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?  

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:
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…

A Win and They’re In

Thanks to homers by Sandoval (yes, I said Sandoval!), Torres and Posey, the D-Backs are no more!

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And since the Padres lost last night, the magic number is now ONE.  We have to beat them ONE time in the next three games/days and the NL West is ours.  Of course, if the Padres had won last night, the magic number would have been two and we’d still have to beat them one time, as one victory for the Giants would automatically equal one loss for the Padres (aka two games) but now the Friars have to sweep us just to tie, which is much better than being able to clinch the division with a sweep.  So I’m glad for the loss, as it gives us one more chance, just in case.  
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So three games to go but man would it be nice to get it over with tonight.  If Cain and crew can trounce the Padres right up front, my weekend would be set.  Unfortunately Cain is pitching against Richard tonight, who has a pretty good record against us:
Date W L Win Loss
2010-05-12 0 5 C. Richard M. Cain
2010-05-17 0 7 C. Richard M. Cain
2010-08-13 1 8 C. Richard J. Sanchez
2010-09-10 4 9 S. Casilla C. Richard
For 2010, SFG won 5, SDP won 10.
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/1/2010.
Three out of four wins, two against Cain.  But all the wins were also before the All-Star break, when the Giants were a much different team, a non-hitting team.  Now their batting average ranks seventh in the National League (Padres rank fifteen), so hopefully Richard fairs as well as he did in September.  
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The Giants won in a day game before I even got home, a new Giants magazine was on the coffee table waiting for me when I finally beat the commute and the wife decided to take one of her evening baths which freed the TV up for me to finish the Ted Williams bio I’ve been watching and make a good dent into Ken Burn’s recently released “Tenth Inning,” which turned out to be very Giants-centric, at least the beginning focusing much on Barry Bonds and his father Bobby.  All-in-all a great Giants day yesterday.  If Matt Cain can take down the Padres today, on his 26th birthday, it will be an even better Giants day.  The game is over 12 hours away and I’m going to explode.  
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Today’s Magic Number…

Giants won yesterday, but so did the Padres and the Braves, so the gap did not get wider, and the standing did not change for either the NL West Division or the Wild Card.  But the magic number changed from four to three.   Three measly games and we see playoffs.  Or…if the Giants sweep the D-Backs tonight and the Padres lose, I think the magic number would be one. Or the Giants AND the Padres could win tonight and the number would be two.  I think.  

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The Bay Area is playoff happy already.  I’m trying not to be negative (my natural state) but I think it’s premature to think it’s a lock, too. Maybe I shouldn’t be watching that Ted Williams biography right now.  His entire story seems to be “soooo cloooose…!”  What a crusher if…well never mind.

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Pitching dominated again last night, the Giants only managing five hits. Luckily their five hits were more productive than the D-Backs eight, thanks to the 3-run RBI homer by Pat.  Even though he’s apparently not part of the team, I’ll take the runs!  Sorry Latos. 
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“There’s Beard Inside” is the new slogan, if the hotties holding up the Brian Wilson signs wearing the fake beards have any pull in the advertising department.  Wish I had a picture of that-hilarious.  Oh and did you hear? Samwise Gamgee and Rudy are pulling for the Giants to win the World Series!  Wait…
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Apparently Sean Astin is normally a Dodgers fan, but was at the game last night and decided the Dodgers are out so he’s rooting for the Giants.  I think that makes him NOT a Dodgers fan, but we can consult with Emma about that one.  Stab me in the head but for some reason I’m always interested in which celebrities like what teams.  I wish there was a site that chronicled that.  I know the Dodgers and the Yankees get all the pretty celebrities in their fandom, but the Giants have celebrity fans too!
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You hear that Giants?  “You can do it!”

Sox Knocked Off

Well, our socks anyway.  Red Sox took the series, but at least we weren’t swept!  By the skin of our teeth, mind you, but a victory is a victory.

victory.jpgThe wife and kids were out on Friday, which is a rarity but perfect timing in that I got to watch the first game uninterrupted.  Right off the bat, the Sox score three runs.  But then the Giants catch up in the second and pass them in the third and then get yet another in the eighth.  But that’s not enough for me.  I know better at this point.  It could be 12-1 Giants, and I’d still be wary of the ninth.  And it wasn’t 12-1 Giants, it was 5-3 Giants.  So I was standing a lot in the end, my palms were sweating and the Sox made Wilson work for that last out.  They even had to get one more run in before we finally finished them off.  Three innings with loaded bases, ten walks, three wild pitches and we eek out a win by one run.  Awesome but TORTURE! 

torture.jpgI skipped watching Saturday in favor of taking the family to see TOY STORY 3.  Excellent picture, perhaps my least favorite of the three, but maybe that’s because I’ve only seen it the one time so far. I doubt they will make more after this, and you couldn’t ask for a better story for the characters to go out on.  I dug it. I didn’t dig that we lost 4-2, however.  In a surprise (for me anyway) last minute change, they brought up Madison Bumgarner to start the game, and I think he did okay.  Sure, the Giants lost, but he only allowed four runs and pitched seven innings.  Pretty good for a rookie.  I’d like to see more of him. 

MadisonBumgarner.jpgSunday went to my wife’s BFF’s house to watch the game on the big screen.  HD is funny in that everyone seems much uglier on TV.  Not sure if I want it now or not.  The grass was never greener at AT&T park though, I’ll admit that.  Great scenery shots on a perfect cloudless day in San Francisco.  Aaand we lose again, pretty much the same way we did the day before.  The Sox score right off the bat, and then we spend the rest of the game trying to hold them at bay and catch up.  Lincecum floundered through three innings before being pulled.  Our Golden Boy isn’t so golden these days. He’s 8-3 mind you, but that’s not good enough for a back-to-back Cy Young winner, right?  We eek out one run in the first because Andres Torres steals makes it to first when no one else could and then proceeds to steal two bases, ensuring his status as the World’s Fastest Giant.  Otherwise, the Giants don’t do much and the Sox take the rubber match 5-1.

istock_face-punch.jpgSo 2-1 Red Sox.  Since I had a fairly bad feeling about them coming to town in the first place, I guess I’m happy we at least took one game and avoided a sweep.  Can’t deny their all-star status, it was a very exciting weekend with them in town.  If I was a jerk, I could say that, while we didn’t win, we at least injured one of their starters in each of the three games. If I was a jerk.

jerkstore.jpgAfter lunch at the BFF’s house, we moved on to my sister-in-law’s house for dinner where her husband, my father-in-law and I decided to watch the Yankees/Dodgers game, in hopes that at least the Dodgers would also lose, allowing the Giants to keep their second place status.  But nope!  5-0 Dodgers.  Bummer.  Wait..now it’s 5-2 Dodgers.  Wait…now it’s 6-6 and going into extra innings.  Now it’s the 10th inning and the Yankees take it 8-6!  Unbelievable rally, and even more unbelievable that there was a room full of Giants fans rooting for the Yankees.  A rarity and somewhat fun.  I’m sure the Dodgers are pissed at losing their lead.  I wonder if being pissed is a good thing for the Giants today.  Will they be tired and sloppy or more determined than ever to make up for yesterday? 

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Monte Irvin’s number 20 was officially retired on Saturday, making him the 11th player to have his number retired by the San Francisco Giants. Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry and Orlando
Cepeda all showed up to honor one of their own.  Congratulations Monte!  Sorry we lost on your big day!

monteirvin.jpgJonathan Sanchez’s no-hitter celebrated its 5 year anniversary on Sunday. Sanchez was the fifth Giant in history to pitch a no-hitter, and he was joined by the other four, Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry,
Ed Halicki and John Montefusco. 
Congratulations Jonathan!  Sorry we lost on your big day!

thenonos.jpgCrazy weekend, full of awesome stuff. I feel like I’m skipping half of it.  I guess that’s what happens when you’ve got two rivalries on the west coast playing each others teams. 

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. 

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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!