Tuesday, September 14, 2010


In the Words of King Leonidas...

What can you do?

The Giants gave up one hit tonight. One hit! That, plus only one unearned run. One measly unearned run. Barry Zito pitched his best game in a while and the bullpen made short work of the Dodger hitters. Yet they still lost.

Games like this will happen. Clayton Kershaw is the real deal, as loathe as I am to say that about any Dodger, and he wasn't effing around tonight. Knowing the recent incompetence of Jonathan Broxton and rest of the Dodger bullpen, Joe Torre would have been sent to the nuthouse had he even contemplated taking Kershaw out for one of his lesser staffmates in the later innings. Thus, unlike this magical game in July, it was beat Kershaw or go home. The way Kershaw was rolling in the eighth and ninth, it was clear the Giants would be getting home long before the Strong Guy, the Fat Guy, and the Genius came on. I can take heart in two things: one, that the fast game enables me to get this post up so I'm not typing away in the wee hours; and two, that the Giants won't have to even look at Kershaw again in the year 2010.

So instead of dwelling on tonight's blink-and-you'll-miss-it loss, I'm going to look forward to tomorrow's game, and throw out a few links.

-I'm a big, dumb nerd for two things in life: baseball and The Simpsons. So imagine my glee when I came across this article by Chris Jaffe, in which he matches each major league team to a Simpsons character. This is like a match made in heaven for me, like if U2 and The Police teamed up (oh, wait). He even mentions Kang and Kodos. That's just awesome.

The Giants get Groundskeeper Willie, but I think I'd prefer an association with Chester Lampwick more. Lampwick was the guy who came up with Itchy and Scratchy, only to be thrown into a life of poverty when another bastard stole his idea. Like Lampwick, the Giants are trying to reclaim past glory (the titles they won in New York) that another bastard stole from them (the Dodgers, and the titles they won when they moved to LA). Let's hope a 2010 World Series win is their equivalent to a rocket car.

*Nerd U2 rant here, so feel free to bypass this next blurb, all non-believers. In their last show in Zurich, U2 ripped out this obscure and totally awesome song (their best song of the entire decade of the 2000's, in my opinion) for the first time ever, which warmed the hearts of obsessive U2 fanboys such as myself. The version they premiered is altered a little, and it's clunkier, cheesier, and Bono fucks up the lyrics...but it still kicks ass. Give it a look if you like the band and want to check out something different from them.

-From Jonah Keri, the former BP-ite, comes this great article about the Texas Rangers and the new workout regimen Team President Nolan Ryan has imposed on the team's pitchers. Tired of watching pitching prospects get endlessly babied, (and with no drop in pitching injuries to correlate with this coddling), the strikeout king has insisted that in order to breed healthier pitchers, these pitchers have to be able to build up endurance. Thus, he's making them throw more long toss, run constant wind sprints, and throw batting practice in between starts. It may seem a bit counterintuitive in these days of the conservative pitch count, but the early returns (the Rangers started this in early 2009) have been pretty positive. It's a long read, but well worth it.

-From the AL Cy Young debate, we get the good and the bad. The Good: Aaron Gleeman, on Felix Hernandez's brilliance and why Joe Morgan still doesn't get it. The Bad: Don Amore outthinking himself trying to lift C.C. Sabathia and Clay Buchholz above King Felix. While we're at it here's The Ugly, featuring some bizarre logic that would crown Sabathia the MVP (?!?).

Just a casual observation: The Giants might need a "stong guy, fat guy and genius" of their own to make the playoffs....do you suppose that Burrell, Sandoval, and Boche fit the bill? (2 out of 3 ain't bad).....
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