Friday, December 26, 2008

Big Unit Comes Home

The Giants signed Randy Johnson to a one year contract. Johnson is from the Bay Area, not far from where I live and grew up. This will mean that the Giants will have three Cy Young winners in their starting rotation. Johnson, five times, Zito and Lincecum. Johnson still has some gas, but is no longer the pitcher he once was. He's got a history behind him that will help others on the team.

The rotation should be, Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez, Zito and Johnson. Where and/or if Noah Lowry will fit remains a mystery. His recovery is still in question. Will the Giants make additional moves to set things in concrete? Brian Sabean has said that neither Cain nor Sanchez will move in a trade. Interesting.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My First Ballpark Road Trip (5)

Read entire series here.

I got to the ballpark, Jack Murphy Stadium as it was known then, before game time. The Padres were playing a double header against the Braves at 2:05pm. Fireworks were to follow the second game. I parked, and walked toward the stadium I had seen in the dark less than 12 hour earlier during a seating change. It looked different in broad daylight. Double sets of thin concrete columns arrayed around the "rounded square" shape, sloping inward as they rose toward the top of the stadium, had a distinct look. Since the lights were contained within the top row of horizontal concrete bands, there were no light towers. The overall appearance of the park was that of a spaceship from outer space. Not that it was bad, just very different from what I knew from the Bay Area. I actually liked this park and its feel.

I had an extra ticket for this day, too, so I began looking for a single who didn't have a ticket. I ran into somebody standing around outside the third base side of the ballpark. I casually approached him, fearing an undercover anti-scalping agent of some kind. He was just casually looking for somebody who had an extra ticket. So we casually agreed to casually entering the park together. He paid me on the inside. This was fine. He was a Dodger fan who lived in a coastal town half way between LA and San Diego. Nonetheless, he was good to talk to during a double header.

We had field level seats down the third base line. Not many fans were around us, as double headers had a knack for fans coming and going all day, but the seats did fill up fairly well at some point. Both games went only about 2 hours, 20 minutes. At the end of the second game, it was still very light, so the fireworks were blown off before it got dark. It wasn't nearly as much fun seeing streaks of gray smoke as it would have been to see the actual colors. It was "America's Finest City" celebration put on by Coors. I love San Diego, but they do have a knack of touting themselves as the finest city anywhere at anytime in history. I dunno about that.

Yes, this was another park I'd never seen before, but the newness of any park had worn off a bit. The awe I felt at Anaheim Stadium was superior, and I believe it would have been reversed had I seen the Murph first. But, it was still a thrill to look through that tunnel and see something completely new. After the game I left and went back to claim a room for the first time on my trip. Box scores for game one and for game two.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Claw

When I was a kid I knew that my dad still had his first baseman's mitt from high school. We brought it back out in the mid 80's. It was a 1941 Rudy York model. It had three separate "finger" looking sections to it. It was about two thirds the size of today's standard fielder's glove, but was the biggest thing ever seen back then. My dad let me use it and I brought it out to the bleachers to show my friends. They nicknamed it "the claw." I had it out there for a few games and it paid off big. I caught a line drive homer off Dave Winfield. If you know how Winfield hit his homers (screaming line drives), and that there was only the palm to catch the ball in, then you can figure out that my hand hurt for not just a few hours.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hot Stove Rumor Mill

Okay, CC Sabathia has now rejected the Yankees deal, along with all other offers, and has whittled his options down to two teams. He lives in California (San Francisco Bay Area, just up the straights from me) and will play only for either the Giants or Dodgers. This is great news for Giants fans that want another hot pitcher in the rotation, especially a home town kid. The only thing left is to wait for the news of him signing with the Giants.

Huh? Oh, wait, he just signed with the Yankees. Nevermind.

Both the Giants and Edgar Renteria's agent have categorically denied that the two sides are close to an agreement, or are even talking. This gives legitimacy to the Giants signing of Rafael Furcal at shortstop. Oh, wait, nevermind.

I'll start my own rumor here. The Giants are moving to Stockholm, Sweden.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Big Stick = Rubber Chickens

Giants GM Brian Sabean announced today that it was highly unlikely that the Giants will be adding a big stick to their lineup. He was quoted as refusing to trade Jonathan Sanchez to get anybody. Skipper Bruce Bochy also announced what would likely be the Giants opening day lineup. Talk show host Damon Bruce pointed out that this lineup would have a total combined 64 home runs last year. Barry Bonds outdid that himself.

I'm tired of hearing about the Giants adding a big stick to their lineup. If they add a big stick, I'll go into rubber chicken sales, because a big stick will get walked all the time. They need at least two big sticks to make a difference. Hasn't 15 years of the Barry Bonds circus proven this to us time and again?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Al Davis Should Be Ball Dude For A Day

Maybe Raiders owner Al Davis could be a Giants ball dude for a day. Like down the first base line.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Countdown To Spring Training

Oh, I don't know. It's at about two months or so. Some blogs have timers that countdown to the second.