24 July 2011

We've been down this road before.

© 2010 Associated Press
Antsy morning. Up with the sun, and nothing to do but watch the Sports Reporters and read Internal Affairs in the Merc. Nothing newsworthy this week. At least not newsworthy enough to bother you while you're visiting this space in search of baseball commentary. Little did you know, you've really wandered into a deep dark corner of my subconscious mind. At any moment, a crazed ex-girlfriend or a GIF of Jose Cruz Jr. dropping Jeff Conine's popup might jump out from behind a curtain and scare you shitless. Welcome to my world.

Now that we have all the caveats out of the way, let's get down to brass tacks: I hate the trade deadline. I abhor the rumor mill. I despise prognostication based on little more than idle conversation over the phone in traffic on the 405 — or Sepulveda, but who would be insane enough to sit in that mess? Team A interested in Player B but doesn't want to part with Prospect C. Oh, but wait, Team D now asking for Prospect E and a little cash to sweeten the deal long enough for Team F to jump in the mix and make things interesting... Btw, I heard this from Team G's clubhouse attendant. Yeah, it's fun to banter this shit about, but what's the point if you're not the guy who can pull the strings and make it happen?

Maybe I'm just getting old, and maybe I've been through too many Julys, and maybe I've seen Sabean make too many shrewd but wholly nondescript moves, a few of which helped us win a little thing called the World Series last year... and a few of which became Ryan Garko. My point is, it should be bluntly obvious to any Giants fan that Sabean has been reluctant to pull the trigger on the so-called "blockbuster" deal ever since he dealt Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano, and some guy named Boof to the Twins for a dude who played one season in SF, set a club record for GIDP, and went on to win a World Series with the White Sox the very next year. (It's not worth mentioning his name this early in the morning.) Prior to that much-maligned move, the man was a wheelin', dealin' machine...

16 July 2011

Second verse, same as the first...

Can't believe it's been two weeks since I last spoke to you in more than 140-character bursts. Oh, well, that's the life I lead. As everyone else begins to relax and take a little vacay, I tend to get busy keeping myself organized. Probably why I love baseball so much. It feeds right into my obsessive compulsions. There's no shortage of stats or highlights or sabermetrics to keep my mind occupied until the wee morning hours as I stare out the window wondering... "Do I dare to eat a peach?"

This, of course, is a very long-winded — Dickensian, if you will — manner of apologizing for leaving you hanging. But then again, I sincerely doubt you lacked for online entertainment in my absence from the blogosphere. There are, as I've discovered, other baseball blogs out there. Besides, the mini-hiatus gave me time to come to a few epiphanies about our 2011 San Francisco Giants, and damned if I don't feel a little lighter in the shoulder region. I'll share them with you now in the stead of another cookie-cutter midseason report...

04 July 2011

Smoke and Mirrors

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Let's see if you recognize this pattern: Team A falls behind early by a run or two and can't get anything done against Team B's starter. Around the seventh inning, Team B has to go to the bullpen, and Team A suddenly rallies to steal the game. If you identified this as the Giants' modus operandi at home in 2011, you are correct. But the same narrative could also be used to describe the three losses the Giants absorbed on their most recent road trip to the American Midwest.

The Giants simply aren't used to blowing leads, and we as fans are not used to seeing them blown. It's disconcerting when the best bullpen in baseball doesn't deliver the goods. Now that Brian Wilson has been elevated to a godlike status not just by the Giants and their fans but by the marketing execs at Major League Baseball™ who know a good cow to milk when they see it — please to consult the Ubaldo Jimenez mini license plate spot ("Zander?") — the ninth inning has a cone of pride and ego enveloping it. And when the cone is pierced, it lets loose a primal roar of frustration.