One to Go…

Juan Uribe has signed a 3-year $21 million deal with the Dodgers.  

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My first real Giants break up.  I was under no illusions that this team would stay the same forever. Heck, it didn’t’ stay the same throughout the season. But I also knew it would be weird to see players I’ve come to love wearing someone else’s uniform, a freakin’ Dodgers uniform, no less.  
I’ll miss his ability to hit clutch, and I love him at third base way more than the Panda.  On the other hand, I’m glad the Giants didn’t spend that kind of money to resign a 31 year old who hasn’t had a .300+ batting average since his debut in 2001.  
Speaking of resigning old players, I’m not AS stoked as I was last post about Huff returning, now that they’ve announced that the deal consists of a 2-year $20 million contract.  I don’t think I would have paid that much.  There’s a reason it’s called a “career year” (singular).   Let’s hope it pays off.  
Ch..ch..ch..changes.  Now we need a new shortstop. 
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One Down…

So I guess I just needed to be patient one more day and I would have had something to talk about.  Aubrey Huff has returned with a two-year contract with a club option for 2013.  

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I don’t necessarily want everyone back, but Huff was certainly on the Want List.  He had a great season this year, he was the home run leader with 26 and third in batting average with .290.  
Rk Pos Age G AB R H HR ▾ RBI BA
1 1B Aubrey Huff* 33 157 569 100 165 26 86 .290
2 SS Juan Uribe 30 148 521 64 129 24 85 .248
3 C Buster Posey 23 108 406 58 124 18 67 .305
4 LF Pat Burrell 33 96 289 41 77 18 51 .266
5 OF Andres Torres# 32 139 507 84 136 16 63 .268
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/23/2010.
He’s was also seventh place in this year’s NL MVP, which is pretty cool.  That means he’s officially the 7th best player in the National League, right?  Okay I guess it doesn’t mean that, but it’s cool anyway.
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It’s funny because when he was first signed, no one, including myself, was particularly excited about the acquisition.  He was an old guy with a .189 batting average for 2009 and if you Googled him, all you could find was a picture of him topless on the Howard Stern show.  I was way more interested in Mark DeRosa.  Just shows what the hell I know eh?  Or any of us, for that matter.    
He may have cooled off a bit towards the end of the season, but he was also there from the beginning and was bound to be a bit more tired than guy who just came out of the woodwork at the last minute.  No one can argue that Huff wasn’t an integral part of this year’s World Series win, both on and off the field, and I hope his presence next year keeps the fires lit.  
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I guess this means the rally thong won’t be going to the Hall of Fame just yet.  

Questions

Man post-post season is ridiculously boring, isn’t it?  Even Jane Heller has been reduced to move reviewing.  There could be news if someone would actually do something, but so far there’s just unanswered questions, like…

1) Will Aubrey Huff and Juan Uribe like their offers and come back next year?
2) Will Jonathan Sanchez, Andres Torres, Cody Ross, Mike Fontenot, Ramon Ramirez, Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez and Chris Ray come to arbitration agreements?  
3) Will Zito learn to pitch again or will they downgrade him to an 8 bazillion dollar bench warmer?  
4 Will Pablo Sandoval be playing next season or will he eat himself out of baseball during the break?  
5)  Will Mark DeRosa…do…um…anything?  
Heck, I’m so bored I’m even watching to see what happens to Jeter and Werth!  I think they should come to the Giants.  Yeah right.

World Series Wrap-Up

As I’ve complained about numerous times already, just as the Giants win the World Series, I had to leave town.  Went to Seattle for work, a town that wasn’t necessarily as excited about the Giants winning as the Bay Area, though I did get a few “go Giants!” while walking Seattle’s streets in my Giants sweatshirt.  I should have invested in a He-Cam so that I could interview some of them, as I was curious whether or not these pro-Giants people were actual fans stranded in Washington or just happy the Giants won over the Rangers (or maybe just knew the Giants won because they read the paper and like to shout out “woo hoo!” when the opportunity presents itself).  But I didn’t interview any of them, so now we’ll never know who they were. 

Of course, now that I’m back, there’s Giants Giants everywhere.  

A Parade For The World Champion San Francisco Giants

The Giants had a parade. I heard 1.5 million people showed up.

http://www.hulu.com/yahoo/http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hulu.com%2Fwatch%2F190941%2Fthe-tonight-show-with-jay-leno-brian-the-beard-wilson-part-1/embed/I5U2TqSSrCgFD7g5vdNZyg

Brian Wilson and The Machine were on the Tonight Show. Jay Leno still sucks.  (Make sure you watch both parts!)  

 

President Obama called to congratulate the Giants for their most excellent victory.  I love (no really) how he always has to make sure people know he’s a White Sox fan.

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Pablo is caught eating a Colossal Brownie Sundae made for six from Buca di Beppostill, apparently still determined to eat his way out of baseball.  According to Sabean, “Panda starts next year in minors if he doesnt get his act together.” Good.
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Renteria declined an offer from his home town to throw him a parade in favor of having the money go towards helping the Columbian flood victims.  MVP indeed.
Freddy Sanchez showed up on Lopez Tonight.  George Lopez is a better interviewer than Jay Leno
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This blog makes it on the latest leaders list for the first time at #31. Helps when the team you’re righting about wins the World Series, eh?  Now…which blog is Wonder Woman writing?

Giants-Rangers Game 4: Rookie Sensation

Who knows what this Bumgarner guy is going to do?  That’s what I was thinking going into this anyway.  I like the guy, but he hasn’t been ridiculously dominate or anything, and this is the World Series, and the potential tie-winning game for the Rangers.  So what’s he going to do?  How about this?

Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Madison Bumgarner, W (2-0) 8 3 0 0 2 6 0 2.18
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/1/2010.
The Giants shut down the Rangers for the second time this World Series.  The fifth highest scoring team in the majors in the regular season, and they’ve been shut down twice.  Yes yes Media, I know I know; their bats disappeared.  Funny how that keeps happening when the Giants are in town.  
I knew it was going to be a good night when it seemed like the innings where Texas was pitching took forever whereas the innings where the Giants were pitching were like one, two, three.  I think Tommy Hunter averaged about twenty pitchers per batter, seemed like.  Stands to reason he only lasted four innings, the dude must have been tired.  
Bumgarner, on the other hand, lasted eight, and probably could have went all nine, but I guess since it’s the World Series and all, Bochy decided to play it safe and bring in Wilson for the last inning.  The guy has to do something this series, right?  
Considering the scores of the first two games, not a great deal of offense from the Giants last night, but in a shut out, I guess you only need one run.  Top of the 3rd, Aubrey Huff takes his new job as DH seriously and knocks one out of the right field, driving in Torres and making it a 2-0 game.  Freddy Sanchez was surprised:
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I was too.  Can’t remember the last time Huff hit a homer.  He used to do it regularly.  So there was the game winner.  In the 7th, Torres doubles in Renteria and in the 8th Buster Posey remembers who he was and slams another one out of the park, making it a 4-0 game. 
So one more to go.  I am on egg shells of course. Do not want to jinx anything.  Thirty-eight of the last 44 teams to have a 3-1 in the World Series went on to win, so good odds.  But still, there were those eleven who thought the same thing. 
I hope they win tonight, even though they’re still stuck in Texas.  Seems unlikely we’ll beat Cliff Lee twice, but a lot of things have seemed unlikely this season.  That’s kind of the Giants thing, to do the unlikely.  It’d be great if Lincecum clinched it, being Mr. Franchise and all.  Plus, I have to go out of town first thing Wednesday morning, and I want a day of celebration, which would have to be Tuesday.  So yeah Giants, do it for me, would ya?
WORLD SERIES WIN COUNTER
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Giants-Rangers Game 2: Cake Walks

I am completely confused as to what’s going on.  This is not Giants baseball as I have come to know it.  20 runs in two games?  Not that I’m complaining, mind you, it’s kind of nice actually.  Is this what games are like for other fans?  Lots of runs, great defense, no torture?  I could get used to it, but on the other hand, the pessimist in me is waiting for the other shoe to drop.  

It started out like a normal Giants game.  No runs for the first four innings, both Cain and Wilson (C.J. Wilson, now our Wilson) shutting out the competition.  Then Edgar Renteria decides to relive his past World Series experience and knocks one out of the park. 1-0, still a normal Giants game.  That run ultimately won the game BTW, but let’s keep going.
Bottom of the 7th, Juan Uribe, the other “old guy” on the team with post-season experience, knocks a single into right field and Cody Ross scores.  2-0 Giants.  Okay now, from past experience, the goal now is to keep those measly two runs and prevent the other guys from catching up by using our awesome bullpen to shut them down, sealing the deal with Brian Wilson.
But then the 8th happened.  Like this:
  • O’Day now pitching, strikes out Torres.  One out.
  • Freddy Sanchez up, strikes out.  Two out.
  • Buster Posey, single to second base.  Still two out.
  • O’Day replaced by Derek Holland. Nate Schierholtz walks.  Buster to 2B.  Still two out.
  • Cody Ross walks, Posey to 3B, Scheirholtz to 2B.  Bases loaded.  Still two out.
  • Aubrey Huff WALKS.  Posey scores.  Scheirholtz to 3B.  Ross to 2B.  Still two out.  SFG: 3, TEX: 0.
  • Holland out, Lowe in.  Walks Juan Uribe.  Scheriholtz scores.  Ross to 3B. Huff to 2B.  Still two out.  SFG: 4, TEX: 0.
  • Renteria singles to LF, Ross and Huff score.  Still two out.  SFG: 6, TEX: 0.  
  • Lowe out, Kirkman in.  Aaron Rowand triples to RF, Uribe and Renteria score.  Still two out.  SFG: 8, TEX: 0.
  • Andres Torres doubles to LF, Rowand scores. Still two out.  SFG: 9, TEX: 0.
  • Freddy Sanchez strikes out swinging.  Three out.

The Texas bullpen just died or something.  Giants score 7 runs in one inning, two from walks.  It was like one of those cake walks at the community fair, where everyone is just walking around in circles waiting for the music to stop.  It finally stopped after 7 runs.  Of course, as I said above, only 1 run was needed to win this game, so the 8th inning was just icing, but an icing that certainly boosted confidence and hopefully sucked some life out of Texas.  I guarantee you there will be a pitchers meeting before Game 3.  

Fear the ‘Fro again, people!  Matt Cain performed another shut out, keeping his post-season 0.00 ERA intact.  I’m so glad the world gets to see how awesome this guy is.  (Well, the world that’s watching, because y’know.. the Yankees and Red Sox aren’t in it this year.)   Ian Kinsler almost knocked one out of the park in the 5th, but he was about 10 cents short and the Ranger remained scoreless.  
Series Date Tm Opp Rslt Inngs IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
2010 NLDS g2 Oct 8 SFG ATL L,4-5 GS-7 6.2 7 1 0 2 6 0 0.00
2010 NLCS g3 Oct 19 SFG PHI W,3-0 GS-7 7.0 2 0 0 3 5 0 0.00
2010 WS g2 Oct 28 SFG TEX W,9-0 GS-8 7.2 4 0 0 2 2 0 0.00
21.1 13 1 0 7 13 0 0.00
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/29/2010.
Matt Cain everyone!
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Speaking of awesome pitching, and I don’t think I ever have spoken about this guy, but how sick is Javier Lopez?  His crazy pitching style had me from the beginning, but I always overlook him in my posts because he generally only pitches for one or two at-bats.  But they’re always smoking.  He takes out left handers like a freakin’ ninja with Chinese throwing stars.  His sideways looking bullet eliminated Hamilton’s last chance to get something going in the 8th.  It was a beautiful thing.
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So the Giants are 2-0 so far.  Everyone around here is getting all cocky again, just like they did in the NLCS. I hate that, personally. I guess I’m too negative to celebrate before anything is official.  Of course, all the premature back patters were right about the NLCS, so maybe they’ll be right about the World Series too.  I heard on the way to work this morning that a 2-0 lead has happened 51 times in World Series history, and of those 51 2-0 teams, forty have gone on to win the title.  Pretty good odds, but how much you want to bet the Giants were one of those 9 teams who didn’t make it?
Not to be negative though.  Be positive. But not too positive.  Everyone keep wearing the same hats, sweaters, lucky socks; whatever you’re doing keep it going.  Don’t change your routine now.  We’re in Texas now.  Enemy territory.  Don’t look ahead, focus on the next game.  Keep your cool, your determination, look for those lucky breaks to feed on.  Wait…who am I talking to?
GO GIANTS

WORLD SERIES WIN COUNTER
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Giants-Rangers Game 1: First Down

The Giants add another pitcher’s pelt to their wall next to Jimenez, Latos, Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels.  Here’s Cliff Lee’s new post-season stats:

Rk Series Date Tm Opp Rslt H R BB SO HR
1 2009 NLDS g1 Oct 7 PHI COL W,5-1 6 1 0 5 0
2 2009 NLDS g4 Oct 12 PHI @ COL W,5-4 5 3 3 5 0
3 2009 NLCS g3 Oct 18 PHI LAD W,11-0 3 0 0 10 0
4 2009 WS g1 Oct 28 PHI @ NYY W,6-1 6 1 0 10 0
5 2009 WS g5 Nov 2 PHI NYY W,8-6 7 5 3 3 0
2010 Postseason Series Tm Opp Rslt H R BB SO HR
6 2010 ALDS g1 Oct 6 TEX @ TBR W,5-1 5 1 0 10 1
7 2010 ALDS g5 Oct 12 TEX @ TBR W,5-1 6 1 0 11 0
8 2010 ALCS g3 Oct 18 TEX @ NYY W,8-0 2 0 1 13 0
9 2010 WS g1 Oct 27 TEX @ SFG L,7-11 8 7 1 7 0
48 19 8 74 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/28/2010.
That “L” on the last row? That’s the Giants.  Not only does nobody think the Giants are going to win this series, absolutely nobody saw them defeating Lee, especially in an 11-7 game.  The Giants don’t have offense, what was that about?
Even I’m somewhat baffled.  I’m not sure what any of it means.  I would have preferred that the Giants kept the 8-2 score they had in the 5th, that makes more sense to me.  The Giants strength all season has been their ability to keep runs at bay.  So it concerns me that after Lincecum leaves the game the bullpen gives up 5 more runs in 4 innings.  Yes, the Giants scored 11 runs and took the win, but can they do that all the time?  Are they going to have to?  They’ve only scored double digits fourteen times this season. 
On the other hand, I’ve heard the Rangers are pretty good about not giving up runs too, especially Cliff “third greatest post-season pitcher of all time” Lee, and yet they gave up 11.  So I really have no idea what to make of this game.  Maybe it was a fluke for both teams. 
I would like to think that the Rangers 3 runs in the 9th were mostly because Bochy didn’t put in Wilson right away, per usual, and I would like to think that the reason he did that was because the Giants were far enough ahead that he wanted to save Wilson and give other closers a chance to see some action.  Of course, it didn’t work out for Ramirez or Affeldt and Wilson ended up coming in anyway, but maybe those last 3 runs were “freebies” or something.  
Another “battle of the great pitchers of all time” hype that didn’t live up to itself.  Despite giving up more runs, Lee tied Lincecum in the hits department, dominated him in strikeouts and ultimately ended up with a slightly better ERA, even though he pitched one less inning.  But obviously, given the amount of runs in the game, neither star pitcher gave his best performance and the media was once again sad.
The tack-on offense was just amazing last night.  Consider that the Rangers had 8 hits off Lincecum but only generated 4 runs, while the Giants had 8 hits off Lee and generated 7 runs.  The singles and double just kept coming, and it always seem like it was when there were two outs.  Freddie Sanchez made World Series history by hitting three doubles in one game, generating three RBIs.  Posey, Schierholtz, Ross, Huff and Ishikawa all got to contribute RBIs and Juan UUUU-Ribe once again batted one out of the park with two on base.  God I love that guy.  He doesn’t always hit, but when he hits it’s always good.
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Aside from the lame Fox announcers, two things I hated about last night’s presentation: 1) They completely skipped the opening pitch by Giants hall-of-famers in favor of focusing on two igits in the press box who, by their own admission later in the game, don’t know what they’re talking about.  How come I had to watch them instead of watching Orlando Cepeda, Gaylord Perry, Juan Marichal and Willie McCovey?  I don’t even know what they said.  Who cares what they said!  2) Didn’t get to see whether or not the crowd cheered when they announced Bengie Molina.  That was a discussion around the bay area all week, as to whether that would happen.  I heard on the radio this morning that they did in fact cheer his name, and I’m glad for it. I love the Bengie, even if he’s in the wrong colors.  
Speaking of Bengie, his latest blog entry is full of warm-hearted goodness.  My favorite bit:
The first time I was up, I wished Posey luck and he wished me luck. Then I looked out at Lincecum and touched the bill of my cap, and he touched his in response.
 
I had as special a relationship with Timmy as I have had with any pitcher. Maybe because he was so young when I began catching him and I became a mentor to him. We have texted since I was traded but I had not seen him or talked to him in person until the game yesterday. I had heard he had said really nice things about me to the press.
 
When he came up to bat for the first time, I stood and told him, “I want you to know that hits or no hits, win or lose, you’re my boy.”

“Hey, Be-Mo, I love you.”

Then we both got to work.

Awesome.  

Game 1 is in the bag.  Cliff Lee defeated.  The Giants are 1-0.  We’re still making the media scratch their heads in bewilderment.  Keep it up!  

GO GIANTS!


WORLD SERIES WIN COUNTER
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