Tag Archives: Bruce Bochy

This Blogger’s Choice ~ BBA 2013 Post Season Awards.

Voicing an Opinion!

Voicing an Opinion!

It’s time, once again, for the annual Baseball Blogger’s Awards, sponsored by the Baseball Blogger’s Alliance.  I usually manage to vote for a few in sync with my fellow bloggers and this year will be no exception, I’m sure.

For no particular reason other than these are  guys that I like and have pretty good stats to boot, and probably because they’ve had the most  game-day exposure on network television, I submit the following National League (because I’m supposed to) choices:

1.  CONNIE MACK AWARD  (Top Manager).  For the life of me I still can’t figure out why Bruce Bochy hasn’t won this award or really even been nominated  for 2010 or 2012 when he so ably brought his team to the World Championship both years.   I mean he by-passed GO and  lead those Giants  straight to the top.  Oops, sorry, got carried away because now it’s 2013, and my choice for Top Manager is Mike Matheny, St. Louis Cardinals.

2.  WILLIE MAYS AWARD  (Top Rookie).  Yasiel Puig.  And not just for  his amazing stats, especially that first week, but I have to consider his entertainment value.  He was benched a few times due to his behavior on the field, but you have to attribute most of his training, or lack thereof, to being raised on Cuba baseball.   When I watch him play I’m not sure what training he’s had because he appears to just have incredible raw talent that needs to be cultivated and refined.  I’m sure it will come.   In the meantime, he’s just a lot of fun to watch.

3.  GOOSE GOSSAGE AWARD (Top Reliever).  I had to look over everyone’s stats for comparison and it looks like there is none, or, at least, very little.  It will be interesting to see if Brian Wilson contributes as a Reliever next year or makes the cut as a starter, but, in the meantime, Craig Kimbrel for those reasons just listed.

4.  WALTER JOHNSON AWARD  (Top Pitcher).  And the winner is, has been and probably will be again in the future, Clayton Kershaw.  I love watching this guy pitch and he rarely disappoints.  My favorite pitcher is Madison Bumgarner because of his calm, cool and collected demeanor, (at least on the mound!) much the same as Kershaw.  My guess is he’ll end up third to Kershaw’s 1st place in the Cy Young vote. 

5.  STAN MUSIAL AWARD  (Top Player).  And the winner is ……once again, Clayton Kershaw.  I love this guy!  Based my vote on gut feeling and sentiment and lots of stats.

I know, not a lot of depth, statistics and comparisons here folks.  Much like my blogs.  Strictly from a fan’s viewpoint with the usual prejudices and sentiments.

Victorino and Posey, Blowing in the Wind

Last night during the Giants and Red Sox game, it got really interesting in the bottom of the 8th. The score was 2-1, Red Sox in the lead. The Giants had a runner on third with one out when Buster Posey hit a corker out to right field that was foul, which Shane Victorino chose to catch rather than letting it land foul, thereby allowing the runner on third to score. Had the ball landed foul, it would have been dead, and the runner would have remained on third. As a result, the SF Giants, hugging the cellar in the NL West, were able to score, and then score again, and hang onto a 3-2 lead in the 9th to beat the Sox, who were leading the AL East prior to the game.

Immediately after the game a rather lively discussion about the Victorino catch ensued about whether he should or shouldn’t have caught that ball. Here’s the options discussed:

1. Because it was Buster Posey, reigning NL MVP, he could have hit the next pitch out of the park for a 3-run homer. Better to retire him now than risk it.

2. The play only allowed a tie game, it wasn’t a go-ahead run. They can get them next inning.

3. It was windy at the park, and there was a chance the ball, barely foul, might have blown back in-bounds. Better to catch it while you can.

Victorino said there was no question in his mind he was going to catch the ball, knowing full well the runner was going to score. His manager agreed with him. After the game the Giants manager, Bruce Bochy, agreed too. And today before the final game in the series, the announcers generally agreed it wasn’t even open for discussion. The only logical option available was to catch the ball and let the chips fall where they may.

Personally, I was totally confused for the rest of the game. For some reason I didn’t think the runner could score on that caught foul ball. I’ve spent all morning looking through the MLB Rulebook and couldn’t find a thing about it and, of course, if that were true we’d be having a completely different discussion today. So be it. And so now it’s back to my pesky little scorebook to try and figure out how to record the darned thing. Never a dull moment in baseball, even in the most boring of games, last night not being one of them.

Thank you Guillermo Quiroz ….. It’s Why We Love the Game.

Guillermo Guiroz.  Click for MLB Video

Guillermo Guiroz. Click for MLB Video

Baseball’s unlike any other sport.  It’s the only one I know that’s not given time restraints.  A one-half inning lasts as long as it takes to get three outs.  It could last for only three pitches, or it could go on for hours, or seem like it.  Take the fifth inning in last night’s game between the Dodgers and Giants.   The Giants lead 5-0 at the beginning of the 5th, and then it all fell apart as the Dodgers scored seven runs, one after the other, on and on and on.  I thought it would never end, but finally it did and by the end of the 9th inning the score  was tied 9-9, and we were in overtime ~ extra innings.

It’s a fluke that third string back-up catcher Guillermo Quiroz was even on the roster last night.  Hector Sanchez is the regular back-up catcher for Buster Posey and had been sent back to the Minors only the day before.   So when Quiroz steps up to the plate I’m thinking what the heck’s going on.  I mean doesn’t Bochy know it’s the 10th inning?  I was already a little perturbed with Boche after leaving Vogey in to get really hammered in the fifth ~ he should have taken him out earlier.  So when  Guillermo steps up to the plate I turned up the volume and went to the kitchen to do the dishes. 

What happened next happens all the time in baseball.  In fact, it happened the night before with Buster Posey and was no big deal.   Well, it was a big deal, but we’ve gotten a little spoiled with Buster so you rather expect this sort of thing from him. 

And it isn’t even that Guillermo Quiroz really smacked the hell out of that first pitch for the game-winning home run.  It was what happened after, as he looked out at that ball flying towards infinity, and you knew that he knew it was gone.  No doubt in his mind.  And when his arms went up in the air and he started towards first base he had a huge smile on his face, yelling something that made you realize that “spirit of victory” that we’ve all heard about so often is more than just a saying …..it’s why we love the game.   And we really loved the game tonight.

And to be honest, I was smiling and yelling right along with him.  The dishes could wait.

SF Giants Fan Fest 2013 ~ AT&T Park

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Thousands of San Francisco Giants fans decked out in orange and black showed up for the 2013 Fan Fest this year at AT&T Park.   I’m posting my own photo’s along with a smathering of those from the San Jose Mercury News.  Maybe you’ll spot yourself in one.  A special thank you for those who so kindly allowed me to get a quick snapshot – usually because of something that really struck my fancy, like the “Kings Wear Rings” guy with the big smile  or the guy with the great “Giants Know October” shirt.  Giants fans are great and so much fun to be around, especially when it’s beautiful weather, not a cloud in the sky, and smiles everywhere!  I can’t honestly think of a  better place to be on a beautiful sunny day  than at AT&T Park.  And the Giants players gave so much of themselves with the interviews, autographs and just taking the time to stop and chat with their fans.  Whatta great bunch of guys we have here!   And that’s exactly what you’d expect from the reigning World Champions and the best fans in all of baseball.

GFBB Update:  The Giants have estimated nearly 40,000 in attendance at this year’s Fan Fest.  See more Photo’s on the MLB Blog Website.

 

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.

All Star Game ….. Tongue-in-Cheek Moments!

The National League won the annual All Star Game tonight  for the second year in a row  by a  score of 5-1, giving home field advantage in the 2011 World Series to  the National League.  Here’s a few of my favorite moments ~

Adrian Gonzalez from the American League All Stars hit a home run off Cliff Lee to start the scoring that presented a sort of deja vu in my mind like “oh boy, here we go again!”  Last year was the first time the National League had won in over 13 years finally beating the American League winning streak and I thought for sure the American League was on their way to starting a new streak. 

But Prince Fielder blasted a three run homer  that contributed to the final score and gave the National League their second All Star victory in a row.  

One of the more hilarious moments in the game came when Heath Bell was called in from the bullpen and instead of jogging onto the field as a relief pitcher usually does, he decided to “run fast, really fast” to the pitcher’s mound arriving with a slide at the mound and ending up at the feet of Manager Bruce Bochy.  Pablo Sandoval who was also standing on the mound at the time couldn’t contain his laughter like others around him, but not a smidgeon of a smile could be seen on Bochy’s face, at least not from my point of view from the couch.  

Too funny was the replay of the momentous jog to the mound showing the TV camera man running behind Bell as fast as he could trying to keep up, but eventually gave it up as Bell out sprinted him by ….. a lot!   Brian Wilson, the illustrious SF Giants closer made an appearance, beard and all, and, of course, closed out the game.

Did I mention how much I missed Derek Jeter?  Derek you’ve probably heard was too tired, exhausted was the word he used, to play in the game.   Last I heard he was seen having a good time dining at a Miami restaurant today with his girlfriend, not that there’s anything wrong with that.  But since Jeter was “selected” as an All Star, he’ll be receiving a $500,000 bonus as part of his contract.  I just think it would have been a nice gesture if  he would have at least attended the game for his fans who, after all, are the ones paying the tab.  But that’s just my opinion.   And I’m sure he  really was exhausted after the fantastic week he’d had with that 3000th hit and 5 for 5 game.  Okay, well maybe next year.  Baseball fans have an incredible tolerance for their perceived heroes and I’m sure they’ll be there waiting for him  again unless he decides to grace them with his appearance.   Nice job if you can get it.

All in all I felt it was one of the better All Star games.   Probably because in spite of the 16 original contestants who were selected and couldn’t or wouldn’t be  there, the ones who wanted to be there, were there.

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!