Tag Archives: 2010 World Series

The Dodgers on making the Playoffs or “What A Difference a Buck can Make!”

Baseball Money

Baseball Money

Brandon Belt made a comment yesterday about the Dodgers and their incredible 1st place NL West ranking this year, something to the effect, “that’s where they’re supposed to be”. I thought it to be a rather odd comment and did a little research to find that the Dodgers have the highest average salary this year in all of MLB, besting the Atlanta Braves who will undoubtedly be their biggest contender in the playoffs by more than double ~ Dodgers average salary $7,468,882 vs the Braves average salary of $3,095,800.

Personally, I’m cheering for the Braves for that reason alone. Even though my home team is the SF Giants, I’ve never bought into the “Giants-hating-Dodgers” routine that’s prevalent in both ball clubs. But I am a fan of getting those ridiculous obscene salaries in line with what the average Joe can afford to pay at the gate i.e., cut the cost of the tickets in half and halve the players salaries. or something like that. The players would still be making tons.

And I guess I’m still just a little peeved that the Giants, back in 2011, after winning the 2010 World Series and all the profits that go with that, raised the price of their season tickets. I know baseball’s a business but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. Just one fan’s opinion.

Oh It’s Good To Be Back Home Again ……

Okay, I’ll say it.  I’m not ashamed to admit that one of my very favorite baseball moments of all time was the Opening Day Ceremonies on April 5, 2011, following that glorious 2010 World Series Championship win .  The game was between the San Francisco Giants and the St Louis Cardinals. So today was just the icing on the cake for me.  The same teams were playing, and the championship flag was again being hoisted above the park to remain for the entire 2013 season so that all who crossed  our threshold could see what a magical place they had entered. 

But today, instead of being at the game, I was watching from my comfortable chair, all decked out in orange and black, with a box of Kleenex and a paper bag (to dispose of the used tissues) nearby.  And I did pretty good until they introduced the Cards Manager, Mike Matheny, and the crowd broke into near hysteria in support of this fellow, another of my very favorites.  And I lost it, never to fully recover for the rest of the ceremony. 

music notesI’m not sure why I was so emotional today, but it probably had something to do with the affection the Giants fans feel for their team, and the entire organization for that matter, but also for anyone who has anything to do with the Giants!  The crowd cheered just as loud for each of the St Louis Cardinal players who were former Giants as they did for the current Giants themselves.   It’s been a long dry spell, this post, post-season, and finally today, after five months we have our kids back home ready to dance around the mound, and the plate and the field.  “It’s the sweetest thing I know of, just spending time with you” ……..as if I was singing the song to each of them individually as they walked out onto the field.   Continue reading

“Comeback Kings” The San Francisco Giants

 

“Comeback Kings” The Book

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book; it arrived Saturday and I read it in its entirety Sunday.  All of the 2010 World Series “picture books” are in my library so this was a welcome addition.  The full-page color photo’s are worth the price of the book and if you live in the Bay Area you’ve probably seen them before in the Mercury News or  Oakland Tribune.  Good stuff!  Back in 2010 Andrew Baggarly, or Baggs as he’s fondly referred to by the locals, was the lead sportswriter and his monument to the season is captured in his book “Band of Misfits”.  But Baggs is nowhere to be found in the “Comeback Kings”  since he left the organization and is now part of the Comcast group.  He’s replaced by Alex Pavlovic and  a troupe of other  sportswriters who definitely hold their own. 

“By the time the Giants were done throwing haymakers, their hands were being fitted for championship rings.”  

This is a great line by Pavlovic.  Wish I could  write like that. 

SF Chronicle “Torture to Rapture” Book

My favorite 2010 World Series pictorial was from the SF Chronicle “Torture to Rapture”.   And it’s still probably my most favorite.  I’m sure they’ll come out with another for the 2012 season, but for sure the “Comeback Kings” is a great read for those of us who can’t get enough of these kids and quite simply just don’t want the season to end! 

I mean what are you supposed to do when your main source of entertainment is put on hold?  If you’re Rogers Hornsby,  you stare out the window and wait for spring.  And that’s just about it folks.  

But don’t forget the added bonus this year ~ 2013 World Baseball Classic,  March 2 thru March 19 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, CA. 

“Comeback Kings” Bay Area News Group. Published Nov 2012, Available from Triumph Books and Major Book Retailers.

Related articles

2010 World Champions vs 2011 World Champions!

SF Giants vs. St Louis Cardinals
“Opening Day April, 2011″

On April 9, 2011, I wrote a blog titled “Those Classy Cardinals”.  It was opening day, the first league game after the Giants won the World Series, and they were hosting the St. Louis Cardinals.  It was a great game and the blog got a record number of views and comments.  It was one of my favorites.    Here’s a link to that post “Those Classy Cardinals”.

And then again, on November 14, 2011, I published a blog about the young, new Cardinals Manager, Mike Matheny, who had left baseball some five years earlier as a promising catcher with the SF Giants after sustaining a series of concussions.  He’d just been named as General Manager of the St Louis Cardinals and he was my new hero.  Here’s a link to that post “Mike Matheny ~ Leading by Example.”

“2011 Opening Day in San Francisco”

So there’s just a little bit of irony here as I’m settling in to watch the first game of the race for the 2012 National League Pennant between the SF Giants and the St Louis Cardinals.  Who knew?  I’ve been anxiously awaiting this series which I projected without a doubt would be  between Cincinnati and Washington. But the  Giants and Cards have this way of sneaking in and surprising everyone and now they’re the contenders. 

“Calm & Cool as a Cucumber”

But, seriously folks, there’s no dilemma here.    My home team is the San Francisco Giants (I’m a huge fan), and I really love those Cardinals.  And like many true blue baseball fans,  I just love to see a really great game no matter who wins and I think I’ve recovered enough after the 2010 World Series to be able to handle this ~ calm and cool as a cucumber.

But I’m not sure.  I’ll let you know when it’s over. 

ESPN, SportsCenter and Buster Posey

I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen Buster Posey on a lot of interviews and he’s a really nice guy.   The impression one might get from watching this commercial is that Buster’s kind of a self-centered jerk, which he isn’t.  So I’m wondering;

  1. Who writes these commercials?
  2. Who decides which players get to say what?
  3. Are they out to get the guy?
  4. Are they trying to make him look impatient and self-absorbed?

To tell you the truth I’m not a huge ESPN fan (still a little testy over the 2010 World Series treatment they gave us Giants fans) and this little spot doesn’t help much.  I’d like to see something that represents the true Buster Posey;  something like what Amy G.  does on her “Buster Knows Squat” series.

Joey Mauer’s “Head & Shoulders Shampoo” Commercial

I guess we’re all a little protective of Buster Posey here in the Bay Area.  I hate to say it but I’d almost rather see him doing some of those Joey Mauer commercials, you know, the Head & Shoulders thing.  Not that he has dandruff or anything but it would make him appear more like the really nice guy he is.

Nice Guy Buster

I mean Joey gets to smile in all those shampoo commercials, and I’m sure Buster has just as much to be happy about as Joey.   Seeing nice guy Buster Posey laughing and smiling on a national TV commercial after all he’s been through.  Now that’s a commercial I’d really like to see.  How about it ESPN?

Keith Olbermann Not Raining on This Parade!

Keith Olbermann on David Letterman’s show …..thinking about his next blooper?

Leave it to Keith Olbermann to try to rain on Cain’s parade.  I say “try” because  I’ve never really cared for him or his opinions  as they rarely have relevance to anything, and I wouldn’t have read this one either, except that it got really personal.  Personal, in that Matt Cain belongs to all of us fans here in the Bay Area and if you try to disparage him, you disparage us.

Matt Cain, ultimate pitcher!

Olbermann’s contention is that there’s “something wrong with this picture” because in his mind there have been too many no-hitters and perfect games of late, compared to the good old days.  Here’s the quote that really got my goat:

“I’m not saying the pitchers are juiced and I’m not saying there will be a mental asterisk placed some day on Cain’s perfect game …….”

But?   But what?  Truly unbelievable.   Where do they get these guys?  I mean where did they get” this” guy ~ real sports writers are starting to now proclaim that not only was this a perfect game, but that it just might be the best of all perfect games in the history of baseball.

“Where do they get these guys?”

So what makes an under performing political commentator turned so-called sports writer feel a need to take a stance that’s so off the wall it kept me awake last night?   Or am I just being overly protective of Matt Cain and the other Giants who continue to get no respect, even after this feat and the 2010 World Series triumph?

Good grief.  I can’t believe I’m wasting a half hour this morning talking about something Obie posted, as though something he writes has any relevance to anything, anytime, anywhere.

In any event, take a look here and decide for yourself.    “The Perfect Game Swarm”.

Pat Burrell ….. Always a Giant in My Mind!

Pat Burrell, SF Giants Parade, November, 2010

Funny how things happen.  Last night around midnight I was writing this blog about Pat Burrell retiring as a Phillie.  Good grief, what could possibly be worse?  It was a rather edgy piece, me having such great affinity and affection for Burrell.  I really believe we wouldn’t have won the 2010 World Series without him, not because he played so great in the  Series, but because he helped get us there in the first place and his very presence was inspiring to all of us.  And besides, he deserves better than those pesky Philadelphia fans.  He’s a San Francisco Giants hero and we love him here, we appreciate him.  But I digress.  Suddenly a severe thunderstorm began pounding down, so much so that I immediately grabbed a flashlight, powered down my pc,  and went to bed.

Leading the Phillies 2008 Parade with the Budweiser Clydesdales

So, this morning I’m back at my computer to begin where I left off, still stewing over the fact that Burrell was “forced” out of the Giants organization, forced to return to those Phillie Phanatics, when I  notice an article by Paul Hagen, MLB.com.  It changed everything so much that I had to completely rewrite my post.  It’s a long article but here’s an excerpt that gave me a different attitude about “Pat the Bat” retiring as a Phillie.

“The final indelible image of Burrell at the end of his Phillies career was riding the Budweiser wagon at the head of the championship parade with his dog, Elvis, sitting next to him.

“That was the top,” Burrell said. “[Club president David Montgomery] asked me to ride with the Clydesdales, and of course I said yes. But I didn’t understand that I was going to be the first guy to turn onto Broad Street. And that was incredible — to look up and see all the people hanging out of the buildings. I just couldn’t imagine.

“It’s funny, because Mike Schmidt and some of those guys from the 1980 [World Series championship] team always said the best part of it was the parade. And I was thinking, ‘How could that be better than the actual moment of winning the whole thing?’ But it is.’ “

Here’s the entire article, a great read for a lazy Sunday afternoon while you’re waiting for that first pitch from your favorite team!

“Burrell Grateful for Chance to Retire with Phillies”

Well, okay then.  I’ll keep both pictures of Pat Burrell’s parade days in my memory;  one with the Clydesdales and one with the Trolley.  Thanks for the memories Pat and I, for one,  hope the Giants keep you on board for a long, long time.  Once a Giant, always a Giant.

Game 4. Mr. Holland’s Opus ….. Derek that is.

Texas Rangers Derek Holland

If revenge were anywhere in Derek Holland’s vocabulary I’d say he sure got his tonight!  I’m remembering Game 2 of the 2010 World Series.  Young Holland was brought in during the eighth inning where he proceeded to allow three walks and three runs before they took him out.  I felt bad for the kid and said so in my blog, ” Day 2. Texas Cain-Saw Massacre” .  Well there’s no feeling sorry for him tonight.  He’s quite the hero and rightly so!  Here’s Craig Calcaterra”s take on it from his Hardball blog:

“Craig Calcaterra  Oct 23, 2011, 11:25 PM EDT

We have a Classic on Our Hands!

2011 World Series Game 4 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals

“When do you know that a classic World Series is afoot? We certainly know it when it’s over. But at what point as it’s happening can one safely say that, yes, we’re seeing something special? The kind of series that only comes along once or twice a decade? Something memorable? Continue reading

The World Champs ….. Taking a Break in 2011!

Giants & Padres at AT&T Park

The 2011 postseason began today but something’s different this year.  One of the most exciting times in baseball all of a sudden seems like it’s just another day.  Could it be that I still haven’t recovered from the postseason play of 2010?

The media had been inundated with the 2010 San Francisco Giants Cinderella story.  It was magic.  But the stories of late haven’t been so much about the magic of  last season as it is about the everyday mundane normalcy of this season.   How could this happen or more-so why did it have to happen?   I have a theory.

Historically the World Series champion has only won back-to-back championships on three separate occasions with exception of the Yankees.  They don’t count.    The returning 2011 Giants were basically the same team that won the 2010 World Series.   That 2010 team played their heart out.  When they realized in August they had a shot at the division title they went for it.  They scratched and clawed and mowed down everything in sight and they won.  And then they won again and again and they won the Pennant.  Then they won again and again and again and they won the Championship.  And then they returned to the adoration of a million fans screaming their hearts out in appreciation of what they had done.   After it was all over in mid-November, they went back to their individual homes across the country and they collapsed.  They were exhausted.  They rested for 6 weeks and then they started all over again.   And they were still exhausted.

And I believe that’s how it is for World Series Champions historically.  I understand all of this because, you know, I was exhausted too.  As fans we went through all of those torturous games with our teammates and we laughed and cried and shared the joy of the entire experience with each and every one of them and we were tired, worn out, and exhausted too.

I’ve been reading a lot of gibberish this week about the fall of the San Francisco Giants kingdom and it’s just that.  Gibberish.  It seems everyone’s placing blame somewhere, on someone, and it’s getting really personal, you know, about individual players.  They’re paid too much, not paid enough,  too slow, too fat,  too lazy.  Ugghhh!

The 2010 Giants were not an extraordinary team.  They were an okay, average team with a really good pitching staff.   The reason they won their division had more to do with the San Diego Padres choking  than it did with the Giants winning.   But they did win and found themselves in the post season and we were thrilled.

But now its over and its okay.  I’ve written comments throughout this season  exclaiming my euphoric state and happiness that the Giants were World Champions and if they never ended up in post season play again, ever, I could easily rest  on my (well okay, “their”) laurels.  It was that good.

And I think maybe the San Francisco Giants may have felt a little of that too as they began spring training, not really sure what had happened that previous season, and not really wanting it to end, still in a euphoric state of mind, just needing and subconsciously taking a little break.

At least that’s what I think probably happened and that’s how I’m going to always  remember it and its cool ~ the San Francisco Giants just taking a little break in 2011.

The Best Team Didn’t Win! Oh Really???

“You can judge the dog in the fight, but you can’t judge the fight in the dog”.   Mitch Williams, MLB TV after the Giants won  this year’s World Series.

Mitch Williams

Mitch Williams MLB TV

Mitch Williams also made  another statement in almost the same breath, “the best team didn’t win, but the team who played the best won”.    Really?  I thought it was a ridiculous statement, but chalked it up to the obvious media bias against the Giants throughout the entire playoffs.  It’s only logical the best team wins.  How else can you measure who the best team is?   So imagine my surprise as I’m watching a rerun of  the post game interviews after Game 5 of the World Series, and Brian Sabean, General Manager of the Giants, says, “The best team may not have won, but the team that played the best won.”    Wow!  Where did that come from?   Who’s side is he on anyhow?   Well, I’ll tell you what.  I’m now totally convinced the “best team” is whatever team you want it to be on any given day.   It’s all in the perspective folks.  It’s

Brian Sabean & Bruce Bochy

in the perspective of the media, players, fans, relatives, girlfriends, boyfriends, and on and on.   On any given day during the 2010 season any one of the teams could have been called the best team in major league baseball ~ on that one particular day.  And depending on the form of media you’re paying attention to, a bias is going to come through.   And that bias is more than likely going to slant your thinking in whatever direction they plant the seeds to go.

I didn’t really want to get into this right now because I’d like to write an entire blog on “awards” later, but take, for example,  the Manager of  Year Award in 2010.   Since the year for baseball ends after the regular season,  and doesn’t include postseason, I guess you could give an argument that the San Diego Padres coach is a viable candidate.  I mean, his team held first place for most of the season, not by much, but still.  But what about the Colorado Rockies coach who scraped and scrapped til the very end and almost pulled it off.   Wow!  That was some coaching job.   But to me the ultimate coaching job, scratching and clawing for every win, right up to the very last game of the season, has to be Bruce Bochy.  I didn’t agree with half of his managing decisions, but, hey, what do I know?  In the end he almost always made the right decision.   This was particularly evident when dealing with his pitching staff.   Who knew?  He moved the bullpen around with such regularity you didn’t know from one pitch to the next who’d be on the mound.  But it worked.  So I’m not quite sure about the “best manager” criteria, but on appearance, it’s possible some of these awards  might be a little more about popularity and politics than actual performance.  So be it.  Not so, about an entire team.

Take a look at a headline on the front page of the local paper  this week.    “IN THE HUNT.  NINERS A GAME OUT OF FIRST PLACE.”  The ridiculousness of this headline is the Niners are actually in the cellar, last place,  Won 3 Lost 7!   But leave it to the good old NFC West – the reporter’s right!  There are four teams in the NFC West, and Seattle and St Louis are tied for 1st  and Arizona and SF are tied for last.  Good Grief!   You think the writer might just be a little biased towards the Niners?  You think?

So for what it’s worth, in my humble opinion, here’s the bottom line.   The best team always wins!  Always!  Maybe not yesterday and maybe not tomorrow ….. but today,  on that particular field, with those particular teams, umpires, weather, and a hundred other ridiculous criteria, the best team wins!   Like they did in the 2010 World Series. Put it in the books fellas!