Tag Archives: San Francisco

Woo Hoo! Hunter Pence Gets his Multi-Year Contract!

This is huge!   Breaking news for sure, and it follows the day his teammates voted him winner of this year’s Willie Mac Award.

Hunter Pence and the San Francisco Giants: Five Year, $90 Million Extension on his Contract, that’s what they’re saying.

Oops!  He's all ours now!

Oops! He’s all ours now!

I remember vividly last year when Hunter Pence signed with the Giants and flew into SFO to play in that night’s game.  However, the flight was delayed and Pence arrived about 30 minutes after the game ended.  But thanks to our loyal Comcast the cameras were on him as he arrived through the gate enroute to the clubhouse, duffel bag thrown over his shoulders, with our loyal “gonna be” fans waving and asking for autographs.

They obviously knew more about Hunter  than I did.  I mean, who was this guy?  I liked his persona  immediately as he dropped everything to sign autographs, shake hands, and basically just endear himself to the fans.   And this was late, like 11:30 PM, most of the park lights had been shut down, and you know he must have been tired.  I mean it was 2:30 AM Philly time.

Huggable, lovable Hunter with Xavier Lopez

Huggable, lovable Hunter with Xavier Lopez

So that’s my first exposure to Hunter Pence and it’s been all uphill since as we remember  his rousing speech to the troops to keep going last year.  This was the speech that got them to and through the playoffs for a chance to win the World Series, and win the World Series they did.

And 2013 has been another great year.  Well, not such a great year according to the standings, but who cares about that?   Our team has character, charisma, compatability, and the loyalty of 41,000 fans on any given day.

baseball heart imageSo welcome to five more years in San Francisco Hunter Pence!  We, the best fans in Major League Baseball “softly” love you (sorry Buster)  and open our hearts to you as you’ve opened yours to us.

So Who’s Your Favorite Team Now?

Okay, so Division play is winding down and most of the Playoff teams have been decided . If your team isn’t one of them who you gonna cheer for?  I mean, what’s a girl to do? Personally,  I’m going to be hollering for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  I know, I know, I’m a Giants fan and I said I wouldn’t.  Go figure.  But hear me out because there’s some logic to it.

If your team is beaten by another team and that team makes the Playoff’s, what happens if they’re knocked out early?  It probably means that your team “really” sucked.   If, what if, on the other hand, the team that beat the socks out of you for the Division, goes on to win the Pennant?  It means that you were probably beaten by a really good team, a team that’s better than 14 other teams.  So now your team isn’t looking so bad.

And what if, by some miracle of a chance, that team goes on to win the World Series.  Then you can stand up really proud and say you were beaten by the best team in baseball this year.  And really, there’s some honor in that don’t you think?

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig

But, if the Dodgers get whacked out of post season early  we can always blame it on that little pipsqueak, Yasiel Puig, and not on the fact they’re a better team than we are.  I know Puig’s good, well, really good,  but he IS just a rookie and a bit of a smart aleck at that.  And if they don’t do well, maybe we could also attribute it to Brian Wilson’s whining (think Larry Baer). Or to another 19-3 thrashing. I mean think of the options available if the Dodgers don’t produce in post-season.  Just saying …..any way you look at it the Giants still come out smelling like a rose!

And you’ve got to hand it to the kids.  They managed to stay out of the cellar (depending on the final three games to be determined) and at the end of a grueling, injury-filled season they’re wearing their last year’s World Series rings with smiles on their faces realizing the irony of it all.  Baseball.  You gotta love it.

SF Giants Fan Fest 2013 ~ AT&T Park

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

 

“Ichiro the Pitcher in Japan”

Great story from MLB Fan Cave.   Ichiro Suzuki started his baseball career in high school as a pitcher, regularly throwing 75-85 and occasionally 90 mph.  But in his last year, playing as an outfielder with a .505 batting average and 19 home runs, it was determined he should remain in the outfield. 

I love these Japanese baseball videos.  The fans are always wild and enthusiastic, a little crazy.  They love their baseball!  Listening to the announcers is a hoot, and even though I don’t have the faintest idea what they’re saying, you can always use your imagination.   Japan has won the last two World Baseball Classics and has won their first round for the 2012 Classic.  We might be seeing them in San Francisco at the Finals in March, minus Ichiro, who’s decided to sit this one out.  

A World Classic Final between Japan and USA at AT&T Park in March, 2013.  Now that would be something to see.   It could happen ~ stay tuned!

It Pays to Win A World Series !! How Much Did they Make??

Reprinted from SI.COM.  

NEW YORK (AP) – A full postseason share for the World Series champion San Francisco Giants was worth a record $377,003, breaking the mark that had stood since the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals.

In the first year of the expansion of the playoffs from eight teams to 10, the players’ pool was a record $65.36 million, Major League Baseball said Monday. The previous mark of $59.1 million came in 2009.

The Giants split $23.5 million, voting 50 full shares, partial shares equivalent to another 11.1, and 12 cash awards. All-Star outfielder Melky Cabrera, suspended for the final 45 games of the regular season and the division series, automatically received a full share without his teammates having to make a decision.

Under baseball’s joint drug agreement, he was eligible for his share because his suspension ended in time for him to be on the active roster for a majority of the Giants’ postseason games, even though San Francisco decided not to use him. Under Major League Rule 45, he gets a full share because he was with the team from June 1 on.

Cabrera, the All-Star game MVP, became a free agent last week and agreed to a $16 million, two-year contract with Toronto.

San Francisco’s full share was up from $323,170 for the 2011 champion Cardinals and $317,631 on the 2010 Giants.

A full share on the AL champion Tigers was worth $284,275, up from $251,516 for last year’s Texas Rangers.

The players’ pool included 50 percent of the gate receipts from the two wild card games, and 60 percent from the first three games of each division series and the first four games of each league championship series and the World Series.

Full shares were worth $122,558 for the Cardinals, $115,065 for the New York Yankees, $37,865 for the Cincinnati Reds, $37,045 for the Washington Nationals, $34,826 for the Baltimore Orioles, $34,325 for the Oakland Athletics, $19,609 for the Atlanta Braves and $16,999 for the Rangers.

Shares are split among the 10 postseason teams. In the past, they were divided among the eight playoff teams and the four second-place teams that failed to reach the postseason.

“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

City of San Francisco Sure Knows How to Parade!!

2010 San Francisco World Champions Parade

If you type San Francisco Parade in your search engine, you’re likely to find out a whole lot about the gay community here in the Bay Area.  Add “Giants” to your search and it’s a whole new ballgame (excuse the pun)!  San Francisco is bracing for another million plus today for the 2nd time in three years as they open the city to the World Champion San Francisco Giants fans.   Parade begins at 11:00 AM and will be televised locally.  (Check Mainstream Media for other possible showings.)

Note:  It’s 12:45 and Bruce Bochy’s beautiful gold Rolls Royce just ran out of gas.  Fans pushing it along the parade route.  Is that priceless or what??   Beautiful parade ~

“Tigers and Giants Going to the Ship”!

“Congratulations to the AL Champion Detroit Tigers and the NL Champion San Francisco Giants!”

The Ship means “Championship” at least that’s what Sergio Romo told us back in 2010.   This is going to be fun! 

The Tigers  posted a regular season record of 88 Wins and 74 Losses and ended up beating the socks off  the New York Yankees, a team with 95 Wins and 67 Losses,  for the American League Pennant.  Not only did they beat the Yankees, they beat them really, really bad.  Try 4-0 in a best out of 7 series.    Weapons ~ Justin Verlander, last year’s Cy Young award winner AND MVP;  Miguel Cabrera, first batter to win the AL Triple Crown since 1966 and Prince Fielder, who finished the 2012 Season with .313 Batting Average and 30 Home Runs.

Excuse me while I pinch myself.  I still can’t figure out how the Giants ended up in the World Series this year.   Spring training showed a recuperating Buster Posey, an out-for-the-year Brian Wilson and a pretty good, but not as-good-as-they-used-to-be pitching staff.  There were no individual stand-outs, with maybe the exception of Posey, until these past few months and things just started to happen.  That’s how they do it in San Francisco.  They got together in the clubhouse, put their heads together, posted a 94-68 record and “believed”.  

After one of the wildest Championship Division Series ever my prediction is the Detroit Tigers will win the first three games and the Giants will win the rest.  I don’t know why, that’s just the way they do it in San Francisco.

First Game:  Wednesday, October 24, 2012, Time TBA, at AT&T Park.

Here I Go Again ……..”Oh, Those Classy Cardinals!”

“Zito handing over the ball”

This is filed under the “Just when you think you’ve seen it all” Category.  Barry Zito’s pitching was superb tonight  in Game 5 of the NLCS between the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals.   He pitched a shut-out into the 8th Inning with 115 total pitches and the Giants won the game 5-0.  I was considering not even watching the game because I figured if the Cardinals won I’d watch the next game which would be Game 1 of the World Series and if the Giants won, I’d be able to watch them play again Sunday, in San Francisco, in front of their home crowd.  That way I could avoid watching the stressful nail-biter game I was sure it would be.   But that’s not what happened.  I mean it wasn’t a nail-biter.  

Something else happened at Busch Stadium tonight that probably happens a lot  in St. Louis but honestly I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before.  It was one of those emotional moments I live for in sports, an honor to witness, via the telly of course, and I couldn’t wait to write about it.

“St. Louis Cardinal Fans”

During the 8th Inning, Bochy decided to replace Zito for whatever reason Boche decides to do these things, and Barry Zito walked off the mound after a really spectacular pitching performance, a  shut-out.  He also contributed an RBI single to his efforts. And as he walked off the mound across the field toward the dugout, those crazy Cardinal fans did something really spectacular.  During this championship series game they stood up and gave Zito, the opposing pitcher who just zapped the spirit out of their home team, a standing ovation.  They knew tonight Zito was  the guy who put a door stop in their chance at least momentarily of winning the 2012 National League Pennant.  A win tonight for the St Louis Cardinals would have propelled them right into the World Series.   But that didn’t stop them from showing appreciation for a job well done.  These fans are from Missouri, the “Show Me State” and he showed them a job well done, and they said thank you.  

Just when you think you’ve seen it all.  I’ve always had a genuine fondness for the Cardinal fans.  I wrote about it last year on opening day “Those Classy Cardinals” and this is just another little reminder that the spirit of St Louis is alive and well and so is the spirit of baseball.   

Related articles

Rating the Best Baseball Ballparks.

Here’s a great read courtesy of Dan Lindsey’s “Diamond Baseball Tours” Facebook page and reprinted from the New York Times “Five Thirty Eight” Column by Nate Silver.  My home park is AT&T in San Francisco and it’s without a doubt one of the very best.  

“Classic Primanti Bros Sandwich” includes salad and french fries piled inside”

However, I can understand the PNC Pittsburgh #1 ranking.  I was there in 2010 and the first clue was the accessible parking.  We were on a tour bus and the bus parked less than a 5 minute walk away from the main entrance.  Ordinary tour buses dropped us off and then we walked a marathon to get back to the bus, if we could even find it!   Second great thing about the park was the food.  “Primanti Bros.” may sound familiar.   They’re on a “100 Things To Do Before you die” list.  It’s a beautiful park with friendly staff. 

“Fenway’s Wooden Scoreboard”

The #2 Ranking to Boston’s Fenway Park is also understandable.  I’ve been there twice and both times it was an emotional experience.  Probably the park’s history, and I don’t know why, but the “Sweet Caroline” and “MTA” songs that were played both times brought the house down with everyone singing at the top of their lungs.  I can’t explain it ~ neither song has anything to do with baseball.  It’s just one of those things.   It’s an old and beautiful wooden park with a lot of class and truly devoted fans, where they still post the daily baseball scores on a wooden board by hand. 

So it was easy to acquiesce those two parks to my beloved AT&T.  Good read and a great job Nate Silver, bringing us right up to the 2012 playoffs.  

Way to Go Giants! Pundits be Damned!

Golly Geez!  I try really hard to play fair on my blog, but sometimes,when it comes to the Giants, the devil makes me do it.   So in spite of  all the setbacks this year, the Giants are back in the playoffs for the 2nd time in three years.  And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Buster Posey was here the first year, gone the second, and back the third. 

But everyone knows it’s a team effort and for that we Giants fans applaud our San Francisco Giants ~ 2012 National League West Champions!

And a special thanks to niece Tammy for sharing the “dogs” from Lamont & Tonelli’s FB Page!

How Do You Solve a Problem Like . . . Melky?

Melky Cabrera

Melky Cabrera’s front and center everywhere in the media, but not in the SF Giants front office.  Matthew Pouliot on NBC’s HardballTalk wrote a convincing piece recently about the organization not allowing Melky to join the team after his 50 game suspension.  The suspension would be lifted about five games into the playoffs, assuming the Giants get there, and it’s looking pretty good they will.  

I wrote a testy piece a few weeks ago and the title pretty much sums up my frustration with the mess, “Melky Who?  Who Needs Him?  Who Cares?”  But the fact is, Melky’s record prior to his suspension was  .346/.390/.516 in 459 at-bats.  The real question is what would his record be after the suspension?  There’s only one way to find out.  This would be a rest test for the argument that PED’s do or do not allow players to hit better.  

If Melky were allowed to play in postseason and kept hitting like before, it could present a convincing argument that PED’s are not responsible for making a batter hit better as many have alleged.  Barry Bond’s argument was if 80% of the ball players were using steroids in the 90′s, why weren’t 80% of the ball players hitting better ~ a lot better?  Personally, I’d like to see this tested.  What could it hurt?  Bring Melky back and, if nothing else,  use him as a DH when appropriate.   I mean, the Giants had no qualms about bringing Guillermo Moto back a few weeks ago and that was after a “100 game suspension”, for a second offense, no less.

This blog has a sophisticated database ~ I found out the hard way   :(   So what do you think?  Should the SF Giants bring Melky Cabrera back to the roster after the 50 game suspension is lifted?   Your “vote below” means absolutely nothing.  I mean it’s not going to change the minds of the powers-that-be.  I’m just curious and I’m happy to share the results with you here.