Tag Archives: Buster Posey

2014 San Francisco Giants Team Preview

pablo-sandoval

There’s now a shelf life to Fat Panda pictures on the internet.

The 2013 San Francisco Giants had a weird year coming off their World Championship which saw them go 76-86 and finish fourth in the NL West.

This season will be interesting for the Giants. They are a veteran team with much enough of the core remaining from the World Championship runs that if they were to make a run, it wouldn’t be completely shocking. At the same time, I look at this Giants roster and I just don’t get excited. That’s not different from how I felt writing the 2010 and 2012 season previews for the Giants.

Really, the Giants play a certain style of game out in that big park by the bay. It’s a slow paced game most nights. There are a lot of ugly wins. The Giants have built a quality organization of which the main cornerstones remain in-tact. They will be competitive, but they have a few blemishes we see that will keep them from making a serious run in 2014.

Major Off-season Moves:

  • Signed Tim Hudson to a 2-year, $23 million dollar contract
  • Signed Mike Morse to a 1-year, $6 million dollar contract
  • Signed Tyler Colvin
  • Signed Hunter Pence to a 5-year, $90 million dollar contract extension
  • Signed Tim Lincecum to a 2-year, $35 million dollar contract extension
  • Signed Javier Lopez to a 3-year, $13 million dollar extension

There’s nothing that overwhelms me here. I like Mike Morse more than a lot of the new-age sabermetrics crowd. But you have to wonder what kind of team the Giants were trying to scrape together here. Defense? Keep the core together? I look at the amount that Lincecum and Hudson signed for, and I say to myself the Giants could have landed a top-tier arm for this amount. At the end of the day, it’s kind of cool that Big-Time Timmy Jim is staying put in San Francisco. He’s an icon there, and the contract kind of signifies that the Giants got sentimental on us.

Click through the jump to learn the fates and facts of the 2014 Gigantes.

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San Francisco Giants 2013 Team Preview

giantstitle

The San Francisco Giants caught lightning in a bottle for the second time in three years last season in winning the World Series. They parlayed a ragamuffin lineup and a makeshift pitching staff with a couple aging former stars into a title. They’ve been spoiled. There were about a four other teams last year that entered the postseason looking better on paper than the Giants.

And I’ll admit, I’ve got a little bit of a sore spot because they took the title that should have belonged to my Cincinnati Reds. At least, the NL title should have belonged to Cincinnati. We had them down two games to zero and heading back to Cincinnati for three. And then it all fell apart. Or it all came together if you’re looking at it from the San Francisco viewpoint.

They had a quiet, Giants-like offseason. They’ll be there all season long, pesky and ready to slip in and steal another title that should belong to another team and another fan base.

Major offseason moves:

  • Re-signed Angel Pagan to a 4-year, $40 million dollar contract
  • Re-signed Marco Scutaro to a 3-year, $20 million dollar contract
  • Re-signed Santiago Casilla to a 3-year, $15 million dollar contract
  • Re-signed Jeremy Affeldt to a 3-year, $18 million dollar contract

Really, the Giants offseason consisted of retention of the key components of their title run in 2012. There are few teams in baseball that underwent less change than the Giants this past offseason. This roster of familiar faces will remain competitive but will fail to capture another championship in 2013. No one can be that lucky.

Let’s look at the Giants in-depth after the jump.

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MLB 13 The Show Cover Vote Kicks Off

Today over on MLB.com, MLB ’13 the Show launched it’s cover vote with seven of the finest candidates imaginable taking center stage.

Andrew McCutchen has jumped out to an early surprising lead, but our favorite candidate is trying to pull out all the stops.

Voting has gone the way of the All-Star game, and if you have a twitter account it’s fairly simple. You just have to release a tweet into the cyberworld stating “#MLB13HARPER” to cast a vote for Harper.

It’s already the greatest video game on the planet, let alone baseball game ever made. Producers of The Show have again pulled out all the stops in not only aligning themselves with MLB.com but ensuring that whoever ends up on the cover will assuredly be one of the game’s most rising stars.

And although we wouldn’t mind seeing Cutch, Miggy, Posey, or even Braun on the cover; no one makes more sense from a marketability standpoint than that of Harper.

Even Hardball Talk had a post up about it today, props on the gif of the old school Atari. Baseball really is abuzz about The Show 13.

Yes, You Choked; Yes, I’m Still Proud of You

This was the toughest loss I’ve ever had to swallow in baseball; or in sports.

For as long as I live, I’ll never forget this. I’ll never get over it. It will never be easier to accept. It will always sting. It now exists as a spot place-marked forever in my life; an irreversible eternity. Never again in my life will I allow myself to think “hey, we might really have a shot to win the whole damn thing”. Not after this. If this team couldn’t do it, I’ll never be sold again.

The Reds made the kind of history you do not want to make yesterday afternoon in Cincinnati in losing 6-4 to the San Francisco Giants.

Sometimes in loss we learn the most about ourselves.

I have never in my life seen a team scratch, claw, and fight with such life or death desperation as the Reds did after getting down 6-0 yesterday. The image that will forever stick with me yesterday was Ryan Hanigan immediately when Buster Posey connected with his grand slam home run. Don’t watch Latos. Don’t watch the crowd behind him. Don’t look at the hitter or the ball’s flight. Watch Hanigan.

I have never seen a catcher react that way to a ball in play in all my years watching the game. Hanigan turns in immediate pain, anguish, and disgust and swings his arm in angst. He knows when Posey connects that it was the kill shot. The Reds at that moment probably knew they were dead. But like a cowboy in an old Western whose gut-shot, they kept shooting until they drew their last breath.

For instance; when Jay Bruce got down 0-2 in the ninth inning, he decides that even in defeat; he’s going to make the Giants closer earn it.

What ensues after Bruce gets down 0-2 in the last frame of the game and the Reds down to their final two outs of the season, was one of the gutsiest things I’ve ever seen in watching sports my entire life.

Bruce proceeds to battle Sergio Romo for 12 pitches in total as if he’s battling a damn lion or dragon. He stubbornly fouls off pitch after pitch, laying off many off-speed pitches that have long been to Bruce’s liking. As the at-bat wears onward, you realize Bruce is doing more than just trying to come up with a big swing that will result in a 3-run homer. He’s battling for himself, for his teammates, for all of us fans, and for what might have been his manager’s swansong. I don’t know what Bruce was thinking during the course of that at-bat where the Giants continually stayed away from his big time power to right field. I can only think he knew he owed it to everyone who hadn’t lost hope.

Bruce eventually flies out to right field, and the Reds came up short. But I had chills for much of that at-bat. It was a moment based on sheer will and determination. It was what baseball was all about. One man competing against another, knowing his probable fate but refusing to just roll over and die.

Forever etched in our memories is something different. I will never forget the hurt of this series collapse, but I’ll always know that the team I rooted the hardest for and held the closest to my heart fought like Hell for a different outcome, even when it would have been easiest to quit.

Like often the man who spends his days writing about them and living and dying with them, they just came up tragically short.

Game 17, 2012: This is the Mat Latos We Were Searching For

[Box Score]

[Cincinnati.com] [Bay City Ball] [Mercury News] [The Splash]

Now this is the Mat Latos we traded for.

If the Reds get this Latos to show up more often than not this season, it’s pretty self-explanatory what’s going to happen. The Reds can be a monster.

I didn’t think the Reds had a chance in Hell last night when I saw Matt Cain was pitching.

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/DiamondHoggers/status/194804991859499009"]

But I was wrong. I felt like the Reds had three key at-bats in the bottom of the first-inning that were game altering. Zach Cozart opened the game up with a 10-pitch showdown against Cain, and although he flew out to short; the Reds had opened up Cain for head shots with a few nice early body blows from their lead-off hitter. I’ll say it again, these are the type of at-bats that win you ballgames at the onset.

Drew Stubbs doubled, and after Joey Votto struck out Brandon Phillips had another battling type at-bat that resulted in a two-run home run. The Reds were off to the races and a bonus came later in the inning because Jay Bruce and Scott Rolen got Matt Cain to throw even more pitches.

It’s impossible to get these professional at-bats game in and game out. But picked a good pitcher to do this against. You don’t need these kind of at-bats to beat the Barry Zito’s of the world or the Randy Wells’. Matt Cain doesn’t make that first inning mistake to Phillips that landed in the Cincinnati bullpen unless you grind on him like the Reds did. Notice that he settled in and was basically unscathed for the rest of his outing.

The Reds great perseverance in their at-bats also still called for a couple of big pitches by Mat Latos. With the bases juiced, he lured the red-hot Nate Schierholtz to ground out with the bases loaded. That opened the door for the Reds to shoot up the San Francisco Giants like the Alamo.

Great start to a homestand.

Highlights:

Bark in the Park last night in Cincinnati – (Sorry we didn’t make it this time, Bentley)

Phillips two-run home run

Bruce bases-loaded double

Retaliation for Votto being plunked?

Latos’ strong outing

Buster Posey Will Play First Base Some in 2012

Finally an MLB team does something that I’ve been crying to see for a while. From that nifty NBC Bay Area site:

According to Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy in Dallas at MLB’s Winter Meetings, we could see plenty of Buster Posey at first base … and some Pablo Sandoval behind the plate.

[snip]

“On the days Buster needs a day off period and wouldn’t be a first baseman or catcher, Pablo could catch [Barry] Zito starts to get more offense in the lineup and he’s open to that,” Sabean said, per Jaymee Sire of Comcast Bay Area. “Now whether that happens I don’t know but it’s been discussed.”

One step forward, two steps back.

How about this; these guys are your two best hitters. Just play them at first and third base and throw a tarp behind the dish in the form of a .220 hitter that can throw out the occasional base stealer and not screw things up too badly with their garage full of Caddilac’s that is their pitching staff.

The only thing that can stop offensive talent like Sandoval and Posey are injuries. Otherwise you’re going to wind them up and get a decade of .315 to .330 seasons in the middle of your lineup. Just put them on the corners and let them hit. Don’t waste them by using them both as catchers. Is Bruce Bochy clueless on this because he was a catcher?

This is the exact reason that when I started my franchise with the Giants on MLB the Show, I had Buster Posey at first and even sometimes shortstop. Yes, shortstop. I am an innovative MLB the Show manager.

Wow! Brian Sabean would like to maim Scott Cousins

“If I never hear from Cousins again or he never plays another game in the big leagues, I think we’ll all be happy. He chose to be a hero in my mind, and if that’s his flash of fame, that’s as good as it’s going to get, pal. We’ll have a long memory. Believe me, we’ve talked to (Mike) Matheny about how this game works. You can’t be that out-and-out overly aggressive. I’ll put it as politically as I can state it: There’s no love lost and there shouldn’t be.” [Extra Baggs]

Buster Posey’s season is over: when will MLB Clubs learn?

How many times have I said it?

You don’t put the best player on your team–your future especially or a franchise cornerstone–behind the dish to catch so they can get beaten and abused like a worthless piece of tarp.

I would love to the talk to the genius MLB personnel member of the Giants to get them to explain exactly why they thought this was a good idea. It’s not. They would probably end up saying ‘well someone has to catch’. And I would tell them that’s why guys like Greg Zaun and Ryan Hanigan were born. You don’t build your team around those guys. They don’t put butts in the seats.

Carlos Santana, Joe Mauer, and now Buster Posey. That’s just in the past year. There are more examples. The Giants had a perfect blueprint of why not to do this. I don’t feel sorry for them.

Never choose a catcher as your favorite player kids. They aren’t long for the league. It doesn’t matter how well they can hit. What is truly more baffling to me about this is that Posey was a guy who coming out of college could play about six other positions just fine. He didn’t have to be a catcher.

If the Giants bring back Posey as a catcher next year, they should be boycotted by any fan in baseball. Way to ruin a nice 24-year old player. And one of my most important fantasy baseball seasons along with it.

San Francisco Giants 2011 Season Preview

Leading up to the start of the 2011 Regular Season, Diamond Hoggers will preview each of MLB’s 30 teams . Today’s preview features the San Francisco Giants. Stay tuned as Diamond Hoggers previews every team division by division until the start of the regular season. Continue reading