Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fake Beard?

From Aubrey Huff's rally thong to Cody Ross' eye-black we must venture even further to discover that closer, Brian "Help Me, Rhonda" Wilson has got a most interesting look.

Wilson's look is what conjured up the "Help Me, Rhonda" because at further review, his beard looks fake!

In an interview after Wednesday night's game (9/29), broadcaster Dave Fleming asked Javier Lopez about Brian Wilson. Lopez is the left-hander who comes in specifically to face left-handed batters, replied, "Brian is the real deal, except for his beard."

Two other relievers who are going along with this facial hair masquerade are Sergio Romo and Jeremy Affeldt.

But as disturbing as this "fake beard" appears it is better than anything a reliever has come up with before him. I mean, if the thought process for such a bizarre look is to make the batter lose focus on his at-bat...

Al Hrabosky, "the Mad Hungarian" had the fu manchu while both Sparky Lyle and Rollie Fingers hand the over-emphasized mustache look. Even Ryne Duren, whose look may have been the most subtle, had the coke-bottle glasses, giving the scary thought that he might be the real-life Mister Magoo, as he'd throw a warm-up pitch over the backstop.


It may have been F.P. Santangelo asking who Buster Posey reminds you of and he referred to Richie Cunnningham (of Happy Days fame). But Richie was a redhead and that's not a look easily mistaken. Now Lumpy Rutherford or Wally Cleaver, of Leave it to Beaver might be a little better if for no other reason than the television show being in black and white.

F.P. was kind of reaching for answers when a woman called up and suggested "Toad" the character in American Graffiti. He played the part of Terry Fields and I could see the resemblance since I went to school with a guy who referred to "Toad" as "Rebholtz," a guy we both knew from junior high and high school days.

I'm sticking with Wally Cleaver. The "golly gee, cut it out Beave" response fits the baby-faced slugging catcher.


On long-toss Barry Zito (who throws from 300 feet once between starts) said, "When you're on the mound you want to have that free feeling of letting the ball go. When you aim the ball it's not going to go anywhere."

Jonathan Sanchez said he doesn't play long-toss during the season, but does during the winter.

Tim Lincecum says 'it forces you to pull the ball from behind your body as opposed to pushing it, like throwing a dart.'

Kevin J. Marquez

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Who Taught Cody Ross how to put on Eye-Black?

When I think of the ballplayers then and now who put on the eye-black I immediately go to former Baltimore Oriole and California Angel, Doug DeCinces. Our own F.P. Santangelo comes to mind. Both of these guys knew what they were doing.

Cody Ross? The black line "drawn" under each eye is a big splotch of black and it has no sense of style. It's like he can't be bothered doing such a thing in front of a mirror. I don't mean to exaggerate, but any more eye-black and I'd confuse Ross with Al Jolson.

Order of the Day: Jonathan Sanchez going into the 7th, at least, and the Giants scratching out more runs than the visiting Diamondbacks.

Seems every day there's a new hero (besides Pat Burrell, Buster Posey, Juan Uribe or Aubrey Huff). Cody has been swinging the bat much better (very successful versus left-handers) and Mike Fontenot seems to come through when least expected.

Teams that win the division need a contribution from the entire roster.

Those of you, fortunate enough to make the games Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, be prepared to cheer loudly for the hometown nine.

The final series versus San Diego, it'd be good if those fans who chose to drive down to San Diego on September 10, 11, and 12, could get a mention by the public address announcer. Because, as FP said (on his radio show) that was HUGE!! Bigger than Aubrey Huff's rally thong, which in and of itself is epic stuff.

Any fan who attends more than one of the remaining six games I hope you get to cheer heartily and see wins. This is a time to enjoy the games as the torturous season winds down to a close.

Go Giants! Win each series and we'll make the post season!

Kevin Marquez

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ten Games Remain As Do Possible Personal Afflictions

As I await the first pitch (in the final game of a 3-game series at Wrigley Field) I can hear a sense of panic in some callers on KNBR 680AM, the Sports Leader.

Gary Radnich says if the Giants fall short of the playoffs that it was still a good, entertaining season.

One caller, seemingly of "reasonable intelligence," responded by saying that all the pieces are there for next year to be the year they go all the way. But what he must realize is one injury to the wrong player could render that prognostication erroneous.

A certain degree of fortuity, ok LUCK, has to factor into the equation of a team that wins their division, their league championship and then defeat the opposing league champion for the World Series title.

After tonight's game (Thursday), the Giants head to Colorado for 3 games against a team with something to play for since the resurrection of the humidor has resurfaced and the Giants have supposedly bought into an on-going theory that cannot prove how the game balls make it into the ball bag.

With the recent string of games where the pitching staff has consistently put solid pitching performances together while showing an uncanny knack of inconsistency on offense, you have to go to the Duane Kuiper quote: 2010 (Twenty Ten) Giants baseball: Torture!

Who steps up and delivers in the batter's box? Does the pitching continue at this record pace?

Will Pablo "the Panda" Sandoval awaken from his hybernation or revert to his 2010 ways and become Flash-in-the-Panda. Or even worse yet, Pablo Strand-'em-all? (Borrowed from the last caller on the Gary Radnich show, Thursday 9/23/2010.)

As fans I harken back to the classic comedy, Blazing Saddles, when describing how many fans may be feeling at this point in time. Let me set the scene. It was when the small town had to make a fake town in the middle of the night and they weren't sure if it could be done. Just then the pastor (standing on a hill, waving his Bible) began to preach..."Oh Lord, do we have the strength to carry on this mighty task in one (1) night OR are we just jerking off?!"

Kevin Marquez

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rivalry has Value

The Brooklyn Trolly Dodgers played their last game at Ebbets Field on September 24, 1957. Before that season, to ease the fans' pain, Owner Walter O'Malley hired the clown Emmett Kelly to perform before and after games. Kelly's character, Weary Willie, looked very much like the famous Brooklyn Bum drawn by cartoonist Willard Mullin.

At the close of Spring training in 1958, O'Malley met with New York Giant owner, Horace Stoneham, who had decided to move his team to Minneapolis, Minnesota. O'Malley didn't try to persuade Stoneham to stay in New York, but he did suggest that the Giants owner consider San Francisco. If he moved there and the Dodgers went to Los Angeles, O'Malley said, they could re-create the fierce Giants-Dodgers rivalry on the West Coast.

Yesterday the Los Angeles Dodgers finally showed up and played some hard ball. Coming back from a 6-1 deficit, at the expense of the surging Colorado Rockies, had to put smiles on many Giants' fans' faces. Up until the Dodgers 7-6 victory, in extra innings, the Dodgers were no shows.

The Dodgers can play a key role in determining who will win the west, since they play the Padres this upcoming week.

The Giants will be heading to Colorado after playing three at Wrigley Field versus the Cubs. The weekend series (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) will most likely determine who wins the west, especially if the Dodgers win their series versus the Padres.

It's good to see the Dodgers get involved. Nobody respects those teams that appear to have mailed in the final two weeks of the season. It's better for the game to have all teams represent.

It was good the Giants took care of business when the Dodgers came to town and they'll need to win both the Cub and Rockies series to have a chance at the Western Division title (before facing the Padres in their final series of the regular schedule). It goes without saying, they'll need to win that series as well.

Because the Rockies and Padres are no more than one game different winning the series is a must.

Sandwiched between the Colorado series and the final three games versus San Diego at AT&T Park is 3-games with the Diamondbacks. The Giants can't allow what happened to Milwaukee to happen with Arizona. They had better take two out of three in all of their remaining games if they expect to make it into the post season.

3 at Wrigley
3 at Colorado

Day off on Monday, September 27.

3 vs Arizona @ AT&T
3 vs San Diego @ AT&T (October 1, 2, and 3.)

(information on the move west from an article out of Sports Illustratedd)

Kevin Marquez

Monday, September 13, 2010

Those Who Played for Both the Giants and Dodgers

Some may not recall that it was Los Angeles where Juan Marichal (the Dominican Dandy) ended his Hall of Fame career. Ole #27 wore #46 in his short stint for the dreaded Dodgers in 1975. (He wore #21 for the Red Sox in 1974, his won/loss record for the Bosox was 5-1.)

Immediately you think of Brett Butler or Jeff Kent. KNBR host F.P. Santangelo is another. Jeff Leonard, Candy Maldonado, Von Joshua, Len Gabrielson, Jim Gott, Ricky Ledee, Jose Viscaino to name a few. Current Giant Cody Ross began his career with the Dodgers. (Note: Ledee is Le Douche. He was a horrible Giant but a Giant killer as a Dodger. Worst Giant ever? Yes, to me that's exactly what LeDouche had been.)

No Alou played for the Dodgers though they all played for the Athletics and Giants.

I don't know where I am going with this other than to say, nobody other than Jeff Kent was a great ballplayer. Kent, will one day enter the hallowed halls of Cooperstown and he will enter wearing a Giants' ball cap. He has said as much in recent interviews.

Years ago, Jackie Robinson turned down a trade that would have sent him from the Dodgers to the Giants. You have to respect that. He just couldn't see himself playing for a team he hated. While others choose to prolong their careers he decided there was more to life than playing for the Giants.

This Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (9/14, 9/15 and 9/16) the Dodgers will have Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly throwing against the Giants who will counter with Barry Finito Zito, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez.

We Giant fans saw how the Dodgers rolled over for the Padres after the Pads had lost 10 in-a-row. But they're going to do everything in their power to destroy the Giant season, since, well, their season isn't going anywhere but home for the fall.

But keep the Giants from going anywhere and your season isn't a total bust, right? The Giants have been there before and Joe Morgan hit a memorable home run much to Manager Tom Lasorda's dismay.

The Giants have to be better. Like the Dodgers were more times than not. The Giants didn't always destroy the Dodgers' post-season plans. That's what this 2010 team has to accomplish this week. It's the first line of business this week.

Nobody is thinking about the weekend series vs. the Milwaukee Brewers.

Not yet.

Go Giants!

Kevin Marquez

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Eat it Pablo! You Appear to have Eaten everything else!!

(In Baseball) Luck is the residue of being in the right place at the right time and your glove happens to be facing the right way for the ball to land inside the pocket of your glove versus a not so fortuitous hop hitting off the outside of the leather covering for the "would-be" fielder's hand.

Never has luck been the residue of hard work because it cannot be planned since it can happen regardless of one's efforts.

(lucky implies a favorable or advantageous event happening by mere chance often unexpectedly, and not as the result of effort or merit. Providential: connotes the intervention of God or some higher agency in bringing about the favorable event.)

In yesterday's 2-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, Gerardo Parra's diving catch of a Buster Posey duck snort was lucky. No two ways about it. Do you think he'd have turned into Tony Minero if it wasn't lucky? Watching him pick himself up off the ground was like flashing back to a younger John Travolta. You could hear the words as if the Bee Gees were playing in between innings of the 11-inning Giant thriller.

Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk
I'm a woman's man no time to talk
Ah ha ha ha
staying alive, staying alive
Ah ha ha ha
staying alive, staying alive.

In the Sporting News issue dated August 2, 2010, former reliever Todd Jones had this to say: The San Diego Padres are a good story but the season is long and their weaknesses will be exposed.

A ten-game losing streak may be the shape of things to come. I think they think they can get fat off of the San Francisco Giants. It's up to the Giants to take 4 of the remaining 7. The series is amazing in that anything that could go San Diego's way has. Has that element of luck worn off?
We shall see.

Did you know, Padres closer Heath Bell is sometimes called "Taco," because like Pablo (Sandoval) he appears to have eaten his share.

Personally, one of my better lines was on the day the Giants caught and passed the Reds to lead 11-10 in the top of the 9th inning. After one out was made Pablo air-mailed the ball on a throw he probably shouldn't have made. I articulated for all to hear, "Eat it! You appear to have eaten everything else!!!!!!"

I killed.

But then the Reds killed all Giant fans by eventually winning the game.

Kevin Marquez

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Zito is Finito

After watching Barry Zito let another batter off the hook, after having a two-strike count on the batter, (and it just happened to be the opposing pitcher) I have had it with number 75.

I had hoped this season he would come into his own, after reading articles (and sharing some on this blog) about how much he had learned through all the bad press. But he lacks the killer instinct to put batters away and therefore his team loses.

Sure, the Giants are notorious for not matching good offense with good pitching but a pitcher has to handle his end and Zito fails to do so, time and time again. I mean the guy is an automatic out who has learned to bunt but for the money he is being paid you'd think he'd do more.

Since he signed the outrageous contract offered him by Brian Sabean and Giants' brass he has led the league in allowing opposing pitchers base hits off of him and batters reaching base after being behind in the count. You can look it up! (as Casey Stengel used to say. AND, it should be duly noted, when he gives up these hits the count is usually: no balls, two strikes.)

What is it about Barry Zito that says to opponents, 'let him get ahead of you because he seems to lose ferocity after that happens.'

Most pitchers use a no-balls two-strike count to bury the batter but not Mr. Nice Guy, Barry Zito. Nope, he just feels the need to offer up one more meatball for good measure. And the end result is, boy does the San Francisco Giants' organization look stupid for signing Barry Zito to such a high-priced contract. (Once again, the idea that Zito doesn't miss a start just boils down to Zito "just showing up" because he really doesn't make his appearance worthy of anything positive.)

Kevin Marquez