Saturday, October 30, 2010

Getting Ready for Game 3 of the 2010 World Series

The saying used to be Spahn and Sain and pray for rain. Well you can now say: Lincecum and Cain and pray for Sanchy! Just when the opponent is thinking they have a chance to win Sanchy does his thing. And don't forget, he's the one who has thrown a no-hitter.

Song by Ashkon to the beat of Journey's Don't Stop Believing

Just a loyal fan
Trying to do the best I can
But these last three, four years have made it hard

But I had faith and I had hope
Thankfully the Padres choked
Even better maybe it was the rally thong

Let's Go Giants
NL West Division champions
Feels good, but we aint stopping here...

Getting a lot of play on You Tube.

Game 3 in Arlington, Texas. I know the starting Giants lineup to be:
(J Sanchez-P)

Sure would like to see Pablo contribute. So far it's been a new hero each game. Continue the trend and we may get to celebrate a World Series championship.

Go Giants/Gigantes!

Kevin J. Marquez

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Unlimited Information on Your 2010 Giants

The Sunday San Francisco Examiner, (10/24), had an article by Andrea Koskey entitled Giants Biggest Catches. And lest you think it was how these particular Giants flashed their leather the caption below read: Local ladies have eyes on bad-boy Wilson as most desirable SF player.

There was a list of Top Giant Heartthrobs. Playboy tells you about their playmate of the month with measurements, there was no flattering buildup such as: when the owl asks "Who?" the answer is always him... the world's most interesting man. No, this article just let you know which of the "hotties" was single or not.

Going more for the information that might help me reason that the Giants have a chance to beat the Texas Rangers I chose to go to the box scores to see how impressive the bullpen was in the Game 6 victory over the favored Philadelphia Phillies.

After replacing an erratic Jonathan Sanchez, Jeremy Affeldt had his best performance in 2010. IP-2, H-0, R-0, BB-0, K's-2. 26 pitches.
Following Affeldt was rookie Madison Bumgarner. His numbers: IP-2, H-3, R-0, BB-1, K's-1 on 26 pitches. Then came in Javier Lopez.
IP-1, H-0, R-0, BB-0, K-1. 12 pitches.
Tim Lincecum came in. Faced 3 batters struck one out. Gave up 2 hits but allowed no runs. It took him 16 pitches.
Brian Wilson cleaned up Lincecum's mess and had his third save of the series along with one win.
Wilson's numbers: IP-1 2/3 H-0, R-0, BB-2, K-1...26 pitches.

Brian Wilson was 3 for 3 in save opportunities and won one game. But the MVP of the NLCS went to the "Rodeo Clown" lookalike, Cody Ross.

10/27 -Wednesday's scheduled start time is 4:57pm at AT&T
10/28 -Thursday's scheduled start time is 4:57pm at AT&T
Game 3, Saturday at Texas 3:57pm
Game 4, Sunday at Texas 5:20pm
Game 5, Monday at Texas 4:57 pm
Game 6, Wednesday, 11/03 at 4:57pm
Game 7, Thursday, 11/04 at 4:57pm

If you're going to the game respect those around you but don't let that get in the way of a good time. Manners are always appreciated. And, GO GIANTS!

Kevin J. Marquez

Monday, October 25, 2010

Particles Happening to 2010 San Francisco Giants

This may be a title for a future SF Examiner headline, if the Giants are leading the series. The best of seven, World Series.

But what I have personally gone through, just making good use of my time (between games) is also filled with premonitions. And a lot of this is because I just took a book out of a library by James S. Hirsch, authorized by Willie Mays entitled, Willie Mays- The Life. The Legend.

As the Giants of 2010 were preparing for the Phillies- in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series- I was reading that Willie Mays would be getting the call in May of 1951. He was to be at Philadelphia.

And as the Hirsch book will do, it leads up to each event with baseball stories and so-called legends. Stuff baseball is made of!

So I'm flipping the pages, totally into what the Hirsch-man is saying (you'd think the open window caught a stiff breeze, the way those pages were turning) and he starts giving his Leo Durocher stories.

As told in the book, by James S. Hirsch:

At the time of lyrical nicknames, Leo Durocher's was simply "the Lip," from which obscenities constantly roared.

According to Leo: His first rule was, "Don't clutter your brain with ethics."
"Good sportsmanship is so much sheep dip. Good sports get that way because they have so much practice losing."

Dick Young, the abrasive Daily News columnist, prepared a young reporter for his first meeting with Durocher: "Figure you and Durocher are shipwrecked and you both end up on this little raft with sharks swimming around. Leo slips into the water. A shark closes in. You dive in and pull him out. But while you are rescuing him, the shark comes up and takes your right leg. You bleed like hell, but somehow you survive. The next day, you and Durocher start even."

Dodger general manager, Branch Rickey observed: "Leo has an infinite capacity for going into a bad situation and making it worse."

Willie Mays got called up on May 24, 1951. Hirsch poses the question with his articulate prose, is that where #24 Mays got it's call? (As a member of the Minneapolis Millers, for whom he was playing before the call-up, he wore #28...who wears #28 and is a rookie for the 2010 San Francisco Giants?)

After going 0-12, Mays was to face Warren Spahn and the Boston Braves in the Polo Grounds.
Spahn would become the winningest left-handed pitcher of all-time. In his first at-bat, this is what Giant announcer, Russ Hodges said. "If it's the only home run he ever hits, they'll still remember him."

Pitcher Warren Spahn said, "For the first sixty feet, it was a helluva pitch."

The book mentions how the organist at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn would play "Three Blind Mice," as the umpires appeared from the home team's dugout. Or how Dusty Rhodes described himself as "Horace Stoneham's bartender."

I'm only at the beginning of this story, as Willie is still playing at the Polo Grounds. It's chocked full of good particles.

About Willie Mays' first major league home run, Leo "the Lip" has the last say in this baseball story-filled lovefest. "I never saw a fucking ball, leave a fucking park, so fucking fast, in my fucking life."

(the book is Willie Mays-The Life. The Legend, by James S. Hirsch. Authorized by Willie Mays.)

Kevin J. Marquez

Friday, October 22, 2010


After listening to Mac (of Murph and Mac KNBR-680AM notoriety) tell his story of some selfish dame telling him the "way it is in Section 315" of AT&T, I had to say something. Whether you agree or disagree is not an issue nor is it the point. But that someone felt the need to express themselves in a selfish manner annoys me to no end.

Rules are an established practice that serves as a guide to usage. That being said, no rules should be given to you by a female because she is never expected to follow them the way she expects you to adhere to the letter of said "law."

The female will tell you her interpretation of the rules and emphasize how you must follow them to the letter and that it'll be to your benefit. She will convince you (as well as herself) knowing full-well the letter of the law never applies to her. Afterall, it's her and every other woman's prerogative.

Rules are established to set guidelines so that careless and or selfish acts can be limited as much as is humanly possible. Rules for how one should behave at a playoff game must take into consideration the overall big picture of how others choose to enjoy themselves.

If standing and cheering and even the occasional heckle are offensive to you you must ask yourself, honestly, What type of behavior did you expect?

Are you contributing to everyone's enjoyment or are you a detriment. A stick in the friggin' mud!

Nobody needs to be in the company of drunk and disorderly people but just the same nobody needs to hear how they should behave before the fun and frivolity begins. Don't tell someone this is how it is, WHO THE HELL ARE YOU? If you prefer things to be controlled without celebration perhaps you should stay home and watch the game, by yourself, on television. (I'm pretty sure I speak on behalf of every fan who jumps up to high-five anyone around them willing to reciprocate the love you're ready, willing, and able to share.)

Post season events don't happen all the time. We as fans have to have the freedom to express ourselves. As long as we aren't being disrespectful of those around us by shouting F-bombs or throwing things onto the field why not let people do what they feel like doing.

People who have the audacity to approach someone with their rules really need to stay home.

And oh yeah, GO GIANTS!

Kevin J. Marquez

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Could it Be?

Looking over the post-season numbers being posted by former Willie McCovey award winner and former San Francisco Giant catcher, Benjie Molina, I can't help but wonder what it would be like if the Texas Rangers advance to the World Series and the Giants keep getting stellar pitching and enough timely hitting to meet Benjie's hot-hitting teammates in the Fall Classic.

If Benjie Molina or Josh Hamilton aren't the hottest hitters on the planet then the Giants' Cody Ross must be that guy.

To think, the Giants merely tried to block the San Diego Padres from getting Ross and look how fortunate that shrewd move has worked in the Giants' favor. Brian Sabean, you rapscallion! Bet you didn't think the move would turn out so good, did you?

Benjie vs. Tampa Bay: AB-14, R-1, H-5, HR-1, RBI-2, BA-.357
vs Yankees AB-12 R-3, H-5, HR-1, RBI-5, BA-.417

Cody vs. Atlanta AB-14, R-2, H-4, HR-1, RBI-3, BA-.286
Cody vs. Philadelphia AB-9 R-3, H-4, HR-3, RBI-4 BA-..444

Wouldn't it be something if the Giants face Benjie's Rangers? You remember the last time the Giants reached the World Series, it was against Benjie's California Angels. Is history likely to repeat itself in that Benjie's team will come out of the World Series as the 2010 champions?

The Giants still must win 2 games and the Rangers one more. With All-World pitcher-Cliff Lee- on the hill (in at least one of the remaining games) it looks pretty good for the Texas Rangers.

Giants still need more timely hitting and stellar pitching from their talented staff to snatch victory from the jaws of the- twice defeated -Phillies.

Could it be...needs a couple more nights and at least 3 more games to play out.

Kevin J. Marquez

Friday, October 15, 2010

Baseball is Getting Good in the City by the Bay

In a Sporting News magazine article, recently, was a question to a former major league umpire (Vic Voltaggio).

Vic sounds a little bitter in his response as to whether he thinks there should be more instant replay in major league baseball.

In response to your question about replay-you'll notice I left off the word instant-the games are too long now, with players stepping out of the box on every pitch to adjust their batting gloves or the unending conferences on the mound and the argument over the most inane things.

I liked it better in my time when the players played and umpires were not afraid to umpire, if they want to bring all of this technology to a game I used to love, why not get rid of the umpires and use robots? (The thought is a possibility for future consideration, ya think? Especially when bitter people like Vic are entered into the equation. We are only searching for ways to get the call right. Not to demean a man attempting to do his job. Sometimes things happen that don't allow you the position to view the play. Certainly you don't want to call something you did not see?)

And Mr. Miserable, a.k.a. Vic Voltaggio finishes his thought with: That way the players will have no one to blame for their lack of skill except the robot.

At 25th and Valencia is a local watering hole called Clooney's. It's the place to watch the orange and black play post-season baseball.

A bartender (Debbie) colored some extra face-cloths orange so the regulars could have rally towels. And when the Giants are making plays the orange cloths are blurs of excitable moments.

Sometimes the chant of "Let's Go Giants" fills the air and the bonding that goes on is fantastic. People you may have seen once or twice are now rooting for the team you are rooting for and you're both "high-fiving" to every good thing that happens for the orange and black. (And you're in agreement with every blown call against the Giants, as well.)

The prices are right and the atmosphere is perfect to watch a game if you crave the "fan experience." I recommend it to anyone in the area.

The scheduled times for the National League Championship Series are as follows:

Game #1(at Philadelphia) 4:57pm
Game #2 (at Philadelphia) 5:19pm

Game #3 (@AT&T) 1:19pm
Game#4 (@AT&T) 4:57pm
Game#5 (@AT&T) 4:57pm

Games 6 & 7 are in Philadelphia. Times are currently unimportant.

Kevin J. Marquez

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Who Asked Ya?

There was an article in ESPN magazine entitled We're All Born Naked. A lot of ballplayers prefer to stay that way. And there was a picture of Willie Mays during his New York Giant days with his shirt off and a smile next to 1954 World Series hero, Dusty Rhodes.

Baseball is known for it's wacky players. Seven and sometimes eight months together (if you're good enough to reach the postseason) will bring the zaniness out of some individuals. And as long as it works for the chemistry of a team, helps them get along and understand one another's needs then I see it as being all good.

Some excerpts from the aforementioned article...

...I'll show up at the (batting) cage and the guy throwing to me has on his birthday suit. Let me tell you, nothing tests your focus more than trying to hit a baseball thrown by a man with his junk hanging out.

Dining areas tend to be favorite spots for a bout of spontaneous nudity. I can't tell you how many times I've heard my name called as I'm eating a plate of spaghetti, only to turn around to see a teammate's bare ass in my face. It's disgusting, but I take it in stride because it makes others guys laugh. And when you're laughing , you're usually playing well.

Don't want to answer questions? Leave your clothes off. Chances are reporters won't come near you. If I really feel like messing with the beat guys, I'll wear a shirt and nothing else. Especially if they've been writing negative stuff about me. At first they think it's safe to approach, until they realize it's not.

I know of one American League pitcher who is so consumed with the size of his penis-he thinks it's too small- that he is constantly screaming, "Look what God did to me!"

Mayne Street, an article by Kenny Mayne with Brian Wilson.

How often are you asked about sharing a name with a famous Beach Boy?
"At least 7 times a day. Now I just say, 'I am him. I'm done with music and now I've started playing baseball.' I've also said he's my uncle."

For the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Championship Series, do the Giants adjust the roster?

And as far as playing time, is Pablo Sandoval going to see time or is it Mike Fontenot or bust?
And since Pablo's being punished for not fielding or hitting, where does that leave the struggling Juan Uribe?

Who asked Ya?

I say you play a player according to how well he has done when facing a particular pitcher.
If Aaron Rowand has success against Cole Hamels, you start him. If Pablo hits Roy Halladay you insert him into the lineup. The Giants need to score runs to ease some of the pressure off of their pitchers.

During the regular season, Eli Whiteside hit a homer off of Halladay. He should be the first player considered as a pinch-hitter if the situation calls for such a move. Don't forget, Pablo has caught. If Posey were to get dinged and Whiteside was already used, you still have the Panda. Don't discount the Panda. He may have some magic yet to add to this 2010 season.

(thanks to ESPN mag for the "naked" takes. A slice of (baseball) life.)

Kevin J. Marquez

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Just Showing Up is a Colossal Waste of Time

In Mr. Arangure's theories as to why the left-handed pitcher usually wins the battle when facing the left-handed batter he offers:

The culprit may be the specialization of pitching, which has filled bullpens with LOOGYs (Lefty One-Out Guys...Javier Lopez of the San Francisco Giants). Their sole task is to get lefthanded hitters out, usually with breaking balls away. Some pitchers, like Pedro Feliciano of the New York Mets, sets up on the edge of the pitcher's rubber closest to first base, then pitches with a deceptive sidearm delivery.

A lefty hitter must either open his stance so he can see the wide release point, or use his normal stance and hope he reacts quickly enough to make contact when he finally sees the pitch.

It is thought that opposing managers can neutralize slugging left-handed batter (Ryan Howard) in close games by using LOOGYs. The same can be said of rightfield Jay Bruce, Joey Votto's teammate.

Even with the preponderance of LOOGYs, some say the failure of lefty hitters is really just a product of laziness. "You have to work on it and do your homework," says Hall of Fame lefthanded hitter Tony Gwynn, who batted .325 against southpaws for his career. "The video is there if you want it. To get better you have to practice. I know it's tough and it's a long season. But for me, I hated to suck."

You hear all of the time how the great ones put in the work. And for some it was something as simple as that classic quote of Tony Gwynn. God bless people like Tony Gwynn. Too much suck-age exists in the world today with people who don't mind doing something for the fun of it. Not thinking for one minute that maybe they are taking away someone elses fun by doing what they do so badly.

If you are going to do anything you have to want to do your best. Practice. Do the work to make yourself better. I'm glad you showed up to practice now break a sweat. Try to catch that popup that doesn't appear to want to reach you so you can do that useless behind the back catch. And maybe on the third or fourth anemic popup you can see that you are getting closer to catching the weakly hit ball. If you just let it land, figuring there was no way you could catch it, why did you show up for practice?

In a team sport, just "showing up" is a colossal waste of time. Because there are those who want to put in the work to make themselves better.

As for the batter hitting the weak pop-ups, perhaps s/he is trying hard not to hit the ball so poorly and s/he's doing everything physically possible to change the ineptitude of his/her bat-on-ball contact results. For that there must be the realization that perhaps s/he should be doing something else.

When you put in the work and are dedicated to making yourself better you generally see some sort of improvement. And any improvement motivates you to continue your efforts into making yourself better. But if you're skills have deteriorated to the point of zero results you may be attempting to do something you just are not able to do.

Why put yourself into a situation where no progress is made no matter what you do?

An exception would be an injury. You do the therapy and it may take a certain amount of time to be able to walk. Heck, some quacks may tell you that you can never walk again. But that's not stopping you. And in all your efforts you continue to fall flat on your face. Yet you still go to church and pray that some day you may walk again and the days become months, months become years and you still feel like some days are better than others. (Those days in which you caught yourself before you bit carpet/tile/turf, etc.).

Then again, this may be the one thing that is keeping you alive. The will and desire are so great that you will not stop trying.

This isn't "just showing up" because that's all about effort. This is your livelihood that has been effected by an injury your body is having a hard time healing from.

But if it is a recreational thing (just to get out and get some fresh air) please, do more than 'just showing up.'

(inspired by ESPN mag article by Jorge Arangure, Jr. in 9/6/2010 edition)

Kevin Marquez

Monday, October 4, 2010

Nice Acquisitions Added by Sabean

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants!

A tip of the cap to the players and to general manager, Brian Sabean, for adding the necessary ingredients to a team that needed a little of this and a little of that to get over the HUMP.

When you look up and down the roster you recognize Pat Burrell and Andres Torres as genuine steals. Cody Ross and Mike Fontenot (whose beard is as scary as anyone's on the Giant roster) have been contributors as well. And this is big because when you are traded to a team you want to feel a part of that new team and all of the above have most definitely contributed and will continue to do so in the post-season.

But the Giant bullpen really came together as the season wore on when San Diego's well-used bullpen ran out of gas. Acquisitions such as Santiago Casilla, Guillermo Mota, Ramon Ramirez and Javier Lopez added to an already reliable corps.

And although Jeremy Affeldt had an off-year, you almost had to expect it since last year was an unbelievable season. Sergio Romo had a unsettling start but he has pulled it together to be a very solid addition. And Brian "Don't Worry Baby" Wilson, what can you say other than the guy is the heart and soul of the bullpen.

A bullpen that pulls together is one that is easy to root for. And Brian Sabean gets kudos for the trades he didn't make and those ones he did pull off. The chemistry on this team is special and you have got to believe because they believe in one another that anything is possible.

First opponet in the 2010 post-season, the Atlanta Braves. What d'ya say Giants' fans, let's put a kibosh on that oh so tired tomahawk chop.


Note: Pat Burrell was born on 10/10/1976. Sunday is his birthday. And the date will read: 10/10/10. Are the stars aligning or what?

Kevin Marquez