Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Giants Fans!

This Christmas I want the lonely to find company; sick to gain health; sad to find levity; unemployed to find work; broken-hearted to endure; and a World Championship for the Giants in 2012.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's Bowl Season ... Some Giants Will Be Watching Closely

A number of the Giants will have a vested interest in this year's college bowl season. The list below represents those players whose alma mater is bowlin'!

2011 Bowl Season
Brandon Belt (Texas in the Holiday Bowl)
Brandon Crawford (UCLA in the Fight Hunger Bowl)
Mike Fontentot & Brian Wilson (LSU in the BCS Championship Game)
Tim Lincecum (Washington in the Alamo Bowl)
Javier Lopez (Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Bowl)
Buster Posey (Florida State in the Champs Sports Bowl)
Eric Surkamp (NC State in the Belk Bowl)
Steve Edlefsen (Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Pagan Joins Club in 3-Player Trade

The New York Mets and the SF Giants hooked up for another trade this evening, with the Giants obtaining Angel Pagan in exchange for 2010 Willie Mac Award Winner, Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez.

Torres' struggles in 2011 is well documented, but in Pagan, the club will receive an outfielder that is three years younger than Torres and can hit for a higher average and steal more bases.

We here at the Sons of Johnnie LeMaster don't mind this trade, in fact, we view it as a slight improvement. The club still needs more offense, but the club is better now than it was at the start of the day.

Addendum: Pagan's career batting average vs. the NL West is .275. His career splits against the NL West teams are as follows: .349 vs. Arizona; .252 vs. Colorado; .304 vs. Los Angeles; .203 vs. San Diego.

Angel Pagan - the newest Giant

Friday, December 02, 2011

Ranking the 2012 SF Giants Stadium Giveaways (SGA)

Okay, by now the true die-hards have already reviewed the 2012 Giants promotional schedule, and I'm sure most of them have even penciled in their calendar which games they must attend.

So, if you haven't seen the list or are wondering what are going to be the hot stadium give-aways (SGA), I've taken the liberty to rank them for you. So here we go ...

The Must-Haves, i.e. the crazy long lines
  • Orange Friday Knit Hat, First 20,000 fans (Friday, April 27 v. Padres)
  • Giants Messenger Bag, First 20,000 fans (Saturday, April 28 v. Padres)
  • Orange Friday Texting Gloves, First 20,000 fans (Friday, May 4 v. Brewers)
  • Sergio Romo Bobblehead, First 25,000 fans (Saturday, May 5 v. Brewers)
  • Brian Wilson Gnome, First 20,000 fans (Sunday, May 20 v. A's)
  • 2002 Player Bobbleheads, First 25,000 fans (Saturday, June 30 v. Reds)
  • Madison Bumgarner Bobblehead, First 25,000 fans (Sunday, July 15 v. Astros)
  • Pablo Sandoval Bobblehead, First 25,000 fans (Sunday, Aug. 26 v. Braves)

Cool, I want one, i.e. long lines
  • Giants Welcome Mat, First 20,000 fans (Sunday, April 15 v Pirates)
  • Giants Player T-Shirt, First 20,000 fans (Saturday, July 14 v. Astros)
  • Gigantes Player T-Shirt, First 20,000 fans (Sunday, Sept. 8 v. Dodgers0

Eh, I'll take one, but I won't wait in line for it, i.e. no lines necessary
  • Opening Day Calendars, First 40,000 fans (Friday, April 13 v. Pirates)
  • Magnet Schedule, First 20,000 fans (Monday, April 16 v. Phillies)
  • Giants Cap, First 20,000 fans (Sunday, June 10 v. Rangers)
  • Giants Trading Cards, First 20,000 fans (Saturday, July 28 v. Dodgers)
Overall, the lineup is pretty good, but I had a few thoughts concerning the schedule. First, the Photo Day promo was absent last year and it doesn't appear in 2012 either. Second, the giveaways are still allocated to the first 20,000-25,000 fans - this I don't get. Why can't the Giants and the respective sponsors have 40,000 items available, and help avoid the long lines and chaos; and the crying kids, and upset mothers that miss out on a give away? Other teams do it, not sure what the problem is here. Third, Sandoval returns for his second bobblehead, the others (Bumgarner, Romo) are first-timers.

The bobblehead give away that started it all ... Willie Mays bobblehead from the 1999 giveaway schedule.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Postseason Share - SF Giants receive $10K each

According to the Associated Press, Major League Baseball released the postseason shares for the World Champs and other teams that placed. The total pot was just north of $57.3 million. The total is generated by 60 percent of the ticket money from the first three games of each division series, and the first four games of each league championship series and the World Series.

Here's the breakdown:

St. Louis Cardinals: $323,170 full share
Texas Rangers: $251,516 full share
Milwaukee Brewers: $133,511 full share
Detroit Tigers: $126,902 full share
Tampa Bay Rays: $30,758 full share
Philadelphia Phillies: $30,401 full share
Arizona D'backs: $26,675 full share
NY Yankees: $26,239 full share
Atlanta Braves: $11,089 full share
LA Angels: $10,862 full share
Cleveland Indians: $10,366 full share

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

SF Giants Will Have an Alternate Road Jersey in 2012!

This one is too good to be true, but is reporting that the SF Giants will have an alternate road jersey in 2012, and it will be an updated version of the one worn in the late 80s, early 90s. Yup, you know the one I'm talking about ... the classic interlocking "SF" road jersey that The Thrill, Robby Thompson, Matt Williams, Jose Uribe, et al made famous.

Honestly, the road and home jerseys from that era are awesome, and our personal favorites! So save your money, and be ready to purchase those jerseys when they become available ... we'll bet now that those will sellout once they hit the racks.

This jersey is coming back in 2012!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Johnnie LeMaster interviewed regarding his BOO jersey

Our very own Johnnie LeMaster conducted a special interview on Nov. 10, 2011 related to the night that he wore the Boo jersey against the Montreal Expos at Candlestick Park. Freakonomics Radio Podcast conducted the interview (link below) with Johnnie and dedicated the entire show on booing. Fast forward to the 24:00:00 mark to listen to Johnnie.

*Hat tip to Diana for giving us the heads up. For that, you will receive our special 2012 Sons of Johnnie LeMaster shirt that we'll have printed up in February!! E-mail us your shipping address.

LeMaster interview

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Bryan Stow Fundraiser Concert TONIGHT!

SF Giants third base coach, Tim Flannery, and his band the Lunatic Fringe are scheduled to play a concert tonight at Yoshi's in San Francisco. All proceeds will go directly to Bryan Stow, to assist with his medical bills.

As of this morning, tickets ($45) are still available for this benefit concert. So, if you're in the City and have no plans tonight ... go to this beautiful venue to hear some great music for a great cause!

Tickets for tonight's concert

Monday, November 07, 2011

SF Giants kicking in $50K to help the Polo Grounds in NYC

Story from the AP ...

Associated Press

NEW YORK — The San Francisco Giants left New York after the 1957 season but they haven't forgotten their old ballpark.

The New York Post is reporting ( ) that the Giants are donating $50,000 to help the New York City Parks Department rebuild the last remaining bit of the Polo Grounds, their former home in Manhattan.

The Polo Grounds was torn down in 1964 and is now the site of a housing project. But the city is spending $950,000 to rebuild a stairway that used to lead from a ticket booth down to the stadium.

The football Giants also played at the Polo Grounds and are donating $200,000 for the project. The Yankees and the Mets are each contributing $100,000, and the Jets and Major League Baseball are each donating $50,000.

Jonathan Sanchez traded to KC for Melky Cabrera

Well, it's been discussed since the end of the season that Jonathan's future with San Francisco was coming to an end, and today it did. Sanchy, along with Ryan Verdugo, were dealt to Kansas City for outfielder Melky Cabrera.

Clearly, the Giants were frustrated with Jonathan's maturation as a starting pitcher, his inconsistency on the mound, and his mental makeup were the downfall to his tenure with the Giants. Nevertheless, no Giants fan should dismiss his contributions to the club. Remember, he sealed the 2010 NL West division on the last day of the season, which led to a World Series title for the club.

In Cabrera, this might be the leadoff centerfielder they've been looking for. He had a career year this past season with Kansas City, but it will be interesting how he adjusts on hitting regularly at AT&T Park. The postseason is also something Melky is familiar with, having appeared in the playoffs in four different seasons, and helping the Yankees win the World Series in 2009.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Baseball poem

With the season ending, and the SF Giants one-year anniversary on winning the World Series, we present our baseball poem ...

So comes another fall ...
and my heart aches as my love departs
Each spring, my love reappears with glamour, promise, and hope ...
through all of emotions that my love provides, it is the glimmer of hope that keeps me going
Some may hate it, while others love it ...
but one thing remains the same, my heart will ache through the winter months waiting for my love to reappear
As in life, one thing is true, my love will reappear in the spring reklinding my heart and soul

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Go Yankees!?

Well, any hope of our beloved Giants making it to the postseason ended this weekend ... it was a tough season, but in the end you can't win a title with putting band-aids on a huge gash. So while the Giants season is over, we here at the Sons of Johnnie LeMaster will still keep up with the other teams in the postseason, because we still love baseball nevertheless.

So while the other six teams make their march to the World Series, we'll be cheering for the New York Yankees to go the distance. Now, we know what you're thinking ... the Yankees, WTF?! Our interest to the Yankees actually involves our hatred for the Dodgers. Let's go into old Sons of Johnnie LeMaster vault ... in the mid-70s, the Giants were sucking big time, and guess which team always stuck it to us? Yup, the hated ones, the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was during the 1977 World Series, that we ended up hating the Dodgers more, and liking the Yankees even more in the process. Seeing your hometown team not even sniff the postseason kinda forced your hand to have a second favorite team, and ours was the New York Yankees - Reggie, Guidry, Munson, Nettles, Chambliss, Dent, Randolph, Gossage - now that was a team! But it was in that series, that our disdain with Tommy LaSorda grew so it was even easier to root for the Yankees.

Move fast forward, and today with the Giants out of the postseason race, our attention will fall with the Yankees. In some respects, we kinda wish that the Giants would be the Yankees, win at all costs ... some obviously dislike how the Yankees spend endless amounts of cash to "buy" their team, but you gotta love their approach - nothing will stop us to win. Admit it, if the Giants had the same business model, you wouldn't complain, you would embrace it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Do you believe?

As we write this blog post, the SF Giants just won their fifth straight game, and now sit 7 games back from Arizona, and 6 games back from Atlanta for the Wild Card. The intriguing thing about this five-game winning streak is that the bats have come to life. Why is that? Is the pressure off of them? Have they found their hitting strokes? Is the mojo back? Whatever the reason, the same question remains ... could they make a miraculous run to win the Wild Card or the NL West?

We thought about that, and found out that four clubs in MLB history were able to make the playoffs despite trailing by six or more games with 20 games remaining. 2007 Phillies, 1995 Mariners, 1964 Cardinals, AND 1951 GIANTS! Of the four teams listed, only one lives in infamy, the team that produced "the shot heard 'round the world." After tying the Brooklyn Dodgers in the regular season, the Giants won a three-game playoff to punch their ticket to the World Series.

So the question remains, DO YOU BELIEVE?

Monday, September 05, 2011

The weekend that wasn't ...

Just returned from our weekend at AT&T Park, and the results were flatout disappointing. Which pretty much describes the last 2.5 months of the SF Giants. I think deep down we knew that the playoffs weren't in the cards for us this year ... just too many injuries to fill, and the "band-aid" approach wasn't going to work for the entire season. 22 games are left on the schedule, and the Giants are 7 games back ... nothing short of a miracle must happen if the Giants are to sneak into the postseason - but I think we all know the season is pretty much done.

So, the question is ... how does the club look for 2012. As we noted earlier ... a number of players aren't returning. Tejada and Rowand are two guys that won't be back next year, but expect a boatload of other players not returning next year either ... think Burrell, DeRosa, Stewart, Ross, Torres, J. Sanchez, Fontenot, et al. Next year's club has the potential to be just a shadow of the 2010 World Series club. I expect some major changes to happen to our 25-man roster. It's been said many times, but our window to win another World Series is small ... the team has to build a potent lineup so that Lincecum, Cain, Vogelsong, and the bullpen don't feel pressured on throwing perfect pitches every single time. Plus, the Giants record when scoring 4 or more runs pretty much guarantees us a win.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada by the numbers

By now, we're all aware of what happened today to Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada. So, we're not gonna beat a dead horse - unfortunately, it didn't work out for either player. So let's give you a snapshot of these players while wearing the black & orange.

Aaron Rowand (11 years in the Bigs), in his four years as a Giant ... Rowand batted .253, 43 home runs, 189 RBI. His best season was in 2008, his first year as a Giant, .271 batting average, 13 home runs, 70 RBI.

Miguel Tejada (15 years in the Bigs), one year as a Giant, .239 batting average, 4 home runs, 12 RBI.

Aaron Rowand (SF Giants: 2008-2011)

Miguel Tejada (SF Giants: 2011)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Have the Giants hit rock bottom?

The SF Giants are now 5 games back from the Diamondbacks in the NL West, can they recover from a 5-game deficit  with such an anemic offense? The Giants must take the next two games against the Cubs to have any chance of making this weekend series versus AZ meaningful.

Friday, August 26, 2011

"Woody" - the good luck charm

Okay, we're all down that our beloved Giants are in a major scuffle right now. So today, the Sons of Johnnie LeMaster are unleashing the big guns ... pictures of Kirk "Woody" Reuter. For those of you that don't know, Woody always had a knack of winning pools, bets, and all other forms of wagers ... he cleaned house, and would just howl about it to his team mates. Several years ago, clubhouse manager, Mike Murphy posted a picture of Woody in the dugout, and the team started winning. So, in keeping with that tradition, we're posting some Woody pictures of our own. Let it be known, that if the Giants start a long winning streak - we get the credit!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Giants announce postseason ticket pricing for season ticketholders

Today, the SF Giants distributed invoices to their season ticketholders for the 2011 postseason. Prices seem near or slightly above from last year. Single game sales won't happen for at least another 3-4 weeks, and those prices will be higher than what season ticketholders pay.

Click on the graphic to expand the image

Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's time for the Giants to unload some players from the 40-man roster

No question, this has been a horrendous 2nd half of the season for the Giants, but more apparent is that some players no longer serve a value to this team for any purpose. Most notably, Mark DeRosa and Pat Burrell, one might add Barry Zito to the mix but his situation is a bit more complicated compared to DeRosa and Burrell.

With September around the corner, and the obvious need to add some pop and speed to this lineup (i.e. waiver claims), it's time to cut the cord on DeRosa and Burrell. DeRosa has been an absolute bust since he signed with the Giants, and Burrell is a shadow of himself from last year. In all honestly, do the Giants think either one of these guys are going to contribute going into the final month of the season? We all know the answer to that question.

The front office needs to spark this team with some new additions, and cut the fat that's on this team. Activate Burrell, and then release him, and flat out release DeRosa.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jason Schmidt & Marvin Benard to be added to Giants Wall of Fame

On Saturday, Aug. 27, at 3:30 p.m., the SF Giants will add two more players to their Wall of Fame that exists on the exterior wall of AT&T Park on King Street. Jason Schmidt and Marvin Benard will be added to the Wall of Fame.

Schmidt arrived to the Giants on July 30, 2001, when the Pirates traded him and John Vander Wal to San Francisco in exchange for Armando Rios and Ryan Vogelesong - yes, that Ryan Vogelsong! In six years with the Giants, Schmidt had a 78-37 record, 3.36 ERA, and 1065 strikeouts. In that time, he was a 3-time All-Star and placed 2nd for the National League Cy Young voting in 2003. Consequently, his best season was also in 2003, when he compiled a 17-5 record, 2.34 ERA, 208 K's, and a 0.953 WHIP.

Benard was drafted by the Giants in the 1992 amateur draft in the 50th round from Lewis-Clark State College. He played his entire 9-year big league with the Giants. In that time, he amassed a .271 career batting average, and 54 home runs and 260 RBI. His single best season came in 1999, when he belted 16 home runs, 64 RBI, 27 stolen bases and a .290 average.

Jason Schmidt (SF Giants 2001-2006)

Marvin Benard (SF Giants: 1995-2003)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Showtime orders two more episodes of The Franchise

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Showtime has ordered two more episodes of The Franchise. In its inaugural season, The Franchise has averaged 760,000 weekly viewers.

The additional episodes bring the series' total order to eight, not including a spring training preview special that aired earlier this year. With the Giants' current season hanging in the balance, Showtime opted to spring for two more episodes to bring viewers through August.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Additional residential developments to break ground near AT&T Park in 2012

BRE Properties (NYSE: BRE) announced today during their 2nd Quarter 2011 Results report that they planned on beginning construction in the second half of 2012 of approximately 360 residential units on the two parcels of entitled land they obtained in the Mission Bay district neighboring AT&T Park.

The cost of the construction is to cost around $220 million, and they expect the redevelopment to take place over 12-15 months. BRE traditionally focuses on the development, acquisition and management of apartment communities.

Monday, August 01, 2011

SF Giants increase their Dugout Store presence

In an e-mail distributed to season ticket holders today, the SF Giants have added two new Dugout Stores to their roster. I guess winning a World Series increases demand for apparel and souvenirs, you think?

The two new locations are in some prime real estate too ...

Union Square Dugout Store
(Next door to Lefty O'Doul's)
337 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: 415-956-3704

Palo Alto Dugout Store
425 University Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Phone: 650-323-9790

We have the sense that the Union Square location is gonna make a killing considering the amount of tourists that flock to that area for shopping, and the fact that a decent sports shop isn't even remotely located in that area.

The temporary Giants Dugout store at the former Borders books location during the World Series

Augusta Greenjackets receive their 2010 World Series rings

As reported by The Augusta Chronicle yesterday, seven members of Augusta Greenjackets coaching staff and front office received their 2010 SF Giants World Series rings. In a private ceremony after their game, Fred Stanley, director of player development presented rings to the following individuals:

  • Lipso Nava, manager
  • Steve Kline, pitching coach
  • David Getsoff, trainer
  • Nick Brown, general manager
  • Jeff Eiseman, Ripken Baseball Group
  • Mike Anderson, team videographer
  • Robert Lehn, chaplain

I don't know how many other teams present members of their minor league staff with World Championship rings to thank them for their work for players that are on the big league club, but this sounded pretty cool to us.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Barry Zito: what will the SF Giants do with him?

As we write this post, Barry Zito and the Giants are down 0-5 to the Cincinnati Reds ... folks, this isn't pretty and it's getting uglier with each Zito outing. The question then becomes, what will the Giants do with Zito? Trade him - will any team want his huge contract? Send him to a bullpen that's already solidified? Send him to the minors to regain his form - we already tried that one? Or just flat out release him and eat (gulp) the remaining $46 million left on his contract after the 2011 season?

Zito is due to earn $19 million in 2012, $20M in 2013, and $7M buyout in 2014. That's a lot of cha-cha bowls!

As of date the biggest contract to be released by a Major League club was in 2006, when the Arizona Diamondbacks unloaded Russ Ortiz (former Giant) and his $22 million contract. If the Giants were to release Zito it would dwarf what the D'backs unloaded and would set a new record by over 100%!

With Jonathan Sanchez due to return, this question of what to do with Zito is likely coming to a head, and it doesn't look good.

If you were leading the Giants club, what would you do?

Barry Zito in the August 2011 issue of GQ

Barry Zito modeling for True Religion

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saying goodbye to some players for 2012

We took a glance at some contracts that expire after the 2011 season, and we project that these players will not be resigned or in the case of Jonathan Sanchez will be traded before the 2012 season. While the savings will amount to $27.8 million, the net gain will be $17.3 million due to built-in raises to a number of players for 2012. Plus Lincecum will go to arbitration after this season as well.

Miguel Tejada $6.5 million
Cody Ross $6.3 million
Mark DeRosa $6 million
Jonathan Sanchez $4.8 million
Andres Torres $2.2 million
Mike Fontenot $1.05 million
Pat Burrell $1 million

Where the boys are ...

We frequently get asked where do the Giants hang out when they're away from the ballpark. So we did some checking around and verified some of the establishments in the City that players frequent.

  • Tipsy Pig - we all know that this is the place that Pat the Bat loves to hangout, but several other players have been here.
  • Delerosa - it's a casual pizza/pasta joint on Chestnut Street, and Brian Wilson, Tim Lincecum, and Burrell have dined here, usually after a day game.
  • Pete's Tavern - the sports bar across the street from the ballpark, Jonathan Sanchez will often have a drink here after some games, and even Lou Seal (out of costume) will throw some back here as well.
  • Michael Mina - an upscale restaurant that Barry Zito frequents.
  • Gary Danko - one of the most posh restaurants in the City, Brian Wilson has publicly praised G.D.
  • Hooter's San Bruno - yeah, I know it's not in the City, but it's near the home of Pablo Sandoval. Yes, the Panda is a Hooter's fan and has been seen here with Andres Torres too.
If you know of other places, list them under the comments section.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sergio Romo to greet kids on Tuesday, Aug. 2, at Dept. of Public Health

SF Giants middle reliever, Sergio Romo, will be on hand at the Department of Public Health on Tuesday, Aug. 2, for kids who get their whooping cough booster shot. Kids within the the SFUSD are required to have the booster shot before Sept. 15.

Sergio Romo

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Is the Giants front office reading the Sons of Johnnie LeMaster? We think so.

Back in March of this year, we posted a blog about the seagulls problem at AT&T Park and the havoc they cause during games to fans that pay good money to attend games. Apparently the sellout crowds are not too pleased with the 'gulls interfering with their ability to watch our first place Giants. So it looks like the Giants front office is FINALLY going to take our solution to heart and implement it at the yard based on the Mercury News story (see attached link)

To quote Brian Wilson, "YOU'RE WELCOME!"

Mercury News link

Sons of Johnnie LeMaster - March story on seagulls

Today is the 24th anniversary of Johnnie LeMaster's last game

On July 28, 1987, Johnnie LeMaster played his last game in the Major Leagues as a member of the Oakland A's. The game was played at the Oakland Coliseum and the A's lost to the Angels, 9-2. Johnnie started the game at second base and batted ninth in the lineup. On this day, Johnnie was 1-for-3, but his season batting average was just .083. On the very next day, the Oakland A's released Johnnie, and that ended his tenure with the Athletics. Later that year, the White Sox signed him, but he struggled in AAA and eventually retired from baseball.

Johnnie LeMaster as a member of the Oakland A's

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Welcome Carlos Beltran!

We think Carlos is gonna look good in the orange & black!

Carlos Beltran

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Worse contracts in SF Giants history


As the trade deadline nears, we couldn't help but think of some the "bad" contracts the SF Giants signed in years past. So we compiled a list of some of the worst. We didn't rank them, because quite frankly, each bad contract stands out. So we'll leave the ranking of the "worst contract" to you, the readers. Soooo, here's our list ...

Barry Zito (7 yrs, $126 million + plus club option for $16 million or $7 million buyout, 2007-13)
Aubrey Huff (2 yrs, $20 million + $2 million buyout for 2013, 2011-12)
Aaron Rowand (5 yrs, $60 million, 2008-2012, released in September '11)
Ray Durham (second contract signed in 2006: 2 yrs, $14.5 million, 2007-08, traded in '08)
Armando Benitez (3 yrs, $21 million, 2005-07, traded in '07)
Edgardo Alfonzo (4 yrs, $26 million, 2003-05, traded in '05)
Marvin Benard (3 yrs, $11.1 million, 2001-03)
Dave Roberts (3 yrs, $18 million: 2007-09, released in '09)
Matt Morris (3 yrs, $27 million: 2006-09, traded in '07)
Brett Tomko (2 yrs, $4.5 million: 2004-05)
Rich Aurilia (second contract with the club: 2 yrs, $8 million: 2007-08)
Miguel Tejada (1 yr, $6.5 million: 2011)
Rennie Stennet (5 yrs, $3 million: 1980-84, released in '82)
Mark DeRosa (2 yrs, $12 million: 2010-11)

Armando Benitez: SF Giants 2005-07

Marvin Benard: SF Giants 2001-03

Rennie Stennett: SF Giants 1980-82

Brian Wilson, pre-beard years

We found some pics of Brian Wilson before he started growing out his beard. What do you think? Do you like him with or without the beard?

2006: Wilson impersonating Billy Idol during Spring Training's Rookie Idol contest

2007: Brian Wilson at Spring Training, his first experiment with a low cut beard

2008: Brian Wilson's first full year as the Giants closer - Fear the Soul Patch?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Birthday to Johnnie LeMaster

The Sons of Johnnie LeMaster would like to wish Johnnie LeMaster himself, a very happy birthday. Johnnie was born on June 19, 1954, and he celebrates his 57th birthday!

Johnnie in the minors

Johnnie with the San Francisco Giants

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Another celebrity sighting wearing the Sons of Johnnie LeMaster tee

This photo was taken today (Thursday, May 9) prior to the Reds v. Giants game. Brian Murphy, Brad Mangin, and Andy Baggarly were at MoMo's for a double book signing.

(L to R) Andy Baggarly, Brad Mangin, and Brian Murphy

Photo courtesy of Brian Murphy

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Our moment with Gary Carter (SF Giants: 1990)

This morning it was reported by the New York Post that Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter has inoperable brain cancer.  We have heard that Gary was in poor health in recent months, but the news of Gary's condition hit a cord with us here at the Sons of Johnnie LeMaster.

In his 19 years in the Big Leagues, Gary spent one with the Giants in 1990. In that year, Gary played part time and appeared in 92 games and batted .254 with 9 HR and 27 RBI. Gary would end up playing another two years before calling it quits after the 1992 season.

In the summer of 1990, a group of us attended a Giants game (April 30, 1990) at Dodger Stadium, and we got there early to watch some batting practice. As we walked to the front rail of the left field pavilion, the Giants were taking BP, and Gary Carter was in the outfield playing catch. At which point, we yelled at Gary, "how about those Mets?!" His quick reply was, "what about them?" We retorted back, "they miss you and need you back." Remember,  Gary spent the previous five seasons with the Mets and helped bring a World Championship to Flushing Meadows in an epic World Series vs. the Boston Red Sox. Gary, didn't respond back, and we continued to watch BP. As BP was concluding, I was talking to my friend next to me, when I heard the crowd in our section yell, "heads up," ... Gary tossed a ball to my direction, and I saw it at the last second to catch it.

Later that summer, I returned home after the spring semester ended, and when the Giants were returning home from a road trip, I drove down to SFO to see the team and get some autographs. After waiting for about 45 minutes, the team finally arrived and walked down to the baggage claim area. At that point, I asked Gary to sign the ball that I caught from the April game. I didn't  mention to him that I heckled him a bit, but he was gracious in signing the ball and his Giants photo that he had in his briefcase.

Even though Gary spent just one year with the Giants, it was a joy to see "The Kid" wear the orange and black for just one season. The Sons of Johnnie LeMaster send our prayers and thoughts to Gary and his family, he was a class act, and we wish him well.

Signed Gary Carter photo that we obtained in the summer of 1990

Signed Gary Carter ball - from the April 30, 1990 game

Poor penmanship, but we wrote the date on the ball. April 30, 1990.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sons of Johnnie LeMaster t-shirt giveaway

This giveaway is an in-person event ... I have one men's XL shirt for the first person to spot me (in a LeMaster tee) at Pete's Tavern on Friday before the A's game. Individuals that have received shirts in the past are ineligible - you know who you are.

Disclaimer: if you appear psycho-ish, you're not gonna get one.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Photo Essay: Sons of Johnnie LeMaster at Wrigley Field

The Sons of Johnnie LeMaster were at Wrigley Field this past weekend to see the Giants for all three games. Unfortunately, Sunday's game was postponed, but we still had a great time. Pictured below are some shots we took while we were there. Enjoy!

Outside of Wrigley Field

Waveland Avenue beyond the LF wall, bleachers on the rooftops

Entrance to the bleachers

Murphy's Bleachers across the street from Wrigley Field

Old Style is to Chicago, like Anchor Steam is to San Francisco

The marquee at Murphy's Bleachers before Saturday's game

We got a ball during Friday's BP, Ryan Vogelsong tossed the ball up to us

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Commentary: Keenan Cahill and the SF Giants

Several weeks ago, the Giants released a promo video of YouTube sensation, Keenan Cahill with cameos by Brian Wilson, Cody Ross, and Lou Seal.

The "Dynamite" video was to promote the upcoming Cody Ross night at the yard, so we thought. In addition to that,  the Giants are raising funds for Keenan's medical treatment for Maroteaux-Lamy Syndrome, also known as MPS-VI.

This disorder, which affects one in 25,000 people, has no known cure. Those with the disorder usually stop growing at about age 8 and are characterized by a shortened trunk and restricted movement.

At first, we thought that was kinda cool, but then we learned Keenan is not from the Bay Area nor is he a true Giants fan. In fact, he's made quite a gig of having various recording artists and teams fundraising for him.

So our thought is this, aren't there kids in the Bay Area that are terminally ill that could use some support or financial assistance for their medical bills as well?

Raising funds for Keenan doesn't make sense when he's not a Bay Area resident or a Giants fan. We think other kids in the Bay Area would be far more deserving.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Where are they now ... Greg Litton (SF Giants: 1989-1992)

Utility man, Greg Litton, was drafted by the Giants in the first round (10th pick) of the 1984 amateur draft. Litton would spend the next five seasons in the minors before joining the big club in 1989.

Litton's career doesn't spark any Hall of Fame discussions, but he served his purpose as a spot starter and pinch hitter. His best year as a Giant was in 1990 when he batted .245, with one home run and 24 RBI. he also hit a home run in 1989 World Series vs Oakland.

Litton spent a total of four years with the Giants before being granted free agency. He then spent the next two seasons in Seattle and Boston before calling it quits in 1995.

All told, Litton spent six years in the Bigs and had a career batting average of .241, while belting 13 home runs and 97 RBI.

Where is he now?
After his baseball career ended, Litton went into the jewelry business. He received a post-graduate degree in diamond grading and appraisal from the Gemological Institute of America. Currently, he's the general manager of Meadows Jewelers in Pensacola, Florida. In addition, he's also a motivational speaker with the Studer Group.

Greg Litton - 1990 Big Topps

Greg Litton today

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

2011 SF Giants All-Stars

So, we here at the Sons of Johnnie LeMaster were looking at the schedule and noticed that this year's All-Star Game is in Phoenix. At the same moment, we remembered that as the National League representative in the World Series, that Bruce Bochy will get to field his NL roster, once the starting position players are voted in.

It's probably safe to say that several Giants will be on the roster based on their contributions last year, and performance this season. So here's our guess on which Giants will be on the 2011 NL All-Star team.

Buster Posey - voted in
Tim Lincecum
Matt Cain
Jonathan Sanchez
Brian Wilson
Pablo Sandoval
Freddy Sanchez

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sons of Johnnie LeMaster tee

I think it's time to give away another Sons of Johnnie LeMaster tee ... this time we'll give away one of our ladies tees. So here we go ...

How much did it cost to build Candlestick Park, and how long did it take to build it?

2012 San Francisco Giants

So while we were watching the Braves sweep the Giants yesterday, we here at the Sons of Johnnie LeMaster couldn't help but think how many players currently on the roster will not be on the team next year.

Based on Cots Baseball Contracts spreadsheet on the Giants, and assuming the direction the Giants are headed, we're going to say the following players will not be wearing the black & orange in 2012.

Miguel Tejada ($6.5 M) 2011 salary in parenthesis
Cody Ross ($6.3 M)
Mark DeRosa ($6 M)
Ramon Ramirez ($1.65 M)
Santiago Casilla ($1.3 M)
Mike Fontenot ($1.05 M)
Pat Burrell ($1 M)
Guillermo Mota ($945 K)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

San Francisco jerseys, not named the Giants

If you're like us, you probably appreciate the history of the Giants franchise, but also of the baseball history in the city of San Francisco. Most fans are aware of the San Francisco Seals, the Pacific Coast League (PCL) team, that ruled the city for decades and boasted one of the greatest players in the history of the game as one of their alumni, Joe DiMaggio.

But most are probably unaware of a second club that was in the city called, San Francisco Missions. The history of the Missions is some what short-winded, and they eventually moved to Southern California to become the Hollywood Stars of the PCL.

In any event, both of these clubs had colorful jerseys that would be worthy even in today's standards. In fact, a boutique company up in Seattle called Ebbets Field Flannels has included the San Francisco teams to their line of throwback jerseys and caps. We here at the Sons of Johnnie LeMaster even own a few of Ebbets' products, and they're top notch in our book. So while you're out looking to add another Posey, Lincecum jersey to your collection, why not take a nod and acknowledge the rich history of San Francisco baseball and wear a DiMaggio #10 throwback? Trust us, you'll receive more positive comments and compliments than any other jersey.

SF Seals - 1933 home jersey

SF Missions - 1930 home jersey