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…

Olde Towne in Our Town

I haven’t posted since we got swept by the A’s back in May.  Maybe I was too depressed.  Maybe I’ve been too busy at work.  Maybe I have a hard time coming up with new ways to say “Yeah we won!” or “Boo we lost!” on a daily basis. 

In my absence, the Giants played the Nationals (2-1), the Diamondbacks (3-0), the Rockies (1-3), the Pirates (2-1), the Reds (2-2), paid back the A’s by sweeping ’em (3-0), the Orioles (2-1), Blue Jays (1-2) and the Astros (1-2).  In sum, we’ve won five series, lost two and tied once.  And we’re back in second place, with the Dodgers a half game behind us.  Not bad! 

Oh and my family and I were there for Friday night’s A’s game, Lincecum pitching, first of the sweep.  It was awesome. 

familyatgame.jpg
The day after the game, I ran in the Giant Race, which I won’t go into too much, other than to say it’s the farthest I’ve ever run, I don’t think I ate enough, I was pretty slow and it hurt really bad and I’ll probably do it again next year.  Oh and I got to touch home plate after the finish line, which was the only base I wasn’t able to touch during Fan Fest this year.   Here’s me almost dead.

homeplate.jpgBoston is in town, everyone is quite excited.  In the history of baseball, the Giants have only faced the Red Sox twice: in 2004 and in 2007. 

Date Tm   Opp RS RA W L
2004-06-18 San Francisco Giants Boston Red Sox L 9 14 0 1
2004-06-19 San Francisco Giants Boston Red Sox W 6 4 1 1
2004-06-20 San Francisco Giants Boston Red Sox W 4 0 2 1
For 2004, NYG and SFG won 2, BOS won 1.
Date Tm   Opp RS RA W L
2007-06-15 San Francisco Giants @ Boston Red Sox L 2 10 2 2
2007-06-16 San Francisco Giants @ Boston Red Sox L 0 1 2 3
2007-06-17 San Francisco Giants @ Boston Red Sox L 5 9 2 4
For 2007, NYG and SFG won 0, BOS won 3.
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/25/2010.

Our overall record with them is 2-4, which is not so hot.  The Giants are second place to the Red Sox third in their respective leagues right now, but the Sox have juuuuust a bit higher win percentage, and they’re on a winning streak while the Giants have just lost two: 

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk
1 SDP 42 30 .583 L 1
2 SFG 39 32 .549 2.5 L 2
3 LAD 39 33 .542 3.0 W 1
4 COL 38 34 .528 4.0 L 1
5 ARI 28 45 .384 14.5 L 2
Avg 37 34 .517
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/25/2010.

vs

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk
1 NYY 45 27 .625 W 2
2 TBR 43 29 .597 2.0 W 1
3 BOS 44 30 .595 2.0 W 1
4 TOR 39 34 .534 6.5 W 1
5 BAL 20 52 .278 25.0 W 1
Avg 38 34 .526
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/25/2010.

As far as pitching goes, we’ve got Sanchez, Martinez (who?) and Lincecum:

W L W-L% ERA G IP H R ER HR BB SO
Tim Lincecum 8 2 .800 2.86 15 100.2 83 34 32 5 39 113
Jonathan Sanchez 5 5 .500 2.90 14 83.2 62 32 27 5 39 82
Joe Martinez 0 1 .000 4.91 2 7.1 10 4 4 1 2 3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/25/2010.

The Red Sox have Wakefield, Buchholz and Lester:

W L W-L% ERA G IP H R ER HR BB SO
Jon Lester* 8 3 .727 3.03 15 98.0 73 34 33 5 40 102
Clay Buchholz 10 4 .714 2.47 14 91.0 76 31 25 3 37 62
Tim Wakefield 2 5 .286 5.33 15 79.1 84 50 47 12 17 44
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/25/2010.

Saturday might be hairy, as Joe Martinez hasn’t put in enough time to really make a prediction about him, but otherwise we’re looking good in the ERA category. 

Still it’s the Red Sox, and that name comes with some heavy.  Aside from the Yankees, they’re probably the only team that has fans that are just everywhere.  You don’t see Giants hats in Utah or Rhode Island, but you’ll see Red
Sox hats.  They seem big, bad and scary, somehow. 

red-sox-believer.jpgNeedless to say, everyone is excited.  Nose bleed seats are $90 a ticket, which I believe is the highest price venue for this season (but don’t quote me on that).  Regardless of the outcome, can’t say I’m not looking forward to it!

GO GIANTS! 

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?

Flip Flop Fly Ball

Craig Robinson’s Flip Flop Fly Ball site is my new favorite thing.  As self-described:

A love of baseball plus a love of infographics equals Flip Flop Fly
Ball
.

The thing is loaded with fun statistics in graphics form, and while I haven’t perused them all yet with equal scrutiny, here’s my current favorite (so far):

bestrecord09.png

CLICK FOR FULL SIZE

It’s crazy that the “best team” has only won the series three times since 1995, isn’t it?  (Since the Wild Card system has been in effect.)  I suppose that’s what playoffs are for, but so much for the reliability of stats, eh folks?  Also specifically interesting to the theme of this blog, the last time the Giants made it to the series was the only time that that two Wild Card teams went head to head.  (Giants lost of course – boo!) 

Salary vs. Performance

I came across this cool applet that displays a team’s salary by year and compares/contrasts it to their performance for the same year. You can slide the date bar on top around to see how your team did throughout the season, but here’s a screen shot for the end of 2009:

salaryvsperformance2009.jpgI don’t know how accurate this information is, or what to even take from it really. I keep reading here and there about how money makes teams in the MLB, but this chart doesn’t necessarily confirm that.  Although the Yankees pay the most and are #1, so there’s that.  But there are also a lot of red lines (bad performances) in the top 10 salary positions, so maybe money isn’t everything.  At least the Giants appear to have used their money wisely! 

Facebook Wars: The League

Last war, I swear, and this one’s all out.  Let’s see how the Giants fair in the National League:

National League Fans
Arizona Diamondbacks 57,822
Atlanta Braves 209,828
Chicago Cubs 446,474
Cincinnati Reds 72,063
Colorado Rockies 89,973
Florida Marlins 74,655
Houston Astros 102,833
Los Angeles Dodgers 118,844
Milwaukee Brewers 133,330
New York Mets 155,838
Philadelphia Phillies 272,750
Pittsburgh Pirates 59,735
San Diego Padres 58,558
San Francisco Giants 300,691
Saint Louis Cardinals 243,610
Washington Nationals 38,962

And the winner is…

nlfans.jpg
Alas, Chicago takes it, but second place for the Giants, not bad!  Even with the Phillies headed for the World Series, they still fall into 3rd place.  Nice!

Now let’s look at that other League we only care about once a year:

American League Fans
Baltimore Orioles 78,528
Boston Red Sox 908,460
Chicago White Sox 186,300
Cleveland Indians 121,942
Detroit Tigers 197,837
Kansas City Royals 98,031
Los Angeles Angels 79,211
Minnesota Twins 211,973
New York Yankees 1,018,320
Oakland Athletics 186,981
Seattle Mariners 101,736
Tampa Bay Rays 93,549
Texas Rangers 98,296
Toronto Blue Jays 97,056

And the winner is:

alfans.jpg
Shocker…

How about if you mix them all together?

leaguefans1to15.jpg
leaguefans16to30.jpg

So 4th place for the Giants overall.  Not bad, and way better than I expected, for some reason.  Again, I have no idea what Facebook pages mean in terms of representing reality, but the Giants made the top five!  Who could ask for more?  I think what we really learned here is that I have way too much time on my hands.