Monday, April 27, 2009
Bruce Jenkins with some second hand insight on 49ers draft pick, Nate Davis with some other draft notes and weekend baseball and basketball observations.
The 49ers landed Michael Crabtree with the #10 pick. Is he a diva? Who cares? All that matters is how he plays on Sundays. It's the greatest NFL truth.
Mike Florio, of ProFootballTalk.com, writing at SportingNews has his own opinion on what getting drafted 10th adn playing across the Bay from a team that passed on you might do for a diva. (Item #3)
Twittering the NFL Draft, by Cam Inman. 90% easier than writing an acutal column.
Kawakami has the winners and losers from the draft, one of each for the Bay Area teams.
In case you didn't hear, nobody liked the the Raiders draft.
Jerry Mac's draft wrap.
Dan Brown collected various draft grades from various "experts" on the 49ers draft.
Bee-rows sasy the 49ers addressed their OT/OLB needs with UFAs.
Raiders draft bashing courtesy of Kawakami. Who else?
From this weekend, Bruce Jenkins argues that the Warriors should try to acquire Andre Miller.
Thornton, Marleau and Setoguchi stepped up in game 5, but Nabokov needs to step up tonight. Seriously, has Nabokov become overrated? Was he always overrated? I mean, Jonas Hiller is schooling him this series. Jonas Hiller. Not Martin Brodeur. Jonas Hiller.
No excuses, play through your injuries, it's do or die tonight.
Steve Holm hates the Dodgers.
Scott Ostler dreams wistfully of Manny on the Giants. Get over it! Remember when the 49ers brought Kurt Warner to town and he signed the next day with the Cardinals? That's waht Manny wanted the Giants to be. Stop all the bitching about Manny. Call up Ralph on KNBR and talk about how good the Giants would have been if they'd signed Vlad five years ago. How about we focus on kicking the Dodgers ass? Good.
Did Brian Wilson stay out too late Saturday night?
Baggs says there may be a roster move before the game tonight against the Dodgers. Also, Tim Alderson and Madison Bumgarner may be making their last starts for the San Jose Giants. Me and RT went and saw Alderson pitch last week and he was pretty impressive.
Someone let me know if there's any A's news.
Friday, April 24, 2009
The Sharks are down 3-1 vs. the Ducks after last night's shutout. Ratto nails the analysis with one sentence:
As the Ducks' tactical defensive superiority dawned upon them more and more, the Sharks lost heart.
Since the Sharks just changed coaches, maybe they should look into trading Marleau and/or Thornton?
The Giants' value fell five percent versus last year and the A's value fell one percent, according to Forbes.
Sean Gallagher has been sent to Sacramento, hardcore A's fans rejoice.
Baggs has Bochy's answers to readers' questions. Sorry Dallas McPherson fans, he hasn't even played in Fresno yet because of back spasms.
Interesting piece from Buster Olney asking if Albert Pujols is the perfect player?
Olney also mentions Grady Sizemore's fast, well balanced start. I saw the highlights from Cleveland yesterday and that ballpark is empty. Could Sizemore be "gettable" for the Giants?
In case you haven't heard, the NFL Draft is this weekend. Cam Inman says the 49ers should take a pass rusher first, QB later.
Kawakami says both Bay Area teams are needy.
David White looks at the Raiders' past Top 7 picks.
Jerry Mac with a couple of pre-draft notes including a mention of the "Crabtree Diss." All he said was, "No comment." Who cares?
Thursday, April 23, 2009
- As long as the Giants have the best pitching staff in the history of major league baseball, I think they have a legitimate shot at finishing second in the division.
- You know your stadium is a launching pad when even the A's can hit home runs there.
- Your token Sharks story that fails to point out the obvious ... the Sharks are not going to win the Stanley Cup this year.
- Now this is a disturbing trend. When he says "off-the-court stuff" do you think he is talking about getting an education?
- The NBA Finals could be the best one-on-one match-up ever.
- Is this even news worthy? The answer is No
- The question of the day: Is it worse to be a Raiders fan or a Sharks fan?
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Joe Thornton isn't who we thought he was? Huh?
Kawakami's thoughts on last night's win.
The Sharks won a game they had to win.
Ray Ratto on when it's time to panic. (Much better version coming tomorrow at FGC.)
If you think Molina is slow now... it might not matter.
Hinshaw and his hat have been sent to Fresno and Steve Hom has been recalled to give Molina's legs some rest.
A local kid, Brad Bergesen, made his debut the Orioles yesterday. He pitched pretty well, and got a ton of run support.
Susan Slusser's pre-game notes from last night contains some good info: Joey Devine had Tommy John surgery, Nomar is hurt and so is Eric Chavez.
Bruce Jenkins want Instant Replay to live up to its name.
David White analyzes some potential Raiders' draft picks: Michael Crabtree, Andre Smith and Jeremy Maclin.
Jerry Mac's position by position rankings.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
- A very good take on the Yankees new stadium.
- There are three reasons that Schierholtz is not getting a chance to play. (1) He can't hit, (2) He is sleeping with someone in the front office or (3) The Giants front office doesn't realize that the 2009 season is already lost (article coming later this week). I am going with number 3.
- The best article we have on the Giants offense is about a pitcher. Whoops.
- Can the Sharks do what the Capitals did last night? Ray Ratto does not offer much encouragement
- What in the world does "stick with the process" mean!?
- Ray Wersching joins the majority of former professional athletes who are not very good at business.
- Funny article about the draft.
- If there was ever a year for the Warriors to get the 2nd pick overall, it is this year.
Friday, April 17, 2009
- Are the Giants really this bad ... YES!
- Landon Powell needs to learn how to play a different position because Suzuki looks like the answer behind the plate
- I love how you can go years without reading a story about someone being sick and then when the team is terrible some how everyone is sick. Ridiculous.
- The feel good story of the day.
- Niners make a few smart moves by locking up solid contributors.
- Rooting for the Sharks is like rooting for the A-rod. Money all season long until the playoffs start.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
- Love him or hate him, John Madden will be missed.
- An interesting take on the Niners schedule
- The Giants can't get a walk themselves but they can give them up.
- People who know baseball called the Edgar Renteria signing terrible when it happened. People who don't know baseball are now calling it a bad signing. The Chronicle is not so sure yet. Awesome stuff.
- Wakefield continues to live the dream as a major league pitcher who throws slower than a 15 year-old in the Little League World Series.
- True or False: We will look back on the 2008-2009 Warriors as the worst team in the Bay Area during that sports year. FALSE (the 2009 Giants are much worse)
- I love that the guy who writes the fan blog for the SJ Mercury has not posted anything since April 11th. If that does not tell you something about Bay Area sports fans, I don't know what does.
- I heard two different commentators yesterday predict that the Sharks would lose in the first round. It must be NHL playoff time.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I don't know if you've heard,but the Warriors will not be voiding Monta Ellis' contract. Here is Kawakami's commentary, and here is Ratto's commentary. It was really dumb to hold this "void" thing over Ellis' head for so long, or even at all. It didn't do anything positive for the Warriors. In fact, it did the opposite. The team sent the signal that it doesn't respect its players.
Now that Cable's got the reigns, he better take advantage.
The 49ers' 2009 schedule is out.
So is the Raiders' 2009 schedule.
Does anybody really get pumped for the schedule? Apparently, Peter King didn't like how it went down this year:
He's seriously whining that east coast sports talk losers have to wait a day to call in and annoy normal people with their insane sports perspectives and ramblings?
4. I think the NFL is really ticking me off with the timing of the schedule-release tomorrow. By unveiling the schedule (in what -- 30 million homes, or whatever NFL Network hits right now?) Tuesday at 7 p.m., the league is depriving legions of drive-time sports-talk-radio fans the ability to dissect the schedule on the way home, or at the work water-cooler in the afternoon.
I remember listening over the years to WFAN in New York, when (since-divorced) Chris Russo and Mike Francesa would go over the local teams' slates, analyzing who had the week-by-week edge, and which teams around the league got creamed by the NFL's schedule. Now it'll be on a fraction of the nation's TV homes, and there won't be any time for debate 'til Wednesday, if it's even on radar screens by then.
BTW, it's Jackie Robinson Day.
Gwen Knapp says complete games are ancient history.
The A's eked out a tough out last night against the Red Sox, on the verge of a sweep.
Joe Stiglich post game notes.
Surprise of the year, Eric Chavez had an MRI. Does Billy Beane regret signing Chavez long-term over Tejada?
Ratto runs down the teams standing between the Sharks and glory.
Joe Thornton has given up some scoring to make the team better.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
* Unlike the Giants, there could be hope for the A's this season.
* If you are working in Baseball Operations for the Giants, you might want to start finding some boxes and the closest unemployment office. This team is bad and you built it.
* It is awesome that the SJ Mercury blog on the Giants is almost entirely focused on the San Jose Giants and not the big club.
* Best article of the day - Pedroia ripping his hometown. Awesome stuff.
* This is one of the worst Warriors seasons in recent memory. People should start writing about them.
* Here is to Andrew Luck as the starter for Stanford this season. The garbage I was forced to watch last year was painful.
Monday, April 13, 2009
What's wrong with Timmy? Fastball command and poor defense. He looked better yesterday, but still not himself. All I know is getting swept by the Padres is a crime. Do you know what it's like when a Padres fan talks smack to you and you have to wear it because your team sucks? It's the worst. (Tovey, Jud, eff-you!)
The San Jose Giants keep getting press, now Ostler's got an article about them.
You may know Bumgarner, Alderson, Villalona, Noonan, Posey or Gillaspie. But, there is a new name to remember in San Jose, Brandon Crawford. The shortstop impressed Baggarly on opening night.
The Giants signed once highly touted prospect, Dallas McPherson. It won't hurt to kick the tires on him, but he's already 28, so he is, probably, what he is.
Bruce Jenkins has questions about Jonathan Sanchez's make-up and other baseball notes.
What does 2009 hold for the A's? Nobody knows.
Joe Stiglich has an A's minor leagues update.
Baggs' post game notes after Sunday's loss to the Padres.
Even Buster Olney is breaking down Lincecum's early struggles.
The Masters went to a playoff, but really, it was anticlimactic. I'm not a big golf watcher, but I'll usually check in on the big events. Without Tiger or anybody interesting fighting for the lead, I was thoroughly disinterested.
Purdy predicts the Sharks in six games against the rival Ducks.
Pertinent questions for Sharks-Ducks, round one.
This horrible, horrible season keeps dragging on with a game against the Spurs tonight.
Dikembe Mutombo is hilarious.
Matthew Stafford is visiting the 49ers today. Maiocco then rehashes the ridiculously overblown story of the 49ers' psychologist asking Stafford about his parents' divorce. Even ProFootballTalk agrees, "The move confirms, in our view, that the supposed consternation from Stafford was grossly overblown by the Bay Area media."(My emphasis added).
David White has five questions with new Raider, Kahlif Barnes.
Barrows ranks all the NFL cities as experienced by the beat writer. He also answers draft scenario questions.
Friday, April 10, 2009
- This looked really bad but it sounds like he is going to make it.
- I love that Madoff's tickets were sold on eBay.
- Fans in opposing ballparks have been enjoying a "good" show for years now. I am not sure why it is news that Zito "wants to deliver ... a good show"
- I cannot wait to follow a biased sports writer on Twitter during the home opener. Here is a preview: Giambi looks great, Anderson looks great, everything is great. Nomar struck out on three pitches but he looked great.
- Marshawn Lynch is a Plaxico want-to-be.
- The only story left to write about the Warriors season is whether they will cover or not. Since no one has written on story on this topic, I have decided to not waste my time or yours with a pointless link.
- The French should just come out and say this "we have no evidence but Lance is GUILTY"
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Bruce Jenkins' thoughts on yesterday's Giants game. Is it just me or is Bruce Jenkins turning into Andy Rooney?
Aaron Rowand had a tough second half of 2008 and a tough Spring Training 2009, but he came to life after some extra work before the game. I heard Rowand on KNBR yesterday, he brought up the impact Carney Lansford getting the guys into the batting cage right before the game and how much that helped them.
Scott Ostler looks at hiding your mouth with your glove during mound conversations. Ostler missed big time on this one. All he had to do was talk to Will Clark and The Thrill would have told him he read Greg Maddux's lips from the on deck circle right before he hit the Grand Slam at Wrigley in the '89 Playoffs on the first pitch. "Fastball high, inside."
Cam Inman's review of Lincecum's first post Cy Young start with this money line:
"I'll try to take it with a grain of rice," Lincecum said.
"Rice. Salt. I'm half Asian," he quipped.
Matt Holiday was too sick to make it to the ballpark for last night's game, but the A's pulled out a win without him. Susan Slusser expects a better showing in Trevor Cahill's next start.
Schulman's notes on the Giants' opener.
Baggs' notes that yesterday was Lincecum's shortest stint as a starter and other notes.
Janny Hu says Biedrins will be back for tonight's game. My question is, Why? What does he have to gain?
The Sharks outlasted the Blue Jackts lat night, but all I could find was this AP write up. The Sharks are one point away or a Boston loss from wrapping up home ice advantage for the entire playoffs.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
- North Carolina was the best team at the start of the season and the best team at the end of the season. The most boring college basketball season ever is finally over.
- I am not asking for world, I am asking the Warriors to consider this guy.
- No three run home run = No win for the A's. Welcome to the theme of the season.
- The only player to have any real success in his first season in NY in the last 25 years was Jeter. So Baggarly picks CC to win the Cy Young and Teixeira to win the MVP. Congratulations, you know nothing about east coast baseball. Stick with the mindless fans (Bay Area sports fans) that take your writing as gospel.
- Jeff Garcia is likely to replace Jeff George (I mean JaMarcus Russell) as the starter if there is actually a competition. Will somebody please find me a person who thought JaMarcus Russell was going to be a good pro quarterback. Seriously.
- The Sharks look ready for the playoffs, not the Red Wings.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Bruce Jenkins MLB Preview: East, Central, West. Jenkins also gets all, "Get off my dang lawn!" and wants maple bats out of baseball.
A look at the Giants/A's battle over Silicon Valley. It's picking up steam after A's owner, Lew Wolff, asked Bud Selig to look into stadium possibilities last month followed by the Giants buying 25% ownership in their San Jose single A minor league team.
Baggarly goes over the Giants' opening day roster. Plus, Zito has a new locker and other tidbits.
Kawakami's 2009 MLB predictions. RT, a staunch Rowand supporter, should love the first paragraph:
* Could Aaron Rowand become a $12M part-time player? Baggs doesn’t go that far (because he’s way smarter than me), but he points out that one reason the Giants could be keeping extra OFs on the roster is for late-inning defensive replacement possibilities. For Rowand. Who won a Gold Glove two years ago and was not very good in his first year as a Giant CF last year. And Rowand’s first year plus his lousy spring means there’s no reason to keep him in for extra ABs.RT, I thought Rowand was all about defense? Kawakami also has the Mercury News "experts" picks, including four out of five picking the Red Sox to make the World Series with three picking them to win. Note: Boston winning the title was RT's BOLD prediction.
John Shea doesn't think it will be hard to get tickets to see the A's or Giants this season.
Giants fans have to wait until Tuesday for opening day, and the wait might get a little longer.
Cam Inman scouted the Giants and A's on Friday night.
Kawakami says the Tar Heels are too good to lose.
The Sharks went 1-1 in the home-@home weekend with the Ducks. Mark Purdy says the President's trophy(awarded to team with best regular season record in NHL) is not what the Sharks really want.
David White looks at various Raiders mock draft picks. Somebody's probably right.
Jerry Mac ponders a possible Jeff Garcia return to the Bay Area, but not to the 49ers.
Crotchety Lowell Cohn says Cutler would have been bad for the 49ers. Whatever. I'm pretty sure he'd be better than Hill/Smith.
Jason Jones participated in a couple mock drafts and ended up taking Andre Smith in both.
Bee-rows answers 49ers questions from lowly readers.
Ratto being Ratto
Ray Ratto looks at sports divas who have been recently pimp-slapped back into reality.
Janny Hu wrote something I found mildly entertaining. The Magnificent Seven! Get it? Seven! BTW, Azubuike and Turiaf might have been the best Warriors' free agent signings I can remember.
Again, MT-II is the best Warriors beat writer by about 5 million miles.
(MLB predictions at the bottom)
Similar to the Raiders, Giants and Warriors, the A’s have zero chance of going to the playoffs this season. The addition of Matt Holliday will make them a better team than they were last year but they are still far from ready to compete with the Angels. The lack of stability in the rotation and the complete reliance on the three run home run will not allow the A’s to be in the post season conversation in 2009. However, the A’s will be significantly more exciting than they have been over the past couple of years and the future does look bright for the team on the field, where ever that field may be. Notwithstanding the lack of any real chance to play significant October baseball this year, the A’s are an improved team that will be the class of Bay Area baseball in 2009.
+ The meat of the order (Giambi, Holliday and Cust) will strike fear in most opposing pitchers
+ Ellis and Cabrera are the best double play combination the Bay Area has seen since Jose Uribe and Robby Thompson.
+ One or Two of the young pitchers (Braden, Gallagher, Eveland , Anderson and Cahill, ) will emerge as potential aces in the years to come.
- The best guy to get on base and into scoring position for Holliday and Co. is … Matt Holliday.
- The sad story of Eric Chavez. Need I say more?
- No Home Runs = No Win. The A’s are still going to have a hard time scoring runs if they are unable to hit the ball out of the ball park
Projected Batting Order
1. Ryan Sweeney – CF
Sweeney is a big key for this team as he needs to get on base for the guys behind him - tall order for a very young player.
2. Orlando Cabrera – SS
Cabrera is still a great defensive player but I would expect his numbers to decline in the ball park with the largest foul territory in the majors.
3. Jason Giambi – 1B
A complete nightmare with the glove and only hit .247 at Yankee stadium which is tailor made for his swing. A’s fans could start to get on him if he struggles early which seems likely.
4. Matt Holliday – LF
He will probably get off to a slow start because of the pressure of living up to a contract year and playing in the American League. He should find his groove by the start of the summer. I do not expect to see him traded this year because it will be a buyer’s market given the state of the economy and Beane would rather have the compensatory draft picks.
5. Jack Cust – DH
Mr. All or Nothing continues his run as the 21st century Dave Kingman.
6. Nomar Garciaparra / Bobby Crosby / Eric Chavez – 3B
One is too old, one has a bigger hole in his swing than Tom Selleck’s character in Mr. Baseball and the other will spend more time on the DL than on the field. Where is Carney Lansford when you need him?
7. Kurt Suzuki – C
If Cust is Mr. All or Nothing than Suzuki is Mr. Good not Great. These will be his stats every year for the next 10 years: .275 avg, 10 home runs, 50 RBIs and 2 steals … good not great.
8. Mark Ellis – 2B
I fully expect Ellis to bounce back from a tough 2008. However, I expect Ellis to have the gold glove stolen away from him again in the year end popularity contest MLB calls the post-season awards.
9. Travis Buck – RF
Buck is an AAAA player (too good for AAA, not good enough for the show). He will be on the first bus to Sacramento when the A’s find someone else with any kind of upside.
Projected Starting Rotation
1. Justin Duchscherer
Great pitcher when he is healthy but his health continues to be a big concern as he will start the year on the DL.
2. – 5. Dallas Braden, Josh Outman, Dana Eveland and Brett Anderson
Along with everybody in the A’s front office, I have no idea what to expect from these guys. Braden is the most polished and Gallagher has the most short-term upside but neither of them nor Eveland nor Anderson has given us any reason to believe that 2009 will be a breakout year for any of them. However, Beane’s track record suggests at least one of them will give A’s fans a reason to be optimistic for the future.
Brad Ziegler– Closer
Like most new closers, his first season will be full of ups and downs but I think Ziegler should be viewed as the closer of the future.
Joey Devine – Setup
Devine was very effective last year with a 0.59 ERA. If he stays healthy, the A’s could have a decent one-two bunch going into the 8th and 9th innings this year. However, an early season trip to Birmingham, AL to see Dr. James Andrews does not bode well for his prospects in 2009.
Santiago Casilla – Setup
Casilla looks like the most obvious setup man while Devine is out. He averaged just below a strike out an inning last year and I would expect that number only to get better in 2009.
The A’s are an improved team over last year and I believe they will be slightly better than .500.
85 – 77, 8 GB (2nd Place in the AL West)
Overall Predication for MLB
(Teams in Bold are playoff teams)
5. Padres (the worst team in MLB)
1. NY Mets
4. White Sox
1. Red Sox
4. Blue Jays
Cubs beat the Phillies
Mets beat the Dodgers
Cubs beat the Mets
Red Sox beat the Indians
Yankees beat the Angels
Red Sox beat the Yankees
Red Sox beat the Cubs
(Bold Prediction: At the end of 2009, we will all be saying the 2009 Red Sox were the best team of the decade because they will cruise to the World Series title this year. They will be compared to the ’98 Yankees and they will deserve that praise.)
(MLB predictions at the bottom)
What defines a successful season? A winning record? Making the playoffs? Success is defined by expectations. If the Pirates produce a winning record in 2009, it will be a huge success because their expectations have been lowered after so many consecutive losing seasons. If the Yankees make the playoffs, it still won’t be a success because the team expects to compete for a World Series title.
This brings us to the Giants.
What are the expectations this season? A better question might be “What should the Giants expectations be this season?” Giants’ fans expectations should be that the club finishes at or around .500. The club’s play this season should be compared to the play of last season with a focus on building to next season. 2008 was, essentially, season one of rebuilding, or retooling or whatever you want to call it. The organization took its lumps, the ball club took its lumps and the fans took their lumps, but we’ve made it through the worst part. This season will all be about progression and evaluation. Success won’t be found in the W-L record of 2009, but how the front office evaluates its assets and builds for 2010. The good news is the 2009 Giants will be many times better than the 2008 version.
(I love the argument but why did they waste money on Johnson and Renteria when they could have had Manny. Ok, I will drop it.)
+ The pitching staff. Lincecum should compete for the Cy Young, again, and they could have a rotation with four starters reaching 180 strikeouts, each. Is it foolish, moronic and idiotic to pay your fourth starter $18.5 million? Of course, but you can survive if you’re paying your Cy Young winner $650,000.
+ Pablo Sandoval. He’s the young, unknown, energetic talent who will be the everyday “face” of the new Giants lineup.
+ The NL West is The weakest division in baseball. Anybody has a chance to win it.
- No power to be seen at this point.
- Barry Zito’s contract has five (5!!!) more seasons left on his contract. FIVE!
- If the young players struggle, it’s going to be a long season for everyone.
(My) Projected Batting Order
1. Randy Winn – RF
Meat and potatoes player. He’ll put up decent numbers, but nothing overly special. He’s in the last year of his contract and could be an attractive piece at the trading deadline.
2. Edgar Renteria – SS
The most panned deal of the off season. He’s definitely a question mark, but should rebound at the plate in the feeble National League.
3. Fred Lewis – LF
This is a big year for Lewis. He had foot surgery in the offseason and needs to prove he can start stealing bases. In addition, it is time he starts progressing at the plate or he’ll be relegated to being merely a place holder until the next prospect arrives.
4. Pablo Sandoval – 3B
He swings at EVERYTHING. He has a lot of potential and he’s only 22, but he’s going to be the backup catcher, at least initially, and he’s, ahem, a little hefty, which makes me anticipate a tough second half of the season.
5. Aaron Rowand – CF
Rowand was playing well, or well enough, until he injured his rubs or oblique diving for a ball in the outfield and then had a miserable second half. Maybe he felt like he had to earn his money and carry the team last year? The defensive lapse was actually more detrimental than his offensive flop. The staff depends of Rowand to patrol the large outfield and cut off the gaps. Rowand is supposedly a good “clubhouse guy” as well, which this young team will need. The Giants plan for success is pitching and defense, they need Rowand to provide the defense to help the pitching.
6. Bengie Molina – C
It’s easy to project Bengie Molina. About 40 runs scored, 80-90 RBI, 15-19 HRs, batting avg. between .280-.290 and won’t walk. A consistant performer I the lsat year of his contract, he’d probably be a good deadline trade candidate, but the Giants don’t have a solid backup catcher unless Posey is ready by the end of July, so I guess the Giants will be satisfied with the draft pick.
7. Travis Ishikawa – 1B
What happened to John Bowker? He was awesome for , like, five games. Remember? In reality, Ishikawa is the new Lance Niekro. The best 1B prospect available in the minors who is going to get a chance to prove if he can play 1B in the majors everyday. He is a huge question mark. He has struggled against lefties, so back away from the ledge Rich Aurillia fans, he’ll see plenty of action, too. Besides the trouble with lefties, Ishikawa hasn’t shown the power that is expected of corner infielders. This spring he has seven HRs, third most in all spring training. Bonus: Will Clark is with the club as a special consultant and the more Nuschler Ishikawa can get the better.
8. Emannuel Burriss – 2B
Burriss is what I would call and “Old School” second baseman. No power, good defense, bats eighth. If Tony LaRussa were the manager, he’d probably bat ninth. Burriss is another player, who is getting a chance to prove himself, whether he’s ready or not.
Projected Starting Rotation
1. Tim Lincecum
What else can you say about the guy? It’s been five losing season for the Giants and more importantly, Giants fans. The Barry Bonds HR record’s glitz and glam has been soured The Cream and The Clear. Lincecum is a new reason to bask in greatness. So let the basking commence (NL Rank):
W-L% .783 (2)
Hits Allowed/9IP 7.22 (1)
Strikeouts 265 (1)
ERA 2.62 (2)
Wins 18 (2)
Innings 227 (3)
Adjusted ERA+ 167 (1)
2. Randy Johnson
He’s not really a “#2” starter, but the R-L-R-L-L rotation beats the R-R-L-L-L and a month into the season it won’t really matter anymore.
3. Matt Cain
Make or break year for Matt Cain as a San Francisco Giant? I think so.
4. Barry Zito
Can he be league average? Only time will tell.
5. Jonathan Sanchez
His appearance in the WBC worries me because I want him to be healthy all season and learn as much as he possibly can from The Big Unit.
Brian Wilson– Closer
Not so much of a lights out closer, but has good velocity and is still young with room for improvement. He spent the offseason training/living with Barry Zito … Yikes!
Jeremy Affedlt/Bobby Howry – Setup
The Giants have had issues over the last couple of seasons bridging the gap from the starting pitcher to the closer and these two were brought in solely to fix that problem. Brian Wilson has had an infected finger for the last week or so and Affedlt might have to close some games early in the season., so we’ll find out what kind of pitcher he is very soon.
The Giants are much improved over last season, but that’s not saying a lot. The Dodgers and D-backs have holes that make them vulnerable, but the Giants don’t have enough pieces to make up the difference. I’ll go with the bottom threshold of what the Front Office probably would deem as a success, 82-80.
Overall Predication for MLB
(Teams in Bold are playoff teams)
1. NY Mets
4. White Sox
1. Red Sox
4. Blue Jays
Cubs beat the Dodgers
Cardinals beat the Mets
Cubs beat the Cardinals
Angels beat the Red Sox
Rays beat the Twins
Rays beat the Angels
Rays beat the Cubs
(Bold Prediction: RT says the 2009 Rays are the 2006 White Sox, a team that won 90 games while finishing third and missing the playoffs after winning the World Series. I think the 2009 Rays will be the 2006 Cardinals. The Cardinals lost the WS in 2004 and the NLCS in 2005 before getting over the hump in 2006. A healthy Upton, Crawford, Longoria and Burrell with Kazmir-Shileds-Garza and Price, the only question is the closer, which can easily be solved July 31st.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Ray Ratto rains on the Jay Cutler to the 49ers parade.
Kawakami doubts the 49ers will be front runners to get Cutler, but they need to try and try hard anyways.
Isaac Bruce is supposed to let the 49ers know if he's going to play this year today, so Dan Brown looks at his career thus far.
Ratto looks at the importance of opening day starters with a nice little table comparing 2008 ODS and 2009 ODS. I looked at the Giants and saw Zito and almost crapped my pants before realizing I was looking at the 2008 column. God Bless Tim Lincecum.
John Shea looks at up and coming under the radar teams.
Kawakami has a preseason checklist of goals for the A's and Giants.
Mark Purdy examines the A's path to San Jose.
The A's have a pitcher named Outman. I may have to change my last name to Homerunking to give my kid an edge.
Jonathan Sanchez burned his finger cooking empanadas or mofongo or something.
Adam Lauridsen highlights the reasons to keep watching the Warriors, if you haven't bashed your brains in while watching the previous 74 games.
I first read it at ProFootballTalk.com and it's made it's way to at least one 49ers' beat guy. So, the good news is that Jay Cutler is on the trading block and he will be traded. The bad news is, there are a lot of teams ready pounce with more to offer the Broncos. ESPN is going balls-to-the-wall with it's Cutler coverage with teams that may be interested: