Saturday, May 22, 2010

T'row Da Bums OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With all the talk of steroids, in baseball, I have a question, "Why is there so much slack given to major league umpires?"

A home plate umpire can toss the rulebook aside and make the strike zone his own personal judgment call. This is the umpire in every game who determines the outcome in most games and you better believe these ESPN-watching ego maniacal folks love it!!!!!!!!

If a ball looks like it's trapped, in some umpires' mind it is not their job to let the runner know if the ball was caught or not. That's something the players need to determine themselves. But who ultimately makes the call? It's like an unwritten umpire rule that allows the ump to "steal" outs. (i.e., sometimes on trap plays you have a chance of getting 3 outs on one play. Umpires drool at the thought of that happening. Take my word for it, I am an umpire, although I'm not one of the umps looking for reasons to make an out call for the sake of getting the game over.)

As a Giants' fan I am always wondering why, Hall of Fame announcer, Jon Miller, will describe the home plate umpire's strike zone as an aberration and then in the recap during the Postgame Wrap he doesn't say word one about the overall inconsistencies of that guy calling balls and strikes. I mean, the late Bill King would paint the word picture that would make anyone think that the man in blue calling balls and strikes was a clown. I want, just once, for Hall of Fame Miller (unlike Bill King, Holy Injustice!) to utter something like: 'Wow. As the game has gone on the home plate umpire has suddenly gotten way bigger shoes, a red nose and a bad wig...'
'Needless to say, his painted white face-not hard to notice-gives the impression that the umpire calling balls and strikes is, well, a clown.'

And yet, if you say anything about the umpires' performance it is you who gets fined. What happens to the Bozo lookalike whose job is to call rulebook strikes and balls but instead makes an aberration of the strike zone?

Personally, I feel, the umpire is the ambassador of the rules in the baseball rulebook. When they stray from the rules, and they often do, there is no integrity to those particular games.

Kevin Marquez

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Who will be the 5th man in Giants starting rotation?

I see bicyclists refusing to stop at the octagonal signs and stop lights. I see them riding in the crosswalk and just zig zagging along (sometime with newspaper taxis in the area) and nothing is done by those driving the newspaper taxis to enforce the rules of the road while these bike riders are operating their training-wheel less bicycles.

How many of these bike riders have insurance? How many think Todd Wellemeyer has run out of opportunities to be the 5th starter? How many care?

Currently on the Fresno Grizzlies, Madison Bumgarner has a 3-1 record with an Earned Run Average of 3.64 in 8 starts. He has a complete game and a shutout. In 42 innings pitched Madison has 32 K's and 13 walks allowed. Then there is Eric Hacker. He has a won/loss record of 7-1 and an ERA of 2.20. In 45 innings he has 38 strikeouts and 12 bases on balls allowed.

Maybe Denny Bautista, currently in the Giants' bullpen gets the nod as he swaps the reliever role for starter with Toad, uh, Todd Wellemeyer?

With most eyes on the 5th starter role you still have to be wary of the every day lineup. Now that Freddy Sanchez has been inserted back into the lineup it would be good to see what he can do once some of the spring training rust has been allowed to "fall off."

Manager Bruce Bochy will have to make out the lineups that keep everybody fresh and those "hot" hitters at least luke warm. Now is when Bochy's skills come into play. I know Bochy isn't playing the game but his job is to put those in (the game) that give the team the best chance to win.

No time like the present.

(newspaper taxis was a way police cars were described in Beatle song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.)

Kevin Marquez

Monday, May 17, 2010

For the Record

Jamie Moyer, Philadelphia Phillie southpaw has allowed 491 homers. All-time record holder, recently passed Robin Roberts at 505.

Russell Branyan, 34-year old journeyman has 2,824 plate appearances entering 2010. At his current pace-one whiff every 2.99 plate appearance-he'll reach 1,000 K's before his 3,000 trip to the plate. Record holder is former Giant and Brewer Rob Deer who was fastest to 1000 K's needing only 3,221 plate appearances to reach that dubious honor. But Branyan has 946 K's and is on pace to shatter Deer's mark.

Ron Villone holds the dubious honor of playing on the most teams at 12. He is tied with Mike Morgan, the former hurler. Currently Villone is a free agent. Said ESPN mag, Villone better not get complacent because once Matt Stairs sees action for the San Diego Padres this year he too will join the 12-team club.

Kevin Marquez

Zito Not Listed in Cash for Clunkers Article

An article in ESPN magazine by Jason Catania lists some players who were signed to big contracts and haven't really panned out. Neither of which is Barry Zito.

Say what you want about Barry Zito but the pitcher doesn't miss his turn to pitch.

Eric Chavez, a former teammate while on the Oakland A's has had injury problems since signing his 6-year deal in 2004. He was on his way to a Hall of Fame career until the back injury ruined all hopes of entering Cooperstown.

Vernon Wells signed for $126 million in 2007 with the Toronto Blue Jays and hasn't really set the baseball world on fire since.

Travis Hafner, a designated hitter for the Cleveland Indians, in his two full seasons since he got his big deal the Indians have averaged 73 wins.

Carlos Lee of the Houston Astros did hit 26 homers but Houston's 3.97 runs per game in 2009 was its lowest since 1992. Another case of having nice numbers but not really contributing to team wins.

Barry Zito is 6-1 so far, which is to say when he or Tim Lincecum pitch it's usually WIN day for the San Francisco Giants.

(thanks to ESPN mag for the information)

Kevin Marquez

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Que Pasa Panda?

Do we get in the panic mode now that Pablo"the Panda" Sandoval has gotten himself into the worst hitting funk he has ever faced in the major leagues? Or do we have faith "the Panda" will figure a way out of hitting into double plays or swinging at the pitcher's pitch?

He's always going to go after pitches out of the strike zone. That's part of the Panda charm. He has to stick with his approach and concentrate on not "fishing" after pitches that may serve him better if they are taken. Discontinue the need to swing at these types of pitches, which in the baseball vernacular are "pitcher's pitches." Swing at "pitcher's pitches" and you are helping out the guy who is TRYING TO GET YOU OUT!

Enough Pablo, stop helping the pitcher out. It's all about you and your teammates. Do what you can to help your team. You going back to the dugout to ride some pine isn't helping anybody in that dugout unless you just touched 'em all.

His defensive play has not faltered after beginning the season making enough errors to make one think his nickname would be changed to Yogi's little friend. You know, the other bear who wore a tie, the little guy Yogi called BooBoo.

The Panda will work out of this funk. He's got too much ability to not figure out a way to be more productive. I just think when Freddy Sanchez returns and Nate Schierholtz gets moved out of the 8th slot (in the batting order) things will come together. Aubrey Huff, Benji Molina and Juan Uribe will have a say, in this matter, as well.
(Note to Giants' fans...with Aaron Rowand you just hold your breath and are thankful for any production he may provide. And so far, all is well with Aaron.)

As long as the pitching continues to do well and noone gets hurt the hitting will succeed more than it did last season. It's a long season. Which might explain why broadcaster Duane Kuiper likes to reference the word "torture." Says Kuiper, "Torture, but in a good way." Which translated merely means the Giants are finding a way to win these torturous games.

Kevin Marquez

Monday, May 3, 2010

Kerry Wood in 4/13/2010 edition of The Sporting News

Pitcher to watch: Tim Lincecum. Do I need to say why?

Best Road Hotel: St. Francis in San Francisco,CA. It's right in the middle of Union Square and close to everything.

Best Former Teammate: Moises Alou. He played the game hard, played the game right. He was always ready to go and a fantastic teammate.

Brandon Inge, the former Detroit Tiger catcher turned third baseman. He can throw a baseball 100 yards. "We used to have a minicamp thing at Ford Field and Steve Avery and I would stand under the goal posts on opposite sides and try to throw it almost to the rafters and through the other goal post. We were just bombing."

He can kick a 60-yard field goal.
"I take my right shoe off, set the football on my right shoe and set it on the 50-yard line-and kick it through the uprights. Barefoot, two steps, soccer style.

(thanks to the Sporting News for finding these interesting facts. I apologize for not speaking of the San Francisco Giants until now.

Taking 2 of 3 from the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies says it all. GO GIANTS!)

Kevin Marquez