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.  
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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…

Disssssss

Well I got what I wanted.

sweeptheleg.jpgTook the series, four AWAY games against a DIVISION rival.  I mean, yeah I guess not really a rival since the D-Backs have been way behind for quite some time, but the Giants are so bad at facing the NL West, a win is a win is a win is a win!  I talked about the first game already, but some things that stand out about the other three:

Posey Keeps On Hitting

And hitting and hitting and…a .371 batting average and an 18 game hitting streak, which places him second to McCovey for rookie Giants hitting streaks.  Is he stoppable?  Probably, but let’s enjoy the ride, eh?

busterposey.jpgVelez Knocked in the Head

The most hated player on the Giants roster, if you go by Twitter, is knocked in the head while drinking his Gatorade by a foul ball from Pat Burrell.  Dislike him or not, that’s still not cool.  Is there no way to keep the dugout safe from such random attacks?  It’s happened at least three times this year that I’ve read about. (Maybe he can do Mountain Dew commercials now, though.)

eugeniobeamed.jpgJuan Uribe’s Grand Slam

My step-daughter and I were shouting the “OOO-RIBEH!” chant in our living room when he decided to hit his fourth career grand slam in the 7th on game three, with two outs and on the first pitch to boot.  I totally think it was our chant that did it.

uribeslam.jpgStill in second place and three games behind because the Padres JUST WON’T LOSE!

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk
1 SDP 58 39 .598 W 3
2 SFG 56 43 .566 3.0 W 4
3 LAD 53 46 .535 6.0 W 2
4 COL 51 47 .520 7.5 L 5
5 ARI 37 62 .374 22.0 L 4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/26/2010.

We’re also first now in the Wild Card race, but who wants to get to the series that way?

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk
1 SDP 58 39 .598 W 3
2 ATL 57 41 .582 L 1
3  SFG 56 43 .566 W 4
4 STL 55 44 .556 1.0 W 1
5  CIN 55 45 .550 1.5 L 1
6  LAD 53 46 .535 3.0 W 2
7  PHI 52 46 .531 3.5 W 4
8  COL 51 47 .520 4.5 L 5
9  NYM 50 49 .505 6.0 L 2
10  FLA 49 49 .500 6.5 W 1
11  MIL 47 53 .470 9.5 W 4
12  CHC 45 54 .455 11.0 L 1
13  WSN 42 57 .424 14.0 L 3
14  HOU 40 58 .408 15.5 W 1
15  ARI 37 62 .374 19.0 L 4
16  PIT 34 64 .347 21.5 L 4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/26/2010.

I also saw on the television that we’re number one hits this month.  Not sure if I saw that right and have no idea where to go to validate it but if that’s true?  MAN what a different team post-All-Star game, eh?

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?

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. 

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!