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bbienk01
81 comments | 116 total rating | 1.43 average rating
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bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

Nate Schierholtz wasn't often used as a defensive sub for Carlos Beltran because he went on the DL within a week or so of the Giants trading for Beltran, and missed the rest of the season. If he had been healthy, Schierholtz probably would have been starting a good amount of the time -- I would have started him in CF, Bochy probably would have put him in LF.

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 3

I agree, a very bad and very possible idea. After all, Brian Sabean is the same guy who went into last season with Miguel Tejada as his starting shortstop.

Nov 10, 2011 1:49 PM on Beltran's Next Stop
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 1

maybe I'm unclear on the criteria, but is San Francisco really open? Even limiting it to San Francisco, I think Roger Craig and/or Dusty Baker would qualify, right?

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

Yeah I do appreciate your point, and thanks for sharing what the defensive stats say about Cruz. Admittedly, I'm relying solely on my eyes here, but it looked like it was going to be a fairly routine running catch by Cruz had he not slowed up. That's not to comment on Cruz's overall defensive abilities, or to take anything away from Freese, who hit the ball hard. Maybe I'm overrating the likelihood that Cruz would have caught the ball had he not slowed down, but it never looks good when an outfielder gets that close to a ball when he wasn't moving near full speed. I'm also not accusing Cruz of not trying -- I'm guessing that he lost track of it and had to slow down to figure out where the ball was, or else he just misjudged how hard it was hit.

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 2

Although ordinarily the RF wouldn't have been playing as deep as Nelson Cruz was before the ball was hit, seeing as usually you aren't playing "doubles defense."

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 1

I want to second that about the Rangers fans. I had no opinion about these fans before my Giants played them last year, but after that I genuinely felt that if my team wasn't going to win, there wasn't a more deserving fan base. Maybe we'll get a re-match next year.

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

apparently I should finish reading the comments before posting

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

I think an "automatic double" is what we ordinarily think of a ground rule double, i.e., a ball that bounces over the wall and out of play, where the batter is automatically awarded second base, whereas a "ground rule double" is a ball that leads to an automatic award of second base based on the particular ground rules of the park where the game is played, for example a ball that hits one of the catwalks in Tampa Bay. I've heard some announcers make this distinction, but I have no idea whether the rules of baseball actually do. I also think, given that nearly everyone calls an "automatic double" a "ground rule double," its not really worth making the distinction anymore. Its kinda like people who feel the need to refer to a foul pole as a "fair pole" -- while its technically more accurate since a ball that hits the pole is fair, I'd rather just say "foul pole."

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 1

Or, to crib from Joe Sheehan, if you know you plan to intentionally walk Pujols, why take out the lefty Oliver in the first place? Isn't it more important to turn Berkman around to his weaker side than Theriot?

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

Good call, Emma. I have a great memory of attending an Indians-Mariners game at Jacobs Field (I believe it was April 1998) where David Bell had a Glenallen Hill-assisted inside-the-park home run -- the ball hit off the left-field wall at about the level where Hill's glove would have been had he not leaped into the air, and he slowly chased the ball as it rolled back towards the infield, as Bell scored standing, without a throw home. This was the same game where Randy Johnson instigated a bench-clearing brawl -- including Lou Pineilla throwing punches at Sandy Alomar Jr -- by throwing at Kenny Lofton's head one pitch after he had warned not to do so again. Hill was not as fun to watch though when he was butchering right field for my Giants.

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 2

The best facial hair (and relief pitcher) on the Giants remains Sergio Romo: http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/8Cs1aLo1pol/Texas+Rangers+v+San+Francisco+Giants+Game/mpMdfjec6j1/Sergio+Romo

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

If I recall, pitching was a concern as far back as spring training. Lester was the only sure thing (Beckett was coming off of an awful injury-plagued season). I think the idea was that the offense was dominant enough to cover the starting pitching.

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 1

oh I forgot to say great piece Jay, and thanks for bringing up Sergio Romo's insane strikeout to unintentional walk ratio. I feel like he's really flown under the radar this season -- and over his career. He would have been a better choice for the All Star Game than Brian Wilson (though if I recall Wilson was a player's pick).

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

I meant to write that people recognize great hitting more than great PITCHING

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 3

I'm confused as to why so many people have singled out the 2010 Giants as a particularly surprising World Series winner. Perhaps its because the three previous winners (Yankees/Phillies/Red Sox) were practically All Star teams, in part because they spend a lot more on players than other teams. (To be clear, I'm not bitching about payrolls -- these three teams also tend to use their money much more intelligently than other big spenders, despite the occasional overpay for the likes of Rafael Soriano, John Lackey, and Ryan Howard). The 2010 Giants were exceptional at pitching, both starting and relief, excellent at defense, and while not a good hitting team, got great individual performances from Buster Posey, Andres Torres, and Aubrey Huff. I wonder if people just notice great hitting more than great hitting. Its easier to get pissed at your own team for not getting big hits than to admit that an other-worldy pitching staff is shutting them down (see many Phillies fans during the NLCS). That being said, of course a lot went right for the 2010 Giants, as is the case with every team that wins it all. This year has been surprising not because the Giants aren't as good as they were in 2010, but because the pitching hasn't regressed at all. Instead, the team has gotten even more extreme -- the hitting is much worse and the pitching has actually been better in 2011. There are a lot of self-inflicted wounds, but the injuries have hurt a lot. Its not so much that the Giants had significantly more injuries than the Cardinals or Braves, but rather that their hitting was already so borderline that losing a few important pieces was more damaging to them. That's on Sabean, of course.

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 1

My favorite brawl at a game I attended: Late April 1998, Randy Johnson pitching for the Mariners at Jacobs Field, and Kenny Lofton had the nerve to stay in the lineup despite hitting left-handed. There may have been other bad blood that I don't recall, but I know back then lefties generally sat when Johnson pitched. Randy Johnson threw at Lofton's head twice, and the very next pitch after being warned, he threw at Lofton's head again. Benches cleared, and I distinctly remember Lou Piniella and Sandy Alomar trading punches. Meanwhile, with the chaos he caused around home plate, Johnson stood on the mound chatting w/ former teammate Omar Vizquel, which looked pretty funny considering Johnson was about two feet taller. This game also included a David Bell inside-the-park home run with an assist by left-fielder Glenn Allen Hill.

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

I should clarify: obviously the Padres bullpens have remained good after Bochy left, and I'm not claiming that the reason they are good is because of him. I'm just saying that even if we haven't yet found a way to isolate the value a manager adds to a bullpen doesn't mean that they don't have an effect -- in fact it would be shocking if they didn't.

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

There's also the Giants' strong bullpen. Interesting that Bruce Bochy's Padres also had a run of strong bullpens. Still, this doesn't necessarily mean that Bochy has just been lucky. I'm not sure anybody has figured out how much credit goes to a manager for the strength of a bullpen, but considering the volatility, it stands to reason that some managers are more skilled at using the available arms in ways that maximize success. At least over the past few years, it seemed that Bochy has used his bullpen more creatively than most managers. I recognize I'm being lazy by not checking the numbers, but I believe Brian Wilson came in for more than three out saves more often than most closers in 2010. More importantly, Bochy will use good relievers for more than an inning in a close game, a strategy which seems to have otherwise vanished except in blow-outs and extra inning games.

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

Excellent work Mike. Nice to see that the eye test doesn't lie about Pablo Sandoval. He seems to hit doubles the opposite way similar to his hit in the All Star Game often, on pitches below the knees and a foot outside.

Jul 20, 2011 11:33 AM on A Zone of Their Own
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

Before I clicked on this article, I was convinced I'd see Aubrey Huff as the replacement level killer at 1B. I'd forgotten about Overbay. Amazing that not a single infield position on the Giants made it. I assume they were close at every infield position other than 3B?

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

I have fond memories of Danny Darwin on the Giants near the end of his career. There was a great inter-league game I went to at Candlestick where Darwin beat Randy Johnson, despite throwing a fastball that topped out at 79 mph. Also a good memory of Rich Aurilia homering of Johnson a pitch after Randy knocked him down with a brushback.

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

I'm curious about the show-boating comment. I watch almost every Giants game and I can't for the life of me think of what he's referring to. The only thing that came to mind was our back-up catcher Chris Stewart's tendency to look excited after a strikeout, pointing back at the pitcher. But I haven't seen the Giants do anything like, say, Justin Upton's dance home after hitting a walk off homer against the Giants in June or Chad Qualls spiking the ball after tagging out Andres Torres trying to score on a wild pitch last week. Those are football-style celebrations, and unless the Giants have done a whole bunch of them in the few games I haven't seen, this sounds like sour grapes from jealous player.

Jul 08, 2011 11:40 AM on Pinstriped Recuperation
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

Yeah with Ryan Zimmerman and Pablo Sandoval each missing most of the first half, and Chipper Zones and Scott Rolen continuing to show their age, there wasn't much this year.

Jul 01, 2011 11:36 AM on Staff Picks for 2011
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

Fun read. I do think the Giants pitching staff deserves more representation (and will get in real life). That pitching is why the team with the worst offense in MLB is in first place. Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson will be voted on by the players, who I imagine rightly recognize that, June hiccup notwithstanding, Timmy remains one of the most dominant starters in baseball. While Bumgarner is having a great season masked by one disaster start and poor run support, I think Matt Cain will be the other starter selected by Bruce Bochy. There may be more deserving starting pitchers based on the first three months of this season (including Cain's teammate, Vogelsong), but Bochy will reward Cain for the body of work that has often been overlooked due to the Giants failure to score runs for him. I also think Sergio Romo is deserving of a spot. Ramon Ramirez has the shiny ERA, but Romo's peripherals are otherworldly. 36 strikeouts to 3 unintentional walks in 24 innings (and only 16 hits!).

Jun 29, 2011 3:36 PM on Perrotto's Picks
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

great piece Jay, and thanks for linking to Cuban's legal brief in response to Ross Perot Junior's lawsuit. That's one of the funniest legal arguments I've ever seen filed in a court of law.

Jun 24, 2011 11:33 AM on Dodging Cuban
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

As a Giants fan who lived in LA for three years, I just want to echo Jamey. I never felt unsafe wearing Giants gear in Dodger Stadium, and in fact was rarely heckled despite vocally rooting against my team's hated rivals in enemy territory. While there is a long history of fighting during Giants-Dodgers games (particularly before Telecom Park opened), this level of violence is shocking. Much as it pains me to admit as someone who will go to his grave despising the likes of Tommy Lasorda, Orel Hershiser, and Steve Garvey, you can't blame the Dodgers or their fans generally for the act of a few criminals. Unfortunately, I don't see how they'll ever be brought to justice. My thoughts are with the Stow family.

Apr 22, 2011 11:11 AM on Supporting Stow
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

Just wanted to add my congratulations. I enjoy the writers who are still here, and I'll continue to enjoy (and subscribe to) BP, but you will be missed. Guess I'll be reading ESPN for the first time in years now.

Apr 04, 2011 11:16 PM on A New Delivery
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 4

Its not the lawyers. Its the clients.

Mar 21, 2011 6:39 PM on Blackout and Blue
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 1

Link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ94rkwdTvQ

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 2

Plus he was involved in my favorite baserunning play ever when he pinch ran for Andres Galarraga while playing for the Giants in 2003. Jon Miller's call on the radio: "Swing and there's a shot, deep into right-center, racing back Dellucci, still going back into death valley, it goes right over his glove! He missed it! But Ruben Rivera missed second base! Now he's heading for third and they're gonna throw him out by plenty, but the throw to third is botched! Now he's heading home! The loose ball in the infield! And he's out by five feet at the plate! And that was the worst baserunning in the history of the game!"

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

My my. Isn't the word "douche" a little risque, particularly without a warning that your comment might be offensive to some readers? Lighten up.

Mar 01, 2011 1:37 PM on It Happens Every Spring
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

I am OFFENDED by this article, which has no place on a site dedicated to serious baseball analysis :-) Seriously, another great article Emma.

Mar 01, 2011 12:20 PM on It Happens Every Spring
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

Probably impossible in the current political climate (although maybe Wisconsin changes things), but I'd love to see a Curt Flood biopic.

Feb 28, 2011 5:35 PM on Oscar Gambles
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

This is why I wish I could + comments by BP staff.

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

I can only hope this is snark.

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 4

To state the obvious: there's a difference between being a victim of fraud and making a stupid business deal. So far as I know, nobody has accused Scott Boras of doing anything illegal. The problem seems to be that he's good at his job, which makes people angry.

Feb 17, 2011 4:37 PM on Agents of Fortune
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 1

Sorry my last comment was rude and due to frustration. I should have gone by my initial instinct and not posted without taking a deep breath. Sorry about that. I did think that there were a comment or two in this thread that I read to be homophobic, but not the vast majority. I think its fair to read the small minority of comments that focused on the offensiveness of an article on "gay sex" to be homophobic, but I certainly shouldn't have said "indisputably," and I agree that its an unfair conversation-stopper to try to paint people who didn't like the article as homophobic. Anyway, I'm done posting and apologize again for the rudeness.

Feb 16, 2011 4:06 PM on Slash Lines
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

"One can protest an article containing references to sex (gay or not) without being a homophobe." Well, obviously. I do wish you'd responded to what I wrote, rather than making this straw man argument. It would be irresponsible and unfair to accuse anyone who objected to the article as homophobic, but that doesn't seem to be what anyone did. It appears that you've chosen to be offended by something I didn't write. Oh well.

Feb 16, 2011 2:02 PM on Slash Lines
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

This is a very fair position. To the extent that people did not like this article because they found it inappropriate or offensive -- which is the position taken by many many people in the comments, though certainly not everyone who had a negative view of this article -- my point above stands. I think the amount of vitriol aimed at this article in particular shows that there is more than just people like you who find this article to be irrelevant. Some of it was indisputably because of homophobia (there are several comments that explicitly describe the article as inappropriate because it is about gay sex), though its obviously not fair to paint a majority of the criticism as homophobic. There is a cost to reading part of an article that you find to be irrelevant, boring, or whatever. But everyone has a different view of what is relevant/interesting (for me, I tend to skip the fantasy articles and some of the heavier statistical articles). Not to minimize the real cost of reading something you didn't want to read, but I think my point stands that the cost is much greater to others who would have wanted to read the article that would not be available had it not been published.

Feb 15, 2011 6:34 PM on Slash Lines
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

No but many people criticized BP for publishing this article. As a private company, BP has the right to censor itself without violating the First Amendment, but I'm glad they made a decision that promotes free expression rather than censoring it. If you didn't like the story, fine. I have some difficulty understanding how the story itself (as opposed to the fan fiction pieces) could be considered offensive -- it seems analogous to finding a story about war offensive because you are a pacifist -- but to each his own. But as others already said, you don't have to read anything you don't want to read. Some people have rejected this argument without explaining why it isn't compelling. But it seems to answer every criticism. Nobody is forcing you to read anything. Yet some of the critics would have liked BP to have denied its readers the opportunity to read a story they enjoyed. Given that either outcome would have angered some of BP's readership, isn't it good that they chose to publish? After all, everyone offended had the incredibly simple solution of just not reading the story.

Feb 14, 2011 7:03 PM on Slash Lines
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

Yeah I agree, those salaries, especially Conor Jackson's, really jumped out at me. That's a ton of money for a guy years removed from usefulness.

Jan 21, 2011 3:53 PM on Junior Circuit Jumble
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 24

To finish that point: Any lawyer would explain to a baseball player the difficulty of winning a libel suit, and I assume the player would realize that the only PR worse that not suing for libel would be to sue for libel and lose, as the general public doesn't realize how difficult it is to win such a case and would probably take that as proof that the accusation was true.

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 23

I have no opinion about Piazza specifically, but I do want to caution against relying on this argument that a player's decision not to sue when accused of steroid use tells us anything about whether they in fact used steroids. Because baseball players are public figures, the First Amendment requires that they prove "actual malice" to win a libel suit. This is an incredibly high standard -- you must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the person actually knew what they wrote was false or that they made their accusation with "reckless disregard for the truth." Even if you can show that a reporter acted with malicious intent in making an accusation, this is not enough. It is nearly impossible for a public figure to even get to a jury in a libel suit in the absence of a smoking gun showing that the reporter actually knew the player was clean or recklessly disregarded clear evidence that the player was clean. Moreover, news organizations are very aware of libel laws and thus reporters rarely make direct accusations against players. For a statement to even be potentially libelous, it must be a statement of fact -- i.e. something that can be proved or disproved. An opinion can never be libel. Thus, when a reporter speculates that they believe that a player was probably on steroids, there can be no libel suit.

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

I should add, I'm no apologist for Brian Sabean . . . this is the first off-season I can remember that I wasn't calling for his head. Maybe the World Series has mellowed me.

Dec 21, 2010 4:24 PM on Giants Among Men?
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 1

Thanks for this fair evaluation, Christina. While I would have loved to see a major move to upgrade the offense, I don't see that there were better options out there than what Sabean did short of signing Carl Crawford or trading for Adrian Gonzalez. I prefer Aubrey Huff to any of the 1B options in this market except for Adam Dunn (even ignoring that he's one of the most entertaining personalities in the game), and the hometown discount from Pat Burrell is ridiculous. Not a fan of the Miguel Tejada signing, but at least its only a one year deal, and in this lineup he should hit 8th. The offense should be much improved in 2011 simply by virtue of full seasons from Buster Posey, Cody Ross, and Pat Burrell, each of whom replaced black holes in the lineup. If Ross can replicate his 2008-2009 production rather than his career-worst 2010, all the better. While I expect them to be worse at SS and at 1B/CF (due to some regression from Huff and Torres), in addition to the major improvement at catcher and the outfield corners, there is at least the possibility of improvement at 3B (either a return to health from De Rosa or a return to form from Sandoval). Plus Brandon Belt. Even without an impact bat, this should be at least an average offense, which is more than enough to win with this pitching staff.

Dec 21, 2010 4:13 PM on Giants Among Men?
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

Only time will tell, but I imagine that the $1 million offer to Edgar Renteria, far from demonstrating a lack of respect, is more than he'll be offered by the other 29 teams. I have to believe that Sabean only offered him that much out of sentiment. Renteria will always have the gratitude of Giants fans for his World Series heroics, but he received $18 million over the past two years and added almost no other value to the team other than his World Series performance.

Dec 20, 2010 3:05 PM on December 13-19
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 1

Just FYI, voting for the awards is completed before the playoffs begin, so the voters could not taken into account how deep in the playoffs the Braves and Giants went in the ROY voting.

Nov 24, 2010 2:09 PM on The AL MVP Vote
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

I don't think that there is reasoning beyond that's the way its been historically, and the ambiguous meaning of the word "valuable." The problem is there isn't really reasoning supporting the position that the MVP is for the best individual achievement either. It certainly makes more sense to me to reward an individual achievement. But unless and until there are rules about the qualifications voters should consider, people are just going to talk past each other based on their different opinions about what the awards should be about. Criticizing Cy Young voters is much easier. The voters agree that the award should go to the best pitcher, so when they award a pitcher who was clearly not the best, they've failed to correctly apply their own criteria for the award. But while I'm all for making the argument that the MVP should go to the best player, it is pointless to criticize voters for not selecting the best player when the majority of them don't even believe that being the best is decisive to who wins the MVP award.

Nov 23, 2010 3:43 PM on The NL MVP Rout
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

"I don't understand why people hate pitcher-wins but love guys on playoff teams at the same time. Shouldn't we hate them both? Or love them both?" My guess is that this is because the MVP and the Cy Young Award are commonly viewed as inherently different. The latter is for the best pitcher in the league, but the other is not seen by most people as the "best player" award. Whether this should be the case is another question, but so long as people have differing views about what we mean by "valuable," it is easy to both hate wins (in the context of an award for the best pitcher, because they don't measure individual achievement) but love guys on playoff teams (in the context of an award that many define as measuring something different than the best individual achievement by a player).

Nov 23, 2010 3:25 PM on The NL MVP Rout
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 1

I do agree that pitchers are taught to pitch differently with a large lead. As dodgerken222 pointed out, the infield plays back with a man on third and less than two outs. Also, pitchers are more likely to throw a fastball down the middle to get a strike when they are behind in the count if a home run won't have a major effect on the score. But that being said, its not enough to just say that this is the case. I have no idea how often these situations come up, and before we assume that a pitcher on a high-scoring team allowed more runs because they were "pitching to the score," I'd have to see some evidence that these situations came up enough to have a real effect. I seriously doubt that it makes a large difference over the course of a season, certainly not enough to explain the difference between CC Sabathia's numbers and Felix Hernandez's.

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

Just to clarify, I'm not saying that the Giants actually folded in those games, which (anecdotally) all seemed to be lost on a sac fly or run-scoring groundout. My point is that any team in a small sample can look awful, and we sometimes read more into those samples than we maybe should if they happen to occur down the stretch or in games against their top competitor.

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 2

I dunno it was impressive how the Padres seemingly never had a funk until near the end of the season. If they had the cold streak earlier in the year, like the Giants, it wouldn't be so noticeable. I mean, if the Giants had ended up missing the playoffs by a game, would their abysmal record against the Padres be strong evidence that Bochy wasn't deserving because the Giants folded in their biggest games (against the team ahead of them in the division)?

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

I wouldn't. Now I wouldn't be shocked if the Giants miss the playoffs, but they certainly could win the NL West or Wild Card with a similar team to last year's, and once you put that starting staff in the playoffs they can beat any team. The Giants repeating would not be any more shocking to me than your any recent World Series victor doing so, and perhaps they are little more likely to repeat than the "average" World Series victor due to that pitching staff.

Nov 08, 2010 3:52 PM on San Francisco Giants
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 3

The contrast between Aubrey Huff apparently willing to sign well below market rate and Jeter's "compromise" is astounding.

Nov 05, 2010 3:37 PM on Big Game Hunting
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 3

Its been a wild ride. Thanks Cristina for the great writing. KNBR during the games (the mute button is your friend) and your analysis made a dream post-season that much more enjoyable.

Nov 02, 2010 7:46 AM on Game Five Analysis
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

I agree, and I hope it was clear that I was defending Cristina and John there, not criticizing them.

Nov 01, 2010 3:18 PM on Game Three Report
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

That was an incredible throw by Posey. Hamilton had a huge jump but it ended up not even being close.

Nov 01, 2010 3:09 PM on Game Four Analysis
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

I think this is a fairly accurate portrayal of how much of the sports media has covered the Giants this post season. But I don't think this is a fair comment re: BP writers. I agree that there was way too much focus on Washington's mismanagement of his bullpen in Game 2 (including at BP), considering how little effect his mistake had on the outcome of the game. But I don't think that Cristina and John were implying that the Giants didn't outplay the Rangers or that they lucked into those wins. I'm a Giants fan, and I share the frustration with the blatant way much of the sports media demonstrates that they don't believe our team deserves to be here. But I think the anger is misdirected when its aimed at BP.

Oct 31, 2010 3:18 PM on Game Three Report
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 1

I cannot imagine a situation where Guillermo Mota would get into a game, so I agree re: Zito. Both Sanchez and Bumgarner have the possibility of having to leave a game early (Sanchez, as we saw today, do to wildness, and Bumgarner due to his willingness to attack the strike zone, which could lead to problems in Arlington when his command isn't there).

Oct 24, 2010 3:07 PM on NLCS Game Six Recap
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 1

Buster Posey's at bat in the 9th might have been the best this postseason. To fall behind 0-2 and manage to get great wood on several balls with an inside-out swing, eventually keeping one fair, was impressive. We've seen this approach from him all year, but he had gotten away from it in the first few games of this series. Also, much credit to Jayson Werth for an exceptional play in the outfield to hold Posey to a single and keep Aubrey Huff from scoring. While it ended up not mattering, Juan Uribe strikes out and pops up a lot; the sacrifice fly was no guarantee and Werth's play gave the Phillies a shot to get to extra innings. It was also very good to see Pablo Sandoval having good at-bats in every plate appearance. I heard some commentators refer to the high fastball by Chad Durbin as a mistake, but that's just not true. The scouting report on Sandoval, for good reason, is to go after him with high fastballs this year. Until this game, he had not shown he could even make contact with that pitch since August.

Oct 21, 2010 8:39 AM on NLCS Game Four
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 1

I generally agree with everything you've written. Still, 29 teams could have had Pat Burrell for the league minimum, and only the Giants thought he was a risk worth taking. The offseason moves were poor, with the only one that worked out (Aubrey Huff) happening only after Nick Johnson and Adam LaRoche rejected offers. Giving Sanchez a two-year deal almost immediately when there were a lot of 2Bs available (including Hudson) was not smart. And I have trouble giving Sabean credit for trading away Molina after making the mistake of signing him. Still, this was his best year in a while. I still remember fondly when there several GMs he could regularly out maneuver. The trades for Ellis Burks and Jason Schmidt were steals that he doesn't get nearly enough credit for.

Oct 20, 2010 3:24 PM on They Must be Giants
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 1

People like to point out that single-season home-road splits are meaningless, but I think its worth paying attention to in Sandoval's case. After all, players are people. This is second-year 23 (or 24?) year old who had an incredibly disappointing year but continued to get amazing support from the panda-hat clad home crowd. I don't think its crazy to hypothesize that he felt more comfortable hitting at home this year, and was less likely to press and/or more likely to focus and therefore have good at-bats at home. Saying this kind of split doesn't mean the same thing will happen next year isn't the same as saying that if Pablo actually does feel more confident and comfortable hitting at home this year, the Giants shouldn't try to take advantage.

Oct 18, 2010 3:02 PM on LCS Day Three Recap
 
bbienk01
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Comment rating: 3

Maybe I misinterpreted Steven, but I read that sentence differently. I thought he was saying that it would be a "bad team" style move for the Orioles in the position they are in to pay a big salary to Guthrie, not that only a bad team would do so. In the following sentence, he suggested seeing if a contender would be willing to pay Guthrie to be a reliable 4th or 5th starter: "Exploring the possibility that a contender might be more willing to absorb Guthrie’s inevitable raise in order to have a reliable hand at the back of the rotation is job one, because the risk of reversion is just too great and there are younger, livelier options on hand." This makes sense to me. While its a bad move for a team in the Orioles' position to pay big bucks to someone like Guthrie, having him for the same salary might be a good move for a team in contention with money to spare and a sub-replacement level 5th starter.

Oct 15, 2010 3:31 PM on Baltimore Orioles
 
bbienk01
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Comment rating: 1

I'm no defender of Bochy, but I think in this case the thought process was defensible (although at the time I thought he was crazy). Given the Giants inability to string hits together to score runs, and the propensity to hit into double plays, I can understand wanting to keep get one of the few power hitters on the team one more at-bat if the game was tied. Notably, each time Burrell was removed for defense in the first three games, the Giants had a lead.

Oct 12, 2010 3:25 PM on LDS Day Six Wrapup
 
bbienk01
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I meant, of course, that its hard to imagine trading Sanchez for anything *less* than an elite bat.

Oct 11, 2010 3:30 PM on Minnesota Twins
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 7

I feel like its time to stop throwing Jonathan Sanchez's name in the rumor mill. At this point, its hard to imagine the Giants trading him for anything more than an elite bat. As impressive as Delmon Young's season was, much easier to find a solid corner outfielder than a young lefty with Sanchez's strikeout and BAA numbers.

Oct 11, 2010 11:56 AM on Minnesota Twins
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 1

I agree that Posey's ball was smoked, but a major leaguer should make that play. That being said, Conrad's second error that led to the first Giants' run was a tough call by the official scorer, and although it doesn't fit the storyline of Conrad blowing the game for the Braves, its worth pointing out. That was a ball hit into no-man's land that Jason Heyward had a better shot at catching, had he not just shaken himself up banging into the wall on Fontenot's triple. No way the second baseman should have to catch that. While the ball hit off of Conrad's glove, would have been an outstanding play if he'd made it.

Oct 11, 2010 9:02 AM on LDS Day Five Roundup
 
bbienk01
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Comment rating: 0

that makes sense ignore my other comment

Sep 14, 2010 3:47 PM on JUMP Again
 
bbienk01
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I'm confused. Off the top of my head, Chase Utley and Jeff Kent are both second basemen who hit 30 HR or more three times in their careers. I'm sure that there are other second basemen over the years who have hit 30 HR in a season . . . didn't Davey Johnson have a 40 HR season out of nowhere in the 1970s? Uggla is having a great season though.

Sep 14, 2010 3:47 PM on JUMP Again
 
bbienk01
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Comment rating: 1

Its been noted above, but Bonds made clear that he would play for the minimum salary during the off-season. Some people in this thread have just discounted this as posturing, and that he must have secretly been seeking more money. Maybe that's true. I'll stick with the only evidence we actually have, which has not been disputed by any contrary evidence. So the claim that it was his asking price that was the issue is false.

 
bbienk01
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Comment rating: 2

This sounds like more projecting from someone far removed from the Giants. If you are in fact a Giants fan I apologize. I don't recall Giants fans at the time considering that Bonds mistreated the team or city in his last year. I recall a lot of people upset that the Giants waited until he broke the home run record, milking as much $$ as they could out of him, and then unceremoniously dropping him. I remember that pissing off a lot of Giants fans who wanted to keep watching him play as long as we could.

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 7

Thanks for the dismissal of Giants fans. Maybe you should ask one of us why we continued to support Bonds instead? My two cents: most of us Giants fans were initially upset that Bonds had cheated, but the way he was singled out made us much angrier at those using him as scapegoat for an entire era of baseball or for cheap political points (see Justice Department). Plus, yeah, he had and continued to play great for us. The federal government has already spent more than $50 million of our tax dollars prosecuting Bonds for lying under oath about something he did to perform better in a game. Most of the case has already been thrown out, and an acquittal is likely (the prosecutor was so incompetent that he failed to pin Bonds down, so he never directly stated that he did not use steroids, making a perjury conviction almost impossible). If that waste of OUR money just so we can pretend the game is now being played cleanly doesn't make you sick, what would?

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 2

I don't really understand where these claims that Bonds was never considered a great teammate come from. I'm not trying to single you out here, its just a sentiment I've seen often but never seen supported by anything. It seems to be the case that opposing fans and members of the media disliked Bonds, and somehow thus believe that his teammates must have disliked him, too. But I don't see how its relevant whether he was "considered" a good teammate by anyone other than those he actually played with. So far as I can tell, Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds did not like playing with each other. Jeff Kent also had well-publicized incidents with Milton Bradley (ok no huge surprise there) and James Loney. Bonds had no problems with anyone else. And, while of course it was rarely covered outside of the local sports media (didn't fit the Bonds storyline), teammate after teammate talked up how great a teammate he was, advice he'd give them on their swing or on another pitcher, etc.

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 1

Great article as usual Steven. Big Giants fan and I appreciate getting the stories behind the names and stats.

 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 1

Nitpicking point: The Panda played 26 games at 1B last year, so he'll still have multi-position eligibility in most leagues (but not at catcher).

 
bbienk01
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Comment rating: 0

Sorry if you've already discussed this and I missed it, but do you have anything to add on Russell Branyan's back? Is he likely to miss the rest of the season? Long term implications?

Sep 04, 2009 2:00 PM on Taking Care
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 1

While I agree that picking up Penny isn't a huge move, I do think it was an important one for the Giants. And I guess I missed the coverage indicating that Penny might replace Dirty Sanchez. So far as I can tell, the Giants value Sanchez greatly and, at least since the no-hitter, the local sports media do as well. Penny's upside may be limited, but particularly given the Giants atrocious offense, they cannot afford to have Joe Martinez rocked every fifth day and there are no real alternatives available in the minors. If Penny is as bad as Martinez, the Giants are no worse off. If he can give the Giants some 5-6 IP, 3 R or less starts against weaker offenses and in better pitchers parks, the Giants might be able to steal an extra few wins in a very close wild card race. The only downside I can see (other than having to root for Penny, who I've always hated) is that Bruce Bochy may decide not to skip the fifth starter spot when off-days would allow him to do so because he has an "established veteran" fifth starter. This would significantly reduce the Giants chances by cutting down the number of starts made by Lincecum, Cain, Zito, and Sanchez. While Bochy did not skip the fifth starter spot today, I support that decision to give Lincecum an extra day rest after a 130 pitch outing. We'll see what happens the next time there's a day off and a chance to skip Penny.

Sep 02, 2009 4:19 PM on Final Answers
 
bbienk01
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I can't remember the exact number, but I remember being blown away at the time to read that in Burnett's 9 walk no-no, he threw something like 110 fastballs out of 130 pitches. So it wasn't like he was nibbling around the plate, he probably just had no idea where his fastball was going (and neither did the Pads).

Jul 24, 2009 10:45 PM on Perfection
 
bbienk01
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When I used to live in Boston I once $80 to sit in right field. Last week I caught my Giants playing the Dodgers and paid $13.50 ($9 cover plus service fees) to sit in the upper deck behind home plate at Dodger Stadium. I hate the Dodgers, but I give them much respect for charging reasonable prices for seats that I'd take over field level in the outfield any day.

Apr 30, 2009 8:11 PM on Yankee Ticket Pricing
 
bbienk01
(42333)
Comment rating: 0

Hey Will, any news on Ricky Romero? He was placed on the DL today with a strained right oblique. Caught me by surprise because he pitched well his last start and I didn't hear anything about an injury until now, several days later.

 
bbienk01
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Comment rating: 0

While I\'m under no illusions that the Giants will compete this year, even in the NL West, I\'m happy that there are now 4 out of 5 starting pitchers that will bring me to the ballpark. Last year, I did my best to only see games pitched by Lincecum, Cain, and Sanchez, which ensured at a minimum entertaining and potentially great pitching. While Randy Johnson isn\'t nearly as dominant as he was in his prime, he\'s still someone who I\'d go out of my way to watch. Gotta love having four SP who might strike out a batter an IP.