Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Referendum Has Commenced - Sign Melky to a Contract!

What else do you want Melky Cabrera to do? He just set a franchise record with 51 hits in the month of May, leads the league (as of May 31) in batting average (.373), hits (73), and triples (6) ... and has been the spark plug for this team while carrying the offensive load while Sandoval is on the DL.

He's earning $6 million this year, the highest he's earned in his career, and he's on pace on shattering the great year he had in Kansas City last year. Why wait until the end of the season to sign, and possibly lose him to another team ... lock him up now.

To help reinforce this idea to the team, the Sons of Johnnie LeMaster have created a limited edition shirt that reads, "Sign Melky to a Contract!" Again, as in the past, our shirts will be distributed for free to like-minded die-hard Giants fans that agree that the club needs to sign Melky to contract. Length and terms ... who cares, just sign the dude!

The Melk-Man

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Our New Timbuk2 Bag

Several weeks ago we lost our SF Giants Timbuk2 bag that was distributed to season ticket holders back in 2007. It was a sad day for us. Nevertheless, we had to fill the void and since those bags are not available for sale anywhere, we had to improvise and make another bag on our own. So, we simply went to the Timbuk2 website and ordered a customized bag per the SF Giants color scheme, and then purchased a World Series Champions patch on eBay. Our next step was to find a local tailor that could sew the patch on the bag, and $8 later, the patch was on our new bag. So what do you think?

Side Note: when you receive the WS patch, make sure to detach the plastic backing that comes with the patch. For the new patches, it should be fairly easy ... just pick a corner and rip the plastic backing off. Don't worry, you will not ruin the patch. If you are having difficulty in removing the plastic backing, simply use a hair dryer and heat the plastic to loosen the adhesion and then remove the plastic backing. Please do not avoid this step! The plastic backing must be removed in order to stitch the patch to the bag.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly ... Ranking the 2012 Contracts

We're only seven weeks into the season, but we figured now would be a good time to assess how some of the 2012 contracts are looking for the SF Giants.

So, we're gonna break this up into three groups: The Good - exceeding expectations, and providing more value than originally planned; The Bad - middle of the road, not great, not horrible; The Ugly - an absolute bust, we're shaking our heads in disappointment.

The Good:
Melky Cabrera ($6M): Where would the club be without the Melk-Man? How great did this trade turnout for the club. An absolute god-send, and he's picked up where he left off from his career year in 2011. No doubt he's playing for a huge contract, and by all means, he deserves it!

Pablo Sandoval ($3.2M): Up until his hamate bone surgery, Pablo was dialed-in at the plate. He is a legit power hitter, and has the potential to put up some big numbers this year.

Santiago Casilla ($2.2M): Santiago has respectably filled in as our new closer. Has he been perfect? No, of course not, but we still feel comfortable for him closing out a game when the team has a lead.

Sergio Romo ($1.6M): We still can't believe the club found Sergio from the Golden Baseball League - the last chance saloon of professional baseball. With each game he gets in, he only gets better ... he's become one of the premier setup men in the Majors. Plus he's humble guy that knows playing pro ball is a blessing and truly appreciates the home fans.

Buster Posey ($615K): Don't lie, you were worried too if Buster was going to contribute to the club in '12. So far, the ankle is holding up, and he's been pretty steady at the plate too. He provides the middle of the order power and plate discipline that the team needs.

Madison Bumgarner ($560K): Thankfully the team signed MadBum to an extension, and he might become the ace of the staff by seasons end. This kid is legit, and isn't afraid of anyone or any situation.

Gregor Blanco ($516K): It's still early, but Gregor is a true leadoff hitter we haven't seen since the days of Brett Butler. Gregor has the ability to work a count, and put the ball into play, and with his speed he can cause havoc on the base path. He's our early contender for the 2012 Willie Mac Award.

Hector Sanchez ($480K): The Rhino, yes - that's our nickname for him, has been a pleasant surprise. For such a younger player, he understands what he needs to do at the plate. If Posey ever ends up at 1B full time, we have a great catcher to take his place. Plus, Zito loves this kid behind the plate.

The Bad
Barry Zito ($19M): If it wasn't for the huge check he's getting this year, Zito would be in The Good category, but sadly that's not the case. Zito has been a pleasant surprise thus far, and we can only hope he continues on carrying the back end of the starting rotation.

Tim Lincecum ($18.2M): Hey, this was tough for us to put him in this category too, but let's not kid ourselves, the month of April was horrible. He's picked up as of late, but he's not the Tim Lincecum you and us know and love.

Matt Cain ($15.8M): Do we see a trend here? He's a horse, and pitched a complete game a few weeks ago! Yes, we know those things, but Matt would agree he's been a bit off to start the season. Look, we're glad he signed an extension and is gonna pitch for the club for years to come.

Javier Lopez ($4.2M): Javy has been steady, but $4.2M for a situational lefty seems a bit too much for us.

Ryan Vogelsong ($3M): He started the year on the DL, and has been okay with his starts thus far, but our biggest concern is his back. Can Ry maintain the rigors of an entire season without going on the DL again for his back? That's worrisome for us.

Nate Schierholtz ($1.3M): We thought this was going to be the year that Nate busted out of the gates and finally claim a starting OF job, but it just hasn't happened. He's been relegated to the bench, and after his dismal pinch-hitting appearance last night, his days with the club might be coming to an end. We anticipate he'll be with another team by the end of the season.

The Ugly
Aubrey Huff ($10M): What can we say, the two-year contract the club gave to Aubrey after the World Series was a huge mistake. We're not gonna dive into his personal issues, but it's hard to imagine any meaningful contribution Aubrey can make to the club this year. Nevertheless, we will always be thankful that he helped bring a World Championship to San Francisco.

Brian Wilson ($8.5M): This might be his last season as a member of the SF Giants. I think the club has learned it's lesson on not signing players that are coming off a major surgery. Might be a good time to shave the beard too.

Freddy Sanchez ($6M): Freddy clearly has the talent, but his body is breaking down to the point of no return. Will he even return on the field this year? After the recent story regarding his back, it's highly unlikely.

Jeremy Affeldt ($5M): Frozen hamburger patties and lifting his child are the reasons for his stints on the DL. Jeremy has great talent, but the high salary and his poor decisions off the field landed him in this category.

Ryan Theriot ($1.25M): We're still perplexed how TheRiot made the club. His contributions thus far has been non-existent, and we still can't believe that the "Baby Babe Ruth" (Fontenot) wasn't kept ahead of Ryan at basically the same  salary.

Guillermo Mota ($1M): Anyone that goes on the 100-game suspension list goes on this list automatically. C'mon, kids coughing syrup?! WTH!

Now, we didn't include anyone on the roster in this blog post. The two Brandons are both making $481K, but can't say they've been great or horrible based on their contracts. Same goes with Pill and Hensley.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Rich Herrera on the Los Angeles v. San Francisco Rivalry

*The Sons of Johnnie LeMaster is pleased to have Rich Herrera from MLB Radio contribute his first ever post to our blog. We encourage you to follow him on Twitter at @RBIrich.

Over a century ago the greatest rivalry in the game of baseball was born.  May 3, 1890 was the first game between baseball’s most hated rivals.  No, this rivalry did not take place between teams from the Bronx or from Boston.  Contrary to my friends at ESPN whose east coast myopia causes most baseball fans to be conned into thinking that the Red Sox and Yankees are baseball’s civil war, baseball’s greatest rivalry is truly played between the Glorious Giants and the Despicable Dodgers. 

Think I am kidding baseball fans.  Ask any real Giants fan how they feel about the Dodgers and their players.  Do you remember Wade Boggs riding around Yankee Stadium on the back of the NYPD horse?  Do you recall the reaction of the Yankee fans gleefully cheering the former Red Sox great as one of their own?  What kind of reaction would any real San Francisco fan have given lets say Ron Cey if he would have brought a World Championship to Candlestick.  Giants’ fans would have gleefully tossed things at the Penguin.  Things like vulgar insults, cups of beer, half eaten hot dogs and of course back in the day, D cell batteries from the boom box you brought to hear the game on the radio.  Now there have been a few to cross over but none were ever accepted as one of ours.  The only exception to this of course is good baseball men that were run off by the Dodgers for no good reason, and those baseball expatriates pledged their allegiance to the Orange and Black.  (We will have to talk some time about Dodgers running off their own like Dusty and Scioscia).

So let me share a few reasons why this is a real rivalry.

Giants and Dodgers are competitive and play meaningful games in their rivalry. The Giants are .538 team since play began back in 1883 while the Dodgers are 524 since then.  The Red Sox are a .517 team since 1901 and the Yankees a whopping .568 team since 1901.  How can this be a rivalry of any merit when the Yankees have dominated so much in their series? 

The Giants and Dodgers are almost identical when it comes to postseason success.  The Giants and Dodgers have six World Series wins the Giants owning 21 NL pennants to the Dodgers 22 NL flags.  The So Called greatest Rivalry in baseball, the Yankees 27 World Series winners and 40 AL Championships while the Red Sox have won the World Championship seven times with 12 pennants to show for their efforts. The numbers don’t lie the Giants and Dodgers go back and forth, while the Yankees have clearly showed themselves to be head and shoulders about the

To be a good rival you must play spoiler to your rival over and over again.  Giants fans have cheered players like Joe Morgan for knocking the Dodgers out of the playoffs in the 80’s or Rod Beck getting the 1-2-3 DP to win the NL West in 1997 from the Dodgers.  And yes Giants fans have seen heartbreak at the hands of the Dodgers as well. History shows over and over again the Yankees knocking out the Red Sox over the years with Boone and Brosius homers coming to mind.  And the Red Sox can claim over coming a 3-0 deficit in 2004.  So let’s take the biggest moments in the two rivalries.  Both were winner take all games.  Both were game winning home runs.  Now you tell me which was a greater moment in the history of the game, which brings an ear-to-ear smile to the victor and can still cause tears to well up in the eyes of the loser.  You tell me what is a bigger moment, Bucky Dent’s corked bat homer that just got over the Green Monster or Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard Round the World”

Case closed … Sorry ESPN … The greatest rivalry in baseball is the Giants and the Dodgers.

Michael Tucker vs. Eric Gagne

Monday, May 07, 2012

Tips for Visiting Dodger Stadium

It has come to our attention that several members of Giants Nation are making the trek down to SoCal for the Giants three-game roadie at Dodger Stadium. Since several members of the Sons of Johnnie LeMaster have several years and games under their belts attending games in Chavez Ravine, we thought it would be helpful to hand out some tips ahead of your visit.

  • Get there early! Dodger Stadium is just east of downtown LA, and the main freeway artery (110 freeway) is busy all day, but especially when rush hour traffic starts gearing up at around 3:30 p.m.
  • Public transportation is basically non-existent. Don't fall for the Union Station Dodger Shuttle bus that goes between Union Station (MTA, Amtrak) and Dodger Stadium. That is a complete waste of time, and even Dodger fans moan on how bad and unreliable it is.
  • Enter the stadium parking lot by going thru the "Downtown Gate" if you're on the 110 Fwy, use the "Stadium" exit. Park in lot 7 ... you can thank us later - it will allow for the fastest exit out of the stadium and best way to get on 110 Fwy.
  • Leave the cooler at home, Dodgers have a "no-tailgating" rule in the parking lot. This existed prior to the Bryan Stow event, but now it's being enforced. We've seen plenty of Dodger and visiting fans forced to empty their beers on the ground in front of the LAPD. *A moment of silence for the beers ...  thank you.
  • There are no pre-gaming spots near the ballpark. Reason #1500456789 to dislike Dodger Stadium.
  • Be mindful where your seats are, it will determine which gate you can enter the stadium. For whatever reason, the Dodgers brass will not allow you to enter the stadium at any gate, you have to enter based on where your seats are. i.e. Field box level, loge level, reserved level, pavillions, etc.
  • Pavillion section ... Dodger Stadium might be the only stadium where the folks in the bleachers cannot walk or roam around the rest of the stadium. There is no walkway from the pavillion to the rest of the stadium, and they will not let you out of the pavillion section to re-enter the main concourse. It's also where some of the worst Dodger fans sit, so you shouldn't even bother getting tickets there.
  • Concessions - once you experience Dodger Stadium, you will love AT&T Park even more. Dodger Dogs are one of the most overrated food items ever touted. Have you ever seen Vin Scully eat one? That's a no, because Vinnie is smart not to eat one, however he does make it sound good, "mmmm, mmmm ... a Dodger Dog made by Farmer John." Actually, we would recommend a stop at the historic Phillippe's on 1001 North Alameda Street just outside of Chinatown, which is near the ballpark. Phillippe's has the best French dip sandwiches anywhere, and the smart fans will get a to-go order before a Dodgers game.
  • Count how many times you see a beach ball being tossed around, and watch the side show as ushers scramble around trying to retrieve it and pop it once they get it.
  • We recommend seats in the lower box (behind home plate) ... yes, we know it's pricey, but seldom do fights breakout in this section.
  • Sections to avoid ... DO NOT sit in the pavillion sections and upper reserve. We cannot reiterate this enough, you're gonna wish that you spent the extra money on seats in the loge or lower box sections.
  • Wear your Giants gear, but don't gloat ... actually, this applies to any visiting fan visiting any ballpark. It's okay to cheer for the club, but don't taunt and gloat to the opposition fan base. This is common sense 101.
  • Once the game is over, hangout outside of the stadium near the right field wall. Typically, if it's the first or second game of a three-game series, you will see some of the players walkout of the stadium to grab a cab or get a ride with a friend. We've seen plenty of players sign for fans that wait around. Also, Kruk, Kuip, Flem & Jon typically rent a car and will walk out to their SUV, and they sign as well. Plus, they're always happy to meet and greet with Giants fans.
  • Have fun, Go Giants!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Commentary on Social Media

When we started this blog and joined Twitter, our intent was simple, to have fun and converse with individuals that shared the same interests, and perhaps along the way - we and others might even learn a few new things on a number of subjects. Our goal all along was to make this fun and not to make a business venture out of this or to profit from what we do, which is why you never see any advertising (aka monetizing efforts) on this blog or see us sell any of our shirts that we produce. However it has come to our attention within viewing some tweets in the past week, that others do not share our idea of having fun. Yes, we are not naïve to think that everyone has the same ideals as we do, but it's also disappointing when others use social media, or in this case Twitter to repeatedly attack or stalk others in a negative and condensing tone. Now, to make this clear, none of the negative tweets were directed at us, but we did notice a trend where individuals would consistently make inappropriate remarks to individuals that aren't even public figures. We get that good nature ribbing is par for the course, but when does good nature ribbing turn into poor inappropriate behavior and crosses the line between good nature ribbing and acts of cruelty? To be fair, this dilemma has existed on every social media platform, individuals that have the bravado to type remarks and comments intended to incite and enrage (aka Internet bullies), and yet it seems that the general social media population has generally accepted that type of behavior versus standing up and condoning it.

Now, we're not here anointing ourselves as patron saints of social media because we're not, but we also believe if you're going to type something to someone online via social media, you should have the wherewithal to say the very exact same thing to that same person when you see them in person. If we understand correctly, it's called the "paper tiger" syndrome of social media or "liquid courage" for those of you order than 21 years of age. Twitter and other social media outlets have been utterly amazing on a number of fronts, and right when we're totally enthralled with what each of these platforms can provide, the proverbial "ugly head" peers out and shows the nasty side of things.

To our regular readers, we apologize for not making this a post related to the Giants, but felt it needed to be said. GO GIANTS!