Posts Tagged ‘san francisco giants’

There’s So Much Wrong with the MLB All-Star Game

July 1, 2012

20120702-121714.jpgI hate the All-Star Game. I really do. It’s stupid and contradictory and responsible for one of the worst moments in recent baseball history. The new format demands that the best respective rosters from each league be assembled, so as to assure a fair fight in the battle for home field advantage in the World Series.

Yet, as if these grown men need coddling that a Little League parent would be proud of, each team better have one representative, or the Padres might cry! Puh-lease.

Further, let’s make this game about the fans and allow them to vote in the starters even though a large majority of fans doesn’t actually know anything about the sport and spend hours voting for each player at each position on their favorite team (I’m looking at you, Giants fans…this is how Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford end up in the top five at their positions).

I have no beef with putting home field advantage on the line. It gives exponentially more meaning and intensity to the contest. And it keeps the baseball version of All-Star festivities much more entertaining than the NFL’s Pro Bowl, albeit more boring than the NBA’s.

But you damn well better let the players and coaches, who actually know what they are doing, determine the All-Star rosters in this case. And require that players who were voted in by trigger happy, stat-ignorant fans who probably won’t even WATCH the game, yet enjoy being part of the process…actually play. No “fatigue,” Derek Jeter. Come on.

Now I make very public my devotion to the Dodgers. So 99 percent of people who read this will probably brush off the rest of this blog as a biased, spiteful rant. But just because the Giants will be the subject of my fury for the next few paragraphs, I promise it has nothing to do with rivalry.

How can I prove it? Simple. When it comes to the All-Star Game, now that home field advantage IS on the line, the National League needs to act as one cohesive unit. Trust me, I love nothing more than to hate the Giants. But I will root for any players in a Giants hat in Kansas City, as long as he helps get my LEAGUE a win.

And it baffles me that Giants fans don’t feel the same way – well, no it doesn’t. I know a lot of awesome, smart Giants fans. But the ridiculous voting campaign I saw put on at AT&T Park last week was overstepping the boundaries. And now that the results are in, I’m convinced that if the PR Department for the Giants told its fans to swim to Alcatraz and back naked, they would oblige.

There is no other reasonable explanation for Freddy Sanchez (he of ZERO games played this season) earning 2.2 million votes. No other fan bases voted for him. That shows me that Giants fans were instructed to find anyone with “San Francisco Giants” under their names on the ballot at each position, and vote for them no matter what.

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People. We were 300,000 votes away from Brandon Crawford starting for the National League at shortstop. And if you don’t understand why that’s a big deal, my point has been proven. Because nobody cares to know who Crawford, the .220-hitting, probably-worst-player-on-the-team even is.

It’s all fine and good to vote for your players. Do it 25 times. That’s the maximum. But when I go to a game in the city, and I see a reporter on the Jumbotron in front of a room in some top-secret part of the ball park where fans are being given free food to sit in there and vote for Giants players all day…I’m going to be upset about it.

This has nothing to do with fairness and equality. There were three Dodgers worthy of All-Star consideration. Two of them made it, one won’t play because he’s injured. That’s great. I don’t mind. There were six Giants who deserved to make it. Four did, including Pablo Sandoval.

Kung-Fu Panda earned a spot, despite being injured for part of the season. But getting over 1 million votes the day before the results are announced to unseat David Wright, far and away the best third baseman in baseball, as the starter? That’s not even annoying, it’s just irresponsible.

And Giants fans, you have to not be sheep just following what the voice on the screen says. If you truly love baseball – hell, if you truly love your TEAM, you’d vote for the guys that deserve it. We know you love your team. Passion is excellent. But you’ll be kicking yourselves if Sandoval goes 0-2 in the All-Star Game and fails to get runners in a scoring situation. That could have been David Wright, a much better hitter, up in that spot.

And what if the National League goes on to lose? What if that happens and then the Giants make a run to the World Series? Are you going to enjoy playing IN Arlington? IN Los Angeles? IN New York? When all that needed to happen is filling in a little circle next to your guys the allotted 25 times: Sandoval, 3B. Posey, C. Cabrera, OF.

Obviously that’s an extreme situation, but part of me wishes Crawford had been voted in. Because I really think that would have made for an all-out remodeling of the process.

Anyway, let me re-state again. I’m not picking on Giants fans because I hate their team. I’m picking on Giants fans because they were the worst (by a mile) offenders of borderline illegal ballot stuffing for this thing. You can argue with me and say the Rangers have too many players in, and I’d probably agree. But Rangers fans didn’t get anyone who didn’t deserve consideration within striking distance of a starting spot. Just remember that.

Brandon Belt may some day be an All-Star. Freddy Sanchez will return to stardom if he gets healthy. And even Crawford may visit the Midsummer Classic some year. You never know.

But no matter how much you love them and the jerseys on their back, there is much more at stake than bragging rights for which team sends the most All-Stars to K.C.

There is the matter of the National League having to join forces, fans and all, to put the best possible team out on the field. Then once home field advantage has been earned, you can go back to quarreling intra-division and fighting for the right to actually use that home field advantage in October.

Obviously, many changes need to be made to the All-Star Game. Fans can’t be voting with so much at stake, and the stakes shouldn’t even be so high. I can understand where MLB is coming from, but when your slogan is “This One Counts,” fans have to be encouraged to remember that.

Don’t hate the player, hate the game…but if Buster Posey or Pablo Sandoval are responsible for a National League loss in the All-Star Game, feel free to tell your nearest Giants fan to change his or her evil ways.

Whew. Okay. I feel better. Now don’t even get me started on snubs like Josh Reddick…

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The Lost Art of Sportsmanship

June 17, 2012

I hate to name names (no I don’t , who are we kidding here?), but @MattKempFanPage on Twitter is a class A douche. And it sucks, because he’s a Dodgers fan. Which isn’t always a compliment.

Look, I love my Dodgers. That stems from loving baseball, which stems from loving sports, which stems from loving competition and challenges. I’ve played, watched, talked and written sports since I was just a toddling waddler, but along the way I never forgot the core values that sports demand. Specifically, sportsmanship. 

Sure, I’ve had my moments. In high school, I faked a tag at second base and the kid slid in hard, hurting his ankle. A few times I half-heartedly shook the soccer referees’ hands after a match and glared instead of saying “good game” (this may seem paltry, but I assure you that’s unsportsmanlike in soccer). And as all kids do, I refused to lose in anything, forcing as many rematch as possible against any opponent who beat me in any athletic competition.

But I’ve grown up, and every day that I watch baseball I realize another way that the game is beautiful and brilliant and perfect.

Baseball demands respect. It demands its disciples to play a fair, passionate, exceptional version of sport. Mental wars rage between and during every…single…pitch.

Not only do pitchers, hitters, coaches and fans have to be smart and loyal to love this game, but they must be quick, yet patient; relaxed, yet stubborn. And then after all the dust settles, even in the face of their most bitter rival, or even a day after an all-out brawl, they must be professional, courteous sportsmen to the highest degree.

Don’t get me wrong here – baseball is no golf or tennis. And you may even be confused by the vision of the winning team high-fiving and jumping around after each victory, as the defeated sulk back to their clubhouse, not a congratulations to be uttered.

But these players have the utmost respect for one another, and show it after the after parties end. Many of them are friends from meeting during Spring Training, or through agents, or media experiences. They take to Twitter to thank fans for their support, give props to fellow players on big games.

And the most simple-minded fan should understand. We should all realize that even more than our respective favorite teams, our favorite players and everything in between…the game itself is above it all.

It’s an art form, and it deserves to be treated like one. Therefore, when a piece of art is twirled as fine as something like a perfect game, you give the artist the congratulations and respect he deserved. Regardless of the jersey he wears.

The hatred I feel towards the San Francisco Giants is like nothing I’ve ever known before. It comes with the territory of being a die-hard, true blue Dodgers fan since the day I was born. I live in Giants country, and immerse myself in the greatest rivalry outside Yankees/Red Sox on a daily basis. I’m behind enemy lines, and I know more about the rival fan base than I ever cared to before.

And yet, I watched the end of Matt Cain’s perfect game. I enjoyed it. I frowned when the Dodgers lost that night, and the Giants gained a game in the standings. I was upset that my team lost a game they should have won. But that night was Matt Cain’s and Matt Cain’s only.

He threw a perfect game. It was incredible. He’s one of only 22 successfully perfect pitchers out of the thousands and thousands who have tried. And we all should revel in the moment as fans of this game. 

Dodgers fans get a bad rap from other baseball fans – some deserved, some based in fiction:

FACT – “We,” on average, show up late and leave early. That’s the nature of the beast when you’re living in Los Angeles, traffic capital of the universe.

FICTION – “We” have thug fans, more focused on picking fights than enjoying the game. L.A. is a rough area, and as with every fan base, we have some tough fans. But it’s hard to find a fan base whose population dedicates its heart to a sports team more than the Dodgers.

But let’s not give the rest of the fans out there another reason to hate on us. Let’s not be classless.

When the Giants score, let’s curse the day the opposing pitcher was born. When they win a game, let’s throw something at the TV screen. But when their ace pitcher throws one of the most ridiculously impressive, artistic games in the 150-year history of this sport?

Let’s stand up and give him a quick round of applause. Giants fans would do the same for us. Sometimes the ones you hate win and the ones you love lose. That’s the way sports work. If you can’t handle it, you’re in for a lifetime of misery and internal anguish.

And as for Twitterius Angrius Maximus from the beginning of this blog? Your hero Matt Kemp would surely congratulate Cain on such a fine performance.

Get a grip. Be a good fan of the Dodgers and the sport itself.

On a Happy Father’s Day, I’m going to keep preaching exactly what MY old man always taught me. Whether it be baseball, soccer, horseshoes or Scrabble. Play fair, play to win, and above all, be a good sport.

Case for A.J. Ellis

May 20, 2012

I’ll admit it (raises hand shamefully). I was NOT on the A.J. Ellis bandwagon when the season started. I figured he was the ultimate, lifetime backup catcher and that his pleas for playing time was a bunch of malarkey (I actually used to know someone with the last name Mularkey, so that word always weirds me out).

Watching Spring Training, I’d rue the day we ever set Russell Martin free to the Yankees. And then the 2012 regular season rolled around.

Did anyone in their right minds have A.J. Ellis as one of the best all-around catchers in baseball? If you said “Yes” just now, you are an evil and a heathen and you shall burn in Hellllllllsinki.

Yikes, that was harsh. I hear it’s cold there.

Anyway, as of the day this post is published (I say it that way, because technically I’m FINISHING it on Tuesday, May 22nd. Shhhhhh. But it’s posted as May 20th. Shut up.), Ellis is hitting .321 with a .446 on-base percentage.

Those numbers are good for third and first, respectively, among a loaded class of National League catchers. And the OBP isn’t even remotely close. We Dodger fans have gotten used to Ellis getting on base, one way or another. And he’s a major reason why we are holding the best record in baseball.

Having your number seven hitter getting on base nearly half the time he comes to the plate is an invaluable tool to a successful lineup. It’s a luxury most teams can’t claim, and never will. And despite the gaudy offensive numbers, and the fact that he has almost flawlessly handled the second-best pitching staff in the Majors…nobody knows who the hell A.J. is.

And we’ve all seen it a million times; that’s going to extend to the All-Star voting. With names like Yadier Molina, Brian McCann and Buster Posey, along with breakout seasons from Carlos Ruiz and Jonathan Lucroy, finding a spot on the National League team would be tough for Ellis.

But he absolutely deserves to go. And not in the “please let him in, he’s such a nice guy and he really wants it” type of way. He has played his way into a backup role on that team, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better role player to have on a squad that determines home-field advantage for the World Series.

I’ll tell you what – as a Dodger fan, with my team now a legitimate postseason threat, I feel a hell of a lot more comfortable with Ellis pinch-hitting in the eighth inning of a tie game in the All-Star Game with that home-field advantage on the line than McCann of the Braves and his .254 average.

But history and popularity says, McCann will be in Kansas City in July. Ellis will be at home, enjoying his days off.

Here’s my take on it:

Based on all-around game, Molina is the hands-down starter for the National League. He’s a four-time Gold Glover and now the best hitting catcher in the league (apologies to Ruiz, who is having a great season, but everyone outside of Philly knows this won’t last). McCann and Posey are the big names who should be left out because, though they are having solid seasons, have not been as good all-around as the other four. If three catchers go to the All-Star Game on the N.L. roster, I’m left with Molina, backed up by Ruiz, then Ellis.

If it’s two, I’m torn. Props to Lucroy for stepping up this season, but your 7-RBI game skews the power stats a bit. And you can’t handle the glove as well as my man A.J. While I’d love to see Ruiz earn that All-Star bid, how are you going to ignore a guy who has such a high OBP?

While it’s an unloved stat still, getting on base is the most important part of an offense. Here’s a simple formula for all you math duds out there like me: get on base, move to the next base, score more runs than the other team. That’s the basic idea behind baseball, and nobody is doing it better this year than Ellis.

I know this is a big ol’ waste of time, considering it’s going to be Molina, McCann and Posey in the All-Star Game. But these things must be blogged about, even if just so my poor little head doesn’t explode all over my laptop’s screen.

Just keep the numbers in mind when voting, and cast your vote for the Dodgers’ A.J. Ellis for the 2012 All-Star Game! Our team’s World Series home field depends on it!

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman

Defending Dodger Fans’ Honor

May 8, 2012

You know…there are some days when I log on to this blog and go, “What the HELL am I going to write about today?” When that happens, sometimes I post a bunch of crap. Other times, like today, something magically appears that I feel strongly about and feel inclined to write about.

When I was perusing the blogosphere this morning (yes, I do that), I came across THIS madness

Henry Schulman, I’m not one to call names. But you are a raging douche canoe. And you should be fired as a Giants beat writer, because you clearly don’t understand their most important rivalry.

Schulman was literally the only person in Los Angeles last night who thought Dodger fans were booing Matt Kemp. We are talking about a legitimate MVP candidate every season, who is hitting over .400 by the way.

Dodger fans may show up late, they may leave early. But they don’t boo their own players undeservedly. I want to punch Schulman’s puppy. Right in the face. Twice.

Also, I’m not one to engage in petty bloguments (yes I am), but if you want to attack Dodger fans, two can play at this game.

Let me just point out that Dodgers fans boo whenever the Giants score a run. And I don’t mean just against us. I mean when we see on TV that they score a run, we boo. In our living rooms. That’s what a rivalry IS. We wish ill will on the Giants in the form of going 0-162 every…single…season.

And we expect the same to happen the other way around. That being said, I’ve BEEN to AT&T for games multiple times. I live there, I can’t stay away from baseball. And I’ve sat in the bleachers, and never been more disappointed by a general group of sober fans’ lack of knowledge about their team.

I’m not saying those fans aren’t legit, and I definitely don’t think that faction represents the general knowledge level of Giants fans (trust me…tons of my friends are SF fans and they know their shit). But if this Schulman guy thinks he knows the rivalry, he needs to take a step back and make sure he’s not part of that bleacher crew himself.

Because even true Giants fans know that Dodgers fans wouldn’t boo our franchise player. We’ve been tortured since 1988, and the only thing we’ve done wrong since then is not sat in three hours of traffic to see them play in person.

Forget Tim Lincecum…Henry Schulman is now public enemy number one.

Follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman!

No Excuses

April 14, 2012

There are no excuses in this business. So when I was experiencing blogger’s block earlier today, I thought “HEY. Cut it out! No excuses. No crying in baseball.” And this is what I’ve come up with for today’s Jam Shots:

There is no excuse for whoever that doofy-looking dude on the MLB Network representing the Rays, picked an answer of “Pete Rose” for the category “Hall-of-Famers who played in the 1971 All-Star Game.” I hate you, sir.

There is no excuse for Harold Reynolds on MLB Network choosing Dee Gordon, who started the season almost 100 at-bats over the maximum to be considered a rookie, for his NL Rookie of the Year in 2012. Give me your job, Harold.

There is no excuse for Shin-Soo Choo not knowing how to get out of the way of a fastball that’s coming at him. He fractured his thumb on an inside fastball from Jonathan Sanchez in 2011, and was hit in the same thumb this year by Chris Sale. Both times, he failed to even try to turn his back to the mound, like we are taught at a young age. #Idiot

There is no excuse for Joe Thatcher of the Padres walking Andre Ethier on four straight pitches with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth last night. Especially given Ethier’s deficiencies against lefties. But I’m not complaining!

There is no excuse for whoever designed and built the new Miami Marlins stadium. Center field is already 418 feet deep, but you had to make the actual fences 20 feet tall? At least we won’t have to see much of that stupid home run structure.

There is no excuse for whoever hired Skip Bayless.

There is no excuse for blogger’s block. Hence, this gem. Thanks for reading, and comment below if I missed anything that should have no excuses.

Follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman.

Aces Wild

April 12, 2012

Let’s match the ERA’s to the aces through the first week of the 2012 season:

Matt Cain – 7.50

Tim Lincecum – 12.91

C.C. Sabathia – 6.75

Yovani Gallardo – 5.91

Zack Greinke – 6.75

Josh Johnson – 8.38

Dan Haren – 6.97

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON???

I know it’s early, but my goodness those are some crooked numbers. My fantasy team got hit especially hard yesterday, when Sabathia, Lincecum and Johnson all got absolutely rocked in their respective starts.

Well, who’s for real? Who is going to bounce back and who is in trouble? I’ll tell you…NOW!

First of all, let’s be realistic. These guys are aces for a reason – there are four Cy Young awards spread throughout that group and a whole bunch of pretty stats. So they will all bounce back. But only to a degree. Here goes nothin’:

1. Matt Cain, Giants

The Giants made Cain a very, very rich man recently. How does he go out and reward them? By posting a hefty 7.50 ERA in his first start. Well, let me point a couple things out. Cain was throwing on the road against a red-hot Diamondbacks offense. Not to mention, I watched that game and it was really just a couple bad innings. He looked pretty solid for most of the game, but the hits kept piling up when he was missing location in a couple innings. Cain will be just fine.Panic Level 1-10 (10 is high):3

2. Tim Lincecum, Giants

The Freak is a huge reason why the Giants are floundering in last place early in the season. When Barry Zito (CG, 0 R, 4 H vs. Rockies) is your most reliable pitcher, things need to change. And quickly. Lincecum’s double-digit ERA is especially frightening, because he’s looked awful in his two starts. He’s lost velocity on his fastball, the breaking balls aren’t biting, and he can’t hit the broad side of a barn consistently. This is the second year in a row Lincecum’s velocity has dropped. Panic Level: 7

3. C.C. Sabathia, Yankees

I picked C.C. as my pre-season Cy Young favorite in the American League, so the big boy has a lot more than just his stats to worry about. I mean, would you want this human bicep coming at you?! Stop laughing…anyway, Sabathia’s 6.75 ERA is frightening. He’s getting on in age, and his last start was against the Baltimore Orioles. Sure, they have a penchant for big offensive outputs, but it’s still a last-place team that was ripping C.C. apart. Panic Level: 5

4. Yovani Gallardo, Brewers

Gallardo got absolutely torched by the Pujols-less Cardinals at the Milwaukee home opener last week. He allowed four home runs. In one inning. It was just stupid. Gallardo has a tendency to be very inconsistent. His stuff is some of the dirtiest in the game if he can get it over the plate. But when he starts hanging breaking balls like he was against St. Louis, the Brewers are in for a world of hurt. I’m calling this early-season struggles, rather than a decline in talent. Panic Level: 4

5. Zack Greinke, Brewers

Has the rest of baseball figured Greinke out? Aside from his Cy Young year in Kansas City, Greinke hasn’t been THAT good. He’s similar to Gallardo, where his stuff is dirty, but he needs to consistently get it over the plate. If both these guys struggle in 2012, the Brewers are in for a very long season. I think Greinke will bounce back to have respectable numbers, but he’s never going to return to the award-winning form we’re accustomed to. Panic Level: 5

6. Josh Johnson, Marlins

Okay, Johnson worries me. He got shelled by the oft-injured Phillies lineup yesterday, and got touched up for a few runs by the Cardinals on Opening Day. It’s not his abilities that have me wary – it’s the fact that he’s coming off an arm injury. Is he fully healthy? I hate to speculate, but this is so out of character for the young righty, that I think something must still be bothering him. Panic Level: 8

7. Dan Haren, Angels

The Angels have been struggling big time, despite their big free-agent transactions this winter. It’s partly due to an offense that is still struggling to find its identity. But Haren isn’t helping matters either. He only allowed three runs to the Twins in his last start, but got hit hard against the Royals in his first. I’m not worried about Haren yet. He’s still got a 12:2 K-to-BB ratio, and is always solid. Give him another start or two before the panic meter rises. Panic Level: 2

There you have it! Comment below and let me know who I missed or who has a level that’s terribly skewed. Follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman!

Bochy-ing That One…

March 9, 2012

Jamblinman’s the name, being punny’s my game! As much as I just want to sit here and absolutely tear the San Francisco Giants’ manager a new one…I can’t. I respect Bruce Bochy. And I’m tired of being so angry all the time.

Okay, that second part isn’t true. But still, I’ll quash the little devil in a Dodgers jersey whispering in my ear and try to be fair and sensible in today’s blog. That being said, what Bochy did at Spring Training this week was absolutely ludicrous and wrong.

Oh, you haven’t heard yet? Here, let me help you out. Don’t scoff at this – it IS news (for once…way to go, Yahoo!). Pete Rose is banned from baseball for violating what amounts to an unwritten rule; a silent code if you will. A-Rod almost got his face ripped off by Dallas Braden for breaking an unwritten rule. And now Bochy has joined a club he doesn’t belong in.

Luckily, the Giants quickly rectified the situation and did solid damage control. But it worries me that Bochy even went there in the first place. I could understand someone like Ozzie Guillen pulling shit like removing another team’s scout from the stands during practice, but not Bochy.

Why is this a big deal, you ask? First of all, because you just don’t do it. This isn’t Rajon Rondo listening in on another team’s huddle. This isn’t a Patriots employee video taping the Jets’ walk-through. This is not immoral or illegal in any way. It’s a scout, well…scouting.

Unless Bochy and the Giants were working on a super secret new hit-and-run play that is going to revolutionize the game as we know it, there is no violation here. And no, they weren’t doing that. Mostly because the Giants couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn so they won’t worry about hit-and-runs. ZING had to do it.

As the Yahoo! article states, anything that has to be secret in baseball is done in the clubhouse. Nobody stands on an open diamond and yells, “HEY GUYS! LISTEN UP! THIS YEAR, WHEN I TOUCH MY BELT, THEN MY NOSE, THEN MY BELT AGAIN, IT’S A DELAYED STEAL! DON’T TELL ANYONE!”

Plus, did Bochy not realize that his shenanigans might get his own team’s scouts some rough treatment when they try to scout other teams? Oops.

The disgraced scout told Yahoo! that he was there to scout the Giants’ outfield arms. Chances are, that’s exactly what he was doing. And even if he wasn’t, so what? Baseball is the most simply complicated game in the history of the world. There are strategic intricacies to every pitch and every play and that’s why I love it.

But, everyone knows the same strategies and how to execute them – it just comes down to who does it better.

Between the A’s-to-San-Jose fiasco and now Bochy being a bum, the Giants are really starting to rub me the wrong way. And if I’m getting that feeling one week into Spring Training, you can imagine how fiercely I’ll take this rivalry in 2012.

Let’s just all make sure that if we watch the Giants warming up this season, to warn Bochy ahead of time that you come in peace.

Bay Area Battle

March 8, 2012

Let me get this out of the way: I hate the San Francisco Giants. More than war and famine (if you haven’t seen this movie, you’re gonna think I’m a horrible person…). More than Hitler. Okay, that’s messed up. But I really hate them. And their seemingly endless scuffle with the Oakland A’s over property rights in San Jose isn’t making things any better.

The poor A’s just want to get out of arguably the worst professional sports venue in America. If you’ve never been to o.Co Coliseum (they’ve changed the name a million times in my lifetime, but this is the longest-standing one I can remember), consider yourself lucky.

My high school field had more charm to it than o.Co. Well, my high school team might also have been better than the A’s will be in 2012, but that’s besides the point. Back in the 80’s, the Giants were in the A’s situation and Oakland very graciously gave them the rights to San Jose. As a kind gesture.

Now the Giants organization is holding those same rights hostage against the A’s. Who cares if it’s the best thing for baseball? The Giants must have that extra television market, apparently.

The only way in which the A’s are competition to the Giants is in interleague series and the television market. The fact that they won’t give the A’s the rights to San Jose and are dragging the entire ordeal out for so long just further proves the point that baseball revolves around money in an evil way.

Right now, as much as I hate to say this, the Giants ARE the Bay Area’s baseball team. But if the A’s are good too, it’s still good for business. Even better, it’s good for baseball. The A’s are an iconic franchise with a fantastic GM, but they can’t afford to even put together a contending team for more than a couple of fluke seasons at a time.

I just hope the Giants and Bud Selig come to their senses soon and get this thing taken care of. The longer they wait, the angrier I get, the more likely I am to march into San Francisco and do THIS. Yup.

 

Wednesday Top Ten!

March 7, 2012

Like how I throw that title up there as if this is a regular thing? I’m not going to lie…it’s because I’m wholly unmotivated to be creative today. Instead, I’ll just blow you away with insight and analysis. So ladies and gentlemen, put on your best snuggies and let’s get rollin’.

Today’s top ten will be all about baseball. Because it’s the best sport. Feel free to argue with me on that point, just don’t complain when this happens. You’ve been warned.

I want to discuss the ten best pitchers in baseball. There’s a helluva lot of them. The San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies could probably make a top ten list by themselves. But we’re going to do it anyway. I’m feelin’ crazy. By the way, I’m a Dodgers fan. So you can guess who number one will be. Muahaha!

10. Dan Haren, Los Angeles Angels – Oh boy that rotation in Anaheim is going to be scary in 2012, ain’t it? Haren is the best of the bunch, and the first pitcher on the list who doesn’t have a Cy Young to his name. He should, he could and he might before his time is done, but time will tell. Six seasons of 14 + wins ain’t too shabby though.

9. Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals – Okay, really? If Carp is ninth on this list, you know it’s gonna rock your socks off. This big righty has dominated for the Cards and has two rings and a shiny Cy Young (2005) to show for it. He’s got one of the best curveballs in the game and is possibly the most dominant postseason pitcher on this entire list.

8. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners – It’s tough to NOT feel bad for King Felix. Stuck on the Mariners his whole career, he hasn’t racked up huge numbers. Just imagine what the 2010 Cy Young winner’s numbers would look like on a team that could actually score runs.

7. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants – How can a two-time Cy Young winner (2008-2009) only be eighth on this list? Easy – he’s on the Giants and he went to University of Washington and I’m a spiteful, Dodger and Washington State-lovin’ bastard. So that says something that I felt compelled to still include The Freak on this list at all.

6. Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies – Hamels is the first of a trio of Phillies to appear on my list (how is that even fair?) and the second who doesn’t have a Cy to his name. Yet. He’s still got plenty of time. What Hamels does have is a mean fastball, some filthy control and a World Series MVP. Not too shabby.

5. Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies – Hamels’ southpawtner in crime DOES have that Cy Young award (2008) but less postseason success. Lee dominated last year, going a cool 17-8 with a 2.40 ERA for Philly. And his awesome birth name (Clifton Phifer Lee) boosted him at least three spots alone.

4. C.C. Sabathia, New York Yankees – The lefties just keep on comin’. I have a special appreciation for Sabathia, because he hails from the Bay Area like me. That’s not the end of our similarities though. I’m ALSO a 6’7″, 290-pound black man with a Cy Young (2007) and World Series ring…By the way, C.C. has 176 wins at age 31. Don’t tell me 300 isn’t viable for him.

3. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies – Finally, the Philadelphia onslaught comes to a merciful end. But there is no doubt in my mind that Doc Halladay is the best of the bunch. The 8-time all-star and 2-time Cy Young winner (2003 and 2010) has been so dominant for so long that it’s just a foregone conclusion he’ll put up 15+ wins every season. Oh, did I mention that no-hitter in the playoffs? That’s impressive I guess.

2. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers – Last year’s Cy Young and MVP winner in the American League has finally reached the height of his potential. And I don’t think he’s planning on regressing anytime soon. Verlander’s 24-5, 2.40, 250 strikeout 2011 was far and away one of the best individual pitching seasons I’ve ever seen. And the scary thing is he’s only 28.

1. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers – You want to talk about incredible seasons at a young age? How about the next coming of Sandy Koufax (I think I just heard you gasp from here…)? Kershaw cruised to the pitching Triple Crown in the National League last year, and won the Cy Young as a result. Here’s the thing though. Kershaw is 23 years old. Like, my age. What the HELL!

That’s my list. Thanks for helping me kill time. Comment below and tell me why I’m absolutely right-on with all my picks. Or if you must, disagree and make suggestions. I’ll probably ignore you, but hey, it’s worth a shot!

And I ammmmmmm outta here!

Quarterbacks Galore

March 6, 2012

I know, I know. It’s baseball season. TRUST ME. I understand that. I spent half my day listening to the Dodgers’ Spring Training broadcast on my phone. But first of all, there are three big QB topics to discuss today. And secondly, I’m still a little butt-hurt that the aforementioned Doyers lost to the Giants…

…it’s gonna be a long season.

Let’s start with my boy Alex Smith. I’ve been hearing way too much on talk radio over the last few days that Colin Kapernick should “get a shot.” The only shot Kap should be taking right now is shots of Patron as he chills on the bench, watching Smith lead the 49ers back to the playoffs.

Wow, that was an awfully bad play on words. Give me a break, I’m off my game – that Dodgers loss is really getting to me!

Smith will be back with the Niners next season, he will be the starter, and Kap will get another full season to hone his skills and learn a little leadership under Jim Harbaugh. I’m fine with giving the kid a shot in the preseason and in blowouts, as long as he doesn’t throw the ball to Josh Morgan. Since he jinxed him and Morgan busted his ankle on that catch-and-run from Kap last year.

But for now, you can talk about Smith’s inability to throw the deep ball, his mediocre stats or his boring demeanor all you want. I’ll show you tape of the NFC Divisional playoff all day and challenge you to tell me that Alex Mother Beepin’ Smith wasn’t the biggest reason we advanced to the NFC Championship just a couple short months ago.

Now, he’s no Drew Brees or even post-neck-surgery Peyton Manning. Not many QBs are. But that brings me to my next point. The New Orleans Saints are just being plain STUPID lately. Don’t even get me started on the bounty nonsense, because this blog will turn into a very angry novel. I’m talking about how they pissed off their franchise quarterback by tagging him with that exact distinction: their “franchise” player.

Except this time, it means that he gets paid a shit ton less than he should. That’s not even what Brees is “livid” about. He’s upset that he specifically told the Saints not to franchise him and wanted to knock out a long-term deal. Telling Brees no in this situation is like the animals on Noah’s Ark kicking him overboard. Brees saved the Saints’ franchise and brought them a Super Bowl title, yet they are going right at his knees with this contract crap. Ironic, considering…nevermind I won’t go there.

And in the biggest news of the day, the elder (and now less-prominent, as far as Super Bowl victories go…WTF?) Manning is out in Indy! The Colts declined to pay him $28 million to do nothing. Okay, so that’s fine. I can understand that business decision. And it’s too bad, because even though Andrew Luck may be a once-in-a-lifetime prospect, he’s still unproven.

If anything, you can expect a Sam Bradford-esque rookie season out of Luck. I’m sure the Colts will enjoy letting their new QB get beat up and rack up “L’s” while Manning does his thing in Washington, or Seattle, or Arizona or wherever the hell there is a GM smart enough to pick him up!

Don’t get me wrong – I like Luck and I think he’ll do great. But those are some gigantic, Hall-of-Fame sized cleats to fill in Indianapolis. As for Peyton? Don’t fret. He missed out on a cool chunk of change, but the dude’s gonna get paid a King’s ransom no matter where he goes. And chances are, he’ll probably be playing postseason football wherever he goes.

That’s all for today. Tomorrow, it’s back to baseball. I promise. Heck, I’ll even make a plug right here, right now.

Cretins! Read the Three Up, Three Down blog! Listen to the Three Up, Three Down podcast! Like the Three Up, Three Down Facebook page! And follow us on Twitter at @3U3D. You won’t be disappointed.

Until tomorrow, this is Colin Kaepernick…taking Jam Shots. (No? Not even a giggle?)


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