The second half has begun. The Giants are poised to provide their fans with another summer of strangely glorious torture, and the A’s stuck in the big-league equivalent of the “friend zone,” wondering if it’s safe to try to take what they’ve got going to the proverbial next level. Read More
A week ago today, the rosters for Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game were announced — and met with the usual hue and cry.
It’s such a tired act now. It’s trite. Cliché. Rote. All too predictable.Announce team. Brace for cries of favoritism, criticism of “the process,” and grumbling about snubs. Rinse. Repeat.
It happened again this year, of course. Baseball is as tradition-bound as any sport, and All-Star sniveling goes back a long, long time. Only now we get sniveling about internet ballots, and disgruntled GMs crying rivers via Twitter. Read More
The first-place Giants? Yes, that’s what they were in the wake of Tim Lincecum’s most exhilarating outing of the season on Wednesday. Tied with L.A. after giving up ZERO runs in a three-game sweep, having been five games back 11 days previous. Pretty amazing.
The big question in the wake of Wednesday’s game, of course, was this: Is Timmy back? He sure has looked sharp since wiggling out of that first-inning jam in Oakland on June 22, right?
Let’s break down the possible answers, depending on which camp appeals to your way of thinking. Read More
The Giants can’t afford to lose when they score five runs, but when your starting pitcher can’t get out of the fourth inning, you’re doomed to lose virtually every time.
“Bad Barry” is back, folks, and his return comes at a most unfortunate time.
Zito, for the third consecutive start, was awful Tuesday night. And with Tim Lincecum having been awful for the bulk of the season, that brings to two the number of hold-your-breath guys in what most experts anticipated being the best rotation in baseball. Read More
Perfection is virtually unobtainable in any endeavor; even the most pure of moments can be dissected to the point that a blemish, however small, could be found by the most cynical of cynics.
Case in point: A friend of mine, who considers baseball an exercise in tedium, scoffed at the notion of Matt Cain’s masterpiece at AT&T Park on Wednesday as a perfect game.
“A perfect game,” he spat with a straight face, “would be 27 first-pitch outs or 27 three-pitch strikeouts.”
Then he pushed a 3-year-old off her tricycle and set fire to a newborn kitten. Read More
“I’ve put myself in a big hole and I feel I’m finally crawling out of it. There’s still the crooked numbers but the innings outside of those, I feel better.” — Tim Lincecum, Tuesday night.No, dude. You gave up four earned runs in six innings and took the loss. Yeah, you got some bad breaks along the way, but the crooked numbers COUNT — we’ve been saying this for a while now — and until you go out there and give us eight innings of one-run or shutout work, nobody should buy that you’re “finally crawling out of it.” Read More
‘Happy Lincecum Day!” That’s what Giants fans used to say to each other, whether they knew each other or not, as they’d pass on Market Street.
The occasion, of course, would be Tim Lincecum’s scheduled start.
These days, the day on which Lincecum pitches is not so happy. In fact, it’s filled with trepidation. That’s how far Lincecum has fallen in two short months.
And it’s ridiculous. Read More
The Warriors have five years to undo the damage they’ve done, and they’d be wise to get started right away.
What damage? Well, in holding that ostentatious news conference to announce their plans to move to San Francisco, the Dubs dissed Oakland in a big way.
Planned or not, the backdrop when the team’s owners and smarmy NBA commish David Stern posed for photos on Piers 30-32, with the gaudy “2017” jerseys in hand, was ironic. It was Oakland — squarely, literally and figuratively in the rear-view mirror. Read More
Issue: Who’s on first?Analysis: The Giants are in a tough spot when it comes to working Aubrey Huff back into the fold, but it’s not as tough as it might seem.Fans would love nothing more than for the team to bury Huff and his big contract on the bench. They’d like the team to finally and firmly commit to the youngsters they have at Huff’s position — Brandon Belt and Brett Pill. Most would like to see Belt be handed the gig and left alone for a month or two, while others would like to see Belt take on right-handed starters and Pill take on lefties. Read More
Issue: Manny’s potential impactAnalysis: Eligible to return to the big leagues with the A’s on Wednesday, though the team has hinted that could be pushed back, Manny Ramirez could make his Oakland debut on his 40th birthday and give Oakland a present in the form of a formidable bat, a positive presence in the clubhouse, and national attention the likes of which the team hasn’t gotten in years.Two out of three ain’t bad. Read More
Most of us probably agree that interleague play in the bigs has been one of Bud Selig’s good ideas.
Understand that typing that sentence made me vomit in my mouth a little bit, but as I spit it out I realized that it probably wasn’t really Uncle Bud’s idea, and I felt better. But still, interleague play was implemented on the man’s watch, so he deserves a modicum of credit.
Has interleague play run its course, though? Some folks think so, particularly those subjected to vomit-inducing interleague matchups such as the Pirates against the Mariners. Read More
Issue: The Crawford conundrum
Analysis: The Giants’ defensive struggles continue in a big and disturbing way, and while it’s tempting to say that shortstop Brandon Crawford is emblematic of the issue, he’s not.
His particular situation is so absolutely confounding, it’s not emblematic of anything other than baseball being impossible to figure, no matter how much you think you know about it. Read More
Issue: The Colon conundrum
Analysis: It wasn’t all that long ago that the East Bay’s baseball fans were raving about Bartolo Colon, who’d just put together one of the most impressive pitching performances you’ll ever see — eight shutout innings at the Los Angeles Angels, highlighted by a ludicrous streak of 38 consecutive strikes. Read More
Are we stuck in the Dark Ages? Sure seems like it when it comes to at least one issue regarding professional golf.
I’ve been biting my tongue on this one for a while, but in the wake of recent developments, it’s time to open the can and whoop some ass.
Remember when Augusta National Golf Club finally allowed an African-American in into its tony, previously openly racist membership in 1991? Great progressive development, right? Read More
The often-frigid air that swirls around Benedetti Diamond at USF isn’t much of a recruiting tool for elite pitchers. It’s a detriment.
Why would someone who fancies himself a shot at throwing a baseball for a living someday decide to spend key developmental years having to spend 20 to 30 percent more time playing catch merely to get loose than would a pitcher at, say, Pepperdine or Stanford?
In other words, how the heck did Kyle Zimmer, a right-hander whose heater approaches 100 mph and whose draft stock is approaching No. 1 overall status, end up with the Dons? Read More