Westwood Blues

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


September 28, 2005

Baseball Gods
Department of Miracles

Dear Baseball Gods:

Hi. It's Doug again. I have a question. Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?





Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Ya Gotta Believe

September 27, 2005

Baseball Gods
Department of Miracles

Dear Baseball Gods:

Hi. This is Doug, the SoCal Giants fan. I know you must get a lot of prayers at this time of the year, so I'll keep mine short and to the point: Oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please.

Oh, and thanks for last night. The premature fireworks were a nice touch. You really outdid yourselves on that one.




Friday, September 23, 2005

Neel: Robb Nen's Last Pitch

Eric Neel of espn.com pens this must-read article on former Giants closer Robb Nen.
"Nen took the old, almost clich├ęd, idea about making sacrifices for the good of the club and brought it to life, stretching it to the nth degree. Some guys give up playing time. He gave up his shoulder.

And when he did it, he gave a word like "team" a real shape and weight, and transformed an abstract thing like "desire" into something palpable. He turned the game into a series of questions: What do you love? How much do you love it? What would you be willing to give up for it?

"You want to believe, if it were you, you'd do the same," says Kirk Reuter, who had the locker next to Nen's. "But I don't think any of us knows. All we know is that he did it, and we know we just respect him so much for it."
Bravo, Mr. Neel! Outstanding work.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Smartassery Abounds

Dear Mr. Wetzel,

I thoroughly enjoyed your self-righteous rant on Barry Bonds and the "imbecile" Giants fans who cheer him.

As such, I am eagerly awaiting the opportunity to read the chapter or three from your book Runnin' Rebel where you will undoubtedly express moral outrage at the "naive bumpkins" in Sin City, Long Beach, and Fresno who cheered Jerry Tarkanian. Hopefully, you'll even refer to Tarkanian by a clever nickname like the oh-so original and uproariously funny "BALCO Barry." How about "Point Shaving Tark?" or "Hot Tubkanian" or "Loan Shark." I smell a Pulitzer!

If a player who is accused of cheating deserves to be booed by his hometown fans, then certainly a coach who was disciplined by the NCAA for repeatedly and unapolagetically breaking every NCAA rule under the sun is worthy of the scorn of his team's fans. And if the UNLV, Fresno State, and Long Beach fans refuse to comply with this moral directive, then they should be called out as "imbeciles." Right?

Again, I am looking forward to the release of your new book where you will undoubtedly put Tarkanian and his "imbecile" fans in their place.

In the meantime, please do the entire world a favor by filling your stomach with gasoline and swallowing a match.

Your pal,

A wine drinking, sushi eating, naive bumpkin Giants fan
Redondo Beach, CA


Monday, September 19, 2005

Trivia Time

As always, please don't cheat and look up the answers.

1) Who was the last player other than JT Snow to start at 1B on Opening Day for the Giants?

2) Other than Jason Schmidt, who was the last Giants pitcher to finish in the Top 5 of the Cy Young Awards balloting?


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Homerun Jesus Lives

Barry Bonds made his triumphant return to the lineup last night. As I'm sure everyone reading this has seen by now, Bonds sent a screaming liner to the wall in left in his first AB. But mass confusion struck Mays Field as the ball disappeared into the stands. Most everyone thought it was a homerun, but it was (correctly) ruled a double after a fan interfered with the ball. This dramatic, yet confusing scene set the stage for one of the greatest Duane Kuiper calls ever (paraphrasing and making stuff up as needed):

Krukow: (untranscribable horse laugh)


Kuiper: Oh. It's a double.

Yeah, it was a double. But it was still fucking cool.

Don't Stop the Noise!

Watching the Bondless Giants offense of the last few weeks has been a little bit like watching, dare I say it, the Warriors of the last few years. While its somewhat entertaining to monitor the development of a couple of exciting young players and to watch an occasional well played game, the games are largely unwatchable. And by the end of the game you're cursing yourself for wasting time watching the game in the first place, while also cursing the front office for assembling the dreck you just wasted your time watching.

I was at the Giants game on Sunday. While the game was technically a sell-out, there were a fair number of no-shows and those who were there weren't exactly auditioning for Sam's Army. The crowd wanted desperately wanted to make some noise but the Giants offense was too busy hacking at slop to give us a reason to cheer. It just didn't feel like a September game at Pac Bell.

But all that changed last night. Superman received a thunderous ovation from the crowd. The Giants partisans stood in unison and cheered for each Bondsian plate appearance. One of the great things about the crowd last night was that a lot of the energy from Bonds' ABs carried over into subsequent at bats. The place erupted when Durham drove in Bonds to score the first Giants run and then erupted again when Matheny gave the Giants the lead for good.

For just a moment, let's ignore the cold reality that Giants playoff chances are pretty much DOA (BP's monte carlo sim gives them a 1.7% chance at the playoffs and Moises may be done for the year.) Barry is back. And for one glorious night at least, a September night at Pac Bell felt like a September night at Pac Bell.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Trivia Time

1) Who was the last player other than Barry Bonds to lead the Giants in HRs hit in a season?

2) Who was the last person to serve as a player/manager of the Giants.


Saturday, September 10, 2005

Welcome Back, Barry

The big news of the day is that Homerun Jesus will be activated from the Disabled List and return to the starting lineup on Monday.

What kind of reaction do you suppose he'll get from the crowd at Mays Field? I imagine that most season ticket holders are in the "I don't give a fuck about Balco" crowd. As such, Bonds will most likely get a rousing ovation when he strides to the plate for his first plate appearance.

So, do you cheer Barry? Fold your arms in indifference? Boo him? Give him a standing ovation?


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Blog for Relief

Several hundred bloggers have joined forces to offer assistance to those affected by Huricane Katrina as part of "Blog for Relief Day." I figured that I'd throw my hat into the ring and offer my little nickel and dime baseball blog as a tiny, tiny, tiny part of the effort. A list of participating blogs can be found here. Instapundit and The Truth Laid Bear are spearheading the effort.

* Charity Information

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross is organizing the largest mobilization of resources in the organization's history. You can also contact the Red Cross by phone at 1-800-HELP-NOW. Contact your local American Red Cross chapter to donate blood.

* Your Employer

Many large employers offer matching funds for your donations. Contact your employer to see if they offer matching funds.

* Other Charities

Habitat For Humanity
Catholic Charities USA
Salvation Army

*IMPORTANT* If you would like to do some research on a particular charity, The Better Business Bureau's Give.org is an excellent resource, as is Charity Watch and Charity Navigator. FEMA offers a list of recommended charities. Beware of Scams!

* Other Resources:

Craigslist Resources
Craigslist Lost and Found
The Network for Good
Now Public Missing Persons Board
Katrina Help Wiki

* Bloggers:

Times Picayune
Eyes on Katrina
Clarion Ledger

* Satellite Images:

Earth Observatory

* Miscellaneous:

Snopes.com: Katrina and the Waves
Benefit Concerts
Will Clark and his family evacuated NO and are safe
Katrina on Mind of Giants' Linden
Sports Coming to Aid of Hurricane Victims