Monday, June 30, 2003
Starting Pitching Help
Outside of Jason Schmidt, Jerome Williams has been the Giants most consistent starter over the last couple of weeks. I think the Giants would only be willing to part with Jesse Foppert if they could get a front line starter in return and there doesn't appear to be an ace on the market. Kurt Ainsworth is injured and will not return until late in the year, if at all. What I'm trying to say is that it is unlikely any member of the Big Three will be traded.
Not dealing one of their top three prospects limits what the Giants can get in return for a trade, so my list of pitching help is fairly unspectacular. But they are all probably a step above Jim Brower.
Chuck Finley 200-173, 3.85 ERA career numbers
Finley would be attractive because the Giants wouldn't have to give up any prospects to get him. Unfortunately, Jayson Stark reports that Finley is leaning toward retirement. He would be a great fit, though.
Sidney Ponson - 10-3, 3.76 ERA, .254 BAA
Beatagain is in a good position to get some decent prospects for Ponson who has put together a good year. I'm a little skeptical of Ponson because of his injury history and his asking price may be too high. Getting an innings eater like Ponson (already at 103 IP and 3 CG) could allow the Giants to stand pat in the bullpen.
Russ Ortiz - 10-4, 3.37 ERA, .217 BAA
Ok this one won't happen, but this is exactly the kind of pitcher the Giants need. Merkin Valdez better be a superstar.
Al Leiter - 8-5, 5.57 ERA, .288 BAA
Leiter hasn't pitched well at all this year. The Mets would probably have to pick up a lot/all of his contract. The optimist in me says that a change of scenery and the Giants defense would serve Leiter well. The pessimist in me sees that Leiter has allowed 173 baserunners in 97 innings. Ouch.
As always, let me know who I forgot.
Skip Two Alou
Kudos to Felipe Alou for juggling his starting rotation allowing Jason Schmidt an extra day of rest and sending Damian Moss to the bullpen on a temporary basis.
It goes without saying that pitching arms are very, very fragile and there is no sense in running Schmidt's arm into the ground in June.
By the way, what the hell happened to Moss? If I could explain what is wrong with Damian Moss I would. A typical four pitch sequence for Moss is 1) fastball to the backstop 2) a changeup that paints the outside corner 3) a curveball that bounces two feet in front of the plate 4) a fastball that paints the inside corner. Unfortunately for Moss, he's been doing a lot of #1 and #3 lately. Some people call this "effectively wild." I think a better term would be "teeth gnashing inconsistency." And if Moss' struggles continue he will go from "effectively wild" to "effectively William Van Landingham."
Send Moss to the bullpen and let him work out whatever it is he needs to work out.
The Fast Track
The Giants signed their top pick David Aardsma, a senior out of Rice, to a contract. Aardsma will be the closer on the Single-A San Jose Giants, although I think he'd be a better fit at AA (sorry, couldn't help myself).
As a college senior, Aardsma is closer to the big leagues than many of the other draftees. Dick Tidrow was quoted as saying Aardsma could even compete for a job on the big club next spring, if all goes well. Peter Gammons even speculated that Aardsma could be called up this September. This is probably just a case of Gammons being Gammons and a front office exec blowing smoke, but its nice to know that fans who are impatient with prospects (like me) won't have to wait five years for Aardsma to make an impact.
Friday, June 27, 2003
King Kaufman of Salon.com wrote in to tell me about his Neifi Index concept.
"The Neifi Index: For each player, his team's winning percentage in games he doesn't appear in minus his team's winning percentage in games he does appear in. It was inspired by Neifi Perez of the Giants, who is embarrassingly only 8th in the National League -- and second on the Giants, behind Pedro Feliz -- with an N.I. of .283. (The Giants have a .527 winning percentage when he plays, .810 when he doesn't.)."
Interesting concept. Check out the full column here. (If you're not a member of Salon you'll have to watch a brief commercial first.)
Do You Hear Footsteps?
Well, snakes don't have feet but the D-Backs are quietly playing very good baseball and now find themselves only five games out of first place. This is very scary considering they're playing so well without Johnson and Schilling (and Mantei and Hillenbrand for that matter). On top of that, the D-Backs get to play the
Can You Hear Me Now?
It's round two of the Bay Bridge Series and a few A's fans will be making their way to Pac Bell from whatever corner of East Bay hell they reside in.
I'll be missing the game tonight because, like the good Giants fan that I am, I'm planning on talking on my cell phone non-stop from 7:00PM until 10:00PM. You see, the Pac Bell faithful does nothing but talk on their cell phones (gee, never heard *that* one before).
Silly Giants fans! If you want to be great fans like A's fans the appropriate thing to do with your cell phones is to throw them at opposing players.
The imprint of "AT&T" on the back of Eric Brynes' neck that will appear in the fourth inning will speak volumes about what great fans we are. Reach out and touch someone indeed.
Incidentally A's fans, you guys really need to get out and see the world, because if you think Pac Bell is the cell phone capital of the world, you've obviously never been to West LA.
All kidding aside, have a great time in The City, A's fans. Let me know how much you love SF and Pac Bell. I'll have my cell phone on.
Thursday, June 26, 2003
Trade Specualtion week continues as we look at outfield help today, blogger problems be damned.
I've previously suggested the Giants acquire a platoon partner for the Marquis St. Everhack. Grissom is having a solid year and he's been playing well for the last year and a half, so I'm going back off that suggestion a bit.
Now I believe the Giants need a fourth outfielder extraordinaire who can play all three outfield positions, hit better than Ruben Rivera, and preferably be left-handed so Neifarious is no longer the top lefty off the bench.
Kenny Lofton - .275/.334/.439
Lofton has put together a good year, but the Bucs may be looking to move him. Lofton has hit righties well going .282/.349/.451 this year. Ok, he doesn't play RF or LF but if the Giants can trot out Pedro Feliz to LF then they can trot out Kenny Lofton to a corner outfield position.
Rickey Henderson - .357/.481/.589 for the Newark Bears
Why the hell not? Rickey is an OBP machine. Rickey would be loved by Alou because of Rickey's running game. The best part of this deal is that the Giants would not have to give up any prospects to get Rickey. Sign up Rickey!
Tsuyoshi Sinkhole! - .029/-.014/.032
Jay Payton - .296/.348/.457
Payton is having a good year, he can play all three outfield positions, he hits righties well (.294/.341/.426) and he's been the subject of trade rumors.
Payton's stats are Coors inflated and the Rockies would probably have to agree to pick up most of his remaining salary, but wouldn't the Rockies love to get their hands on an even B-level Giants pitching prospect.
Marvin Benard .185/.237/.259
Ok, Benard is already on the Giants but given his time on the DL you'd hardly know it. He has hit righties relatively well in his career and play all three outfield spots (not well, but technically he can).
Benard can contribute to the Giants if he a) stays healthy, b) learns to not swing at every single pitch in his plane of existence, and c)is not allowed to face left-handed pitching. Ever.
It's probably not wise to count on Benard because of his health problems and because asking Marvin to not swing at shoulder-level fastballs is like asking a pack-a-day smoker to quit cold turkey.
This is a long shot given Sabean's penchant for "proven veterans." If one of the rookies is given a shot to fill the fourth outfielder extraordinaire position it would probably be Valderrama or Ellison because they can theoretically play all three outfield positions.
Were it not for his ridiculous contract, Matt Lawton would be a good fit. Were it not for the fact that he's burned a few bridges in SF, Armando Rios would be a decent fit. I wouldn't be shocked if the Giants took a flyer on Jeffery Hammonds. The Giants signed a 30 year-old lefty outfielder, Rob Ryan, who has put up some semi-respectable numbers in the minors. He went .249/.332/.426 for AAA Sacramento and .266/.375/.489 for AAA Pawtucket last year.
I love getting feedback from readers so if there is someone I forgot, let me know. Also, if you don't like my suggestions let me know.
Memorable Moments Indeed
Bleacher Seat at Pac Bell: $14
Garlic Fries: $4.50
Watching Eric Gagne attack two water coolers, a bullpen phone, a trash
can, and his goggles after blowing a game against the Giants: Priceless.
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
We'll get back to the trade speculation tomorrow because today we need to salute Superman. In case you missed it, Barry Bonds became the charter member of the 500 Steal/500 HR Club last night with an 11th inning steal against Eric Gagne and the Dodgers.
There is a cliche in baseball that says the great base stealers can steal a base when everyone in the ballpark knows he is going to attempt a steal. In a tie game in the 11th, everyone at Pac Bell knew Bonds would try to steal second. Bonds not only stole second, he stole it without a throw.
That steal set up the winning run, as Bonds scored from second on a base hit to left field by Benito Santiago.
So congrats Superman, and thanks for reaching another milestone against the Dodgers.
Monday, June 23, 2003
Its now officially summer and one of my favorite summer pastimes is baseball trade speculation. This week we'll be looking at possible trades for the Giants. Today we look at Bullpen help.
Braden Looper 2.38 ERA, .261BAA, 13 Saves
The Marlins closer has pitched very well this year and he's pitched particularly well with runners on base. Opponents are hitting just .247 against him with men on base. Those numbers would be welcome news to the Giants bullpen who are collectively getting blasted to the tune of .284/.354/.498 with men on base and are allowing 58% of inherited runners to score. Ok, I made up those numbers, but it certainly feels as though those are accurate.
According to media reports, Looper is available. The Giants and their young pitching depth would make ideal trading partners for the Marlins. Since their pitching staff was Torborged, the Marlins could use some healthy arms.
Ben Weber 1.88 ERA, .241 BAA
One of these days Bill Stoneman will wake up and realize that the Angels' chances of repeating are slim and he'll deal some of his role players. Weber is arbitration eligible next year and is in line for a big raise, so he's a potential non-tender next year who could be traded if the Angels continue to suck.
When Weber pitched for the Giants, he was absolutely horrible. However, that sinker from hell and Weber's sub-2.00 ERA would look great in the Giants bullpen right now.
Jamie Walker 3.86 ERA, .253 BAA
Ok, this one is a bit of a reach as four southpaws in the bullpen would be a bit excessive. However, the thought occurred that the Tigers would be looking to acquire a ML ready pitcher (Ryan Jensen?) for no other reason than to spare Mike Maroth the embarassment of losing 20 games. Just a thought.
If demands from other teams are too high and/or the Giants can't add much payroll, look for them to go the Scott Eyre route and just keep a close eye on the waiver wire.
Proven Closer® - gaudy career save numbers, big contract
I am a little weary of the rumors of the Urbina/Benitez to the Giants rumors. A big name bullpen addition usually comes with a big price tag and I'm not ready to deplete the farm system just so the Giants can have a Proven Closer® pitch for them for a couple of months.
NLCS, Game 7, the Giants have a one run lead going into the ninth; would you feel more comfortable seeing Tim Worrell or Armando Benitez take the hill?
Ken Rosenthal of TSN notes that Jason Schmidt pitches better as the game progresses. Opponents are hitting .216 against Schmidt in innings 1-3, .189 in innings 4-6, and just .175 from the seventh on.
Beat LA. That is all.
Friday, June 20, 2003
Wednesday night's blowout by the Dodgers was so painful to watch that I switched over to Fox to watch "Paradise Hotel," which was actually slightly more watchable than the Fodgers blowing out the Giants. Thursday night I felt like I was in Paradise watching Jason Schmidt shutout the Dodgers. If there was any question as to who the Giants ace was before last night, I think Mr. Schmidt answered that question.
Now its on to Oakland, wherever that is.
The one thing I hate about an A's/Giants series are those idiotic split Giants/A's caps. Unless you plan on vandalizing the A's side of the hat, can we please, please discard those lame split Giants/A's caps into the same dustbin of baseball lunacy that stores Thunderstix®, rally monkeys, beanie babies, and Rex Hudler.
Free Neifi Perez!
Well it looks as though my dream of Neifi being traded to the Cubs was just a dream. The Cubs completed their goal of making sure Mark Bellhorn never contributes to their offense by trading Bellhorn to Colorado for Jose Hernandez.
So, I have a new dream, Free Neifi...to the Dodgers!
On behalf of the citizen's of LA, I demand Neifarious Perez be freed to the Dodgers. Hey, it can happen. After all, this is the same franchise that gave away Pedro Martinez so they could get their hands on Delino DeHack.
What better way to cap off "Think Blue" week than for the Neifi Alert Status to be changed permanently to Dodger Blue.
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
For some reson I have not received a response to this warm, thoughtful e-mail I sent to the Diamondbacks about Matt Williams. In a related story, Shea Hillenbrand is officially a member of the Diamondbacks - he's on the DL, which should just be an accronym for Diamondback List since their players tend to spend so much time there.
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2003 20:18:26 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Doug Hutchinson"
Subject: Matt Williams
Dear Jerry Colangelo:
I hate you. Matt Williams was one of my all time favorite ball players and I hold you personally responsible for Matty's early retirement.
I hope very bad things happen to you.
I hope a horde of unscrupulous telemarketers gets a hold of your cell phone number.
I hope you get trapped in an elevator. With Rob Dibble. And Rick Sutcliffe.
I hope Tony Womack hits .220...oh, wait.
I hope the DEA finds the meth lab in the basement of the BOB.
Lastly, I hope a flock of Candelstick birds migrates from SF to Arizona and takes an enormous dump on you, Joe Garigiola, Jr., and Shea Hillenbrand.
Monday, June 16, 2003
The Neifi Alert status is being downgraded to level green - a Neifi start is unlikely. Ray Durham should be ready to go by Tuesday's game against the Dodgers. I'm hopeful that the alert status will change to Cub blue as apparently Dustyville is interested in acquiring Neifarious Perez as part of their plan to make sure Mark Bellhorn never starts again.
Have You Seen This Man?
Every time I go to the grocery store and buy milk, I check the side of the milk carton half expecting to see a picture of Ryan Jensen. Ryan Jensen - Missing Since 4/03. I guess Jensen did make a few unmemorable appearances in relief, but other than that he's been MIA on the season and is now basically the seventh man on the five man rotation.
The fact that there is a team seriously interested in acquiring Neifarious Perez gives me hope that some GM will look at Ryan Jensen's 13 wins from a year ago and decide to give the Giants something useful for him.
Friday, June 13, 2003
One of the great things about Extra Innings is being able to listen to all of the great baseball broadcasters. One of the bad things about Extra Innings is being able to listen to Darrin Jackson and Ken "Hawk" Harrelson call White Sox games.
I had heard their dreadful homerun and strikeout call before so I was expecting Hawk and DJ to be the biggest assclowns in the booth this side of Rex Hudler. I was wrong. They're not goofy, they are just absolutley and unmistakably boring.
If you want to call yourself a cool nickname like "Hawk," then you can't be some boring baseball announcer. Someone named Hawk should be a bad ass. Are you listening Ken Harrelson? If you want to call youself Hawk, show up to the next game in leather pants, crush beer cans on your forehead, take shots of jagermeister, put on face paint, and wear spiky shoulder pads. Until then, just call yourself Ken.
From sfgiants.com - "Prior to Durham's at-bat, Bonds whispered to the second baseman, "Get on so I can tie the ballgame," with the slugger later saying that was to pysche himself up for a moment he felt would come."
Wow. Enough said.
Matt Williams announced his retirement yesterday. This is the point where I should say something like, "I'll never forget that HR Williams hit," or "I'll never forget that play Williams made." Matt Williams won't be remembered for a signature play. He'll be remembered for several years of solid play with the Giants. I was particularly fond of Matt because Williams, like me, had a strange, unexplainable affinity for Candlestick Park.
I've thought about it for a couple minutes, and I've decided that my favorite Williams hit was the game winning hit against the Dodgers on May 2, 1995. The game was scoreless through the first 14 innings. The Dodgers scored three times in the top of the 15th and took the lead into the bottom of the 15th. Robby Thompson hit a three run homer to tie the game in the bottom of the 15th. Bonds reached first base and Matt Williams smoked a double to the left field gap and Bonds scored the game winning run.
Other than the Brian Johnson game, this is my favorite Giants game ever. I could listen to Hank Greenwald's call of Thompson's HR and Williams' hit a million times and never get sick of it.
Williams was the last remaining player from the Humm Baby Giants. Come to think of it, nearly all of my childhood favorites are retired. Will Clark, Robby Thompson, Joe Montana, Dave Dravecky, Steve Young, Ultimate Warrior (Wrestlemania VI forever!), and now Matt Williams.
Good luck in retirement, Matty. You'll be missed.
Wednesday, June 11, 2003
*ESPN News Alert!* We interupt the Outside the Lines 7-hour Sosa symposium to bring you breaking news. The Neifi Alert status has been raised to orange - a Neifi start is likely. Rich Aurilia has flu-like symptoms and will likely rest today. This has been an ESPN News Alert. We now return to Bob Ley at the Sammy Sosa update desk for the umpteenth corkgate update.
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
Let's take a look at how some former Giants are fairing on their new teams:
Jeff Kent - .322/.386/.548 with 10 HR and 46 RBI
Kent has moved on Houston and hasn't missed a beat. Another year, another 100+ RBI.
Kenny Lofton - .306/.365/.464
Lofton is puting together a nice year and has seen his trade value rise. Could the Giants be interested in reacquiring Lofton?
Reggie Sanders - .261/.322/.472 with 8 HR and 25 RBI
A typical Reggie Sanders line.
Shawon Dunston - on a couch in Fremont
How that differs from last year, I don't know.
Tsuyoshi Sinkhole - .209/.250/.279 with 1 HR and 7 RBI
Yeah, but he does that neat hop when he catches the ball.
Ramon Martinez - .287/.364/.447 with 3 HR and 16 RBI
He's better than Neifi, cheaper than Neifi, so why isn't he on the Giants?
David Bell - .197/.275/.279 with 2 HR and 23 RBI
If you listen closely, you can hear the boos all the way from the Vet.
Russ Ortiz - 7-3, 4.02 ERA, 87.1 IP, .222 BAA
A little more than a week ago Ortiz and Moss had almost identical numbers (except IP) since then Moss has had a "dead arm." Wouldn't Ortiz look pretty nice on the Giants staff?
Livan Hernandez - 5-4, 3.68 ERA, 78.1 IP, .287 BAA
Game 7. The fact that the Giants got anything in return for Livan and his $6 MM vesting
You Limo is Ready
Lost amid all of the Clemens 300 hoopla is the fact that Barry Bonds is approaching another historic milestone. Bonds needs two more steals to become the first member of the 500 HR/500 SB club. The talking heads on TV all say that Clemens' 300th will be particularly special because baseball fans will have to wait a long time to see another member join the 300 win fraternity. It may be a very, very long time before we see another 500/500 player.
In a related story, the Giants will travel to Oakland to play the A's in a week and a half. Could number 500 happen in Rickey's backyard?
Dear SoCal sports fans,
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
Now that the shoe is on the other foot, how does it feel to lose a Game 7? Who will you root for now? The Ducks season is over. The Angels are in third place. Well, football season starts soon. You can root for your NFL team. Oh wait.
I love LA.
Monday, June 09, 2003
I was amused to see the Detroit Tigers pitching coach Bob Cluck screaming at Rich Aurilia to "swing the bat" during Aurilia's AB in the eight inning.
First of all, on principle, a man named "Cluck" should not taunt anyone about anything because the comeback of "oh yeah, well your name is Cluck" easily trumphs anything Mr. Cluck could offer. Secondly, the Tigers should be happy that the Giants #3 hitter is trying a two-out bunt with a slow runner on third.
The Road Ahead
Look for the Giants to stay hot this week. As luck would have it, both Bartolo Colon and Esteban Loaiza pitched against the Dodgers this weekend. The Giants will not face Loaiza although Colon is the probable starter for Thursday's game. SF's next stop is Kansas City where the Royals are playing like the Royals again.
We've Hit The Big Time
You know you've hit it big when you get to interview nationally known broadcaster. I got a chance to interview Hall of Famer Joe Morgan about the Giants.
WWB: Joe, thanks for joining us. Much has been made about Rich Aurilia batting third in the Giants lineup. What do you believe is the optimal batting order for the Giants?
JM: The A's lost beacuse they don't manufacture runs. You can't just sit back and wait for a three run homerun. We're still waiting.
WWB: No offense, but what the hell are you talking about?
JM: I've always admired Joe Orsulak. There's a guy who could slap a single the other way or lay down a sac bunt if you needed him to.
JM: The Yankees want to test Mark Prior's athleticism, so Jeter is going to lay down a bunt in this situation. It's a good play because you're puting pressure on the Cubs defense. Prior does look com-fort-able on the mound but the pressure is on him to make the play. The Yankees also have a good defense. That's the problem with writing a book. Billy Beane's new book has offended a lot of other GMs.
WWB: Well at least you hit that homerun against the Dodgers to eliminate them in the early 80s. I was hoping you would be less irratating in print, but you can't just sit back and wait for Joe Morgan to less annoying than a stray dog crapping on your lawn. We're still waiting.
Friday, June 06, 2003
First and foremost, for a comprehensive review of the Giants draft check out The Southpaw's post on the MLB draft. Thanks to The Southpaw for doing all of the heavy lifting.
Secondly, many thanks to the other blogs who have linked this site. Shout outs to Aaron's Baseball Blog, Baseball News Blog, and But It's a DRY Heat (great name, btw) among others.
Lastly, we set a new attendance record yesterday with 40 unique visitors. Woo-hoo!
Free Brian Buscher!
My April concerns have turned into June panic attacks, as Edgardo Alfonzo has continued to be an out machine. I've been a fan of Fonzie's and I was very happy when the Giants signed him, but now every time he bats I want to go Theo Epstein on a chair.
Here is a very, very scary comparison -
Edgardo Alfonzo - .216/.301/.332
Neifi Perez - .288/.310/.387
Pedro Feliz - .235/.304/.510
Unlike some Giants fans, I've been very patient with Alfonzo, assuming he'd revert to his career .800 OPS form. To be fair, he has hit a lot of line drives right at people, his walk rate for 2003 is just about in line with his career numbers, and two months is too small a sample size to draw definitive conclusions, but the bottom line is Alfonzo has a lower OPS than Neifarious Perez.
Never in my most freakish, Jonny LeMaster-filled nightmares did I ever think I'd hear myself say this, but at what point do you sit Alfonzo for Pedro Feliz?
Not that Anybody Cares, but
Congrats to Matt Vasquez, Chad Ziemendorfand Sean Thompson of the Gauchos for being selected in the MLB draft this week. Hmmm, Sean Thompson was drafted by White Sox whose rookie team is in Great Falls, MT and Ziemendorf was drafted by the Reds, whose rookie ball team is in Billings, MT. Santa Barbara, CA to Montana? Culture meet shock.
Thursday, June 05, 2003
I'm giving the Westwood Blues Pulitzer Prize for draft coverage to Rick Draper of MLB.com for his article on the Giants draft. Here are two gems from the award winning article (emphasis added by me).
"After selecting right-handed pitchers David Aardsma of Rice University, the Giants used their sandwich pick to choose high schooler Craig Whitaker, a pure power pitcher who can theoretically throw in the high 90s."
Truer words have never been spoken about a high school pitching prospect. Given his body type and arm strength, in theory he can throw in the high 90s. We don't know if he actually can or will be able to throw that hard, but theoretically he can. Brilliant.
"The first backstop taken was Todd Jennings out of Long Beach State in the second round, while power-hitting third baseman Nathan Schierholtz of local Chabot College in Hayward was also nabbed in the same round with the 63rd overall pick.
A junior, Jennings batted .293 this year for the Dirtbags."
Truer words have never been spoken about Long Beach State. As a UCSB alum, I agree that Dirtbags is a great nickname for LBSU, but aren't they the 49ers? I looked at the LBSU web site and it refers to the all the sports teams as the 49ers, except the baseball team is called both the Dirtbags (?!) and the 49ers. So given those options, Draper chose the Dirtbags. Perfect.
Best. Faux. Article. Ever.
Sick of media coverage of Sosa and corkgate? Me too. Click here to read a hilarious parody of the media's overreaction to Sosa and his corked bat.
When Statheads Attack
I've spent a couple of hours running computer simulations and crunching numbers with possible Giants batting orders. After considering about 30 different lineup possibilities, I've concluded that this is the optimal lineup for the Giants.
1) Barry Bonds
2) Barry Bonds
3) Barry Bonds
4) Barry Bonds
5) Barry Bonds
6) Barry Bonds
7) Barry Bonds
8) Barry Bonds
Oh wait, you mean a player is only allowed to bat in one spot in the lineup? Damn. Well maybe the Giants can sell Barry's DNA to CloneAid and they can make replica Barry Bondses. Oh that's right, can't do that either; like Billy Beane always says, "We're not selling genes here."
Wednesday, June 04, 2003
"A right-handed Everyday Eddie Guardado" is what Peter Gammons calls Tim Worrell. Good comparison. Both were sucessful relievers (at least for the last couple of years), both rarely hit 90 on the gun, both have excellent control, both stepped in for Proven Closers®, and both have been very successful closing games.
Worrell is doing a great job in the closer's role for the Giants. He's 14 for 16 in save opportunities and is sporting a 1.48 ERA and a .224 BAA. He also didn't give up an earned run in the month of May.
What a Great Segue
Given Worrell's success this season, I was more than a little surprised to see Joe Roderick mention that the Giants are apparently interested in acquiring Ugueth Urbina. One question - why?
The bullpen has done an ok job and reinforcements are on the way, as Jason Christiansen was activated yesterday.
I really didn't understand all the trade specualtion after Nen was injured. What's wrong with giving Worrell an opportunity to close? Worrell has pitched just as well as Urbina. Is there some law that says the player who pitches in the ninth inning must throw in the high 90s, have gaudy career save numbers, have a big contract, and take the field to blaring rock music?
I'm not necessarily 100% opposed to obtaining Urbina, but if the Giants are going to make a trade with Texas, I would hope that at least one of Texas' young hitters would be included in the deal. In fact, the Giants needs (hitting, preferably low salary) and the Rangers needs (anyone who can post an ERA under 5.50) match up very well.
Another Great Segue
Chris Reed at Prospect Report has a new article on the Giants farm system. Chris gives a nice review of the Giants top 10 prospects, 9 of whom are pitchers. Prospect Report also rates the Giants as having the second best farm system in baseball and Jesse Foppert as the number two prospect in all of baseball. Hope springs eternal.
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
Moss grows on the north side of a tree. There is a traffic jam on the 405. Brian Sabean will draft pitchers. The amateur draft went true to form today as Sabes used the Giants' top two picks to draft pitchers.
I don't know anything about the players the Giants drafted but here is a quick synopsis of info I gathered this afternoon from various web sites.
1) David Aardsma - Rice University
Aardsma was the Owls closer and is a hard thrower. He allegedly hit 97 MPH on the Foppert Gun but has had some mechanical problems and now throws 92-94. Good control. Check his birth certificate, he doesn't look a day under 29. :)
2) Craig Whitaker - HS
Tall and lanky High School right hander, "projectable." Throws 91-94. Has signed to play with Texas A&M.
The MLB draft really is a crapshoot so who knows if Aardsma and Whitaker will follow in the footsteps of Kurt Ainsworth and Jesse Foppert or if they'll take the Joe Fontenot, Jason Grilli career path.
Mmmm, Garlic Fries
This weekend I was able to catch my first two games at Pac Bell this year. I picked two great games to attend, as Woody shut down the Rockies on Sunday and Foppert beat the Rocks on Saturday. Hopefully, I'll make it up to the Bay Area for a few more games this year.
Monday, June 02, 2003
Well it is, but the Giants are on a win streak, Grissom is playing well, Neifi is riding pine, and Marvin Benard got a hit last week. In other words, I have nothing to complain about. So for my second consecutive non-Giants post I offer a bit of trivia. Raise your hand if you've heard the story about Fidel Castro trying out for the Yankees or Senators in the late 40s and then wonder to yourself what history would've been like if Castro had made the team and not become a communist dictator. Well guess what? The story of Fidel Castro being given a tryout by a major league team is an urban legend.
Snopes.com debunks this myth and offers a quote from Yale professor Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria about Castro's baseball "career," "Let it be known here that Fidel Castro was never scouted by any major-league team, and is not known to have enjoyed the kind of success in baseball that could have brought a scout's attention to him. In a country where sports coverage was broad and thorough, in a city such as Havana with a half-dozen major newspapers (plus dozens of minor ones) and with organized leagues at all levels, there is no record that Fidel Castro ever played, much less starred, on any team."
Ok, I Do Have Something to Complain About
I hate the Diamondbacks. I'd like to extend an outstretched middle finger to Joe Garigiola, Jr., Jerry Colangelo, and the Arizona 8andahalfback organization for releasing Matt Williams. I speak for many Giants fans who became baseball fans by watching the Giants of the late 80s when I say that Matty is one of my all time favorites.
Normally I like it when the Giants rivals make dumb moves like replacing their aging, mediocre third baseman with a younger, mediocre third baseman and giving up a good pitcher to do so, but the end result of this trade, Williams possible retirement, has put me in an crappy mood.
Let's hope Matty can catch on with another team. He'll certainly have more fun playing for a pennant contender, like the Cubs, than he will sitting on the bench of the