I’m Not Here

While I was excited that MLBlogs was moving everybody to WordPress.com and away from the horror that is Moveable Type, I guess I wasn’t that excited because it took me three months to get around to checking out the relocation.

Since I’m retired and not really here, I’m not sure why I felt the need to change the look of this blog, other than I’ve never really liked the three themes we were offered at the old MLBlogs and was excited about the opportunity to use any WordPress theme I want.  In the end, I went the unoriginal route and am trying out their latest and greatest theme. I’m not sure I love it, but there’s lots of fun stuff to play with, so I’m keeping it for now.  (I hope there’s a way to change the link color to something other than Dodger Blue though!)

As for the year-in-baseball so far, this is my second year actively following the Giants, and it pretty much reminds me of last year.  They can pitch, they can’t hit, their roster is full of “old guys” nobody wanted and rookies with crazy potential, and they are constantly being written off as an impossibility but continue to be contenders.  Actually, the only real difference between this year and last year is that they have been first in their division for a much greater duration than they were last year because the unstoppable Padres are a thing of the past and dead last.

Without this blog, I must admit to not paying as much attention to the team this year as I did the year prior.  I don’t have to know what happened in a game or series if I don’t have to write about it.  Not that I watched ever game religiously last year either (I have a family that competes with the television) but if I missed a game last year, I made a point to at least watch the highlights and read the recaps.  I’m not quite as religious about that now.

But that said, I still listen to sports radio and have kept up with the team’s status and player changes, and sneak in a game every once in awhile on the television when the kids are asleep and the wife is engrossed in a gardening book.  I’ve even gone to two live games so far this season (I am 2-0) and have another scheduled for next week, which I think ties me for last year’s game attendance count.

So to recap, I have no idea what I’m talking about.  I am into them as much as I was last year, I guess it just feels “less” because I’m not constantly forming what I see and hear into paragraphs.  Is that good or bad?  Am I back or just goofing around?  I don’t know, but here’s another post.

WordPress sure is cool, isn’t it?

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. 

Texas vs San Francisco

It’s the day before the next and final hurdle, so here’s where I’m supposed to see how Texas ranks against San Francisco, how their pitchers do against our batters, etc. but I don’t really feel like it.  

For one, it hasn’t really mattered.  All these post-season teams are closer to each other than most people seem to want to admit.  So it doesn’t really matter if so-an-so’s ERA is has a .04 difference to the opposition.  What happens during the games is what matters.  
Secondly, post-season stats and regular season stats seem to be two different beasts.  Was Cody Ross a hero during the regular season?  Nope.  Has Buster Posey hit anything I can remember in the post-season?  Nope.  Comparing Cliff Lee to Tim Lincecum doesn’t really work because Cliff Lee is a post-season 1.26 ERA god, whereas during the regular season nobody’s looking at his 3.98 ERA twice.  
Lastly it’s kinda hard to compare how two teams played each other this year when they didn’t play each other this year.  
So I’ve got nothing to offer this series. Just like when I post all those stats, ultimately we all have to just wait and see what happens.  
Speaking of “seeing what happens” it’s really great to read and hear about how few people will want to see what happens because apparently these two teams are insignificant and not worth tuning into.  I don’t get why everything has to be East Coast all the time. Why do the same teams have to play every year for people to tune in?  How fun is that?  Why does it have to be Yankees/Phillies for it to matter?  
Why do the Giants NOT matter when they’ve been around since 1883 and have a W-L record second only to the Yankees?  How does that make them insignificant?  Granted, all their World Series success was in New York, but they’ve had division and pennant titles since then they almost always have a star or two on the roster, and are generally fairly competitive in a difficult division.  
In fact, as far as baseball history, franchise, legacy stuff goes, the Giants should be way up there.  Certainly the top in the National League, alongside the Dodgers.  But the way everyone’s acting, it’s like they have to watch the Diamondbacks vs the Mariners or something. Geez people, try a little West Coast once in a while, it’s not that bad!
Okay I need to stop watching and reading sports news, at least until the series is over. It’s making me bitter, and I want to be in a good mood right now.  The Giants are in the World Freakin’ Series!  Y’all ain’t gonna get me down!  
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Can ya feel the legacy yet?

Meanest Stadiums

I went to Yahoo Answers yesterday and posed the same question I posted here.  Got sixteen responses, some voting twice, some not at all. Here’s the result:

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Not the biggest sample size, and somewhat convenient that the most hated team also has the meanest fans.  On the other hand, I can see New York being mean, that’s kind of their thing, isn’t it?  

Braves-Giants Game 4: Onward

Well I was right about the close games, but wrong about it taking five.  Giants are off to the Championship after winning game 4 in Atlanta:

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My grandma decided to fall down in her shower the other night, so I had to miss most of the game to go visit her.  Geez, doesn’t she know it’s the playoffs?  How rude.  Anyway, got to listen to the tying and winning run on the radio on the commute home, which was actually the way to go because you get to hear the announcers you’re used to rather than the strange TBS personalities that just don’t seem right.  
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Got home in time to hold my breath and watch Wilson get the three last outs in his typical dominating, yet torturous fashion.  I swear he does it on purpose, letting the opposition taste the bases just a little bit before going in for the kill.  Makes it more dramatic.  Makes us love him more too, I think.  He knows it. I want this shirt.
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Once again it was tainted with another possible error as what may have been a second out turned into an opportunity for a winning RBI from Cody Ross.  I guess it’s lame for me to complain about good/bad calls when they’re in the Giants favor, but I just don’t like the ambiguity of it all, regardless of who comes out on top.  
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Glad we won it in four, but sucky that we weren’t at home when it happened.  Kind of depressing to see a stadium full of sad faces.  Especially sad to see Bobby Cox saying goodbye to the crowd.  Look like he had shrunk three inches after the game was over. 
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The series is over, thank god.  Was definitely not my favorite, but ultimately the Giants came out on top and they’re moving on the Championship round.  Woo hoo!  The Phillies are certainly scary but I’m looking forward to playing them anyway.  Funny how when I first started this blog and starting paying closer attention to baseball in general, it was around this time last year when the Phillies were playing the Dodgers in the NLCS.  Now they’re playing the Giants in the NLCS.  Let’s hope they fair better than the Dodgers, eh?
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Features

Hey, another first for me.  I’m the featured blog this uh…day?  Week?  Arbitrary amount of time? Anyway, thanks to whomever picks that stuff, that’s awesome!  Oh the pressure…

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Weird to see myself called “Kaiser The Great” on the front page.  I guess it never occurred to me to change my display name to my actual name.  Done!  Nice to meet you, everybody.
The leaders list for September came also came out.  I’m always curious who makes up the Top 50 fan blogs.  So I cataloged a couple stats:
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I thought there’d be more females represented on the pie, but maybe that’s just me who happens to be reading mostly female written blogs.  Still a pretty good number considering sports are a “male thing” stereotypically. 

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No shocker that the Yankee blogs reign, but not really by much.  Giants come in third behind Phillies and general MLB content, so that’s cool. There’s only 20 teams on the list so 10 teams aren’t being represented, but I’m too lazy to figure out which ones.  I wish MLBlogs had a way a list of all blogs on their site, broken up by team/subject.  

Killing Time

I’ve got baseball on the brain, but at the same time I’m trying not to spend too much time and effort over analyzing every little thing about today’s game.  So instead I revisisited one of my favorite baseball sites, Flip Flop Fly Ball to see what latest and greatest graphs and charts were available to peruse.  And much to my delight, there was a bobblehead chart!  Check it.    

The first thing that came to my mind was which two teams gave away a bobblehead when the Giants were visiting.  Not an easy thing to figure out without researching every teams’ bobblehead activity, which is what I ultimately ended up doing.  (Like I said, this day is crawling way too slowly towards 7 PM!)   So using Flip Flop’s own key, I made my own chart:
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I found a few discrepancies in Flip Flop’s chart, but for the most part they’re the same, square-wise.  I added all the applicable teams though, so on the left side you can see what team was visiting during bobblehead day, and on the right you can see what teams gave away a bobblehead while being visiting. 
I would have assumed that most teams would decide to give away a bobblehead when they’re scheduled to play a bad team in an attempt to generate ticket sales.  The Phillies giving away a Roy Halladay bobblehead on the day they have to play the Pirates makes perfect sense.  (And photos of the sucker blew up all over Twitter, so obviously it worked!)  But then there’s the Dodgers giving away a bobblehead when the Giants came to play, and what would fill seats better than a Dodgers-Giants game?  
Note also that the Braves, Red Sox, Rockies and Yankees are too cool for bobbleheads (or draw enough ticket sales without gimmicks) and the White Sox was the only team to give away a bobble when the Red Sox and Yankees came to town (not enough of a draw for Chicago, I guess).  
I wonder if there’s a bobblehead website…