Saturday, November 27, 2010

Plague of the Plaque

(From an article in the SF Examiner on October 26, 2010, by Katie Worth,)

The story starts close to 100 years ago, when a graceful utility infielder named Eddie Grant spent 2 1/2 seasons on the New York Giants. He was not a typical ballplayer- in off-seasons he went to Harvard University and acquired a law degree.

"Harvard Eddie," as he came to be known, retired from the game at 32 years of age, in 1915. Two years later, World War I broke out, and though he was not drafted because of his age, he volunteered. In 1918, he was killed in battle in the French Argonne Forrest.

On Memorial Day in 1921, the New York Giants honored Grant by placing a plaque on a memorial-right in the middle of deep center field, at the Polo Grounds.

The plaque remained there until 1957, during which time the Giants won four (4) World Series titles. But when the Giants decided to move to San Francisco, the plaque disappeared.

The Giants let the mystery rest and little was said about the plaque until the late 1990s, when a Smithsonian article about up the war hero's history. During the next several years, multiple organizations offered to replace the plaque but the Giants' brass blew off the opportunity, saying Grant was part of New York Giant history, not San Francisco Giant history.

Finally, in the mid-2000s-after the team's most recent blown chance for a World Series title (I'm guessing 2002), and after several articles began linking the missing plaque with a string of bad luck with a title on the line stories- the Giants starting paying attention.

On Memorial Day 2006, a replica of the plaque was put up at AT&T Park near the Lefty O'Doul gate.

Said Pat Gallaher, president of Giants Development Services, "Baseball fans are so superstitious, and players are too, so you have to take this stuff seriously." "And if by putting up a plaque we can break some sort of curse, who's to say it's not the right thing to do."

As a Giants' fan I must add...This is just another example of the exemplary job done by the San Francisco Giants' front office.

Kevin J. Marquez

Everybody Does Things Their Own Way

Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays had background and personalities as well as their views on social issues that could not have been more different. Everything about the young Mays-apprehensive, amicable, fearful of controversy-Robinson contradicted. Robinson grew up amid affluence in Pasadena, California. Even as a boy, Robinson had a quick temper-he threw rocks at the father of a girl who called him a "nigger."

Unlike Mays, he could not abide blacks' second-class status, which led to repeated confrontations.

Branch Rickey saw Robinson's defiance as a source of strength, which he would need to endure the slurs. On his expense account, along with the usual items (such as meals, rent, transportation, cleaners, etc.) he inserted "humiliation," without specifying an amount, and suggested the Dodgers quantify the indignities he had suffered.

Robinson's frequent confrontations with the umpires prompted Jocko Conlan to say that Robinson "was the most difficult ballplayer I had to deal with... Jackie was one of those players who could never accept a decision...Almost every time he was called out on strikes or on a close play on the bases, there seemed to be a few words."

Mays, by contrast, rarely argued with umpires, would greet them as he jogged to center field, and was never ejected from a game-in 22 seasons. He says he couldn't help the team from the clubhouse.

Where Robinson bitterly opposed discrimination, Mays turned segregation into a profit center. In St. Louis, baseball teams stayed at the Chase Hotel, which banned black patrons. Robinson demanded that the Chase drop it's racial barrier, and in 1954 the hotel finally relented on a limited basis: blacks could sleep there but could not use the dining room, the swimming pool, or loiter in the lobby.

Mays didn't care about the Chase, he preferred staying in a black hotel. The Giants gave him the cash to cover the expenses for all the minority players, but the hotel waived their bill as long as they hung out in the dining room and bar- it was great publicity-and Mays divvied up the surplus cash among himself and the other banned players.

Don Newcomber, (former Brooklyn Dodger teammate) on Jackie Robinson, "He was the kind of man who had to make his presence felt. He sometimes overdid it. Like a boiler, he could not keep it all inside him."

Donald Honig said: "Robinson by virtue of seething pride, unforgiving resentments, his belligerency, and his outspokenness, was always the symbol of racial progress and aspiration. For some blacks, the innocent laughing Mays seemed too close to stereotype. Where Robinson threatened the social order, Willie approximated a comfortable fit."

Wells Twombley, of the San Francisco Examiner wrote: "The first time that it became obvious that racism was starting to slip in this country came one spring morning in 1966. On a Texas meadow here was this blue-eyed, freckle-faced grandson of a Klansman catching a fly ball in a Little League game and shouting, "Look at me, I'm Willie Mays."

(from the Autobiography of Willie Mays by James Hirsch)

I may eventually run out of stories to share.

Kevin J. Marquez

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Interesting Perspective

Jim Bouton, a former pitcher for the New York Yankees, Seattle Pilots, Houston Astros, Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves. He became famous for the book he wrote while with the Yankees entitled, Ball Four.

He has an interesting perspective that I'd like to share (as told in Willie Mays' Autobiography by James Hirsch)...

He said Mays's skin color was different than everyone else, and that difference thrilled us."
Bouton's exposure to race came mainly through baseball, where he noticed that few blacks sat on the bench. "They were the better players," Bouton says, "And Willie was the best."

"There were a lot of kids like me," he says, "who learned to love him before anybody told us we couldn't."

I too felt that way as a youngster (who saw his first major league ball games at the windy, not-yet enclosed Candlestick Park).

I remember collecting baseball cards and memorizing everything about the player from the information on the back of the card. And I remember thinking the black guys were the ones I liked the best.

I don't recall all of the bigotry by the "grown-ups" but I do know that some arguments, however futile, were over skin color and I always studied up on the ballplayers so if I was ever thrown into the argument I could backup my answer with facts. And for the most part, I was seen as some "know-it-all" punk, fat kid (and was told as much) because the conversation usually ended when I was allowed the opportunity to hit 'em with the facts (they selectively forgot for the sake of arguing.)

A Bill Clinton quote further expresses my feelings towards the "grown-ups," : "When you see someone doing something you admire," like Willie Mays- "the image of that makes a mockery of all forms of bigotry."

It works both ways.

Said Willie Mays, '... because it always seemed to me that when the fans cheered, I did better.'" "I believe this is true of every ballplayer who's every lived." To which the author added, Mays responded to carrots, not sticks.

Kevin J. Marquez (the know-it-all, punk, fat kid)

Jimmy Ray Hart (1963-1972)

Jimmy Ray Hart played for the San Francisco Giants from 1963 (a late season call-up) until 1972 (an injury plagued season). He ended his playing career as one of the original successful designated hitters with the New York Yankees, hitting 13 HRs and driving in 53 runs in 1973.

From Hookerston, North Carolina, probably more than a stones throw away from Andy, Barney, Floyd, Goober, Gomer, Opie and the others in Mayberry.

As the team captain, Mays remembered how Leo Durocher dealt with Dusty Rhodes. (Rhodes delighted in being known as Horace Stoneham's personal bartender.) Durocher didn't forbid it and actually gave him money for the booze. In exchange, Rhodes agreed not to consume alcohol for the rest of the week. Then Durocher would give him money again and Rhodes would make the same pledge.

Mays told Hart: "If you play for me 6 days, I'll give you one (1)." He explained that if Hart stopped by his locker every Monday morning, he (Mays) would give him a bottle. They shook hands on it.

Hart excelled under Mays's vigilance. When he was suspended he had 9 homers. In the last 68 games, Hart hit 14 homers, finishing the season with a .299 batting average and 96-runs batted in, while playing in 160 games. When that 1965 was over, Mays took $500 out of his wallet to give to Hart. "It's for telling me the truth and playing every day."

In 1964 Hart hit 31-HR, had 81-RBI and batted .286.
In 1966 Hart hit 33-HR, had 93-RBI and batted .285.
In 1967 Hart hit 29-HR, had 99-RBI and batted .289.

You could say Willie Mays saved Jimmy Ray Hart's career. Because he believed in Jimmy Ray. Unfortunately, the demons were too much and he was unable to conquer them to maintain a consistent level of play which would allow him to produce in the major leagues.

He missed a good portion of the 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1972 seasons due to various illnesses and or injuries. Upon further review, he had more "no show" seasons than respectable, productive seasons (5-4).

(from the Autobiography of Willie Mays by James Hirsch and

Kevin J. Marquez

Monday, November 22, 2010

Polo Grounds, Tallulah, Brotherly Love, Furman Bisher and 2010

(from the Autobiography of Willie Mays by James Hirsch)

The Polo Grounds was hunched on the eastern shoulder of Manhattan beside the Harlem River. Built at the foot of a cliff-Coogan's Bluff-so patrons actually walked downhill to their seats.

The oddity of the Polo Grounds was that no one ever played polo thee. The name was derived from a polo field used by a Giant team in the 1880s.

Baseball Magazine called the Polo Grounds "the mightiest temple ever erected to the Goddess of sport."

The stadium's most distinctive feature was its elongated shape-from above it looked like a horseshoe, a footprint, or even a bowling alley. The right field foul pole was 258' from home plate. The left field foul pole was twenty-two feet farther (280'). Many "pop flies" flew a little farther than originally anticipated as they became home runs if hit right down the lines. The stands, instead of curving into a conventional oval, extended straight out until they reached the outfield bleachers. The alleys were about 450 feet away from home plate. Dead center field was a staggering 505 feet, where the massive green scoreboard urged patrons to buy Chesterfield cigarettes and where the clubhouses offered a distant haven for a struggling pitcher sent to the showers.

Of course, with all of that real estate for Willie Mays to track down balls it made for great theatre. Donald Honig wrote, "Putting Mays in a small ballpark would have been like trimming a masterpiece to fit a frame."

Candlestick Park factoids...

Had artificial turf from 1970-1978.

While the Giants dugout and clubhouse were connected by a tunnel under the stands, the visitors dugout and clubhouse were not. The entrance to the visitor's clubhouse was located beyond the right field foul pole. Whenever visiting players, managers and or coaches were ejected from a game, they had to walk down the right field foul line to the clubhouse. This feature was a carryover from the fourth and final incarnation of the Polo Grounds. At the Polo Grounds, the clubhouses for both teams were located beyond center field. Like the visitors dugout at Candlestick, both Polo Grounds dugouts had no attached facilities other than restrooms and drinking fountains.
Actress Tallulah Bankhead. Her greatest passion was number twenty-four. "Everything he does on the field has a theatrical quality. Even when he strikes out he can put on a show. In the terms of my trade, Willie lifts the mortgage five minutes before the curtain falls. He rescues the heroine from the railroad tracks just as she's about to be sliced up by the midnight express. He routs the villain when all seems lost." Bankhead also noted: "There have been two geniuses, Willie Mays and Willie Shakespeare."
In 1954, three songs about Willie Mays were released.
"Amazing Willie Mays," by the King Odom Quartet.
"Say Hey Willie Mays," by the Wanderers.
And the most famous/popular, "Say Hey (The Willie Mays Song)" by the Treniers, a rhythm and blues group from Mobile, Alabama; the recording session was supervised by a young Quincy Jones.
In 1967, Phillie manager, Gene Mauch, said, "Willie Mays is not Willie Mays four times a game anymore."

When a Philadelphia Bulletin columnist repeatedly asked Willie why he was sitting out, Mays refused to answer. "I'm keeping my thoughts to myself." "You want a story, you write what you want." The columnist did just that: "Everybody thinks Willie Mays is nice, friendly, warm, sociable, fun-loving...a joy to be around. It will come as a shock to those out there in fantasyland that Willie Mays is cold, surly, suspicious, uncooperative. He is not an easy guy to talk to." Only in Philadelphia could you get that- description from a hack- about a player who was tired of answering lame questions by people who "fill-in-the-blanks" any way they see fit. I believe the word for that is confabulation.
(I first saw Furman Bisher back when the Sporting News was all-baseball all of the time)

"Willie Mays," wrote Atlanta Constitution's Furman Bisher, "wasn't supposed to grow old. He was supposed to go on forever, his cap flying off as he broke the sound barrier on foot, face bright and two eyes twinkling like stars, Willie Mays was born for eternal youth. Age is acting in direct violation of that code."
In the October 11, 2010, Sporting News there was a little piece had listed all of the teams that made it to the playoffs. For the GIANTS, a Division rival's view, it was Padre closer Heath Bell offering insights...

"They have a never say die attitude and tremendous hitters. Anybody in the lineup can come up with a big hit. They also have a great rotation and a solid closer. The only bad thing is it seems like they picked everybody up off waivers. They got Pat Burrell, Cody Ross. Maybe they have too many outfielders. Then again, if they all mesh together, they're going to win."

The man some call "Taco" Bell had some complimentary things to say about the Giants and proved to be accurate in his assessment. A tip of the cap to Heath Bell.

Kevin J. Marquez

Thursday, November 18, 2010

August 22, 1965 at Candlestick Park

Juan Marichal, the Domincan Dandy, was 19-9, 1.73ERA. Sandy Koufax, the nicknameless one, was 21-8, with an ERA of 2.10.

In the Roseboro-Marichal incident it really began the day before. When leadoff hitter, Maury Wills squared around to bunt, Giant catcher Tom Haller moved forward just then Wills pulled his bat back making contact with Haller's glove or mask. Catcher's interference was awarded. This was something Wills had in his bag of tricks and it atagonized the Giants.

Manager Herman Franks instructed Matty Alou to do the same thing Wills had done (as Alou was the leadoff hitter in the Giants' half of the inning).

Roseboro, who replaced Roy Campanella, had been the Dodger receiver since the team moved to LA. A stout, rugged, gold-glover who tried to unnerve hitters with his taunting and was unapologetic in his calling for knockdown pitches. "When a hitter is standing on top of the plate, fearless and swinging from his ass, you have to move him back," said the Dodger backstop.

Alou squared to bunt and pulled the bat back, but no interference was called. The move, however, distracted Roseboro, and the pitch missed his glove and smacked him in the chest protector. Roseboro was outraged. "You weasel bastard!" he snarled. Roseboro was going to get him.

From the bench, Franks and Marichal began barking at Roseboro. Roseboro was not one to back down. He yelled back, ridiculed Franks about his weight. Marichal yelled that Alou had only attempted what Wills had done one-half inning earlier.

Roseboro blared, "The next time something like that happens, you're going to get hit in the head with the ball."

Johnny Roseboro had invited trouble and it would come to him in a force he couldn't handle.

Next day, it was Marichal vs. Koufax.
Wills was the leadoff hitter. He leadoff with a bunt single. Later scoring on a double by Ron Fairly.

Wills' next at-bat, the Dominican Dandy dusted him off. Roseboro didn't like that, Wills was Johnny's roommate.

Top of the 3rd inning, Dodgers-2 Giants-1. Marichal moved Fairly off the plate and the Dodger bench began to bark.

Marichal was due to leadoff in the Giants' half of the inning and Roseboro lost all hope in Koufax dusting Marichal off. "Koufax was constitutionally incapable of throwing at anyone's head, so I decided to take matters into my own hands," Roseboro would say later.

Roseboro went to the mound and told Koufax to throw the ball down and in which would position him to buzz Marichal from behind the plate (on the throw back to the pitcher). First pitch was a strike. Next pitch was low and inside. Roseboro dropped the ball, picked it up and fired it back to Koufax. Marichal later said the ball nicked his ear.

Marichal turned around and yelled, "Why did you do that?" "You better not hit me with that ball!" According to Marichal, Roseboro cursed his mother. By the time Koufax, third base coach Charlie Fox and home plate umpire Shag Crawford could intervene, Marichal had struck Roseboro three times with glancing blows. Crawford stopped the swings by grabbing Marichal and throwing him to the ground.

Los Angeles rookie pitcher, Mike Kekich, had one arm around Marichal's neck but was not able to deliver the decisive punch. Afterwards Kekich says, "I blew it." (Kekich and former Yankee teammate, Fritz Peterson swapped wives. The swinger-who could connect with the ladies, was unable to help his Dodger teammate. Not very credible. More like dirtbag.)

Dodger coach, Danny Ozark was quoted as saying that Marichal 'was asking Roseboro to come and get some more. I guess. A guy like that would hit a woman." What do you mean, 'I guess.' And if he knew nothing of Roseboro's tactics while being positioned behind the plate his comments are no less credible than Mike Kekich's.

Koufax was so shaken by what had taken place that he walked the next two batters before Willie Mays. Mays launched a pitch for a home run and the Giants took a 4-2 lead. The Giants would win the game 4-3.

Though Roseboro admitted to starting the fight he wasn't disciplined. Are you kidding? So I guess, according to the powers that be, he got what he deserved? Marichal was fined $1,750. And 8 games (which came to 3 starts).

I have trouble with the decision not to discipline Roseboro.
Had Roseboro not went to the lengths he did to try to scare the beejeezus out of any hitter who he thought wasn't playing properly (as if Roseboro was judge, jury and ghostwriter of the infamous book of Unwritten Rules of Baseball) he wouldn't have tempted fate. But Roseboro did tempt fate and fate came-a-knocking.

Moral? Don't look for trouble or better yet, don't think you're big and bad enough to take the law (Rules of Game according to how you deem them) into your own hands. And that goes for San Francisco, San Mateo, Daly City and South San Francisco's finest.

We want umpires to protect the integrity of the game but nothing more than that. We don't need attitudinal punks over-officiating. Same with the police. We want you to protect us from those whose ignorance for the law should not be tolerated. If someone violates something or someone else, then apprehend the offender. But don't go looking for trouble and abusing your authority. Because then you lose respect.

Roseboro thought because he was bigger and badder than most ballplayers that he could bully his way around. Look what happened on August 22, 1965? A man much smaller than he was scared into self-defense any way he knew how. And that guy who defended himself was the one found guilty not the one who admittedly went out of his way to start what would be a very ugly event.

Blind justice, once again.

(August 22, 1965 came from the James Hirsch autobiography of Willie Mays.)

Kevin J. Marquez

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Looking Back in Giants' History

I'm still reading the autobiography on Willie Mays by James Hirsch.
I'm entering the year 1965.
But for this I want to go back to 1963.
July 2, 1963 to be exact. It was at Candlestick Park. The San Francisco Giants versus the Milwaukee Braves. On the mound were Juan Marichal for the Giants, Warren Spahn for the Braves. From here on I'll let Mr. Hirsch take over...

Neither team could score through 9 innings, and both Marichal and Spahn kept pitching. "In the 12th or 13th, he (Dark) wanted to take me out and I said, 'Please, please let me stay,'" Marichal recalled. "Then in the 14th inning, he said, 'No more for you.' And I said, 'Do you see the man on the mound?' And I was pointing to Warren. "That man is 42-years-old, and I'm 25. I'm not ready for you to take me out."

By the time Mays came to bat in the bottom of the 16th, with one out, he had gone 0-for-5 with a walk. But Spahn, after 276 pitches, finally made a mistake- a screwball that (as he put it) "didn't break worth a damn," and Mays hit it over the left center field fence, ending the 4-hour, ten minute marathon.

Two hundred seventy-six pitches. Are you friggin' kiddin' me? And he was how old at the time? Ya think the old-timers think today's pitchers are soft? Nolan Ryan has the proper approach and by golly he just may get up on the mound (during spring training) just to prove his point to the pitch-count stifled youth of today.

By the time he retired, Mays had hit a homer in every inning from one to sixteen (1-16). This may be a record that never gets broken.

During one week in August 1963, Mays hit 4 balls that struck the top of the center field fence in Candlestick, giving him four doubles instead of 4 homers. Holy Ian Kinsler! You mean that Game 2 shot by the Ranger second baseman, that for all intensive purposes told the World Series watching public that the baseball gods were smiling on the orange and black has happened before? And to the Say Hey Kid, no less!

When Matt Cain tightened things up and didn't allow Kinsler to score and the Rangers would be shutout and give the Giants a comfortable 2-0 lead in the best of seven series things were feeling pretty good. Even if the Rangers did win their Saturday contest at Texas, which they did.

But that was it, baby! There would be no more wins after Madison Bumgarner's gem and then the Tim Lincecum outdueling of Ranger ace Cliff "Getty" Lee, as in get outta here with that supposed "unbeatable" label.

Are you still enjoying the ride? I sure as heck am.

Kevin J. Marquez

As a Fanatic, I Need to Know!

When your favorite ball club is built around pitching it's good to know who the home plate umpire is for that day's game. For the entire post-season the Giants' KNBR/680AM had Mike Krukow give the lowdown on the home plate umpire. And his scouting report was flawless. In fact, if an umpire worked earlier and he was due to work again I had a pretty queasy feeling about the Giants' chances.

On at least three (3) occasions I was so disturbed by Krukow's scouting report on the ump's inconsistencies in calling balls and strikes that I chose not to watch the ballgame at Clooney's on 25th and Valencia. The Giants lost all three games. In the entire post-season the Giants were 11-4, and on these 3 nights I had a bad feeling and well, Krukow's scouting report was dead on.

I would like to see the Giants feature this throughout the entire 2011 season as a way of myself being educated on the ability of the umpire. Because I'm a little tired of seeing how the rulebook interpretation of what a strike should be is left to the umpire's interpretation. I want a little more information on the attitude in need of adjustment. As for other fans, the scouting report could be a warm-up for someone at the park who likes to interject a little heckle every now and then. He/she should be educated about the home plate umpire. And after Krukow's brief synopsis he/she can feel good about the things they are about to share with the crowd in regards to the man in blue behind the dish.

I must harken to a popular subtle reminder in closing. The 40,000 plus fans are NOT paying their hard-earned money to see YOU! They are paying their money to see the hometown team have a fair shot at defeating the opponent. And if the umpire calling balls and strikes has a bug up his ass chances are the fans (of a team built around pitching) may not like the outcome.

Kevin J. Marquez

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Men Behind the Champs

In Monday's SF chronicle, John Shea had an insightful article showing just how a "team" works. And we all know, this "team" pulled together and took all of the help coaches and scouts could afford them and made it work out for the best possible results. Let's reflect back on an article that points out just how well the San Francisco Giants pulled together as one big "team."

Brian Sabean is baseball's longest tenured general manager. He came up through the scouting ranks, dating to his NY Yankee days, and several of his top men are old Yankees, including Steve "Bye Bye" Balboni and Jim Lefebvre, who were teammates of Sabean in the 70's at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The pair spent the regular season one step ahead of the Giants. The two scouted upcoming opponents, chronicling strengths, weaknesses, tendencies and quirks.

During the postseason, most of the Giants' other 11 pro scouts followed playoff teams and passed info to Lefebvre and Balboni, who accompanied the Giants throughout October to report to the coaches in person after packaging the scouts' reports and examining a ton of video.

Pitching coach Dave Righetti said the coaching staff referred to the scouts as "Brian's merry band of Robin Hoods." Righetti called them "immeasurable" and added, "They're all ex-players who understand what we want. We don't want a bunch of junk. We need simple things. I want to get it to Buster so he could keep it simple and take it from there."

"I would say Buster is the knowledge man," said Dick Tidrow, the Giants vice-president of player personnel. "He was right on. He has a really good feel for what the hitter wants to hit. It's pretty enlightening how good a brain he's got to be able to do it under pressure and understand what the hitters can handle and the pitchers can do.

We haven't seen too much of that at that age. Most teams don't have an awfully young rookie catcher lead them to a World Series." (Yogi Berra did it for the Yankees in 1947.)

"We could tell them what the playoffs and World Series were like as far as media coverage and hype," J.T. Snow said. "You're so amped up, it was about trying to get these guys to relax. Just another game. Control the adrenaline. I wish I had somebody telling me that. It's a different animal."

For all that's accumulated outside the lines, what's done between the lines is what makes everyone, including scouts, look good.

"You have to give the pitching credit," Sabean said. "You could have the best scouting report in the world, but you still have to do it in real time. That's the nuance between the pitcher and catcher as the game develops."

(very informative article by John Shea. Thank you Mr. Shea.)

Kevin J. Marquez

Friday, November 5, 2010

Young Madison Reminiscent of Young Jim Palmer

Except for the obvious (Madison Bumgarner is a left-hander and Jim Palmer was a right-hander) both made their World Series debuts in fantastic fashion.

In 1966, the Baltimore Oriole 20-year old Jim Palmer pitched a complete game shutout. Walking 3 and striking out 6 while allowing 4 hits versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers would go on to win that series.

On October 31, 2010, Madison Bumgarner pitched 8 innings of shutout ball. Walked three, struck out six and allowed three hits before handing the ball over to closer Brian Wilson. Wilson had a post season for the ages. Holy Mariano Rivera, he was that good!

In ten games he pitched 11 and 2/3 innings. He allowed 5-hits and 4-bases on balls, while striking out 16. That's dominance. He picked up 6 saves and 1-win. No blown saves, no losses. And more important, no tortures to speak of. (Oh, there were a few doubters who quickly needed to be consoled because their negativity was upsetting some folks. But all was restored and happiness filled the air at Clooney's on 25th and Valencia.)

When your team has a combined 11-4 record in the division series, national league championship and World Series, you don't have too much time to panic. At least, I didn't.

Of course, I was the one with the headphones. So I had a head's up as to what was going to happen seconds before it did. I didn't let on as to ruin it for the others and I caught on quickly how to behave so that the others could enjoy the game and not endure too much torture.

From April to November, the Twenty Ten (2010) San Francisco Giants were the best team a fan could ever imagine. And, yes, good pitching does beat good hitting just about every time.

Kevin J. Marquez

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bruce Bochy

This guy got his team to believe they were the best. And you could see how badly they wanted to win for him. As the season crept into September you could sense this bond developing and these likable ballplayers putting it together to beat the odds.

Bochy listened to advice from management, heard what the media had pre-determined for his ballclub but only he knew how good his 25-man roster in the playoffs was and would be.

It was tough that Barry Zito didn't make the roster. But as the season played out you saw that he didn't belong on the roster. Pablo's inconsistency played a big part in how Bochy put together his starting lineup. It led to Bochy relying on Edgar Renteria. And he led them to the promised land. They all got to taste the forbidden fruits of their labor on November 1, 2010.

The Giants beat the Braves in Atlanta to move into the championship round.
The Giants beat the Phillies in Philadelphia to move onto the World Series.
The Giants beat the Rangers in Texas to win the friggin' World Series championship.
The Giants were 11-4 in the playoffs.

THAT WASN'T SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN. Three different times they were picked to pack their bags and head for home. I could say the prognosticators get the CACTUS (visualize what a cactus looks like and you'll understand what I'm saying. Something about the upright middle finger.).

Hoist a cold refreshing beverage to the perfect manager-Bruce Bochy- for a team like our 2010 San Francisco Giants.

Congratulations BOch. This one's for you.

Kevin J. Marquez


Edgar Renteria. The same guy I dubbed "Rent-an-error." Because at that time he was pitiful.
But the man knows when it counts most. And that's why Ed-Garrrrr, was MVP of your 2010 San Francisco Giants, the World Series Champs!

He was overpaid.
Brian Sabean sucks hind tit. What the heck was he thinking? (Feel pretty foolish now, eh? I don't 'cause I'm one of those guys, hey if you prove me wrong I can accept that I have egg on my face.
As for eating crow, you what goes good with crow? Lots and lots of beer, baby!)

All those prognosticating sons of bitches. We all know the playoffs are like a good mystery movie. Because you have no idea who will do what or how it will happen. You just got to watch the best do their thing. And when you have pitchers like the 2010 Gigantes, it'll be torture (for the opponent).

Matt Cain to capture Game 2. Madison Bumgarner to capture win #3. And Tim Lincecum to collect win number 4 (both his wins coming against Cliff Lee, a guy some of the experts were comparing to Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson and Whitey Ford. Sure, he was good but don't you think they got a little carried away?).

Bumgarner's 8-inning 3-hitter was the key to the mint. A twenty-one year old with the determination of a seasoned veteran. Or Lincecum's gem on Monday night versus the equally tough Cliff Lee. If not for a homer with two men on base versus the solo shot, they might still be playing. Hey, our only loss came because it was the Giants who hit the solo shots and the Rangers who had the 3-run homer.

Who would have thought that the guy batting ninth for the Rangers would be their best hitter. Heck, isn't that where Edgar batted and look at what he did. So much for where you bat in the order. It's all about producing when it's your turn to bat.

Last but certainly not least, Brian Wilson.
No torture in Game 5 at Texas. He just mowed 'em down. And then we got to watch our Giants celebrate. Tuh-Dah, baby!!

Kevin J. Marquez