Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hello, Mandy, my name is Bruce


Recently, new Giants manager Bruce Bochy flew down to Florida to meet with maligned closer Armando Benitez. Bochy has kept the reason and result of this meeting a secret, but Cove Dweller is all over that shit like white on rice. Here's what went down between Mandy and Sputnik:

Bruce Bochy: Armando, nice to see you. Thanks for meeting me.

Armando Benitez: No problem, Bruce. Please to come in.

BB: (hits head on crystal-and-cubic zirconium chandelier) Ooh, sorry about that! You might want to raise that thing a little.

AB: It is 7 feet off ground. I did my job. Some people have big fat heads that are not my fault.

BB: Oh. ... What's that I smell? Bacon? I hope I'm not interrupting breakfast.

AB: No, no, do not worry. It is second lunch. Donuts wrapped in bacon, with deep-fried Snickers on the side. Would you like some of my bacon-holes?

BB: Oh, no, thank you. I'm not hungry. Maybe a glass of water.

AB: You like buttermilk? It is all I drink.

BB: Um, no thanks. So, listen, Armando, I wanted to talk to you about next season. You know we're counting on you to be a part of our bullpen.

AB: I am closer. I close baseball games, it is simple job.

BB: Well, of course you'll get the chance to be the closer again, but ...

AB: Felipe say to me I could be closer.

BB: Oh, well, you know, Felipe's gone now. I took his place.

AB: But Felipe say I his closer. He send me basket of Fruit Roll-ups as present.

BB: Felipe left the team, Armando. I'm your new coach. And I'm here to tell you that we need you next year. You're making close to $8 million next year, you're the heaviest player on the team, and Kevin Frandsen told me about the time you ate Todd Linden. That's not very nice, Armando. You have to be a leader on this team.

AB: Of course I do that. I'm Armando! I close games! I win big and sex many ladies!

BB: Exactly. And if you don't pitch like you did last year, you'll be valuable to us.

AB: I did my job last year.

BB: Well, see, no, you didn't really. That's why you got demoted and your season was so unfortunate.

AB: Demoted? Unfortunate? What you talk about?

BB: You lost your closer job. You were booed every time you stepped out of the dugout. You threw your teammates under the bus.

AB: Well, once they change rules, I started pitching better. Coach said I was not good in ninth inning, so is good thing they shorten games.

BB: Uh ... shortened the games?

AB: Yes, to 7 innings. I pitched much better in 7th inning, so is good thing they shorten game to 7 innings. I save many games after that.

BB: Felipe told you they shortened the games?

AB: Yes, of course. He nice old man. Remind me of many brain-dead Caribbean slap hitters I fuck with hard ball. Why you ask?

BB: Uh ... I just ... oh, well, I was just double checking. Yeah, we're going to need to for those 7th innings! Hope you're ready!

AB: Yes, I am ready! I will fuck batters in their ass with my hard balls!

BB: Uh, right.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Barry A's


Apparently, the A's have interest in signing Bonds as their new DH since Frank Thomas bolted for the warmer climes of Toronto. (He definitely just wants to win a championship. No doubt.)
So then ... Barry on the A's. I have so many feelings about Bonds and the Giants at this point that it's almost like I have no feelings whatsoever — no matter what he does, I don't think I'll flinch. If he leaves for an AL team, I'll be fine. If he re-signs with the Giants, I'll be cool as well. (As long as they don't sign him for more than, say $9 mil.) I'm just over it all, honestly. I won't sugarcoat it, it will be extremely strange to see him in something other than a Giants uniform. (Even video evidence of his days in Pittsburgh look fake, since it's basically a different person than we've seen on the Giants.) But if he's still on TV here everyday, and still a fixture in the Bay Area? Not as weird at all. The A's are the one team that he could play for that I wouldn't cringe at. But I can't imagine Barry playing for Bob Geren. No, scratch that, I can't believe Geren would want to coach Bonds in his first season as a skipper, as Bonds aims for the most hallowed record in sports. I doubt the man is ready for it.
Well, I lied earlier — I might get a little mad if Bonds leaves. But only if he goes to the Angels. Then I'm fucking breaking stuff.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Offseason Extravaganza!



Sort of. You thought I was dead for the winter, didn't you? Silly rabbit! I"ll check in occasionally with offseason updates on trade rumors, hirings, firings, signings and the like. Much to discuss! Let's begin:
1. Bruce Bochy - Start cranking out those soze 8 3/4 Giants hats, New Era. I'm a fan of this hiring. The man won three division titles and went a World Series - which he would have won if not for those pesky record-setting Yankees - in 12 years in San Diego. There are many levels to this hiring. One, in theory it makes the Padres weaker, even though they wanted him out anyway. Still, it's nice to fuck the Pads. Two, it's an infinitely better move than hiring Lou Piniella, which would have been a bigger disaster than "Poseidon." Three, it means the team is serious about trying to re-sign Bonds. I don't know if that's a good thing or not, but it's something, and as long as they don't overpay I'll be happy to have him back. If they had hired Joe Girardi or Ron Wotus or a first-time manager, that would have been an admission that they were going with the youth movement next year and giving up on Bonds. Bochy is someone Bonds would respect.
2. The Pat Burrell rumors - I like Pat Burrell. A lot. I know he strikes out a ton and doesn't have good plate discipline, but he plays a mean right field, he's only 30 and he hits lots of homers. If they can get him without giving up a lot AND get the Phillies to eat some of his obscene contract, I'm all for it. It would hurt the chances of signing Alfonso Soriano or Carlos Lee, but those were longshots anyway. If I had my druthers, I'd take Lee first, Burrell second and Soriano third. So Burrell is a good option, as long as they don't have to give up Jonathan Sanchez or Merkin Valdez.
3. All the free agents - Umm, who's going to play third base? And first base? Are they really going to war with Kevin Frandsen at second? If Bonds doesn't come back, who's playing left field? It's early, and the Bochy hire and a Burrell trade would shore up a lot of questions, but there's a lot of work to be done. But I have faith. And the winter meetings always stir up some fun.
RANDOM MOVIE RECOMMENDATION: I'm probably the last person on Earth who hadn't seen "The Departed," but I saw it last night, and if you're even farther behind the times than me, go see it. Everyone was amazing in it, but Leonardo DiCaprio absolutely owned the movie. He's unbelievable in it. An awesome movie.
Also, the Olsen twins were in the theater with me. That's right, I saw a movie with the fuckin Olsen twins. Very strange, and yet comically normal at the same time. Had they actually not seen the movie yet? Did they know some of the actors? Why were they in SF? I'm brimming with questions. MK and Ash, call me so we can discuss.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Is it over yet?

The answer, sadly, is yes. There's no way the Giants beat the Padres or Dodgers. The Gents would have to win out basically, and hope one of those two go down the tubes. Both those teams are playing pretty well, and the Giants just lost four straight to the highly mediocre Cardinals and wildly below-average Rockies - this season's done. Call me in February, when pitchers and catchers report. Until then, GO NINERS! And to a lesser degree, go Warriors.

BTW, did anyone SEE that Dodgers-Padres game Monday? Four straight homers! That's video game shit right there.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Crunch time

I'm not sure that Matt Cain has reached immortal status quite yet. Right now I would liken him to someone more like Hercules...less than a god, but more than a man. As soon as he gets his pitch counts under control, he will be summarily elevated to "god" status. He even has the biblical name and everything. This could happen sooner than anyone might think. It seems like he gets better with every start...yesterday against the Rockies he threw 118 pitches in eight innings. That is usually how many pitches he throws through six innings. And every outing seems like a legitimate no-hitter waiting to happen.

That being said, it's a shame the rest of the Giants' pitching staff can't follow Cain's example. Schmidt, the staff ace at the beginning of the season, has been inconsistent all year. Cain has definitely taken over "ace" status in his last 5-6 starts. And that's a shame, really. Imagine if Schmidt had been pitching like he's capable of. There wouldn't be a deadlier 1-2 punch in baseball. Yet I still hold out hope that if the Gents reach the playoffs, Schmidt will be a gamer and give us some throwback outings.

Better yet, imagine if Matt Morris had lived up to his salary and not been one of the most disappointing Giants' free-agent acquisitions in recent memory. A dominant starter with St. Louis, Morris has, like so many other veterans, come to San Francisco and essentially been put out to pasture. Think of the possibilities for a five game playoff series with Cain, Schmidt, and Morris all in their primes. What NL team would want to go up against that?

So far this discussion has only included the Gents' right-handers. What about the lefty, you might ask? Oh that's right, Noah Lowry. He has been even streakier than Schmidt all season. When his control is off, like it was during his last start against the Rockies, watch out. Lowry is yet another Giants pitcher who has not lived up to the hype. Imagine if Lowry was pitching like he did as a rookie...in a seven game series our starters would be Schmidt, Cain, Morris, Lowry. That would be pretty good if they were all peaking, or at least pitching like we know they can.

Finally, (and this really deserves its own posting, but whatever, I'm lazy) I'm glad my blog buddy gent John has finally come around on the whole Barry thing. Mr. Bonds is putting it together down the stretch for the Gents and really impacting the entire lineup like he used to. I finally feel like he is a legitimate home run threat on every pitch now, something I couldn't say for most of the season. I see him finishing strong and carrying the momentum into next season. I really am optimistic for next year, when he should break the HR record in a Gents uniform. What I really hope is that he drops a few pounds in the off-season to take pressure off his knees next year. I think if he gets in better shape and takes care of his knee this off-season, he will have a chance to finish his career on a strong note next season. Amen

Matt Cain: God or mere demi-god?

Those are pretty much the two options at this point. Stats for The Chosen One over his last six starts: 5-0, 0.21 ERA, 42 innings, 43 strikeouts, 19 hits, untold thousands of overjoyed Giants fans. There's hope for the future! It's not a black hole in the post-Barry world! (BTW, I've softened on the Barry situation and would welcome him back next season. If the Giants had continued on their 74-win pace of earlier this season, that's a different story.)
Cain has been nothing short of spectacular for the last month. Two more starts like this and he should wrap up ROY and Pitcher of the Month easy. Speaking of ROY, who are even the other candidates? Let's have a look:
Conor Jackson - .286 ba, 13 hr, 70 rbi, .371 obp, .436 slg
Prince Fielder - .275, 25, 73, .348, .486
Josh Johnson - 12-7, 3.10 era, 133 k, 1.30 whip
Hanley Ramirez - .288, 13, 49, .354, .459, 48 sb
Cain - 13-9, 3.75, 163, 1.22
That's some stiff competition, and I didn't even include Dan Uggla or Anibal Sanchez. Good year for rookies. But I think Cain is right there stats-wise, and he's doing it while carrying the Giants staff in a pennant race on a roster chock-full of veterans. I may be a homer, but that seems like a compelling case to me.
Oh, and the last Giant to win ROY? John Montefusco in 1975. That was 31 years ago! It's time.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Moving is the theme these days...

It is good to hear that Johnny boy has taken yet another step towards being the most whipped man alive by moving in with the GF. I guess I'm not in much of a position to talk considering that I will most likely be moving back home in a few weeks at the conclusion of my illustrious 5+ year college career. As lame as that sounds, I will nonetheless be closer to my beloved Gents as they make their wild card stretch run. Speaking of which, this weekend is going to be absolutely crucial for our wild card hopes. We have a three game set against the Pads, winners of five straight and current leaders of the wild card. If the Gents sweep, they will be 1/2 game back. Let's just say they will have to win the series to keep hopes alive. Hopefully Barry will retain his home run stroke after having the day off during today's win. I think he can make it to just under 30 homers by the end of the season, which would give him about 735 career. No matter what, he should break Aaron's record next year. And that needs to happen on the Giants. I don't want to hear any more talk about blowing up the roster "starting with Barry". And that goes double for you, Gent John. If the man wants to come back and break the record in SF and retire, more power to him. He deserves that much. Considering that the Giants are now second only to the Cubs as the most tortured franchise in MLB, Barry is really the only thing we Giants fans have to hold onto. And I really don't care that he used steroids; so have the majority of professional athletes. Actually screw that: living in SoCal the past 5 years has shown me that about 80% of the male population 'roids before every beach season. But I digress. Barry is going to help us down the stretch, and if by some miracle we make the playoffs, there's no saying what can happen. Until next time.

Long Time No See

Since I was busy moving (and SoCal Ty was busy furthering his educational directive ... I mean, getting hammed up at college), nothing was said of the Giants’ last two weeks of ridiculousness. Truthfully, I haven’t been able to follow them closely what with moving into a new apartment that has no cable or internet - although I did paint my kitchen Giants-orange. (Don’t tell the girlfriend, she thinks it’s “pumpkin.” Awesome.) All I know is that the Gents are right back in the wild card chase, with the Padres coming to town this weekend. The Bums are running away with the West, which is disheartening because it destroys my idea that the Gents could go beyond the first round. But that’s not what it’s about dammit - just get to the playoffs, and even the world’s fastest three-game sweep at the hands of the Mets would be considered a success. Because, as we’ve mentioned before, her’s what the Giants currently consist of:
1. A 42-year-old mirage of a former slugger who can barely run at half speed without nearly toppling like a drunken Stanford tree.
2. a 39-year-old shortstop who’s playing out of his mind.
3. A closer who’s so hated he gets booed just for warming up.
4. A 196-year-old manager who generally acts like it’s still 1972.
5. An “ace” pitcher with a nasty habit of getting rocked every few starts.
6. Mike Stanton.
This is not a playoff team, but I’ll be ecstatic if they can sneak into the playoffs. (Bruce Jenkins would rather they miss the playoffs, for the long-term greater good. But he’s a jackass.) A playoff run hopefully won’t make management think this team can survive next year - if they don’t blow it up (starting with Barry) and rebuild, The name of this blog will change to “Cove Suicide Drowning”.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

ROLL ON YOU GENTS

Fuck yeah, roll on. Last night's domination by Noah Lowry makes it 10 wins in 13 games for the Giants. Remember all that talk about how every team in the NL West BUT the Giants has had a hot streak this season? Kaput! Two more wins and SF will be a .500 team for the first time since Jesus was born. As far as Lowry - badass. It's about goddamn time he lived up to the hype we gave him before the season. Once again, I'm feeling good about a Lowry-Cain rotation for a long time coming, presumably as the only saving grace of what will be a BAD team for at least 2 years. But those two are worth watching every time they take the mound, because something special could always happen.
Now let's get a little crazy. Suppose the Giants actually make the playoffs - a long shot, but a possibility - there are two scenarios I see for them. The first is that they win the wild card and play the Mets in the first round, in which case they'll be swept ever so embarassingly. The Mets are the best team in the NL, bar none. But what if the Giants win the West? Then they would play the Cardinals. I'm telling you, they could beat the Cardinals easy. The Cardinals are not very good, period - outside of Pujols and Rolen, their offense ain't what it used to be, and their pitching couldn't win a Little League game. Mark Mulder is positively terrible, so even if the Giants lost Game 1 to Carpenter, they would have a HUGE upside in both a Lowry vs. Mulder and Cain vs. Marquis/Weaver/a bag of chips matchup. And if someone upsets the Mets ... well, I'm not getting my hopes up, but with the Giants' starters a run in the playoffs is totally possible. I'm just sayin'.

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