Monday, October 20, 2014

Our World Series Prediction & Contest for our 2015 Shirt

To us, we see a repeat of the 2012 World Series happening this year. In '12, Detroit steam-rolled the New York Yankees in a four-game sweep of the ALCS, and then got blown away in the World Series against San Francisco. We see the same thing here, Kansas City ran away with the ALCS against Baltimore and scored 18 runs in the process.

This one is an easy one to call. The Giants win, and they win convincingly. We see the Giants winning the title in four games. Kansas City is a great team, but they have no idea what they're about to experience, and they'll be overwhelmed opening this series at home. Get ready to chill the bubbly and celebrate at 3rd and King streets on Saturday night.

What's your prediction? To make this interesting, the first two individuals that correctly predicts the three questions below will receive our 2015 Sons of Johnnie LeMaster shirt in March 2015.

The Rules:
Only answers left in the "comment" section of this post will count, and submissions must be made prior to first pitch of game one. Any submission made after first pitch will disqualified. Do not tweet your answers. (include your Twitter handle)

  1. Which team will win the 2014 World Series?
  2. How games in the series will be played when they win it?
  3. Who will be the 2014 World Series MVP?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The End of the Line For Some

The next week and half could be the last time SF Giants fans see Ryan Vogelsong, Michael Morse, Sergio Romo, and Pablo Sandoval in a Giants uniform. All will be free agents once the World Series is completed.

Vogey is earning $5M this season, and all signs point that the Giants will not resign him, and quite honestly how could they possibly validate bringing him back. Aging pitchers do not get better and his year-by-year record since 2012 demonstrates that. In Morse, this was clearly a low-risk, high-reward one year signing, but he's clearly going to demand more than $6M a year and will probably seek a 3-5 year deal. The Giants won't go near that dollar amount or length of terms with him.

Romo who has become one of the more popular figures on the team will probably seek a closer role elsewhere. He earned $6.3M this year as a closer than being relegated to the setup role. He too will seek a higher per year dollar amount and probably a three-year deal … something along the lines of three years for $23-25M. Some team will probably pay him that, but it won't be San Francisco. Finally, the beloved "Panda" will probably be one of the most coveted free agents in the market, and one the Giants cannot afford. If we had to bet, we would count on the New York Yankees to land Pablo to play in the Bronx. They're in dire need of a third baseman, and with the short porch at Yankee Stadium, he could put up careers numbers in New York. Plus, they'll overpay just to land him.

This offseason, we expect the Giants to make a big trade to ensure they can make another run in October in 2015. So if you're going to any of the World Series games this week, be sure to cheer a little bit louder for the lads mentioned above because they may not be back next year.

Friday, October 17, 2014

SF Giants Lore Was Created Last Night

When all of us pass away, the night of October 16, 2014 will be discussed with future generations on what will be one of the top three moments in franchise history. Yes, winning World Series titles are huge, but you have to get there first, and last night Travis Ishikawa etched his name in Giants lore and launched the Giants to the World Series.

Baseball has a funny way on picking a hero, often its not the all star or highest paid player, but the guy earning the league minimum and getting a hit here and there. Somehow the baseball gods tapped Travis to be the hero and provide us with a moment none of us will ever forget. Oh by the way, Travis had a damned good series, batting .385 with seven RBI. Will we win the World Series next week? We don't know, but its looking good so far

Bobby Thomson - 1951

Kenny Lofton - 2002

Travis Ishikawa - 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Curtain Call Etiquette

So after game two of the NLCS, we thought it would be helpful to provide the St. Louis Cardinals with an outline on “curtain call” etiquette.
Rule number one, a home run in itself does not merit an automatic curtain call, especially in the middle of the game. The baseball gods do not appreciate such self-loathing and will put that in the old memory bank. Rule number two – if you’re going to take a curtain call, both your feet must be completely out of the dugout and on the field, don’t go half-ass by taking a few steps up the dugout. Rule number three – don’t be pressured by the fans to take a curtain call, be a pro.
When to take a curtain call
The curtain call in large part only happens after a dramatic or historic home run. For example, Reggie Jackson’s three home runs against the Dodgers in game six of the 1977 World Series; Brian Johnson’s walk-off home run against the Dodgers in 1997; Barry Bonds after reaching career home run milestone records; Pablo Sandoval’s three home runs in game one of the 2012 World Series; a future hall of famer’s last game as a professional Major Leaguer (i.e. Derek Jeter, Chipper Jones, Mariano Rivera, et al).

You get the picture … the curtain call is reserved only for the special and spectacular achievement. We can’t cheapen it with a solo home run in the sixth inning. This isn’t a Little League or AYSO game, this is the big leagues, and only the special moments deserve a curtain call.

Reggie Jackson - 1977 World Series

Brian Johnson - 1997 Beat LA

Pablo Sandoval - 2012 World Series

Friday, October 10, 2014

San Francisco versus St. Louis, beyond the stats

By now, you’ve read and heard every baseball pundit share why St. Louis or San Francisco will win the National League Championship Series. All have used some statistical data, whether its current or historical to support their position.
We’ve decided to look beyond the numbers on the field, and to compare the two cities and their respective attributes to determine who’s going to win the NLCS.

1.       Golden Gate Bridge v. The Arch: Both serve as iconic images for both cities … you mention San Francisco anywhere in the world and people will respond with Golden Gate Bridge, you mention St. Louis anywhere in the world and people will mention the Arch. Both are majestic and symbolize what is great about our country and people that call both cities home. To determine which one is better is like asking a parent, which kid do you love more? ADVANTAGE: PUSH

2.       Busch Stadium v. AT&T Park: Granted we have not attended a game in the new Busch Stadium, but folks we’ve talked to have raved about it. Especially The Village beyond centerfield. Downtown St. Louis has become an entertainment destination, which wasn’t the case with the old Busch Stadium. AT&T Park is a treasure – tucked away near the water, it has revitalized an area that was vacant for decades, and the cool features of the ballpark are second to none. The park symbolizes what baseball is all about. ADVANTAGE: SAN FRANCISCO

3. Toasted Ravioli v. Cioppino: Both menu items are the most associated with the respective cities. Yes, we know that each city could be associated with others, but these two items are consistently mentioned. The fried ravioli is awesome, we’re not gonna lie, it’s damn good – anything fried usually is. The cioppino is equally awesome, perfect for the cool climate of San Francisco. ADVANTAGE: ST. LOUIS

4. Forest Park v. Golden Gate Park: Forest Park is 1,293 acres and is considered one of the best public parks in the country. Golden Gate park is 1,017 acres and is home to Outside Lands and the Bay to Breakers. ADVANTAGE: ST. LOUIS.

5. Schlafly v. Anchor: Schlafly is a regional craft brewer based in St. Louis established in 1991 and offers some of the best crafted beers in the region. Unfortunately, their distribution is limited to the Midwest, so you won’t find anything out West. Anchor essentially invented craft beers and have been brewing their signature Steam beer since 1896. Even to this day, they have one of the best beers around. ADVANTAGE: SAN FRANCISCO

6. Metro St. Louis v. Muni: Public transportation is a bit rough in St. Louis, and their light rail system is a joke. It’s a car-dependent region and hardly anyone actually uses public transportation. Muni isn’t perfect, but the City is a place where you don’t need to own a car - public transportation is always readily available. ADVANTAGE: SAN FRANCISCO

7.  Stan Musial v. Willie Mays: Stan The Man is one of the all-time greats, and was beloved like no other in St. Louis. However, as Ted Williams once said, “they invented the All-Star Game for Willie Mays.” Mays is the best player to ever suit up in the Major Leagues, plain and simple. ADVANTAGE: SAN FRANCISCO

So there you have it, after tallying up a few categories for each city, San Francisco is destined to win the NLCS. It won’t be easy, but the Giants will come out on top! Enjoy the series.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Gotham Club (Part 2) - The Clubhouse

Earlier this season, we became members of the SF Giants’newest venture, the Gotham Club. A members only club where individuals can enjoy exclusive access to the park and some cool perks. At the time, only two of the three venues were open, the Bullpen and the Game Room. To be honest, those two venues were okay, the Bullpen is neat because you’re actually on the field during batting practice and you’re able to enter three hours before first pitch. Plus, they if there is a stadium giveaway, they have their own stash to pass out, so there’s no need to wait in long lines … score! The Game Room located on the Oracle suite club level is unique as well. The “GR” has two bowling lanes, billiards table, dart board and two bars to wet your whistle. Unfortunately, the “GR” has no direct view of the field, so if you want to watch the game, you’ll have to rely on the two big screen TVs. Also, depending on where your game seats are, it may take a while to get up there.

Last week, we received an e-mail from the Gotham Club, that the third venue, the Clubhouse was having a special sneak preview during the weekend series versus Arizona. The Clubhouse is the signature venue for the Gotham Club. It is situated behind the out of town scoreboard in right field. The team had to build a new second floor to create this unique space. And let us tell you, this is one helluva a space. The Clubhouse floor occupies the second arch way of right field all the way down to where the Coors Light party platform is. That’s how long this space is, and it has three unique sections.

The Sections

The first section nearest the right field pole is the bar. When you enter the Bullpen space, there is a staircase that leads up to the second floor. At the top of the stair case, you’ll enter a small seating area with leather chairs and a coffee table and big screen TV. Another element to the staircase will be the inclusion of baseball bats adorned along the walls. Each bat will have a Gotham Club member’s name inscribed on it (bats are on order now).

Once you make a quick right you enter the bar area, which is huge … our estimate is that there’s 25-30 seats at the bar, another 8-10 hightops (with four stools at each hightop), and a bunch of leather lounge chairs strategically placed between the bar and the out of town scoreboard. Oh yeah, the lads that run the out of town scoreboard are in here too, and they’re updating the scores and innings of the other games while you’re in there – very cool. Another great feature of the bar area are the windows behind the bar. The large windows provide a panoramic view of McCovey Cove, and you also have a clear view of the McCovey statue. At the end of the bar section, there are two booths that overlook the Triple Alley’s party area below, and the out of town scoreboard lads are stationed nearby as they have MLB.TV on their own private screen to catch scoring updates.

The second section, which was not opened during the sneak preview, is the lounge section. The plan is to have seating available for members and guests, while they enjoy a beverage and have a view of the game from the right-center field area.

The final section is the restaurant itself. This too was not open during the preview, but the restaurant will be located underneath the Coors Light party platform area up on the arcade. Also, the Giants built an elevator so members can access the Clubhouse area from the arcade level – that’s the new construction build out you see on the arcade section.

Final Thoughts

When we first joined Gotham Club, we thought the concept was cool, but didn’t think the two venues (Bullpen and Game Room) would generate much interest for others to join. However, after seeing the Clubhouse this past weekend, this is going to change the game. Once word spreads on how big, cool, and clever the space is, we can easily see the Giants reaching their membership capacity which is targeted at 1,000. This will be the place to be for pregaming, and having a drink and a bite to eat on those cold nights at the yard … the place to see and be seen. The Giants have hit a home run with this space, let’s hope the players on the field can keep up and hit a few more too.

Gotham Club - The Clubhouse is behind the out of town scoreboard
Staircase from the Bullpen to the Clubhouse
Up the stairs to the Clubhouse
Seating area in the Clubhouse next to stairs
View from the seating area to the bar
Out of town scoreboard
Close up view from out of town scoreboard peep hole

Other end of the bar looking back to the stairs

Majestic view of McCovey Cove from the bar

Another close up view from the out of town scoreboard

Numbers and inning indicators ready to go

Bar back area

Out of town scoreboard lads' command central

Bookend booths at the far end of the bar.

View from the booth over Triple Alley's party area
Second section of the Clubhouse

Friday, July 04, 2014

Yankee Doodle Dandy

On July 4th, 1983, Dave Righetti at the age of 24, threw a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, and the Yankees won 4-0. Just a year later, the Yankees would convert Rags into a closer.