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!  
theybegiants.jpg
Can ya feel the legacy yet?

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…

featuredblog.jpg
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:
septleaders-sex.jpg
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. 

septleaders-teams.jpg
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:
2010bobbleheadgrid.jpg
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…

Brew Ha Ha!

So can we like play the Brewers ever day? 

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GOD we needed that!  A four game winning sweep.  And it wasn’t even torturous like so many Giants wins.  I don’t even have to talk about awesome pitching today, because there was HITTING to be talked about!  50 hits to be exact, 34 RBIs, 36 runs, EIGHT homers!  Was I watching the right team? 

imposter.jpgGame 3 was by far my favorite.  Right off the bat, home runs by Torres, Huff and Posey in the first inning.  THE FIRST INNING.  Three home runs in the first inning apparently hasn’t happened for the Giants since Bonds, Kent and Burks in 1999.

homerunners.jpgThen in the 4th, they load the bases.  Big deal, they load the bases all the time.  They also leave hitters stranded all the time.  But NOPE! everybody gets in.  Then they load the bases again.  And…GRAND SLAM by Posey for his second home run in the game, and first major league career grand slam. 

grandslambyposey.jpgIt was definitely Posey’s weekend.  9 hits, 9 RBIs, 6 runs and 4 home runs, in four games.  I’ve said it before, but I’m repetitive: you can’t be named Buster Posey and not be a good baseball player.  Forget skill and hard work, it’s the name.  His parents were geniuses.  (Unless they liked football or something.)  In 2083, there will be documentaries interviewing old, denture wearing dudes who can’t stop talking about what a great ballplayer Buster Posey was.  “He had it all!”  It just sounds right.  Buster Posey. 
vintageposey.jpgToo bad he’ll probably be traded to the Yankees.

cliffleetraded.jpgAnywho, we face the media circus tonight.  Strasburg!  Say that with a heavy German accent.  Sounds scary, right?  Bit worried of course, but I’m also feeling cocky after a four game winning streak and the fact that we did alright against Jimenez.  Besides he’s only one guy and one game.  We’ve got a 2-1 record against the Nationals this year and 225-207 all time.  We’ll be alright.

liljinx.jpgStill in 4th place, but only 5 games behind now.  Crawling our way back up!

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk
1 SDP 50 35 .588 W 1
2 COL 47 38 .553 3.0 W 4
3 LAD 47 38 .553 3.0 W 1
4 SFG 45 40 .529 5.0 W 4
5 ARI 33 53 .384 17.5 W 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/9/2010.

SEA @SF | SF @ COL | OAK @ SF | SF @ SEA | MIL  @SF

Eeks, I’m behind.  That’s what happens when your weekend looks like this, I guess!

fixafaucet.pngSEA @ SF

seaatsf20100311.jpgSigh.  7-2.  Creamed too.  Three hits in five innings.  Sounds like the the hitting problems of last year may not be completely fixed, eh?  Lincecum still not doing so well because he had a huge raise and contract now and that’s why the word “ironic” was invented.  Actually I’m going to chalk that up to it being spring training and he’s just experimenting.  Yeah, that’s it.  DeRosa continues to play some decent small ball.   

SF @ COL

sfatcol20100312.jpgYay!  8-2.  Creaming the opposition this time.  (Wait, that sounds gross.)  Way to go Todd Wellemeyer on having your best spring training game yet, four scoreless innings and no walks!

OAK @ SF

oakatsf20100313.jpgAwww, bummer!  8-3.  First “rivalry” loss, and soooo close too.  Better than being clobbered, I guess.  Matt Cain not doing so hot this round, giving up five runs and eight hits.  Buster Posey still making hits though.  I like that name, Buster Posey.  Totally “famous” sounding baseball name.  How can a guy named Buster Posey not make it in baseball?

SF @ SEA

sfatsea20100313.jpgW00t!  Fine, you clobber us?  We’ll clobber you back!  9-3.  Kevin Pucetas retires nine Mariners and extends his scoreless inning streak to lucky number seven.

MIL @ SF

milatsf20030314.jpgAnd we end with a bummer.  9-4.  Nuff said.

Three wins, two losses and one new faucet.  Not a bad weekend, all-in-all.  It feels kind of redundant to keep recapping all this stuff, especially when there are people out there doing a way better job of it than I.    But I guess I’ll keep doing it, because what else is there to talk about?  Would be great to actually SEE one of these games sometime, but apparently MLB.tv only likes the Yankees and Red Sox. 

Still on fake-top!

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How We Do 2010

With the real season coming up here quick, let’s take a moment to see what we look like in the grand scheme of things before we add another year of numbers.  (AKA, another excuse to make charts in Excel!) 

w-l2010part1.jpgFrom beginning of time to last season, the Giants rank #2 in the league for win percentage.  Not bad really.  The Yankees are the winner, of course, and it doesn’t look like they will be dethroned anytime soon.  Dodgers are catching up, but we still got a decent enough gap there.  (And just as an FYI, we rank #1 in total actual wins, but since not every
team started in the 1800s, that standing isn’t exactly a fair comparison.)

And since I was at it, here’s the rest of the league, for my imaginary readers whose team didn’t make the top 15:

w-l2010part2.jpgI’m betting Rays fans are hard core. 

Now about some head-to-head?  How do we compare to other teams on a face-to-face level? 

head-to-head-2010national.jpgGiants are still beating out everyone else in the National League.  They have more wins vs losses than each and every team, though it looks like the Dodgers are a few wins away from pushing that bar to the left.  But that’s what makes good rivalry, right?  Who wants to have a rivalry with a team that sucks?

head-to-head-2010american.jpgAmerican League is kicking our butts a bit harder.  Of course, we face them much less, which makes each loss much more powerful than the National League chart.  Looks like 6 out of 14 teams are beating us more than we’re beating them, including the A’s, which…sucky!  Still above average though.

All-in-all not a bad state of affairs.  Again though, this is over the Giants entire history, so I’m betting a lot of their momentum was built back in the day. Best make sure we keep things going so we can stay on top, eh?

The Mighty Giants

Mottoes?  Subtitles?  Tag lines?  Slogans?

I don’t know what they’re called, but some teams have “we rock!” type sayings on top of their websites, as well as in their stadiums, on merchandise, and anywhere else they can think to plaster it. 

Up until Spring Training came along, the Giants’ slogan read, “Your Giants.”  Now it reads, “It’s Magic Inside.” 

I don’t know how often these things change, or whether anyone even pays attention to them when they do, but can I say yuck on the new idea?  Now they sound like they play at the Magic Kingdom or were turned into candy bars or something.

Here’s a commercial with the new slogan, invented by the marketing genius that is Swirl:

I liked “Your Giants” better.  It sounded more personal to us, like “Hey!  We have our very own team!  Cool, huh?”  It also sorta paralleled or bizarro-fied the evil Dodgers slogan of “This is My Town.”  Yours.  Mine.  See?  It goes together. 

So who else has tag lines? I tried to Google the answer, but either I can’t effectively search for a complete list because I do not know what to call them, or no one cares about them and hasn’t bothered to make one. 

So I’ll make one.

As of right now, at least based off their websites, of the 30 major league teams, 11 have slogans, 5 on the American League and 6 on the National League.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

  • Chicago White Sox – There Are Traditions.  And There Are White Sox Traditions.
  • Cleveland Indians – Are You In The Tribe?
  • Detroit Tigers – Always A Tiger
  • Seattle Mariners – Believe Big

NATIONAL LEAGUE

  • Atlanta Braves – The Excitement Of Turner Field
  • Florida Marlins – Serious Fun.  Get On It!
  • Los Angeles Dodgers – This Is My Town
  • Pittsburgh Pirates – Pride. Passion. Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • San Francisco Giants – It’s Magic Inside.
  • Washing Nationals – Nats Town: Get Your Red On

So who wins?  I don’t know, maybe the Dodgers, doesn’t that suck?  I like the Pirates’ and White Sox’ too, though “Sox traditions” make me think of cheating, so maybe that’s not so hot. 

It’s Magic Inside.  Bleh.