aramando Benitez, Randy Messenger.

I do that with every team because the publications do not always provide the player and his jersey number. (Baseball Weekly does however provide this.)

With the reminiscing of past and present wearers of jersey numbers I find it interesting how we flash back to somethings. It's as if a button were pushed and we immediately reflect on those days gone by. Music does this for me as well.

I don't remember all of the details in particular, just those that pertain to specific lyrics. That first game. First kiss. First, ahem... All the firsts.

Ya think the advertising agencies may have gotten on the same page with this line of thinking? I do. To this day, every time I hear Carly Simon's Anticipation
I have this image of a ketchup bottle in suspended animation hanging over a freshly grilled hamburger as the ketchup slowly oozes out of the bottle.

Baseball conjures up all sorts of images. Some are bad memories (where your favorite team might be concerned), most are good. But they are all unforgettable.

And today is the unofficial beginning of the 2008 season.

Kevin Marquez

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Welcome Carney Lansford

The orange and black have brought in Carney Lansford to be their batting coach.
In 1981, with the Boston Red Sox, he led the American League in batting with a .336 average.
In 1989, he was second in the battle for batting leader, while posting the same .336 average. He did lead the league with fewest strikeouts per at-bat that season, while donning the green and gold of Oakland's Athletics.

In Lansford, born in San Jose, CA, the Giants have a former player who has tasted the fruits of victory and been successful as a hitter. A contact hitter who had the ability to move runners along and not be undisciplined in his approach as he rarely, if ever, hit the pitcher's pitch, which usually results in an inning double-play. And as a Giant's fan, I think I speak for everyone when I say, I think we're a little tired of inning-ending double-plays when our guys are at-bat. It's okay when we're on defense, but enough is enough when it's the Giants who are hitting.

With the Giants having a long ways to go, its good to see they are introducing quality baseball men into the fold. What better than to have someone (who made a name for himself while playing) now on-board to impart some wisdom onto our 2008 and future San Francisco Giants?

(Note: This could be just what the doctor ordered for someone like Ray Durham. Now, wouldn't that be nice?)

Kevin Marquez