Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July 20, 2010 at Chavez Ravine was the Best Game This Season

The umpires are bumbling their responsibilities of knowing the rules and putting themselves in a position NOT to miss a call.

Beginning on Sunday and showing up in both the Monday and Tuesday Giant/Dodger games.

The finale at AT&T Park versus the New York Mets, when a home plate umpire said he thought the catcher made a good attempt and tagging the baserunner therefore it was enough to rule the runner out. He never said he saw the catcher tag the runner, because the position he was in would not allow such a thing to occur. So he takes the second best stance, as appalling as it sounds, which was to reward the catcher simply on effort and not execution.

The Daily News reported that Major League Baseball may take action on (Phil) Cuzzi's actions. The article also went on to mention that Cuzzi Wuzzy missed a call in last year's American League Division series between the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees. Said the News, 'he ruled that what would have been a double was called foul even though it clearly landed in fair territory.' Guess it's one of those calls where the ball hits chalk but ole Cuzzi Wuzzy thought it hit the wrong side of the line.

Hear what Ray Ratto said when asked what he thought of Cuzzi's call on Sunday? "I like bad calls. I wish we had more of them."


The Giants know the way to get into the cabeza/head of one Matt Kemp. The athletic, graceful Dodger usually seen diving for balls in the outfield- and for the most part gets to them- can be had if you give him a little chin music.

Pitcher's should look into keeping this guy honest with the occasional "effectively wild" tactic.

In the game on July 20, I found it ironic that Dodger fans were booing until they were rendered hoarse when it was Dodger legend, Don Drysdale, who was the conductor/maestro in the school of Arts known as Chin Music. The Dean of this school was former Giant/Dodger hurler, Sal "the Barber" Maglie. Bet you can guess why he was called "the barber," now that you know he was the Dean of Chin Music?

Pitchers throughout major league baseball should take a lesson in this based on the outcome of the game. Giants down 5-1, stormed back into the game only to overtake the hometown Dodgers.

A team pulls together when something of this nature takes place while a team of individuals panics and cries "Can we get some help?" from the umpires.

Kevin Marquez

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cuzzi Wuzzy Had No Clue

After getting stellar performances from Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito and Matt Cain, it was up to Jonathan Sanchez to show that he belongs in this solid rotation. And Jonathan, without the run support that Matt Cain received the day before, held his own.

Thanks to a rally in the bottom half of the ninth inning, Jonathan was taken off the hook for the loss, after he delivered the pitch to Met third-baseman David Wright in which he launched beyond the center field fence to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.

But an out of position home plate umpire missed the call when Met catcher (Henry Blanco) tagged Giants' runner (Travis Ishikawa) upward of the shoulder area while his legs easily crossed home plate before the alleged tag was said to have been made.

Phil Cuzzi let the heckling from the Mets' bench get the better of him as he made an out call on their behalf to make up for the many pitches they claimed he had missed. But he wasn't just squeezing the Mets. The Giants had their share of questionable calls when their pitcher were toeing the slab.

In the era of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) there has always been the question as to how to keep score, so to speak. Does this or that statistic get an asterisk and how are such things determined.

Here's a question, how many players got something taken away from them because of an umpire's call? Like Brian "Don't Worry Baby" Wilson, who would've been credited with the win had Travis Ishikawa been correctly called "SAFE!" instead got the loss when the game went into extra innings.

All because of an out of position umpire.

I guess one could say after witnessing the game that, well, 'Cuzzi wuzzy had no clue/ but Cuzzi wuzzy surely had attitude!' (If you read his statement that Blanco made a good attempt at tagging the baserunner was why he called the runner out and you recall how he was barking- at the players, coaches and manager's growls-throughout the game, you would know the man has attitude. Not owning up to missing the call and going full-on World Cup, with his pathetic explanation, made something poorly executed worse.)

Kevin Marquez

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Head's Up for the Second Half

(from an article on Roy Halladay by Tim Keown in ESPN mag earlier this year-2010)

There's an old baseball bromide that a pitcher, any pitcher, owns the advantage his first time through a new league. According to the theory, hitters need time to ascertain tendencies and patterns, allowing pitchers to get outs until the hitters complete their dossiers and adjust. Statistics show this to be patently false, but baseball is starting only now to value statistics over bromides.

Seems Buster Posey didn't take too long to figure something out. Or is it just that he has a good batting eye and has the patience of a savvied veteran?

How about Madison Bumgarner? He being the one with the advantage. Does he use this advantage to his benefit and help himself and his team have the better chance of winning games?

Does Manager Bruce Bochy stop fiddling around and make decisions that WORK??!!

Does Pablo shake the sophomore jinx and give ALL Giant fans a reason to cheer for the Panda?
Even those silly looking sorts wearing the Panda hats won't look so dorky if the Panda raises his average close to .300 and begins to bang the ball.

The Giants start with 4 at home versus the Mets and then go to Chavez Ravine for 3. They need 5 wins, more wins would be better still.

Fasten your seatbelts, GIANT/GIGANTE fans, we're about to take the ride of 2010. Speed limits won't be enforced. Or as the Most Interesting Man in the World likes to say, 'Safety third. Stay thirsty my friends."

Kevin Marquez

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sweep in Milwaukee

A lot of thanks can be given to the Milwaukee Brewers' defense. Their inability to turn a double-play opened the flood gates for the Giants to beat them 6-1 in games one and two (Monday and Tuesday).

Crushed by the dreaded double-play grounder the Giants were given new life on two different occasions. Once by shortstop Alcides Escobar and the other by former Giant killer, Craig Counsell.

Wednesday was just a hit barrage. The leadoff batter, Andres Torres went yard and the bats got to clicking. The lineup was: Torres, FSanchez, AHuff, PBurrell, BPosey, PSandoval, ERenteria, EWhiteside. Huff continued to rip, after taking Tuesday off. Burrell maintain his plate discipline and had good at-bats. Buster Posey had the best game of his career to date (2 HRs, one of them a Grand Slam), Pablo had 2 hits, Edgar had 3 hits and Eli reached base a couple of times.

Thursday the bats continued to connect. Torres again going yard. Sanchez with 3 more hits. Aubrey Huff with his team-leading 17th home run. Buster hit his 4th home run of the Milwaukee series, 5th on this road trip. Pablo got two more hits as did Edgar. Eli reached base at least once.

The umpire had a tight strike zone that led to the Brewers leaving 17 runners on base and boat loads of bases-on-balls. I don't like that Bruce Bochy removed Barry Zito from the game but Zito would have had to face a player who is having a career year, in Rickie Weeks, and you could understand Bochy's thinking. But watching Barry leave the mound you could see he was not at all amused by being given the hook.

One more out was all Barry Zito needed to qualify for a win but Bochy removed him at 4 2/3 innings. Oh well, Barry, you and the umpire's strike zone were too much for Bochy and his shrinking number of Tums.

On to Washington, DC. Tomorrow, July 9th, will be against the phenom named Strassberg.
We shall see what happens.

Kevin Marquez

Friday, July 2, 2010

Operation Orange & Black Attack; Subj: Edgar Rent-an-Error

Last night's game is all you need to know about Edgar Enrique Renteria.

Let's recap, shall we...

First inning on a pickoff attempt by pitcher Madison Bumgarner to first-baseman Aubrey Huff, the runner (Dexter Fowler) decided to take off for second base. Huff stepped inside the baseline and threw to the person covering second, which was Edgar Enrique. When the throw got to Edgar instead of slapping the glove onto second base he just held it there awaiting the arrival of the base stealer. Only the base stealer's foot clearly hit the base before his leg ran into Edgar's glove. (Fowler would go on to score. Had Rent-an-Error slapped the tag the ump would have no choice but to call the runner out but Edgar was so deliberate in his holding the glove steady I'm sure the ump saw exactly what the slowed instant replay showed, that Edgar never tagged the runner. He just waited for the runner to slide into him.)

Later in the game after the first two batters hit routine grounders to Edgar Enrique he would get yet another. Only this time Rent-an-Error bobbled the initial catch and tossed it errantly to Huff at first base. The next batter walked and the following batter then grounded one up the middle that Juan Uribe snagged but when he looked to flip the ball to second for the force Rent-an-Error was lost in his own version of the Bermuda Triangle.

As a fielder, Edgar Rent-an-error can only handle balls hit right at him. If he has to move laterally it's darn near a hit every time. When the Giants acquired him after he played in Detroit word on the streets was that he had no range and his fielding led to many defeats in a season when there were high hopes for the Tigers. Jimmy Leyland had deduced that it was their inconsistent defense that led to many defeats and at the root of said evil was Edgar Enrique.

I recall Mike Krukow's scathing analysis of Edgar at the beginning of last season and a little birdie tells me someone in the Giants organization told Krukow to tone it down or else. You don't hear ole "Ride Some Pine Meat" speak badly of Rent-an-error any more, do you?

Brian Sabean totally overlooked this fact and didn't do the necessary homework to see that Rent-an-error was damaged goods as he ended up missing a good portion of the season due to injury.

When your position is shortstop you MUST have range along with a strong and accurate throwing arm. Rent-an-error has neither.

Last, but not least is his offensive game. When he's on, he's a tough out. But more often than not he seems disinterested and that bothers me and anyone else rooting for the orange and black.
He has proven to be a clutch hitter at times in his big league career it's just that he doesn't appear to giving it his all day in and day out. People who are satisfied with "just showing up" as opposed to putting forth their best effort every day they are scheduled to work just rub me the wrong way.

Athletes can always say they were injured as the reason you didn't see them busting hump. I'm not buying what they're selling. Or Edgar Rent-an-error's game, for that matter.

Kevin Marquez