Giants Can Clinch Postseason Tonight with: Win Over Padres, Brewers Loss to Cards, and Phillies loss to Rays

It could happen tonight with Jhonny Cueto on the mound and Tyler Heineman – called back up to take over for the injured Chadwick Tromp – behind the plate. I am glad it won’t be the rook. It isn’t fair to Joey and a veteran presence is the right tool for the job.

But it won’t be easy as the Padres are starting righty Zach Davies who is 7 – 4 with a 2.85 ERA and 60 strikeouts. In response here’s Kapler’s lineup:

Mike Yastrzemski (RF)

Alex Dickerson (LF)

Donovan Solano (2B)

Brandon Belt (1B)

Wilmer Flores (DH)

Evan Longoria (3B)

Brandon Crawford (SS)

Mauricio Dubon (CF)

Tyler Heineman (C)

Let’s Go Giants! Beat the Padres! Fry the Friars!

Make the playoffs so we can #BeatLA

Posted in 2020 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Only Man Who Refused to Kneel for #BLM on Opening Day Has Not Had a Good Year – Coonrod Allows Padres to Walk-Off in OUR Yard **UPDATE: Coonrod Moved to IR for Year**

Ed. Note – after posting this, Sam Coonrod was placed on the injured reserve list to end the season, I wish him the best of luck with his strained shoulder and a good offseason

Last year, Sam Coonrod was a promising talent on a very bad San Francisco Giants team. This year, he is an emotionally and mentally unstable element of a struggling bullpen, who loses control of his volatile fastball and command exactly when it’s needed most.

In-between, Covid-19 struck and racial unrest over police brutality nationwide reached an explosive tipping point after the death of unarmed, supine George Floyd, suffocated by the knee of police on his neck in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Athletes, in particular – and across all sports, all over the world – were “woke” by this outrage, which unified them to join together in protest in a myriad of ways.

If you don’t know, Sam Coonrod is a home-grown Giant: we drafted him in the fifth round of the 2014 MLB draft, when he debuted in Cactus League. We raised him in our system – he’s played for the San Jose Giants, The Richmond Flying Squirrels and the Sac Rivercats. We paid for his Tommy John surgery and rehabilitation in 2018; and we brought him up to the show for the first time last year.

And in 2019, it looked like all that investment in Sam Coonrod had paid off. As per wiki:

“On May 26, 2019, he was called up to the major leagues for the first time and made his debut that day in the eighth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He retired the side in order, getting a flyout to left field, a groundout to first base, and a strikeout.

“On July 23, 2019, Coonrod earned the first win of his major league career by pitching the 13th and final inning of a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs. It was Coonrod’s fifth career appearance and his fifth inning pitched.

“With the Giants in 2019 he was 5-1 with a 3.58 ERA in 33 relief appearances in which he pitched 27.2 innings”

Years of investment and effort by Sam Coonrod and the San Francisco Giants looked to be blooming into a quality reliever with starter potential. He vultured wins with hard-throwing dominance.

And that is how we came to this crazy season of rock-and-roll-rules baseball amidst Covid and cities exploding into protest with Sam Coonrod in our ‘pen. With Major League Baseball agreeing that Black Lives Matter and that players and the league should be encouraged to express that opinion. #BLM

On Opening Day of the shortened, 60-game season, the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers were to be featured in prime time. There were two games played on Opening Day: The Nationals played the Yankees and the Giants went down to Chavez Ravine to play the Bums.

MLB gave the teams a long black ribbon players on both sides jointly held as they kneeled, uniting all the players in an expression of support for the Black Lives Matter Movement. Every player and coach on the Nationals and Yankees knelt and held the ribbon before the game in a moment of respect and protest.

It was amazing and truly wove baseball into American society at that moment. Even if MLB hadn’t participated before in social projects against police brutality, the optics were Jackie-Robinsonian in stature. It was a promise to be more aware.

In the later game, Sam Coonrod was the only person to stand during the protest, and thus the only player in all of baseball not to partake in this totally unprecedented expression of social protest on behalf of Black lives lost unjustly at the hands of police. After the game, Coonrod told reporters:

“I’m a Christian so I just believe that I can’t kneel before something besides God.” (guess he’s never weeded a garden or knelt to pick up a child) and added, “I just can’t get on board with a couple things I’ve read about Black Lives Matter, how they lean towards Marxism, and … they said some negative things about the nuclear family. I just can’t get on board with that.”

sigh.

Kapler and the Giants, in the true spirit of freedom of expression and the soul of San Francisco supported his desire to stand. “The one thing that we said is we were going to let people express themselves,” Kapler said. “We were going to give them the choice on whether they were going to stand, kneel or do something else. That was a personal decision for Sam.”

Now, I am well known among what few friends I have left (most of whom were lost because of my stubborn unwillingness to change) as a person who believes profoundly in standing up for what you believe in. I am exceptionally clear in understanding Coonrod’s decision.

But, I am 53 years old, and have been around the world seven times and have been watching baseball since 15 years before Sam Coonrod was born.

His was a poorly-informed decision.

It is arguably unrelated, in fact that’s probably what most would say. But I believe in circular energy. And sadly, Sam Coonrod has had a wildly inconsistent 2020 season.

He beaned a Mariner in the head with a 99mph fastball, has numerous blown innings, most recently in the last two Giants losses, directly the result of Coonrod blowing the save.

It all culminated in last night’s debacle, in which he entered the bottom of the seventh and final inning with a 5 – 3 lead, only to let two on and give up a walkoff three-run homer to Trent Grisham. at Oracle. In a critical game in the stretch run.

This morning, we are all waking up to the dull ache of what happened last night in the ongoing story of Sam Coonrod in 2020.

In their role as suicide prevention, KNBR has put up this piece:

Why The Giants Stuck With Sam Coonrod

which explains in clear terms the decision-making, which is HEAVILY informed by the facts:

* this was game number 58 out of 60!

* of a crazy season with few planned breaks and a couple of unplanned ones

* was the tail of a double-header in which the much-used ‘pen nearly blew the first game

* which btw, we hadn’t even won ONE 7-inning game yet

* It was a choice between Coonrod and Wandy Peralta, and Kapler made the call

sigh.

Sam Coonrod seems to have been caught in a public expression that has affected him profoundly without any plan, based on a reaction to a plan, that was at-best a half-baked attempt to catch up to the moment by baseball. And it seems to be affecting his work, which requires coolness under intense pressure.

Many thoughts run through my mind thinking about Sam Coonrod this morning.

But when I calm down and look at it as a mature person, I wish only good will toward Sam. I think I understand him. I hope he knows he can always walk back any public stance on the voyage. It won’t reflect badly on him as a Christian or an athlete or an American.

But more importantly, he isn’t judged by the fans who are hoping we make the playoffs and #BeatLA as anything … except as a relief pitcher. For us, the San Francisco Giants.

Dear Sam:

We helped you get to this point and hope we can help you get your focus back on pitching, more than we care about where you fit socially amongst our squad. You are a Giant. You are here because you belong. You can bounce back and we will support you.

You know what, kid? If we get in and we go down to face the Bums in the Ravine and you deliver a moment that defines a win? … you watch how fast this crowd will forget last night.

It was a bummer.

But go pray to Christ and ask his advice.

My guess is he’ll tell you to focus on what you do best.

Good luck.

Let’s Go Giants!

Beat the Pads!

Get in the playoffs so we can beat the Bums!

Posted in 2020, Covid | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gausman Great, Coonrod Blows 7th, Costs Giants Series Win Vs. Colorado; G-men Face Padres in Doubleheader of 7 Inning Games Today

Kevin Gausman was great, giving up only a couple of runs while peppering eight hits across six innings and leaving with a 3-2 lead yesterday. But the Rockies scored two runs in the seventh off Sam Coonrod to leave Gausman with a no-decision. I am just about DONE with Sam Coonrod.

Despite only splitting those four games with Colorado, by record the Giants are in the 8th spot and would face the Bums in the first three-game series at Chavez Ravine, but we have the Padres between us and staying in that position.

A doubleheader of seven innings games starts at Oracle at 4:10. It will be hard-throwing righty Chris Paddack (4-4, 4.23) on the mound for the Padres in the first game. He will face lefty Tyler Anderson (3-3, 4.53), who had an excellent outing last time up.

Behind Anderson will be Mike Yastrzemski! (Welcome back, Yaz!) Who will be playing right field and leading off, followed by:

Alex Dickerson (LF)

Donovan Solano (2B)

Brandon Belt (1B)

Wilmer Flores (DH)

Evan Longoria (3B)

Brandon Crawford (SS)

Mauricio Dubon (CF)

Joey Bart (C)

Hopefully Solano is rested after a night off, Dickerson stays hot and Longo, Dubey and Yaz all chip in. The Padres don’t have a reason to win as their position as the No. 2 in the NL West cannot change this weekend.

Will being hungrier make the difference?

I sure hope so! We gotta take three of these games to have a chance.

Let’s Go Giants!

Beat the Pads!

Let’s get that playoff spot!

Posted in 2020 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabe Kapler Uses “The Opener” Brilliantly to Set Up the Struggling 23-Year-Old Logan Webb; Longo and the Kids Knock ’em in. Big Win!

The opener. Executed to perfection.

That’s what Gabe Kapler did yesterday. What was apparent – a kid was struggling with the pressure of the big-league environment as a starter – directed the logic. The reliever with the best win/loss record was given the start with the intention of only using him for two innings. Then the change was made, despite it being unorthodox, and the move was a huge success.

Logan Webb, a 23-year-old rookie who has struggled mightily this year – so much so I said he shouldn’t be a Giant next year – was due to pitch in this very important game against the Rockies.

Kapler started Caleb Baragar, a win-vulture (5 – 1) among the middle inning relievers, just for two innings. When Webb got to the mound in the third, he was much cooler and at ease. Settled in, handled it.

I have never seen the strategy of “the opener” used before. That was a clinic.

Giants won 7 – 2. Longo went yard, Dubey went yard and Belt, Crawford and Duggar all had RBIs.

It will be Kevin Gausman on the mound for the G-men. He will be facing Chi Chi Gonzalez (0 – 2, 7.53), a righty. Donovan Solano gets a well-earned rest. Wilmer Flores will take his spot in Kapler’s lineup, which is the only change from yesterday:

Austin Slater (DH)

Alex Dickerson (LF)

Wilmer Flores (2B)

Brandon Belt (1B)

Brandon Crawford (SS)

Evan Longoria (3B)

Mauricio Dubon (C)

Joey Bart (C)

Steven Duggar (RF)

Kapler said we might see a bench appearance by Yaz as soon as today! Hopefully he’s not necessary, but that would be awesome to see him back out there again.

Let’s Go Giants! Let’s Make that Playoff Push!!!! I want to play the Bums!

Pound the Rocks! Pulverize the Rocks! Crush em!

Let’s Gooooooooooooooooooo!

Posted in 2020 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One Down, Six to Go – Giants Support Smyly, Return to .500, Tied With Reds and Brewers for 8th Playoff Spot

Austin Slater hit his first leadoff homer, new dad Alex Dickerson pinch-hit the go-ahead home run and Brandon Belt pinch-doubled in two more. The bats coupled with another fine start by Drew Smyly and the Giants beat the Rockies to level the series and return to .500.

The Rockies will send righty Ryan Castellani (1-3, 5.59) to face the Giants at Oracle tonight. He will be facing lefty Caleb Baragar, who has a 5 – 1 record by vulturing wins while pitching relief. It will be his first start. I wonder if Kapler is using an “opener” – a strategy of sending out a guy just for the first couple of innings and using someone else or several others in relief.

The guys backing up Baragar and the batting lineup:

Austin Slater (DH)

Alex Dickerson (LF)

Donovan Solano (2B)

Brandon Belt (1B)

Brandon Crawford (SS)

Evan Longoria (3B)

Mairicio Dubon (CF)

Joey Bart (C)

Steven Duggar (RF)

Let’s Go Giants!!!

Pound the Rocks!

Crush the Rocks!

Pulverize the Rocks!

Posted in 2020 | Leave a comment

Rookie Bart Catches Cueto Because Tromp Had “Potential” Injury – Cueto/Bart Give Up Seven Runs, Giants Lose Critical Game in Playoff Push Reminding Us Bochy Always Carried THREE Catchers

According to Giants beat reporter Maria Guardado, Chadwick Tromp appeared to jam his shoulder sliding back into first base during Sunday’s matchup against the A’s. Apparently, the shoulder was tweaked enough to still hurt in the afternoon on Monday and Tromp was scratched.

As per Guardado, Cueto’s “personal catcher, Chadwick Tromp, was a late scratch after tweaking his right shoulder on a dive back to first base on Sunday. The Giants instead started Joey Bart, who struggled to get on the same page with Cueto when they were paired for the first time on Aug. 25.”

I cannot second-guess Kapler because I have no idea how bad the “potential’ was, but Giants beat writer John Shea had, only last week, written a short feature on the unique relationship shared by Cueto and Tromp: Chad even called a shimmy! Potential injury?

Cueto and Bart had trouble communicating last night from the outset and it was apparent to all. The question wasn’t “will this result in Rockies runs?” but rather when? and how many? The answers may have ended the Giants’ hopes for playoff action.

To add insult to injury, there was Tromp, catching the ‘pen in the 8th, hoping to help with his bat in the 9th. Once it was clear Cueto and Bart weren’t in sync, couldn’t we have tried going to Tromp earlier, then? Like in the 2nd? It was like watching a slow train wreck.

I immediately thought of our greatest Manager, future-Hall-of-Famer Bruce Bochy, a catcher, who famously – and often against criticism – always kept three catchers on staff. Often the third was a veteran, a stabilizing presence. If we had that last night – even Tyler Heineman might have done – we wouldn’t have had to turn to a struggling rookie.

We always had a Steven Vogt or Guillermo Quiroz or Eli Whiteside or Bengie Molina for exactly the situation we faced last night: first game of the final and most important homestand of the season.

Can you feel the sting of an absence? Can an absence, sting? Because as my heart sank into my stomach, I felt a sting in my head and realized it was because of the absence of Bruce Bochy at the helm.

And of Gerald Dempsey Posey behind the plate. Because if he were here we’d have three catchers and Bart would have a teacher.

Earlier on this blog I bragged that as a Tamil, I could handle the crazy swing from Boch to Zaidi/Kapler. That sting in my head was the exact measure of how difficult it was last night. It was painful.

The constant shifting and changing of players in-and-out, and experimenting with guys for just six ABs does sometimes culminate in a collision of cultures against the measured commitment of players’ manager Bochy, who shuffled along making Bochy noises, stuck with his plan and adjusted when necessary.

Things get much tougher for the Giants now. We simply have to take all the rest from Colorado.

It’ll be the recently-excellent Drew Smyly tonight against Kyle Freeland, a very good lefty. The Giants’ lefty-facing lineup needs to perform. Hopefully Slater can rip one. We need Yaz back, badly. Talk about a Win Above Replacement leader, they should count his absences double.

Absences. Absent Yasztremski, Absent Tromp, Absent Posey, Absent a third veteran catcher, the Giants were hamstrung.

Absent Bochy? sigh. It’s going to be a long while til we feel that again. Maybe never. Gotta get used to the new thing.

We Miss and Love You, Skip

Bonne chance en France

Au france? aux? je ne sais pas.

Let’s Go Giants!

Pound the Rocks!

Get it back!

Posted in 2020 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Arenado Ends Season on IL, Justin’s Up in Smoak as New Dad Dickerson Returns and Kapler’s Lineup Has Bart Catching Cueto? why?

Colorado’s star infielder Nolan Arenado has been put on the IL in advance of the four-game series that starts in about 45 minutes. Justin Smoak has been DFA’d to make room for Alex Dickerson, who is back from paternity leave and leading off. And for some reason Joey Bart is catching Jhonny Cueto.

Tromp caught and starred last night at the plate, maybe he needs rest. But the Cueto/Tromp combination has been a rich, loose and special one all season long. They communicate in their own language and are very much in sync.

Behind Jhonny Cueto, Kapler instead is going with this lineup:

Alex Dickerson, LF

Brandon Belt, 1B

Donovan Solano, 2B

Darin Ruf, DH

Brandon Crawford, SS

Evan Longoria, 3B

Mauricio Dubon, CF

Joey Bart, C

Luis Alexander Basabe, RF

Let’s Go Giants!!

Pound the Rocks!

Posted in 2020 | Leave a comment

Kapler’s Decision to Hold Cueto Pays Off, Giants Batter A’s, Bash Murphy, Take More Runs Than They Gave Up in Two Games, Prevent Season Sweep, 14 – 2

These Giants looked tough on Sunday, eh? Bob Melvin was complaining about ’em bashing his catcher and beaning Laureano (like the most hit guy in the league, btw). That’s rich. The A’s manager complaining about the Giants roughing ’em up! Bwahahahaaaahaaaa. The irony.

It was a great win over in Oakland that featured a Crawford Salami which was a thing of beauteous nostalgia for the Bochy Era crowd. Lovely it was. Brandon, you’ve got a job as a Giant as long as you want one, I say. You will be up on that wall of fame one day, for sure. Great Giant.

The long ball figured prominently as the Giants leapt out to an eight – nothing lead. But the whole order got into the act by the end of the day.

Kapler’s decision to hold Cueto has paid off. Tyler Anderson was great in substitution. Hopefully, it leads to a game one victory against the Rox tonight.

SO IT COMES TO AN EIGHT GAME HOMESTAND TO DECIDE EVERYTHING

Wow. I hoped we would be in this kind of a position and Kapler and his staff have achieved it: legitimacy as a playoff contender in the 60-game rock-n-roll baseball season of 2020. I am pretty satisfied with what we have accomplished this year …

BUT I WANT MORE

It’s crazy to think that if we were to win all eight of these games we’d be second in the NL with leverage in the playoffs. Lose all eight and we go home.

The Giants (26-26) are tied with Cincinnati (27-27) and Milwaukee (26-26) for the second wild card, all trailing Philadelphia (27-26) by a half-game. The Mets (24-29) and Rockies (23-29) are alive, but they need wins and help. The Rockies could get both and totally flip the script while visiting San Francisco. They rested Nolan Arenado on Sunday, and picked up Kevin Pillar – suddenly out of the blue, last week – with just that intention. Can’t let that happen.

If the Giants go four and four (4-4) at home on the last week, I fear it will not be enough to catch Philadelphia or the Reds, whom I see as our main competition for the wild card positions. Go five and three (5-3) or six and two (6-2),and I think we make the playoffs.

The trouble is four games against the Padres, who are still trying to seize first in the NL West from the Bums. And two of those are a 7-inning double header set, at which the Giants have utterly failed. If we can take two from the Padres and three or four from the Rox, we’re in.

My sole goal right now is to get that eighth slot and get to face the Bums. Ohhhhh to spoil the Nemesis’ run would be perfect for a rebuilding year.

Jhonny Cueto will be on the mound this evening at 6:45 at Oracle Park, and he’ll be facing right-hander German Marquez (2-6, 4.33).

It is also pretty great that we rested Yasztremski’s sore calf. I wonder if Dickerson will join us against Colorado after the birth of his child? That’d make for a full squad in the last week of the season at Kapler’s disposal to move and shift according to the math and in-game circumstances. That’s amazing given the absurdity of this Covid-19, Wildfire-damaged season. Tremendous poise under extreme circumstances shown by Gabe Kapler in his first season.

For Zaidi, it’s the perfect opportunity to observe Kapler’s skills as a manager and players’ behavior when the chips are down. Kind of perfect going into winter whether we make the playoffs or not.

But I want more!

Let’s Go Giants!

Crush the Rocks!

Pound the Rocks!

Start the Sweep

Let’s goooooooooooooooooooooo!

Posted in 2020 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cueto’s Start Pushed for Anderson as Cross-Bay Rivals Smite Giants’ Playoffs Dreams with TWO Six-Nothing Shutouts *PLUS* Critique of Management and Broadcast Coverage

Ugh. The A’s are a lot better than us. I hoped we’d win the Gausman outing, and it was a tense, well-fought battle until the cobbled-together outfield, created from the absence of Alex Dickerson (paternity leave) and Mike Yazstremski (calf injury rest), DROPPED THREE FLY BALLS and Sam Coonrod imploded. The Giants lost 0 – 6.

The A’s shut us out twice by six runs. ugh.

Hopefully, Kapler, Anderson and the boys can steal a win today. That’s right Tyler Anderson will be starting in Jhonny Cueto’s place today, as Kapler has decided to push Cueto to the Colorado series.

Gabe Kapler has grown on me. Initially, during the period of leading the league in errors and failure at extra innings rules and late-inning bullpen implosions, I called him “Gabe Kaplan, cause he’s a joke.”

But I was totally wrong. The turnaround was incredible. Until the rhythm was shattered by the false positive Covid-19 test and Toxic Air Quality week, Kapler showed me so much. His in-game decision-making has been necessarily experimental and thus subject to throw-away circumstances, yet, he has shown at critical moments a willingness to be flexible.

See, I’m Tamil, so I can handle the whiplash.

Oh what? Did you think you were the only one enduring the stark rapidity of change that has snapped your head on a swivel from Bochy to Zaidi/Kapler? Oh no, there’s millons of us. I’ve felt like the heads of some old-school friends of mine might explode watching them look at these shifts.

But I like that Kapler shows flexibility, and that things are mutable for better or worse. The changeability is like the ocean. It can have waves of success.

The fact that we are within spitting distance of a playoff position and not sitting in last place with the D’Backs and Rox is due to that great run from August 23rd to September 15th. It is pure testimony to how Kapler has looked at the 60-game season as a whole and how he has managed issues within it.

Sure he has been granted a smaller park and a line-up of suprisingly good bats, but that’s just credit to Zaidi.

Zaidi and Kapler have also used this period to ease out veteran players who were hangers-on of The Bochy Era, aka The Championship Era. We gave Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval a last chance to be in a Giants uniform, even though we couldn’t do it in front of fans, which is what they truly deserve.

By contrast, Brandon Belt and Evan Longoria have proved their staying ability and worth. Brandon Crawford remains viable. It feels good that management understands what he is to the organization.

Management has also found gems that will be incredibly valuable in winter. It will hurt the Comcast Authentic Fans when we deal Yazstremski to Boston, because they cannot consider what his worth is to that town and Mr. Zaidi has its value down to a dime.

They may not want to say goodbye to Solano or Dubon or Flores, all of whom have hit like solid major-leaguers, but they should comprehend the management toward victory more clearly.

It’s clear Logan Webb and Sam Coonrod should NOT be Giants next year.

They have failed to perform in critical circumstances. I love how little tolerance Farhan Zaidi has for consistent failure. It isn’t personal. It’s personnel

He got us out of Bobby Evans’ failed Melancon deal by being swift to cut and taking whatever heat that brought (some may watch Melancon win with the Braves and see it as redemption for Evans, I’d argue timing is everything. Let’s see how he does in a critical situation in the playoffs.).

I don’t pull punches. I started this blog way back in 2011 so I could express my opinions about the Giants to help through increasing critical discourse. I have offended people in our SF Giants community in the Bay Area with my opinions.

This is Giants Baseball Corner.

I did not coddle Tyler Beede or George Kontos or Mark Melancon with the wishy-wishy positivism of Kruk and Kuip and AlPav and Comcast. We all loved Brisbee because he was a better writer than I am, than any of us, and made it funny. And what did they do? Put him on TV. smh. They didn’t help make him a writer for the heads on tv! morons.

It’s my contribution to critique players, management and play. And the HUGE media has made that almost impossible without offending the audience they created.

I am sorry they are so sensitive and that my words, authored thus, have such a powerful ability to affect them. Brittle spirits.

This is a free wordpress blog where I spout my opinions. Many times I’m right and they’re useful. I don’t seek or need credit, followers or money, but people who love the Giants know how much I love the Giants. What I’m happy for is when an observation of mine is useful to the success of the team.

Also sometimes I am wrong or drunk or ranting out of hapless frustration.

that’s the point of a blog.

In my opinion Comcast, followed by its current manifestation as NBCBA, completely robbed us of critique for a decade and made us a less-powerful, less-savvy baseball community in order to promote their own bottom lines through “social ends.”

They make it harder to say goodbye to valuable trade chips because they have created over-emotional “social” connections. This creates enmity between fans and management.

They use an “aw-shucks” positivism by two former players as their mediators, which creates malaise and reduces hunger for wins.

They used a Republican Party tactic – name yourself the opposite of what you are to fool people into believing it (Clean Air Act, Help America Vote Act) – and created “Authentic Fan” as their motto. This unified fans who mostly watch the games on TV around a rubric and around their coverage – for better or worse. I say, worse.

They force us to never criticize Kruk and Kuip and instead of producing them tighter as they get older, give them free-er rein to blather about things that have nothing to do with the game. They romanticize them to make it unassailable.

But Kruk and Kuip are NOT sportscasters; they’re fans, who are also former players of the team they cover. It’s the worst for critical thinking to put sycophants behind the mic – and we have done it for 30 years and shoved it through the “tv” or “video” monitor era with all the accompanying advertising and entertainment bullshit.

The presence of the Comcast crowd is how the Giants locker room was able to CENSOR a legitimate reporter like Baggs at one time. Of course the players are going to say Kruk and Kuip are the best. They protect them from criticism. That is not journalism.

To help understand what I am talking about, here is the wiki page about the Broadcast Giant Monopoly Era that owns coverage of the Giants on video or TV or visually, a Mega Conglomerate, far from home in the Bay, under which we all have been writing and tweeting our thoughts.

“On April 30, 2007, Comcast purchased a 60% interest in FSN Bay Area, along with a 50% stake in FSN New England, from Rainbow Media for $570 million.[3] 

Then on December 10, the San Francisco Giants acquired a 30% stake in FSN Bay Area,[4] with News Corporation becoming a minority partner in the network.

As a result of Comcast becoming the majority interest holder, the network (after the sale was finalized in February 2008) was integrated into the company’s own regional sports network group Comcast SportsNet, rebranding as Comcast SportsNet Bay Area on March 31, 2008.[5]

CSN Bay Area became the first Comcast SportsNet-branded network to use a logo style (utilizing Comcast’s then-universal corporate logo), based on the logo for SportsNet New York, that was later adopted by all the other CSN regional networks on October 1, 2008. Shortly after the rebranding in April 2008, Fox agreed to sell its interest in CSN Bay Area to Comcast.[6]

Following Comcast’s purchase of majority control of NBCUniversal, which already owned NBC owned-and-operated station KNTV (channel 11) and Telemundo O&O KSTS (channel 48), on April 19, 2011, the network announced plans to build an additional set specifically for use on sports segments seen on KNTV’s newscasts.

“Comcast announced that CSN Bay Area would be rebranded NBC Sports Bay Area on April 2, 2017, in a move meant to “better associate the prestigious NBC Sports legacy with the strength of our Comcast Sports Networks’ local sports coverage in Northern California.”[8]

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

There’s plenty I love about the coverage from a visual standpoint. The coverage of the park and the super high-tech cameras and angles and slow-motions and all that comes with Giant Conglomerate Media, is great.

I am talking about the production of “The Show.” It has become dulling entertainment with way less substantive contemporaneous coverage and critique of the actual team and management.

Their goal is to create an impenetrable “club” loyal to their brand at Comcast. It is not in their interest to allow diverse opinions or other unique baseball analysis in. It is more important to establish their hegemony over the story of the Giants. Keep the entirety of their club comfortable. People join clubs to feel good, right? So the sycophancy and positivism folds right in.

We aren’t New York. I get it. I love our inclusionary aspects and Bay Area positivism, But if there isn’t healthy critical sports journalism to apply pressure, the millionaires playing and managing ball? you know the ones who make hundreds of thousands more a year than our essential workers? Well they can get lax with their commitment and effort without that pressure.

Let me be more specific about my critique in an attempt to be constructive.

I always put Vin on rather than listen to our staff. There are at least 20% of opposing team’s broadcast crews I also listen to during the season.

In other markets the statisticians and producers weave critical, contemporaneous data into the broadcast. They do very little “historical” or “trivia” or “storytelling” content. Those elements are woven into the production at specific moments, but most of the coverage is in the moment and of what is happening on the diamond.

Match-up data is a critical example of what is missing here. Instantaneous, to-the-count, match-up data is now available against every opponent. What made Scully great was his preparation. The story-telling was a gift, but the data-collection and research and preparation for delivery of a nugget was work.

We can tell if you’re phoning it in. And clunky improvising, which may have worked for many years when we were winning and times were high and you were more under control, withers into doddering, poorly-timed irrelevancies if you don’t watch that shit hawkishly.

Point the second: catch-phrase creation whereby you keep saying something to make it your stamp? is wack. Enough. Just call what is happening in front of you. There’s usually plenty of presently available contemporaneous data to what is happening at any moment in any game. Enough with the catch phrase stamping.

Which means quit droning on about history when that space could be filled with contemporaneous data. The historical elements can and should be woven into pre-produced areas of broadcast when the game isn’t actually going on.

Not that I don’t mind cool stories and pepper … but when your patter is weak? It’s a drag to even watch the game. Everybody at Comcast is telling you your patter is beloved and great, and really the production – from a baseball standpoint, in the moment, of the game – gets weaker by the year. Is that the legacy you want?

Krukow just reads aloud what is on the screen often. It’s degrading. To him and the listeners. He’s just reading statistics that are in front of us!

Truth is we are one of the sexiest SABRmetrics teams out there. We have money like the big boys and Zaidi and Kapler are making deft, quick moves, like jabs and stiletto stabs, trying wild ideas and lineups and experimenting with the new faces they move about like pawns. They have exposed guys weaknesses clearly in advance of any moves they make this winter. You can see it in the numbers.

We need comparable data-driven coverage that is equally if not more deft and out-in-front. Our print journalists do it. Schulman and Shea do it. The beat guys. Learn how to be more like them.

Well enough of my opinion about that.

Let’s Go Giants!

Avoid the sweep!

Avoid the season sweep!

Please don’t let the A’s beat us six straight!

Goooooo!

Posted in 2020, Commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Logan Webb Lambasted by Olson and Athletics Again, Leaving Giants Bullpen and Bats Too Deep a Hole 0 – 6

Logan Webb couldn’t throw strikes. Again. The Oakland Athletics made him pay. Again. Matt Olson went yard for a three-run homer. Again. His third of the season against the Giants. And the Giants lost 0 – 6, but it was on a night that saw Yaz resting his calf as day-to-day and big changes in the outfield. Not really a ‘normal’ lineup, if we can say that the month of September has had one.

The A’s have clinched the playoffs now but can still clinch the Division over the Asterisks, for which their magic number is two. They are motivated to get those two wins against a weaker squad like the Giants.

That said, I think Kapler and the Giants saved the best lineups for the two day games of this series. Kevin Gausman is on the mound for the Giants today and they’re facing a lefty in Jesus Luzardo, that the Giants blasted when the clubs met at Oracle, knocking him out after three and a third.

Let’s Goooooo Giants

Vamanos Gigantes

Beat the A’s!

Posted in 2020 | Leave a comment